Featured Speakers


Stacey Berry is an Associate Professor of English for New Media and Digital Humanities at Dakota State University with specialization in American and multicultural literature, computational text analysis, and digital collection and curation. She currently co-directs Digital Humanities projects in progress The Museum of Fictional Literary Artifacts and Honoring the Dead: A Digital Archives of the Insane Indian Asylum.


Richard Carlson is the digital archivist for the Fassbender Photographic Collection. Carlson spent 20 years as a full-time photojournalist. He continues to do commercial and editorial freelance work in addition to teaching photography. Carlson attended South Dakota State University and worked at the Aberdeen American New and Sioux Falls Argus Leader. Carlson also served four semesters as adjunct faculty at Northern State University and Augustana University. He began as the board president for the Fassbender Collection once it was acquired by the cities of Lead, Deadwood and Spearfish. Eventually, Carlson resigned his position to work on the collection organizing volunteers to catalog and digitize the vast collection.


Sara Casper has been a government records archivist at the South Dakota State Archives for the last nine years. She has a master's degree in history with a concentration in archives and records management from Western Washington University. She is particularly interested in digital preservation and finding ways to improve access to state, county, and local government records.


Michele Christian is the Archivist and Special Collections Librarian at the Hilton M. Briggs Library, South Dakota State University. Between 2000 and 2013, she was the Collections Archivist and University Records Analyst for the Special Collections Department of the Iowa State University Library, and the Labor Archivist at the State Historical Society of Iowa from 1999 to 2000. Christian has written on various topics including managing artifacts in archives, applying social media for outreach, and using oral histories in collection development. She received her MA in history and MLIS from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and her BA in history from the University of Northern Iowa.


Andrew Clark is a field archaeologist with US Army Corps of Engineers covering Lake Sharpe and Lake Francis Case along the Missouri River. He received his PhD in anthropology from the University at Albany in 2017 and specializes in conflict studies, public archaeology, and spatial analysis.


Over the course of his career Paul Eisloeffel has worked with a variety of archival materials and, for the past several years has specialized in audiovisuals, especially moving images. As audiovisual archivist for the Nebraska State Historical Society, he helped build that institution's collections into a regional treasure - parts of which are frequently featured in public programs, exhibits and media productions. He established the Society's audiovisual lab, where he works with original moving images and sound recordings that he transfers to digital formats. He is also a media archivist in private practice, conducting curatorial work on moving images for other archives, libraries, museums and organizations.


Brian Gevik was born in Sioux Falls and grew up there. He studied (occasionally) at the University of South Dakota and double-majored in mass communications and psychology. After earning a B.A. degree, he went to work for KELO in Sioux Falls. He moved to Rapid City and worked as a videographer at the NBC affiliate in Rapid City. From there he moved to CBS affiliate in Madison, Wisconsin, where he worked as a videographer and producer for several years. In 2000, he moved to Lincoln, Nebraska, where he worked in a video and Web content production unit attached to the University of Nebraska Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources. In 2004, he came back home to South Dakota and worked for a time doing IT support at USD, and spent a year working in Ag Communications at SDSU. He started working at SDPB in 2008 in what was then known as Digital Services. He worked on the Web site and helped with high school activities coverage. He didn't really get involved in television production until 2009. His official title is now "Media Specialist," and he produces TV documentaries - mainly stories about South Dakota history. He also does voice-overs for radio and tv promotions, as well as documentaries produced by others at SDPB. He's produced 10 or 12 TV documentaries for SDPB.


Taylor Hamblin currently teaches in Pierre School District as an 8th grade U.S. History and Spanish teacher. Receiving his Master's of History in 2018, Taylor wishes to pursue a doctorate in Curriculum Development at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in the Fall of 2019. Taylor enjoys writing and reading 20th century military history, but has begun to work on research in regard to his experiences working with repurposing history education, project based learning, and the motivation of students to succeed in a social studies classroom.


