Volume XXVII  No. 26 • June 27, 2003

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Campus Currents is distributed every Friday. To submit an item send it to Campus Currents, Unit 9512 or e-mail it to Campus Currents. Deadline is Thursday at 
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Education professor presents at international conference - top

Dr. Len Austin, associate professor in the College of Education at Black Hills State University, recently presented a professional paper concerning student use of personal handheld computers.

Austin made the presentation at the 14th annual international conference of the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education (SITE 2003) in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

His presentation, “Palm Pilot Use in a Freshman College Class for At-Risk Students,” spoke of the successes and challenges that resulted from issuing entering freshmen students a personal digital assistant (PDA). Austin’s presentation was the result of research he had conducted while teaching ED 101 (“Connections to University Success”) during the fall 2002 semester at BHSU.

Austin and members of student services, Sharon Hemmingson and Julianna Larson, joined forces to create a specially designated section of ED 101 for TRIO students (low income, low ACT, low high school GPA, disabled, first generation college students, and/or those qualified due to being a minority student). These students were associated with a special grant (a two-year TRIO grant of $5,000 for each year).

In addition to a textbook, the 20 students were also given a Palm Pilot 500 furnished through the TRIO grant. Initially it was predicted that the handheld computers would help students stay organized and provide a place to take academic notes. The research revealed that over 85 percent of the students found the PDAs were useful for those two purposes, and they wanted to retain them for another semester. Student attendance was higher in this section when compared to other sections of the same course. Greater bonding among students occurred, and there were self-reported increased levels of self-esteem in students. Ninety-three percent of the students mentioned that the course should be required of all freshmen students.

Students gave the course higher marks than did students in the other sections. Their evaluations included such comments as, “The Palms made the course exciting,” and “It was an innovative class.”

Austin also cited other favorable surprises, such as how the experiment gave some university professionals the opportunity to co-teach with a faculty member and learn a new technology.

In addition, Austin said, “This course helped to bridge the gap between student services and faculty, especially for these at-risk students. It was a timely and effective blending of the two campus functions to benefit students when they need it most.”

Austin also reported several areas that needed further attention including the development of a system to retain the handheld computer if a student drops out or has to leave school unexpectedly, the excessive time needed to train students in the use of PDAs, the need for a method of allowing students to be able to use the PDAs beyond one class, and innovative ways to deal with broken PDAs (which caused delays in instruction and increased student frustration).

SITE is the premier international association for teacher educators who are interested in the creation and dissemination of knowledge about the use of information technology in teacher education and faculty/staff development. SITE seeks to promote research, scholarship, collaboration, exchange, and support among its membership, and to actively foster the development of new national organizations where a need emerges. Austin said, “SITE is the only organization that has as its sole focus the integration of instructional technologies into teacher education programs.”

The SITE conference annually attracts more than 1,200 leaders in the education technology field from over 50 countries. This year’s venue was the Albuquerque Convention Center.

Len Austin, associate professor of education at BHSU, stands with PDAs that were handed out to TRIO students last fall. The TRIO grant provided 20 at-risk students with a Palm Pilot 500 to help them stay organized and take academic notes. Austin recently presented his research on the subject at an international conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico.


Photography professor publishes article and photos in South Dakota Magazine - top

Photographs and an article by Steve Babbitt, BHSU associate professor of mass communication, are featured in the most recent issue of South Dakota Magazine. His artwork is also currently being displayed at the Danforth Gallery in Livingston, Mont.

In the magazine article Babbitt describes his fascination with landscapes and small communities in South Dakota. His photographs capture the beauty of the land while documenting the small town heritage that is disappearing.

“I felt it was worthwhile to document this life in an artful way,” Babbitt writes in the article. “I wanted to suggest the presence of people without necessarily including them and, in some cases, the images of the land and towns serve as metaphors for a condition and way of life which is particular to the prairie.”

Babbitt will be honored at an artists’ opening reception tonight at the Danforth Gallery where His artwork is part of the “Northern Lights” exhibit. The exhibit will be on display until July 25.

Babbitt has been teaching classes in journalism and photography at BHSU since 1994. He holds a master’s of fine arts degree in photography from the San Francisco Art Institute.


Opera performances begin tonight at BHSU - top

In a rare opportunity for this region, Black Hills State University will host two performances to conclude the 2003 Black Hills Summer Institute of the Arts.

Students from across the country who are attending the Black Hills Summer Institute of the Arts will present “An Evening of Song and Dance” tonight at 7 p.m. in the Woodburn Theater.

Tomorrow evening, Saturday, June 28, the students and their instructors in their finale opera performance will present "A Night at the Opera" featuring the second act of Gounod's "Faust." The opera performance will be preceded by a catered picnic on the 

lawn in front of Woodburn Hall at 5:30 p.m. Reservations are required for the picnic. A pre-opera lecture will be held at 7 p.m. in room 112 of Woodburn Hall followed by 
the opera performance at 7:30 p.m. in the Woodburn Theater.

There is a $20 suggested donation for the performance and picnic or a $10 donation
for the performance only.

Two singers convey the intense emotion of their piece during the dress rehearsal for the Black Hills Summer Institute of the Arts opera performance. Vocal performances will be held in the Woodburn Theater at 7 p.m. tonight. 
An opera performance is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. tomorrow night.

The Summer Institute of the Arts is an outreach arts program of Black Hills State University. For more information or tickets for any of the above events, contact Dr. Holly Downing, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at BHSU, at 605-642-6420 or email hollydowning@bhsu.edu

A group of performers runs through a scene during the dress rehearsal for the Black Hills Summer Institute of the Arts opera performance. Black Hills State University will host vocal performances in the Woodburn Theater tonight at 7 p.m. and an opera performance tomorrow night at 7:30 p.m. A catered picnic will be held on the lawn in front of Woodburn Hall prior to Saturday's performance.


