Black Hills State University alumna Angie Black presents Chase Vogel, business administration - economics and finance major from Cheyenne, Wyo. the award for Outstanding Student Leader during the recent BHSU Student Volunteer Awards ceremony.
 Dr. Lois Flagstad, vice president for student life, presents Lorrin Anderson, corporate communications major from Winner, with this year's Vice President for Student Life Rising Star Award.
 Newley Kartak, BHSU graduate and current admissions counselor, presents the award for Outstanding Residence Life Involvement Award to Alex Whitney, elementary education major from Rapid City.
 John Geske, associate director of Residence Life, presents the award for Outstanding Leadership in Residence LIfe to David Stebbins, business administration - management major from Bowman, N.D.
Black Hills State University faculty and staff recently celebrated the civic accomplishments of more than 30 students and several student organizations during the 21st annual Student Volunteer Awards Celebration.

This year’s theme was “Leading & Transforming” recognizing students, organizations, faculty, staff and volunteers for all they do to make BHSU a high-quality, innovative University.

Several BHSU graduates and past Student Volunteer Award winners were invited back to campus to present awards to current students.

Kelly Kirk, a 2008 BHSU graduate who is now a University history instructor, presented the keynote address advising students to embrace who they are, admit mistakes, take chances and have fun. Kirk, who said she came to BHSU as an extremely shy freshman, became a leader while attending BHSU.

“I can honestly say that without the opportunities that BHSU offered me, without the education I received in my classes here, I would not have had the confidence to pursue my dreams,“ she said.

The Outstanding Student Leader Award was presented to Chase Vogel, business administration – economics and finance major from Cheyenne, Wyo., for his exemplary leadership skills. Vogel exhibited the ability to successfully work with organizations, lead with innovative ideas, delegate responsibilities, and provide direction. He says, “Being a leader continually changes in meaning for me. It’s not just somebody who is in charge or is a leader just because they have a title, but rather a representative who helps create a common goal for a group and knows when to take action or step back and let others take the lead.”

Lorrin Anderson, corporate communications major from Winner, was selected as this year’s Vice President for Student Life Rising Star Award for her excellence in leadership and contributions to the BHSU community. Anderson held leadership positions in Presidential Student Ambassadors, Alternative Spring Break and Student Senate.

The award for Outstanding Freshman went to Katrina Schrader, business administration – human resources management major from Johnsburg, Ill. The award is given to a student who is actively involved in at least one student organization and participated in campus activities and programs outside the classroom. During her first year at BHSU, Schrader has been involved in Enactus and has participated in numerous activities including Facebook for Retirees, a sustainability project, worked with Society for Human Resource Management and the Student Success Center for a job launch project, and volunteered in theatre and at the Dorsett Home. Schrader was also an essential part of the Enactus team winning the regional competition in Minneapolis last month.

This year’s Outstanding Residence Life Involvement Award went to Alex Whitney, elementary education major from Rapid City. Whitney is always looking for ways to improve residents’ experience living on campus. He is the secretary for the Residence Hall Association and helped plan several events including Ski Day, Sting’s Strike Night and Halloween Safe House.  

David Stebbins, business administration – management major from Bowman, N.D., was presented the Outstanding Leadership in Residence Life Award for the sense of community he helps create in the residence halls. According to Stebbins, “I try to make the residence hall a reason to stay at BHSU. Watching a movie, playing video games or getting a group together to go to dinner is a common scene in Pangburn Hall and it’s these efforts that keep students enjoying living on campus.”

Lisa Harsh, BHSU student success advisor, presents Seth Courtney, graphic design/communications major from Belle Fourche with this year's Outstanding Volunteer Award.
This year’s Outstanding Volunteer Award was presented to Seth Courtney, graphic design/communications major from Belle Fourche. Courtney has faithfully contributed his time and talents to the betterment of student organizations, BHSU and the community. He has been active in Presidential Student Ambassadors, Etiquette committee, and Yellow Jacket Delegates. He was a resident assistant for three years and was this year’s Homecoming King.

The Outstanding Student Organization Advisor was presented to Susan Hupp, Newman Club advisor. According to members, Hupp is always open to new ideas and willing to work with members so that their ideas work for programs and boost club attendance.

The Leadership Scholarship, which is voted for by the students on the night of the awards ceremony, went to Rocky Maier, business administration-management major from Mobridge.

