Author: BHSU Communications/Thursday, July 24, 2014/Categories: 2014

            President Tom Jackson, Jr. sends a tweet from his smartphone.

           New Black Hills State University President Tom Jackson, Jr., poses for a selfie with a group of students on campus. President Jackson was named one of the top new higher education presidents to follow on Twitter. Students are: (left to right) Kim Kaufmann, history major from Cheney, Kan. Blake Hartman, business major from Spearfish Chad Bischoff, psychology major from Rapid City Ian Craig, business administration-accounting major from Rapid City, and Carly Meyers, elementary education major from Pierre.  

If Black Hills State University students, alumni, or community members want to keep up with BHSU President Tom Jackson, Jr., they may want to check his Twitter updates.

Jackson, who assumed the presidency at BHSU this month, was named the top "Rising Accounts of Higher Education Presidents to Follow on Twitter" in a national blog by Josie Ahlquist (

The blogger noted that, "the brand new Black Hills State University president made significant shifts to using social media in his new role." She added that a growing number of campus leaders use Twitter and that it was not an easy task to narrow the hundreds of accounts.

In the blog, Ahlquist says that leadership competencies on college campuses are changing. "Positions like University Presidents are being challenged to explore communication avenues in order to connect.  ... They also need to have digital communication skills and an authentic online presence as a chief campus leader.  This comes as a challenge to many, looking at generational gaps, lack of technology training and existing fears around professional boundaries."

Jackson tweeted that he was honored to be on the list and is looking forward to continue to use Twitter to communicate with students and colleagues.

"I think Twitter is pretty cool and I see how it works for others. My Twitter handle is @tomjackjr and I look forward to hearing from more people," Jackson said.

Engaging in conversations through social media, including Twitter, Facebook and other venues, is natural for Jackson, who is an early adapter to technology.  

"Whether it&rsquos welcoming a new coach to the job, congratulating students on their accomplishments, or noting community activities, President Jackson brings a new and personal perspective about BHSU through Twitter. He is also making occasional posts, noted with the byline Prez, on the BHSU Facebook page," Ryan Shippy, BHSU web coordinator, says.

BHSU has embraced social media as a communication tool and uses Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn and other venues to communicate with prospective students, current students, alumni and friends. Since first establishing a Facebook presence in 2008, the University has amassed more than 6,300 likes and reaches an average of more than 3,000 people every day on Facebook.

Followers of BHSU&rsquos Twitter (@BlackHillsState) account have more than doubled since 2012. The BHSU Marketing and Communications staff continue to add social media sites, most recently Instagram and Pinterest, to share the BHSU experience and communicate with students.

"Social media helps BHSU to communicate and build a sense of community with students before they even arrive on campus," says Ryan Shippy, BHSU web and internet coordinator.

              Here&rsquos details for some of the many BHSU social media accounts:

&middot         Twitter &ndash President Jackson @tomjackjr

&middot         Facebook -

&middot         Twitter - @BlackHillsState

&middot         YouTube -

&middot         LinkedIn - Black Hills State University

&middot         Instagram - @BHSUAdmissions

See a full list of BHSU&rsquos social media accounts at

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