Monday, December 9, 2013
Dakota Wesleyan University has announced Diane Sandhoff as the newest dean appointment for the College of Healthcare, Fitness and Sciences.
Dr. Rocky VonEye, the former dean, was named DWU’s provost several months ago and had been serving in both capacities. Sandhoff, who has been with DWU since 1989, accepted the position as dean last week.
“As I was growing up I always felt passionate about having a career path in nursing/healthcare and/or education,” Sandhoff said. “I have been blessed to be part of both worlds while at DWU.”
Sandhoff has taught in the classroom, for online courses, and for the past eight years, has commuted to Sioux Falls to teach the LPN to RN nursing program at DWU’s satellite school.
She accepted the position as RN to B.S. nursing program director in May 2013 and also is involved with DWU committees, the DWU nursing advisory board and the Kelley Center for Entrepreneurship advisory board. She is also involved with the Parkston Area Foundation, currently on the Avera Queen of Peace Board, Avera Board of Consulters, and the Avera St. Benedict Foundation. She was the past chairman of the Avera St. Benedict Hospital Board.
VonEye expects the program to grow with more research opportunities and feels that Sandhoff will be help guide the college in the right direction.
“Diane is a steady rock in any storm; she’s a positive thinker who will gather opinions, weigh all options and make the best decision for the college,” VonEye said.
“The students are the reason why I continue to do what I do,” Sandhoff said. “Students remind me every day why I chose nursing and education as a career path. Working with students is a privilege.
“One of the greatest joys is watching our graduates grow professionally following graduation. I am inspired by the many contributions each makes to their work environments to keep patients, families and communities healthy and safe. Our graduates are our future.”
Sandhoff graduated from St. John’s School of Nursing in Huron in 1973 with an RN diploma. She worked at St. Joseph Hospital and the Methodist Hospital in Mitchell, a family practice clinic in Parkston and began teaching at DWU in 1989. She earned her baccalaureate degree in 1989 and then her master’s degree from South Dakota State University in 1993, completed post-master’s work through Capella University in Minneapolis, and is currently pursuing a doctorate from Northcentral University, Prescott, Ariz.
She and her husband, George Sandhoff, live in Parkston. They have two children and three grandchildren.
Monday, December 9, 2013
Dakota Wesleyan University has awarded professional excellence awards to Diane Sandhoff and Malik Stewart for the fall semester.
Sandhoff serves as the associate professor of nursing and director of the RN program at DWU. She also recently accepted the position as the dean of the College of Healthcare, Fitness and Sciences. Stewart, a 2010 DWU graduate, has been the university’s talent adviser for the Center for Talent Development since summer 2012.
Sandhoff was awarded the Professional Excellence Award for faculty, nominated by her peers.
“Diane is very visionary in her thinking and has a passion to change nursing education to better meet the needs of students and health care,” stated her nomination letter. “When the nursing department initiated the LPN-RN upward mobility program for LPNs, Diane, with her pioneer spirit, participated in the creation and implementation of this program.”
Sandhoff’s role in the DWU nursing department has increased in the years since she began in ’89, and this summer she was appointed the program director of the registered nurse to Bachelor of Science nursing program at DWU and oversaw the significant changes made to the program in order to transition it to an adult learning model.
“She also initiated a mentoring program for new online adjuncts which has resulted in adjunct confidence and effectiveness. Diane is a very logical thinker, and takes time to reflect on the impact of potential decisions before they are made. She often finds humor in difficult times which assists in relieving stress of others on her team.”
Stewart was selected as the Professional Excellence Award winner for staff at the university. Stewart graduated from DWU in 2010 and earned his master’s degree at USD before returning to DWU as the talent adviser.
According to his nomination letter, since returning as a staff member, Stewart has partnered with the TRiO student support services staff to unite the tutoring program and strengthen the StudyStrong program.
“He has revamped the Learn Strong 101 syllabus and embraced teaching new freshmen how to understand and capitalize on their strengths. Malik has also become certified in the Strong Interest Inventory to help students understand their place in the world of work.”
Stewart also volunteers on and off campus, including assisting with the DWU wresting summer camp program, assisting with transportation for the track team, and volunteering as a team leader for this spring’s mission trip to Omaha. He also volunteered to participate in on-campus committees and as a co-adviser for the Multicultural Club.
