Wednesday, November 13, 2013
During a special Veterans Day luncheon Monday, Jenna Schmaltz, of Mitchell, a nursing student at Dakota Wesleyan University, was awarded Veteran of the Year.
Schmaltz, originally of Charlottesville, Va., and who serves in the Army Reserves, was nominated by VFW Post 2750. The Mitchell American Legion, VFW, and DAV combined on Veterans Day to award two Veteran of the Year Awards. Schmaltz was recognized for her service to the VFW. She led the fundraising efforts to help the VFW when its southern wall was damaged after the razing of the Longhorn Bar next door.
“The monies gained help the VFW to pay bills while they were closed, as well as other things,” said Hugh Holmes, of the Forty and Eight in Mitchell.
Schmaltz enlisted in 2007 in the Army Reserves and was deployed to Southern Afghanistan in 2010-2011 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
“I am honored to have received this award and I want to thank all of the volunteers who made my fundraising efforts successful,” Schmaltz said. “With the help of the community and the members of the VFW, we were able to help our financial situation. The VFW Post is not only a building, it stands for much more – support of all veterans, a place where locals can meet servicemen and always confide in a friend.”
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
The Weekend Snack Pack Program just scored some new wheels.
Courtesy of a Mitchell benefactor, the Weekend Snack Pack Program was gifted a 2001 Tahoe today, Nov. 13, for the program’s use. The vehicle was given to the Snack Pack Program by a Mitchell resident who prefers to remain anonymous. It was accepted by Cindy Novachich, program director.
The Weekend Snack Pack Program provides one bag of easy-to-prepare meals per qualifying child each weekend. Foods given include things like ravioli or macaroni and cheese, with a snack and either a fruit or a vegetable.
Novachich said the vehicle will be used to pick up food items and for deliveries, and has twice the room of her current vehicle.
“For years, people have told me that I needed a bigger vehicle and I have agreed, but there has never been any extra money (in the program), and we’ve always used 100 percent of our donations to purchase food,” Novachich said. “The cost of a vehicle and insurance was something I told people to pray about. With the hard economic times, our donations have been down and the number of bags we pack each week keeps increasing.”
The Weekend Snack Pack Program was begun by Novachich in 2010 from her home and currently delivers about 350 weekly packs to four local elementary schools: L.B. Williams, Longfellow, Gertie Belle Rogers and John Paul II. This summer, the Dakota Wesleyan University student group Enactus worked with Novachich to move the Snack Pack Program onto campus in Hughes Hall, providing a free space for the program to set up and expand, as well as easy access to the public. Enactus students have also been assisting in marketing, promotions, website design, and grant writing. DWU will assume the cost of the car insurance and Enactus is looking at securing donations for tires and oil changes.
Since working with Enactus on project figures, Novachich decided to log the miles she spent on grocery shopping, deliveries and presentations to service clubs, which came to approximately 40 to 50 miles per week.
“It is truly a special gift for we who operate with recycled bags and boxes and through the generous donations of food drives. It is a blessing that will enable our charity to continue to use 100 percent of the contributions given to buy food for kids,” she said. “We are able, through food, to give hope to children in Mitchell who live in poverty. The donor of the Tahoe heard about our need through her work on other charity groups and felt God was calling her to provide this for us. I am so very thankful.”
If interested in donating toward the Weekend Snack Pack Program or volunteering to pack meals, please contact Novachich at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 605-770-5832. Individuals may stop by during packing times to lend a hand, or service organizations can sign up as a group. Also, there are bins located outside of Hughes Hall for food donations to be dropped off.
Friday, November 8, 2013
A group of Dakota Wesleyan University students are organizing an auction fundraiser to benefit the Abbott House, with the help of its residents.
Eleven DWU students from the Leadership and Public Service class are putting on a silent auction fundraiser Wednesday, Nov. 13, during the DWU basketball game at the Corn Palace. Residents from the Abbott House will create different pieces of art that will be the auction items. The auction will begin at the beginning of the women’s basketball game and end at halftime of the men’s and 100 percent of all the money brought in will go directly to the Abbott House.
