Month: December, 2013

DWU’s Jarding receives S.D. District 7 Nurse of the Year Award

Friday, December 20, 2013

Dakota Wesleyan’s Carena Jarding, assistant professor of nursing, received the South Dakota District 7 Nurse of the Year Award at the South Dakota Nurse Association State Convention in Aberdeen.

She has demonstrated a sincere desire to create a learning environment and served in a mentor role for nurses, especially those new to the profession,” stated her nomination.

Jarding serves as a faculty member in the RN program at DWU. She is also an active member in District 7 as an event planner and served as the site coordinator for the first ever Certified Nursing Assistant Institute held at Dakota Wesleyan University in July of this year. She also served as an instructor and a course coordinator for the 10-day event. Ten high school women attended the training days, and all successfully completed the course.

Jarding serves as a mentor to nursing students through the work of their Student Nurse Association. She encourages the students’ participation in charitable events such as a food drive, assistance with the Mitchell Snack Pack Program and volunteering at the annual Community Health Fair held in Mitchell. At the health fair, the students are actively involved in screenings and assisting medical professionals throughout the full day event. 


DWU Christmas break hours announced

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Dakota Wesleyan University offices will be closed Monday, Dec. 23, and will reopen at 8 a.m., Monday, Dec. 30, for Christmas break. Classes will end Wednesday, Dec.18, and resume at 8 a.m., Monday, Jan. 6.

DWU will also be closed on New Year’s Day, Jan. 1, 2014.

Java City, within the McGovern Library, will be closed Dec. 19 through Jan. 6.

The McGovern Library will be closed Dec. 21 through Dec. 29, reopen on Dec. 30-31, close on New Year’s Day, Jan. 1, and reopen Jan. 2 at regular hours. To check library hours at any time, please visit


Cimpl earns AFCA regional coaching honors

Thursday, December 12, 2013

MITCHELL, S.D. – Earlier this fall, Dakota Wesleyan University football coach Ross Cimpl was honored by the Great Plains Athletic Conference as the league’s coach of the year after guiding the Tigers to one of the top three seasons in school history.

Ross CimplCimpl earned the second coaching honor of his career Tuesday when it was announced that the second-year head coach was named the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) NAIA Region 4 Coach-of-the-Year. Cimpl, a Wagner, S.D., native, is one of five head coaches from around the NAIA to earn the honor. He is joined by Lindsey Wilson’s Chris Oliver, Grand View’s Mike Woodley, Benedictine’s Larry Wilcox and Carroll’s Mike Van Diest.

Other coaches honored include the University of Minnesota’s Jerry Kill in the Football Bowl Subdivision category, as well as North Dakota State University’s Craig Bohl in the Football Championship Subdivision category.

Cimpl’s honor marks the first time in DWU football history a Tiger coach has been recognized by the AFCA. The honor comes on the heels of one of the best seasons in Tiger football history. Cimpl, who is 14-7 in his first two seasons at the helm at Dakota Wesleyan, guided the 2013 squad to an 8-3 overall record. This marked just the third time in school history the football team has won eight or more games in a season. The last time was in 1992 when the team went 10-1, and the only other time was in 1976.

Cimpl, who served as DWU’s defensive coordinator before taking over as head coach in January 2012, coached five GPAC players-of-the-week in 2013. He helped the team set school records for points (329) and total offense (4,547) in a season, and he also watched as one individual game, season and career record fell this season. Francois Barnaud set the school record for rushing in a season (1,893) and Anthony Muilenburg set the record for receiving yards in a game (251) and receptions in a career (225).

The Tigers won seven of their last eight games, with their only loss coming to top-ranked Morningside, and finished the year ranked 20th in the NAIA. Fourteen DWU athletes earned All-GPAC honors at 15 different positions, and sophomore linebacker Brady Bonte was one of eight underclassmen nominated for a national defensive player-of-the-year award. DWU’s signature win this season was an upset of 20th-ranked Doane College in Crete, Neb.

Cimpl and the other regional winners will be recognized at the AFCA Coach of the Year Dinner at the 2014 AFCA Convention Tuesday, Jan. 14, in Indianapolis, Ind. He, along with the other four NAIA regional winners, are now up for the AFCA Coach of the Year honor, which will be announced that night.


Diane Sandhoff named new dean at Dakota Wesleyan University

Monday, December 9, 2013

Dakota Wesleyan University has announced Diane Sandhoff as the newest dean appointment for the College of Healthcare, Fitness and Sciences.

Dr. Rocky VonEye, the former dean, was named DWU’s provost several months ago and had been serving in both capacities. Sandhoff, who has been with DWU since 1989, accepted the position as dean last week.

“As I was growing up I always felt passionate about having a career path in nursing/healthcare and/or education,” Sandhoff said. “I have been blessed to be part of both worlds while at DWU.”

