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President Novak: DWU’s Online Degrees Prepare Leaders in the Workplace

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Online learning at Dakota Wesleyan University started with an important question: How can we better prepare leaders for an ever-evolving workplace?

From there we sought input from top leaders across the Great Plains region in a variety of industries—from health care and business to the financial sector and technology. We then created workplace-relevant programs that are also flexible so busy adults can learn any time, day or night—from any location.

Since starting online learning in August 2013, we now prepare leaders in four programs:

The primary distinction about online learning at DWU is that coursework is relevant. That means students can apply what they are learning well before they earn their degrees.

In our programs, we are very intentional about fulfilling our mission to prepare leaders. And it has paid off. Our graduates (and our students) tell us their understanding of leadership and how they apply it increased substantially because of their online education at DWU.

We have long been an institution recognized for personalized attention to the learner. That does not change in the online learning environment. Our faculty members are very accessible and ready to support our students through whatever personal, educational, or professional challenges they may encounter. Our faculty mentor online students and help prepare them for that next promotion or their next opportunity.

We will continue the conversation with industry leaders so we can grow and adapt our courses and our programs to meet emerging needs of our current and future students, such as:

  • Rising business leaders
  • Registered nurses who are seeking leadership roles
  • Teachers who want to learn more

We also look forward to visiting with you. If you would like to know more about DWU’s online degrees, please request more information. It would be our pleasure to support you as an online learner.

Amy Novak


Dakota Wesleyan University

CategoriesBlog: Online Degrees @ DWU, News,

DWU professor, Sean Flynn, publishes chapter in ‘Plains Political Tradition’

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Sean J. Flynn, professor of history at Dakota Wesleyan University, is the author of “Bicultural Conservatism: Native American Congressman Ben Reifel and the GOP,” a chapter in the newly-released “The Plains Political Tradition: Essays on South Dakota Political Culture, Vol. 2.”  The book is published by South Dakota Historical Society Press and edited by Jon K. Lauck, John E. Miller, and Donald C. Simmons.


Flynn’s essay examines the political career of Reifel, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1961 to 1971 and the state’s sole Native American congressman. 


“In that he broke the race barrier in South Dakota politics is reason enough to study Reifel’s career,” Flynn said. “But that he did so as a Republican and at a time when the state’s Indian voters had transferred their loyalties to the Democrats is equally compelling.  A Native American Republican with conservative credentials. That combination is really rare in South Dakota politics.”


Congressman Reifel, a bilingual Rosebud Sioux tribal member and 22-year veteran of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, served what was then the First House District that covered the eastern half of the state. There were only about 4,000 Indian voters in the district, a situation that required Reifel to win over an overwhelmingly white electorate.  He did so by brandishing his agricultural experience and knowledge of the rural economy.


“Reifel had farmed and ranched on his home reservation and was a serious student of South Dakota agriculture,” Flynn said. “Once elected, he was able to divide his time between agricultural and reservation issues and to do so in a way that benefitted both of the constituencies he served.”


His philosophy on Indian affairs made Reifel, who was an outspoken proponent of Indians’ integration into American society, a somewhat controversial figure. Since Indian reservations were overpopulated and unable to support their residents, Reifel urged individual Indian families to relocate to towns and cities that provided employment opportunities. He also called on young Indians to embrace educational opportunities so that they could one day join their non-Indian peers in the economic and political mainstream. 


“By the end of his career, Reifel was being labeled an ‘apple Indian’ — red on the outside, white on the inside,” Flynn said. “Reifel’s response to that label was to remind Indian activists that the buffalo culture was gone and Indians must learn to live in the present. The Teton Sioux were an adaptive people and they must once again adapt to changing circumstances or be resigned to living in conditions that were far below the white standard of living. There was no third option, in Reifel’s view.”


Roger Musick, Jeff Logan to speak at DWU for Global Entrepreneurship Week

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Two local entrepreneurs will be on campus this month to share their life experiences and answer questions about beginning their own businesses.

In recognition of Global Entrepreneurship Week, Dakota Wesleyan University’s Kelley Center for Entrepreneurship will host the DWU Coffee Series, “The Power of Stories to Fuel Innovation!”

The first session will be at 11 a.m., Tuesday, Nov. 18, in Java City inside the McGovern Library, with Roger Musick, CEO of Innovative Systems Inc. in Mitchell. The second session will be at 10 a.m., Wednesday, Nov. 19, in Java City with Jeff Logan, president of Logan Luxury Theatres Corporation. These sessions are free and open to the public. The DWU entrepreneurial club, CEO, will provide free coffee for attendees.


