BHSU honors faculty and staff for outstanding service and career longevity

Left to right, Nick Oaks, director of human resources at Black Hills State University, presents Dr. Emilia Flint, associate professor of psychology, with the Outstanding Research, Scholarship, and Creative Achievement Award during the Employee Awards Reception. In addition to faculty and university awards, 15 retiring employees were honored and 65 employees were recognized for milestone years of service.

Black Hills State University congratulates faculty and staff who were honored recently for excellence in their careers and milestone years of service.

Recipients of these BHSU awards were nominated by their peers for their excellence in the classroom, community, and throughout the University. BHSU President Dr. Tom Jackson, Jr., praised the exceptional employees for their dedication and commitment.

"Each year we recognize individuals and groups who inspire higher levels of service to the students, university and community and create a more fulfilling atmosphere in the workplace for all of our employees," said Jackson.  

The 2017 Faculty Award recipients included:

Dr. Emilia Flint, associate professor of psychology, Outstanding Research, Scholarship, and Creative Achievement Award

Flint was recognized for her outstanding contributions to the field both in her own research and by inspiring the research and scholarly activities of students. In 2016, Flint had two articles and a book chapter published. She also mentors psychology students through their internships and supervises student research projects. Work by one of her students was selected for presentation at a conference in Africa.  

Dr. Dan May, assistant professor of mathematics, Outstanding Teaching Award

May is known throughout campus for being an engaging and thoughtful educator committed to student success. In addition to a repertoire of math courses, May has also been invited by peer instructors to team-teach topics in English and sociology. He has been involved in the BHSU Math Circle, an outreach program for area high school students. May has invited math club members into the classrooms in area schools to present extra topics middle and high school students may not usually see in their standard curriculum.

Dr. Courtney Huse-Wika, assistant professor of English, Outstanding Service Award

As Director of the University Honors Program, Huse-Wika has worked to increase enrollment and social support for students.  She has led BHSU students in committed and longstanding volunteer service with the Western Hills Humane Society and encouraged intellectual pursuits through the popular Geek Speak Lecture Series on campus.

Dr. John Alsup, professor of math education, Distinguished Faculty Member

Alsup was awarded the highest honor the University bestows on a faculty member in recognition of his two decades of teaching at BHSU. Students say Alsup transforms math into a subject they can enjoy and that he will continue to work with them until they understand the concepts. Alsup also shares his interest in international relations with the University community through committee service and campus lectures.

The 2017 University Awards included:

Susan Hupp, director of Student Support Services, Community Service Award

Hupp was recognized for her ongoing service and volunteerism that has positively influenced the Spearfish and Black Hills community. Hupp is active in volunteer work with St. Joseph Catholic Church and serves as Vice President of ABWA. She also volunteers for fundraising activities including Relay for Life, D.C. Booth Society Garden Party, Friends of the Matthews Opera House, and the Tri-State Museum Foundation.

Peggy Madrid, assistant director/retention advisor, Student Service Award

Madrid for continuing to give her "heart and soul" devotion to serving students. Madrid truly lives her job, having opened her home to numerous students when they have had housing issues. Students remember Madrid's willingness to listen and help them develop a plan to address their needs, with caring and respect.

The Sustainability department, Outstanding Area Award

Sustainability was recognized for their outstanding dedication and commitment to area responsibilities. In the last year Petrika Peters, sustainability coordinator, and her team of 16 student workers launched a new recycling initiative, assisted in obtaining recognition as a Tree Campus USA, secured a grant for bicycling efforts, and created a community garden for staff, students and community members. The efforts of BHSU Sustainability positively impact both the campus and community.

The University and Community Relations area, Economic Savings Award

The marketing and communications staff members, with the leadership of Kristen Kilmer, have garnered significant savings for the entire university through innovative marketing strategies that positively impact enrollment, retention, and donor support.

Whitney Bischoff, master's in strategic leadership major from Rapid City, the Outstanding Student Employee Award

Bischoff who worked in the Student Engagement and Leadership Center, goes above and beyond her duties to ensure students are successful and confident in their work. She sees the potential in students and works to bring their talents and strengths to the forefront as the advisor of Jacket Pack and co-advisor of the Campus Activities Board.

