Two BHSU employees named to list of 11 Fabulous Black Hills Women of 2015

Author: BHSU Communications/Thursday, January 8, 2015/Categories: 2014

Dr. Urla Marcus, director of the BHSU Center for American Indian Studies, was recently named to the 2015 list of Fabulous Women by Black Hills Woman Magazine.

Helen Merriman, director of the South Dakota Center for Enterprise Opportunity (SD CEO), joins ten other women on Black Hills Woman Magazine's list of the 11 Fabulous Women on 2015.

Black Hills State University applauds two employees named to the list of the 11 Fabulous Women of 2015 in the January/February issue of Black Hills Woman Magazine.  Dr. Urla Marcus, director of the BHSU Center for American Indian Studies, and Helen Merriman, director of the South Dakota Center for Enterprise Opportunity (SD CEO), the Women's Business Center, are among 11 regional women named to the annual list. BHSU alumna Kay Jorgenson was also named to the list.

In her role with the Center for American Indian Studies, Marcus supports American Indian student success and cultural awareness.  Marcus' leadership as director of the Center is vital to both BHSU students and the Black Hills region.  BHSU has the highest proportion of American Indian students of any South Dakota state institution of higher learning.

An enrolled member of the Northern Cheyenne Nation and an alumna of BHSU, Marcus is both an American Indian leader and educator.  She has taught and designed courses on American Indian history and presented regionally and nationally on leadership, student services, and Great Plains' Indian women and children.  Marcus serves on the Board of Directors for the Black Hills Area Community Foundation and was called a "Champion for American Indian Studies" in 2010 by National Relief Charities, an organization working to build strong, self-sufficient Native American communities.  

In her role as founding director of the SD CEO, Merriman leverages over 20 years of experience as a business owner to help others succeed in business.  The SD CEO, the Women's Business Center, is the only women's business center in South Dakota.  The Small Business Administration, through the Office of Women's Business Ownership, awarded the grant to BHSU to create the SD CEO, "to provide comprehensive training, education and business assistance, support and counseling for aspiring and established entrepreneurs to foster economic development in South Dakota."  

Merriman's leadership has ensured SD CEO's growth, both in numbers of participants in business counseling services and education opportunities offered.  As a mentor to women business professionals, she promotes leadership opportunities for women and helps connect women in the business community.  Merriman volunteers with the Good Shepherd Clinic in Spearfish, previously serving as the founding president and as part of the original planning team for the medical clinic serving the community's uninsured.  

Jorgensen, a committed public servant and educator, graduated from BHSU and served as a South Dakota State Legislator, member and chair of the Board of Regents, and member and chair of the Mid-Continent Regional Laboratory Board, among many others.  She was inducted into the South Dakota Hall of Fame in September and recognized for her public service and volunteerism.

For more information or to read the Fabulous Women article, visit

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