Brenda Hemmelman is the Collection Services Librarian at the South Dakota State Library. She is team leader of the digitization group and is responsible for coordinating digitization projects at the SDSL, most of which include historical state government publications. SD State Library Digital Collections are available here: http://sdsdl-montage.auto-graphics.com/


Linda Lowe's love of family history and genealogy started in her late teens. At that time, research was accomplished by letter-writing or on-site at courthouses and libraries, but with computers and the Internet it has grown and changed. Online research is exciting, and she loves to share what she has learned to help others with their own family history. She is currently the editor of the Pierre-Fort Pierre Genealogy Society Quarterly, "Roots and Branches" and the president of that society, and the Corresponding Secretary for the South Dakota Genealogical Society. For the past 13 years she has been the Pierre Family History Center director for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and gives monthly free genealogy presentations for the community in the Pierre-Fort Pierre area. Linda has also given presentations to other communities, libraries and societies including the South Dakota Genealogical Society. She had the honor of being the "Genealogist of the Year" for that society in 2014.


Having taught English at the college level since 1984, Dr. John Nelson continues to teach in the English for New Media program at Dakota State University in Madison, SD. He teaches literature, writing, and new media courses and is the senior English faculty member and department coordinator. A native of South Dakota, Nelson attended Black Hills State University after his military service in Germany. He earned a MA at the University of Wyoming and began his teaching career at Rocky Mountain College in Billings, MT. He subsequently taught at St. Mary of the Plains College in Dodge City, KS and Sisseton Wahpeton Community College in Sisseton, SD. He has been at Dakota State since 1996. Nelson is a published poet and has read and spoken at national and international conferences on literature, new media, video games, and digital humanities. His writing has appeared in magazines and newspapers. He is married and lives in Madison with his wife and dog. He and his wife love to travel. He has three children and two grandchildren. A runner who has completed nearly 50 marathons and countless other races, Nelson continues to run, travel, write poetry, read, work on his old Victorian house, and tinker with cars.


Matthew Reitzel has been the manuscript and photo archivist for the South Dakota State Archives since 2005. He received his bachelor's degree in history from Northern State University in 2001 and his master's degree in history from Oklahoma State University in 2003.


John Rychtarik grew up in Pierre, SD. He received his BS in Art Education with a minor in history from Northern State University in Aberdeen and attended the University of South Dakota. John taught art throughout South Dakota in public schools, South Dakota Arts Council programs in communities, the BIA Traveling Art Van to reservation day schools, and at the Flandreau Indian School. He retired in 2014 from his position as Exhibits Coordinator at the South Dakota Art Museum after being in the museum field for 35 years. He also worked in various positions at the Robinson State Museum in Pierre, SD and the Siouxland Heritage Museums in Sioux Falls, SD. John in also an artist and has exhibited his work throughout South Dakota.


Terry Sohl received a bachelor's degree in meteorology/climatology and a master's in geography from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. After a 2-year stint at the Defense Intelligence Agency in Washington DC, he accepted a position at the US Geological Survey's Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center in Sioux Falls, where he has been for the last 26 years. Mr. Sohl has been intimately involved with many high-profile USGS projects using satellite imagery to map and monitor the Earth's surface. He was one of the original team members on both the first National Land Cover Database (NLCD) and Land Cover Trends projects, playing a key role in project design and land-cover mapping activities. Over the last decade, Mr. Sohl has focused on modeling landscape change, including historical "backcasting" for dates prior to the availability of satellite imagery, and scenario-based modeling into the future. He developed USGS EROS' flagship Forecasting Scenarios of land-use change (FORE-SCE) model, which has been successfully used for applications examining the impacts of land-use change on carbon dynamics, biodiversity, climate, and regional hydrology.


Deborah Thomas is the Library of Congress manager for the National Digital Newspaper Program, a joint program with the National Endowment for the Humanities and state libraries and archives, supporting the creation of a national digitized collection of freely available historic newspapers. Beginning her career in publishing and digital media at the Smithsonian Institution, Deborah joined the Library in 1998 to help bring online collections of historic materials to researchers, educators and lifelong learners. In 2005, she began coordinating the cooperative newspaper program which today provides open access to more than 14.5 million digitized pages, 1789-1963, from 44 states and territories and the District of Columbia at the Chronicling America website.