Sandhoff has taught in the classroom, for online courses, and for the past eight years, has commuted to Sioux Falls to teach the LPN to RN nursing program at DWU’s satellite school.

She accepted the position as RN to B.S. nursing program director in May 2013 and also is involved with DWU committees, the DWU nursing advisory board and the Kelley Center for Entrepreneurship advisory board. She is also involved with the Parkston Area Foundation, currently on the Avera Queen of Peace Board, Avera Board of Consulters, and the Avera St. Benedict Foundation.  She was the past chairman of the Avera St. Benedict Hospital Board.

VonEye expects the program to grow with more research opportunities and feels that Sandhoff will be help guide the college in the right direction.

“Diane is a steady rock in any storm; she’s a positive thinker who will gather opinions, weigh all options and make the best decision for the college,” VonEye said.

“The students are the reason why I continue to do what I do,” Sandhoff said. “Students remind me every day why I chose nursing and education as a career path. Working with students is a privilege.

“One of the greatest joys is watching our graduates grow professionally following graduation. I am inspired by the many contributions each makes to their work environments to keep patients, families and communities healthy and safe. Our graduates are our future.”

Sandhoff graduated from St. John’s School of Nursing in Huron in 1973 with an RN diploma. She worked at St. Joseph Hospital and the Methodist Hospital in Mitchell, a family practice clinic in Parkston and began teaching at DWU in 1989. She earned her baccalaureate degree in 1989 and then her master’s degree from South Dakota State University in 1993, completed post-master’s work through Capella University in Minneapolis, and is currently pursuing a doctorate from Northcentral University, Prescott, Ariz.

She and her husband, George Sandhoff, live in Parkston. They have two children and three grandchildren.


Sandhoff and Stewart awarded Professional Excellence Awards for fall

Monday, December 9, 2013

Dakota Wesleyan University has awarded professional excellence awards to Diane Sandhoff and Malik Stewart for the fall semester.

Sandhoff serves as the associate professor of nursing and director of the RN program at DWU. She also recently accepted the position as the dean of the College of Healthcare, Fitness and Sciences. Stewart, a 2010 DWU graduate, has been the university’s talent adviser for the Center for Talent Development since summer 2012.

Sandhoff was awarded the Professional Excellence Award for faculty, nominated by her peers.

“Diane is very visionary in her thinking and has a passion to change nursing education to better meet the needs of students and health care,” stated her nomination letter. “When the nursing department initiated the LPN-RN upward mobility program for LPNs, Diane, with her pioneer spirit, participated in the creation and implementation of this program.”

Sandhoff’s role in the DWU nursing department has increased in the years since she began in ’89, and this summer she was appointed the program director of the registered nurse to Bachelor of Science nursing program at DWU and oversaw the significant changes made to the program in order to transition it to an adult learning model.

“She also initiated a mentoring program for new online adjuncts which has resulted in adjunct confidence and effectiveness. Diane is a very logical thinker, and takes time to reflect on the impact of potential decisions before they are made. She often finds humor in difficult times which assists in relieving stress of others on her team.”

Stewart was selected as the Professional Excellence Award winner for staff at the university. Stewart graduated from DWU in 2010 and earned his master’s degree at USD before returning to DWU as the talent adviser.

According to his nomination letter, since returning as a staff member, Stewart has partnered with the TRiO student support services staff to unite the tutoring program and strengthen the StudyStrong program.

“He has revamped the Learn Strong 101 syllabus and embraced teaching new freshmen how to understand and capitalize on their strengths. Malik has also become certified in the Strong Interest Inventory to help students understand their place in the world of work.”

Stewart also volunteers on and off campus, including assisting with the DWU wresting summer camp program, assisting with transportation for the track team, and volunteering as a team leader for this spring’s mission trip to Omaha. He also volunteered to participate in on-campus committees and as a co-adviser for the Multicultural Club.

The Professional Excellence Award is given throughout the year to faculty and staff members. The winners are then considered for the year-end awards for faculty and staff.

Winners are given campus recognition and a gift certificate. The award recognizes employees for “outstanding service, for exemplary commitment to the university and for making a difference in the lives of students.”

The DWU Employee Recognition Committee selects the winners from nominations submitted by faculty, staff members and students.


DWU welcomes McGovern Center director Alisha Vincent

Monday, December 9, 2013

Plans underway for new, exciting experiential learning opportunities through Center

Dakota Wesleyan University welcomed Dr. Alisha Vincent as the director of the McGovern Center for Leadership and Public Service and assistant professor of leadership over the summer, and her energy and enthusiasm for community and civic engagement has already been passed along through her students.