The Professional Excellence Award is given throughout the year to faculty and staff members. The winners are then considered for the year-end awards for faculty and staff.
Winners are given campus recognition and a gift certificate. The award recognizes employees for “outstanding service, for exemplary commitment to the university and for making a difference in the lives of students.”
The DWU Employee Recognition Committee selects the winners from nominations submitted by faculty, staff members and students.
Monday, December 9, 2013
Plans underway for new, exciting experiential learning opportunities through Center
Dakota Wesleyan University welcomed Dr. Alisha Vincent as the director of the McGovern Center for Leadership and Public Service and assistant professor of leadership over the summer, and her energy and enthusiasm for community and civic engagement has already been passed along through her students.
Vincent joined the staff in August and hit the ground running as she endeavors to revitalize the leadership and public service major at DWU with new opportunities to engage students in applying classroom learning to meet real-world needs. These experiential learning opportunities involve students in service to local and regional nonprofits, help them discover ways to develop their own nonprofit organizations, encourage them to speak out about important policy issues, and create innovative events to draw awareness and raise funds for local charities.
Student groups in her leadership and public service class this semester have learned important leadership lessons by organizing projects including a golf benefit for a local cancer support group, a hunger banquet, a public relations capacity-building project for the Mitchell Weekend Snack Pack Program, and an upcoming art auction for the Abbott House. As Vincent continues at DWU she hopes to use her own background in nonprofit development to connect students and the community. Two seniors, Kelli Swenson, of Chamberlain, and Chase Kristensen, of Plankinton, are working with Vincent and DWU alumnus Thomas Madut to develop a nonprofit aimed at building a primary school in Madut’s home country, South Sudan. In addition to teaching and engaging students in local projects, Vincent will also take a group of students to Africa this summer to work on food security and education projects in Rwanda and Uganda, Africa, with Crimson Academy and a nonprofit she founded, Esperance Education Institute.
“George McGovern cared deeply about engaging people in opportunities to make a difference. I am honored to be a part of an institution of faculty, students and community members who are dedicated to carrying out George’s legacy of service,” Vincent said.
“When we connect the classroom to community needs in our local, regional and global communities, I feel that we are honoring his memory as well as giving unique learning experiences to our students. Whether students’ passions lie in being involved with nonprofits, politics, or even for-profit organizations, the experiences we are now offering and will continue to develop in the future, will give them valuable tools to navigate life and be servant-leaders as they further their education and take on careers.”
Prior to joining DWU, Vincent served in higher education and as a nonprofit consultant. Vincent recently founded a global nonprofit organization called Esperance Institute, the mission of which is to help under-educated adults acquire occupational skills and career assistance through short-term educational classes. This year programs will be offered in Rwanda, Chile and Ethiopia. During her travels she has also assisted Water Our Thirsty World (www.ourthirstyworld.org) with the implementation of water chlorine devices and helped establish a livestock program to sustain low-income families in rural Rwanda.
“Growing up on a farm south of Chamberlain proved helpful in working with the school headmaster at Crimson Academy to buy 16 goats and a cow and develop a plan to sustain their care,” she said. “The parent-teacher organization and I selected the families in greatest financial need in the school and gave them a goat. They will raise the animal and once the animal has offspring they will give the primary animal back to the school to offer to another family. The best part of the project has been witnessing the pride and ownership taken on by the PTA and community who are now sending reports on whose goat has produced and how the animals are helping feed families, boost incomes, and improve the community.”
Vincent is now working with DWU’s Universities Fighting World Hunger group to expand and sustain the livestock project. Students traveling to Africa this summer will spend time working on the project. The donation site, Livestock for Life, can be found via the McGovern Center’s website, www.mcgoverncenter.com, or directly through this link: https://give.dwu.edu/livestock.
Thursday, December 5, 2013
MITCHELL, S.D. – Dakota Wesleyan University has been named an NAIA Champions of Character Five-Star Institution for the 2012-13 academic year, it was announced recently by the NAIA, the NAIA Character Advisory Committee and the National Office.
The Champions of Character program measures an institution’s commitment to promoting the NAIA’s Champions of Character motto. Points are given to each institution based on character training and development; conduct in competition; academic focus; character recognition and character promotion.
