Welcome to Black Hills State University - top
- Curtis McGuigan, custodial worker, Dining Services
hundred thirteen degrees will be awarded at BHSU's commencement ceremony
this Saturday - top
144th Black Hills State University commencement ceremony is
Saturday, Dec. 14 at 10 a.m. in the Young Center.
will be presented to 213 students including three bachelor of arts
degrees, 90 bachelor of science degrees, 43 bachelor of science in
education degrees, and 17 associate degrees. BHSU will award 60
master’s degrees which is a significant increase in the number of
graduate degrees awarded in recent years.
increase in the number of graduate degrees, which this time are all
education curriculum and instruction majors, is due in part to the
establishment of cohort groups. According to Tim Molseed, education
professor and coordinator of graduate studies, three cohort groups,
which consist primarily of practicing teachers, completed requirements
for their degrees and are graduating this semester. These cohort groups
first began meeting in the fall of 2000 in the communities of Spearfish,
Rapid City and Hot Springs.
noted that this will probably be the largest group of graduate degrees
awarded for some time since ongoing cohort groups have since had
different starting dates. Currently there are two additional cohort
groups in Rapid City as well as two cohorts with students completing
their degree entirely online. Molseed said that a third online cohort is
scheduled to begin next semester.
cohorts and online courses are examples of how BHSU has increasingly
strived to offer classes in formats advantageous to students. The
majority of the university courses are offered on campus in Spearfish,
however, courses are also available at three locations in Rapid City
including the branch campus at Ellsworth Air Force Base, the Rushmore
Building near Western Dakota Technical Institute and on the campus of
the School of Mines and Technology. Additional courses are available
through distance learning options including online, videoconference, and
the commencement ceremony a reception hosted by the president will be
held in the Young Center field house for all graduates and their
honors breakfast will be held prior to commencement at 8 a.m. in the
Yellow Jacket Legacy Room of the David B. Miller Yellow Jacket Student
Union. The summa, magna and cum laude graduates will be recognized.
Cremean presents at American
Literature Association Symposium - top
David Cremean, assistant professor in the College of Arts and Sciences
at Black Hills State University, recently presented an essay at the
American Literature Association Symposium on the Gothic in American
Literature. The international conference in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico,
included participants from several countries.
In his essay entitled “Gothic God, Gothic Grace: Cormac
McCarthy’s Child of God” Cremean argues that McCarthy
attempts to bring to life a theology that gothicizes both God and grace
by showing the extremity human actions often reach. Cremean discusses
the novel’s portrayal of the link between the existence of such
extreme human actions and God’s activity in or control of the world
and God’s grace, claiming that each must intertwine with the nature of
evil itself in some mystical way.
Cremean received his doctorate in English from Bowling Green State
University in 2001 and joined the BHSU faculty in 2002.
BHSU professor and students
conduct geophysical research - top
Dr. Steve Anderson, professor
of geology and planetary science at Black Hills
State University, recently presented three research papers coauthored by
BHSU students at the American Geophysical Union Annual Meeting in San
BHSU student Shawn McColley, a senior environmental physical science major from
coauthored two of the papers. The
other paper was coauthored by Julie Dahl, a graduate student from Rapid
The first paper, "The
development of preferred pathways in lava flow interiors: Insights from
Hills State University student Shawn McColley (center) hikes at
the foot of a thick, blocky lava flow (right) from Sabancaya
Volcano in Peru. McColley and BHSU professor Steve Anderson
conducted research on lava flows in Peru. Snow-capped Ampato
Volcano rising to over 20,000 feet is visible
in the background.
results from work conducted at Arizona State University (ASU) last
January. Anderson, McColley, and Jon Fink of ASU created 20 different simulated lava flows using polyethelene
glycol wax, and were able to image the interiors of the flows with video
cameras mounted under a Plexiglass tank containing the simulation.
Since the hot, molten interiors of lava flows
are impossible to observe directly, the experiments provide
volcanologists with a unique perspective on the processes at work in the
development of the flows and may help scientists better
ascertain hazards associated with lava
flow advance. The project is funded by NASA and the BHSU Faculty
The second paper, "Three types
of crust: Inferred emplacement rates and styles of a megablocky flow
field surrounding Sabancaya Volcano,
reports on findings from a field study of lava flow surfaces conducted
in Peru in May. The paper was presented
by Dr. Tracy Gregg of the University of New York-Buffalo, and coauthored
by Anderson, McColley, and researchers from the University of
Nevada-Reno and the University of Maryland. The
work is funded by the National Science Foundation.
