BHSU receives Bush
Foundation grant to establish a first-year experience program - top
Dr. Sharon Strand, associate professor of English and director of
composition, has been awarded a Bush Foundation grant to establish a
“Black Hills Experience” program at Black Hills State University.
The Bush Foundation has dedicated nearly $360,000 over three years to
improve the quality of teaching and learning during students’ critical
first year of college by providing support for faculty development.
According to Strand, many BHSU students from rural areas where
community is very important are often overwhelmed by the size of the
campus. The Black Hills Experience program will link small groups of
students in common first-year courses to create smaller learning
communities within the larger university environment. Through the
program, students will connect more effectively to their coursework, the
BHSU community, and the surrounding area.
Dr. Lyle Cook, vice president for academic affairs at BHSU, provided
initial resources to pilot the Black Hills Experience in the fall of
2002. Eighty-three students participated in designated sections of a
communication class along with a linked introductory course: astronomy,
sociology, American government or visual arts.
Assignments in Communication I were directly related to course
content in the linked courses. Participating faculty were trained in
advising, campus resources, learning skills, and freshmen
characteristics prior to the start of the fall semester, making them
more aware of student adjustment issues and allowing them to provide a
more supportive classroom environment for new students. BHSU professors
Christine Shearer-Cremean, David Cremean, Kent Meyers, Tim Martinez, Dan
Durben, Jim Knutson, and Dan Peterson collaborated with Strand on the
Results of the pilot project were very promising. Students who
enrolled in the Black Hills Experience were more likely to return for
the spring semester (93 percent compared to 85 percent for a
non-participant control group) and had a higher first semester grade
point average than non-participants (2.8 compared to 2.2).
Participating faculty reported that their teaching methods were
positively influenced by collaboration with faculty in another
The commitment from the Bush Foundation will enable BHSU to fully
implement the project this fall. Strand will direct the activity portion
of the Black Hills Experience, recruiting faculty and students to
participate and coordinating the overall project. Dr. Joe Valades, retention director, will assist with faculty
training and will help connect co-curricular opportunities (i.e.
tutoring, career planning, student organizations, etc.) to the Black
Hills Experience. Eight new faculty members will be invited to join the
Black Hills Experience project each year to collaborate on linked
assignments, focus attention on student advisement, and participate in
training and discussion groups. Expansion of the Black Hills Experience
over the next three years is expected to result in marked improvements
in first-year students’ performance, persistence, and satisfaction.
Three BHSU employees among
the National Guard unit deployed - top
|Tim Johnston, Mike Tiffany and Jade
Harney, all full-time Black Hills State University employees,
are among the soldiers of the 842nd National Guard
Unit in Spearfish who are leaving their civilian jobs to serve
with the activated unit. The Spearfish-based National Guard unit
was alerted for active duty in January and began active duty
Tim Johnston, director of dining services at BHSU, was
surprised this week with a going-away reception in his
the gathering Leonne Geppert, dining services accountant,
expressed her concern and support as she
read a note she had written for Johnston and others being deployed,
including her nephew.
are worried sick about you going off to a
foreign country, it is with great pride and admiration we
say ‘Via con Dios’. On behalf of your dining services
family, thank you for the great sacrifice you are making.
We will be praying for your safe and speedy return. Know that
when you leave, you take with you our admiration, our gratitude,
and our love,” Geppert said.
Johnston, though unsure when and
where he be stationed
for active duty, assured co-workers that he will be back as soon
Jade Harney, area coordinator for residence life at
|Tim Johnston, director
of dining services at Black Hills State University, was
surprised with a
going away gathering this week. Johnston is one of three BHSU
employees who are
part of the 842nd National Guard unit being
|joined the Spearfish
unit of the National Guard when he was a student 11 years ago
and is now a sergeant with the dump truck section.
Harney said he always knew being called to active duty was a
possibility but didn’t think about it too much.
“We knew it was an option. Recently it became not a matter
of if we were being called, but when,” Harney said. As the
unit makes activation preparations Harney said he is “excited,
yet at the same time apprehensive. We’ve had all this training
and now I’m excited to find out what we will actually be
doing.” He said his biggest fear is the possibility of
encountering chemical warfare.
