Volume XXIX, No. 7 • Feb. 18, 2005

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Welcome to Black Hills State University - top

  • Danielle Goodwin, math education specialist, Center for the Advancement for Math and Science Education (CAMSE)
  • Arlene Holmes, career counselor, Career Center

Johnson teaches science to monks in India - top

Dr. Andy Johnson, assistant professor and associate director for the Center for the Advancement of Math and Science Education (CAMSE) at BHSU, spent three weeks between semesters teaching science to monks in India, as a part of a Science for Monks instituted by the Dalai Lama.

Dr. Andy Johnson, assistant professor and associate director for the Center for the Advancement of Math and Science Education (CAMSE) at Black Hills State University, spent three weeks between semesters teaching science to monks in India.

Johnson was one of two educators chosen to take part in the ongoing Science for Monks program instituted by the Dalai Lama to introduce scientific knowledge and methods to Tibetan monks. By acquiring knowledge of Western science, the monks believe they can further the cause of peace and understanding in the world.

Johnson and Dewey Dykstra, a Boise State University physics professor, taught an inquiry-based inquiry-based physics workshop to exiled Tibetan monks in Dehradun, India. The workshop was held at the Tibetan Children’s Village School for Gifted Students. Johnson, who is an expert in inquiry-based science, said the method worked well for the monks.

“That’s how I teach physics (inquiry-based),” Johnson said. “The monks were accustomed to science by inquiry and responded well to the workshops.”

“Some responses were very similar to college students and teachers that I teach,” Johnson said. “It was very interesting. Here we were on the opposite side of the world, in a completely different culture, and they had many of the very same ideas my students here have.”

Johnson is grateful for having the opportunity to utilize inquiry-based methods in the workshops with the monks.

“More than anything this experience convinced me that the methods we use are on the right track,” Johnson said. “They worked well with the monks and they also work well with college students.”

Nearly 50 Buddhist monks, in their late 20s to early 40s, attended the workshops focusing on scientific knowledge and methods. The monks were exposed to Western science and learned about the physics of optics and light.

Johnson and his colleague presented sessions on image formation by lenses and pinholes. Due to some of the monks’ limited English, Dykstra and Johnson worked with translators to convert the Western course materials into the Tibetan language and to interact with the monks in the classroom.

Johnson’s reaction to the experience is best summed up in one word, “intense.”

“Teaching physics is a challenge in a country that has limited infrastructure and comparatively little material wealth. But the dedication of the monks and the personal relationships I developed with the Tibetans more than made up for the spartan surroundings,” Johnson said.

He said that the monks were anxious to learn and discuss ideas and concepts.

“There was always a monk willing to talk about his ideas and ready to argue at any time,” Johnson said. “Sometimes it would become a great big babble in Tibetan and we’d ask the translators what was being said.”

He noted that debate is a big part of Buddhist training and that the monks “brought all their debate skills to the science classrooms.”

Johnson noted that teachers are held in high regard in that culture and they were treated very well. At a farewell ceremony, the teachers were presented with ceremonial scarves. According to Johnson, the monks said the gifts were an expression of gratitude and a symbol of comfort, happiness and that they wanted the teachers to stay around.

Academic excellence is very important to the Buddhist monks, who spend an average of 18 to 20 years studying Buddhist manuscripts. At about their 18th year of study, the monks participate in debate contests in order to earn a title, similar to a doctorate degree. In the Science for Monks workshop, monks study subjects like astronomy, genetics, mathematics, and physics in order to advance their knowledge and gain a better understanding of the world.

Science and Technology News, a national independent periodical covering the field of science and religion, recently published an article about the science for monks program which includes several quotes from Johnson and his colleague.

Johnson was named associate director of CAMSE in the fall of 1999. He earned a doctorate degree in science education from San Diego State University in 1999. He has a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in physics and has worked extensively in this field of physics education.

Anderson presents Mount St. Helens research - top

BHSU professor Dr. Steve Anderson recently presented research on volcanic activity at Mount St. Helens. This recent work gave Anderson the opportunity to return to the site that originally inspired his career in volcano research which has included research at sites around the Earth and has now expanded to research on volcanoes on Mars. Anderson, who first conducted research at Mount St. Helens as an undergraduate student, appreciates the impact that experience had for him and has made an effort to involve BHSU students in ongoing research projects.

