DWU awards Distinguished Alumni Awards - Dakota Wesleyan University 360 WebCMS - News
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DWU awards Distinguished Alumni Awards

Friday, September 27, 2013

Each year, friends and alumni gather for Dakota Wesleyan University’s annual Legacy Banquet – a time for the university to thank and recognize those who have given back to the college and their communities.

Receiving distinguished alumni awards this year are Dorothy Hubbard Schwieder ’55 from the College of Leadership and Public Service; Jill Callison ’77, from the College of Arts and Humanities; and Dr. Myles Tieszen ’84 from the Donna Starr Christen College of Healthcare, Fitness and Sciences.

Dorothy Hubbard Schwieder received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the College of Leadership and Public Service.

Dorothy Hubbard Schwieder was born in Presho, S.D., in 1933, the ninth of 10 children. She came to Dakota Wesleyan University in the fall of 1951 and took her first course from then history professor George McGovern.  He sparked her love of history and she achieved her Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology and history from Dakota Wesleyan University in 1955.  

She began her teaching career in 1960 as a part-time instructor at Dakota Wesleyan, and in 1966 she became a part-time instructor at Iowa State University. Schwieder began her graduate work in 1964 and received her Master of Arts degree in history in 1968 from Iowa State University and her Ph.D. in 1981 from the University of Iowa.  Her primary research was in the history of Iowa, including Iowa’s Amish communities.

During the 1970s, she revived scholarly work on Iowa history and developed a popular course on Iowa history, the first of its kind at Iowa State University. In 1981, she became an assistant professor in the Department of History at Iowa State, was promoted to full professor in 1988, and retired from ISU in 2001.

She was the first woman appointed as a professor in the Iowa State History Department and also the department’s only full-time female faculty member for almost 20 years. In 2000, she was designated a University Professor at Iowa State, an honor bestowed on faculty members recognized for making outstanding contributions to the university.

She has accumulated multiple honors over her teaching career, several include serving as vice chair of the State Historical Board of Iowa, the Dakota Wesleyan University Alumni Outstanding Educator; recipient of the Iowa Humanities Board Lifetime Award for Outstanding Service recipient of the First Annual Award for Excellence in Education from Des Moines Area Community College, and was inducted into the prestigious Iowa’s Woman’s Hall of Fame last year.

She has given more than 400 presentations to local educational, civic and government groups, as well as talks as a member of the Iowa Humanities Speakers Bureau, and has authored hundreds of articles, publications and numerous books, all of which focus on the history of Iowa and the Great Plains. 

Dr. Thomas Morain, of Graceland University, who taught with Schwieder at Iowa State University, said “Through her willingness to advise, collaborate and nurture, she has modeled a collegiality among Iowa historians that has created a supportive community among those doing serious research in Iowa history. The entire state of Iowa has been the beneficiary.”

History is her passion and education is the vehicle she has chosen to explore and share this passion with the world. How many lives she has touched, how many teachers, researchers and fellow explorers she has inspired we will never know, but today we celebrate this woman’s contributions to her craft, to society, and her passion for education.

Jill Callison received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the College of Arts and Humanities.

Jill Callison’s curious mind and ability to see the story in everyday life took her from the young Phreno Cosmian reporter, during her days at Dakota Wesleyan University, to an award-winning journalist for the largest newspaper within the state.

A 1977 graduate of Dakota Wesleyan University, Jill majored in journalism, and served as the editor of the Phreno Cosmian both her sophomore and junior years.

She also served as the student employee for Dr. Don Messer, the president of Dakota Wesleyan University at the time. 

While a student, she continued to foster her love of writing and received on-the-job experience through a two-year internship at the Daily Republic in Mitchell.

Upon graduation she worked at a radio station in Winona, Minn., then returned to newspaper with positions at the Lyon County Reporter in Rock Rapids, Iowa, and the Daily Globe in Worthington, Minn. 

In 1994, she accepted a position with Argus Leader Media of Sioux Falls, working as a reporter and assistant editor for the Life Section, and reported for both the news and opinion sections.

Currently, she writes a column at least twice a week and is a contributor of  feature and news stories.

“Jill’s columns are among the most popular stories we print each week,  because of her rich storytelling and because of the subject matter – almost always local people doing special things right here in the region,” stated Maricarol Kueter, (Keeeter) Executive Editor of the Argus Leader. 

Two years ago, when Argus Leader Media wanted to showcase its signature reporters and editors in a broad marketing campaign, Jill was among those chosen.

Callison’s feature and column writing have won several awards from the South Dakota Newspaper Association.  Her journalistic prowess has been honored by the Iowa Press Women, Minnesota News Association, South Dakota News Association, Great Plains Journalism, and both the Thomson Company and Gannett Company. Because of her exceptional work ethic, Jill has been named Argus Leader Employee of the Month, and in 2010 was named Employee of the Year, the top recognition given to an Argus Leader staff member.

Her supervisor stated, “Because of her dedication and professionalism, Jill Callison has become the face – and, in many ways, the heart and soul – of our Argus Leader news team,”

Dakota Wesleyan University’s motto of sacrifice or service is part of her character.  She has organized events and helped with fund-raisers to assist a fellow employee battling cancer, she actively volunteers for the Sioux Falls HelpLine Center and was named September Volunteer of the Month for her work at the Children’s Inn.

Dr. Myles Tieszen received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the Donna Starr Christen College of Healthcare, Fitness and Sciences.

Dr. Myles Tieszen grew up on a farm in rural Marion, S.D., and graduated cum laude from Dakota Wesleyan University in 1984 with majors in biology and chemistry. 

He was an active co-ed and participated in campus ministry, residence life, and played on the DWU tennis team.  Upon graduation, he attended and graduated from the University of South Dakota School Of Medicine at Vermillion.  He then completed his surgery residency with Saginaw Cooperative Hospitals in Saginaw, Mich.

While completing his residency in Michigan, he served as clinical director of student health services at Delta College in University Center.  He was also a clinical instructor of surgery at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine at Lansing. 

After five years in Michigan, he returned to Yankton, where he served as a clinical assistant professor in the surgery department at the USD School of Medicine, was the CEO at Yankton Surgical Associates, and also was Chief of Surgery at Sacred Heart Hospital.

He was named Dakota Wesleyan University’s Young Alumnus of the Year in 1995.  

As lieutenant colonel in the Army Reserves, Tieszen was assigned to a Special Forces team that infiltrated Iraq on the second night of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2002.  The following year he was awarded the Army Commendation Medal for his service in Iraq.  He was honorably discharged from the military, and later shared his experience with DWU students as the Distinguished Opperman Lecturer.

Myles spent three years in Stevens Point, Wis., with Ministry Medical Group and in 2009  he and his spouse, Valary, moved to Omaha, Neb., where he is Associate Medical Director for Alegent Creighton Clinic in Council Bluffs, Iowa.  He also serves as Assistant Clinical Professor for the Department of Surgery at Creighton University School of Medicine.

He has authored and published countless medical essays and is a nationally recruited presenter in the field of surgery. 



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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.
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