Harney said his family is encouraging even as they are
“My mother is typical,” Harney said. “She is used to
having me around and likes having me around.” His mother, who
lives in Pine Haven, Wyo., is now trying to enjoy as much time
with her son as possible before he leaves.
Tiffany, who joined the custodial staff at BHSU five years
ago, is an equipment section sergeant with the National Guard.
He and his wife Jillian, who is an elementary teacher,
have two young children, Hannah, who is almost five, and Samuel,
A veteran of the Gulf War, Tiffany served in the Marine Corp
beginning in 1972 and later served in the Minnesota National
Guard. Tiffany oversees an equipment operation support team for
an earth moving section of the Guard unit. Tiffany’s previous
experience in the Gulf War gives him an experienced perspective
that is perhaps more apprehensive than that expressed by some of
the younger soldiers.
“Since I was there before, I do have some apprehension,”
Tiffany said. “Danger is part of the job and I know we have
the possibility of being involved in dangerous situations.”
Tiffany is quick to add that he has complete confidence in
“If there was any unit to go with, the 842nd
would be it,” he said. “It’s a great unit. We look for
each other and take care of each other.”
Tiffany indicated that his wife Jillian, although concerned,
is supportive of his commitment to his service.
“What happens from here is an unknown,” Tiffany said.
“The unknown is the part that bothers her (his wife) the
Tiffany and his wife have worked split shifts since their
children were born, so now the two young children are adjusting
to a new schedule that includes daycare for the first time in
“My two year old doesn’t grasp the situation and probably
won’t until I’m gone,” Tiffany said, “but my five year
old doesn’t want me to leave. The toughest part is leaving my
Tiffany, in a sentiment echoed by the two other BHSU
employees, expressed his appreciation for the support of the
university, his supervisors and his co-workers.
“The university has been excellent through all of my
National Guard activities. Everyone has been just great,”
Tiffany said. “They may not realize how important that is to
us. It relieves a lot of stress for us knowing that our employer
is supportive of what we are doing.”
Tiffany (left) and
Jade Harney, both BHSU employees, are among the approximately 150 soldiers
activated with the 842nd unit in Spearfish.
National Guard unit plans
activation ceremony at the Young Center - top
The National Guard will hold an activation ceremony at the Donald E.
Young Sports and Fitness Center Friday, March 14 at 9:30 a.m. for the
842nd unit stationed in Spearfish.
The National Guard unit was called to active duty for the first time
in its 35-year history in January. An activation ceremony for the
approximately 150 members of the company is scheduled for Friday. The
actual date of departure for the unit, which was originally set for
Monday, has been delayed. The guardsmen will participate in home station
duty in Spearfish until departure.
The ceremony basically makes the National Guard unit an active unit,
according to Todd Otterberg, area recruiter, as the unit and its members
will be formally mobilized to active duty during the ceremony. South
Dakota Gov. Mike Rounds and several other dignitaries are expected to
attend the hour-long ceremony. National guard members will be given the
opportunity to go through a receiving line to speak to the governor and
the general. A reception will be held in the Young Center field house
for community members, soldiers and families following the ceremony.
In the afternoon the soldiers and their families will attend
briefings concerning deployment. The unit will then commence training,
which was originally scheduled at a mobilization site, in the Black
Hills area and be evaluated by an evaluation team. When the unit is
mobilized they will likely be located at an active army post according
The Spearfish National Guard unit is headquartered at a newly
constructed addition to the Young Center on the BHSU campus. Otterberg
indicated that while the National Guard will continue to work out of
their offices at the Young Center, they are trying to get off campus for
most of the training to limit the disruption of campus and community
activities. Most of the training exercises will be conducted on land in
the northern hills or at locations near Rapid City and Ft. Meade.
Approximately 20-25 university students who are a part of the
Spearfish unit are now making arrangements to withdraw from classes as
they begin active duty. Students being called to active duty at this
point in the semester are withdrawing from classes, according to a
policy set by the South Dakota Board of Regents. These students are
refunded 100 percent of their fees according to April Meeker, director
of records at BHSU. The Regents’ policy allows students who are in the
last four weeks of the semester the option of taking a letter grade at
that point or withdrawing for a refund.
