The Science, Technology, and Society degree is administered by the Humanities & Social Sciences faculty at South Dakota Mines. This is part of what makes an STS degree from Mines really interdisciplinary. It combines the expertise of professors in a variety of fields who approach STS topics from a broad range of perspectives.
Haley Armstrong, Director of Bands
Originally from Sonora, CA, Haley Armstrong has had an amazing career in music traveling all over the world performing and teaching. When not making music, she loves cooking and eating and serving in the Air Force Reserves. She’s looking forward to planning her next adventure in a dog-friendly location!
Danielle Brady, Instructor in Psychology
Danielle R. Brady has an Ed.D. in Educational Administration and a M.A. in Educational Psychology and Counseling from the University of South Dakota. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in South Dakota and has completed training as an Executive Leadership Coach through the International Coaching Foundation. Over the years, she has researched student success, leadership, and mental health. She is going into her 23rd year in Higher Education having spent much of her career working with traditional and non-traditional college students who are facing obstacles while pursuing a degree in higher education. I look forward to creating a comfortable learning environment within the online environment. She teaches various courses in area of psychology, leadership, team building and change management. In her free time you can usually catch her at any of the SD Mines Athletic events. Last year she was honored to receive “Professor of the Year” from the Student Athletic Advisory Committee.
She has one kitten, “Kitty Arya Stark first of her name,” who has been with her since July 3, 2019. She loves living in the beautiful Black Hills and enjoys hiking, kayaking, camping, yoga and working out at Rapid City Boot Camp.
Jonathan Gibson, Associate Professor of Psychology
Jonathan Gibson is an Associate Professor of Psychology and teaches seven different courses at SD Mines. His primary research interests are focused on the effects of meditation. Specifically, he is interested in how different meditative techniques cultivate bodily or interoceptive awareness and how body awareness shapes our everyday psychological life. In his free time, he enjoys golf, fishing, gaming, and hiking in the Black Hills.
Erica Haugtvedt, Assistant Professor of English
Erica Haugtvedt teaches about technology and society, focusing on the history of media (including print) up to today’s online cultures. Her research considers nineteenth-century British literature, media and advertising history, and popular culture together. She is currently writing a book on how fictional characters that appear within Victorian serialized narratives and nineteenth-century adaptations across media anticipate the ways we treat characters in fanfiction and transmedia storytelling now. She likes British crime dramas, most things Norwegian, and miniatures.
Carlie Herrick, Instructor of English
Carlie Herrick teaches writing to the receptive and the resistant alike. She spends a lot of time reading, mountain biking, playing with her kids and dog. She would someday like to have flower farm, but, until then, she is grading student papers and trying to keep up with her kids.
Kyle Knight, Department Head & Professor of Sociology
Kyle Knight is an environmental sociologist who studies the human dimensions of environmental problems. His research currently focuses on social patterns in climate change public opinion. In his free time, he likes to spend time outside, read post-apocalyptic fiction, and listen to interesting new music.
Natalie Neumann, Instructor of English
Natalie Neumann enjoys writing fiction, one-acts, and poetry. Her writers’ group, High Plains Writers, sponsored local poets in annual poetry slams and contests throughout the years. When she’s not teaching, she’s busy riding one of her many mountain bikes, or conducting ghost town tours for a tourism group. She is owned by the world’s cutest Havapoodle named Rosie.
Kayla Pritchard, Associate Professor of Sociology
Kayla Pritchard teaches classes on marriage and family, criminology, drugs, health and healthcare, pop culture, human sexuality, as well as introductory sociology courses. Her research focuses on experiences and identities within motherhood and families. When not working, she enjoys hiking with her family, reading biographies, and dessert.
Gerrit Scheepers, Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Choirs
Gerrit Scheepers completed a Bachelor of Music degree at UP; earned a Master of Music degree from Missouri State University, where he studied choral conducting with Cameron LaBarr; and completed a doctorate from the University of Washington in choral conducting, where he studied under Geoffrey Boers and Giselle Wyers. Prior to his appointment at South Dakota Mines, he served as Director of Choral Studies at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. While at IUP, he served as assistant professor on the music faculty, where he conducted the flagship ensemble, the IUP Chorale. He has also taught undergraduate and graduate conducting, choral literature, and class voice. Gerrit has worked as guest conductor and clinician for various high schools and festivals across the United States, Europe, and South Africa.
Paul Showler, Assistant Professor of Philosophy
Paul Showler teaches on a wide range of philosophical topics. A devoted pluralist, he helps students explore philosophical problems through multiple methodological and historical perspectives. In addition to interests in value theory and pragmatism, his current research considers whether we have moral obligations to social robots. Paul is still in search of the perfect running trail.
Bryce Tellmann, Instructor of English
Bryce Tellmann asks questions about how our words influence space, place, and civic life. His research pursues these questions through a historical focus on regionalism, especially related to the northern Great Plains. In the classroom, he encourages his students to make new connections between seemingly disparate fields, revealing new forms of understanding. He occasionally sits outside and talks to grass.
