Volume XXV No. 5 • Feb. 2, 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.

Welcome to Black Hills State University - Top

  • Lesly Brownell, press operator, university printing center

CSA positions open - Top

The following career service positions are open:

  • child- care worker, child care center
  • custodial worker, facilities services

For additional information, please review the announcement bulletin or contact the personnel office.

Legislative cracker barrel scheduled - Top

A legislative cracker barrel is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 3 at 10:30 a.m. at the Spearfish Chamber of Commerce office on Main Street.

This is an opportunity for constituents to make their  opinions known to our area representatives on higher education  and other issues.

Accounting students help with income tax preparation - Top

Accounting students at Black Hills State University will be available beginning Wednesday, Feb. 7 to help area residents with income tax preparation assistance through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA).

VITA coordinator Dr. Larry Cozort, says this year’s tax program will operated on an appointment basis. Taxpayers who would like assistance in preparing their tax returns should call Cozort at 605-642-6869 to make an appointment.  The best time to call to make an appointment is Monday, Wednesday, and Friday between 10 a.m. and 11a.m. and Tuesday and Thursday between 8 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. Messages can be left at other times on voice mail. 

VITA offers free assistance to those with special needs, including persons with disabilities, and older taxpayers who file Form 1040EZ, Form 1040A, or a basic Form 1040 federal tax return. VITA volunteers also alert 

taxpayers to special credits and deductions for which they may be eligible.

Taxpayers who visit a VITA site should bring this year’s tax package, wage and earnings statement (Form W-2) from all employers, interest statements from banks (Form 1099), a copy of last year’s tax return, if available, and other relevant information about income, and expenses.

The VITA program is sponsored by the Internal Revenue Service and the BHSU College of Business and Technology. The student preparers have received IRS training and passed an IRS prepared exam. The VITA program is designed to assist taxpayers with simple returns. Taxpayers who have complicated returns should contact professional tax preparers. Tax return preparation and electronic filing of the return are free services. Taxpayers should come to Jonas 230 on the BHSU campus for their appointment.  

BHSU community band rehearsals begin - Top

Rehearsals for the Black Hills State University community band resume Monday, Feb. 5.

All interested musicians are invited to join the BHSU community band. There is no audition or age limit and the group is open to anyone who plays a wind or percussion instrument. Rehearsals are Monday evenings from

 7-8:30 p.m. in the BHSU band room in Cook 204. The band will present two concerts this spring.

For more information contact Christopher Hahn, BHSU band director at 642-6888 (days) or 642-0327 (evenings).

BHSU students faculty relationships get fired up - Top  

By Antonia Kucera, media relations student intern

 Students and faculty members now have a chance to get to know each other informally through a new Student Life event, the Fireside Chat. Held once a month, the chat brings two faculty members to the dorms to share popcorn, hot apple cider and personal conversation with students by the light of a homemade “fire” made of candles.

The monthly chats are the idea of Thomas Hall Director Duster Butler. His wife, Jennifer, took the plan to a Student Life retreat and was put in charge of implementing it along with Student Life staff members Sarah Fisher and Cheri Leahy. The purpose of the gathering is to give the students a chance to get to know their professors outside the classroom. Bringing the professors into the students’ territory, offering free snacks, and encouraging students to bring pillows and blankets, created a relaxed atmosphere for all. The organizers behind the Fireside Chat hope these events will help bridge the gap between students and faculty.

The first Fireside Chat was held in Jonas academic hall in November and had a very poor turnout, probably due to the location. The following month the event was moved to the residence halls, where they are currently held, and the attendance increased.

When Butler approached some students to ask why they don’t attend, many replied that the professors intimidate them. Contrary to what they think, the professors are usually just as nervous as the students. The students who do attend the chats report that they enjoyed the event.

The most recent Fireside Chat took place on a January evening in the Thomas Hall lobby with business professor Priscilla Romkema and psychology professor Cheryl Anagnopoulos. Fischer usually starts the night with an introduction and lets the professors or students start the conversation, following a question and answer format. Fisher asks questions in the beginning to help break the ice, but it doesn't’t take long for the conversation to take off.

Students often begin asking questions about background, travel, embarrassing moments, and college experiences, but one question guaranteed to be asked is “Why did you come to South Dakota?” A common reply to this question is that professors like the size of the campus because it allows more  contact with students, and they just think the Black Hills are beautiful.

Dr. Priscilla Romkema, center, and Dr. Cheryl Anagnopoulos, right, met recently with Thomas Hall residents on the Black Hills State campus in an effort to bridge the gap between faculty and students. The Fireside Chat (with candles rather than a fireplace) concept was initiated to develop an informal atmosphere where the participants can relax, visit and get acquainted through casual conversation.

Students were treated to several interesting tidbits about professors Romkema and Anagnopoulos. They found out that Romkema studied music in college and then studied and taught in Communist Russia for several years. Attendees discovered that Anagnopoulos enjoys horseback riding and were surprised to hear that she is expecting a child! Anagnopoulos thought it was fun to announce her pregnancy and get such a positive reaction from the students.  

