Advisor: Dr. Charles Lamb

     The Health Sciences Student Organization (HSSO) functions to prepare pre-professional students for a career in one of the many health care disciplines. This organization facilitates their education in non-academic aspects that aren't easily addressed through classroom activities. Students are strongly urged to perform community or university service, they are provided with avenues for health-related job training or shadowing, and are supported in their preparation for application to the professional schools of their choice.

Regents Scholars
Brett Nathan receiving award

Some of the programs and activities sponsored by HSSO include:

    • Discussions on Application to Professional Programs: This allows members to prepare in advance for things that will improve their chances of success.
    • Presentations by Local Clinicians Representing Various Disciplines: Providing students with information on what a career in those disciplines really involves so they can determine which is most appropriate for them.
    • Participation in Health Fairs in the Black Hills Region: Having a table at the Rapid City Regional Health Fair allows our students to represent BHSU and our science programs to interested high school students, and also to explore different health disciplines.
    • Participation in Community Events: A couple events include Swarm Days and the Pumpkin Patch.
    • Organization and Production of the Spearfish Middle School Science Fair: This is held in the Young Center every January.

A gathering of people for a picnic
Man grabbing a hot dog at a picnic

HSSO History: Awards and Honors

1995 – Founded with 30 members in Spring, 1996
          Spirit of BH Award – Kristine Phoenix

1996 – 41 members

1997 – Organization Achievement Award;
          Excellence in Leadership Award – Chris Davidson, Christina Kemp, Kristine Phoenix, Jody Wherley;
          Outstanding Student Organization Advisor – Dr. Charles Lamb;
          34 members

1998 – Excellence in Leadership Award – Joseph Maycock;
          57 members

1999 – Organization Achievement Award;
          33 members

2000 – Community Outreach Program Award – SMS Science Fair;
          Organization Achievement Award;
          32 members

2001 – Excellence in Leadership Award – Nathan Steinle;
          34 members

2002 – Organization Achievement Award;
          Excellence in Leadership Award
 – Lindsay Whitley;
          34 members

2003 – Excellence in Leadership Award – Judy Locati;
          33 members

2004 – 30 members

2005 – 64 members

2006 – SDBOR Award for Academic Excellence;
          73 members

2007 – ???

George Rinker receiving his honorary membership into HSSO in 2000

Dr. George Rinker receiving his honorary membership into HSSO in 2000.

HSSO Links:


      • American Chiropractic Association: The American Chiropractic Association (ACA), based in Arlington, VA, is the largest professional association in the world representing doctors of chiropractic. The ACA provides lobbying, public relations, professional and educational opportunities for doctors of chiropractic, funds research regarding chiropractic and health issues, and offers leadership for the advancement of the profession. With approximately 18,000 members, the ACA promotes the highest standards of ethics and patient care, contributing to the health and well-being of millions of chiropractic patients.
      • American Dental Association: This site is filled with information for both the public and professional and gives information about Oral Health.
      • AMA - American Medical Association: Founded more than 150 years ago, AMA's strategic agenda remains rooted in our historic commitment to standards, ethics, excellence in medical education and practice, and advocacy on behalf of the medical profession and the patients it serves. AMA's work includes the development and promotion of standards in medical practice, research, and education; strong advocacy agenda on behalf of patients and physicians; and the commitment to providing timely information on matters important to the health of America. The AMA strives to serve as the voice of the American medical profession. Being that voice is our mission.
      • American Nurses Association: The American Nurses Association is a full-service professional organization representing the nation's 2.6 million Registered Nurses through its 54 constituent state associations and 13 organizational affiliate members. ANA advances the nursing profession by fostering high standards of nursing practice, promoting the economic and general welfare of nurses in the workplace, projecting a positive and realistic view of nursing, and by lobbying the Congress and regulatory agencies on health care issues affecting nurses and the public.
      • Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry: Founded in 1941, the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO) is a non-profit education association representing the interests of optometric education. ASCO's membership encompasses the seventeen schools and colleges of optometry in the United States and Puerto Rico. A number of foreign optometry schools are affiliate members. ASCO is committed to achieving excellence in optometric education and to helping its member schools prepare well-qualified graduates for entrance into the profession of optometry. The mission of the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry is to serve the American public through the continued advancement and promotion of all aspects of academic optometry.
      • American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine: The mission of the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) is to promote excellence in osteopathic medical education throughout the educational continuum, in research and in service; to enhance the strength and quality of the member colleges; and to improve the health of the American public.
      • American Association of Colleges of Podiatric Medicine: The organization itself stands for the advancement of podiatric medicine and its education system. Consisting of six colleges of podiatric medicine and over 200 hospitals and institutions that offer graduate or postdoctoral training in podiatric medicine, the AACPM is a not-for-profit educational association. Whether you're considering a podiatric career or are already a podiatric student, resident or practitioner, the AACPM is happy to serve as a resource center for you.
      • Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges: The Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges coordinates the affairs of the 27 U.S. Veterinary Medical Colleges, 4 Canadian Colleges of Veterinary Medicine, Departments of Veterinary Science and Comparative Medicine, animal medical centers, and 2 international veterinary schools. In addition, the association fosters the membership's teaching, research and service missions both nationally and internationally. Addressing the interests of producers and consumers of food and fiber, the interests of animal owners, and those of pet owners, AAVMC's principal goal is improving the quality of human and animal life. Specifically, we continue to address societal concerns about food safety, advance veterinary education, improve animal health and well-being, strengthen biomedical research and enhance environmental quality.

