More than 30 Black Hills State University students and several student organizations were honored during the 20th Annual Student Volunteer Awards Celebration.

The theme this year was “Legacies of Leadership,” recognizing students, organizations, faculty, staff, and volunteers for all they do to make BHSU a high-quality, innovative University.

BHSU graduates and past Student Volunteer Award winners were invited back to campus to present awards to current students. Nearly 20 alumni returned to campus for the event.

Dr. Jane Klug, director of Student Services at BHSU, was honored with a special recognition award for playing a vital role in the lives of countless students during the past 20 years at BHSU.

Michael Odle, Class of ’02, was recognized with the Young Alumni Achievement Award. Odle is currently the chief of staff to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Deputy under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment.

The Spirit of BH Award was presented to Alexandria Brummond, education major from Plentywood, Mont. Brummond served as the University Programming (UP) Team president, planned publicity for Dance Marathon, and assisted the new coronation chairs for Swarm Days. She also received the Outstanding Student Leader Award during the 2011 Student Volunteer Awards.

The Rodeo Club earned the award for Outstanding Student Organization. The group has participated in several service activities including:  The Adopt-A-Road program, selling calendars as a fundraiser for the Northern Hills Food Pantry and for Multiple Sclerosis, and selling t-shirts to benefit the Northern Hills Tough Enough to Wear Pink breast cancer awareness campaign.The Excellence in Leadership Award was presented to three students: Jaclyn Hunt, education major from Glenrock, Wyo.; Kelly Smith human services major from Lead; and Lara Goodteacher, history major from Yankton. These students have best-demonstrated their involvement on campus and in the community throughout their enrollment and leadership tenure at BHSU while maintaining high academic standards. 

  • Hunt has received the following honors and awards:  President’s Honor Roll, Sunnyside Scholarship, Patricia Fallbeck Technology Scholarship, and the Newman Club Outstanding Member.  She has been involved in LaMasa and the current president of the Newman Club, where she says she discovered her passion to serve the BHSU community.
  • Smith’s involvement at BHSU has reflected her passions and desire to help people and the world.  As a result of her dedicated involvement, Smith has received the following honors and awards:  Swarm Days Homecoming Queen nominee, dean’s list every semester of her college career, awarded a travel scholarship to attend the National Powershift Conference, Vice president for Student Life Rising Star nominee, and Outstanding Student Leader nominee.
  • Goodteacher’s passion and focus has been with the Residence Hall Association (RHA).  She has been involved in the following: Pangburn Hall vice president and president, Jacket Crew member and president, Swarm Days co-food chair, GAF committee student representative, International Student Organization member and secretary, Student Success Project student representative, Jacket Volunteers member, and RHA vice president and president.

The Collegiate Outdoor Leadership Program (COLP) was this year’s Most Improved Student Organization. COLP took a different approach to their events and as a result planned and executed over 10 events to help them reach their goals.  One of their goals was to commit to more service projects. The group participated in Custer State Park Halloween Hike, cleaning up trash around Sand Creek, and hosting “Outdoor Week” on campus and in the community. They also have plans to work with the Boy Scouts on attaining rock climbing merit badges.

The Vice President for Student Life Rising Star Award was presented to Megan Tipton, psychology major from Saint Louis, Mo. Tipton is a resident assistant for Thomas Hall, a writing consultant for the Writing Center, and a member of the BHSU Honors Program. She advocates spreading the word about the many different involvement opportunities available on campus.

Susie Leahy, coordinator of the BHSU Student Engagement Program at BHSU, was presented with the Outstanding Student Organization Advisor Award for her work with Swarm Days and the UP Team. The organization’s members describe Leahy’s advising style as flexible, allowing students to express their ideas.

Three campus organizations earned the award for Outstanding Community Service Project.

  • Dance Marathon for Sting-A-Thon 2011. This event was planned with the sole purpose of having fun while raising money to benefit the only Children’s Miracle Network hospital in western South Dakota. The team raised almost $5,000 which was donated to The Children’s Miracle Network at Rapid City Regional Hospital.
  • Collegiate Outdoor Leadership Program for Halloween Hike. The COLP members served as guides and performed skits with the purpose of providing a fun, family focused activity that allowed participants to experience the magic of a state park. Over 700 people participated in the event.
  • Yellow Jacket Vets Club, for 842nd Deployment Recognition Ceremony. The event, which served a special need in the community and on campus, featured musical performances of patriotic songs, a flag-folding ceremony, and speeches by University officials, students, and members of the military. The event honored 17 students who were being deployed to Afghanistan and helped make the community aware of the sacrifices made by the soldiers and their families.