Though just acquaintances, the two professors had some things in common. They both married late in life, and they both used to be afraid to speak in front of crowds. The professors closed out the evening’s conversation with some words of wisdom to students. In retort to the common conception of leaving college for the real world, Romkema replied, “This (college) is your real world. Enjoy it!” Along the same line, Anagnopoulos suggested, “Try different things. Don’t be afraid to change.”

Students can put this suggestion to work by trying out the next Fireside Chat. You just might find out you like it. With the realization that the chats are not just another lecture but a chance to find out about professors, the gap can be overcome and this event will grow into a popular social gathering.


German speakers gather - Top

German speakers are invited to meet at the Common Grounds, downtown Spearfish every Friday at 3 p.m. for what's called a "Stammtisch".  Join us, even

if you haven't had a lot of German, or if it's been a long time. Contact Connie Hubbard at  642-6066 for more information.

Minutes of the NCA self-study committee - Top

Minutes of North Central self study committee meeting of Jan. 30 at 3:30 p.m. in Woodburn Conference Room 1 .

Present were Earley, Downing, D. Wessel, Cook, Heidrich, Keller, B. Silva,  Schamber, and J. Johnson. Absent were Haislett, K. Johnson, Godsell, A. Hemmingson, Lefler, and Lidan.

Chair reported that more data was becoming available for use by the committee.  The BOR Factbook for FY 2001 was available for use.  Ven Thompson was still adding information to the BH Institutional Research website. The chair also reported that Dr. Schamber had done an excellent job on the book of vitae and syllabi and both were available for use by the committee. The NCA Basic Institutional Documents were also available if someone needed.  Finally the strategic planning committee was holding budget hearings for use in Criterion IV.  If a taskforce or member needed more data, they should let the chair know.

The chair asked if there were any further comments, additions, or deletions to the chapter on Criterion I.  When none were made, he thanked Taskforce 1 and Dean Downing for their work. 

The chair reported that the next step would be to consider the BH response to the concerns of the 1992 visiting team.  A draft of the response had been sent by e-mail to each member and the meeting on Feb. 6th would be spent reviewing this document.  

Dr. Wessel reported that his taskforce was moving forward on Criterion II and would be ready to present to the committee at the Feb. 13th meeting. 

Dr. Cook reported that his taskforce was moving forward on Criterion III and would be ready to present to the committee later in the semester.

Mr. Heidrich reported that the strategic planning committee was holding hearings and would begin to work on Criterion IV once the first three chapters were done.

The report on Criterion V was that it also was progressing.

The next meeting will be held on Feb. 6th at 3:30 p.m. in Woodburn Conference Room 1.

Instructional Improvement Committee funds available - Top

The Instructional Improvement Committee (IIC) encourages, through monetary grants, the application of existing knowledge to specific teaching situations to improve the quality of instruction at BHSU. Any full-time faculty member, full-time adjunct faculty or other full-time staff member engaged in student instruction may apply for grant funds administered by the committee. Grant funding will normally be available up to a maximum of $1,000 per project. Priority will be given to projects that will have a broad-based, visible, continuing impact of instruction across faculty members and/or disciplines. 

Funds are available for development of materials and methods to improve teaching and learning, equipment to enhance teaching and learning, travel to conferences or

workshops which enhance teaching and learning, and bringing consulting lecturers and teaching specialists to campus to offer presentations to and/or with faculty and teaching-support staff at BHSU.

Proposals for grant funding will be reviewed by the IIC on a monthly basis. The deadline for submission will be the third Tuesday of each month; a decision will be made as soon as practicable on each proposal.  The original plus 10 copies of the proposals should be submitted to the grants and special projects office, W218, or to the chair of the committee, Sharon Strand. Proposals will consist of the proposal and budget outlines following the specified format available at the grants and special projects web page.

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 of 2001. You can apply now

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 Jan. 25-31 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.  

  • Business and Professional Women/USA.  Career Advancement Scholarships.  Business and Professional Women/USA advances the careers of working women.  Career Advancement Scholarships are given to women over the age of 25 to complete a college degree program.  In 1999, the BPW Foundation received more than 1,100 applications from qualified women and awarded 226 scholarships.  Deadline April 15, 2001.  http://www.bpwusa.org/


This week at BHSU

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






Feb. 4

Feb. 5

Ruddell Gallery, Tim Rickers art exhibit begins

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (learning style workshop), Student Union room 221, 2-2:50 p.m.


Scholastic Book Fair, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Myers- Briggs Type Indicator (learning style workshop), Student Union room 221, 2-2:50 p.m.

Feb. 7

Myers- Briggs Type Indicator (career workshop), Career Center, 5-6:30 p.m.

Feb. 8

Green and Gold luncheon, Millstone, noon

Myers- Briggs Type Indicator (career workshop), Career Center, 3:30-5 p.m.


Feb. 9



LSAT (Law School Admission Test)