Volume XXVI  No. 17 • April 26, 2002

Submit items to Campus Currents - Top

The Campus Currents is distributed every Friday. To submit an item send it to Campus Currents, Unit 9512 or by e-mail to Campus Currents. Deadline is Thursday at 8 a.m.

Ochse receives grant to attend Shakespeare workshop - Top

Dr. Roger Ochse, associate professor of English at Black Hills State, received a $3,250 grant to attend a summer Shakespeare institute sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities through the Shenandoah Shakespeare organization.

The institute is titled “Shakespeare’s Theatres:  Inside and Out.” Ochse will spend three weeks in Staunton, Va., at the Blackfriars Playhouse studying how to convert abstractions about plays to the stage, Elizabethan staging conditions, applying lessons of Elizabethan staging to the classroom, and exploring the literary and theatrical implications of Shakespeare’s indoor and outdoor theatres.  

The participants will study at Sam Wanamaker’s Globe outdoor theatre and at

the Blackfriars indoor playhouse. The daily schedule will include a mix of theory, practice and product. Participants will attend morning sessions where a senior scholar presents ideas and background information and an afternoon session where participants will work with actors and directors in preparation of several Shakespeare productions.

The final two weeks of the institute the participants will travel to London to visit and study at Shakespeare’s Globe theatre.

Ochse joined the College of Arts and Sciences faculty in 1993. He earned his doctorate in educational administration from the University of South Dakota in 1993. He has a master’s degree in English from the University of Rochester and a bachelor’s degree in English from Dickinson College.

Hess receives grant to study censorship in South Dakota - Top

Dr. Carol Hess, associate professor of education at Black Hills State University, received a $4,000 grant from the Chiesman Foundation to study censorship of texts in South Dakota schools.

Large-scale national efforts to censor elementary and high school texts have risen in the past decade, however, many of these censorship attempts are prohibited by the freedoms presented in the First Amendment of the Constitution.  Hess plans to survey every public school in South Dakota for her research. Her  study will examine how various schools approach the issues associated with intellectual freedom, consider what procedures are in place for schools to 

deal with issues of challenge or censorship and determine the number of incidences of censorship in the state.

Hess believes that studying the incidences of censorship in South Dakota schools will clarify the values and beliefs of the state and how the Constitution is applied to public education. She plans to submit the findings for publication in the School Library Journal and the South Dakota Reading Association.

Hess joined the BHSU faculty in 1993. She earned her master’s degree at Northern State University in 1980 and her education doctorate at the University of South Dakota in curriculum and instruction in 1992.

Diamond will read stories at poetry and fiction conference - Top

David Diamond, College of Arts and Science, assistant professor, has been invited to read two short stories at the Midwest Poetry and Fiction Conference at Michigan State University.

Diamond will read his new stories “The Elvis Jesus” and “Cry Wolf” at the conference in early May.

Diamond has been a faculty member at BHSU since 1995. He teaches classes in writing, broadcast journalism, and production in radio and television. Diamond holds a master’s degree in professional writing from the University of Southern California.

Mills accepted to Penn State leadership program - Top

John Mills, student support services Native American student advisor and interim director of the Center for American Indian Studies at BHSU, has been accepted to Penn State’s American Indian Leadership program. 

Mills recently earned his master’s degree from South Dakota State University, and will move to University Park, Pennsylvania in June to begin working toward a Ph.D. with 

an emphasis on special education. In addition to meeting all Penn State graduate school and major entrance requirements, those selected for the American Indian Leadership program must demonstrate a commitment and desire to contribute to American Indian education.

Mills is a 1992 graduate of Black Hills State University.  He taught special education in Rapid City and served as a consultant for Dakotalink before joining the BHSU Student Support Services team in 1996. 

Music department makes plans to relocate due to construction - Top

The music department has been making plans to temporarily relocate classrooms, offices and equipment storage throughout campus as construction begins for the new music/business building.

