Month: May, 2014

DWU students named to spring dean’s list

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The spring semester dean’s list at Dakota Wesleyan University includes 211 students.

To qualify for the dean’s list, a student must have a semester grade point average of at least 3.5 on a four-point scale. They also have to complete at least 12 hours of academic work during the semester. The following students have been named to the dean’s list.

Aberdeen – Ariana Arampatzis, Austin Hieb

Armour – Lydia Ymker

Artesian – Jo Anne Oberg

Ashton – Shayna Frost

Baltic – Glenn Scotting

Belle Fourche – Tyler Burr

Big Stone City – Kayla Mielitz

Blunt – Macey Chambers

Box Elder – Lisa Stanley

Britton – Jade Hoisington, Kyle Hoisington

Brookings – Lauren Fitts, Bailey Gummer, Katelynn Runge

Bruce – Jace Goodfellow

Burke – Skyler Heyden

Canistota – Alex Robertson

Canton – Abby Carpenter, Abigail Fossum, Jessica Fossum, Jared Stearns, Jasmin Vant

Castlewood – Kelsey Little

Chamberlain – Makenna Hancock, Kelli Swenson

Clear Lake – Eric Lundberg

Colome – Michael Rohde

Corsica – Breanna Blom, Angela Cleveland, Linnaea Johnson, Kris Menning, Lacey Reimnitz, Megan Reimnitz, Kayla Vanden Hoek

Crooks – Trae Bergh

Dell Rapids – Lindsay Merry, Tanner Munk

Edgemont – Elizabeth Humiston

Estelline – Daniel Mitchell

Ethan – Chase McBrayer, Kira Stammer

Fedora – Cal Wiese

Geddes – Shelby Steele

Harrisburg – Heather Willett, Heidi Willett

Hartford – Caleb Heiberger

Hill City – Pamela Getman

Howard – Jolee Drown, Andrew Schwader, Kelli Smith

Hurley – Celeste Beck, Stephen Lee

Huron – Sara Hines, Kristin Pratt

Iroquois – Leah Wienbar

Kennebec – Danielle Anderson

Kimball – Natalie Munger, Jesse Taylor

Lake Andes – Kelsey Kniffen, Krista Winckler

Letcher – Lindsey Miller, Lacey VanLaecken

Madison – Jessica Neises, Cody Warns, Kelsey Warns

Marion – Kolleen Matthies

Mellette – Landon Fischbach

Miller – Shaney Davis

Mitchell – Tatyana Brown, Zachary Ciavarella, Cherokee Durant, Kayla Geraets-Majercik, Miranda Goldammer, Tiffany Hogen, Krista Huber, Brittney Kaufmann, Serina Lesnar, Zachary Lippert, Cynthia Loeske, Mareisha Marvin, Dillon Miles, Morgan Millar, Andreau-Joseph Miller, Jenna Miller, Madison-Ainsley Miller, Emily Mizrahi, Chelsea Moody, Joseph Nagel, Christopher Nemec, Rachel Reichel, Jordan Reiner, Joshua Schmitz, Marissa Tubbs, Briana Weiss

Mount Vernon - Jordan Adam, Amanda Dixon, Megan Hart, Emma Otterpohl, Delayna Paulson

Parkston – Erica Herrold, Samantha Mogck, Ann Thury

Pierre – Matthew Bader, Michael Hardwick, Alexander McGuigan, Travis Moodie, Tyson Moodie, Dustin Paulsen, Tyler Sarringar

Plankinton – Chase Kristensen, Elizabeth Morrison

Platte – Cheyenne Durant, Emily Olsen, Matthew Randall, Kayla Summerville

Presho – Jaylen Uthe

Rapid City – Matthew Britt, Amanda Burton, Nicole Gleich, Megan Johnson, Alisha Lascelles, Lauren Tadlock

Renner – Shelby Vosburg

Scotland – Aisha Abbink, Jaymie Barrett, Haley Brunke, Chelsea Raker

Sioux Falls – Andrew DeVaney, Chance Huber, Tiffany Johnston, Kylie Keiser, Zachary Schneider, Sarah Teeslink

South Shore – Jordan Buchholz

Spearfish – Blaine Bacon

Stickney – Adam Bormann, Kyle Gerlach

Sturgis – Alexandra Kuehler

Tea – Andrew Becker

Tripp – Samantha Sandau

Tyndall – Kodi Larson, Travis McDonald, Tara Ronke, Jared Van Winkle

Vermillion – Hannah Ford

Volga – Tyson DeGroot

Wagner – Tristen Scherr

Wall – Madeline Bauer

Warner – Briana Jung

Watertown – Emily Pengilly, Nicholas Tschakert

Waubay – Jonathan Wieger

Wessington – Paige Mehling

Wessington Springs – Sarah Mentzer

White – Autumn Schmidt

White Lake – Beau Byrd

Winner – Austin Calhoon, Anthony Husher

Woonsocket – Kayla Collins, Amber Hiles, Emily Olson, Stacy Treib, Eric Warkenthien

