Christopher Day was the first Black Hills State University student to graduate with the newly implemented mass communication science emphasis.

Science writing, though many times an arduous task, is a key component in introducing the public to new discoveries and the people behind these discoveries; translating the latest results from academic language into words that mean something to the outsider; and putting research into the context of everyday life.

There are fascinating stories behind science, and people like recent Black Hills State University graduate Christopher Day are here to tell them.

Day, corporate communication and mass communication double major from Conroe, Texas, was one of more than 220 graduates at this month’s 166th Commencement Ceremony in the Donald E. Young Sports and Fitness Center. He was also the first BHSU student to graduate with the newly implemented mass communication science emphasis.

“It is a task to take what scientists tell you and try to put it into words that the general public will understand and take the time to read and be interested in,” Day said.

Day received an associate’s degree from Lone Star Community College before enrolling at BHSU. Born in Rapid City, Day decided to return to his roots to obtain his bachelor’s degree. Originally an environmental physical science major, Day switched to communication and added the science emphasis after it was approved by the Board of Regents last year.

Day said he is excited to incorporate his science background with his future career. “It gets me to stay with science and opens up more opportunities for careers in the future,” he said of the science communication emphasis.

Dr. Mary Caton Rosser, associate professor of mass communication, hopes the emphasis, especially the completely online science writing course, attracts interested students from around the region and internationally. The University’s science emphasis along with its partnership with the Sanford Underground Research Facility (SURF) in Lead provides a one-of-a kind experience, she said.

“It is amazing that we have here in the Black Hills such an extraordinary resource and partnership in the science lab.” Caton Rosser was excited to see Day become the program’s first graduate and anticipates many more students following in his footsteps.

Since changing his major, Day has been heavily involved with the mass communication department. He was the science editor of the award-winning and student-run newspaper the Jacket Journal, and spent nearly two years working at the BHSU television station KBHU helping with game day video for all the Yellow Jacket sports.

Day plans to look for a job in the communications department of a national park or zoo. He said he is also interested in the film aspect of the communications field and hopes to eventually work for the Travel Channel or National Geographic.

BHSU’s addition of the science emphasis provides great opportunities for students especially with the Sanford Lab so close, Day said.

“The Sanford Lab can be a place where students can get some real-life experience,” he said. “I think the public is really interested in what’s going on up there and to get the University involved in getting the word out is amazing.”