The process of moving presented unique challenges for the music department due to the amount of equipment and the “noise-ful” nature of music classes, activities and practices. With more than 20 acoustic and 12 electric pianos, more than 100 brass, woodwind and string instruments as well as a large library of instrumental and vocal music, finding physical space to relocate has been difficult. Additionally, locations were needed for rehearsals that create a great deal of sound thus limiting locations where there are no other classes adjacent to a rehearsal room for at least 12-15 hours during each week. Other “noise-ful” academic music activities include private lessons and student practice sessions, all of which require quiet spaces for individuals to develop vocal and instrumental skills.

Fortunately, solutions have been found to the relocation problems with the assistance and cooperation of every department and facility 

on campus. The music faculty offices will be housed across from the Student Union in a small house that was formerly a private residence. Storage sheds will house the libraries. The Jacket Legacy Room will host the band rehearsals, and the music keyboard and computer labs will reside in a Student Union conference room. Woodburn Auditorium will be the temporary home for the BHSU choir. Additional music classes will be taught in the Donald E. Young Center as well as the Jonas physics lab. Practice rooms will be located in Jonas Hall and the Young Center. Students may also use space in local churches for practice rooms.

The faculty members and students of the BHSU music department are grateful to everyone on campus, especially the facilities services personnel for their hard work and positive attitude toward assisting in this transition. “The plans for the new building have involved many hours of painstaking attention to detail and the building will be a great asset and a source of pride to BHSU faculty, staff and students in the future,” said Dr. Janeen Larsen, chair of the department of fine and applied arts.

$39,000 Eisenhower grant supports science teacher training in areas of light and color - Top

Elementary and middle school teachers will increase their knowledge and understanding of optics related to light and color by attending a science workshop hosted by Black Hills State University this summer.

The collaborative effort between the university, local school districts and the Black Hills Science Teaching Project (BLAHST) is designed to meet state science teaching standards. Teachers will increase their knowledge of optics, develop methods of scientific inquiry and be introduced to state-of-the-art instructional material.

The workshop and grant author is Dr. Andy Johnson, associate director of the Center for the Advancement of Mathematics and Science Education (CAMSE) at BHSU. The week-and-a-half course is titled “A Close Look at Light and Color:  Professional Development in Physical Science and Scientific Inquiry for Elementary and Middle School Teachers.” The workshop is funded by a $39,700 Eisenhower Professional Development Program grant and will be offered June 5-7 and June 10-14.

The workshop will have a secondary component as two high school physics teachers will receive pre-workshop training and then assist Johnson in the teaching of the workshop material.

“Sessions will initially focus on light before proceeding to optical devices and image

formation,” Johnson said. “ After the participants have begun to develop their thinking about optics, some sessions on teaching light in the classroom will be introduced.”  

Johnson will be introducing computer simulation to the participants to foster critical thinking about light. He has been researching ways that students use computers to develop ideas in physics. The workshop will use special course materials developed by a National Science Foundation funded program known as Constructing Physics Understanding Project (CPU). These computer-based guided inquiry materials engage learners in a carefully designed series of thought-provoking experiments, predictions, and idea-generating discussions.

Following completion of the workshop, project personnel will visit the participants to discuss their science teaching and to assess the impact of the workshop on their understanding of optics and on their school teaching. An additional follow-up day will be held in June of 2003 or during an in-service day to share participants’ experiences in teaching light and in adapting materials for use in the classroom.

Workshop information is available by contacting Dr. Johnson at CAMSE, Black Hills State University, 1200 University Street, Unit 9005, Spearfish, S.D. 57799-9005 or by phone at  (605) 642-6873 or by email at andyjohnson@bhsu.edu.


Media relations is now university communications - Top

The media relations office which includes web services is now known as university communications. University communications is the primary liaison between the university and the news media, both print and electronic.

The mission of the university communications office is promotion and public relations for the university. The university communications office is responsible for communicating key messages—such as faculty and student achievements and the value of higher education—to the news media in a clear and consistent manner. The internet is increasingly becoming a way of promoting the university so university communications will rely on the university webpage to further present a unified positive image of the university.