The final paper, "The Geoscience
Concept Test: A new assessment tool
based on student misconceptions" reported the results of a study of
misconceptions in introductory geology students and the development of
an Earth science assessment exam that
uses student misconceptions as incorrect answers in a 30-question
multiple choice test.
The paper was
coauthored by Dahl and researchers from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center
for Astrophysics and the University of Indiana. This
work was funded by a $500,000 grant
from the National Science Foundation to BHSU and Harvard University.
Anderson earned his Ph.D. in geology at
Arizona State University in 1990 and has published multiple 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.
Ochse to serve as chair of the
Strategic Planning Committee at Black Hills State University -
|Dr. Thomas Flickema, president of
Black Hills State University, announced today that Dr. Roger
Ochse, associate professor of humanities, will be appointed as
co-chair of the University Strategic Planning Committee.
Ochse will serve as co-chair with Fred Heidrich, College of
Business and Technology associate professor, who plans to retire
this summer. Ochse, who has served on the committee for three
years, will assume the position as chair of the committee in
The Strategic Planning Committee is an appointed committee
consisting of administrators, faculty and staff members selected
by the president with a mission to maintain a strategic plan for
the university and review university functions in relation to
Joe Valades named director of
retention at Black Hills State University - top
Valades, who was recently appointed retention director at Black Hills
State University, is relying on his extensive background
developing student success, his published academic research on retention
and an “advisor rather than disciplinarian” focus to make a
difference one student at a time in the retention rate at the
Valades, who has been employed at the university since 1998 most
recently as coordinator of the Student Assistance Center, said he
prefers the one-on-one interaction with students that this position
demands and looks forward to meeting with students to offer counsel and
encouragement. According to Valades, national research has shown that
the most successful models for retention, a much studied and discussed
topic, include direct contact with students with the major emphasis on
“one meaningful interaction.” Valades has begun to make these
“meaningful interactions” with students at BHSU who are struggling
The location of the retention office in Woodburn 212 with the
institutional research office allows Valades to access the knowledge and
assistance of Ven Thompson, director of institutional research, to
identify students who will benefit from a retention contact. “Ven has
been phenomenal in getting the retention
computer system set-up,” Valades said.
Thompson developed a powerful web-based retention computer program
that is available to all faculty members to quickly and easily identify
students who are struggling in their classes. Faculty members access the
program through a log-in and then use a checklist to designate a number
of factors that would indicate potential obstacles for individual
students. The faculty members specify whether a student has a high
number of recent absences, has performed poorly on tests, is not
participating in classroom activities and then have the option to
include additional comments.
Valades receives email notification of these comments and with the
help of Rita Shewmake, who provides clerical support for the retention
office, contacts each student to offer suggestions for improvement,
emphasizing academic success as the key objective. Valades sees his role
as one of encouraging collaboration between offices on campus that have
resources to help students.
“I work to open the lines of communication to make the students
aware of services available and to ensure students know their
options,” Valades said. He often refers struggling students to the
student assistance center and student support services for tutoring and encourages students
to be involved in student organizations especially those directly
related to their academic work. Valades also refers students to the
career center to help them determine their goals and focus since
students with undeclared majors and undecided future plans generally
have less academic success. Career center counselors meet with students
and use many resources including personality profiles and inventories to
develop a specific focus and identify a major.
“At different times in the semester, the students need different
things,” Valades said. “I try to use this first contact as an
opportunity to connect with the student, give solace, be informative,
offer advisement and perhaps a push. I find students respond best to a
balanced amount of compassion and rigor.”
Valades deliberately incorporates the recent established student
affairs “no run around” policy for the students. He uses
communication, technology and personal contacts so students don’t have
to “run around” to various offices to find out what they need.
Valades said the response from the students has been positive.
“Once we let them know what is available, many times they are able to
get back on track. The students are generally glad to know that someone
is concerned with their success,” Valades said. After a face-to-face
meeting, Valades makes suggestions and sets a follow-up appointment with
the student. In the first semester of this program which actually began
about mid-term, Valades estimates the office has made approximately 130
contacts with individual students.
Currently the focus is on first-year students but Valades said he
will branch out in the future to consider the unique needs of different
types of students.
