BHSU students earn Chiesman Scholarships

Author: BHSU Communications/Thursday, July 9, 2015/Categories: 2015








           Elizabeth Sorensen  






           Nick Gale  



Two Black Hills State University students were the recipients of the Chiesman Scholarships for the 2015-2016 academic year.

Nick Gale, history and political science major from Spearfish, and Elizabeth Sorensen, business administration-marketing and Spanish major from Britton, each received a $750 scholarship award. Gale won in the junior/senior division, while Sorensen was the freshman/sophomore recipient.

The Chiesman Scholarship encourages student research and writing on the subject of democracy. Gale and Sorensen were chosen based on papers they wrote for classroom assignments. Gale&rsquos paper covered the topic "How Socialist China Used Capitalism to Become a Superpower" and Sorensen addressed "United States Ethanol Policy: Is it Worth the Costs." Dr. Ahrar Ahmad, professor emeritus at BHSU, nominated the students for the scholarship.

"Being awarded the Chiesman Scholarship has instilled in me a higher level of confidence in my writing and thinking abilities," Sorensen said. "Aside from the monetary benefit to my education, I will be able to produce work much more confidently in my coming years at Black Hills State."

After earning her degrees, Sorensen said she would like to pursue a career in business that will allow her to utilize her Spanish education. She works as a DJ for the on-campus radio station, The Buzz FM, and will take on the role of music director this fall. She is actively involved in C.O.L.P., the College Outdoor Leadership Program at BHSU, serving as communications officer.

For Gale, being selected based on his writing was humbling.

"To write something worthy of a scholarship to help me further my education, is a great honor," he said.  

Gale is in the process of implementing an educational program for middle and high school students to get them more involved in state history.

"When I came up here and realized how much relevant history was in South Dakota and the Black Hills, I was amazed," said Gale, who is originally from Texas. "I want kids to understand the history, how things were started and how it all fits together."

Gale has been actively involved on campus, serving on the BHSU Student Senate, debate team and history and psychology clubs.

In addition to two BHSU student scholarships, the Chiesman Committee at BHSU awarded grants to several BHSU faculty, staff and an alum. Grant recipients Pat Gainey, class of &rsquo92 and social studies teacher at Spearfish High School. BHSU faculty and staff also received grants. Dr. Mary Caton-Rosser, associate professor of mass communication, and Mitch Hopewell, master of science in strategic leadership (MSSL) coordinator and instructor of education technology and leadership, received a grant for their project "Growing Democracy Through Partnerships in Media Literacy."

The funds are available through an endowment set up by Allene Chiesman   with the University to offer scholarships to students while also promoting civic education, broadening the awareness of democratic ideals and enhancing the understanding of citizenship. In addition to scholarship awards, the Chiesman committee provides grants to preschool through 12th grade educators to assist them with democracy education.

Number of views (534)/Comments (0)