Volume XXV No. 39 • Oct. 5, 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.

Public forum to be held at BHSU - Top

 “Facing the future: how should we respond to the attack on our nation?” will be the topic of a free, public forum Oct. 9 from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Donald E. Young Sports and Fitness Center on the campus of Black Hills State University. 

The public will examine the pros and cons of the following four options: acting now to secure our nation, building a U.S.-led coalition, joining with the international community in seeking justice and addressing the underlying causes of terrorism. 

The option framework is provided by the Study Circles Resource Center.  The sponsors are the South Dakota Issues Forum; The Chiesman Foundation, a neutral, nonprofit organization that encourages participation in the democratic process; and Black Hills State University. 

For more information contact Angelia Johnston at 642-6281 or 642-6996 or the South Dakota Issues Forum at 341-4311.


Black Hills State and the Harvard-Smithsonian Center awarded a $498,000 grant from National Science Foundation - Top

Black Hills State University in collaboration with the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics was awarded a $498,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to study misconceptions and teaching strategies in the classroom.

The grant proposal, written by Dr. Steve Anderson, professor of geology and planetary science at BHSU, and Drs. Julie Libarkin and Philip Sadler of Harvard University, is titled “Conceptual Understanding of Three Dimensions of Earth Processes in General Education and Introductory Courses:  Test Development and Validation.”

Anderson said, the concept for the project developed in 1998, when he was on sabbatical at the University of Arizona. He was working for the Hydrology Department and teaching an introductory-level lecture course in global change. Libarkin was his teaching assistant in charge of the laboratory. They often talked about teaching strategies and conceptual understanding.

“We also had a number of discussions about student misconceptions in geology and how they affect learning,” Anderson said. “All too often, science professors mistakenly believe that college students are ‘clean slates,’ and that if we explain a science concept clearly then the students will magically understand it. Unfortunately, this is not the case. …”

It was the misconceptions in geology that seemed to have a negative affect on learning, the two professors deduced. Only by replacing these distracters to learning and replacing them with a better understanding of the topic, would proper learning take place.

“After thinking about this for some time, Julie and I thought that if we can identify some of the most 

common misconceptions in geology, then one way to assess the effectiveness of various teaching methods on conceptual understanding would be to test for these misconceptions at the beginning of the semester, and test at the end of the semester to see how these misconceptions have or haven’t changed,” said the BH professor.

This preliminary work became the basis for the grant proposal and a paper that will be presented at the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco this December.

Since their preliminary work began in 1998, Libarkin landed a position at Harvard and has enlisted the help of Sadler, who specializes in the statistical analysis for the type of research they are doing. Anderson and the two Harvard professors will serve as principle investigators for the research project.

Anderson says their ongoing research will involve a more thorough treatment of identify student misconceptions in geology and further development of the assessment tools. He plans to hire a full-time graduate student in science education at BHSU to work on some of the research aspects. He will also be hiring an undergraduate student to help with data collection. They will both have opportunities to get involved in research and attend professional meetings. Interested students should contact him at (605) 642-6506 or by email at <steveanderson@bhsu.edu>.

The BHSU geologist completed a one-year teaching sabbatical at the University of Arizona during the 1998-99 academic year and served as chairman of the BHSU science department last year. Anderson earned his Ph.D. in geology at Arizona State University in 1990. He has published many articles and papers on his research related to volcanoes and lava flows. He has been a member of the science faculty at BHSU since 1991.

BHSU science center promotes K-12 inquiry science curriculum workshop in Sioux Falls Oct. 10 & 11 - Top

Science educators, curriculum specialists and school administrators will have an opportunity to view the latest trends in science teaching at “A Showcase of K-12 Inquiry Science Curricula” Oct. 10 & 11 beginning with registration at 8 a.m. at the Washington Pavilion in Sioux Falls.

Funded by the National Science Foundation, the showcase is designed for districts wishing to re-examine and improve their science-education programs. Curriculum workshops begin at 9 a.m. Participants will see exemplary K-12 science instructional materials, offer criteria for selecting materials appropriate to districts’ needs, and introduce the resources available through area hub sites.

The Center for the Advancement of Math and Science Education (CAMSE) at Black Hills State University is one of nine hubs around the country collaborating with Education Development Center (EDC), a national nonprofit research and development organization, working on the K-12 Science Curriculum Dissemination Project.


School districts participating in the project with a team of teachers will be eligible to attend seminars and summer institutes and have access to valuable science recourses. Districts will be able to learn about:

  • Exemplary, standards-based K-12 science instructional materials

  • Critical assessments of these materials:

  • First steps toward piloting, adopting, and implementing quality materials

  • Addressing the long-term challenges associated with changing science programs

Next spring an “In-Depth Seminar on Implementation Issues” will take place March 6 & 7 in Chamberlain. This seminar will help teams consider issues and steps necessary for the selection, adoption, and implementation of instructional materials.

