BHSU honors student volunteers during annual awards celebration

Author: BHSU Communications/Thursday, May 19, 2016/Categories: 2016

 Left to right, Julie Benedict, President of the Black Hills State University Alumni Association, presents the Spirit of BH Award to Alicia Benz, biology major from Killdeer, N.D., for her significant contributions to the University and community. Benz was honored along with other students and campus organizations during the 24th Annual Black Hills State University Student Volunteer Awards Celebration held on campus recently.

The 24th Annual Black Hills State University Student Volunteer Awards Celebration honored 12 students and 13 organizations recently for their leadership and campus and community volunteerism.

Erica Whitiker, student engagement and programming coordinator, announced the nominees and winners of the awards during the Celebration. This year, seven judges chose the award winners from a record 140 applications with some categories that included as many as 25 nominees.

"Your commitment to student engagement and leadership keeps me inspired, and I want all of you to know that you all make a difference here at BHSU," Whitiker said to the students present at the ceremony. "You all have made the decision to invest in yourself and in others, and I couldn't be more proud of my amazing student leaders."

The BHSU Alumni Association awarded the 2016 Spirit of BH Award to Alicia Benz, biology major from Killdeer, N.D. The award honors a student who has made significant contributions to the University and the community. Benz successfully balanced involvements with the Health Science Student Organization, undergraduate student research, the University Honors Program, and the International Service Learning Program, amongst others, while maintaining high academic standards.

During the ceremony, students voted on the recipient of the Student Leadership Scholarship. A student must have at least a 2.5 GPA and be nominated by the judges in order for students to vote on the recipient.  Karley LaFountain, elementary education major from Casper, Wyo., won the $250 scholarship.

Erin Broberg, English major from Rapid City, received the Student Volunteer Award for Outstanding Freshman. Broberg is involved in Campus Ventures, Nights of Country Swing Club, CRUX as a novice climber, Campus Activities Board and Jacket Volunteers.  She is also part of the University Honors Program, maintains a 4.0 GPA, and is an ambassador for Teen Up Rapid City.

Kyle Graves, graphic design communications major from Rapid City, received the Outstanding Residence Life Involvement Award. Graves was president of the Heidepriem Hall Council, participated in more than 20 residence life programs, and was a member of Theatre Society, Jacket Pack, and the Residence Hall Association (RHA). Nominations said Graves has positively influenced residents living on campus during his time in RHA.

Jacket Pack won the award for Outstanding New Student Organization. Jacket Pack led the pep rally during Swarm Days, got students excited before and during each home game, and co-sponsored the Rapid City Rush Hockey trip this spring. Their goals were to increase campus spirit through encouraging participation in athletics, theatre, music, and other clubs and organizations.

Shenae LaCroix, exercise science major from Newcastle, Wyo., won the Outstanding Volunteer Award for working with adults with developmental disabilities, volunteering for the Special Olympics, hosting science fairs for middle school children, participating in Triathlon, and making the Dean's List. LaCroix served as vice president of the Health Science Student Organization.

Other awardees include:
  • Outstanding Program: Health Science Student Organization for Nerd Night, Philosophy Club for Right to Bear Arms Gun Talk, International Student Organization for Curiosity Week
  • Outstanding Leadership in Residence Life: Kaleigh Dominguez, graphic design communications major from Box Elder
  • Outstanding Student Organization Advisor: Kelly Kirk, instructor of history
  • Outstanding Community Service Projects
    • Shutterbuzz
    • Honors Club
    • REACH
    • Newman Club
  • BHSU Talking Hands
  • Organization Outstanding Member: Mahyle Hausman, elementary education major from Estelline
  • The Board of Regents Award for Academic Excellence: English Club
  • The Board of Regents Community Service Award: BHSU Talking Hands
  • The Board of Regents Organizational Leadership Award: Health Science Student Organization
  • Most Improved Student Organization Award: Health Science Student Organization
  • Outstanding Student Leader: Brittany Thompson, political science and psychology major from Black Hawk
  • Excellence in Leadership:
    • Caitlin Hill, English major from Veblen
    •  Kie Tatsukawa, business administration-tourism and hospitality management major
from Hiroshima, Japan
  • Madison Foster, elementary education major from Newcastle, Wyo.
  • Lucas Fralick, political science major from Gillette, Wyo.
  • Outstanding Student Organization: Campus Activities Board (CAB)

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