Volume XXV No. 13 • March 30, 2001

Submit items to Campus Currents - Top

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.

BHSU science director named to governor’s education task force - Top

Dr. Ben Sayler, director of the Center for the Advancement of Math and Science Education (CAMSE) at Black Hills State University, was one of 31 people appointed by Gov. Bill Janklow to a special task force on K-12 education.

The education task force will be co-chaired by Mary McClure Bibby of Brookings and Harvey Jewett of Aberdeen. The task force will be investigating ways to improve education in the state. They are to consider new ways of educating the state’s youth without regard to funding issues. Defining educational quality is a key component.

The task force will be allowed to choose its topics and schedule as long as it completes its work before the governor’s term expires in 2002.

Sayler came to BHSU as director of CAMSE in the fall of 1999. He had just completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Washington in Seattle. He was involved in research in elementary school science and support of science education reform in the Seattle schools.

The BHSU CAMSE director earned his Ph.D. in atmospheric science at the University of Washington. His bachelor’s and master’s degrees were earned at Yale University in geology and geophysics.

Teacher job fair scheduled at Black Hills State - Top

Education majors graduating this spring and working teachers will have an opportunity to check out the job market Thursday, April 19 at the Black Hills State University Teacher Fair in the Jacket Legacy room of the Student Union.

Bob Stanelle, student development and career center director, said, “I am really very pleased to have 40 school districts from ten states in our first year of this event. It’s pretty exciting from our viewpoint.”

The teacher fair will begin at 7 a.m. and continue until 6 p.m. The event is open to all teaching candidates, new or experienced, from any school and any location. There is no fee to any candidates, so all are welcome to attend.

With three weeks to go, Stanelle, said, “We have schools coming to date representing over 300 teaching openings at all levels. Although a good number are from western South Dakota and eastern Wyoming, they represent 10 states including Arizona and California.”

Interview sign ups will begin at 7 a.m. when the doors open and continue through out the day.

Schools sending employment representatives by state include: Arizona—Bull Head City; California—Palm Springs and Perris; Colorado—Calhan, Fort Morgan, Walden and Yuma; Kansas—Goddard; Minnesota—Medford; Montana—Browning; North Dakota—Fort Yates; Nebraska—Alliance, Bartley, Dalton and Lexington; South Dakota—Buffalo, Chamberlain, Gregory, Kadoka, Lake Andes, McLaughlin, Pine Ridge, Rapid City, St. Francis, Sturgis, Wanblee, and White River, Wyoming—Casper, Cheyenne, Cody, Diamondville, Evanston, Fort Washakie, Green River, Pine Bluffs, Sheridan, and Torrington.

For an updated list of schools or for more information about the teacher fair check the university web site at http://www.bhsu.edu/careers or phone the career center at (605) 642-6277.

Students to volunteer at Mexican orphanage - Top

Several members of the Black Hills State University student group La Masa will be going to Mexico to volunteer at a Christian interdenominational orphanage.

Seven members of La Masa will be making the four-day working trip to Mexico in May. The students are volunteering their time to help out at the orphanage in Baja California, Mexico.

Dr. Peggy Buckwalter, club advisor and assistant professor of Spanish at BHSU, says the students met at the beginning of the year to set goals for the club, and helping the orphanage was one of the goals they wanted to accomplish. They’ve been working hard to plan for this trip.

Casa Hogar Bienvenidos (Welcome Home Orphanage) orphanage was founded in 1983 and now serves 40 children from babies to teenagers. Two boards of directors, a local Mexican board and a U.S. board run the children’s home.

“We are going to be volunteering for the orphanage by fixing things, building things 

and just spending time with the children--whatever they need,” according to Jana Kuchenbecker, La Masa club president.

The club members have been doing various fundraising activities throughout the year in preparation for this activity.

Members of the club who are making the trip to Mexico include: Kuchenbecker, Rapid City; Ryan Ryyth, Rapid City, treasurer; Kellie Gavle, Belle Fourche, secretary; Erica Kinshella, Casper, Wyo., vice president; Katie Babb, Sioux Falls; Sara Wasmoen, Spearfish; and Kristen Wieczorek, Baltic.  Other members in the student group are Kevin White, Spearfish; Brent Dill, Estes Park, Colo.; Leah Voigt, Rapid City, and Mike Gavle, Belle Fourche.                      .

La Masa is a multi-cultural association for students that encourages the study of Spanish as a second language and fosters international relations.

BHSU journalism students win awards - Top

Nine Black Hills State University journalism students received 14 awards in this year’s Wyoming Press Association Collegiate Contest.

The BHSU students were competing against other journalism students at the college and university level in a five-state region including Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Nebraska and South Dakota.