For more information about the EDC K-12 Science Curriculum Dissemination Project, check out the website. To register, call (605) 642-6873, or email Dr. Andy Johnson at andyjohnson@bhsu.edu.

Career center staff hosts Bill and Jane's Annual Buffalo Round Up and Fall Career Festival - Top

The career center hosted the annual Bill and Jane's Buffalo Round Up and Fall Career Festival Tuesday at BHSU. 

Bob Stanelle, student development director, reports that 21organizations were represented at the fair. He also noted that the number of students attending, 103, was disappointing. Stanelle urges students at every level, freshman to grad students, to see the career center. 

"All indications are that hiring of new college grads will be way down this year due to the current economy and world situation. Companies that used to hire 20 new grads per year will now hire only 10, or five, or, as one employer told us yesterday, only two new hires this year, down from 20 two years ago. In this kind of economy, the jobs, be they full-time or summer internships, will go to those who get started early and get to these employers first. This is happening nationwide but particularly keep in mind, with travel and tourism down, there will be a deep effect on the economy of the Black Hills."

Career center staff dress for the part as they hosted Bill and Jane's Annual Buffalo Round Up and Fall Career Festival this week. Left to right are Sarah Chase, new-student counselor; Heather Finley, workstudy student; Bob Stanelle, director; Heather Johnson, career counselor and Eileen Thomas, secretary.

Cast announced for BHSU theatre opener - Top

The cast has been announced or "The Last Night of Ballyhoo," the first production of the season for the theatre department at Black Hills State University. The play will be presented Oct. 25, 26 and 27 at 8 p.m. in Woodburn Hall Auditorium.

“The Last Night of Ballyhoo,” by Alfred Uhry takes place in Atlanta, Ga., in December of 1939.  Gone with the Wind is having its world premiere and Hitler is invading Poland, but Atlanta’s elitist German Jews are much more concerned with who is going to Ballyhoo, the social event of the season.  In this play, the Freitag family gets pulled apart and then mended together with plenty of comedy, romance and revelations to go along to way.  Events take several unexpected turns as the characters face where they come from and are forced to deal with who they really are.

Members of the cast are: Adolph Freitag – Jacob (Mosas) Feeley, Diamondville, Wyo.;  Boo Levy – 

Martie Ziska, Spearfish; Reba Freitag – Teresa Addington, Lead; Lala Levy – Joi Petrik, Rapid City; Sunny Freitag – Crystal Bleu Muglia, Belle Fourche; Joe Farkas – Gene Pesicka, Spearfish; and Peachy Weil – Joshua Stanton, Jodan, Mont. The assistant director is Nic Hansen, Spearfish.

Members of the crew are: scenery - Jacob (Mosas) Feeley; Casey McCoy, Rapid City; Jamie Vickers, Newcastle, Wyo.; Jeremy Donlon, Batesland; Gene Pesicka; Sara Olson, Sturgis; and Nic Hansen; lights/sound – Tim Bessette, Spring Creek, Nev.; Elysia Pederson, Spearfish; Joshua Stanton; Aaron Ausderan, Muncie, Ind.; and Nic Hansen; make-up/costumes – Martie Ziska; Saisha Kuykendall, Redfield; Vanessa Kitzler, Eureka; Alesha Culver, Spearfish; and Shaya Eyre, Bailey, Colo.; props - Teresa Addington, Lead; Sarah Cozort, Spearfish; Josie Harrell, Dubois, Wyo.; and Joi Petrik; publicity - Crystal Bleu Muglia, and Sarah Baldwin, Sturgis.

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 fall 2002. Apply now. The next deadline for proposals is Oct. 12. 

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. 

This week at Black Hills State University

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


Volleyball vs. Mayville State, Young Center, 7 p.m.


Law School Admissions Testing, Jonas, 3rd floor, 8 a.m.- 1 p.m.

Volleyball vs. Valley City State, Young Center, 11 a.m.

Tailgate socials at Lyle Hare Stadium and Salem Park, noon

Football vs. Dickinson State, Lyle Hare Stadium, 1:30 p.m. Parents Day


Oct. 8

Native American Day - no classes, offices closed

Oct. 9

“Facing the future: how should we respond to the attack on our nation?”  forum, Young Center, 7 p.m.

Oct. 10

MBTI: Personality & relationships session, Student Union, 12-1:30 p.m.


Green and Gold luncheon, Millstone Family Restaurant, noon

Film Series, “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” Jonas Hall room 305, 6 p.m.


Volleyball vs. Jamestown College, Young Center, 7 p.m.  

"Small Business Legal Issues," Spearfish Area Chamber Office, 8-9:45 a.m.


Graduate Record Examination, Jonas, 3rd floor, 8 a.m.- 1 p.m.