Dakota Wesleyan was one of 217 institutions recognized across the nation. Ten of the schools in the Great Plains Athletic Conference were also recognized as Champions of Character institutions.
Dakota Wesleyan promotes the message of the Champions of Character program by practicing good sportsmanship in practice and games as well as a variety of service projects. The Tigers read to students, pump gas, clean up the Mitchell area and participate in other service projects throughout the year.
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Dakota Wesleyan University is once again featured on CollegesofDistinction.com, an online college guide that takes a fresh look at colleges and universities appealing to students’ unique and varied interests. Based on the opinions of guidance counselors, educators, and admissions professionals, Colleges of Distinction™ honors colleges excelling in key areas of educational quality.
In order to qualify, DWU was required to demonstrate excellence in the four distinctions: engaged students, great teaching, vibrant communities and successful outcomes. The goal of Colleges of Distinction™ is to provide students, counselors and parents with information about colleges and universities that excel in these four areas. Featured schools take a holistic approach to admissions, consistently excel in providing undergraduate education and have a national reputation.
Dakota Wesleyan is the only South Dakota college listed on the site and this is its third year.
“They all share excellent reputations among high school guidance counselors and education professionals, not to mention employers and graduate schools. Their classrooms are among the most exciting in the country; their programs are some of the most innovative,” states the website.
To learn more about the online guide, visit www.collegesofdistinction.com.
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Some people like to forget their fears; others relive them, over and over again.
Such is the case in “Woman in Black,” a thriller by Susan Hill and adapted for the stage by Stephen Mallatratt. The Dakota Wesleyan University production will be at 7:30 p.m., Dec. 11-13, in the Patten-Wing Theatre, Hughes Hall. Tickets are $5 each and sold at the door.
The play is directed by 2013 DWU graduate Chris Ferera, who has worked on and acted in numerous DWU theatre productions, as well as Mitchell Area Community Theatre.
“Woman in Black” begins with a lawyer, Arthur Kipps, played by Kurt Schwarzenbart, so haunted by the events of his past that he hires an actor to help him recount the experience to family and friends. What he saw was the “Woman in Black,” a legendary ghost who terrifies the locals because supposedly all who see her dies – except Arthur.
“Just the fact that this ghost play takes place in the dark and in a theatre that’s over 100 years old should be indicative enough that it’s going to be eerie,” said A.J. Miller, a DWU senior who plays the actor. “The audience, the whole time, should feel pretty tense and if done right, will be looking all around the theatre during the play, trying to catch a glimpse of ‘the woman.’ ”
Monday, November 25, 2013
Loss is a broad topic and no matter how much a person heals or moves forward, forgetting is impossible.
Barbara Duffey, assistant professor of English at Dakota Wesleyan University, attempts to describe the full gambit of this emotion in her newest chapbook, “The Circus of Forgetting,” now available through Dancing Girl Press.
The book contains 17 poems, all which focus upon the topic of loss.
“The poems consider the deaths of loved ones, as well as the threat of loss that injury and illness make apparent,” Duffey said. “I also discuss loss rather literally, as in ‘weight loss’ and, in one poem, in the form of bulimia.”
The title of the chapbook has a circular meaning for her.
“I take the metaphor of the ‘circus’ to mean that I am parading these losses as a way to expunge them; also, that I am making a farce of forgetting by forcing myself to remember.”
This is also why she chose the elephant to represent the poems as the chapbook’s cover art. The circus creature, after all, never forgets.
“The Circus of Forgetting” is $7 and may be purchased by clicking here
The cover art was created by Duffey’s mother, Virginia Duffey, originally of Winner, S.D., and now of Cedar Crest, N.M.
Duffey joined the English department fall 2012 and has had several poems published this past year. She received her Ph.D. in literature and creative writing from the University of Utah, Salt Lake City; a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Houston; and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Southern California. Duffey also served as a grant writer for the University of Houston’s College of Education; a writer in residence for the Writers in the Schools, Houston; and a reading instructor at the Institute of Reading Development. Her short story “And All Night Long We Have Not Stirred” was chosen by Dark House Press for its Exigencies Anthology, to be released at a later date.
Monday, November 25, 2013
Christmas is around the corner and Dakota Wesleyan University’s annual Christmas concert dates are set.