Yale – Lexy Timm

Yankton – Tiffany Fiechuk, Brook Woehl



Out of State


Gilbert – Analisa Morel

Glendale – Daniel Maman



Bakersfield – Colleen Hannum

Chula Vista – Alexandra Davis

Moss Beach – Cody Silveria

North Hollywood – Anthony Cervantes

Pearblossom – Trever Devestern

Temecula – Lindy Snook



Arvada – Jerry Stravia

Brighton – Tiffany Sharp

Grand Junction – Heather Banister

Loveland – Breanna Clark, Dyrani Clark



Windermere – Michael Claar



Burlington – Jonathon Knight



Tetonia – Braiden Jorgensen



Lindsborg – Ian Lackey



Balaton – Lori Lima

Dawson – Sarah Zaiser

Fairmont – Joseph Fitzgerald

Marshall – Brooke Louwagie

Rochester – Bryce Berletic

Saint Paul – Logan Massop

Worthington – Cassandra Landgaard



Corvallis – Jake Capko

Huson – Alecia VanTassel

Roundup – Marisa Soderberg



Blair – Adam Jahnel

Gordon – Macy Piper

Mead – Katherine Johnson

Naper – Jonathan Alford

Norfolk – Payton Baker

Orchard – Sarah Twibell

Polk – Mackenzie Stevens


North Dakota 

Jamestown – Sterling Hubbard

Surrey – Taylor Kuhn



Denton – Thara Ali Said

Lakeview – April Barnett



Casper – John Fabrizius

Gillette – Alexis Wilde

Jackson – Christian Doyle

Sheridan – Erin Deibele



Other countries



Winnipeg– Hailey Unger




DWU hosts youth science camps in June

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Space is still available for youth interested in participating in three June science camps at Dakota Wesleyan University.

Camps will take place June 9-13.  “Minecraft Mathematics” is a camp for fourth- and fifth-graders; “Art & STEM” and “Robotics” are camps for sixth- through eighth-grade students.  All camps will be on campus and will run from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. each day.  The cost of each camp is $75.

The camps will take place in partnership with the South Dakota Innovation Lab and the PAST Foundation as a way to introduce students to transdisciplinary, problem-based learning.

To register, either click here or go to


DWU campus ministry welcomes new pastor

Monday, May 19, 2014

Dakota Wesleyan University welcomes a new campus pastor this summer, the Rev. Eric Van Meter.

Van Meter comes to DWU from Arkansas State University, Paragould, Ark., where he served as campus pastor since 2007 – a calling inspired through self-discovery.

“My time as a student in campus ministry was the transformative experience of my adult life,” he said about his own college experiences. “Through both the way I was loved and the way I was expected to show love to others, I discovered a way of living that was more beautiful than anything I’d imagined before. When I found out I could serve God, love others, and even get paid to do it, I realized that ministry was the vocation for me.”

Van Meter is a graduate of Arkansas Tech University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, and Asbury Theological Seminary with a Master of Divinity.

He will begin at DWU on July 1, succeeding former campus pastor Brandon Vetter who will assume fulltime duties for Fusion on July 1, as well. Fusion, a weekly worship service held on campus, was originally a collaboration between DWU and the First United Methodist Church, but its growth led to it becoming a church of its own and Vetter was called to lead it.

“Brandon and the students have made such a great situation here, and Denise and I felt so at home when we visited,” Van Meter said.

At Arkansas State University, Van Meter served as campus pastor and helped grow and stabilize its campus ministry to a group that regularly trains and guides 50 to 70 young adults each year.  Prior to ASU, he served as the executive pastor at St. James United Methodist Church in Little Rock, where he assisted to supervise a staff of more than 30 full-time employees, conducting weekly worship to a congregation averaging 1,000.

The decision to come to Dakota Wesleyan was not made lightly, as Van Meter said he and his wife prayed over the decision to return to the Dakotas, having served United Methodist Campus Ministry in Rapid City from 2002-2004. With all his experience in campus ministry being at state schools, people close to him began suggesting his gifts would fit perfectly in a Christian university setting.

“As I started to look around and I came across DWU, it was everything I was looking for: a strong ministry connected with campus life, a great place for my family, and an opportunity to teach in a classroom setting,” he said.

He and his wife, Denise, and children, Zachary, 10, and Jonathan, 8, will make their home across the street from campus.