Hometown and general news releases, news photography, website development and maintenance, development of promotional materials, and marketing are all functions of the university communications office. By placing stories about BHSU in the news and on our website, we accomplish our central goal: to increase the visibility of BHSU and enhance appreciation of the university among alumni, parents, current and prospective students, current and potential contributors, professional colleagues, and the local community.

University communications encourages students, faculty and staff to contact the office when they have a news story or special event, accomplishment or honor to publicize. For additional information contact university communications at 6215 or 6445 or by mail at Unit 9512.

Mike Hughes named student employee of the year - Top

Mike Hughes, an outdoor-education major with a minor in physical science, was named the Student Employee of the Year at Black Hills State University. Hughes, from Wisner, Neb., is a storeroom assistant for the BHSU dining services office.  The outstanding employee has worked for dining services for two years. He will graduate from BH in May. Cody McMichael, (right) student employment coordinator, presented Hughes with his award. Hughes was nominated for this prestigious award by his supervisor Leone Geppert. She indicated that his quality of work is second to none.  “Mike is a very hard worker, and looks for things to do when daily tasks are completed,” Geppert said. “Mike is an exemplary employee; he has become an integral part of what dining services does. He is part of our team and a very important part of our dining services family.”

Spirit of Excellence at Work Award - Top

The Spirit of Excellence at Work Award is presented to Margaret Lewis for her generosity of spirit, attention to detail, and unflagging commitment to her students and the university.  This award is chosen by a group which meets regularly to discuss ways to improve the campus working environment. This group feels that when they “catch” someone doing their job well, that performance should be recognized and encourages everyone to keep up the good work so they can “catch” you at it.  

BHSU graduates are on their way - Top

The career center is pleased to announce that several graduating seniors have recently been offered and have accepted employment positions. 

Justin Varland, a senior mass communications major from Gregory, has accepted a position in public relations with the Green Bay Packers.  This is Justin's dream job!

Jon Smith, a senior education major, has accepted a position teaching in Saipan, an island in the South Pacific. Not only will he 

gain teaching experience, he will also gain valuable overseas experience as well. 

If you know of other graduating seniors who have accepted positions, please contact the Career Center at 642-6277 or email the information to wildbill@bhsu.edu.  We would like to get these students the recognition they deserve and will be able to utilize the information for our placement records.  Black Hills State University, a great place to start your career.

Nearly 100 people compete in annual Whirlwind Horse Run - Top

Despite chilly winds, nearly 100 runners and walkers participated in the 18th annual Kevin Whirlwind Horse Memorial Run/Walk at Black Hills State University Saturday April 20th.

The annual event is both a memorial event and a scholarship fundraiser.  Mae Whirlwind Horse, Kevin’s mother, and Kevin Whirlwind Horse Jr. presented this year’s $500 scholarship certificate to Sophia Messer, a BHSU sophomore elementary-education major from Lame Deer, Mont.  

Trophies were awarded to the overall winners of the 5-K and 10-K events.  Dylan Laskowski from Lead and Elise Pfefferle, Cheyenne, Wyo., were the 5-K winners. Burke Binning, Spearfish, and Karen Glazier, Rapid City, finished first in the 10-K event.  Medals were awarded for 1st-3rd place finishes in each division.

The 9-12 year old -mile run was won by Kyle Ralston, Spearfish and Cheyenne Ten

Mrs. Mae Whirlwind Horse (right) presents this year’s $500 scholarship certificate to Sophia Messer, a BHSU sophomore from Lame Deer, Mont.  

Fingers, Pine Ridge. In the eight and under mile run Clancy King, Philip and Monica Bailey, Spearfish won top honors.  

The event was sponsored by the BHSU Kevin Whirlwind Horse Committee. For more information about the event, see the website.

Pierre attorney is BHSU young alumni achievement award winner - Top

Pierre attorney Christopher Houlette was recognized recently as the Young Alumni Achievement Award winner at the 10th annual Student Volunteer Awards Banquet at Black Hills State.