Justin Varland, editor of BHSU Today, and members of newspaper’s senior staff selected student entries for the competition.

Steve Babbitt, associate professor of photojournalism and newspaper advisor, said, “I thought they did great. Every year we’ve been in it we’ve done better. This is our best showing thus far. I’m impressed with the level of work and showing.”

Babbitt says the student journalists next competition will be the American Scholastic Press Association competition. Last year BHSU students placed 7th nationally in competition with schools of similar size.

 This year’s winners in the Wyoming contest are listed by name, hometown, category, and placing:  Antonia Kucera, Rapid City, scenic photo, “Dude, check me out!,” first place; Jeremiah LeBeau, Lander, Wyo., portrait or personality photo, “Mikel Kronin,” third place; Antonia Kucera, Rapid City, photo story, “Homecoming 2000,” and “Festival on the green,” honorable mentions; Justin Varland, Gregory, house ad, third place; Lisa Strom, Miles City, Mont., best designed ad, first place; Charles Lehmann, Black Hawk, use of art work, honorable mention; Justin Varland, Gregory, special section, summer issue, honorable mention; Justin Varland, Gregory, informational graphics, first place; Mark Norby, Sturgis, news photo, honorable mention; Alan Carroll, Spearfish, “Baseball,” second place; Antonia Kucera, Rapid City, feature photo, “Cross Country,” honorable mention; Justin Varland, Gregory, news story, “Senate provides funding to campus organizations,” honorable mention; and Natasha Bordeaux, Spearfish, investigative reporting, honorable mention.

Hospitality associates interview at BHSU career center April 5 - Top

A representative from Hospitality Associates Inc. of Minneapolis, Minn., will be interviewing Black Hills State University graduates Thursday, April 5 for potential managers for their hotel and motel locations throughout the Midwest.

Interviews will be conducted for new graduates with majors in tourism and hospitality management or other business majors with hospitality experience. The company is also looking to fill full-time 

positions in hotel and motel property management. Demonstrated management and customer service and communications skills are desired.

All interviews will be held at the BHSU Career Center located on the lower level of the David B. Miller Student Union. Times are available on a first come basis. To sign up, clients should bring a resume to the center and select a time. Help is available to complete and update resumes.

BHSU hosts state geographic bee April 6 - Top

One hundred geography whizzes from across South Dakota will be on the Black Hills State campus April 6 competing for recognition and prizes in the 13th annual South Dakota Geographic Bee sponsored by the National Geographic Society.

In the preliminary rounds 20 students, grades 4 to 8, participate in each of five sections. Each participant is asked eight questions. The 10 students with the highest scores (regardless of the preliminary rounds in which they competed) advance to the state finals. Last year a number of students had to compete in a playoff round to qualify for the finals.

In the state finals competition when a student misses two questions, he or she is eliminated. When only two competitors remain, they become finalists for the state championship round.  Both competitors are asked the same questions.

The winner and his or her teacher are eligible to attend the national finals in Washington, D.C., at National Geographic Society expense. Nearly six million students begin the competition at the local level. Fifty state winners plus winners from U. S. commonwealths, territories and the District of Columbia are selected to compete at the national finals. Alex Trebek, television host of Jeopardy, will moderate the national finals.

The state finals competition will be held in the David B. Miller Yellow Jacket Student Union in the Jacket Legacy room beginning at 4 p.m. The finals are open to the public. 

 Information about the S.D. Geographic Bee is available by contacting Dr. Roger Miller, chairman of the history and social science department at BHSU, during office hours at (605) 642-6510. 

Cast announced for theatre production "Isn't it Romantic" - Top  

The cast has been announced for “Isn’t It Romantic,” a comedy production by Black Hills State University theater department.

The play, by Wendy Wasserstein, will be presented April 19, 20 and 21 at 8 p.m. in Woodburn Auditorium.

This play deals with the post-college careers (and dilemmas) of two former classmates, a short, slightly plump would-be writer named Janie Blumberg, and her tall, thin, gorgeous WASP friend, Harriet Cornwall. Both are struggling to escape from a lingering parental domination and to establish their own lives and identities. In Janie’s case this leads to an inconclusive involvement with a young Jewish doctor who calls her “Monkey”; while Harriet assails the a world of big business and has an affair with her hard-driving (and married) boss.