“Everything worthwhile that I’ve done in my life has frightened me at least a little; the same can be said for moving to DWU — I’m very excited, but also a little nervous,” he said. “I’m coming into this with a lot of ideas and hopes. I’m confident we’re going to continue to do beautiful ministry at DWU, and I’m excited to help create that in the years ahead.” 


DWU to host Global Leadership Summit with Northridge Baptist Church

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Dakota Wesleyan University will partner with Northridge Baptist Church as a host site for the Global Leadership Summit Aug. 14-15.

Click here for registration information.

DWU’s Sherman Center will be the location for the two-day Summit, telecast live from the Willow Creek Association (WCA) campus near Chicago to more than 300 locations in North America. More than 170,000 church, business and organization leaders participate each year.

Founded in 1992, WCA is the organization behind the Global Leadership Summit.  According to its website, “the Summit is a world-class experience for leaders who want to get better.  Everybody has influence and the responsibility to lead well. When cultivated in a culture of Christ-centered leadership, your influence can change lives and the organizations in which you lead. Leaders worldwide leverage the Summit to sharpen their skills and to unleash the full potential of their teams.”

The Rev. Ben Payne of Northridge Baptist Church is enthusiastic about this opportunity.

“The Global Leadership Summit has been growing and is now being simulcast around the world in more than 90 different countries,” Payne said.  “We feel that hosting this premier leadership training event will raise the level of leadership in all sectors of our region.  Good leadership is vital to all organizations and our hope is that anyone who is in a position of influence in our area will prioritize this event for themselves and their team.  If they do, their entire organization will benefit.”

Speakers at this year’s Summit include:

  • Tyler Perry – Filmmaker, actor and philanthropist
  • Jeffrey Immelt – President and CEO of General Electric
  • Susan Cain – best-selling author of “The Power of Introverts”
  • Wilfredo De Jesus – senior pastor, New Life Covenant Church; Time’s 100 Most Influential People 2013
  • Patrick Lencioni – best-selling author, “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team” and one of Fortune Magazine’s Gurus You Should Know
  • Carly Fiorina – former CEO of Hewlett-Packard and Fortune magazine’s Most Powerful Woman in Business for six consecutive years
  • Joseph Grenny – social scientist for business performance

For a full list of speakers, go to

The local event chairwoman is Fredel Thomas, director of the Kelley Center for Entrepreneurship at DWU.  Thomas has attended the Summit at the Sioux Falls site in the past and is pleased to bring the opportunity to Mitchell.  

“We all get into ruts in our day-to-day life,” Thomas said.  “When I went to the leadership conference, I found myself reenergized with the hope and enthusiasm I need to be a leader in my work, in my volunteer commitments and in my family. Those two brief days will provide the opportunity to hear from incredible leaders whose experiences and wisdom can provide the clarity of purpose from which we all can benefit.”

For more information or to register, visit, or contact Deb Weitala at


Dakota Wesleyan awards 206 diplomas at commencement

Friday, May 9, 2014

The Dakota Wesleyan University awarded 206 degrees on May 3 during Commencement services at the Corn Palace.

Dr. Terry Grindstaff, a 1999 graduate of DWU and this year’s Commencement speaker, shared with students the importance of taking advantage of opportunities and always being ready for them, for they are often unexpected.

Grindstaff, of Omaha, Neb., is an assistant professor at the School of Pharmacy and Health Professions at Creighton University, Omaha, Neb. He told students that preparation and goal-setting are the best tools for success.

An Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters was awarded posthumously to Ann Mitchell, accepted by her husband, Dr. Dave Mitchell, and their daughters, Patti Duffy, Fort Pierre, and Nancy Mitchell, Philadelphia. Dr. John Husmann, associate professor of history at DWU, was awarded the prestigious Clarke Award for Teaching Excellence by Steve Clarke and his sister Megan Luther on behalf of the Clarke family.

To view all the graduation galleries, click here.

The following is a list of degree recipients:

Master of Arts in Education degrees:


Baltic – Nancy Brekke, education with history emphasis

Chamberlain – Carissa VanderLey, education with history emphasis

Crooks – Andrew Johnson, education with history emphasis

Dell Rapids – Jason Fersdahl, education with history emphasis; Drew Gillogly, educational policy and administration

Estelline – Alex Foster, educational policy and administration

Faith – Deanna Fischbach, education with history emphasis

Huron – Jerica Gamber, education with history emphasis; Candice Klipfel, education with history emphasis

Ipswich – Angela Kulesa, education with history emphasis

Isabel – Prairie Grate, education with history emphasis

Lemmon – Tim Pelkofer, education with history emphasis

Mitchell – Cindy Kiner, educational policy and administration; Seth Mernaugh, education with history emphasis; Stephen Morgan, education with history emphasis; Adam Schorzmann, educational policy and administration