Send a virtual postcard from BHSU - top

The university communications office has created a virtual postcard web page which will allow students, faculty and staff the opportunity to send a virtual postcard of BHSU. Consider using this new feature to showcase our beautiful campus to someone you think might be interested in finding out more about BHSU. Photographs, which highlight the beauty of our campus and the Northern Black Hills area, will be updated periodically.

Send a postcard.


Mark Larscheid Memorial Golf Tournament is scheduled for next weekend - top

The third annual Mark Larscheid Memorial Golf Tourney will be held Saturday, July 5 at 1 p.m. at the Spearfish Canyon Country Club.

The tournament will feature a shot-gun start at 1 p.m. with an entry fee of $60 per person. The event will offer team prizes, pin prizes and a silent auction, followed by a dinner and dance. Entries are due by July 1. For more information or to register call 722-1214 or 641-9899 or email lizlars@yahoo.com.

Larscheid, a former teacher and coach at Williams Middle School in Sturgis for 27 years, died in an automobile accident in 2000. He also taught and coached in Spearfish and Wall.

To celebrate Mark Larscheid’s life and preserve his memory, the family has an annual memorial golf tournament which includes a silent auction, dinner and dance. The proceeds are contributed to a track scholarship fund at BHSU in his name.

Larscheid was an outgoing, caring, and kind person who loved his family and athletics. He was an outstanding high school and collegiate athlete who still holds the South Dakota State High School record for the 110-yard high hurdles at 14.1, a record he set in 1969. Larscheid graduated from BHSU with a degree in physical education in 1973. He competed in football and track for the Yellow Jackets.


Tetreault honored at art reception at BHSU - top

Frances Wood Tetreault, a former BHSU faculty member and Class of  ’47 BH graduate, was honored at a reception at the Ruddell Gallery on the campus of Black Hills State University where her artwork is currently on display.

Darleen Young, former instructor; Dick DuBois, art professor; and Wanda Bellman, professor emeritus; each spoke in her honor.

Young said Tetreault has a history of bringing joy and light to others in many ways including gardening, decorating, cooking and serving as a hostess in addition to creating artwork that is so vibrant and colorful.

“Most of all Frances is an artist,” Young said, “but very close to that, she is a teacher. She believes art is a medium of self-expression and self-improvement as well.”

In addition to teaching art at BHSU, Tetreault has taught art as a form of self-improvement in a variety of settings including retirement homes and correctional facilities to “bring beauty into others’ lives.”

DuBois, who currently teaches art at BHSU and has taught with Tetreault in the past said that she has been an inspiration to him and many others. He indicated that he admires her artwork for its variety and energy.

Bellman related that she and Tetreault had began as first-year teachers at BHSU together in 1966 and have been friends ever since.

“It’s truly been a privilege to be her friend and to have her for a friend,” Bellman said. She also praised Tetrault for her continuing desire to learn.

“One of the things that impressed me the most is that Frances has always been and still is an art student,” Bellman said. “She always wants to try new things and that is evident in the variety of her artwork here.” Tetreault has continued to learn and has returned to the classroom as an art student for the last three years.

The Tetreault art exhibit continues through Aug. 1 at the Ruddell Gallery. Contact the Student Union information desk at 642-6062 for more information.


Young Center hosts many summertime activities - top

The Donald E. Young Sports and Fitness Center is open for students and community members this summer. The Young Center also hosts a number of university and community events throughout the year. For more information on specific hours and events see www.bhsu.edu/athletics/dyc/hours.html. 


Grant opportunities announced - top

Below are the program materials received June 19-25 in the Grants Office, Woodburn 309. For copies of the information, contact the office at 642-6627 or e-mail requests to grants@bhsu.edu. Fellowship information will also be posted on the Student Union bulletin board near the information desk.  

  • Parental Information and Resource Centers Program
    Up to 40 grants of up to $700,000 each will go to nonprofits, or consortia of nonprofits and LEAs, to create centers that will assist parents of children who attend schools slated as needing improvement, corrective action, or restructuring under Title I, Part A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. The deadline to apply is July 18.

    Under the program, all funded centers must:
  • Implement effective parental involvement policies, programs, and activities that will improve student academic achievement.
  • Develop and improve partnerships among parents, teachers, principals, administrators, and other school staff.
  • Increase parent involvement in school activities.
  • Strengthen the developmental progress of children served.
  • Coordinate funded activities with parental involvement initiatives funded under section 1118 and other ESEA provisions.
  • Establish a thorough approach to improving student learning by coordinating federal, state, and local services.

Projects may request funds for up to three years. For details, visit www.ed.gov/legislation/FedRegister/announcements/2003-2/060303a.html

  • The Braitmayer Foundation funds school reform initiatives. The Braitmayer Foundation funds K-12 education improvement initiatives throughout the country. Preference goes to school and curriculum reform projects, as well as those that provide professional development for teachers. The deadline is June 30 or Nov. 15. www.braitmayerfoundation.org

  • The Allen Foundation benefits nutrition initiatives in health, education, training, and research programs. The Allen Foundation makes grants to support nutrition programs in the areas of health, education, training, and research nationwide. The deadline is open. www.allenfoundation.org

  • NEA Foundation for the Improvement of Education programs for educators. The NEA Foundation for the Improvement of Education is sponsoring three programs to honor and provide professional development opportunities for K-12 and university educators and staff. www.nfie.org


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 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 spring 2004. Release time is awarded to full-time faculty who teach on the BHSU campus. The next application deadline is Monday, 
Aug. 18 at 12 p.m.

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 Schurrer. 


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