Black Hills State University recently recognized employees for outstanding achievements, and longevity at a reception on campus.

BHSU President Laurie S. Nichols expressed her sincere appreciation for the employees work and dedication.

The 2021 Faculty Awards recognize faculty on a University-wide basis for their work in teaching, scholarship, advising and service. 

Faculty members honored were as follows:

  • Outstanding Service Award – Dr. Colin Garnett, Associate Professor, Mathematics
  • Outstanding Teaching Award – Ms. Melissa Schwiesow, Instructor Elementary Education
  • Outstanding Advising Award – Dr. Abigail Domagall, Associate Professor, Geology
  • Outstanding Research, Scholarship & Creative Achievement Award – Dr. Craig Triplett, Associate Professor, Exercise Science


  • The University’s Community Service Award was presented to Kelly Kirk, Instructor of History and Director of the Honors Program, for her significant contribution of time or talent and may also involve facilitating change, leadership, taking risks and involving others. The award is presented annually to an employee whose service, volunteerism, commitment, and giving spirit has positively influenced and impacted lives and communities.
  • The Student Service award was presented to Janette Hettick, Professional Advisor. She was noted for consistently serving BHSU students with compassion, knowledge and support and providing exemplary customer service that creates student success and long lasting relationships. This award is conferred upon an individual who best fulfills or promotes BHSU's mission as a liberal arts university through his or her services that assist students through mentoring, service to student organizations, and overall exceptional service and assistance to our students.
  • The University Area Award was presented to Facility Services for consistently providing prompt, professional services and keeping faculty, employees, and students safe during trying times. The award recognizes an office or department that has displayed outstanding dedication and commitment to the responsibilities of that area.
  • The Economic Savings Award was presented to Derrick Erhart, Communications Network Analyst, for creating economic savings for the entire University. This award is given to an individual or department that initiated and successfully established new methods, practices, or plans which have enhanced revenues and/or saved BHSU money or time.


Employees were recognized for their years of service to Black Hills State University and the state of South Dakota.  The longevity awards are given to employees for their total years of service with the state of South Dakota including work study, temporary, and full-time service.  This year the 45 recipients total 605 years of service. Recognized were:

In the area of Office of the President:

  • Priscilla Romkema, 20 years of service, Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs;

Within the department of Finance and Administration:

  • Randell Culver, Assoc VP, Facilities & Sustain, 30 years;
  • Fred Nelson, Director of Network and Computing Services, 25 years;
  • Jean Kennedy, Accounting Assistant, 20 years;
  • Marc Jolley, Building Maintenance Specialist, 20 years;
  • Don Coble, Director of Budget, 15 years;
  • Richard Woodworth, Computer Support Analyst, 10 years;
  • Roselyn Nelson, Assistant Bookstore Manager BHSU-RC, 5 years;
  • Joel Lapka, Senior Network Analyst, 5 years;
  • Luke Gainey, Sr. Building Maintenance Worker, 5 years.

In the area of Enrollment Management:

  • Peggy Madrid, Assistant Director and Retention Advisor, 35 years;
  • Gregory Krajewski, Veterans Resource Coordinator, 10 years;
  • Dana Weber, Professional Advisor, 5 years;
  • Jordan Mendoza, Admissions Counselor, 5 years;

In the area of Academic Affairs:

  • Diane Watson, Senior Accounting, 30 years;
  • Charles Lamb, Biology Professor, 25 years;
  • Ronald DeBeaumont, Economics Professor, 25 years;
  • Donald Altmyer, Accounting Professor, 25 years;
  • Jill Trimble, Mathematics Lecturer, 20 years;
  • Daluss Siewert, Mathematics Professor, 20 years;
  • Christopher Hahn, Music Assistant Professor, 20 years;
  • David Cremean, English Professor, 20 years;
  • Cynthia Anderson, Biology Professor and Associate Director, 20 years;
  • Sandra Marker, Sociology Professor, 15 years;
  • Barbara Looney, Assistant Professor of Management, 15 years;
  • Courtney Huse-Wika, Associate Professor of English, 15 years:
  • Symeon Waseen, Associate Professor of Music, 10 years;
  • Brianna Mount, Assistant Professor of Physics, 10 years;
  • Carrie Gray-Wood, Geography Instructor, 10 years;
  • Emilia Flint, Associate Professor of Psychology, 10 years;
  • Dan Asunskis, Associate Professor of Chemistry, 10 years;
  • Alison Walk, Secretary, 5 years;
  • John Van Benthuysen, Assistant Professor of Political Science, 5 years;
    Nicol Reiner, STEM Educator, 5 years;
  • Raena Martinez, Senior Secretary, 5 years;
  • Brandyn Johnson, Instructor of English, 5 years;
  • Douglas Heltibridle, Instructor of Mathematics, 5 years;
  • Brian Eberhard, Assistant Professor of Education, 5 years;
  • Randall Doran, Instructor of Mathematics, 5 years;
  • Melissa Cosme-Ruiz, Marketing Specialist, 5 years.