Rapid City – Rebecca Baker, education with history emphasis; Eric Elder, education with history emphasis; Tracy Freidel, education with history emphasis; Jeannine Gibson, education with history emphasis

Salem – William Walker, secondary education certification and degree

Sioux Falls – Erica Bell, education with history emphasis; Brant Deutsch, education with history emphasis; Jared Fredenburg, education with history emphasis; Sylvia Gill, education with history emphasis; Lisa Griebel, education with history emphasis; Kristie Haffner, education with history emphasis; Tamra Huffman, education with history emphasis; Robyn Ventura, education with history emphasis

Springfield – Christopher Gubbrud, education with history emphasis

Tea – Jenae Ruesink-Cross, education with history emphasis

Viborg – Jamie Healy, education with history emphasis

Yankton – John Notheis, education with history emphasis


Other states


Oak Lawn – Kevin Kelly, educational policy and administration



East Grand Forks – Michael Lukkason, educational policy and administration



Lincoln – Rene Cardona, educational policy and administration

North Platte – Jacob Brandl, educational policy and administration



Casper – Paul McVey, education with history emphasis



Master of Business Administration-Strategic Leadership degree:

Mitchell – Traci Loecker

Onida– Elizabeth Lamb

Rapid City – Kasha Roberts

Tripp – Fredel Thomas; Angela Van Pelt



Bachelor of Arts degrees (names followed by *** indicates Summa Cum Laude, ** Magna Cum Laude; and * Cum Laude):


Aberdeen – Austin Hieb, communication; Tyler Severson, history education

Alexandria – Amanda Hart*, sports management and English

Bison – Preston Liebelt, sport, exercise and wellness

Chamberlain – Kelli Swenson***, leadership and public service and business administration; Tina Lein***, elementary education and special education

Elk Point – Nicholas Hutcheson*, elementary education

Ethan – Shelby Andersen**, elementary education; Matthew Tuttle, elementary education

Freeman – Joshua Korn, business administration

Harrisburg – Autumn Krueger, religion and philosophy

Huron – Eloisa Hernandez, digital media and design; Christopher Sterrett, wildlife management; Eric Witte, sport, exercise and wellness

Kimball – Jordyn Heath, elementary education; Natalie Munger*, graphic design

Lake Andes – Sarah Garcia, biology

Lennox – Bret LaCroix, history

Martin – Shawna Evans, human services

Mitchell – Zachary Ciavarella*, mathematics; Elizabeth Cope, human services; Andreau-Joseph Miller, history; Whitney Morgan, accounting; Joseph Nagel, English; Amee Patel, human services; Vicky Schaefer, behavioral science; Theresa Wheeler, human services

Mount Vernon – Amanda Dixon, psychology and history; Kendra Thomas, human services

Parker – Cody Duerksen, business administration

Pierre – Austin Munyon, wildlife management; Linsey Peterson*, sport, exercise and wellness

Plankinton – Erica Fett, psychology; Chase Kristensen*, leadership and public service; Elizabeth Morrison, music; Ashley Tipton, elementary education

Platte – Emily Olsen**, business administration; Joseph Selvig, history; Kayla Summerville***, human services and criminal justice

Presho – Skyler Eriksen**, elementary education

Rapid City – Amanda Burton***, individualized major and criminal justice; Eric Moller, criminal justice; Nickolas Sterling, business administration;

Sioux Falls – Jennica Berry, sports management; Derek Carlson, entrepreneurial leadership; Derrick Dunn, sports management; Eric Fjerestad, general education; Megan Hazelrigg, human services; Ross Leonhardt, sports management; Anthony Muilenburg, business administration

Spearfish – Drew Joachim, sport, exercise and wellness

Wagner – Mitchel Breen, communication; Talia Peters*, elementary education

Watertown – Kayla Leininger***; elementary education; Trent Robbins***, mathematics and business administration

Wessington Springs – Jordan Von Eye, criminal justice

Winner – Kyle Higgins, sports management

Yankton – Valerie Hummel*, religion and philosophy and psychology


Other states


Glendale – Daniel Maman**, sport, exercise and wellness



Lakewood – Richard Rios, human services

Moss Beach – Cody Silveria, history



Brighton – Tiffany Sharp*, biology

Grand Junction – Heather Banister, sports management

Loveland – Breanna Clark***, business administration and leadership and public service