Houlette, a 1992 magna cum laude graduate with a major in political science, went on to the University of South Dakota School of Law and was admitted to the South Dakota Bar Association in September 1996. Currently, he is a staff attorney at South Dakota Advocacy Services where he advocates clients’ disability-related legal interests in administrative hearings and negotiations and provides legal advice to staff and clients. He is also a member of the Benevolent and Protective order of Elks, and he co-hosts “Spud Sports” radio show on KCLR in Pierre.

His wife, Denice, and their newborn son, Justin Christopher, accompanied Houlette to the awards ceremony.

Christopher Houlette, center, this year’s recipient of BHSU’s Young Alumni Achievement award, shared his recognition and award with his wife, Denice, and son, Justin. Steve Meeker, left, and President Thomas Flickema presented a plaque to dad and a BHSU sweatshirt to Justin.

Tips from mail services - Top

 University mail services suggests these tips for mailing documents off campus. 

  • Blue charge slips must accompany all out going mail
  • Blue charge slips must have proper signature and account number
  • One Blue slip is sufficient. You do not need one blue slip for each outgoing envelope or on each campus mail piece.
  • Let us know is you need delivery conformation or insurance

Green and Gold club athletic fund drive begins - Top

The 43rd annual BHSU athletic fund drive sponsored by the Green and Gold Club began Wednesday, April 24 and will continue through Thursday, May 9.

The Green and Gold Club spring fundraiser is the driving force for athletic scholarship funds at Black Hills State University. Last year the group raised approximately $238,000. The club's goal this year is to up the campaign goal to $259,000.

Funds from the drive will be awarded to athletes participating in the 2002-03 athletic season. Steve Meeker, vice president for institutional advancement at BHSU, and his staff are organizing the drive with support help from the Green and Gold Club.

Meeker said Green and Gold Club members drafted businesses and individuals to call on again this year. Team members met recently to select their contacts.

The success of the fund drive is the result of the dedication and hard work of many volunteers, says Meeker. The club is expecting another successful campaign and appreciates any contribution regardless of the amount.

Green and Gold volunteers will be contacting businesses and individuals for scholarship contributions. Volunteers will also be competing for cash and prizes totaling $2,250.

Contributions will be categorized by gift amount received. The gift categories are as follows:  

All-American Club, $3,500 plus; Yellow Jacket Club, $3,000 to $3,499; President's Club, $1,000 to $2,999; Executive's Club, $750 to $999; Captain's Club, $500 to $749; Green Beret's Club, $300 to $499; Gold Beret's Club $150 to $299; Jacket Backer's Club, $100 to $149 and Stinger's Club, $99 or less.Contributions to the scholarship fund may be made by check, cash or by credit card. Contributions can be paid in full or by monthly or quarterly installments. University faculty and staff may contribute through the payroll-deduction plan.

The university athletic program depends upon annual contributions to fund its athletic scholarship program. NAIA rules permit BHSU to offer a maximum of 78 grants-in-aid scholarships for men's and women's sports. Based on current fund-raising efforts, BHSU will provide nearly 37 full scholarships. These scholarship dollars are distributed among all varsity sports at the university.

Businesses interested in game or corporate sponsorships should contact Meeker for information.

"The sponsorship program is not only an opportunity for businesses or corporations to support the university's athletic program, but also offers advertising to the businesses involved,” Meeker said.

Information on the Green and Gold fund drive is available by contacting Steve Meeker at 642-6385.

Faculty Senate minutes - Top

Minutes of the Faculty Senate meeting on Wednesday, April 3rd, 2002.

Present: Dan Durben (president), Steve Babbitt (vice president), Monty Robinson (secretary), Tim Hightower, Vincent King, David Wolff, Margaret Lewis, Betsy Mergenthal and Rob Schurrer.

Dan Durben called the meeting to order. The proposed agenda was reviewed and approved. An approval of the minutes was entertained and passed with changes.

