BHSU honors outstanding faculty

Author: BHSU Communications/Friday, September 11, 2015/Categories: 2015








            Black Hills State University faculty were honored during faculty welcome week. The following faculty were honored, from left, Dr. Adam Gaffey, Dr. Dave Berberick, Kelly Kirk, Dr. Barbara Looney, Dr. Kara Keeter, Dr. Andy Johnson, Mary Cooper, Micheline Nelson and Dr. Denice Turner.



Nine Black Hills State University faculty were recognized for their academic excellence during faculty welcome week recently.

Faculty from each of the University&rsquos three colleges were honored for their outstanding commitment to students, to BHSU and the community. Awards were given for teaching, research, scholarship and creative activity and service.

Those recognized were:

College of Liberal Arts

Teaching &ndash Kelly Kirk, instructor of history

Kirk is an engaging and talented instructor who puts significant time into developing and implementing classroom lessons, according to Dr. Amy Fuqua, dean of the College of Liberal Arts.

Kirk develops and teaches several Internet courses to meet students&rsquo educational needs and support the University&rsquos effort to provide quality distance learning opportunities. She also works with BHSU instructional designers to build interactive components to actively engage students in their course content.

Kirk is actively involved in academic advisement and participates in New Student Registration Days and BHSU Open House events, offering information and answering questions new students and their families have.

"She is always willing to step in and make exceptional contributions to teaching, advisement and curricular development," Fuqua said.

Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity &ndash Dr. Adam Gaffey, assistant professor of rhetoric and philosophy

Fuqua noted that in one year Dr. Adam Gaffey has had his work published and recognized nationally. Gaffey presented two papers, published one review and earned awards for articles that were published in competitive, peer reviewed journals. He also wrote a chapter for a book, which was accepted for publishing.

One of his published works in Southern Communications Journal, is a detailed analysis of President Barack Obama&rsquos 2007 announcement speech.

In addition to his published work, Gaffey is a well-known Geek Speak lecturer, speaking on topics such as equality and the history of the Confederate flag.  

Service &ndash Dr. Dave Berberick, assistant professor of music

Dr. Dave Berberick&rsquos commitment to youth has earned him the Service Award. Berberick regularly works with high school and middle school students in the region, promoting the BHSU music program.

Berberick is known to be available at the spur of a moment to meet with students interested in the University&rsquos music department, Fuqua said.

In addition to his recruitment efforts, Berberick developed a University drumline. He directs the drumline, as well as the BHSU pep and concert bands. He is also working to start a faculty and staff drumline this fall, as well as developing a practice room for students interested in garage band.

College of Education &amp Behavioral Sciences

Teaching &ndash Mary Cooper, instructor of reading

Mary Cooper handles a large teaching load from remedial reading classes to CAAP tutoring to senior methods classes, which Dr. Pat Simpson, dean of the College of Education &amp Behavioral Sciences said is a unique variety.

Cooper is noted for creating an exceptional learning environment and implementing strategies that engage students as a whole, as well as individually.

"The words trust and caring occur frequently among her students, along with responsive, awesome and best," Simpson said. "Mary teaches well at both ends of this challenging spectrum and her students consistently say she&rsquos helped them be successful."

Research, Scholarship &amp Creativity &ndash Dr. Denice Turner, assistant professor, language arts education

Dr. Denice Turner can "walk the talk," as a language arts professional, Simpson said.

Turner is an avid writer and has been traveling throughout the summer attending book signings for her newest book, "Worthy." Turner was honored for her work by the South Dakota Humanities Council on Sept. 11. She is the author of two previously published books.

Turner is beginning her third year at BHSU and teaches the language arts methods course for students who plan to teach English or language arts, as well as other education courses.

"Her modeling of both the writing process and the love of writing inspires her students," Simpson said. "In all her classes she helps students excited about using life narrative as a vehicle for understanding, critical thinking and empowerment."

Service &ndash Micheline Nelson, assistant professor of math and science education and director of field experiences and certification officer

Micheline Nelson goes above and beyond to serve students and the University, said Simpson.

Nelson has coordinated fundraisers for the Yellow Jackets Veterans Club and helped with the international food festival and other multicultural events.

Nelson also is actively involved at the community level, judging oratorical contests and serving as secretary and events coordinator of the American Legion Riders. She received the Presidential Award for Excellence during the American Legion Auxiliary National Convention for her work with helping schools serve children of military families.

Throughout her work at the University and within the community, Simpson noted that Nelson has built strong, long-lasting relationships with others.

College of Business &amp Natural Science

Teaching &ndash Dr. Andy Johnson, assistant professor of physics

Dr. Andy Johnson consistently provides quality experiences to BHSU students, said Dr. Priscilla Romkema, dean of the College of Business &amp Natural Sciences, said

Romkema noted Johnson&rsquos innovative teaching style, as well as his work with fellow educators. In addition to Johnson&rsquos research and development of inquiry-based course materials, he has provided professional development to kindergarten through high school teachers.

Johnson&rsquos accomplishments have been recognized in Science magazine and he was selected to receive the Science prize for his 10-year project, Inquiry-Based Instruction.

Research, Scholarship &amp Creativity &ndash Dr. Kara Keeter, associate professor of physics

Keeter significantly strengthened the involvement of BHSU at the Sanford Lab in Lead, providing a variety of opportunities for current and future students, according to Romkema.

Because of Keeter&rsquos hard work, BHSU has been able to have prominent roles in two distinct collaborations &ndash MAJORANA and DARKSIDE. Keeter also helped with the establishment of the QuarkNet Center on campus, a national research-based physics teacher education project.

Keeter has excelled in research and publications that have resulted in more than $1 million in extramural funding, as well, Romkema said.

"Kara began to develop and strengthen connections and collaborations in support of underground physics at BHSU upon her initial arrival on our campus," she added.

Service &ndash Dr. Barbara Looney, assistant professor of management

Dr. Barbara Looney has shown commitment and service on and off campus, Romkema said.

Looney is "enthusiastic, strategic, inspiring, knowledgeable and engaging," she said.

"Dr. Looney teaches by example, walking by students as they grow &ndash both personally and professionally," Romkema said. "She propels others to do more than they would have expected and to see their activities as a way to make an impact in the world."

Looney is actively involved with the South Dakota Center for Enterprise Opportunity housed on the BHSU campus, speaking on communication and technology at a variety of conferences. She is the co-advisor of ENACTUS, and through her and the other advisors&rsquo leadership, a number of community outreach projects were developed including Facebook for Retirees, Lisa Bike Program and Bee Sweet.

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