Dr. Steven Anderson, professor of geology at Black Hills State University, presented recent research on the growth of the new lava dome at Mount St. Helens at a national conference of geophysicists.

Anderson’s research on Mount St. Helens was an opportunity for the volcanologist to return to the site which first inspired his interest in volcanoes which led to research projects around the Earth and has now expanded to the study of volcanoes on Mars.

Anderson presented his findings at a special session of the American Geophysical Union Meeting in San Francisco which drew more than 10,000 geophysicists from all corners of the world.

The growth of the 1980-86 Mount St. Helens lava dome became the focus of Anderson’s master’s thesis and doctoral dissertation. Anderson also held a position at the U.S. Geological Survey David A. Johnston Cascades Volcano Observatory as a graduate student. Since then, he has studied active volcanoes around the world and has written a number of professional and general interest articles on lava flows.

Anderson presented two ideas for the origin of the new lava dome that is still growing in the crater at Mount St. Helens. One possibility is that magma from the 1980-86 eruptions is still residing in the chamber nearly seven kilometers beneath the surface and slowly degassing with time this would most likely result in a short and relatively calm dome-growth eruption.

A second possibility, according to Anderson, is that a new batch of magma has intruded the volcano which could lead to eruptions that are more vigorous and explosive. Anderson also demonstrated how analyzing the hydrogen isotopic signature of gas still dissolved in the lava could show which of these two scenarios is responsible for the new dome growth.

Anderson and his co-author Jon Fink from Arizona State University were able to acquire new lava samples recently and will conduct the isotopic analyses over the next few weeks.

Anderson and Fink pioneered the early isotopic studies of lava degassing during the 1980-86 lava dome eruption of Mount St. Helens. The work resulted in the cover article of the international science journal Nature in 1990. The new analyses should enable the researchers to extend some of their earlier findings and lead to a new understanding of the most recent eruption.

“I visited Mount St. Helens in August of this year with one of my students, Ashley Marske, where we did some field work for a different study, and the volcano was as dead as a doorknob. I even commented to a colleague that I was sad because it appeared as though all of the activity associated with the 1980 eruption had ceased, and that another eruption in my lifetime was unlikely,” Anderson said. “When the volcano generated some explosions in September, I really couldn’t believe it. This eruption has surprised all of us tremendously, and I’m really thrilled to get back to the place where I started my career as a college senior nearly 20 years ago.”

Anderson first visited Mount St. Helens as part of a two-month college internship during his senior year at Cornell College.

“That experience really was life changing for me,” Anderson said. “For a boy who grew up in northern Wisconsin, an erupting volcano was something I had never even thought I might witness, and to actually stand and work on one that was shaking, steaming and erupting was scary and intriguing at the same time. The feeling was addicting, the work was very physically demanding, and at the same time the problems associated with studying active volcanoes really challenged me scientifically. I didn’t know if there would ever be a job waiting for me at the end of it, but I just didn’t care. Opportunities like that just don’t happen for too many people, so I followed what I loved and never regretted it.”

Anderson estimates that nearly a dozen BHSU students have accompanied him on research trips to volcanoes around the world.

“Exposing students to these types of experiences is easily one of the most rewarding aspects of this job. I’m thankful for those who provided me with that opportunity and I promised myself that I would pay them back by trying to do the same for others. I’ve been really lucky to find enough funding to allow a handful of BHSU students to do the same,” Anderson said.

Shearer-Cremean publishes article - top


Dr. Christine Shearer-Cremean, assistant professor of humanities at Black Hills State University, recently published an article in Pre/Text: A Journal of Rhetorical Theory.

The article, “Woman as Text: Depictions of Abused Women in Conjugal Violence Police Reports,” investigates how the institutional discourse of police in a large Ohio city genders battered women, shifting women’s identities from survivors of violence to witnesses of their own abuse and objective texts that are “read.”

The article was featured in volume 18.1-4 of Pre/Text in a special issue focusing on prison, literacy, and culture.

Shearer-Cremean received her master’s degree in English from the University of Dayton and her doctorate in English from Bowling Green State University. She has been a member of the BHSU faculty since 2000.

BHSU professors to present recital - top


Dr. Susan Hove-Pabst will present a faculty recital entitled "WomanSong: Women Folk" Thursday evening, March 3 at 7:30 p.m. in the recital hall in Clare and Josef Meier Hall on the campus of Black Hills State University.