Two performances of the ‘Messiah’ set for next weekend

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

It is one of the most popular pieces by George Frideric Handel and often performed only in sections, but Dakota Wesleyan’s music department will tackle most of the three-part “Messiah” in a free concert next weekend.


It is a very dramatic work and if you can capture the emotion of the piece, it can be very inspirational,” said Dr. Clinton Desmond, DWU choral director.


The Ron and Sheilah Gates Department of Music at Dakota Wesleyan University will present Handel’s “Messiah,” at 7 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 15, and 4 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 16, at the First United Methodist Church in Mitchell. This event is free and open to the public and will include the Wesleyan Choir and LyricWood Orchestra, as well as the new community chamber choir, Prairie Fire Voices.



“Choirs usually only perform the Christmas section and the ‘Hallelujah Chorus,’ which is part one and the last movement of part two,” Desmond said. “Parts two and three deal with the Passion of Christ and his death, resurrection and glorification in Heaven. It is in those sections, where the truly beautiful and dramatic music is located.” 



Desmond has performed Handel’s “Messiah” many times throughout his career and is excited to bring it back to Dakota Wesleyan and perform it inside the church.


“The First United Methodist’s sanctuary has such wonderful acoustics and will be a lovely fit for this piece,” he said. “Given the scope of this material, our choirs have been working nonstop since August to produce an amazing show. Mitchell isn’t going to want to miss this.”


The Four Exceptional Tracks of DWU’s Master’s in Education

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

No matter what your goals are as an educator, the Master of Arts in Education from Dakota Wesleyan University will help you take your career to the next level. In a recent Online Degrees @ DWU blog, I shared 6 Reasons to Choose DWU’s Online M.A. in Education. I would like to elaborate on the program’s four specialized tracks:

·       Educational Policy and Administration

·       Principal Certification

·       Secondary Certification

·       STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) Instruction

Let’s start with the Educational Policy and Administration track. This specialization is geared to those who want to work in higher education. It prepares you to teach, coach and be an administrator at the college/university level.

The Principal Certification program is for teachers who want to move into administrative roles. If you earn this degree and have three years of teaching experience, you will be ready to be a pre-K through 12 principal.

The Secondary Certification program is for students who want to teach, but who lack a teaching degree. After completing this program, and passing the Praxis II content and PLT tests, you will be certified to teach in grades 7-12.

If you are an elementary through high school teacher who wants to explore contemporary instructional practices related to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, the STEM Instruction program is ideal for you. In this program, DWU goes beyond these four curriculum areas to take a broader, problem-based approach to education. Through this distinctive program, you will gain higher level thinking skills that will benefit not only you but also the institutions—and students—you serve.

If you are interested in pursuing the M.A. in Education with our four distinctive tracks, please request more information. We look forward to hearing from you!

Dr. Joe Gertsema

Director, Graduate Studies/Education


CategoriesBlog: Online Degrees @ DWU, News,

‘Scrooge, the Musical’ to be preceded by Dickens-inspired Christmas sessions at DWU

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Dakota Wesleyan faculty are planning three nights of Dickens-inspired sessions in November, all culminating in the DWU-Mitchell ACT production of “Scrooge, the Musical.”


Dark and desperate were the times during Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” the basis of the musical adaptation and also the inspiration for DWU’s “Setting the Stage: Sessions on ‘Scrooge, the Musical,’” which will be on campus at 7 p.m., Wednesdays, Nov. 5, 12 and 19, in Java City in the McGovern Library. All sessions are free and open to the public. Each session will contain three presentations about 15 minutes long.


The first session will be about social concerns in Dickens’ day, “Let them die and decrease the surplus population,” as written in his book. Pam Boline, associate professor of human services, will describe the societal attitudes toward the poor in the mid-1800s, which led to the Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834 and the development of workhouses. Gretchen Rich, assistant professor of English, will discuss concepts on supernatural and burial customs of the Victorian Age in her presentation, “Ghosts, Spirits, and Victorian Burial Practices.” Lastly, Dr. Joel Allen, assistant professor of religion, will discuss “Dickens’ Religious Views and Their Impact on his Writing.”