The 842nd unit’s mission is to provide heavy equipment
support on the battlefield, including tasks such as building roads and
constructing airfields. The unit is equipped with bulldozers, 20-ton
dump trucks, loaders, scrapers, cranes, and road graders. The unit has
served in Nicaragua and Italy as well as being involved in several
community projects including construction of a crosswind runway at the
Sturgis Airport, completing groundwork for the Belle Fourche athletic
complex and building new bridges at Orman Dam.
Baseball exhibit on display
at Ruddell Gallery - top
Local baseball enthusiasts Dick Ruddell, Jim Thompson and Paul Higbee
are combining their knowledge, collections and expertise to host a
baseball memorabilia exhibition in the Ruddell Gallery at Black Hills
State University March 10 through April 4. Three presentations are also
planned in conjunction with the exhibit.
The exhibit, which opened Monday, March 10, consists of a variety of
baseball memorabilia that belong to collector Thompson.
Thompson and Paul Kopco, webmaster and instructor at BHSU, provided entertainment at the
opening reception Wednesday, March 12 with a rendition of
the famous baseball comedy exchange between Bud Abbott and Lou Costello,
“Who’s on First.” Participants enjoyed traditional baseball treats such as hot dogs, Cracker Jacks and
apple pie while listening to legendary baseball stories.
The following Wednesday, March 19 at noon Ruddell and Higbee will
lead a discussion on the history of South Dakota baseball during a brown
bag luncheon at the Matthews Opera House.
The final event scheduled in conjunction with this exhibit
is a live radio broadcast Wednesday, April 2 at 1 p.m. in the
Ruddell Gallery. Thompson will take calls from interested listeners
while visiting with Ruddell and Higbee about baseball in South Dakota.
The gallery is open to visitors on a modified schedule. If the
gallery is closed, stop at the David B. Miller Yellow Jacket Student
Union information desk to arrange for access. For more information call
the information desk at 642-6062.
is one of the exhibits currently on display
at the baseball memorabilia show in the
Ruddell Gallery. The opening reception
featured entertainment by Jim Thompson and Paul Kopco as well as traditional baseball
treats such as hot dogs, Cracker Jacks and apple
everything for BH student honored as Soldier of the Year - top
By Antonia Kucera, University
Hills State University junior Tricia Beringer didn’t plan on joining
the National Guard. When she joined two years ago in March of 2001, it
was because she wanted to do something spontaneous and fun. That’s
right – fun. Most people would not think of the word “fun” when it
comes to military service, but with an attitude like Beringer’s,
challenges become adventures.
love the military lifestyle,” she said with honest enthusiasm. This
upbeat outlook on life, along with some hard work, helped her recently
earn the honor of South Dakota Soldier of the Year and has prepared her
for the activation of her company, the 842nd Engineering Co.
in the National Guard only one of several challenges faced by this
22-year-old woman from Gettysburg. She is also a biology major at BHSU
who hopes to someday become a physician’s assistant. Beringer started
her college career at the University of Wyoming, but decided to make the
move to BH after only one semester. As she started her first semester at
BH, the benefits of joining the National Guard seemed to present the
perfect opportunity for Beringer.
was nice to know that I would have enough income to not have to carry a
full-time job while I was in school,” Beringer said.
confident she could handle the tough aspect of the Guard – she always
handled getting picked on by her two brothers growing up. Beringer has
been a strong and capable person physically her entire life; besides
standing her ground against brotherly love, she competed in sports such
as basketball, track and cross-country while attending high school in
Spearfish. Going to college and joining the Guard were just new steps
for her to take. Working one weekend a month and two weeks a year would
be no problem for her.
positive attitude, Beringer has charged through her college career and
Guard duty with surmounting success. She works hard and is active in
several student organizations, including the Newman Club and Scientia.
She has also completed 1,000 hours of certified nurse’s assistant
clinical work and plans to do the same amount of emergency medical
technician work. The extra work is not required for her degree at BH, but Beringer is planning ahead and
hopes her ambitious accomplishments will help her get into graduate
important that students aren’t just students,” Beringer said. She
places high value on the benefits of getting involved in other
activities and having a well-rounded social life. She feels this has
helped her keep her head on straight.
success at college only hints at her success in the Guard. An average
person may just tackle a job she already knew how to do, but Beringer is
not ordinary. She decided she wanted to try something different in which
she had no experience – food preparation. Before joining the Guard,
she was like many other college students, living on macaroni and cheese.
