Volume XXIII No. 37 • Sept. 24, 1999

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The Campus Currents is distributed every Friday. If you would like to include an item in the newsletter send it to: Campus Currents, Unit 9512 or by e-mail to Campus Currents. Deadline is Thursday at 8 a.m.

Welcome to Black Hills State University - Top

Deborah Wessler , staff assistant, EAFB branch campus

Sayler is director for Center of Excellence in Math and Science Education - Top

A passion for environmental science acquired as a high school student has ultimately led Dr. Ben Sayler to Black Hills State as director of the Center of Excellence in Math and Science Education (CEMSE).

Sayler, 32, has a Ph.D. in atmospheric science, and just completed a postdoctoral fellowship in science, mathematics, engineering and technology at the University of Washington.

The program at BHSU appealed to him as an ideal blend of faculty members teaching science and in turn teaching science to K-12 teachers.

“I like the wide range of levels,” said Sayler. “I was doing there (in the Seattle school system and the university) what I'll be doing here.”


Smith studies Caribbean lizards to expedite saving endangered snake - Top

How do visiting South Dakotans cope with living conditions found on the Caribbean Island of Antigua? They live like the natives complete with a hot humid climate, mosquitoes, goats and chickens says Black Hills State student Ryan Baum.

Baum and BHSU biology professor Brian Smith spent two months this summer in the Caribbean studying and counting lizards, which just happen to be the primary food source of the endangered snake, the Antiguan Racer (Alsophis antiguae). Smith and BHSU are working with a consortium of scientists, environmental advocates, and government bureaucrats to re-introduce the snake to several small islands with a sufficient food supply of lizards. The lizards Ameiva griswoldi and Anolis wattsi are the snakes' favorite meal.


The endangered Antiguan Racer is a small harmless snake not over two-feet long. Only 80 are known to exist, and all are found on Great Bird Island in the Caribbean. Black Hills State herpetologist Brian Smith and student Ryan Baum spent two months this summer studying lizards, the snake's primary food source, in preparation for re-introducing the rare species of snake to nearby islands. BHSU is a partner in a six-member international consortium working to save the Antiguan Racer. Story

Ochse essay published - Top

Dr. Roger Ochse, associate professor of humanities and English, has written an essay published in the September 1999 issue of California English.

His essay responds to pre-eminent scholar and humanist Harold Bloom, in his recent book Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human (1998). According to Bloom, Shakespeare's characters provide the full measure of the dramatist's continuing legacy. They are so alive, possess such “interiority,” that they catch themselves looking at themselves. This quality is the essence of becoming human—to know we know, to be aware we are aware, to sense our own presence on the stage of life.

Bloom argues that Shakespeare so interpenetrates our consciousness and our cultural existence that we do not know the boundary between him and us. “Shakespeare invented us,” he maintains. At the center of Bloom's proof are Hamlet and Falstaff, who “manifest the comprehensive consciousness of all literature and all life.” They “possess superior cognitive, linguistic, and imaginative energy.” Hamlet and Falstaff, larger than life, have altered life.

In his essay, Ochse asserts that Bloom's ideas of character transcending dramatic form and Shakespeare “inventing us” can pose special problems for readers of the history plays. Shakespeare's histories portray majesty: both the ideal and spectacular departures from the ideal. Adapting to dramatic form the providential view of history promoted by the Tudor chroniclers Hall and Holinshed—the didactic pattern of sin, retribution, and redemption—Shakespeare at once uses and transcends his propagandistic sources. At the center of this grand historical scheme is the king, the protector of the realm and exemplum for all his subjects. Ochse adds that Shakespeare's kings—most notably Richard III, Henry IV, and Richard II—regard themselves primarily in their political roles, imbedded in the cultural and historical environment in which they think and act.

Looking at these major historical characters, Ochse argues that we can use Bloom's thesis to pose larger questions concerning the capabilities of characters to understand themselves. This “interiority” that Shakespeare's characters possess to varying degrees can enrich our understanding of Shakespeare's dramatic art and use of historical characters. Ochse then examines Henry VI, his son Hal (Henry V), and Falstaff, viewing their “interiority” in relation to their historical roles.

