Student Support Services at BHSU announces spring Students of the Month

Author: BHSU Communications/Monday, June 11, 2018/Categories: Students, College of Business and Natural Sciences, College of Education and Behavioral Sciences, College of Liberal Arts, Staff, 2018

Four Black Hills State University students are being recognized for their accomplishments by TRiO Student Support Services (SSS). The spring 2018 SSS Students of the Month at BHSU are:

January 2018: Kari Eszlinger, psychology and human services major from Belle Fourche
Kari graduated in May 2018, with a double major in psychology and human services. She plans to become a mental health and substance abuse counselor. Kari says her education at BHSU helped her to become a better writer and a better person.  It has helped her learn the value of hard work, dedication, and having an open mind.  Kari said, “SSS is THE place to be—you get one-on-one advising that is personable and there is always someone willing to help you!”  She has traded her initial anxieties and procrastination for making the Dean’s List, buying a house, and working a full-time job while finishing her classes. When nominating Kari for this honor, Tom Stulken, SSS writing specialist, said, “Kari has an almost limitless drive to succeed.  Her attitude, personality, and perseverance will carry her to wherever she wants to go in life.”  

February 2018: Emalynn Larvie, biology major from Parmelee
Emalynn is only in her second semester at BHSU, but she has been a real inspiration to the TRIO staff.  Emma is pursuing a biology major with a career goal to study veterinary medicine. Emma says, “I love science!” She has plans to open and run her own veterinarian clinic for the Rosebud Sioux Tribe where she grew up. Zach Meyer, SSS math specialist, nominated Emma for this award, saying “Emma works hard in everything she does. She really has taken responsibility for her own education and knows the harder she works, the better education she gets.”

March 2018: Erik Hairston, business administration-marketing major from Gilbert, Ariz.
Erick came to BHSU from Gilbert, Ariz., to get a degree in business and marketing and to play football. He said he really values the care that each professor and staff person puts into their jobs—he doesn’t feel like just another student. Erick said, “I chose to apply to Student Support Services because I have come from humble beginnings and haven’t had support in my life. A program like SSS has given me that.” Erick’s goal is to be the head of marketing for a Fortune 500 Company someday so that he can provide for his family in the best way that he possibly can. Susan Hupp, director of SSS, nominated Erick for this honor because “he has exhibited an awesome work ethic and positive attitude and he has persevered through many obstacles.”

April 2018: Nik Feldt, mass communications major from Spearfish
Nik graduated from high school in Colorado Springs, Colo., and then moved with his family to Spearfish where he enrolled at BHSU. Nik is a sports enthusiast, especially football. He played football until a neck injury during his junior year of high school ended his football career. However, his love and knowledge of football and other sports influenced his decision to major in sports media. Nik is excited to be coaching 5th and 6th grade tackle football this fall. When asked what challenges he has overcome, Nik said, “During my time here at college, I have had to juggle a lot of things. I go to class, I work, I am helping to raise my three nephews, and I take care of my mother.” Nik was nominated by Peggy Madrid, Nik’s advisor in the TRIO Student Support Services program. She stated, “It has been a bit of a struggle for Nik to balance the different areas of his life, but with time management assistance and weekly meetings, Nik has made some positive changes to his routine, enabling him to earn his highest GPA since beginning college.”
For more information on the Student Support Services program at BHSU, contact Susan Hupp, director of SSS, at 605-642-6824 or

Student Support Services is one of seven federal TRiO programs, funded by the U.S. Department of Education.  Services provided at BHSU as part of SSS program include tutoring, as well as academic, career, personal, and financial advisement.

To be considered for the SSS program, students must either be a first-generation college student (neither parent has earned a bachelor’s degree); meet income eligibility criteria; or have a documented disability.

Students of the Month are selected based on their commitment and attitude with academics and the SSS program.

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