Volume XXX, No. 5 • Feb. 3, 2006

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Resignation - top

  • Jennifer Butler, program assistant I, Residence Life

CSA position open - top

The following Career Service position is open:

  • Senior secretary, Enrollment Services

For additional information, view the announcement on the Human Resource web page or contact the Human Resource Office.

Johnson returns to India to teach physics to monks - top

Dr. Andy Johnson

Dr. Andy Johnson, associate director of the Center for the Advancement of Math and Science Education at Black Hills State University, recently returned from India where he taught physics to Tibetan Buddhist monks.

This was second time Johnson spent his Christmas break with the monks. He was accompanied by Dr. Dewey Dykstra of Boise State University and Dr. Hunter Close of Seattle Pacific University. The three collaborated on teaching inquiry-based lessons to the monks through the Science For Monks program that was initiated by the Dalai Lama.

"The monks made this trip an intellectual adventure," Johnson said.

Johnson will make a presentation about his trip Wednesday, Feb. 22 from 3-4 p.m. in Clare and Josef Meier Hall room 205. The presentation is open to the public at no charge. Johnson will also make a presentation about his trip to the Spearfish Rotary Club this month.

This year Johnson led the monks in the study of color addition and subtraction, which turned out to be a pivotal science topic for the Buddhist monks according to Johnson.

"This was a big surprise. I have taught color addition to elementary teachers, college students, and middle schoolers. They all enjoy the activities, and they learn some basics of light and color. But the monks took this to a higher level,” Johnson said. “They were interested in how human perception relates to the world outside of each person, and they had some very insightful questions about what we mean by color."

Johnson noted that the Buddhist monks make careful distinctions between the internal and external worlds, and because vision is on the boundary between the internal and external, the monks were very interested to get to the heart of a scientific understanding of it. The Western view of color and light is very different from traditional Buddhist teachings. Some of the monks now plan to teach Johnson's color lessons in their own monasteries.

According to Johnson, the Science For Monks workshops (www.scienceformonks.org) were initiated by the Dalai Lama, who believes that Tibetan Buddhist monks need to learn western science, and that Western scientists (and all Westerners) can benefit immensely from dialogue with the monks. The workshop is funded by the Sager Family Foundation (www.teamsager.org).

The monks who attended the workshop have already achieved high ranking in their field. Their ages range from 25 to 40, and some have earned the "geshe" degree in monastic studies, which is roughly equivalent to a Western Ph.D.

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.

Tibetan Buddhist monks wearing "rainbow glasses" at a recent Science for Monks workshop in India Tibetan Buddhist monks try out “rainbow glasses” as part of the Science for Monks program presented by BHSU professor Dr. Andy Johnson. This was the second consecutive year that Johnson traveled to India during his Christmas break to teach inquiry-based science through a program initiated by the Dalai Lama.

Carmichael named director of Career Center - top

Shawnda CarmichaelShawnda Carmichael, a Black Hills State University graduate who has been working as a career counselor, has been named director of the Career Center at BHSU.

Carmichael earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from BHSU in 2002 and at that time had plans for a career in pharmaceutical sales. However, a workstudy job at the university’s financial aid office as well as experience as a residence assistant led to further employment at the university when Carmichael began working at the enrollment center. For family reasons, Carmichael chose to stay in the Spearfish area and later accepted a position as a career counselor at the center. Since then, Carmichael discovered a passion for assisting students as they move into their careers.

“I discovered that I loved working with students and decided to make a career of it,” Carmichael said.

As director of the Career Center, Carmichael says one of her goals is to get students into the Career Center early in their academic career so they will have a complete portfolio when they are ready to look for a job. She encourages freshmen and sophomore students to stop by the center to begin their planning process, which will eventually result in a complete job placement portfolio with documents needed in a job search.

“The career planning portfolio should be a four-year plan,” Carmichael explains. “My goal is to help students start planning for their career and placement throughout their academic career.”

Carmichael is also examining placement data and considering ways to improve the return and application of a job follow-up survey that is distributed to recent graduates. She works closely with each of the three colleges at BHSU to advise students and graduates.

