Memorial Weekend hours announced for DWU

Monday, May 23, 2016
Dakota Wesleyan University will be closed on Monday, May 30, in observance of Memorial Day. All offices and the McGovern Library will be closed.

DWU launches new scholarship program with Raise.Me

Monday, May 23, 2016
High school students, beginning as early as ninth grade, can now track their anticipated scholarship awards to Dakota Wesleyan University through Raise.Me.

DWU signs articulation agreement with Western Dakota Tech

Tuesday, May 17, 2016
Dakota Wesleyan University has signed an articulation agreement with Western Dakota Technical Institute in Rapid City.

Digmann named this year’s recipient of Clarke Award for Teaching Excellence

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Ashley Digmann was awarded the prestigious Clarke Award for Teaching Excellence on Sunday during Dakota Wesleyan University’s Commencement services at the Corn Palace.

This award was first instituted in the 1996-97 academic year. John and Vicki Clarke, of Mitchell, endowed an award to annually recognize a Dakota Wesleyan University faculty member for excellence in teaching.  The award is presented by a member of the Clarke family to one faculty member each year at Commencement. The award consists of a red marble apple on a round walnut base and a cash award. Nominations are solicited from the DWU campus community.

Digmann, a 2006 alumnus, was named the Dakota Wesleyan University Department of Education chairwoman in spring of 2015. She has been an adjunct instructor of mathematics at DWU since 2011 and began teaching full time in 2013.

Digmann was described as a person who “Strives to make learning relevant and applicable,” Provost Rocky Von Eye read from a nomination. “(She) promotes learning and growth of 21st-century skills, a classroom environment where collaboration is fostered and the opportunities for experiential and problem-based learning are provided. (She has) a heart for students which is displayed in the way (she) promotes the success and wellbeing of students as a whole.”

Von Eye described Digmann as a teacher who loves teaching, is caring, innovative, creative and excited by the subject matter.

“This professor creates an atmosphere where students are self-motivated to demonstrate their best effort and attain high achievement,” Von Eye said, then quoting a nomination, “Through the relationships formed and by being a reputable voice on campus this professor has attained a level of respect that allows them to speak with authority into the lives of students.”

Digmann is active in numerous volunteering projects at DWU, in her community of Parkston. She volunteers for Freshman Move-in, student club activities, the Great Wesleyan Giveback on campus, and gives time to her local library, volunteers at her church, bagged groceries for cancer, and participated in cancer awareness fun-runs. She is a member of the South Dakota Council of Teachers of Mathematics, the National Council of Teachers in Mathematics, Sigma Zeta honor society, and is the local Phi Kappa Phi honor society president. She is also the system coordinator for HLC and the assessment coordinator.

“We often wonder if the students notice when a professor attends university activities,” Von Eye said. “They do, as evidence, I will read one final quote from a student, ‘She represents the future of the faculty of this campus while being a member of the present. She is a recognized and identifiable active member of campus and the community as a whole, has a weekly presence at chapel, and is a strong supporter of Wesleyan athletics and the arts; she attends almost every university activity including music, theater and sports activities. Dr. Ashley Digmann is an embodiment of the four core values of Dakota Wesleyan University: Learning, Leadership, Faith, and Service.’”

Digmann earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in secondary math education from Dakota Wesleyan University, her Master of Arts degree in mathematics education from Chadron State College, Chadron, Neb., and her Educational Doctorate in leadership from Creighton University, Omaha, Neb.


 Digmann and her husband, Jared, have two children, Jayden and Hadley.



Arampatzis receives Bishop Armstrong Peace and Justice Award

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Ariana Arampatzis, a junior at Dakota Wesleyan University, was named this year’s recipient of the Bishop Armstrong Peace and Justice Award during DWU’s Baccalaureate service Sunday.

The Bishop Armstrong Peace and Justice Award was established by the DWU Board of Trustees in honor of the 12 years Bishop A. James Armstrong served in the Dakotas.  This award is presented each year to students or staff whose life has demonstrated the relationship between religious faith and issues of peace and justice. 

Arampatzis, of Aberdeen, is majoring in nonprofit administration and Christian leadership and minoring in chemistry. She is the daughter of Janelle and Bruce Brown, and Tony and Marla Arampatzis.

