Former BHSU Financial Aid Director Deb Henriksen recognized by the Spearfish Lions

On behalf of the Spearfish Lions Club, Club President Tim Penton presented former BHSU Financial Aid Director Deb Henriksen the prestigious Melvin Jones Fellowship (MJF). The Spearfish Lions recognized Deb Henriksen for her many years of service assisting students in Financial Aid as well as her contributions over the years to the Spearfish Lions Scholarship fund, a scholarship designated to financially assist students pursuing degrees in Special Education. 

The MJF Program was established in 1973 in honor of Melvin Jones, the founder of Lions Clubs International. The MJF program recognizes donations of $1,000 to the Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF), which provides funds for Lions around the world to assist with vision, youth, disaster relief and humanitarian work.  Over the last several years, the Spearfish Lions Club has contributed over $10,000 to the LCIF.

Deb Henriksen worked in financial aid for BHSU for over 21 years, retiring in 2019. In 2014, Deb was honored with the Ron Smout Award for teaching and mentoring financial aid professionals in the region. Her colleagues say Deb helped to facilitate the financial aid or scholarship process for students and kept her staff up-to-date on the latest developments in the field to provide the best service to students. Deb found it very rewarding to help students obtain their degrees.  Deb was instrumental in several student information system upgrades, and in BHSU becoming the first Board of Regents university to issue electronic award letters to new students. Prior to joining BHSU, Deb worked in financial aid at Dakota Wesleyan and Presentation College. Deb was a regional leader in student financial aid, acting as the S.D. Association for Student Financial Aid Administrations (SDASFAA) president, treasurer, Rocky Mountain ASFAA (RMASFAA) vice president, treasurer, and conference co-chair in addition to serving on numerous state, regional and national committees.

Over the last 30 years, the Spearfish Lions Scholarship has provided over $25,000 of financial assistance for BHSU students.