“This presentation will explore Dickens as both a despiser of false and overly restrictive religion who simultaneously advocated for a simple faith which moves humanity to acts of kindness and charity,” Allen said. “Toward the end of his life, he wrote a secret work which went unpublished until 1934 at his request. It was called ‘The Life of Our Lord,’ and was written to instruct his children in a respect for Christ that would motivate charity toward all.”


The second week, 7 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 12, featuring the Victorian Christmas, will dive into traditions of the era: “He knew how to keep Christmas well.” This session will cover “The Victorians and Their Age,” by Lori Holmberg, of Mitchell; and “A Victorian Christmas,” presented by Dr. Vince Redder, dean of the College of Arts and Humanities. Also, Dr. Derek Driedger, associate dean of digital learning, plans to outline why people continue to read Dickens, how readers and literary scholars apply Dickens’ ideas today, and what role technology played in maintaining Dickens’ popularity in his session, “Dickens in the 21st Century: Lengthy Books, Lasting Influence.”


At the end of the Nov. 12 session, Charles Dickens will make an appearance, reading an excerpt from “A Christmas Carol.” Dr. Mike Catalano, a math professor on campus who has appeared in several DWU theatre and music productions, will be playing the part.


The third and final week, 7 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 19, will center on “Scrooge, the Musical”: “They were a musical family, and knew what they were about.” Dr. Barbara Duffey, assistant professor of English, will talk about “Literary Scrooges,” and DWU’s theatre director, Dan Miller, and choral director, Dr. Clinton Desmond, will share their experiences of what it was like to bring the musical to fruition, from acting to music. There are also Victorian Christmas carols planned to end the evening.


“Scrooge, the Musical,” production times are 7:30 p.m., Dec. 4-6, and Dec. 11-13, and 2 p.m., Dec. 7 and Dec. 14, at the Pepsi-Cola Theatre for the Performing Arts, Main Street, Mitchell. Tickets are $12 and $14 for general admission and will go on sale Nov. 20. Tickets are $10 for DWU students, staff and faculty with a DWU I.D., one per I.D.


Succeed at the Next Level with DWU Organizational Leadership Degree

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

We hear it from business leaders all of the time. They want employees who can:

·      Think critically

·      Take initiative

·      Problem-solve

·      Communicate effectively

·      Organize efficiently

If you want to meet employers’ rising expectations—and get to the career you want—consider pursuing the fully online Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Leadership degree from Dakota Wesleyan University.

As the director of the business graduate programs and department chair, I’m excited to announce this new program, which will begi

n in January 2015.

DWU’s online bachelor’s degree isn’t just for people with a business experience. It is geared toward all disciplines, fields, and careers—and will prepare you to lead at the next level, no matter your field.

We specifically developed this unique program to help students meet the needs of the marketplace and gain the skills they

need to be effective leaders and managers.

DWU worked with the Project Management Institute (PMI) to develop solid project management skillsets throughout the program. By learning these critical skills, you can assist entrepreneurs and executives by completing tasks and projects—on time, within budget, and with minimal disruption to the organization.

These skills also will assist you in becoming better organized, more capable of quickly solving complex issues and

problems, and in becoming a more effective communicator.

Again, these are all of the skills employers are looking for—and they will also provide a solid foundation for you if you open your own business.

Our organizational leadership program is not bogged down in theory and concepts found only in textbooks.

We give you practical, hands-on opportunities to learn outside of the classroom from professional project managers who use these skills daily.

If you would like to learn more about DWU’s Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Leadership, please request more information.


Dr. Monty Bohrer

Director, Business Graduate Programs

Department Chair

CategoriesBlog: Online Degrees @ DWU, News,

Fall Concert set on campus this weekend

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Dakota Wesleyan University will put on a Fall Concert this Sunday on campus, introducing the university’s new jazz band.

The Ron and Sheilah Gates Department of Music at DWU will perform the Fall Concert at 4 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 26, at the Sherman Center on campus. The concert is free and open to the community.

The DWU Jazz Band, directed by Ryan Stahle, will perform three pieces, “Q.C. Shuffle,” “Funky Wheels,” and “Crunchy Frog.” The Highlanders, the campus’s premier choir, will sing “Is Any Afflicted?” “I Am in Need of Music,” “With a Voice of Singing,” and “Tanzen und Springen.”

The Wesleyan Bells, will eight pieces, including “With a Joyful Heart,” “Hedwig’s Theme” (from the movie, “Harry Potter”), “Eye of the Tiger,” and  “Old MacDonald.”


Mixed Blood Theatre’s ‘According to Coyote’ comes to Mitchell

Monday, October 20, 2014

A collection of American Indian legends and stories will be performed in November at Dakota Wesleyan University.