“One of the marks of a commitment to peace and justice is the willingness to walk alongside those who live on the ‘margins.’ Ariana, you have exhibited this willingness in your work with such activities as the Salvation Army’s Kids’ Club and the Lutheran Social Services Center for New Americans,” Dr. Dave Mitchell read from her citation.

Arampatzis was also commended for promoting peace and justice through her ability to understand and promote social change and justice, through her leadership in DWU’s club, The Third Freedom, which promotes hunger awareness, and also for her work to change South Dakota laws regarding taxation on food.

She has also traveled to Africa through the McGovern Center to deliver livestock through the Livestock for Life program, as well as helped Ugandan women in a small, rural village learn how to make soap, promoting economic development and improving upon their quality of life.

“With regard to the religious roots of your commitment to peace and justice, perhaps the best testimony is your own description of your time at DWU as an experience of ‘Immense growth in faith inspired by the serving hearts of so many on and off campus,’” Mitchell continued. “This has been reflected in such diverse ways as leadership on the Student Ministry Council and the infusion of faith themes in your artistic work.”

Arampatzis is involved in numerous clubs and activities on campus. Her college career has included: Student Ministry Council leader and elected president for 2016-17 year; Student Senate class president freshman and sophomore years, secretary for 2015-16; and as a member of Third Freedom (Universities Fighting World Hunger) since 2013. She was also selected for the following: as a student delegate for the United Nation’s Presidents United to Solve Hunger initiative in 2014; to attend the Millennium Campus Conference in 2014; as the student delegate at the Midwest Regional Science Conference; and as an Action Ambassador for the Leadership Conference for Innovation and Social Change since 2013. Arampatzis is also a leader for Livestock for Life through the McGovern Center, has volunteered for the Salvation Army’s Kid’s Club, and was a member of the DWU track and field team from 2013-15 until obtaining an injury. She also works as a resident assistant and this summer she will spend six weeks in Rwanda, Africa, with fellow student Amy Zeller, working for Belay Global.


Weins receives 2015-16 Presidential Award for Outstanding Service

Wednesday, May 11, 2016
Dr. Jesse Weins was named this year’s Presidential Award for Outstanding Service winner at Dakota Wesleyan University Wednesday during the Employee Recognition Breakfast on campus.

DWU announces spring Professional Excellence Award winners

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Dr. Alisha Vincent and Emily George are the winners of the Professional Excellence Awards for the spring term at Dakota Wesleyan University.

Vincent was selected as the faculty awardee and George as the staff awardee.

Dr. Alisha Vincent came to work at Dakota Wesleyan in 2013 as the director of the McGovern Center and assistant professor of nonprofit administration. She is also the adviser for Third Freedom, which is a chapter of Universities Fighting World Hunger.

Vincent was praised for her work in the McGovern Center, integrating service and experiential learning into the classroom in new ways. Whether it’s encouraging students to organize nonprofits and nonprofit fundraising, or taking part in service trips to Uganda and Rwanda, Africa, Vincent has brought new ideas to campus.

“Alisha takes involvement in the life of this institution to a whole new level, exceeding expectations,” stated her nomination letter. “The transformation of the McGovern Center since she took the leadership position has been quite a marvel. Increased participation in McGovern events has gained significant regional attention for our institution. Alisha successfully sought increased funding for the center to expand staffing and to fund community learning projects.”

The McGovern Center also partners with Vincent’s nonprofit organization, EEI, to assist even more people in the world and Vincent established Livestock for Life through the McGovern Center to fundraise and donate livestock to families in East Africa.

“Through her leadership at the McGovern Center, Alisha has substantively and creatively advanced the DWU values of Learning, Leadership, Faith and Service,” continued her nomination letter. “First, in academics, she models experiential learning in her courses, a significant part of our strategic planning and university distinction.

“Her children’s book, ‘All That a Moo Can Do for You,’ with the editorial and artistic help of her students, created a way not only to raise funds for the Livestock for Life program but inform readers of the life-changing experience in the developing world such a gift can make.”

Emily George came to campus in 2006 as the administrative assistant to academic affairs. In 2013 when Dr. Amy Novak became DWU’s 20th president, George was promoted to executive administrative assistant to both the provost and the president.

“Emily’s professionalism is outstanding. Her communication skills are invaluable,” states her nomination letter. “She welcomes everyone who comes into the office and is willing to share her thoughts and ideas when asked for help. Her pleasant attitude helps bring a smile to many.”

