Month: October, 2013

New book dives into Jewish legend, interprets for Christian readers

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, and in a few weeks at and

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 to download a brochure, or contact Allen at The cost of the all-inclusive trip is $4,598.


Wesleyan University/Community Band and LyricWood to perform

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.


Ramsdell chosen as featured artists in Libertytown Arts Workshop

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.


‘Swinging for Cancer’ event set for next weekend

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 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.


DWU partners with Children’s Miracle Network for second haunted house

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Once again Dakota Wesleyan theatre students will put their theatrics to spooky use while partnering with Children’s Miracle Network for a haunted house on Main Street.

The Halloween Haunted House will be scaring up fun from 7 to 10 p.m., Thursday through Saturday, Oct. 24-26, and Oct. 31-Nov. 2, with “Kids’ Hour” from 6 to 7 p.m. Kids’ hour is set up to be less scary with the lights on, for those – young or old – who wish for a more haunted-lite experience. The haunted house is located upstairs of the Ben Franklin store on the corner of Third Avenue and Main Street. Entrance fee is $5 per person and all proceeds will be divided between the DWU theatre department and DWU chapter of the Children’s Miracle Network.

CMN, the largest student-run philanthropy in the nation, began on campus last year with a haunted house and Tigerthon – a dance marathon – to raise funds for the organization.


'Skit Guys' to perform at Mitchell Area Youth Night

Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Mitchell Area Youth Night will present “The Skit Guys” from 6:30 to 8 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 23, in the Sherman Center at Dakota Wesleyan University. This event is free and open to the public and sponsored by DWU campus ministry.

The Skit Guys are made up of Tommy Woodward and Eddie James. The duo have known each other since high school, according to their website, and strive to use comedy and drama to teach the Christian message.

Brandon Vetter, DWU campus pastor, expects more than 700 area people attending the performance, from middle-schoolers to college students.

“We rarely worship in Sherman with a packed room,” Vetter said. “So if you have time, come on over and check it out!”

DWU is a private, liberal arts university associated with the Dakotas Conference of the United Methodist Church.  For more information about Dakota Wesleyan University, visit


DWU’s Children’s Miracle Network chapter to host kickoff

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Dakota Wesleyan University chapter of the Children’s Miracle Network will host a kickoff party this Saturday in Mitchell.

The event will be from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 19, at Northridge Park, across from Joe Quintal Field. In the event of rain, the outdoor activities will be cancelled and food will be moved to the football stadium. This event is free and open to the public.

There will be inflatables, provided by the National Guard, as well as bean bag toss, hot chocolate, hot cider and homemade snacks. The event’s purpose is to introduce the community to DWU-CMN. This is the second year Dakota Wesleyan has participated in and fundraised for CMN.  Last year, the university raised $5,000, which was given to the Sanford Castle of Care in Sioux Falls to continue to help local children and families in need. DWU’s goal this year is to raise $8,000.

If interested in learning more about the DWU-CMN organization, visit its website at:


Around the World Cultural Festival set for mid-November at DWU

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The annual Around the World Cultural Festival is set for mid-November at Dakota Wesleyan University.

The festival will take place from noon to 1 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 14, in the East Main Dining Room upstairs in the Rollins Campus Center on campus. This event is a cultural cornucopia of facts, food and fun – with booths set up by DWU students, staff, faculty and even community members representing countries and cultures from around the world. The event is free and open to the public.

This is the university’s 11th year and 12th festival, which is well-attended by the campus community and often attended by local elementary classes.

“The festival is a fun way to introduce people to different cultures and countries – many of which are set up by people who are originally from those countries or have visited them,” said Kate Miller, director of TRiO Student Support Services and adviser for the DWU Multicultural Committee. “The Multicultural Committee is a student organization and these students strive to educate the public on cultural diversity – at Dakota Wesleyan we like to bring speakers to campus and host as many fun activities as we can, like our salsa event and Around the World Cultural Festival. All of these things are free and open to the public and we get fantastic student participation.”