The Excellence in Leadership Award was presented to three students: Devin Lynn, a mass communications and history major from Powell, Wyo.; Samantha Brush, chemistry major from Miles City, Mont.; and Trent Turbiville, business administration – entrepreneurship major from Buffalo. 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.

  • Lynn’s involvement throughout his years at BHSU has been one of great contributions here and abroad. He served as civic engagement student coordinator and editor-in-chief of the award-winning Jacket Journal. He also was accepted to the Clinton Global Initiative University for a yearlong project working with groups in Uganda and South Dakota.
  • Brush has been actively involved in several organizations including Scientia, Residence Hall Association, Pangburn Hall Council, Jacket Volunteers and Yellow Jacket Delegates. She has also been involved in student research and had her research accepted into both the Black Hills Research Symposium and the National Conference for Undergraduate Research. She also received the BHSU Chemistry Scholarship for three years and the S.T.E.M scholarship.
  • Turbiville has been on the BHSU Yellow Jacket Football team throughout his college career and serving as captain for the past two years. He has received several honors including: Jacket Pride, three times; Warrior of the month; and Player of the Week in 2012 for the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference. He also organized a candlelight vigil for a fellow teammate who died last fall.

Several BHSU student organizations were also recognized for their accomplishments throughout the year. Winners include:

  • The University Programming Team was this year’s Most Improved Student Organization. The UP Team exceeded expectations by providing more than 10 programs this year with attendance up to 400. This year the UP Team hosted several events including: a concert, hypnotist, two comedians, Friday night movies on campus, two bowling nights, Rush Hockey trip, Yellow Jackets Got Talent, Skate night, Karaoke night and Casino night.
  • The Residence Hall Association earned the award for Outstanding Student Organization. The group doubled the amount of programming offered to the residential students hosting several diverse programs including: a welcome dance, three movie nights at the Northern Hills Cinema, Sting’s Strike bowling night, the Ugly Sweater Dance, Faculty hall programs, Trick-R-Treat for a cause, “I hate winter” pool party, Ski Day at Mystic Minor and Karaoke night.
  • The BHSU Skydiving Club was presented with the Outstanding New Student Organization. Over the last year, the organization has grown from seven to 38 members. During homecoming one member skydived onto the field delivering the game ball and receiving wide recognition throughout the region.

Outstanding Community Service Projects and Programs were awarded to the following organizations:

  • Lakota Omniciye was recognized for their annual Red Shirt Cultural Holiday Exchange. For the past 12 years, the organization has been helping the families of Shannon County during the holiday by creating angel trees. Students, faculty, staff and community members select an angel and purchase presents for that student. The purpose of the event is to foster positive relationships and encourage and support the students to consider college.
  • The Office of Residence Life was awarded for their Alternative Spring Break program, which encourages students to participate in service activities and become engaged citizens. The group traveled to Port St. Joe, Fla., to work on the St. Joseph Bay State Buffer Preserve. Each student worked to remove logs and debris from flooded areas, painted, and cleared pathways among other tasks.
  • International Student Organization was recognized for its International Food Day which included cultural foods from six countries all represented by BHSU students. More than 200 people came to learn about new foods from Mongolia, Lithuania, France, Peru and Taiwan.
  • Residence Hall Association was awarded for the Ugly Sweater Dance, an event where more than 100 students got together to relieve stress and have fun during the holiday season.
  • International Japan Union was also recognized for its Sushi Night. More than 100 people attended the two-time event that brought traditional Japanese sushi and culture to campus.
  • The Swarm Days Committee was awarded for their Operation Swarm Days homecoming celebration. The group was committed to sharing and promoting Yellow Jacket Spirit across campus and throughout the community as well as to honoring the 842nd National Guard Engineering Company who had returned from a yearlong deployment to Afghanistan.   

Also announced during the ceremony were three BHSU student organizations that will be recognized by the South Dakota Board of Regents next fall at the annual board meeting at BHSU.

  • The Board of Regents Award for Academic Excellence – History Association.
  • The Board of Regents Community Service Award – Enactus.
  • The Board of Regents Organizational Leadership Award – Yellow Jacket Rodeo Team.

For more information on the Student Volunteer Awards contact Erica Whitiker, student engagement program coordinator at BHSU, at 642-6378 or email Erica.Whitiker@BHSU.edu