George has been instrumental in organizing and assisting with Baccalaureate and Commencement, and is always on hand to assist with all other major events. She also volunteers for campus activities such as pot lucks, service days, the Mitchell Day of Caring, and more.

“Emily’s work ethic, her leadership skills, faith and her attitude of service are exactly what this university is about. She is the model employee for our mission and what we attempt to do on this campus.”


DWU recognizes years of service during Employee Recognition Breakfast

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Dakota Wesleyan University recognized employees for their years of service to the institution during its annual Employee Recognition Breakfast Wednesday.

Employees are recognized each year for milestone anniversaries with the university.

The following employees were recognized for five years at Dakota Wesleyan:

Dr. Joel Allen, assistant professor of religion and philosophy

Dr. Monty Bohrer, business professor and director of the business graduate program

Erin Desmond, voice and piano instructor

Kristy Ehlebracht, financial aid counselor

Jason Glasco, assistant football coach, recruiting coordinator

Michelle Hellman, education support specialist

Kyle Herges, assistant professor for digital media and design

Edward Kieff, head softball coach

Dr. Bethany Melroe Lehrman, assistant professor of chemistry

Dr. Paula Mazzer, assistant professor of biochemistry

Keith Weller, systems administrator for IT


The following were recognized for 10 years:

Dr. Diana Goldammer, director of student life

Karen Knoell, registrar

Jeanne Krome, administrative assistant to the nursing department

Traci Loecker, cheer coach

Daniel Miller, associate professor of theatre

Dr. René Pruitt, associate professor of education

Jackie Wentworth, director of alumni relations


The following were recognized for 15 years:

Boyd Blumer, adjunct instructor of religion and philosophy

Laurie Langland, university archivist

Dr. Lana Loken, clinical education coordinator and professor of athletic training

Dr. Vince Redder, dean of the College of Arts and Humanities, professor of English and languages

Dr. Daniel Wagner, athletic training education program director, assistant athletic trainer, professor of athletic training


The following were recognized for 20 years:

Rod Brown, Dakota Discovery Museum manager

Kevin Kenkel, director of learning resources for the McGovern Library


The following were recognized for 25 years:

Marlene Warnke, athletic department business manager

Vicki Welch, associate professor of communications and theatre


DWU announces summer hours

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Dakota Wesleyan University will begin observing summer hours on Monday, May 16.

All campus offices will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. The McGovern Library will observe the following summer hours: 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday and closed on the weekends. Java City will be closed all summer and reopen when classes are back in session.

DWU will return to regular hours on Aug. 1.


Joseph Roidt named provost at Dakota Wesleyan University

Monday, May 9, 2016

Joseph RoidtJoseph Roidt, current vice president for academic affairs and chief academic officer at Davis & Elkins College (D&E) in Elkins, W.V., has been named provost at Dakota Wesleyan University.  He will assume his duties July 1, following the retirement of current provost, Dr. Rochelle “Rocky” Von Eye.


 “Dr. Roidt brings a variety of experiences and accomplishments that make him an excellent fit for Dakota Wesleyan,” said DWU’s President Amy Novak.  “His commitment to academic excellence, his extensive experience with assessment of student learning, his spirited engagement in innovation, his support of rural communities, and his understanding of the distinctions created by small college experiences solidified our decision to hire him as the next university provost.”


As provost, Roidt will oversee all of Dakota Wesleyan’s academic functions, as well as the department of student life.


Roidt received a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology from Kent State University and his Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Pittsburgh.


Before joining D&E, Roidt taught at Clark University in Worcester, Mass., and Wesleyan College in Macon, Ga.


He joined the Davis & Elkins Department of Sociology in 2001. In 2009, he was promoted to full professor, granted tenure and named associate provost.  In 2012, he assumed the role of vice president for academic affairs and chief academic officer.  His accomplishments include developing courses for D&E’s winter semester; working collaboratively with various campus departments to implement successful retention efforts and update the Faculty Handbook and various college policies; coordinating the Higher Learning Commission reaccreditation self-study; and launching D&E’s inaugural online programs. 


In 2007, Roidt received the college’s Lois Latham award for teaching excellence.


He and his wife, Vickie, have two adult children. 

Next Page >
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.
Dakota Wesleyan University
1200 W. University Ave
Mitchell, SD 57301
© 2015 Dakota Wesleyan University

South Dakota Website Design and Development