Vincent joined the staff in August and hit the ground running as she endeavors to revitalize the leadership and public service major at DWU with new opportunities to engage students in applying classroom learning to meet real-world needs. These experiential learning opportunities involve students in service to local and regional nonprofits, help them discover ways to develop their own nonprofit organizations, encourage them to speak out about important policy issues, and create innovative events to draw awareness and raise funds for local charities.

Student groups in her leadership and public service class this semester have learned important leadership lessons by organizing projects including a golf benefit for a local cancer support group, a hunger banquet, a public relations capacity-building project for the Mitchell Weekend Snack Pack Program, and an upcoming art auction for the Abbott House. As Vincent continues at DWU she hopes to use her own background in nonprofit development to connect students and the community. Two seniors, Kelli Swenson, of Chamberlain, and Chase Kristensen, of Plankinton, are working with Vincent and DWU alumnus Thomas Madut to develop a nonprofit aimed at building a primary school in Madut’s home country, South Sudan. In addition to teaching and engaging students in local projects, Vincent will also take a group of students to Africa this summer to work on food security and education projects in Rwanda and Uganda, Africa, with Crimson Academy and a nonprofit she founded, Esperance Education Institute.

“George McGovern cared deeply about engaging people in opportunities to make a difference. I am honored to be a part of an institution of faculty, students and community members who are dedicated to carrying out George’s legacy of service,” Vincent said.

“When we connect the classroom to community needs in our local, regional and global communities, I feel that we are honoring his memory as well as giving unique learning experiences to our students. Whether students’ passions lie in being involved with nonprofits, politics, or even for-profit organizations, the experiences we are now offering and will continue to develop in the future, will give them valuable tools to navigate life and be servant-leaders as they further their education and take on careers.”

Prior to joining DWU, Vincent served in higher education and as a nonprofit consultant. Vincent recently founded a global nonprofit organization called Esperance Institute, the mission of which is to help under-educated adults acquire occupational skills and career assistance through short-term educational classes. This year programs will be offered in Rwanda, Chile and Ethiopia. During her travels she has also assisted Water Our Thirsty World ( with the implementation of water chlorine devices and helped establish a livestock program to sustain low-income families in rural Rwanda.

“Growing up on a farm south of Chamberlain proved helpful in working with the school headmaster at Crimson Academy to buy 16 goats and a cow and develop a plan to sustain their care,” she said. “The parent-teacher organization and I selected the families in greatest financial need in the school and gave them a goat. They will raise the animal and once the animal has offspring they will give the primary animal back to the school to offer to another family. The best part of the project has been witnessing the pride and ownership taken on by the PTA and community who are now sending reports on whose goat has produced and how the animals are helping feed families, boost incomes, and improve the community.”

Vincent is now working with DWU’s Universities Fighting World Hunger group to expand and sustain the livestock project. Students traveling to Africa this summer will spend time working on the project. The donation site, Livestock for Life, can be found via the McGovern Center’s website,, or directly through this link:


DWU named NAIA Champion of Character institution

Thursday, December 5, 2013

MITCHELL, S.D. – Dakota Wesleyan University has been named an NAIA Champions of Character Five-Star Institution for the 2012-13 academic year, it was announced recently by the NAIA, the NAIA Character Advisory Committee and the National Office.

The Champions of Character program measures an institution’s commitment to promoting the NAIA’s Champions of Character motto. Points are given to each institution based on character training and development; conduct in competition; academic focus; character recognition and character promotion.

Dakota Wesleyan was one of 217 institutions recognized across the nation. Ten of the schools in the Great Plains Athletic Conference were also recognized as Champions of Character institutions.

Dakota Wesleyan promotes the message of the Champions of Character program by practicing good sportsmanship in practice and games as well as a variety of service projects. The Tigers read to students, pump gas, clean up the Mitchell area and participate in other service projects throughout the year.


DWU featured again as ‘College of Distinction’

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Dakota Wesleyan University is once again featured on, an online college guide that takes a fresh look at colleges and universities appealing to students’ unique and varied interests. Based on the opinions of guidance counselors, educators, and admissions professionals, Colleges of Distinction™ honors colleges excelling in key areas of educational quality.

In order to qualify, DWU was required to demonstrate excellence in the four distinctions: engaged students, great teaching, vibrant communities and successful outcomes. The goal of Colleges of Distinction™ is to provide students, counselors and parents with information about colleges and universities that excel in these four areas. Featured schools take a holistic approach to admissions, consistently excel in providing undergraduate education and have a national reputation.

Dakota Wesleyan is the only South Dakota college listed on the site and this is its third year.

“They all share excellent reputations among high school guidance counselors and education professionals, not to mention employers and graduate schools. Their classrooms are among the most exciting in the country; their programs are some of the most innovative,” states the website.

To learn more about the online guide, visit  

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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