Evan Thomas, Lecturer in English
Evan Thomas is a lecturer in English and the Humanities, and he often teaches STEM Comm and Humanities classes. He likes working with STS majors on projects that ask serious questions about big topics. One of his recurring course themes is Automatic Art, where he and students look at the long history of art, music, and literature and ask what is lost when various movements have tried to replace the human element of the humanities.
Christy Tidwell, Associate Professor of English
Christy Tidwell most often writes and teaches about the environment, horror and science fiction, gender studies, and African American literature & culture. She is currently writing about dinosaurs in speculative fiction, teaching worldbuilding, and the 1970s environmental horror/sf comic Slow Death. She is also co-editing a book on teaching creature features and looking forward to teaching classes on horror film and science fiction this year. She loves dinosaurs, horror movies, baking, and plants.
Frank Van Nuys, Professor of History
Frank Van Nuys teaches courses on the American West, environmental history, and environmental law and policy, as well as survey courses on the history of the United States and Western Civilization. His research is currently focused on conservation history in South Dakota and predatory animal control in the American West. He enjoys watching baseball, playing softball and pickleball (with his wife, Janet), and watching too many shows on streaming platforms before going to bed.
Kelly Weischedel, Adjunct Instructor in English
As an Adjunct Instructor of Communication in the STEM Workplace, Kelly Weischedel focuses on equipping students to write and present professionally. She aims to raise student awareness of the importance of effective communication skills and help students gain confidence in applying those skills. In her free time, she enjoys creating mosaics, fishing for walleye, and exploring the beautiful Black Hills trails with her husband and teenage son.
Karen Westergaard, Lecturer in English
Karen Westergaard focuses on connecting with her students, helping them bridge the connection between the classroom and industry. She has a strong loyalty to SD Mines, as two of her six children have graduated from Mines. Having grown up on a farm, she loves everything outdoors. Spending her days at the lake and hiking with her family and her dog, aptly named Tech, are her favorite pastimes. She firmly believes that time spent out in the Black Hills is time well spent.
Matthew Whitehead, Director of Apex Gallery & Lecturer
Matthew Whitehead makes paintings, drawings, photographs, and collages based on the subtleties of personal life experience. While rooted in intuition and aesthetics, his work occasionally raises ideas of appropriation and the proliferation of images in contemporary society.
Matthew feels that creativity and art making are essential to existence and hopes to spend his life facilitating both. He has taught Painting, Drawing, Photography, Illustration, Ceramics, Design, Art History, and Foundational Arts to students of all ages.
Olivia Burgess, Assistant Professor of English
Olivia Burgess enjoys thinking about utopias, writing pedagogy, the ethics of technology, and STEAM education (STEM + humanities/the arts). She is currently co-writing a book chapter about collaborative teaching across writing and engineering departments. She is also part of an NSF grant focused on increasing creativity in undergraduate STEM education. She spends her free time exploring the Black Hills with her two Australian shepherds and riding/running the trails at M-Hill.
John Dreyer, Associate Professor of Political Science
John was Associate Professor of Political Science specializing in International Security and Strategic Studies. His work examined military advising missions in the 20th century and he wrote the Little Big Horn Staff Ride Guide. He loved his home of of Toledo, OH, and wanted to retire as a cook on a Great Lake Ore freighter. John died unexpectedly in the summer of 2022, and he is much missed by the department.
Allison Gilmore, Department Head & Professor of History
Allison B. Gilmore’s area of expertise is American military history. She taught U.S. history and especially enjoyed teaching courses on World War II and the Vietnam War. Her research on the role of intelligence operations during the Pacific War has produced studies on Allied psychological warfare against the Imperial Japanese Army, the role of Allied linguists in the war against Japan, and the contributions of Japanese POWs to the Allied war effort. Born and raised in Nebraska, her favorite fall pastime is watching college football with friends and a cold beverage. Dr. Gilmore has retired and returned to Ohio to be near her family.
Michael Hudgens, Associate Professor of English
Michael Hudgens taught Philosophy 100, 200, 220, 233 and English 289 for South Dakota Mines. He was author of several books, including Sisters of Fate: the Myths That Speak Themselves and The Shakespeare Films of Grigori Kozintsev (both Cambridge Scholars Publishing hardbacks). In addition, his Donald Barthelme, Postmodernist American Writer was one of the Edwin Mellen Press Studies in American Literature series. He also wrote short fiction for South Dakota Review. Hudgens’ earned a doctorate from the University of South Dakota and a Master’s from Loyola Marymount. He joined South Dakota Mines in 1991, after being hired away from GM-Hughes Electronics by then-chair Lee Luckhart, JD.
Laura Kremmel, Assistant Professor of English
Laura R. Kremmel’s specialties and interests include Gothic and Horror studies, British 18th/19th-century Literature, Medical Humanities/History, Disability Studies, and Death Studies. She is the co-editor of The Palgrave Handbook to Horror Literature, and her book, Romantic Medicine and the Gothic Imagination: Morbid Anatomies, is forthcoming. She is also an amateur artist and lover of old cemeteries.