South Dakota Health Science Programs:

      • University of South Dakota School of Medicine: The mission of the University of South Dakota School of Medicine is to provide the opportunity for South Dakota residents to receive a quality, broad-based medical education with an emphasis on family practice. The curriculum is to be established to encourage graduates to serve people living in the medically underserved areas of South Dakota, and is to require excellence in the basic sciences and in all clinical disciplines. The University of South Dakota School of Medicine is to provide to its students and to the people of South Dakota excellence in education, research and service. To these ends, the School is to provide educational pathways leading to both the Doctor of Medicine and the Doctor of Philosophy Degrees; and other degree programs.
      • University of South Dakota Physician Assistant Studies Program: The mission of the USD Physician Assistant Studies Program is to help meet the need for quality primary care providers in South Dakota and the region. The program accomplishes this by selecting individuals likely to practice in South Dakota and the regions areas of need, who have the academic, clinical, and interpersonal aptitudes necessary for education as physician assistants. The program's curriculum educates these students by building the cognitive, clinical, interpersonal and professional skills needed for the supervised practice of medicine as physician assistants.
      • University of South Dakota Department of Occupational Therapy: The mission of the Department of Occupational Therapy, University of South Dakota Division of Health Sciences is to develop innovations in teaching, research, clinical practice, community services and policy advocacy on rural health to meet the needs of the people of South Dakota.
      • University of South Dakota Physical Therapy Department: The mission of The University of South Dakota Physical Therapy Department is to provide graduate, professional education to the residents of South Dakota by providing an intensive, broad-based physical therapy curriculum. The education of students is general in the scope of knowledge so that a variety of practice settings can be entered at the time of graduation. The graduates are encouraged to serve individuals living in rural settings who otherwise may not have access to physical therapy services. The professional development of the program graduate emphasizes participation in life-long learning and leadership involvement in the community at large.
      • University of South Dakota Medical Technology Program: The mission of the University of South Dakota Medical Technology Program is to maintain a program with an excellent reputation and to educate medical technologists to practice in South Dakota and the surrounding region. The goal of the program is to coordinate and provide students with the essential services needed to assist them in successful completion of the medical technology program.
      • University of South Dakota Dental Hygiene Program: The University of South Dakota houses the only dental hygiene program in the state of South Dakota. Both associate and baccalaureate degrees in dental hygiene are offered. The first dental hygiene class enrolled in 1967, and the department currently accepts 32 applicants each year. The dental hygiene program is fully accredited by the American Dental Association Commission on Dental Accreditation. Dental Hygiene is a rapidly growing and increasingly dynamic profession. Dental hygienists are continually assuming a greater range of responsibility, and the profession offers an interesting and challenging career. The functions of a hygienist are regulated by each state and may vary from one state to another.
      • University of South Dakota Department of Nursing: The Associate Degree Nursing Program was established at The University of South Dakota in the fall of 1962. The first Associate Degree in Nursing was conferred in June of 1964. The University of South Dakota School of Nursing was approved by the South Dakota Board of Nursing in July 1966 and received full accreditation by the National League for Nursing in 1975. The Department of Nursing, under a reorganization of health care disciplines, was moved to the Division of Health Sciences July 1, 2001. The program is offered on the main university campus in Vermillion and at four outreach campuses: Pierre, Rapid City, Sioux Falls, and Watertown.
      • South Dakota State University School of Nursing: The Undergraduate Nursing Program at South Dakota State University is a four year nursing program leading to a Bachelor of Science degree with a Major in Nursing. Any student accepted for study by SDSU is eligible to enroll in the pre-nursing program. Pre-nursing requirements are usually completed in three semesters followed by five semesters of nursing courses. Although some students graduate after eight semesters of full-time study, others may choose to take longer to complete the program because of other responsibilities that make it difficult for them to be full-time students.
      • South Dakota State University School of Pharmacy: As one of the health professions, pharmacy is concerned with public health and safety and all activities related to preparation, distribution and rational use of medicines. The goal of the College of Pharmacy is to qualify its graduates to assume their professional responsibilities, including the provision of optimal therapeutic outcomes for their patients. Therefore, pharmacy students must not only be provided with sound scientific and professional training, but also be given the opportunity to gain as much liberal education as possible to more adequately understand the society which they serve. The College of Pharmacy offers a six-year course of study leading to a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree.