Hove-Pabst will be joined by BHSU faculty members and friends including Dr. Janeen Larsen - piano; Dewalea Alsup and Leslie Speirs - vocals; and Randall Royer, Lori Miller, Connie Hubbard and Gary Renner - instrumentals.

The recital will examine women’s involvement in folk music. Traditional music, folk music collection, the "folk boom" of the 1950s and 1960s, world music and contemporary songs will be represented in the program.

According to Hove-Pabst, some of the musical selections will be very “un-folk in character, showing the breadth of some of today’s women songwriters who are classified as folk artists but write in many genres, including art songs and theater music.” Composed music will include that by Malvina Reynolds, Linda Waterfall, Anne Hills, and Hove-Pabst. Hove-Pabst will debut three original compositions at the performance.

This recital is the fourth in a series in which music professor Hove-Pabst has combined research on women musicians with performance of their music. Previous programs have highlighted torchsingers, sister singing groups, and a biographical portrait of a 1950s singer. These recitals have celebrated not only women in music, but also Women’s History Month.

Hove-Pabst says her interest in folk music occurred naturally in her childhood since she was a product both of family musical gatherings and the 1950s and 1960s folk revival which sent folk songs to the air waves and "top hits charts." Her interest and knowledge was furthered when she worked as an instructor, performer and administrator at the Old Town School of Folk Music, Chicago, the country’s oldest surviving guitar/folk establishment.

Hove-Pabst was inspired to base this year’s recital on folk musicians after spending a week during the summer at a Black Hills Songwriters’ Workshop with Anne Hills and Linda Waterfall. Hills’ multiple roles as a singer, songwriter, equity actress, award-winning poet and Waterfall’s variety of compositions, including her song cycle based on segments of Walt Whitman’s "Leaves of Grass," illustrate the artistry and versatility of women included in the folk musician category.

Hills and Waterfall also offered encouragement to Hove-Pabst in her own songwriting. She will be debuting three of her original compositions: a folk-style tune reflecting her father’s Norwegian heritage, an art song about her wise piano-playing cat, and a theater piece duet from a yet-unwritten musical play.

There will be no charge for the recital and no reservations are being taken. For more information contact Hove-Pabst at 642-6230.

Faculty and Student Senates will sponsor forum next week - top

The Faculty and Student Senates are sponsoring a forum on improving campus communication Wednesday, Feb. 23 at 3:15 p.m. in the Student Union Jacket Legacy Room.

The forum will include a moderated panel of faculty, students, staff and members of the administration who will address audience ideas and questions. Refreshments will be provided.

Contact Barbara Chrisman at 642-6358 or BarbChrisman@bhsu.edu for more information.

Spring speakers scheduled for “Writing the West” series - top

David Evans, South Dakota’s Poet Laureate, will speak at Black Hills State University Friday, Feb. 25 at 3 p.m. in Jonas Hall room 305.

Evans, the author of a number of books of poetry for which he has won many awards and grants, will be the fifth speaker in the “Writing the West” series at BHSU. He currently teaches literature and writing at South Dakota State University.

The BHSU Bookstore will have copies of Evans’ latest book of poetry, The Bull Rider’s Advice, for purchase. After the lecture, Evans will be available to sign this or other copies of his work.

The sixth speaker in the series, Charles Bowden, is slated to speak Friday, April 8 at 3 p.m. in the recital hall in Clare and Josef Meier Hall. According to David Cremean, assistant professor of humanities and director for the Bush Grant at BHSU, Bowden is arguably the finest living writer of literary nonfiction.

The “Writing the West” series, which is sponsored by a Bush Grant, seeks to bring Western writers, particularly those who write primarily about interdisciplinary subjects, to the BHSU campus.

The public is invited to attend both presentations at no cost. For more information, contact Cremean at 642-0829 or DavidCremean@bhsu.edu.

Lydia Whirlwind Soldier will speak at BHSU - top

Lydia Whirlwind Soldier, a Sicangu Lakota author, poet, and educator, will speak at Black Hills State University Monday, Feb. 28 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. in the David B. Miller Yellow Jacket Student Union Jacket Legacy Room.

Whirlwind Soldier will share readings from her books Memory Songs and Shaping Survival: Essays by Four American Indian Tribal Women. She will also discuss her role as a leader in ethnic revitalization, bilingualism and biculturalism.