Miami – Alexis Moore, communication



Canton – Benjamin Hatcher, business administration



Chicago – Shekela Qualres, human services

Chicago Heights – Carde' Pennington, sports management



Sioux City – James O’Halloran*, criminal justice



Lawrence – Jamar Reese, individualized sport administration



Inkster – Michael Lee, sports management



Adrian – Shea Klooster, criminal justice

Faribault – Christen Hildebrandt***, history education

Milan – Micaela Erickson*, business administration

Mountain Iron – Nicholas Pecha, sports management

Oakdale – Tobias Kaplan, sport, exercise and wellness

Pipestone – Chane Amdahl, Christian leadership and history

Reading – Emily Ruml, elementary education and special education



Billings – Dalton Smith, sport, exercise and wellness



Bladen – Caitlin Bruckman**, elementary education and special education

Fremont – Aaron Cox, criminal justice

Lincoln – Travis Johnson, business administration



Irving – Carlos Mora, history and psychology



Casper – Sterling Dockweiler**, history education


Other countries



Winnipeg – Jillian Dickson, psychology



Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees (names followed by *** indicates Summa Cum Laude, ** Magna Cum Laude; and * Cum Laude):

Corsica – Megan Reimnitz**, theatre




Bachelor of Science degrees (names followed by *** indicates Summa Cum Laude, ** Magna Cum Laude; and * Cum Laude):


Alexandria – Lindsey Kayser, nursing

Britton – Kyle Hoisington, wildlife management

Clear Lake – Eric Lundberg*, athletic training

Corsica – Angela Cleveland, nursing

Edgemont – Elizabeth Humiston*, athletic training

Emery – Heidi Berg*, nursing

Geddes – Shelby Steele**, biology

Hill City – Pamela Getman***, accounting

Iroquois – Leah Wienbar, biology

Lesterville – Ashley Fischer, nursing

Mitchell – Tiffany Hogen, nursing; Emily Mizrahi, nursing; Nancy Mutziger**, accounting; Taylor Piper, athletic training; Jordan Reiner*, athletic training; Debra Teger, biology education

Murdo – Carson Moore, accounting

Parkston – Samantha Mogck, nursing

Pierre – Tyler Sarringar***, athletic training

Sioux Falls – Myranda Blunt, nursing; Kimberly Johnson, nursing

Stickney – Stephanie Teel***, biology education

Sturgis – Alexandra Kuehler**, biology

Tulare – Aimee Lenocker, biology education

Wessington – Paige Mehling, athletic training

Woonsocket – Jedd Schlicht, biology


Other states


Kansas City – Erika Carpenter, biology

Lindsborg – Ian Lackey, athletic training



Mora – Rachel Eberhart, nursing



Associate of Arts degree:

Huron – Rebecca Fischer Sipple, criminal justice



Associate of Science degree in nursing (names followed by * indicates graduating with honors):


Baltic – Michelle Arends

Brandon – Michelle Olson

Canton – Kelsey Olson

Dell Rapids – Michelle Pierce; Megan Witte

Dimock – Brooke McBrayer

Harrisburg – Rosalee Renken

Huron – Alexis Fiorini*; Ashley Kingdon; Jay Larson; Lindsey McCaskell; Kristine McGirr; Angela Mott; Miranda Olson; Kristin Pratt*

Iroquoise – April Leichtenberg

Kennebec – Danielle Anderson*

Lake Andes – Jenna Winckler

Letcher – Lora VanOverschelde

Mitchell – Kristin Gebel; Zachary Lippert*; Molly Neugebauer; Jenna Schmaltz; Renee Schroeder; Alexis Semmler; Lacey Vittitoe

Mount Vernon – Sara Deinert*

Parkston – Sara Konrad

Redfield – Trenice Pehrson*

Reliance – Nicole Schindler

Sioux Falls – James Dietz; Megan Hatwan; Kristin Hendrickson*; Dana Mutschelknaus; Rosa Nordstrom; Kassi Sether; Patrick Verley*

Warner – Briana Jung*

Wentworth – Sarah Johnson

White Lake – Audrey Chapman

Wolsey – Ashley Styer

Woonsocket – Maria De La Rosa*


Other states:


Lancaster – Kathryn Anderus



Rock Island – Holly Lunde



Luverne – Jessica Behr; Sara Vorderbruggen

Pipestone – Jessica Meyer



Employees honored, retirees recognized at DWU breakfast

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Dakota Wesleyan University took time Thursday to honor and recognize employees for their years of service, their credit to the university and to say farewell to those moving on to the next phase in their lives.

During the employee recognition breakfast, DWU awarded Professional Excellence Awards for spring; the winners are Karen Knoell, university registrar, and Dan Miller, associate professor of communication and theatre director.

Knoell, winner of the Professional Excellence Award for staff, was described in her nomination letter as dedicated and dependable, willing to work extended hours and volunteer for committees.

“She is very much respected by faculty and staff which is so important to holding the role she does,” states the nomination. “Karen is thoughtful, detailed, and prompt in her work.  She allows the academic registration process to flow smoothly, with solid planning and wonderful problem-solving abilities.”

Knoell has also taken on the responsibility as co-chairman of the program prioritization committee on campus, which includes reading and assessing reports from every program and department on campus.