The Abbott House is a nonprofit in Mitchell that provides residential treatment services to girls between the ages of 7 and 17, according to its website.
“I chose this project because it is crucial for us as students and future leaders to learn how to develop others and impact our community,” said team leader Tyler Volesky, DWU senior. “It is imperative that we work with programs like the Abbott House to inspire and develop the talents of our youth which is such a key aspect in making Mitchell a great community to live in.”
The students involved are, team leader: Volesky, Mitchell; and Falcon Albers, Newell; Michelle Arends, Baltic; Sarah Garcia, Mitchell; Steph Dewaard, Stickney; Sara Deinert, Mount Vernon; Kristin Gebel, Mitchell; Mallory Jark, Warner; Tate Martin, Mitchell; Jared Neilan, Pierre; Michael Johnson, Huron.
“Working with the girls at the Abbott House has been an awesome experience,” Deinert said. “I went in thinking we were going to be giving to them and walked out knowing how to weave a cornucopia. The girls at the Abbott House are extremely artistic and have been working very hard on these projects.”
Thursday, November 7, 2013Students at Dakota Wesleyan University got a small glimpse of how the other half lives during dinner at the cafeteria.
DWU students arrived at the cafeteria on Wednesday night and were greeted by students from the Leadership and Public Service class. Each student received a piece of paper, indicating whether they would get a delicious chicken cordon bleu meal, with typical portions of a First-World country, or whether they would get Third-World portioned fish, rice and water.
“Only 15 percent or so of the participants received the chicken dinner and those who were given the fish and rice were also not allowed to use utensils, but could use pieces of lettuce to scoop their food,” said Breanna Clark, DWU senior and team leader of the class that conducted the project.
Clark partnered with other students to give a small portion of the campus an insight into the lives of millions of others who would consider fish and rice a welcome alternative to their current circumstances of starvation or severe hunger.
During the meal, there were presentations about world hunger and speakers who have experienced or witnessed hunger before. About 180 students and coaches were in attendance and most were kept in the dark about what was planned until they got there.
“The initial reaction from many of the students was anger,” Clark said. “They did not like the idea of only having fish, rice and lettuce to eat. They seemed jealous of their friends that had the First-World meal and were anxious for the chance to get more food. There were mixed reactions from those with the First-World meal. Many were happy and relieved but others felt guilty sitting next to their friends who had less.”
Clark said that by the end, people seemed to understand the reasoning behind the project and paid attention to the presentations.
Clark has been on multiple mission and educational trips around the world – from the poorest areas of Peru to Africa – and is a member of the student club Universities Fighting World Hunger.
“I hoped to connect students to the realities of hunger around the world,” Clark said. “I was hoping that students would be able to see that there is more to hunger than just being hungry and that there are people who would give anything to have fish and rice – foods that we, as people with an abundance of food, would turn down and throw away.”
The idea to use the cafeteria was a reinvention of a Hunger Banquet held on campus several years ago as part of a McGovern Conference. Clark attended and thought that it was a unique experience and decided to make her class project a tribute to that.
The leadership and public service class has also hosted a golf tournament as a fundraiser for two local cancer support groups, is planning an art auction next week for the Abbott House, and is in works to help set the foundation for a school in Africa. This course is taught and advised by Dr. Alisha Vincent, director of the McGovern Center at DWU.
Monday, November 4, 2013Dakota Wesleyan University has awarded professional excellence awards to Dan Bonte and Monty Bohrer.
Bonte, assistant director of admissions, is the staff winner of the Professional Excellence Award for last quarter. As a member of the admissions team, Bonte has served as a leader and mentor for new recruiters, athletic staff and students.
“He is well-respected by those he assists and while many seek him out for guidance, he also seeks out those who need help,” states one recommendation letter.
An off-campus admissions counselor expressed appreciation in another recommendation letter, stating, “Even though we are not in the same office, he has helped provide guidance and leadership when needed. He is always willing to help find the answer if it is not readily available. Dan is very willing to go above and beyond, for the benefit of the programs.”