The Mixed Blood Theatre presents “According To Coyote” from 7 to 8 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 6, in the East Main Dining Room, Rollins Campus Center, at DWU.  The performance is sponsored by the DWU Student Diversity Council, is free and open to the public, and is suitable for all ages.


 “A full-throttled anthology of tales featuring the legendary hero of American Indian lore, ‘According To Coyote’ (by John Kauffman) is also an unforgettable encounter with the richness, vitality and sensibilities of Native culture,” states a press release.


“According to Coyote” stars George Keller and is directed by Victor Toman, and is told in narration following Coyote the Creator, “the namer of animals and bringer of fire”; Coyote the Trickster, whose scheming usually backfires; and Coyote the Teacher, who departs his wisdom and teaches humility, according to its press release.


“According To Coyote” is one of five culturally-specific productions toured annually by Mixed Blood Theatre, a Minneapolis-based multicultural theatre company founded in 1976.


This is the first presentation through the Student Diversity Council of the year. The group focuses on educating students and the surrounding community about different cultures.


“I think it is important to provide cultural experiences like ‘According to Coyote’ because it opens people’s eyes to realities versus the common stereotype we tend to fall into when we think about other cultures,” said Katherine Varnado, a DWU junior. “It also broadens horizons because some students haven’t been anywhere outside of South Dakota and this is a chance to give people a taste of the different cultures and diversity that is beyond our (home states) and even our country.”


10th annual Mitchell Area Youth Night set for next week with Shane Claiborne

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Dakota Wesleyan University and campus ministry celebrates a decade of bringing youth together for one night of worship and contemplation this year with its 10th annual Mitchell Area Youth Night.


The 10th annual Mitchell Area Youth Night, with writer and activist Shane Claiborne, will be from 6:30 to 8 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 22, in the Sherman Center. This program, “Scandal of Grace,” is free and open to the public, with doors opening at 6 p.m. and seating first-come, first-serve. Claiborne will also speak during regular campus worship at 11 a.m., Thursday, Oct. 23, which is also open to the public.


“With new eyes can we look at people we don’t even like and see the One we love? Let’s imagine a revolution that is gentle and magnetic, a revolution big enough to set both the oppressed and the oppressors free,” states his speaker’s release. “With hard stories from the streets of Philly and the warzone of Iraq, Shane will invite us to reflect on the scandal of God’s inclusive love – in a world that is starved for grace.”


Claiborne is the founder and a board member for The Simple Way, a faith community in inner-city Philadelphia. He also writes and travels the world, speaking about peacemaking, social justice and Jesus Christ. He has worked alongside Mother Teresa in Calcutta, as well as for the mega-church Willow Creek in Chicago. He has traveled to Rwanda, the West Bank, Afghanistan and Iraq.


“People tend to rely on different forms of violence to address conflict — physical or military force, bullying, verbal intimidation, emotional abuse,” said Eric Van Meter, campus pastor. “We’re so used to it that it’s hard even for Christians to see an alternative way to relate to others. Shane is a person who has not only thought through the message of Jesus, but put it to work in areas of conflict across the globe. He has the credibility to show us something different than we’re used to.”


Claiborne co-founded the organization, Red Letter Christians, a movement of Christians who try to live their lives according to the words of Jesus – which in many Bibles, are highlighted in red.


A graduate of Eastern University, the school also bestowed upon him an Honorary Doctorate in 2010. He also did graduate work at Princeton Seminary.


His books, which have been translated into more than a dozen languages, include: “Jesus for President,” “Red Letter Revolution,” “Common Prayer,” “Follow Me to Freedom,” “Jesus, Bombs and Ice Cream,” “Becoming the Answer to Our Prayers,” and “The Irresistible Revolution.” He has also been featured in the films “Another World is Possible,” and “Ordinary Radicals,” and he conducts more than 100 speaking engagements a year.


According to his website, his work has appeared in Esquire, SPIN, Christianity Today, and The Wall Street Journal, and he has appeared on Fox News, Al Jazeera, CNN and NPR. He has also given academic lectures at Harvard, Princeton, Brown, Liberty, Duke, and Notre Dame University.


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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.
The Chronicle of Higher Education named Dakota Wesleyan University one of the “Great Colleges to Work For®” for 2014-2015. DWU won honors in three categories: facilities, workspace and security, and supervisor/department chair relationship.
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