“Weekly meetings and nightly reading have become the norm for her this year as she remains dedicated to meaningful outcomes of the process. It takes a dedicated, respected and unbiased approach to carry out such a charge.  She has put in many hours to ultimately help the university’s mission.”

Miller, winner of the Professional Excellence Award for faculty, has brought musical theatre back to campus with huge productions like “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” and this year’s “Les Miserables.” In fact, for “Les Mis,” Miller dedicated his entire spring break to building the set in the Sherman Center, with the help of several students. He is also responsible for creating a Bachelor of Fine Arts program, making DWU the only private school in the state to offer a B.F.A.

“Dan has cultivated a loyal and able cadre of students who do incredible work both on and off the stage,” stated his nomination. “Many of these students, often without being enrolled for credit, are involved in multiple productions over their careers, showing incredible growth, and demonstrating amazing dedication and a willingness to sacrifice by fulfilling multiple duties, often in the more unsung aspects of theatre.

“Even for students who are not majors, theatre provides students with incredibly valuable experiences in taking personal risks, gaining confidence and leadership skills, appreciating the value of being part of a larger team with well-defined roles in which you must learn to depend on each other, …  Dan does an excellent job in bringing these aspects to the forefront of students’ minds, and mentoring students both on and off the stage to achieve excellence.” 

Other Professional Excellence Award winners this year were: Monty Bohrer, associate business professor and director business, and Dan Bonte, assistant director of admissions, for the summer term; and Diane Sandhoff, dean of the Donna Starr Christen College of Healthcare, Fitness and Sciences, and Malik Stewart, talent adviser, for the fall term.

The Presidential Award for Outstanding Service was awarded to Leah Rado, sports information director.

“Behind the success of Dakota Wesleyan University this past year have been countless individuals whose commitment to excellence makes the stories of our students possible.  However, few are probably aware of the many hours behind the scenes of one individual.  Well beyond midnight and on most weekends, Leah Rado is writing press releases, figuring the stats sheets, submitting reports to the GPAC – all in an effort to tell the compelling story of accomplishment by not just our athletic teams, but the story of our student athletes,” said DWU President Amy Novak when presenting the award.

Rado balances multiple work duties for the athletic department as well finding time to chaperone three past DWU mission trips in and out of country.

“Today, we recognize Leah Rado as a true servant leader of Wesleyan; why? Because, each and every day, Leah puts everyone else’s story above her own,” Novak said. “Today we recognize her for just that – serving so that others may shine – serving that so others may know the compelling story of DWU athletics, and serving with a level of excellence that is the envy of the GPAC.”

Service Awards

Length of service awards were also presented to the following employees: five years: Mark Halling, assistant professor of education, administrative chair; Curt Hart, athletic director; Carol Lazenby, comptroller; Joan Lubben, assistant professor of math; Terry Lundeen, director of residence life; Mari Olson, public relations specialist; Brian Patrick, assistant professor of biology; Wim Rosendahl, systems administrator and programmer; Mark Steichen, biology instructor; and Jeremy Tosaya, head men’s soccer coach.

The following were recognized for 10 years: Elwin Hohn, McGovern Library custodian; John Husmann, associate history professor; Amy Novak, university president; Cherie Ramsdell, assistant professor of graphic design; and Cara Weise, enrollment services administrative assistant.

The following were recognized for 15 years: Lori Essig, vice president for university relations; Sean Flynn, history professor; and Donna Gerlach, campus nurse.

The following were recognized for 20 years: Missy Herr-Valburg, director of admissions; and Lori Solberg, bookstore manager.

The following were recognized for 25 years: Linda Hofer, day care director; Judy Lehi, circulation, acquisitions supervisor; Tim Mullican, biology professor; and Diane Sandhoff, nursing professor, director of the R.N. program and dean of the Donna Starr Christen College of Healthcare, Fitness and Sciences.

The following employee was recognized for 30 years: Wyonne Kaemingk, nursing A.A. program director.

The following employee was recognized for 35 years: Michael Farney, mathematics professor and department chairman.


Two DWU employees announced their retirement, Adele Jacobson and Nancy Sonne.

Jacobson, a professor in the nursing department, has worked for Dakota Wesleyan since 2005. Jacobson retires from the position as administrative chairman of the Arlene Gates Department of Nursing.

Sonne, an assistant professor of nursing at DWU, has worked for the university since 2002.

Kim Mohr, assistant professor of nursing at DWU, worked with Jacobson and Sonne for the past seven years.

“Both of these women have been servants for DWU,” Mohr said when asked to share a memory of her coworkers. “To make a great life, one must think about how you make the most of the time spent ‘in between’; where you were and where you are going. These small details are really what has made both Nancy and Adele great people and coworkers. I so appreciated the personal cards of encouragement and recognition from Adele. I also received many emails and hugs from Nancy of the same sort, since we weren’t on the same campus. They are in service to others, which is truly what we are all about. 