Old issues:

Prioritized List.  A brief discussion among Senate members was held to wrap up any questions regarding the “prioritized list” from Dr. Cook. More information will come from Dr. Cook when he has feedback from faculty.

Faculty Senate Committees. The merger of the University Curriculum and General Education committees was discussed. It was agreed upon that it was best to leave them as separate committees. Along the same line, it was determined that all Faculty Senate committee chairs would meet with the Faculty Senate President during the fall in-service period to bring everyone up to speed on what was going on. This, it was felt, would enhance the communications between the Faculty Senate and committees.

Faculty Evaluations. There was some follow-up discussion from the previous meeting regarding the Promotion and Tenure Committee not having a consistent methodology for addressing promotion and tenure.  This inconsistency was mainly for standards regarding promotion.

New issues:

Curriculum changes. After reviewing the proposed curriculum changes it was moved and approved to accept these changes.

New Faculty Senate Members. The next representatives for Faculty Senate members and officers will be selected soon. Faculty wishing to serve as a Faculty Senate member are advised to submit a request to their Dean or their Faculty Senate representative.

Printed Schedules.  Several faculty members expressed their concern over the recent electronic schedules. Printed schedules are desired over the electronic copies when working with advisees.

Whereas there were no other items on the agenda, a motion to adjourn was made and passed. Next meeting Wednesday April 17th  at 3 p.m. in Jonas 103.

Faculty Senate Secretary Monty Robinson

Minutes of the University Assessment Committee meeting - Top

Minutes of University Assessment Committee Tuesday, April 23 at 3:30 p.m. in Woodburn Conference Room 1. Present:  Earley, Siewert, Altmyer, Schamber, Pearce, Turner, Olson. Absent: J. Miller, Myers, Valades, Cook, Haislett, Calhoon.

Chair and Pearce thanked everyone who attended the SDSMT conference on assessment.  Pearce said she would send list of participants. Twenty BHSU faculty attended the assessment workshops on the SDSMT campus on April 9th and April 16th.  Faculty included: Jean Johnson, Susie Dana, Siriporn Sujitham, Kathy Finkle, Chantana Tweesup, Betsy Silva, Pat Fallbeck, Fred Heidrich, Sharon Strand, Verona Beguin, Dorothy Fuller, Don Altmeyer, Sandee Schamber, George Earley, Randi Ellis, Ron DeBeaumont, Dan Durben, Abdollah Farrokhi, Mike Turner, and Kristi Pearce.

Olson asked for discussion of general education and rising junior exam.  Olson reported the Student Senate had passed a resolution declaring the rising junior exam illegal.  Discussion followed about pros and cons of the test.

Schamber introduced the General Education Committee plan for assessing general education.  Moved and seconded to approve. Motion passed.

Schamber reported that the Gen. Ed. survey had been given to students prior to the rising junior and she or the chair had the results.

Moved and second to approve annual report from physical education, outdoor education and wellness management.  Motions passed.

Motion and second to approve assessment plan for MSBSM.  Discussion and motion passed.

Committee agreed to final meeting next week April 30 at 3:30 in Woodburn conference room 1 to discuss assessment plan for College of Education and MSCI.  Haislett will present her overview of the academic environment in the fall.


Changes announced for health benefits - Top  

Benefit enrollment dates for FY 2003 are April 29 through May 6.  Should you wish to make changes to your benefits for next fiscal year, you must re-enroll during those dates.      

The benefit plans includes: health insurance, dental, vision, major injury, hospital indemnity, short-term disability, life insurance, child care reimbursement, medical reimbursement, etc. Changes made during this enrollment period will become effective July 1, 2002.  

There are only two benefit enrollment meetings remaining via the DDN Network. BHSU employees may view the sessions at the BHSU Library, room L020. BHSU employees located in Rapid City or at EAFB may view the sessions at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology in the new classroom building, room 109.