Everything she knows now as an E-4 food specialist was learned first in
basic training at Fort Jackson in South Carolina and then in specialized
training at Fort Lee in Virginia. She was named Soldier of the Cycle in
basic training and Leader of the Cycle at advanced training, both times
earning the highest physical fitness scores. She also earned the state
of South Dakota Distinguished Service Award.
food specialist, her main job is to make sure the soldiers are fed,
which may seem like a small task, but it is of utmost importance. She is
responsible for making sure there are enough rations for everyone and
she determines whether the soldiers eat a hot or cold meal. She keeps
the troops healthy by keeping them fed, and she boosts morale with her
It is no
surprise then that Beringer was nominated to participate in competition
that would lead to being named South Dakota Soldier of the Year. She
started the challenge at the company level and advanced through the
battalion and group levels, facing a new military board of judges each
time, to get to the state level. Beringer is the first soldier from the
842nd Engineering Co. to make it to state. Here she competed
against four other individuals in an intense question-and-answer review
by leading sergeants and majors, who Beringer refers to as “The Big
Wigs.” She was judged not only on her past work and how she answered
difficult questions requiring advanced knowledge of military
information; she was also judged on what is known as military bearing
– her ability to present herself professionally and live up to the
military’s reputation. Beringer was nervous and it was a challenge to
keep her composure throughout the barrage of questions, but, she says,
it is “always a good feeling when it’s over.”
obviously did well and was deservingly honored as Soldier of the Year.
Beringer is proud of the accomplishment and, of course, positive effect
it will have on her resume. She has also made some valuable connections
through the experience. There were some difficulties getting to the
competition, such as weather prohibiting helicopter transportation and
engine trouble in a Suburban on the way to Pierre, but Beringer was in
good hands all the way. South Dakota State National Guard Command
Sergeant Major Michael Birnbaum got her to the competition safely; throughout everything, Beringer made a good
impression on Birnbaum and he is making it possible for her to get an
early promotion to an E-5 sergeant. It usually takes Guard members about
five years to reach that promotion; Beringer is on her way after only
promotion comes along with new circumstances, however. Beringer is one
of more than 20 university students in her unit who have been activated.
Beringer will be promoted when she is deployed. The sudden orders has
hindered some of her plans; she was scheduled to continue on to San
Antonio, Texas, and compete to become Soldier of the Year for the
western United States, but she will now be unable to meet that
particular challenge. The special circumstances may allow her to compete
next year if she is back in time. Beringer has also had to drop all of
her classes this semester at BH; students can sympathize with the
frustration at working half way through the semester and then having to
drop it all and receive no credit.
just takes it all in stride, though, and keeps on going with a smile.
“There’s nothing you can do about it, so why be upset about it?”
she asks. Instead, she looks ahead to the new challenge with
anticipation. She said she is physically and mentally prepared.
decided I’m just going to make an adventure out of it and do
everything I can to keep a positive outlook,” she said.
though she sees deployment as a new adventure, she wants people –
especially war protestors – to realize that the threat to America’s
safety is not a matter to be taken lightly. “We (soldiers) are not
doing it for the fun of it – we’re doing it so [future] kids can
have freedom.” South Dakota’s Soldier of the Year and other soldiers
are willing and ready to do all they can to prevent any danger to
Campus groups will host
Women’s History Month activities - top
Hills State University groups are hosting a candlelight vigil and panel
discussion Tuesday, March 18 in honor of Women’s History Month. The
Center for Indian Studies and United Ministries will partner with the
Circle K and NOW student organizations to sponsor the events.
activities will begin at 5:30 p.m. in Ida Henton Park with the Voices
Against Domestic Violence Candlelight Vigil, sponsored by Circle K and
Admission is a donation of food, clothing or volunteer time for the
Artemis House. After the vigil, a panel discussion called "Giving
Voice" will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the Donald E. Young
Sports and Fitness Center Hall of Fame Room. The discussion will cover
different topics and issues associated with women. Beth Tracton will
discuss the ages of women, Cheryl Anagnopoulos will discuss the psychology
of women, Jace DeCory will give a presentation on American Indian women,
John Glover will talk about stereotypes of women, and Dan Peterson will
present the effects of men and
masculinity on women.
