Dr. Kathleen Parrow
Bert Juhrend
 Dr. Tim Steckline
 Dr. Rob Schurrer  Dr. Aris Karagiorgakis  Dr. John Alsup
 Dr. Byron Hollowell  Dr. Wei Song  Dr. Dan Asunskis
In an effort to recognize the contributions faculty make on a daily basis, Black Hills State University began a tradition of honoring nine faculty members, three from each of the three colleges, during this year’s welcome back festivities at the start of the fall semester.

BHSU recognized faculty members’ contributions to students, the University and the community in three categories: teaching; research, scholarship and creative achievement; and service.

Dr. David Wolff, dean of the College of Liberal Arts, presented awards to Dr. Kathleen Parrow, professor of history, for service; Bert Juhrend, associate professor of theatre, for creative achievement; and Dr. Tim Steckline, associate professor of speech, for teaching.

“Kathleen contributes immensely across campus,” Wolff said noting Parrow’s lengthy list of participation in University and system-wide organizations. Parrow, who has been at BHSU since 1991, is a past president of the BHSU Faculty Senate; past president of the Council of Higher Education - the state’s higher education faculty union; and chair of the Humanities Discipline Council. She is also the chair of the Department of History of Social Science at BHSU.

Wolff said Juhrend’s creative direction of four major theatre performances a year and three Summer Stage performances along with one act plays and improvisational presentations enrich the lives of everyone at BHSU and throughout the surrounding communities. Juhrend and the students he directs have been acknowledged regionally and nationally for their theatre accomplishments. Juhrend has been part of the BHSU faculty since 2004.

Steckline has a vast knowledge of a variety of subjects which makes him a versatile instructor. Wolff said he has taught courses in speech communication, mass communication, humanities, and recently took over a philosophy course after a faculty member left at the beginning of the semester. “Tim has great diversity in teaching and has the ability to effectively communicate with his students,” Wolff said adding that Steckline was also chosen by the BHSU students as Swarm Day Dad during the 2007 homecoming festivities.

Dr. Patricia Simpson, dean of the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences, presented awards to Dr. Rob Schurrer, professor of exercise science, for service; Dr. Aris Karagiorgakis, assistant professor of psychology, for research; and Dr. John Alsup, professor of math education, for teaching.

Schurrer’s service has led him to collaborate with fitness professionals at the local, state and national levels, according to Simpson. He serves as a reviewer for the National Center for Minority Health and Health Disparities Special Emphasis Panel. He serves on the University General Education Assessment Committee and volunteers to talk to dozens of prospective students each year during Preview Days and at other events. Schurrer also currently serves on the School of Behavioral Sciences’ Mission and Strategic Planning Committee, Recruiting and Public Relations Committee, and Internship Committee.

Karagiorgakis has been an integral part of helping the University work toward achieving its first strategic plan goal – greater engagement of undergraduate students in research, scholarship and creative activity, Simpson said. “Over the past two years, Aris has mentored more than two dozen students in research projects, resulting in 17 students qualifying to present their research at the National Conference of Undergraduate Research (NCUR).” This past summer, one of the students he mentored was selected to present her research at the annual conference of the American Psychological Association in Honolulu.

Alsup, who teaches math courses for elementary education majors, consistently receives exceptional evaluations from students who comment on his ability to help them understand math concepts, Simpson said. He models inquiry-based teaching methods, and his students often state they feel prepared to teach math because of his courses.

Dr. Priscilla Romkema, dean of the College of Business and Natural Sciences, presented faculty awards to Dr. Byron Hollowell, assistant professor of finance, for service; Dr. Wei Song, associate professor of marketing, for research; and Dr. Dan Asunskis, assistant professor of chemistry, for teaching.

Romkema said Hollowell has demonstrated dedication, resourcefulness and leadership. In spring 2012, he started a student organization designed to enhance theory and knowledge gained though academic studies. The organization focuses on career development, business speakers, business trips and other activities designed to build the students’ portfolios and connections. He also led the MBA faculty committee and the MBA program in a highly effective manner, Romkema said. Hollowell serves as the primary author of an assurance of learning plan for the MBA program that will serve as the critical assessment piece as the School of Business enters the final stages of AASCB accreditation.

Song excels in research, is committed to developing a strong professional, ongoing research portfolio, and is committed to the involvement of students in research projects and studies, Romkema said. Over the course of a year, Song had four articles published in top journals. She actively engages business students in research in upper-level classes and enthusiastically serves as their mentor and coach. “Wei has made significant research contributions to the field of marketing and supports and encourages students so that they may develop and expand their research skills,” Romkema said.

Asunskis excels in the classroom using innovative techniques, effective pedagogy and student engagement, Romkema said. Throughout the course of a year, he increased emphasis on group-based student learning in courses which resulted in positive student feedback. “He is quick to seek opportunities for improvement in the classroom and has attended classes and trainings on the benefit of online teaching.” Romkema also noted Asunskis’ eagerness to work with and encourage current and prospective students.

Dr. Rod Custer, BHSU provost and vice president of Academic Affairs, said BHSU plans to continue this annual recognition noting that it is a great way to highlight the achievements of faculty in each of the three colleges. University-wide awards in research, teaching and service are also presented to three individuals in the spring.