Born in Westminster, Colo., Carmichael lived primarily in South Dakota as she was growing up. She is involved with both community volunteerism and campus activities. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in counseling and human resource management.

Improv group to perform Tuesday, Feb. 7 in the Student Union - top

Mission IMPROVable, a fast-paced and exciting improvisational group from Chicago, Ill., will perform at Black Hills State University Tuesday, Feb. 7 at 7 p.m. in the David B. Miller Yellow Jacket Student Union.

Based on the popular Mission Impossible, the five-member troupe will play secret agents whose mission is to perform and spread improv comedy to the entire world. Audience suggestions and participation control the action.

The troupe has performed at over 200 colleges a year for the past three years and was recently nominated Best Comedy Act by Campus Activities Magazine. They have also performed at numerous improv festivals, including the Los Angeles Improv Comedy Festival with performers from Saturday Night Live and Mad TV, among others. The group recently completed the first episode of their own television series, Mission IMPROVable Live,” which was filmed at various schools around the nation.

The performance, which is sponsored by the University Programming (UP) Team Kaleidoscope Committee, is open to community members as well as BHSU students, faculty, and staff. There is no charge for admission.

For more information or to request accommodations for persons with disabilities, contact Crystal at 642-6418 at least 48 hours prior to the start of the event.

BHSU will host presentation by South Dakota author and buffalo rancher Dan O'Brien - top

Local author and buffalo rancher Dan O’Brien will speak at Black Hills State University Friday, Feb. 10 from 4 to 6 p.m. in Jonas Hall room 305.

O’Brien, formerly of the Whitewood-Sturgis area who now lives near Hermosa, has written numerous books, ranging from short story collections to non-fiction to novels. Most of his writing is set primarily or entirely in South Dakota. His two most recent books are Buffalo for the Broken Heart and The Indian Agent. Copies of both these books will be available for purchase at the presentation, courtesy of the BHSU Bookstore. O’Brien will sign copies of his work after the presentation.

While on campus, O’Brien will also speak to several BHSU classes and conduct a writing workshop in the BHSU Writing Center, located on the main floor of the library.

O’Brien’s presentation is a part of the “Writing the West” series at BHSU. It is co-sponsored by the Bush Grant and the University English Club. For more information, contact David Cremean, assistant professor of humanities and director of the Bush Grant at BHSU, at 642-6713 or DavidCremean@bhsu.edu.

Career Center to host Spring Career Festival - top

The Black Hills State University Career Center will host a Spring Career Festival Wednesday, Feb. 15 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Jacket Legacy Room of the David B. Miller Yellow Jacket Student Union.

Local and regional employers with full-time and part-time positions will be available to meet with recent and future graduates as well as current students looking for internships or summer employment. Students are encouraged to bring their resume and be ready for an on-the-spot interview.

More than 30 businesses and organizations from the surrounding region have registered to attend the event. For a complete list of employers attending visit www.bhsu.edu/careers/.

Potential employers can still register for the event by contacting the Career Center at 642-6277. Representatives for organizations and businesses can also register online at www.bhsu.edu/careers/.

Black Hills State University releases dean's list - top

The academic affairs office at Black Hills State University has released the dean’s list for the fall 2005 semester. A total of 443 students were named to the dean’s list. Students must maintain a grade point average of 3.5 or above while taking at least 12 credit hours to be named to the dean’s list. Students are listed by hometown or current place of residence.

See list.

Alberts pledge $140,000 for athletic scholarships - top

Bob and Linda Albert, (center) present a $28,000 check to Yellow Jacket Foundation president Myles Kennedy (left) and Steve Meeker (right), vice president of institutional advancement. The couple recently pledged $140,000 for athletic scholarships at Black Hills State University.

Bob and Linda Albert present check to Myles Kennedy and Steve Meeker

Scholar-athletes at Black Hills State University will benefit from a recent pledge of more than $100,000 by alumni Bob and Linda Albert.