activities are open to the public. In case of inclement weather the
candlelight vigil will be moved to the Young Center Hall of Fame Room. Contact Leona White Hat, assistant
director of the Center for Indian Studies, at 642-6578 or Jean Helmer,
director of United Ministries, at 642-6556 for more
BHSU Career Center will
hold an interviewing skills workshop - top
The Black Hills State University Career Center will sponsor an
intensive all-day interviewing skills workshop, “Ace the Interview,”
Saturday, March 22 from 9 a.m.
to 4 p.m. in the David B. Miller Yellow Jacket Student Union Market
An experienced recruiter who has interviewed over 16,000 students
will conduct the workshop. The session will discuss why recruiters ask
the things they ask and what they are looking for in responses. Those in
attendance will experience six critiqued practice interviews to improve
self-confidence and personal interviewing skills.
A free pizza lunch will be served. All career fairs and workshops are
free of charge and open to the general public. Contact the BHSU Career
Center at 642-6277 or firstname.lastname@example.org
for more information or to register for the workshop.
2003 Film Series continues March 27 - top
The Spring 2003 Film Series at Black Hills State University will
continue Thursday, March 27 with the movie “Saving Grace.”
Directed by Nigel Cole in 2000, “Saving Grace” features Brenda
Blethyn as Grace, a widow who must cope with life after her husband’s
suicide. Grace discovers that her husband has mortgaged everything they
own and the banks are ready to foreclose. Faced with impending doom and
little working knowledge except her ability to grow plants, she
struggles to save her home. Finally her gardener comes to the rescue:
Grace will grow marijuana and sell it to a London drug dealer.
The film will be shown on DVD in Jonas 305 at 6 p.m. There is no
admission charge and the public is welcome to attend. Free popcorn will
be available courtesy of the BHSU Residence Hall Association. For more
information contact David Salomon at email@example.com
CSA Council election
results announced - top
CSA Council elections were held recently to elect representatives
from Facilities Services, Jonas/Central, the Library and Computer
Center, Pangburn, the Student Union, Wenona Cook, Woodburn, and the
Janet Bettelyoun was elected from Facilities Services, replacing
Lynette Long who will complete her two-year term in April.
Sheila Day was elected to represent Jonas/Central, finishing the two-year term
vacated by Colleen Gustafson when she left BHSU.
Day works in the College of Business and Technology.
Linda Allbee was re-elected to serve the Library and Computer
Center for another two-year term as was Krista Schroeder, who represents
Pangburn Dining Services. Shawn
Haug of the Bookstore will represent the Student Union, replacing Dennis
Walkins. Corin Humbracht of
Campus Day Care was elected to represent Wenona Cook, replacing Deatta
Chapel who has served on the council for several years and from several
different areas on campus. Shannon
Alcorn of Institutional Advancement and Kanda Guthmiller of the Business
Office replace Cheryl Leahy and Rebecca Haak who were previously
representing Woodburn. Nancy
Shuck was re-elected to represent the Young Center.
In addition to the newly elected representatives, Sherri Adams and
Lynn Fox each have one year remaining on their two-year term as
Facilities Services representatives, and
Joanne Wilkening has one year remaining on her term representing
Woodburn. Jeanne Hanson continues
to serve as BHSU’s representative to the Regents’
All representatives (incoming and outgoing) must attend the CSA
April 3, at which time officers for 2003-04 will be elected.
Outgoing President Nancy Shuck thanks the members of the current
council (Sherri Adams, Linda Allbee, Deatta Chapel, Lynn Fox, Rebecca
Haak, Cheryl Leahy, Lynette Long, Krista Schroeder, Dennis Walkins,
Joanne Wilkening and Jeanne Hanson) for their exemplary service.