Ochse concludes that the mix of tragic and redemptive qualities—imbedded in the cultural world of Elizabethan England—that is essential to an understanding of Shakespeare's history plays can easily be lost if we regard the characters as existing beyond their origins. We cannot neglect the social, intellectual, and historical context in which the histories derive their meaning. Bloom asserts that the plays' characters transcend their origins and operate in a universe that is still being created. Ochse believes we can appreciate his thesis as it reverberates through our consciousness. Indeed, Bloom has successfully helped us secure a new relationship with Shakespeare and his dramatic art. At the same time, we must wonder if we can separate Shakespeare—and his characters—from the plays.

Swarm Day royalty named - Top

Two students from Rapid City, both senior elementary-education majors, were named Swarm Day king and queen at the annual Black Hills State homecoming coronation ceremony.

Jay Beyer and Carol Halter were crowned Swarm Day '99 royalty. Chosen as Swarm Day mom and dad were Dr. Sharon Strand, English assistant professor and Dr. Ahrar Ahmad, political science associate professor.

Dr. Sharon Strand Dr. Ahrar Ahmad

Other finalists in the homecoming royal court were: Vanessa Foxworthy, senior elementary-education major from Lead; Sydney Magnus, junior mass-communication major from Lower Brule; Kristy Roemmich, senior music/elementary-education major from Piedmont; Wendy Schamber, senior secondary-education/mathematics major from Rapid City; Adam Grein II, senior political-science major from Manhattan, Texas; Travis Martin, senior biology major from Casper, Wyo.; Mark Sheahan, senior English major from Spearfish and Andre P. Wald, senior mass-communications major from Rapid City.

Swarm Week activities come to a close Saturday with the parade at 10:30 a.m., tailgate socials and football game vs. Mayville State University. This year's Swarm Day theme is “Born to Bee Wild.”

The parade begins at 10:30 a.m. with a new meeting place at the Donald E. Young Sports and Fitness Center. The Swarm Day parade follows a new route from the Young Center parking lot proceeding south along St. Joe Street to Jackson Boulevard then following the traditional route east to downtown Spearfish. The parade ends at Grant Street.

Other events this weekend include:

  • The Yellow Jacket Hall of Fame banquet begins Friday, Sept. 24 with a social hour at 6:15 p.m. and followed by a 7 p.m. dinner and recognition at the Northern Hills Holiday Inn and Convention Center.
  • Swarm Day kicks off with an alumni awards breakfast at 8:30 a.m. in the Student Union multi-purpose room.
  • The parade lineup will begin at 9:30 a.m. at the Young Center parking lot with the parade starting at 10:30 a.m. on the new route heading south on St. Joe.
  • A Yellow Jacket alumni tailgate social will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. at Salem Park. Burger King will sponsor a tailgate social from noon until 1:30 p.m. at the north end of Lyle Hare Field.
  • Game time is set for 2 p.m. with the Yellow Jackets hosting Mayville State University at Lyle Hare Stadium.

Swarm Week information is available by contacting the Swarm Day office at (605) 642-6101 or the office of institutional advancement at (605) 642-6385.

Lech Walesa will speak at BHSU - Top

Lech Walesa, 1983 Nobel Peace Prize winner and leader who helped end Communist rule in Poland, will speak at Black Hills State University Oct. 4 at 7:30 p.m. in the Donald E. Young Sports and Fitness Center gymnasium.

Walesa burst into the world spotlight in 1980 during the well-known Lenin shipyard strike in Gdansk, Poland. Workers, incensed by an increase in prices set by the Communist government, were demanding the right to organize free and independent trade unions.


About the Madeline A. Young Distinguished Speaker Series

Flu shots offered for state employees - Top

Flu shots are available free of charge to all health plan participants. This includes benefited employees and their participating dependents. It also includes participating retirees and those who have continued their health coverage through COBRA.