The Albert couple, strong BHSU supporters, recently presented a $28,000 donation, the first installment of their $140,000 pledge for football scholarships.

The Alberts have been consistent and generous supporters of Yellow Jacket athletics. Prior to this gift, the Alberts have contributed more than $25,000 for athletic scholarships at BHSU since 1999. The Alberts were awarded the 2005 Green and Gold Club Booster of the Year Award. The couple was also inducted into the Yellow Jacket Hall of Fame during Swarm Week last fall.

Bob and Linda both attended BHSU in the late 60s and early 70s. Bob earned an education degree in 1976, and Linda returned to BHSU to earn her degree in 1982. After teaching and coaching for several years, Bob and Linda relocated to the Denver, Colo., area where they now own and operate Greenleaf Construction and Timberco Manufacturing.

In an article for the BHSU Alumni Magazine, the couple expressed their strong belief in the importance of a college education and noted that they feel their college education at BHSU was vital to their success.

“Earning a degree teaches you the discipline to stay with something,” Bob said. “Employers want to know that you had the discipline to go to school and that you took the time to learn.”

Linda concurs with the importance of an education and notes that "the skills you learn in college are transferable no matter what you decide to do."

The Alberts are involved in many community and charitable activities including participating in Habitat for Humanity, the Children’s Hospital, the BHSU Foundation, Volunteers of America, Boys and Girls Clubs of America and other groups.

Wheaton to visit area schools - top

Tom Wheaton, assistant director of admissions at Black Hills State University, will discuss college plans with students at two area high schools next week.

Wheaton will visit the following schools Tuesday, Feb. 7: Sturgis High School from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and Belle Fourche High School from 3:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.

High school students needing information about college costs, financial aid, housing, and academic information should plan to visit with Wheaton. For more information contact the BHSU Admissions Office at 1-800-ALL-BHSU or view the BHSU website at www.bhsu.edu.

University Assessment Committee minutes - top

The University Assessment Committee met Monday, Jan. 30 from 12 noon to 1 p.m. in the Meier Hall Conference Room.

Present were: Earley, Alsup, D. Wessel, Siewert, S. Hupp, Sarkar, and C. Cremean. Romkema, Hagerty, and Sickler were absent.

National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) and Faculty Survey of Student Engagement (FSSE):

Chair handed out reports of the NSSE surveys done for BHSU in 2002 and 2004. He then reported that starting this week BHSU is conducting NSSE 2006 and FSSE 2006 surveys. He encouraged faculty to participate and tell their students to respond to the e-mail survey. A request was made for an item analysis of the survey for the previous surveys and the chair agreed to see if it could be done.

Plans considered:

  • Business - Since Romkema was not present, the committee agreed to postpone consideration until the next meeting.
  • Art - The committee voted to ask for a rewrite of the undergraduate research/creative activity and intensive writing requirements.
  • Biology - The committee accepted the writing intensive plan and agreed that the peer review process was exemplary. The undergraduate research plan was returned for rewrite.
  • Chemistry - The undergraduate research/creative activity and intensive writing plans were returned for rewrite and resubmission.
  • Social science and composite social science - The undergraduate research/creative activity and intensive writing plans
    were returned for rewrite and resubmission.

The committee agreed that the BHSU goals for these two areas should be required in all plans of assessment as stated in the catalog.

The next meeting of the University Assessment Committee will be Monday, Feb. 6 from 12 noon to 1 p.m. in the Meier Hall Conference Room.

Grant opportunities announced - top

Below are program materials received in the Grants Office, Woodburn 212, through Thursday, Feb. 2. For copies of the information, contact the office at 642-6204 or e-mail requests to grants@bhsu.edu. Fellowship information will also be posted on the Student Union bulletin board near the information desk.