She very much appreciated their cheerful and hard-working
chosen as new SDSMT president - top
president of Boise State University, will become the 17th
president of South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, the South
Dakota Board of Regents announced Tuesday, March 11.
assume leadership of the Rapid City campus on July 1. He replaces
Richard Gowen, who retires June 30 after 16 years as SDSMT president.
Ruch has been president of Boise State University for 10 years.
“I was very
interested in the work underway here in South Dakota to link higher
education and economic development,” Ruch said. “Public higher
education has much to offer by way of its research capacity and faculty
expertise to South Dakota’s economic development resources.”
Ruch will also
focus on new ways to collaborate with SDSMT’s sister institution at
Black Hills State University. “South Dakota Tech and Black Hills State
have complementary missions,” Regents President Harvey C. Jewett said.
“We are anxious to put Dr. Ruch’s leadership, in concert with Black
Hills State president Tom Flickema, to work in this area.”
The new SDSMT
president has Ph.D. and M.A. degrees in education from Northwestern
University and a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from The College of
Wooster (Ohio). Prior to his time at Boise State, Ruch served 11 years
at Virginia Commonwealth University - first as an associate dean and
dean and for the remaining six years as provost and vice president for
academic affairs. His first university assignments came at the
University of Pittsburgh, where he was a faculty member and department
participant in regional and national higher education organizations,
Ruch has chaired the Urban and Metropolitan Universities Committee for
the American Association of State Colleges and Universities. He has also
served on the presidents’ councils of the Big Sky, Big West, and
Western Athletic conferences and currently serves as chair of the
Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education.
He is actively
involved in the Boise community, where he has chaired the United Way
board and the Future Foundation of Boise and has served on the chamber
of commerce board. He and his wife, Sally, have four grown children.
Dakota students receive postsecondary planning materials from Regents
families of nearly 56,000 middle and high school students across
South Dakota will receive a special mailing this week, with the message:
it is never too early to prepare for a student’s life after high
The South Dakota Board of
Regents is sending the South Dakota CollegePrep planning packet to all
public school students in grades 7-12. “The goal is simple - helping
South Dakota students prepare for their future by making the right
decisions about life after high school,” said Regents President Harvey
Last year, the state
Legislature authorized the Regents to obtain the names and mailing
addresses of public school students to inform them about postsecondary
education options and career planning. From that beginning, the South
Dakota CollegePrep packet was developed. In addition, a comprehensive
Web site at www.sdcollegeprep.info
contains the same information, plus much more, which can be accessed by
anyone. The Web site also provides links to hundreds of resources on
postsecondary preparation and planning. In addition, a toll-free
telephone number (1-866-COL-PREP) has been set up to answer questions
from students or their parents about postsecondary planning.
service project is the latest collaboration between the Board of Regents
and K-12 education,” Robert T. Tad Perry, the Regents’ executive
director said. “The Board has enjoyed a long history of working
cooperatively with K-12 educators in this state.” Christie Johnson,
executive director of the School Administrators of South Dakota, also
praised the collaborative project. “A lot of effort has gone into
this, and it is one more way that we can help provide the best possible
educational preparation for our South Dakota students,” Johnson said.
Perry also pointed out the
intent is not to market a particular university or system, but rather to
highlight all the postsecondary options available to South Dakota
students. “With 80 percent of graduating high school seniors planning
on some type of postsecondary education, South Dakota has ample
opportunities at its public universities, private colleges, tribal
institutions, and postsecondary technical institutes,” he said.
representing parents and school counselors helped the Regents’ staff
develop the South Dakota CollegePrep materials and Web site. In
addition, valuable input was received from the Department of Education
& Cultural Affairs, School Administrators of South Dakota, South
Dakota Parent-Teacher Association, South Dakota Counselors Association,
and school superintendents across the state.
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 in the Grants and
Special Projects Office, Woodburn 309, or can be printed from the website.
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. Applications are now being accepted for faculty release time
for Fall 2003. Release time is awarded to full-time faculty who teach on
the BHSU campus. The next application deadline is Monday, March 24 at 12
The applicants are encouraged to
contact the committee members for advice prior to completing their
proposals. The members are John Alsup, Earl Chrysler, Tom Cox, Abdollah
Farrokhi (chair), Jim Hess, Kathleen Parrow, Shane Sarver, and Rob