“Adele has been an extremely hardworking, committed leader who led by example and showed her commitment to DWU nursing every day,” Mohr continued. “She has a great way of encouraging others and is committed to excellence every day. Nancy has been a quiet leader in our faculty who I consider to be a mentor and friend, encourager, great team player, and committed to the success of each and every one of her students. She is one of the kindest and most sincere people I know, but also has a balance where she will stay true to her values and speak her opinion when asked. That is why I respect her so much.

“There is a saying that you become great by helping others become great and that is so true with both of these women.” 

Campus pastor Brandon Vetter isn’t retiring, but he is stepping down from his position at DWU this summer to lead the Fusion worship services full time. Vetter, who is a 2003 alumnus of DWU has been at the college since 2006. DWU recognized his service to the campus, to the First United Methodist Church and the community on Thursday as the campus wishes him luck on his next venture.

“Brandon Vetter leaves a remarkable spiritual leadership legacy at DWU,” Novak said. “When he first came, chapel attendance was near 25. Today, worship has grown to nearly 150 students, faculty, and staff and the campus is more deeply involved in regional and international mission work than ever before.

“From planting the new Fusion worship community to supporting global mission trips, from building discipleship programs to invite people to come to know Christ, to introducing Jesus through media, Brandon has witnessed the evangelical spirit of Christ, who said, ‘Go out and make disciples.’ We are grateful for his passion, leadership, energy and the truly remarkable spiritual transformation he brought to our campus.”


Summer hours announced for DWU campus

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Dakota Wesleyan University will begin observing summer hours on Monday, May 12.

All campus offices will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. The McGovern Library will observe the following summer hours: closed weekends; open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, May 5 to Aug. 11. Java City will be closed throughout the month of May and reopen 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday, June 2 through July 31.

DWU will return to regular hours on Aug. 4.


20 Success Tips for Online Degrees @ DWU

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Whether you plan to pursue Dakota Wesleyan University’s fully online RN-Bachelor of Science in Nursing,  M.B.A. in Strategic Leadership, or our brand-new Master of Arts in Education, we know you want to be successful. We want that for you, too. That is why we have reached out to students, faculty and staff alike to round up a list of tips to help you succeed—even before you start your classes. Here are 20 tips—in their own words:

1. Remember the program is like a marathon. Take it steady, slow and don’t burn all your energy on one part of the race.

2. Order your books in advance and look through them—even just briefly. We often make things harder in our minds than what they need to be and just becoming familiar with the book helps a lot! 

3. Don't procrastinate! Try to get a schedule down that you can follow, but always allow extra time in case of emergencies. 

4. Communicate with your instructors and your classmates. It is reassuring to know others are experiencing the same things as you. Don't be afraid to open up. It is possible to feel close to your class, even virtually!

5. I begin the course by getting organized and looking at due dates and how much is expected each week.  I also look at the midterm and final weeks to be sure I’m covering everything I need to be successful at the end of the course.

6. Stay ahead—but don’t get too far ahead!

7. Don’t hesitate to ask questions.  It is likely a question that more than one person has, so ask it!

8. Check into the online platform daily. Even if just for five minutes on a day you have everything done.

9. Make sure you enter your instructor’s name and contact information into your phone on the first day of the course. This way you know whom to notify in case of an emergency, power outage or illness.

10. Communicate with your instructor. ALWAYS be proactive if possible.  Contact your instructor BEFORE a due date, not after. Instructors understand that life events do occur, but they stress the importance of contacting them as soon as possible.

11. Understand the purpose of instructor feedback. Feedback and grading are part of the learning process and are how instructors teach in online courses. Do not take feedback personally. Instructor feedback is given to guide your learning through positive comments and suggestions or pointers to help you improve your work.  Please review and apply the instructor feedback to your next assignment.  Feedback is not given to make you feel bad, it is to help you grow in your professional role.

12. Read assignment instructions carefully. If unsure of what is expected, contact the instructor for clarification.

13. Remember that you are never alone in an online course. Reach out to the faculty or to others in the course if you are having problems or not understanding an assignment. 

14. Designate time for your readings and assignments and then allow yourself to not worry about class while you’re with your family, for example. 

15. Be realistic about your life, the demands and the things you can’t control. Schedule around your non-school responsibilities, and then be disciplined to stay as close to that schedule as possible. That allows you to say,  “I’m going to work on that paper on Tuesday from 7-9 and Wednesday from 5-8 because it’s due on Friday and I have other commitments on Monday and Thursday” and then on Monday night, you don’t feel guilty for not working on it, and on Thursday you’re not panicked while you’re at your other commitment.  This method allows you to go to kids’ activities, watch a sitcom, or go for a walk without feeling like you ‘should’ be working on coursework. 

