- Clare Casselman, senior secretary, Institutional Advancement
Flickema receives honorary
doctorate during commencement - top
Dr. Thomas Flickema, who will retire
at BHSU president this summer, received an honorary degree, Doctor of
Public Service, during the 151st commencement ceremony.
The South Dakota Board of Regents awarded its highest
honor to Dr. Thomas Flickema, who will retire July 1 as president of Black
Hills State University.
The honorary degree, Doctor of Public Service, was
presented to Flickema in “recognition of extraordinary service and
leadership to the South Dakota system of public higher education.” The
degree was conferred at BHSU’s commencement ceremony. Regents’ officials
say the title is reserved for individuals whose exceptional personal and
professional contributions merit special acknowledgement.
“Tom Flickema has a special talent for building robust
academic programs at the institutions he serves, by recruiting,
selecting, and mentoring strong faculty,” said Regents President Harvey
C. Jewett. During Flickema’s presidency at BHSU, the number of faculty
members with the highest degrees available in their field increased from
53 percent to 77 percent. “Students are the ones who benefit from this
emphasis on quality faculty and a diverse curriculum, leaving here with
an education that prepares them for successful life experiences,” Jewett
Flickema came to BHSU as interim president in August
1994. He was named to the post permanently the following February after
a nationwide search. His career in South Dakota public higher education
also includes serving as vice president for academic affairs at Northern
State University from 1983 to 1994. In addition, he held academic or
administrative appointments in Michigan, Nebraska, and California. A
Michigan native, Flickema earned his master’s and Ph.D. degrees in
history from Wayne State University in Detroit.
“Under his guidance, Black Hills State University has
become the third largest university in South Dakota and a leader in
liberal arts education. Dr. Flickema has worked very hard to improve
student retention and expand the university’s reach through its
off-campus course offerings and specialized research centers,” Jewett
said. Jewett also noted that outside grant funding, foundation assets,
and scholarship support at BHSU grew significantly under Flickema’s
College of Education receives
grant to conduct research about special education student outcomes
The College of Education at Black Hills State University recently
received a grant to conduct a six-year research project for the state
about the outcomes of exiting special education students in the years
following their departure from high school.
Dr. Greg Cooch, education professor who is overseeing the grant at
BHSU, says the state special education department asked BHSU to conduct
this major research project. He added that BHSU will work closely with
the office of special education department while conducting this
research. The grant will be used to design, implement, test, and refine
a system over a six-year period.
Cooch explains that the state currently doesn’t have a comprehensive
effective system for monitoring, tracking and reporting the status of
high school students who have received special education services in the
public school system. Some school districts in the state have conducted
post-school surveys, but this is the first comprehensive statewide
approach to collecting information for all individual school districts
in the state. School districts are now being required to report these
types of findings to comply with the No Child Left Behind legislation.
Cooch says the research has the potential to bring about some major
findings and may ultimately change the delivery of special education
“We don’t really know where these kids are ending up,” Cooch says.
“The initial run will be to gather data to determine whether or not what
we are doing is effective. We don’t know what these students are doing
after high school. Can they get jobs? Are they employable? How many
attend college? This is the kind of information we will be gathering.”
Researchers will enter information about exiting special education
students to find out what their plans are when they are finishing high
school. A year later a follow-up survey will be conducted to find out
what they are actually doing. The survey will include data on work
history, education history, living arrangements, access to insurance and
“We’ll aggregate the data and then provide specific data to school
districts for their use. We’ll be simply reporting the findings, the
school districts will have the option of responding to the findings,”
Cooch notes that school districts can use this information to help
students plan for their future, choose correct courses of study and make
“The research will provide the state and individual school districts
with reliable and important data regarding student outcomes and allow
school districts to interpret the effectiveness of their respective
special education delivery system,” Cooch says.
Approximately 1,200 students who have received varying degrees of
special education assistance exit high school each year in South Dakota.
Cooch noted that any student who has an IEP (individualized education
program) is considered a special education student for this research
BHSU will use a post-school outcomes database in a secure website to
gather information on the following topics: year of graduation; exit
status, eg., regular diploma, aged out, GED, dropped out, etc.;
race/ethnicity; disabling condition; anticipated post school
outcomes-employment/education; adult Services linkages; participation
status in statewide assessments; work status during last year of school;
and number of math classes taken in school e.g., general math, algebra.
