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


Categories: News
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.
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