6 questions with 6 BHSU grads: Sierra Concha

Author: BHSU Communications/Thursday, May 3, 2018/Categories: Students, Academic Affairs, College of Education and Behavioral Sciences, College of Liberal Arts, Community, Faculty, 2018

Full-time jobs, travels across the world, and advanced degrees. In this series “6 questions with 6 grads,” Black Hills State University will highlight the future plans of some of the University’s May 2018 graduates.
Name, Location, and Major?
I’m Elyssa Sierra Concha. I’m from Pine Ridge Indian Reservation here in South Dakota. My major is a bachelor of science in English.

What are your plans after graduation?
I am already hired to be a kindergarten teacher on the Reservation. I’ll be teaching Lakota, I’m really excited about that. For the summer I’ll be in a Lakota language program so I can learn more about the language and be better prepared to teach the kindergarten.

What will you miss most about BHSU?
I love the community here – everyone is so kind and welcoming, especially the Native community. I immediately felt at home when I transferred here, thanks to the teachers as well.

What’s your favorite memory at BHSU?
I shadowed a teacher in Newell as part of the BHSU teaching program. That was the first time I got to really experience being in a classroom and seeing how a teacher interacts with kids. It was incredible. It made me really comfortable in my decision with what I want to do after graduation. 

How has BHSU prepared you for your future?
Since the teachers are so invested in their students they have really helped me be better all-around as a student to be prepared and really think about my future. I’ve been able to really plan ahead because of them and their investment in me and other students.

Who is your favorite professor?
Dr. Courtney Huse-Wika, associate professor of English, was one of the first professors I had when transferring here. I loved how warm she was immediately and she encouraged me from the get-go about my writing and always had faith in me. She encouraged me to apply for the Honors Program. She’s an incredible teacher.

Nearly 390 graduates will be recognized during the 175th BHSU Commencement Ceremony at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 5 at the Donald E. Young Sports and Fitness Center. The public is invited to join and celebrate the students’ achievements. Degrees to be awarded include 66 master’s degrees, 294 bachelor’s degrees, and 28 associate’s degrees. An honorary doctorate will be bestowed upon Dr. Lowell Amiotte, Oglala Lakota and a 1964 graduate of BHSU.

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