Transition to Teaching Program (ED)

The United States Department of Education announces its Transition to Teaching Program to encourage (1) the development and expansion of alternative routes to full State teacher certification, as well as (2) the recruitment and retention of highly qualified mid-career professionals, recent college graduates who have not majored in education, and highly qualified paraprofessionals as teachers in high-need schools operated by high-need LEAs, including charter schools that operate as high-need LEAs. Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.350A, 84.350B, and 84.350C. Applications for grants under the Transition to Teaching Competition-CFDA Number 84.350A, 84.350B, and 84.350C must be submitted electronically using the Grants.gov apply site.

Deadlines: The deadline for the Notice of Intent to Apply is Tuesday, Feb. 21. The deadline for the Transmittal of Applications is Monday, March 20. A link to the full announcement can be found at www.grants.gov/search/search.do?mode=VIEW&oppId=7829.

Community-Based Abstinence Education Program (HHS)

The Family and Youth Services Bureau of the Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, is accepting applications to provide support to public and private entities for the development and implementation of the Community-Based Abstinence Education Program. The purpose of these programs is to educate young people and create an environment within communities that supports teen decisions to postpone sexual activity until marriage. Acceptable applications will be designed to provide abstinence-until-marriage education as defined by Section 510(b)(2) of the Title V Social Security Act, for adolescents aged 12 through 18. The anticipated number of awards is 45 to 55, with funding ranges between $250,000 and $600,000 depending upon the availability of funds and enactment of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2006 program appropriation.

Deadline: The deadline for applications is Monday, March 27. See www.acf.hhs.gov/grants/open/HHS-2006-ACF-ACYF-AE-0099.html for more information.

Instructional improvement grants available - top

The Instructional Improvement Committee (IIC) encourages, through monetary grants, the application of existing knowledge to specific teaching situations to improve the quality of instruction at BHSU.

Any full-time faculty member, full-time adjunct faculty, or other full-time staff member engaged in student instruction may apply for grant funds administered by the committee. Grant funding will normally be available up to a maximum of $1,000 per project. Priority will be given to projects that will have a broad-based, visible, continuing impact of instruction across faculty members and/or disciplines. Funds are available for development of materials and methods to improve teaching and learning, equipment to enhance teaching and learning, travel to conferences or workshops which enhance teaching and learning, and bringing consulting lecturers and teaching specialists to campus to offer presentations to and/or with faculty and teaching-support staff at BHSU. Faculty members who apply for grants to support travel to a conference or workshop are limited to receiving no more than one grant every three years. In the other categories, priority will be given to those who have not received an IIC grant in the last academic year.

Proposals for grant funding will be reviewed by the IIC on a monthly basis. Proposals are being accepted through Friday, Feb. 24 for consideration at the March meeting. The deadline for proposals to be considered at the April meeting is Friday, March 31.

Proposals are now being accepted electronically. To submit a proposal electronically, attach it to an email and send it to PeggyGubbrud@bhsu.edu. A signed original must also be submitted to the Grants Office, Unit 9504, or delivered to Woodburn Hall 212. Proposals must consist of the proposal and budget outlines following the specified format available on the Grants and Special Projects web page.

Faculty research funds available - top

The Faculty Research Committee has funds available for the current fiscal year. Proposal forms are available on the Grants Office website.

It is anticipated that successful applicants will request support for research equipment, travel to research sites, support for the production of creative work, or release time for research or creative work. Preference is given to new applicants, particularly in the areas of education, business, social sciences and humanities.

The committee reviews proposals on an ongoing basis. Applicants are encouraged to review submission requirements, and to contact the committee members for advice prior to completing their proposals. Committee members are Steve Andersen, Dan Bergey, Dorothy Fuller, Vincent King, Tim Molseed, Rob Schurrer, David Siemens, Sheng Yang, and Kathleen Parrow, chair.

Applications to be considered at the next meeting need to be submitted to the Grants Office by Wednesday, Feb. 22. Proposals will be accepted on an ongoing basis with an additional deadline of Wednesday, March 29.

Proposals are now being accepted electronically. To submit a proposal electronically, attach it to an email and send it to PeggyGubbrud@bhsu.edu; however, a signed original must also be submitted to the Grants Office, Unit 9504, or delivered to Woodburn Hall 212.

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