Members of the cast are Janie Blumberg – Jenni Tifft, Union Center; Harriet Cornwall – Rachel Eggebo, Prairie City; Marty Sterling – Ryan Heinis, Littleton, Colo.; Tasha Blumberg – Teresa Addington, Lead; Simon Blumberg – Tim Bessette, Spring Creek, Nev.; Lillian Cornwall – Andea Fischer, Black Hawk; Paul Stuart – Jacob (Mosas) Feeley, Diamondville, Wyo.; Vladimir and Uncle Milty – Josh Lund, Groton; Cynthia Peterson – Julie Schaller, Rapid City; Julie Stern – Kristine Schaffer, Custer; Hart Farrell and operator – James Williams, 

Spearfish; Schlomo – Saisha Kuykendall, Redfield; announcer – Nic Hansen, Spearfish and Tajlei Kaplan Singleberry – Crystal Muglia, Spearfish.

The director of the play is Al Sandau, associate professor, the set design is by Mosas Feeley, and the costume design is by Dr. Pam Wegner, also an associate theater professor at BHSU.

Nic Hansen is the stage manager, Crystal Muglia is the house manager and Kristine Schaffer is the vocal coach for this production.

Crew members for scenery are: Mosas Feeley, Steve Blume, Spearfish, Julie Schaller, Kristine Schaffer, and Teresa Addington.  

Light crew members include: Nic Hansen, Ryan Heinis, Julie Schaller, and James Williams.

The members of the sound crew are Tim Bessette and Josh Lund. Crystal Muglia and Rachel Eggebo will be in charge of the programs, posters and tickets, and the costumes will be managed by Saisha Kuykendall, Andrea Fisher and Jenni Tifft.

For ticket information, call 642-6171 beginning Monday the week of the play.

Assessment committee meeting March 28 - Top

Minutes of University Assessment Committee Tuesday March 28 3PM Woodburn Conference Room 1

Present:  Earley, Sharon Hemmingson, Calhoon, Schamber

Absent:    Cook, Haislett, Meyers, Myers, Altmyer, Termes, J. Miller

Chair reported that all but one major (wellness management) had turned in a report this year.

The committee agreed that they would like the following meetings:

April 18th - Dar will report on assessment of technological literacy

April 25th - Haislett will report on the overall environment

Committee agreed to accept the reports on social science and composite social science.

Committee agreed to accept the plan for the composite Major in human Performance with the stipulation that chair would meet with B. Silva and discuss the plan with her.

New Faculty Profile

By Antonia Kucera, Media Relations student intern

Dr. Timothy Hightower and his son, Caleb, enjoy 
a beautiful spring day outside the Student Union.

Dr. Timothy Hightower

Money wasn’t the key to success for Dr. Timothy Hightower, an industrial chemist, who joined the Black Hills State University faculty last September. It was creative freedom and a desire to shape students’ futures that lured him away from a career in industry.

Hightower, 37, is originally from Sydney, Ark., a town that had a population of 169 people when he lived there.

“It was like Mayberry, USA, growing up,” he said.

His interest in science began as a grade-school student. Despite this early interest, Hightower nearly did not pursue higher education because he was making good money working construction in Colorado. His father, however, convinced him that college was the way to go.

“My dad thought education was important and asked me to go my first year for him,” Hightower said. “He had a little bit more foresight at that time than I did.”

He began college at Arkansas State University by majoring in math with an endorsement in coaching basketball. However, his educational interests changed and he pursued a bachelor’s degree in chemistry, graduating in 1986.

“I liked the challenges that the sciences brought. I wanted more intensity and more opportunities … so I left [ASU] to go to Iowa State for my Ph.D.,” Hightower said, which he achieved by 1993. “There were so many more opportunities with a Ph.D than with a bachelor’s.”

Hightower joined the work force straight out of college as a research chemist with Milliken Company (known for making carpets, but also has a chemistry division) in South Carolina. He enjoyed working at Milliken, but he soon took a job for Eastman Chemical Company in Batesville, Ark., which was closer to home and allowed him to run a farm in partnership with his father.

Even though a good starting salary in industry ensured Hightower’s financial security, he found himself longing for the college atmosphere. Industry and academics are similar in the fact that they both have monetary constraints and both are time demanding, but only academics offered Hightower the creative freedom he wanted, plus the opportunity to help shape people’s futures.

“It didn’t take me long after working in industry to turn to teaching,” he said. “Industry is more concerned with money, so the end result needs to be profitable. Academics is more involved with enhancing knowledge, so you have the ability to pursue knowledge without having to worry about the bottom line.”

Hightower’s teaching career began at Arkansas Community College as a chemistry professor, but he later chose to come to BH over offers from several other schools.

“The people [at BH] are so nice … real supportive,” Hightower said. “The [science] faculty is relatively young and always active in research programs. Our group can establish the future of the science program.”

Hightower liked the idea that he could contribute to the growing strength of BH’s science program.

“I can bring a new perspective [to BH] to help let students know what industry expects,” he said. “There is a structure [in industry] that some people have a hard time adapting to. You’re your own boss out of college, but you have to work for someone else’s interests. Your goals are dictated more by the company than yourself.”