The post-school outcome data will be reported at the federal, state,
and district levels. Goals can then be developed at the state and local
levels to improve programs and outcomes, practices and procedures, cross
agency coordination, collaboration and policy. Ultimately Cooch would
like to see this research project lead to increased collaboration
efforts between school districts and higher education institutions.
“The office of special education has confidence in BHSU and has asked
us to lead the study collecting this information,” Cooch says. “The
research has long-term implications for students in the school districts
as well as for the university as a whole. There may be opportunities for
us to do additional research and find ways to collaborate to a greater
Many BHSU photography students
chosen as finalists in national contest - top
Photo by John Burnap,
BHSU senior mass communications major
A number of Black Hills State University photography students won top
awards in a national contest. Competing against the nation's finest art
and photography schools, BHSU ranked second in the nation for number of
students chosen from a school or university.
Photographers Forum Magazine chose 28 BHSU photography
students as finalists for the 26th Annual College Photographers
Competition. BHSU students have dramatically increased their standing in
the competition over the past five years. In 2002 only one BHSU student
was chosen as a finalist; this year 28 BHSU students were chosen as
finalists. The annual competition, which is sponsored by Nikon Camera,
draws submissions from art schools and universities across the United
States and Canada.
Photography mediums included color, black and white, digital and
alternative silver processes. The photographs chosen as finalists will
appear in the 2006 Best of College Photography Annual to be published in
June by Photographers Forum Magazine and Serbin Communications.
In this year's competition, more than 30,000 photographs were
submitted for consideration. Only the top four percent of entries were
chosen as finalists. From these finalists the judges chose 100 images
for special designations, such as first-place, second-place, and
third-place as well as honorable mention, in each of the two categories:
color and black and white.
Casey Van Sickle, a senior art major from Spearfish, received a third
place in the color category. Students receiving an honorable mention
include: John Burnap, a senior mass communications major from Deadwood;
Michelle Hall, a senior mass communications major from Lead; and Janette
Hettick, a senior mass communications major from Roscoe.
Other BHSU finalists included: Janeen Canfield, a senior English
major from Spearfish; David Conway, a senior mass communications major
from Rapid City; Karri Dieken, a senior art major from Chadron, Neb.;
Kayla Gotfredson, a senior mass communications major from Spearfish;
Devin Eppler, a communication arts major from Sundance, Wyo.; Jennifer
Hahn, a junior mass communications major from Chadron, Neb.; Jenna
Swenson, a sophomore mass communications major from Mitchell; Jessica
O'Brien, a junior communication arts major from Rapid City; Sara Pishke,
a junior mass communications major from Corsica; Amy Rohrbach, a senior
mass communications major from Hill City; Victoria Spaid, a senior
communication arts major from Lead; Jami Whitehead, a junior mass
communications major from Sturgis; Bethany Steinhauer, a junior mass
communications major from Custer; Loni Williams, a junior mass
communications major from Rapid City; Annie Woodle, a junior mass
communications major from Spearfish; Jamie Avent, a junior mass
communications major from Spearfish; Holly Howard, Heidi Newland, Jessie
Brown, Heather De Haan, Jenni Denevan, Jenny Sand, Elizabeth Verhey and
Flickema leads campus tour as a
part of Capital for a Day activities - top
Dr. Thomas Flickema, president of Black Hills State University,
conducted a campus tour for a group of state officials as a part of the
city-wide Capital for a Day event. Representatives from the Department
of Labor also did a presentation on campus as a part of the day-long
event culminated by a presentation by Gov. Rounds.
Reading Council participates in
First Lady's Reach Out and Read program - top
Krcil, a member of the Black Hills State University Reading Council,
distributes books following the First Lady’s Reach Out and Read program.
This was one of several events held in Spearfish in conjunction with
Capital for a Day. Krcil and other Reading Council members, including
Dr. Joanna Jones, advisor for the student group, assisted at the story
time and then presented books to the children in attendance.