Bohrer, associate professor and director of business, is the faculty recipient of the Professional Excellence Award. Bohrer spent this past summer not only teaching, but assisting in the management of the new M.B.A. program that launched in August.
“Monty is always working to get people collaborating on ideas and working together by encouraging their ideas and making suggestions on where some synergies might exist,” stated his recommendation.
Monday, November 4, 2013
Dakota Wesleyan University’s theatre department will present its first production in its newly created Equitem Theatre-in-the-Round.
DWU’s “Five Women Wearing the Same Dress,” will be performed at 7:30 p.m., Thursday through Saturday, Nov. 7-9, in the Equitem in Hughes Hall on campus. Tickets are $5 and seated is limited. Reserve a seat by contacting DWU theatre director Dan Miller at email@example.com.
The comedy is by Alan Ball and directed by DWU junior Brittney Kaufman, of Mitchell. The cast includes: Kira Stammer, Sioux Falls, as Frances; Madi Miller, Mitchell, as Meredith; Megan Reimnitz, Corsica, as Trisha; Elizabeth Moore, Sioux Falls, as Georgeanne; Mercedes Madding, Casper, Wyo., as Mindy; and Kyle Gilles, Monticello, Minn., as Tripp Davenport.
The story is about five bridesmaids who hide out in the same bedroom in order to avoid the reception. They all have their reasons to duck out – good, bad, and entertaining – but by the end, they come to see they have more in common than they thought.
“The audience can definitely expect all sorts of different emotions from depression to pure anger,” Kaufman said.
There is also some explicit language throughout the show so it is not recommended for young children.
DWU has done theatre-in-the-round before in the Sherman Center. This will be the first production within the new Equitem Theatre-in-the-Round, which Miller created over the summer. Miller combined his office and the former scene shop on the west side of Patten-Wing Theatre into one room and renovated it into the theatre-in-the-round, then created a new scene shop from a classroom on the east side of the stage.
“With the theatre-in-the-round, our students get to have the experience of acting and directing and designing for this very different kind of venue,” Miller said. “It’s another reason why Bachelor of Fine Arts students appreciate DWU theatre and what we can offer them.”
DWU is a private, liberal arts university associated with the Dakotas Conference of the United Methodist Church. For more information about Dakota Wesleyan University and theatre program, go to www.dwu.edu.
Thursday, October 31, 2013
Whimsy, Scripture and storytelling come together in a new publication about rabbinic wisdom.
Joel Allen, assistant professor of religion at Dakota Wesleyan University, 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.
Allen earned his Ph.D. at Hebrew Union College – Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, Ohio, in a program created to train rabbis. He studied Rabbinic biblical interpretation called “Midrash.”
“I was amazed that I, as a seminary graduate, didn’t even know these rabbinic traditions existed,” he said. “The other Christian Ph.D. students and I would often comment to each other how completely unfamiliar we were with this fascinating literature and how much fun it was to read.
“I was also, at that time, serving a small United Methodist Church in Kentucky where I found myself regularly telling my congregation these stories and legends to their delight. I checked around and found that the last introduction for Christians was written in 1958. I decided way back in about 1998 that when I completed my dissertation, I would write this book. Now I have.”
“Jewish Biblical Legends: Rabbinic Wisdom for Christian Readers” is available in the DWU Campus Bookstore, located in the McGovern Library, at the Readers Den in Mitchell, as well as online at www.wipfandstock.com, and in a few weeks at www.cokesbury.com and www.amazon.com.
Dakota Wesleyan University will also be offering its second travel experience to Israel this spring. Allen led a group through the Holy Land in 2012 and will take another group on a 10-day tour March 6-18, 2014, which will include stops at Nazareth, Bethlehem, Capernaum and Jerusalem, as well as every sea connected with the Bible: the Mediterranean, Dead Sea, Galilee and the Red Sea. For more information, visit www.dwu.edu/alumnivisitors/alumni/traveltoisrael/ to download a brochure, or contact Allen at firstname.lastname@example.org. The cost of the all-inclusive trip is $4,598.