Shots will be given at Black Hills State University: Oct. 27 and 28 at 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m., room 222 of the Donald E. Young Center. Call student health services at 642-6520 for an appointment.

Flu shots are also available Oct. 20 from 1-6 p.m., at the Health Fair at Black Hills Medical Center, (walk-in clinic) or call for an appointment at the Lawrence County CHS Office (578-2660).


Minutes of the September graduate council meeting - Top

Minutes of the graduate council meeting held Tuesday, Sept. 21 at 3:15 p.m. in Jonas 306

Present: Earley, Follette, Cook, Lee, Schurrer, Steckline, Swartz, Montross, and Sander. Absent: Erickson, Silva. Visitors: Momanyi, Molseed.

Dr. Lyle Cook welcomed the council to the academic year of 1999-2000.

Earley introduced the graduate assistants and asked for discussion on the operational guidelines. After some discussion, it was moved and approved to expand the council and include the coordinators of the graduate programs in education and tourism and hospitality management as non-voting ex-officio members.

The council agreed that an election needs to be held for two of the at-large positions (Follette and Schurrer). Steckline agreed to conduct the election.

Dr. Molseed described the changes coming to the MSCI degree and mentioned that the College of Education had developed a cohort with the Spearfish School District and was working with other districts. The college was trying to find a way to offer a variety of courses and also have sufficient enrollments for the courses to make.

Dr. Lee described the work he was pursuing on the master of science in tourism and hospitality management.

Dr. Fuller talked about the funds available for integrating technology into graduate courses and suggested that anyone who is interested should contact her office in Woodburn.

Concern was raised that library funding had again been cut this year and the council asked that Dr. Erickson or Dr. Cook attend the next meeting and discuss the library budget. This has been a continuing concern of the council.

Concern was also raised over the treatment of students by individuals in the business office and in the enrollment center. Several students in the MSCI program have written the director and/or coordinator with complaints about fee problems or general treatment. The director said he would take these to the vice president and the president.

The next meeting is scheduled for Oct. 19 at 3:15 p.m. in Jonas 306.

Faculty-research committee has funds available - Top

The faculty-research committee has funds available for the current fiscal year. Write a short (about three-page) proposal. Proposal forms are available at the academic affairs office. The faculty research committee will review applications Oct. 21.

Proposals are due Oct. 15. It is anticipated that successful applicants will request support for faculty release time, research equipment, travel to research sites, research support for the production of creative work. Education, social science and humanities proposals are encouraged.

Funds for two three-hour release times are available for the spring and fall 1999 semesters. You can apply now. The research committee will not provide salary. The committee may approve payment to student or non-student research assistants. Mail ten copies of your proposal to unit 9550.

Grants opportunities - Top

Below are the program materials received Sept. 16-Sept. 22 in the grants office, Woodburn 220. For copies of the information, contact our office at 642-6627 or e-mail requests to us at <grants@mystic.bhsu.edu>. Fellowship information will also be posted on the Student Union bulletin board near the information desk.

  • Professional Opportunities for Women in Research and Education (NSF). The National Science Foundation is inviting proposals to advance the status of women in science and engineering by supporting varied, one-time activities that provide opportunities not ordinarily available through regular research and education grant programs. Deadline: Dec. 9. <http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/1999/nsf99164/nsf99164.txt>

This week at BHSU - Top

Friday, Sept. 24

  • Bungee Run, Campus Green, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Float building, Young Center, 4–10 p.m.
  • Athletic Hall of Fame Induction, Northern Hills Holiday Inn and Convention Center, 6 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 25

  • Alumni Awards Breakfast, Student Union Multipurpose Room, 8:30 a.m.
  • Swarm Day parade, 10:30 a.m.
  • Tailgate party, Salem Park, 11:30 a.m. - 1:15 p.m. and at Lyle Hare Stadium, noon-1:30 p.m.
  • Swarm Day football game, BHSU vs. Mayville State, 2 p.m.

Monday, Sept. 27

  • Manic Monday Retreat, 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m., 3rd Floor Woodburn

Campus calendar