The lecture is sponsored by the BHSU Center of Indian Studies and a Resource Center grant from the South Dakota Humanities Council, an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The general public is welcome to attend at no cost. For more information contact the BHSU Center of Indian Studies at 642-6578.

More than 254 participate in job fair - top

Katie Lembcke, a senior human services major from Madison, talks with Lt. Bob Marler from the South Dakota Highway Patrol at the recent Summer Jobs and Internships Fair. More than 254 people attended the annual job fair, which was held this week in the David B. Miller Yellow Jacket Student Union.

This year, the university combined the Human Services/Non-Profit Organizations Fair and the Summer Fun Job Fair to offer participants a greater selection of employers. Students took advantage of the opportunity to learn about various employment, volunteer, and internship opportunities available with local and national human service organizations in addition to positions at camps, national parks, resorts and similar organizations.

Part-time and full-time jobs, internships, and volunteer positions were represented. Over 30 organizations and businesses participated in the fair.

Mirel calls upon educators to change the way civic education is taught - top

During a recent presentation at Black Hills State University, Dr. Jeffrey E. Mirel, a nationally recognized educator who has written several books on the decline of the public education system, said that changes must be made in the type and delivery of civic education that is offered for elementary and high school students.

Mirel outlined the history of civic education and discussed the on-going debate of what students should know and how to make those changes. He called upon educators and parents to spearhead changes locally.

In his presentation “Civic Education and National Crises: A History of the Ongoing Debate About What Young People Should Know.” Mirel said it’s vital to recognize the importance of civic education especially considering the state of the world today.

“Given the threat from terrorists, it is desperate that we learn from our mistakes and change the way civic education is taught,” Mirel said. “Students need to see how the war on terrorism fits in with history. Educators must confront the issues and work to defend democracy.”

Mirel highlighted findings from a large study on citizenship education in Detroit. He said the study showed how difficult it is to create quality civic education; however, that type of education is essential to the survival of the American democracy.

According to Mirel, a discipline-based curriculum should be developed and taught in elementary and high schools throughout the nation.

Mirel is a professor of education and history at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. Mirel’s first book, The Rise and Fall of an Urban School System: Detroit, 1907-81, won outstanding book awards from the American Educational Research Association and from the History of Education Society. He also coauthored, with David Angus, The Failed Promise of the American High School, 1890-1995. His current research focuses on educating for democratic citizenship.

Mirel’s presentation was sponsored by the Black Hills State University Chiesman Foundation.

Scholz presents puppet show - top

Markie Scholz, master puppeteer, visits with members of the audience following a puppet show at Black Hills State University. The event was sponsored by the BHSU Reading Council.

More than 100 parents and children attended a “Dragons Are Too Seldom” puppet presentation at Black Hills State University recently.

“A Dragon Mystery,” presented by master puppeteer, Markie Scholz, was presented by the Reading Council, as the final activity in a series of events designed to show future teachers how to incorporate puppetry into their classrooms.

According to Dr. Joanna Jones, BHSU education professor who serves as advisor for the student Reading Council, the performance was a learning experience for children and their parents as well as the BHSU students.

“The children were mesmerized by the storytelling puppets and the parents are amazed by the language that was enacted in the script by the puppets,” Jones said.

“Puppetry is an excellent activity because there is a need for listening and speaking skills to be taught,” Jones said. She noted that these skills improve reading-level skills for students in the long run.

Scholz, a master puppeteer who has more than 35 years experience creating puppets, served as a consultant for the BHSU students as they learned about puppetry which is a valuable skill for future teachers.

“It’s the simplicity that Markie has perfected in her production that students need to learn,” Jones said. “It teaches future teachers how a simple production can have a great impact on the stories being told.”

Scholz, a 1993 BHSU graduate with a master’s in curriculum and instruction, has been touring the United States performing for over 30 years and will perform in England next week.

BHSU student wins $500 for being in the right place at the right time - top

Kelly McGoldrick, (left) the latest winner in the “Gang Green” promotion at BHSU, accepts a $500 check from Holly Stalder, (right) publisher of the Lawrence County Journal and a representative for the Rapid City Journal. McGoldrick, a BHSU junior, won the money for being in the right place at the right time.

Kelly McGoldrick, a Black Hills State University junior, recently won $500 for being in the right place, at a recent home basketball game, when her name was chosen at random.