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Dakota Wesleyan University will present a free Wesleyan Band and LyricWood Concert this weekend.
The Wesleyan University/Community Band and LyricWood strings ensemble will perform at 4 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 3, in the Sherman Center. This concert is free and open to the public.
The band will perform five pieces: “Prelude and Fugue in B Minor,” “Appalachian Morning,” “Encanto,” “Thematic Variations of Dona Nobis Pacem” and “To Challenge the Sky and Heavens Above.”
LyricWood will perform four pieces: “LyricWood Overture,” by Stephen Yarbrough, written specifically for the ensemble; also, “Voyage,” with a flute solo by Katherine Vogele; “Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5, Aria (Cantilena),” with a soprano solo by Jenna Callies; and “Tangos.”
DWU’s next concert will be “Christmas at Dakota Wesleyan” at 7 p.m. Dec. 6 and Dec. 7 at the Sherman Center, with tickets to go on sale soon. This concert will include all DWU ensembles.
Friday, October 18, 2013
Award winning potter Cherie Ramsdell is currently one of the featured artists at acclaimed artist collective Libertytown Arts Workshop in Fredericksburg, Va.
Ramsdell’s dichromatic horsehair pottery is a modern interpretation of the Apache tradition honoring a fallen war horse. The hair of the tail or mane is incorporated into the vessel, so the spirit of the horse is always present. Her work will be on display through Oct. 31.
Ramsdell is an assistant professor of graphic design at Dakota Wesleyan University and also teaches photography. She also designs the murals for the Corn Palace and has done so for the past 10 years. She became interested in pottery as a personal form of expression while working on her master’s degree in art education at Northern State University in Aberdeen.
“I briefly hold the horse hair where I want the design,” Ramsdell said. “The firing time, roughly a minute, is intensely hot but it must be done without protective gloves.”
When the piece has cooled, she scrubs off excess carbon and applies wax to protect its surface. The result is a soft organic patina that looks more like wood or marble than clay.
Thursday, October 17, 2013
Dakota Wesleyan University students are partnering with two local non-profit organizations to raise funds for cancer patient support in the Mitchell area.
Swinging for Cancer will be on Saturday, Oct. 26, at the Lakeview Golf Course in Mitchell. Participants may arrive from noon to 2 p.m. to take part in both men’s and women’s divisions for longest drive, closest to the pin and a putting contest. The cost is $20, contact email@example.com. Participants must bring their own golf equipment. There will be prizes for the winners and all proceeds go toward two local cancer support groups: You’ll Never Walk Alone and Band of Brothers.
Chase Kristensen, of Plankinton, is a senior at DWU majoring in leadership and public service (PSL). As part of his senior seminar for PSL with Dr. Alisha Vincent, director of the McGovern Center, Kristensen partnered with eight students from an introduction to public service and leadership course to create Swinging for Cancer.
“The seminar required us to create an event that could potentially aid a local nonprofit organization,” Kristensen said. “I chose these two cancer support groups because of the support they are giving local area members battling cancer. As a group, it was a fairly quick consensus these were the two organizations we wanted to help. We all have personal connections with cancer patients and survivors, and any help we can lend to them is the least we can do.”
You’ll Never Walk Alone was begun in 2009 by Mitchell resident Stacy Morgan as a support group for people undergoing cancer treatment. Band of Brothers is a Mitchell-based cancer organization begun by Rob Marchand who is also battling cancer.
This isn’t the first time DWU students have used a classroom project to reach out into the community. The “Making a Difference” 3-on-3 basketball tournament April 6 was organized by DWU students in the COR 301B course with Dr. Derek Driedger and raised funds for Bella’s Butterfly Garden in Northridge Park.
Also assisting in the fundraiser are DWU students: Michael Brown, Palmdale, Calif.; Shelbie Drey, Phoenix, Ariz.; Sarah Freier, Delmont; Jacob Habermann, Mitchell; Casey Henry, Sterling, Colo.; Briana Jung, Warner; Jenna Winckler, Lake Andes; and Ryan West, Sioux Falls.
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