Jensen Miller and Company

BHSU students in Graduate Health Programs

(by year entering program)

David Czerny (Michigan Coll. Optom.)
Crystal Hostetter (Wyoming Sch. Pharm.)
Wesleigh Jastorff (SDSU Sch. Pharm.)
Jessica Partridge (Michigan Coll. Optom.)
Cole Seppie (Utah PT Program)
Renae Welke (Penn. Coll. Optom.)

Tricia Beringer (Nova Univ. PA Program)
Jessica Cahoy (SDSU Sch. Pharm.)
Jay Foss (Creighton Sch. Pharm.)
JR Grabinger (USD-PT)
Kirsten Graslie (USD-SM)
Marla Gustafson (USD-OT)
Niki Henricksen (Illinois Coll. Optom.)
Sammi Laurenz (Western States Chiro. Coll.)
Bob McIntosh (Western States Chiro. Coll.)
Jessica Mort (Texas Tech PT)
Melissa Siers (U. Minn. Pharm.)
Sara Vopat (NDSU Pharm.)

Matt Arnio (Northwestern Coll. Chiropr.)
Heather Combs (USD-PT)
Surrena Davidson (U. Montana PT Program)
Elke Kuegle (Northwestern Coll. Chiropr.)
Joel Pearson (New York Med. Coll.)
Ryan Schrock (UND PT Program)
Jaclyn Schuurmans (Nebraska Sch. Pharm.)
Jada Smithback (USD-OT)
Daryl VanderVorste (USD-OT)
Rebecca Welke (USD-SM)

Eric Anderson (USD-SM)
Kim Bahr (=Ruff) (Cleveland Chiropr. Coll.)
Jennifer Barlage (USD-OT)
Rebecca Drake (USD-OT)
Kort Herman (Southern Illinois Sch. Dent.)
Daniel Miller (Johns Hopkins Sch. Med.)
Brandon Pieper (Nebraska Sch. Dent.)
Jessica Rath (USD-PA)
Amanda Vaughn (Mayo PT)
Travis Whitt (Illinois Coll. Optom.)
Robert Wright (SDSU-Sch. Pharm.)

Lindsay Belcher (=Whitley) (Univ. Puget Sound PT Program)
Monique Dana (Nebraska Sch. Dent.)
Reeve Evers (Illinois Coll. Optom.
Jennifer Kroger (L.A. Coll. Chiropr.)
Christel Miles (USD-PA)
Matt Nehl (Nebraska Sch. Dent.)

Holly Boehnke (North Dakota PT Program)
Josh Dokter (Colorado Coll. Chiropr.)
Christina Doucette (=Kemp) (Univ. of New Mexico PA Program)
Lennard Hopper (Nebraska Sch. Dent.)
Tricia Lawrence (USD-SM)
Alenda Overland (St. Ambrose PT Program)
Peter Pelegrin (USD-SM)
Demetria Raad (USD-PA)
Kelly Larson (=Stock) (USD-SM)

Nicole Dana (Nebraska Sch. Dent.)
Dan Hampton (Des Moines Osteopath. Coll.)
Jena Jenssen (National Coll. Chiropr.)
Matt McClung (SDSU-Sch. Pharm.)
Sara Schwans (Des Moines Podiatric Coll.)
Kelli Stacy (Oklahoma State SVM)
Nathan Steinle (USD-SM)
Ryan Swenson (National Coll. Chiropr.)
Brett Theeler (Uniformed Services Univ.-SM)

Michelle Corsini (USD-SM)
Amy Kenzy (Des Moines Osteopath. Coll.)
Mike Krizan (Western States Chiropr. Coll.)
David Mueller (Des Moines Osteopath. Coll.)
Clint Peterson (Parker Chiropr. Coll.)
Norma Walks (Minn.-Twin Cities-SM)
Jesse Webb (SDSU-Sch. Pharm.)

Annelle Brooks (Pacific Coll. Optom.)
Chris Davidson (USD-SM)
Moon Jarvis (USD-PT)
Joe Maycock (Southern California Coll. Optom.)
Tony Patterson (Southern Coll. Optom.)
Kristine Phoenix (Iowa-PA)

Brandy Dietterle (L.A. Coll. Chiropr.)
Lynn Ensor (USD-PA)
Derek Gilbert (USD-SM)
Katie Loy (Hardin-Simmons-PT)
Jody Wherley (USD-PT)

Jesse Dana (Nebraska-SD)
Beth Long (USD-OT)
Jason Steinle (Northwestern Coll. Chiropr.)

Shannon DeBoer (Palmer Coll. Chiropr.)
Steve Sachs (USD-PA)
Wes Wood (Iowa State-SVM)