President Thomas Flickema appointed Valades to his new position in
October. Valades earned a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction from the
University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1994. He has a master’s degree in
social work from the University of Nebraska-Omaha as well as two
bachelor’s degrees from the University of South Dakota - one in
English and one in social work. He began his employment at BHSU in 1998
with student support services.
In addition to this appointment, Valades recently took on another
role, that of advisor for the hockey club. Although he doesn’t have
much experience in the sport, he agreed to become the advisor at the
urging of a student and he is actively supporting the student group in
their activities and competitions.
open house takes place this weekend - top
Tom and Judy Flickema will host a Christmas open
house this Sunday, Dec. 15, at their home, 815 State Street in Spearfish.
Career service staff members are invited to the open house from 2
to 3:30 p.m., followed by a faculty open house from 3:30 to 5
Exempt employees and community members are invited to attend from 5 to
emerging leaders head for the future - top
|The Black Hills State University 2002 Emerging
Leaders Program came to an end recently as a group of 14
freshmen graduated and moved ahead into futures as outstanding
The Emerging Leader Program is an opportunity for students to
examine essential components of becoming effective leaders. Over
a period of eight weeks,
|participants learn about building trust in a group
to make a strong and healthy team, using communication
effectively, the importance of diversity and individuality, and
the importance and value of leaders. Those who participate in
the experience are required to join a student
||The 2002 Emerging Leaders
graduates are: (back, from left) Megan Wyett, Mandy Gustafson,
Amy Ackerman, Venessa Adcock, Andy Steele, Beth Shaw, Tenise
Diehl, Kristi Parquet, Jessi Moeller, and Megan Bietz; (front,
from left) Christopher Busby, Emily Varland, Erin Power, Jenny
Henglefelt, Whitney Martin, Marie Wolff, and Lindsey Aberle.
|organization, volunteer for community
service, attend group sessions and keep a journal.
Journal entries were read aloud as each student was awarded a
certificate of completion. The certificates were presented by
Jane Klug, director of Student Services, and Jade Harney,
director for Heidipriem Hall, with assistance in announcing by
three Emerging Leaders alumn, Venessa Adcock, Spearfish,
Christopher Busby, Rapid City, and Megan Wyett, Casper, Wyo.
The 2002 Emerging Leaders graduates are: Jenny Henglefelt,
Alexandria; Andy Steele, Geddes; Emily Varland, Gregory; Jessi
Moeller, Hartford; Lindsey Aberle, Lead; Whitney Martin, Lead;
Kristi Parquet, Midland; Tenise Diehl, Webster; Megan Bietz,
Gillette, Wyo.; Mandy Gustafson, Rawlins, Wyo.; Amy Ackerman,
Riverton, Wyo.; Erin Power, Bismarck, N.D.; Marie Wolff,
Hettinger, N.D.; Beth Shaw, Sioux City, Iowa.
Student breakfast to be held
during finals week - top
The BHSU Student Affairs Office will once again be providing a midnight
breakfast for students during finals week Monday, Dec. 16 from 10 p.m. to 12 a.m. in the
Student Union Market Place.
The breakfast is free to all BHSU students. Contact Heather Johnson,
BHSU Career Center, at 642-6278 for more information.
Committee minutes - top
The University Assessment Committee met Tuesday, Dec. 3 at 3:30 p.m.
in Jonas 103.
Present were Earley, Siewert, Pearce, H. Johnson, J. Miller,
and Altmyer. Cook, Haislett, Myers, Calhoon, Norby, Lembcke, and
Gallagher were absent.
Schamber presented the annual report for general education. General
discussion followed of what the report indicated about general education
and ways to evaluate general education. A motion was made and seconded
to approve the report and recommend to the vice president of Academic
Affairs that the plan be kept as originally designed by the General
Education Committee. Motion passed.
A discussion was held concerning ways to encourage assessment.
Mention was given to members attending conferences on general education
in Seattle, Philadelphia, and summer institutes in Minnesota. The
committee talked about holding local discussions and conferences to
encourage assessment. Small group instruction design as done by Pearce
was also discussed. The committee finally agreed to work on being more
specific on requirements for reports. Discussion was continued into next
The next meeting is Dec. 10 at 3:30 p.m. in Jonas 103. Reports to be
reviewed are political science, Spanish, American Indian studies, and