The Outstanding Volunteer Award was presented to Travis Bult, physical education major from Box Elder. Bult volunteers his time with the UP Team, Swarm Days committee, Dance Marathon, and various other activities on campus.  “I have helped people get back into their homes after natural disasters and raised money to support Children’s Miracle Network right here in the Black Hills,” he said. “I volunteer to help people.”

Taylor Degen, psychology major from Alexandria, was presented the award for Outstanding Leadership in Residence Life. Degen uses her experiences to lead and encourage other resident assistants to serve others.  Some of the organizations Degen is involved with include:  RHA treasurer, Presidential Student Ambassadors, Student Senate representative, cheerleading, psychology research assistant, Jacket Volunteers, Jacket Delegates, and Thomas Hall resident assistant.

Four student organizations were presented with the Outstanding Program Award

  • The Psychology Club, Take Back the Night. The purpose of the event was to raise awareness of sexual assault. It also featured a panel of professionals who shared their experiences, offered information about resources, and answered questions posed by the audience.
  • UP Team, Yellow Jackets Got Talent. Students participate in and vote on a student-centered talent show which enabled students to step out of their comfort zones and gain confidence to perform in public.
  • Swarm Days Committee, Swarm Spirit 2011. This event promoted school spirit, gave students a chance to make connections with other students and the Spearfish community, and express creativity.
  • Rodeo Club, Will Lantis Yellow Jacket Stampede. The Will Lantis Yellow Jacket Stampede attracts a wide range of audiences and brings family entertainment to the community.

The Outstanding Residence Life Involvement Award was presented to Miranda Davidson, biology major from Sturgis. Davidson serves as president of Thomas Hall and is a member of RHA. “Sharing a smile with one person can start a chain reaction, so I make a point to always have a smile on my face to make sure my hall is a happy and comfortable place, a home away from home,” said Davidson.

This year’s Outstanding New Student Organization Award was presented to the Buzz Arcade. This organization targets the residents of campus who take part in video games.  Buzz Arcade strives to help develop strong social connections with others who have similar interests.

Chase Vogel, business administration major from Cheyenne, Wyo. was the recipient of the Outstanding Freshman Award. Vogel believes that being involved in organizations at BHSU has made him stronger and more successful. “Being from out of state and not knowing many of the students on campus before I arrived was one of the most exciting yet most frightening things. By being involved in activities, I have fully invested myself as a family member of Black Hills State,” he said. Vogel is involved in Peer Tutoring, TOMS Campus Club, Campus Venture, Thomas Hall Community Council, and is a member of the cross country and track and field teams.

Several individuals were presented with Outstanding Member Awards:

  • Sarah Hansen, education major from Vermillion, Lutheran Campus Ministries
  • Blossom Morrison, industrial technology major from Lead, Lakota Omniciye
  • Megan Clark, mass communication major from Spearfish, Swarm Advertising Solutions
  • Rob Casey, mass communication major from Hill City, ShutterBuzz
  • Hannah Kloiber, business administration major from Parker, Colo., UP Team
  • Travis Bult, physical education major from Box Elder, Swarm Days
  • Jesse Cronk, general studies major from Belle Fourche, Students in Free Enterprise
  • Amy Grable, business administration major from Rapid City, Student Senate
  • Hannah Kloiber, business administration major from Parker, Colo., Props & Liners
  • Theodore Schmidt, speech Communication major from Hot Springs, Theatre Society
  • Elizabeth Ford, special education major from Spearfish, Student Support Services Organization
  • Ashley Sedgwick, elementary education major from Grass Range, Mont., Thomas Hall Community Council
  • Elizabeth Fickbohm, exercise science major from Pierre, Residence Hall Association
  • James Lindquist, Hettinger, N.D., Wenona Cook Community Council
  • Hayden Kindrat, history major from Sioux Falls, Political Science Association
  • Chris Castle, biology major from Great Falls, Mont., Yellow Jacket Vets Club
  • Sarah McFarland, business administration major from Spearfish; Travel and Tourism Club
  • Danielle Derby, business administration major from Rapid City, Travel and Tourism Clu
  • Alyssa Terry, mass communication major from Rozet, Wyo., Theta N
  • Takuro “Ojisan” Yoshimura, outdoor education major from Spearfish, International Student Organization
  • John Flynn, music education major from Spearfish, Newman Club
  • Erin Doering, psychology major from Spearfish, KBHU-FM
  • Cecilina Running Wolf, biology major from Rapid City, Cheerleaders
  • Marci LaMont, business administration major from Martin, 10% Society
  • Kaitlyn Martin, mass communication major from Fort Pierre, Sting-A-Thon
  • Tina Sun, mass communication major from Rapid City, Jacket Journal

Photos of the Student Volunteer Awards Ceremony and other events can be viewed at Photos.BHSU.edu.

Student Volunteer Award Ceremony - Images by Black Hills State University