DWU’s Christmas concert, “Veni Emmanuel,” will be performed at 7 p.m. both Friday, Dec. 6, and Saturday, Dec. 7, at the Sherman Center. Tickets are $10 and will go on sale Monday, Dec. 2, at Prather Hall located on DWU’s campus.
The concert will feature all Dakota Wesleyan musical performing groups, including: Wesleyan Community/University Band, LyricWood, the Wesleyan Bells, Faculty/Staff Bell Choir, the Highlanders, The Mitchell Area Children’s Choir and the Women’s Chamber Choir. DWU’s newest men’s choir, The Singing Scotchmen, will also perform, as well as the largest Wesleyan Choir in more than 10 years.
“Veni Emmanuel” is the Latin version of the Christmas hymn, “O Come, Emmanuel,” and is the theme of this year’s celebration.
“Most of the music will reflect on humanity’s longing for the coming of the Christ child,” said Dr. Clinton Desmond, DWU choral director.
This year’s concert features two music education majors, Jenna Callies and Elizabeth Morrison, taking turns conducting LyricWood in “Christmas Joy” by Stephen Yarbrough each night. The concert will close with the “Hallelujah Chorus” from “The Messiah,” by the Wesleyan Choir, orchestra and congregation.
“The level of musicianship has increased dramatically over the years,” Desmond said. “I am overjoyed with the hard work and dedication of our students and I think this concert will put everyone into the Christmas Spirit.”
Monday, November 25, 2013
A book signing for “Jewish Biblical Legends: Rabbinic Wisdom for Christian Readers,” by Dr. Joel Allen, is set for 4 p.m., Monday, Dec. 2, at Java City in the McGovern Library at Dakota Wesleyan University.
Allen, assistant professor of religion at DWU, recently published “Jewish Biblical Legends: Rabbinic Wisdom for Christian Readers,” through Cascade Books.
“It describes the way rabbis of old interpreted the Bible often by telling background stories that put the written version into a new light,” Allen said.
“Jewish Biblical Legends: Rabbinic Wisdom for Christian Readers” is available in the DWU Campus Bookstore, at the Readers Den in Mitchell, as well as online at www.wipfandstock.com, and www.cokesbury.com and www.amazon.com.
Friday, November 22, 2013
Dr. Brian Patrick, assistant professor of biology at Dakota Wesleyan University, recently published two scientific papers in the Journal of Arachnology (Volume 41, Issue 3), one on the discovery of two new spider species.
The first paper describes two new species of spiders. The paper is a collaboration between Patrick and Dr. Herbert Levi of the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard College. Professor emeritus Levi is the first author on this paper and has described more than 1,100 species of spiders during his career.
“Herb is also one of the world’s experts on this spider family and genus, and it was truly an honor to be able to work with one of the greatest arachnologists of all time,” Patrick said.
Both of the new species of spider are in the family Theridiidae, the cobweb spiders, and in the genus Theridion, the second largest genus of spiders in the world.
“Interestingly, the two species described are two of the smallest in the genus, both coming in between 1 and 2 millimeters long,” Patrick said. “The first described species is Theridion logan, named after the place where it was first discovered in Logan Canyon, Utah. The second is Theridion pierre, named after the place where it was first discovered, the Fort Pierre National Grassland in South Dakota.”
The second paper compares two methods for capturing insects and spiders, the ramp trap and the pitfall trap. The paper is based on the talk Patrick gave at the 19th International Congress of Arachnology conference in Taiwan last summer. This research was conducted with Ashton Hansen, who is the coauthor and currently seeking her master’s degree in entomology from North Dakota State University. Hansen was conducting Biomedical Research Infrastructure Network (BRIN) research in South Dakota with Patrick in 2010.
“Pitfall traps are essentially a cup in the ground which wandering insects and spiders on the ground walk into to be captured,” Patrick said. “Pitfall traps require excavating a small amount of soil, but this is not always pragmatic, particularly in rocky areas or areas where digging is not permitted, such as in national parks in the U.S. Ramp traps basically use a ramp going up to a small container and the insects and spiders walk up the ramp and fall into the container.”
Their research showed that the ramp traps were twice as effective for capturing spiders.
To read more about the spider trap research, click here.