The FY 2003 benefit enrollment meetings are scheduled for only one-half (1/2) hour this year. This is your change to have your benefit question answered by the SD Employee Benefit Plan staff.  Dates and times are shown below.

Employees should take note of the following changes of the enrollment process.

1.  Enrollment packets will not be mailed

Enrollment packets will not be automatically mailed to employees this year as all information is available online.  Employees who would like to receive a printed FY 2003 annual enrollment packet need to make the request at 1-800-343-1319 by April 10. Callers will need to use the following access code - SDBOP (73267) and social security number when they call. All re-enrollments will be conducted on-line or via telephone.

2.  Enrollment meetings

There will be 11 benefit enrollment meetings via the DDN Network.  BHSU employees may view the sessions at the BHSU Library, room L 020.  Rapid City based employees may view the sessions at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology in the new Classroom Building - Room 109. The meetings are scheduled for only one-half hour this year.  This is your chance to have your benefit questions answered by the plan staff.


Time (Mountain Time)

Friday, April 26

10 am and 10:30 am

3.  Plan changes for FY 2003 include:

            1.  Premium increases

  • Dependent Health up 5 percent

  • COBRA and Retiree Dependent Health up 5 percent

  • COBRA and Retiree Health up 10 percent

  • Dental and Vision Care up 5 percent

            2.  Wellness Incentive - An increased incentive of $50 into a medical spending account when an employee attends a health screening and completes a health risk assessment. This is your reward for monitoring your health.  For FY 2002, the incentive was $25.

3.      Co-payment Increases


Prior to 7/1/2002

7/1/2002 on


PCP Office Visit

$ 20

$ 20


Inpatient Hospitalization




Outpatient Hospitalization




Global Maternity/PCP




Global Maternity/OB-GYN




Participating Chiropractic Office



$ 15

$ 20


Non-Participating Chiropractic


Office Visit

$ 20    

$ 25


Physical Therapy

$ 0

$ 15


Prescription Drug   Co-payments          


Second Tier Name Brand    

Third Tier Name Brand (newer more expensive)

30 day supply or less




31 - 90 day supply




4.  Pharmacy Plan

Change from PAID Prescriptions to Advance PCS (Prescription Card Service)

      • More pharmacies from which to choose
      • Mail order will still be available - employees will need to re-apply
      • Better service to state employees
      • Everyone will received a new ID card on or about July 1st

Diabetic Supplies will be processed through Advance PCS - not through the health plan. Co-payments are still to be determined.

5.  Administrative Changes         

Enrollment process, PCP changes, family status changes, life beneficiary changes, life amount changes can be made on-line at the BOP web page.

Monies still available from Instructional Improvement Committee - Top  

Monies are still available from the Instructional Improvement Committee which provides grants to improve the quality of instruction at BHSU.  Any full time faculty member or full time adjunct faculty or other full time staff member engaged in student instruction may apply for grant funds.  Funding is available up to a maximum of $1,000 per project for the
1)  purchase of equipment or materials to improve instruction; 
2)  salary for consulting lecturers and teaching specialists to offer presentations to and/or with faculty and teaching-support staff;
3)  travel funds to attend relevant conferences or conventions.

Proposal forms are available from the grants and special projects office, on the university website or from the chair of the committee, Sharon Strand.  

The committee will meet for the last time this school year on May 2 to consider proposals.  Eleven (11) copies of a proposal should be submitted to the grants and special projects office or to Sharon Strand by April 26.  Monies are still available for travel, equipment, and consultants that have the potential to improve instruction at BHSU.

Grant opportunity announced - Top  

Below are the program materials received March 28-April 17 in the Grants Office, 218 Woodburn. 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.  

  • National Science Foundation.  The Biological Research Collections Program provides support for biological collection enhancement, computerization of specimen-related data, research to develop better methods for specimen curation and collection management, and activities such as symposia and workshops to investigate support and management of biological collections.  Deadline July 19, 2002.  http://www.nsf.gov

This week at Black Hills State University - Top

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Last updated on September 17, 2004