Hightower was also attracted to BHSU because of its size and location.

“Spearfish is a great town,” he said. “The school, because of its size, gives me an opportunity to interact individually with each of my students on a personal level. Every student who passes my way, I know their name.”

The Black Hills area lends itself to his hobbies, which mostly involve outdoor activities such as hunting, fishing, basketball, golf, and church camp. His most important hobby, however, is spending time with his wife, Suzanne, and their three children, Caleb, Samantha, and Jaden.

Hightower contributes his free time to both the BH and Spearfish communities. He is currently mentoring several students through research projects on campus and hopes to coach Little League Baseball in the future.

“[The projects] give an opportunity to develop problem solving skills in students and bring about creative thinking,” Hightower said. “My goal is to find something a student is interested in and build a project around that, so the student is the driver.”

Hightower plans to run a program next spring called Kids in Chemistry. BH students will have the opportunity to volunteer at local elementary schools and provide interactive hands-on education with chemistry.

“I really enjoy the college atmosphere and helping people,” he said. “I enjoy the community, the students … this is a good school.”

Faculty research 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 grants office or can be printed out from their webpage.

It is anticipated that successful applicants will request support for faculty release time, research equipment, travel to research sites or research support for the production of creative work. Preference is given to new applicants, particularly in the areas of education, business, social sciences and humanities. A three-hour release time is available for spring of 2002. Apply now. The next deadline for proposals is April 2 at 3 p.m.

The applicants are encouraged to contact the committee members for advice prior to completing their proposals. The members are John Alsup, Steve Anderson, Lyle Cook, Tom Cox,  Abdollah Farrokhi, chair; Jim Hess, Kathleen Parrow, Shane Sarver and Rob Schurrer.

The research committee will not provide salary. The committee may approve payment to student or non-student research assistants. Deliver the original plus ten copies of your proposal to the grants office in Woodburn 218 or Dr. Farrokhi’s office in Woodburn 314.


Grants opportunities announced - Top  

Below are the program materials received March 15-28 in the grants office, Woodburn 218. For copies of the information, contact our office at 642-6627 or e-mail requests to us at grants@bhsu.edu.  Fellowship information will also be posted on the Student Union bulletin board near the information desk.

  • Student Achievement in Undergraduate Education (NSF).  The National Science Foundation is seeking proposals to develop and disseminate assessment practices, materials and measures to guide efforts that improve the effectiveness of courses, curricula, programs of study and academic institutions in promoting student learning in science, mathematics, engineering and technology.  Deadline: April 30 for requested letters of intent; June 7 for proposals.
  • Pi Lambda Theta Research Grants.  Pi Lambda Theta research grants are awarded for direct expenses of research in education.  A grant proposal can be for an independent project or a part of a larger project, such as a dissertation.  Grants are awarded in amounts up to $2,500 and are disbursed directly to the recipient.  An applicant must have been a member of Pi Lambda Theta for at least one year before applying for a grant.  Deadline: June 1, 2001.  http://www.pilambda.org/
  • Camille & Henry Dreyfus Foundation, Inc.  Special grant programs in the chemical sciences.  Preliminary proposals due June 15, proposals due Sept. 1.
  • National Endowment for the Humanities.  Humanities Focus grants to enable educators to consider together significant humanities topics or to map institutional directions for teaching the humanities. Deadline: April 15.
  • National Science Foundation.  International opportunities for scientists and engineers.  Please note the following changes in Appendix V: proposals for cooperative research with Japan may now be submitted to NSF at any time; seminars and workshops with Japan have a proposal deadline of Aug. 1; proposals for cooperative research and joint seminars and workshops with Korea may now be submitted at any time.

This week at BHSU

Submit items to Media Relations or send to Unit 9512, BHSU.




Last day to drop a class with an automatic “W”

Preview Day: high school students on campus



April 1

April 2

High School Jazz Festival, Student Union & Woodburn

Student Employee week begins

Student photo show begins, Ruddell Gallery

April 3

Senior pre-registration

High School Jazz Festival, Student Union & Woodburn

April 4

Junior pre-registration

Student Employee of the Year Recognition, Student Union

April 5

Sophomore pre-registration

PPST Preparation, Student Assistance Center

Representative from Hospitality Associates interviews, Career Center

“Burden of Dreams” – film series, Jonas 101, 6 p.m.


April 6

Freshman pre-registration

Kevin Whirlwind Horse Scholarship application is due

PPST Preparation, Student Assistance Center

April 7

“Have You Considered Grad School?” workshop

Intercollegiate Choir, RC First Congregational Church, 7:30 p.m.