In an effort to increase student attendance at athletic events, “Gang Green” t-shirts, which were donated by the Rapid City Journal, are distributed to BHSU students as they arrive at athletic competitions. When a students’ name is drawn, they win the prize, if they are present at the competition and have a Gang Green t-shirt. This is the third Gang Green prize awarded this year.

According to Steve Meeker, athletic director and vice president for institutional advancement, the university and the Rapid City Journal decided to launch the promotion to encourage fan participation by students by giving them an added incentive to attend events. Holly Stalder, publisher of the Lawrence County Journal and a representative for the Rapid City Journal, said her company is proud to sponsor this program.

The next home basketball game is Friday, Feb. 18 against Mayville State University.

Deadwood will celebrate Chinese New Year next weekend - top

The Chinese New Year celebration in Deadwood, which dates back to the late 1800s and early 1900s, will be held Saturday, Feb. 26. Because the Chinese lunar calendar is 2637 years older than ours, this is the year 4642 and is the Year of the Rooster.

In keeping with the history of the Chinese in Deadwood, Brandy Clapp, who works in Deadwood and lives in Spearfish, has been chosen as the Yellow Doll this year. The Yellow Doll was a legendary young Chinese lady who lived a life of secluded luxury before meeting a rather grim end.

The grand entry for the 2005 Chinese New Year celebration will start on Main Street in front of the Wild West Casino at 1 p.m. and proceed to Miss Kitty's Gaming Hall. It will feature Vince and Joanne Coyle who will serve as the emperor and empress during the celebration. Clapp will be riding in an authentic Chinese rickshaw which was used at the World's Fair in Seattle in 1940.

People attending the celebration will have a chance to see an impressive display of Chinese literature, books, periodicals, pamphlets and calendars sent to Deadwood each year directly from the Chinese Embassy in Washington, D.C. The celebration will also feature lion dancers, martial arts performers, a fireworks display, and a demonstration on snake handing.

Faculty Senate minutes - top

The Faculty Senate held a special meeting Wednesday, Jan. 26 at 3:15 p.m.

Members present were: Kristi Pearce, Curtis Card, Barbara Chrisman, Roger Miller, Sharon Strand, Steve Andersen, Christine Shearer-Cremean, and Micheline Hickenbotham. Guests attending the meeting were: George Earley, Gary Hagerty, and Roger Ochse.

The special meeting to consider curriculum proposals was called to order by Pearce. Earley and Ochse discussed the proposals for the Honors Program. The special courses are to be funded by the vice president for Academic Affairs. The first Honors Program students to graduate will do so in May 2006. The proposed courses are to be taught as colloquia with HON 390 as the number. Various content areas to be presented include history of ideas; arts colloquia; social science colloquia; and science colloquia. Course content will be selected annually and will include team-taught courses. Faculty will do these as overloads. These courses were selected because they are presently being taught at other Regental institutions.

A motion to approve was made and seconded by Shearer-Cremean and Andersen. The motion passed.

Business proposals were basically title changes and course number changes. Courses are being offered at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology (S.D. Tech) by BHSU faculty. The entrepreneurial studies program is expanding to all institutions throughout the state. That has necessitated these changes.

A motion to approve was made and seconded by Strand and Hickenbotham. The motion passed.

Courses related to research, writing and global issues needed to be proposed. EDFN 300 Using Educational Research is a two semester hour course for education research as it applies to the education major. This will replace a two-hour elective.

A motion to approve was made and seconded by Strand and Andersen. The motion passed.

Other course proposals have, as yet, not been passed by the Curriculum Committee. These include math and biology courses. Math 490, a two-hour seminar, is a written research course. This replaces the two-hour elective in mathematics. A motion was made by Andersen and seconded by Strand that the Faculty Senate president be directed to approve the proposals contingent upon the approval by the University Curriculum Committee.

A discussion was held regarding the stress placed on faculty in dealing with the course proposals in the timeline imposed by Earley which allowed for little, if any, discussion at the department levels and/or adequate dialog during the committee process for approval. Earley indicated that it was out of his hands. It was being directed by the Board of Regents (BOR) office.

A brief discussion was held related to information literacy implementation on the BHSU campus. Meetings will be held by conference call statewide on Friday and on campus Feb. 2 with all parties involved in this.

The meeting adjourned at 4:40 p.m.

The minutes were respectfully submitted by Chrisman as secretary.

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