16. Planning ahead also relieves you from the last-minute crises that can plague every human being – illness (you or your family), technology issues or a really good social event.

17. Before the class starts: Review the syllabus, print the course calendar and mark deadlines on it, and read everything on the course website so you find all the resources that were put there for you.

18. Understand your learning style. If you prefer to highlight/annotate on real paper, print everything at the beginning of the week/module/unit and carry at least a few pieces with you wherever you go. If you prefer to read online, make sure you have copies on multiple devices—phone, Kindle, laptop, iPad—so that you’re not dependent on an Internet connection if you want to catch up on your reading while you’re waiting somewhere (dr. appt., halftime, checkout line).

19. Read all the assignment requirements before you read the assigned reading (for the week/chapter/unit/module – the entire body of assignments related to that reading).  Know what answers you’re looking for before you start so that as you read, you save time by seeking those key concepts rather than trying to retain absolutely everything. You will save having to go back and needing to reread for certain questions. 

20. Make yourself stick to the schedule you’ve created. Be disciplined even if you’ve never been disciplined before. Your stress level and your GPA will thank you.

CategoriesBlog: Online Degrees @ DWU

DWU senior receives Bishop Armstrong Peace and Justice Award

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Kelli Swenson, a senior at Dakota Wesleyan University, was named this year’s recipient of the Bishop Armstrong Peace and Justice Award during DWU’s Baccalaureate service Saturday.

Swenson, of Chamberlain, is a double major in business administration and leadership and public service with a concentration in policy communication.

“When one reflects on your extensive involvement in a wide range of activities focused on assisting ‘the least of these,’ the term ‘servant leader’ comes strongly to mind,” DWU President Amy Novak said in Swenson’s citation. “With regard to leadership, your involvements exemplify two important aspects of promoting peace and justice. One is that the capacity to organize is a critical skill in moving others toward a more just and peaceful world. The other is that servant leadership means finding ways to engage others in shared leadership.”

Swenson is the president of Student Senate, a member of the Student Ministry Council, a resident assistant on campus, and a Student Ambassador. She is a four-year member of the dean’s list, a Randall Scholar, 2013 recipient of the Vicki Clarke Memorial Endowed Scholarship, McGovern Center Scholar, and a member of the McGovern Advisory Council. She has organized and volunteered with DWU mission trips to New Orleans, Peru and Mexico, as well as community outreach projects. Kelli interns with DWU’s institutional advancement/alumni relations department.  She was named 2014 Miss Wesleyan on April 25.

The Bishop Armstrong Peace and Justice Award was established by the DWU Board of Trustees in honor of the 12 years Bishop A. James Armstrong served in the Dakotas.  This award is presented each year to students or staff whose life has demonstrated the relationship between religious faith and issues of peace and justice. 


Husmann wins Clarke Award for Teaching Excellence

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Dr. John Husmann was awarded the prestigious Clarke Award for Teaching Excellence on Saturday during Dakota Wesleyan University’s Commencement services.

Husmann, associate professor of history at DWU, joined the faculty in 2004.

“This year’s award recipient was described by students as a demanding and challenging instructor who exemplifies sincere interest in helping students understand the complexities of our world,” said DWU Provost Dr. Rocky VonEye. “Asking questions, connecting the text to current situations, challenging assumptions – each of these are hallmarks of this professor’s teaching.”

Husmann, who has served as the adviser to the campus club Oyate Ho Waste, was also described has a professor who has worked to help the campus community understand and appreciate the cultural diversity of the surrounding region.

“Since his arrival over 10 years ago, Dr. John Husmann’s leadership of the history program led to growth of the major, explicit inclusion of new requirements for history education teachers, and a commitment to helping every student appreciate how the past informs our future,” VonEye said.

Husmann serves as the chairman of the department of history at Dakota Wesleyan University, teaching United States history, South Dakota history, Native American history, American environmental history, British Empire history, and Asian and Latin American history. He has also served on general education and assessment committees at DWU and volunteered at Dakota Discovery Museum and served on its board of directors.

He graduated from Winona State University in 1996 with his Bachelor of Arts degree, and received his Master of Arts degree and Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1998 and 2004.

Dakota Wesleyan University was named to the 2013 President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. This designation is the highest honor a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning and civic engagement.
Dakota Wesleyan University is proudly affiliated with the Dakotas Conference of the United Methodist Church. Members of any and all faiths are welcome and encouraged to experience an education based on learning, leadership, faith and service.
Dakota Wesleyan University has been honored as a College of Distinction through demonstration of excellence in these areas: engaged students, great teaching, vibrant communities and successful outcomes.
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