Visitors to the festival are issued a “passport” and take a “world tour” around the room stopping by each country. Completed passports are turned in for a prize drawing. Prizes are fair trade cultural items from the store, Ten Thousand Villages.

The Mitchell community is encouraged to take part in the event and register as a presenter. If interested in hosting a table, sign up by contacting Miller at 995-2901, or by email at

DWU is a private, liberal arts university associated with the Dakotas Conference of the United Methodist Church.  For more information about Dakota Wesleyan University, visit


Sixteen DWU students attend human services conference

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

It’s not common among all universities to take students to area professional conferences, but Dakota Wesleyan University professor Pam Boline sees it as a necessary aspect of their training.

Boline, associate professor of human services at DWU, took 16 of her students to the 13th Annual Community Response to Child Abuse Conference in Sioux Falls on Oct. 4.

“It is important for human service students to see themselves as professionals in training,” Boline said. “Professional conferences such as this provide them the opportunity to hear experts in the field, meet other professionals attending the conference and synthesize what they are learning in the classroom with current trends in the field.”

Human services majors might go on to be social workers, drug counselors, work in child protection, criminal justice fields or private counseling, to name a few areas of interest.

Featured speakers included: Sharon Cooper, the CEO of Developmental and Forensic Pediatrics in P.A.; Kevin Koliner, an assistant U.S. Attorney in South Dakota; and Dr. Kenneth Snell, Minnehaha County coroner/medical examiner.

Topics included: “Child Exploitation-Domestic Sex Trafficking of Minors,” “Update on Child Sex Trafficking in South Dakota,” “Serious Child Abuse or Torture,” “Non-Accidental Trauma in Infants and Children from the Perspective of a Forensic Pathologist 
Child Sexual Abuse Dynamics and Disclosure,” “Drugs and the Effects on our Children,” and “Internet Crimes and Children: Impact on Sioux Falls Metro Children.”

Boline has been taking students to this conference for 10 years.

“We sometimes see students from other colleges attending these professional conferences, but rarely in the numbers DWU sends,” Boline said. “The sponsors of the Community Response to Child Abuse Conference encourage student attendance and provided DWU students a lower registration fee to make it possible to attend.”


DWU men's soccer team is 'Kicking Cancer with Pam'

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

By Aaron Saunders/Daily Republic

When Tyler Grilley found out his mother had breast cancer earlier this year, he had tears of sorrow, but if tears are shed today, they will be tears of joy.

Grilley and the Dakota Wesleyan University men’s soccer team will take on Morningside College and be selling “Kicking Cancer with Pam,” a slogan which appears on T-shirts sported by those who support Grilley’s mother and her bout with breast cancer.

“I am more than excited for the game,” Tyler Grilley said. “It’s not just the fact that everyone will be wearing the shirts but it is for the whole game, which is a tribute to my mother.”

Pam Grilley’s most recent surgery was two weeks ago, and Tyler said she is cancer free but has one more surgery to go.

“The support we have gotten is a great help to me and my family,” said the Sioux Falls Roosevelt graduate. “My teammates helping me get through this is making the process a lot easier.”

The T-shirts, which cost $10, are being sold to help raise money for the Grilley family and for the Avera Foundation in Mitchell. The idea came from Grilley’s teammates, who wanted to do more than just wear pink during a game.

The team has sold 321 shirts and raised $3,200, which stunned Pam when she found out the team originally planned to sell just 40 shirts. Tyler said his mom loved the design of the shirt.

“When the guys found out about Tyler’s mom, they wanted to do something that would make a difference,” DWU men’s soccer coach Jeremy Tosaya said. “I think it is every coach’s dream. You want them to come together and be a family. You want them to care more about things off the field.”

The team also received help from local businesses, such as Dental Health Partners, GF Advertising Services and Scott and Melanie Mullenmeister’s Chiropractic Center for Healthy Living.

Donations will be taken at the gate during today’s game, which starts at 8 p.m. at the Mitchell Pepsi-Cola Soccer Complex.

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.
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