Black Hills State University recently recognized employees for their years of service and dedication during the annual Employee Awards Reception.

Jim Knutson, professor of art at BHSU, was recognized as the 2012 Distinguished Faculty Member. He has been a member of the BHSU faculty for 35 years and is also a 1972 BHSU art graduate. Knutson was recognized for his continued excellence in teaching and for his creative talents in expanding an appreciation of the arts at BHSU and throughout the community.

BHSU President Kay Schallenkamp recognized the Career Service Act (CSA) outstanding employees for the fall 2011 and spring 2012 semesters. BHSU employees are nominated for their customer service, attitude, dependable and responsible performance, communication skills, and team work. Jeanne Hanson, program assistant II for Facilities Services, was honored as the fall 2011 semester outstanding employee. She is known for her “get it done” attitude coupled with a collaborative mindset that fosters team spirit. When Woodburn Hall went through a major six-phase renovation project, Hanson did an outstanding job of working with the contractors, three different furniture companies, and BHSU Facilities Services on a daily basis to meet construction schedule requirements and assure uninterrupted use of office and academic space.

Debbie Smoot, office supervisor for the Center for Student Success, was named the 2012 spring semester outstanding employee for her excellent attitude and the pride she takes in her work. Smoot exemplifies BHSU’s core values in her daily work and has won the respect of the campus. She constantly seeks out ways to improve service to students, to improve retention, and to ensure the students’ academic success.

Each year during the reception individuals and groups who inspire higher levels of service to the students, the University, and the community are recognized by the BHSU Employee Recognition Committee.

  • The A’viands Dining Services staff was commended for their commitment to their responsibilities and was presented with the Outstanding University Service Award. The A’viands staff provides unfailing support of BHSU students and campus events. They go to great lengths to provide great tasting, healthy food to patrons along with courteous and friendly customer service. Members of the staff include: Sara Spellman, Jeremy Emery, Janet Gehring, Dillon Haug, Angela Hopewell, Rhea Johnson, Diana Jones, Shelby Jones, Heidi Kegler, Nicole Keller, Briane Kruckenberg, Landon Langer, Laura LaPlante, Patty Maki, Sean McGinnis, Doug Nieman, Karen Oster, Jason Randolph, Dave Rhoden, Krista Schroeder, Ron Showman, Sharon Showman, and Richard Walker.
  • Dr. Andy Johnson, assistant professor and associate director of the Center for the Advancement of Mathematics and Science Education (CAMSE), was honored with the Special Committee Award for his dedication to sustainability and to the BHSU campus garden.
  • Mike Jastorff, director of the BHSU Bookstore, received the Economic Impact/Innovation Award for his efforts in establishing the textbook rental program. He worked tirelessly with professors, publishers, and used book campaigns to bring a textbook rental program to BHSU students. The upfront savings to the students can be up to 65 percent.
  • Bret Swanson, instructor of English, was recognized with the Community Service Award for demonstrating significant contributions of his time to the University, the community, the region, and the state. Swanson has been an exceptional ambassador for BHSU as a member of the Rapid City Area Schools and as president of the Board of Directors for the Humane Society of the Black Hills.
  • Dr. Jane Klug, director of Student Services, was honored with the Student Service Award, for her positive approach and dedication to the students of BHSU. Klug provides excellent leadership-by-example and mentoring skills. She is known for her positive outlook and does not see anything as a problem – to her problems are “opportunities.”
  • Dr. Curtis Card, interim dean of the College of Liberal Arts; Dr. Priscilla Romkema, dean of the College of Business and Natural Sciences; and Dr. Pat Simpson, interim dean of the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences, were presented with the University Service Award for their exceptional professionalism, collaboration, leadership, and dedication during a period of transition and change at the University. They were honored for their outstanding job of working together as a team, with a can-do attitude toward the many complex decisions they were required to make.

Faculty Award Ceremony - Images by Black Hills State University