Garrett Stevens, systems software specialist, University Service Award

Stevens was honored for displaying outstanding dedication and commitment to his responsibilities and service to the public and support of fellow employees. His strong work ethic, integrity, and dedication were noted. Stevens' willingness to collaborate with other departments and his high-level understanding of business and technology create opportunities for him to suggest and implement innovative ideas.

Dr. Jane Klug, dean of students, Spirit of Black Hills State University Award

Klug is recognized throughout campus and the community for her ability to encourage students and inspire people to achieve. Throughout her 25 years of employment at BHSU, Klug has shown dedication to students, staff members and the entire university community. Her personal style, which incorporates a fun optimistic outlook and compassionate caring approach, has made lasting positive impact on hundreds (perhaps thousands) of students through the years.

Steve Babbitt, professor of mass communication, University and Student Impact Award

Babbitt was honored for his significant dedication and commitment to his students which has had a noticeable impact on the BHSU community. Students often mention that they greatly appreciate Professor Babbitt's ability to see the positive aspects of their work and is superb at explaining things patiently and interestingly.

Black Hills State University also recognized 65 faculty and staff for milestone years of service. The 65 recipients of longevity awards totaled 780 years of service.  

Employees honored for 35 years of service: Jean Johnson, assistant professor of management information systems

25 years of service: John Glover, professor of American Indian studies Kathy Johnson, vice president of finance and administration Timothy Martinez, professor of political science Elizabeth Silva, associate professor of physical education/pedagogy Timothy Steckline, professor of speech Eileen Thomas, facilities services Penney Williams, senior secretary in health services

20 years of service: John Alsup, professor of math education Chad Anderson, equipment mechanic Leonard Austin, professor of educational psychology Leone Geppert, budget manager Brian Smith, professor of biology Ven Thompson, senior programmer analyst Michael Tiffany, custodial services supervisor Laura Turner, instructor of computer technology Nicholas Wallerstein, professor of English Rhonda Wolff, program assistant I

15 years of service: William Bland, building manager supervisor Julie Dahl, science education specialist Kanda Guthmiller, scholarship coordinator Terrance Hupp, manager of instructional technology services Patrick Mackin, professor of management/operation management Sonya Pagel, associate professor of speech communication Laura Prosser, assistant professor of accounting

10 years of service: Mary Caton-Rosser, associate professor of mass communications John Dixson, associate professor of chemistry Abigail Domagall, associate professor of geology Daniel Jensen, assistant professor of exercise science Jennifer Lucero, coordinator of disability services and testing Raeann Mettler, instructor of biology Johnathan Nero, associate professor of music Nancy Roberts, associate professor of music Michael Tolan, assistant librarian/bibliographic control

5 years of service: Amy Asunskis, instructor of chemistry Michael Baum, assistant professor of art Brandon Bentley, director of corporate relations Terri Bjorum, program assistant I, Ignatius Cahyanto, assistant professor of tourism and hospitality Kristin Carmichael, head volleyball coach Rodney Custer, coordinator of academic affairs special projects Christopher Dawes, instructional designer Myron Denny, facility worker Nikole Didier, library associate Nicholle Dragone, assistant professor of English John Ginther, assistant director of residence life Rachelle Greer, instructor of speech communication Abhijit Jain, associate professor of management information systems Cory Johnson, building maintenance specialist - electrician Elizabeth Lindquist, East Complex director Hyun Jeong Min, assistant professor of marketing Anastasia Nemec, athletic trainer/instructor of physical education Colton Nickelson, video production and digital design coordinator Nicholas Oaks, director of human resources Lesleigh Owen, lecturer of sociology Rhiannon Patterson, acquisitions librarian Philip Pesheck, director of public safety Adam Roosa, social media/video information specialist Kaitlin Schneider, international admissions coordinator Jami Schoenewies, assistant professor of art Victoria Sprague, assistant director Center for American Indian Studies Jeffrey Wehrung, assistant professor of management Alysha Weiler, international program coordinator April Yenglin, secretary Jessica Zanton, assistant professor of special education.