BHSU students in the news F
our Black Hills State University students were nominated for the Irene Ryan Acting Competition for their acting performances at BHSU. The competition was held during the Kennedy Center-American College Theatre Festival (KC-ACTF).
Theo Schmidt, speech communication major from Hot Springs, and Max Downs, speech communication major from Rapid City, were nominated for their performances in the production of Almost, Maine. Ann Thompson, mass communication major from Spearfish, and Hannah Kloiber, speech communication and business administration major from Parker, Colo., were nominated for their performances in True Magic. The students were chosen by an outside respondent who came to the productions as
BHSU students nominated for prestigious acting competition
well as by the director of the shows. According to Pam Wegner, professor of speech and theatre at BHSU, the Irene Ryan Acting Competition is one of the largest acting competitions for college students in the country. Two students are nominated from every production that is entered in the KC-ACTF regional competition. More than 300 students entered the regional competition last year.
The nominees performed a memorized scene with a partner in front of a panel of judges at the regional festival that was held in Ames, Iowa, this January. A small number of performers were selected as semi-finalists, where they had to perform two additional memorized scenes in front of a larger panel of judges. Downs has been chosen as a semi-finalist for two consecutive years.
BHSU students (l to r) Hannah Kloiber, speech communication and business administration major from Parker, Colo.; Ann Thompson, mass communication major from Spearfish; Max Downs, speech communication major from Rapid City; and Theo Schmidt (not pictured), speech communication major from Hot Springs, were nominated for the Irene Ryan Acting Competition.
Faculty, students, and alumnus investigate American Indian medicinal plants to fight antibiotic resistant microbes and malaria
our Black Hills State University students and a recent BHSU graduate are working with Dr. John Dixson, assistant professor of chemistry, on two biomedical research projects to address the ever-growing problem of antibiotic resistant microbes and drug resistant malaria. Antibiotic resistance is a major concern in the United States and Europe, while malaria is a major health concern in Asia and sub-Sahara Africa.
BHSU students, Jason Nies, integrative genomics graduate student from Spearfish; Chris White, biology and chemistry major from Rapid City; Gina Geffre, biology major from Pierre; Kevin Ellis, chemistry major from Oglala; BHSU alum Jay Jacobs, integrative genomics graduate from Spearfish, and Dixson are investigating medicinal plants that American Indians used to treat a variety of diseases as sources of new, natural products to treat antibiotic resistant diseases and malaria. According to Dixson, malaria is
estimated to cause nearly 2.7 million deaths worldwide each year, and there are 300 to 500 million new malaria cases reported annually. In the sub-Sahara Africa region 90 percent of the malaria deaths are in children that are less than five years old. The need for a new anti-malarial medicine is more critical than ever since the last line of defense in the treatment of malaria, Artemisinin, is beginning to show resistance in Cambodia and Thailand. Dr. Dennis Kyle, a world-renowned expert on malaria at the University of South Florida’s School of Public Health, assisted the BHSU research team in culturing the malaria-causing parasite, Plasmodium falciparum. The infected red blood cells were treated with 12 extracts from different sages commonly found in western South Dakota. Four extracts were identified with anti- malarial properties and are being purified to identify the molecules responsible for the anti-malarial activity.
Dr. John Dixson (far right), assistant professor of chemistry at BHSU, works with Jason Nies (left), integrative genomics graduate student from Spearfish; Chris White, biology and chemistry major from Rapid City; and Gina Geffre, biology major from Pierre, investigating medicinal plants that American Indians used to treat a variety of diseases as sources of new, natural products to treat antibiotic resistant diseases and malaria. Kevin Ellis, chemistry major from Oglala, and BHSU alum Jay Jacobs, integrative genomics graduate from Spearfish, are also collaborating on the research project.
Black Hills State University Alumni Magazine Page 20 The second area of research the team
is working on is aimed at the discovery of new chemistry with antibiotic activity, which focuses on three plants: white sage, yucca, and bee balm. The white sage project has identified a new class of chemistry with antibiotic activity against multidrug resistant organisms (MDRO) such as Staphlococcus aureus. Research continues on this compound to further characterize its antibiotic properties, as well as to understand the potency of this compound by determining the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC). Research on the yucca and bee balm plants is not as advanced; however they both have shown interesting activity against resistant microorganisms. The BHSU research team is currently working to identify the antibiotic activity compounds in those plants.
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