Category: News

DWU announces Scholarship Day award-winners, 2015 Randall Scholars

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

More than 60 high school students were awarded the highest academic scholarships that Dakota Wesleyan University has to offer earlier last month during Scholarship Day.


Six students were named Randall Scholars, the university’s highest academic honor. The following students were named DWU Randall Scholars: Sierra Crater, Cavour; Amanda Halsey, Huron; Laura Hoiten, Sioux Falls; Maria Koenen, Rock Valley, Iowa; Rachel Parsons, Milesville; and Anna Schutte, Canton.


Sixty-one students with outstanding academic records, leadership potential and a commitment to service were invited to campus Feb. 6 and 20 to meet with faculty, staff and students, learn about the Learn Strong initiative and further investigate the opportunities DWU has to offer them academically and cocurricularly. The students were all competing for a Randall Scholarship, the university’s highest academic honor which amounts to a minimum of $20,000 a year. To be considered, each student had a minimum of a 3.5 GPA and 24 ACT or 1090 SAT.



The following is a complete list of those who participated in Scholarship Day and the scholarship they received:


John Wesley Academic/Athletic Scholarship

Bryant – Mikayla Prouty

Forestburg – Morgan Selland

Martin – Brady Hicks

Mitchell – Mitch Johnson

Platte – Coby Johnson

Sioux Falls – Brittany Forsman, Brooke Forsman

Webster – Tyler Wagner

Winner – Sam Naasz


John Wesley Scholarship

Howard – Maria Schwader

Mitchell – Dusan Mirkovic


Presidential Academic/Athletic Scholarship

Dell Rapids – Ben Hammer

Howard – Luke Loudenburg

Lake Andes – Cybil Chytka

Mitchell – MacKayla Nohr

Pipestone – Bianca Claussen

Sioux Falls – Abby Behm

Winner – Tyrel Haley



Hartley – Dakota Drenth



New Ulm – Collin Helget

South Haven – Jenna Loch



Omaha – Scott Johnston

Plainview – Dylan Moore



Guernsey – Austin Quynn


Presidential Leadership Scholarship

Ethan – Morgan Tuttle

Harrisburg – Ashton Auch

Sioux Falls – JT Miller

Stickney – Austin Bormann



Batavia – Kelly Hull



League City – Makenna Frerichs


Presidential Scholarship

Howard – Sharleen Wipf

Huron – Tanner Pietz

White Lake – Rowan Byrd


Trustee Academic/Athletic Scholarship

Corisca – Hope Menning

Harrisburg – Taylor Nichols

Howard – Kaleb Haas

Lake Preston – Kristin Longville

Madison – Heith Williams

Miller – Jamie Mentzer

Mitchell – Alyssa Green

Platte – Nicole Nelson

Rapid City – Bryce Blank

Sioux Falls – Tate Lindsay

Yankton – Andriana Sprakel


Trustee Scholarship

Ethan – Cameron Wittstruck

Lake Andes – Brooke Deurmier

Mitchell – Katherine Loveland

Owanka – Erica Venhuizen

Tripp – Morgan Ziegler


Jolene’s Law namesake to speak at DWU for Child Abuse Awareness Month

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Jolene LoetscherDakota Wesleyan University Human Services Club, in conjunction with the Davison County Child Protection Team, will host speaker Jolene Loetscher, founder of Selfspiration, on campus for Child Abuse Awareness Month. This speaker is free and open to the public.


“A Survivor’s Voice: Empowering Victims of Child Sexual Abuse” will be on Tuesday, March 31, in the Sherman Center. This two-part speaker series will include an 11 a.m. talk with Loetscher, “Jolene’s Story,” and a 1 p.m. session, “Focus on Youth,” which will target a youth audience.


“April is Child Abuse Awareness Month and we were trying to find a way we can draw attention to this cause, as well as educate the public – Jolene, the founder of Selfspiration and namesake for South Dakota’s Jolene’s Law – was the perfect answer,” said Pam Boline, associate professor of human services at DWU. “We hope that people can take an hour on March 31 and listen to her inspiring story.”


Loetscher grew up in Nebraska and now calls South Dakota home. In 2011, she first spoke publicly about being sexually abused by a family friend. She founded Selfspiration, an organization which holds day camps for children who have been sexually abused. In 2014, South Dakota passed Jolene’s Law, creating a task force to look at child sexual abuse in the state.


Loetscher lives in Sioux Falls with her husband, and has turned a career in broadcast journalism into a successful media relations profession, in addition to her work in child abuse prevention.


Loetscher graduated as the top broadcast journalism student from Northwestern university in Evanston, ill., and received her Master of Business Administration degree in global executive leadership from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Starting at the age of 19, she worked as a television reporter/anchor for KTIV-TV (NBC) in Sioux City, Iowa, and KELO-TV (CBS) in Sioux Falls, receiving regional and national awards, including the Edward R. Murrow Award, for her writing and live reporting. Her work appeared on CNN, MSNBC, CSPAN and the Weather Channel. She moved into public relations, working in media relations at Sanford Health, handling media requests from across the globe as the organization received more than $400 million in donations.

Prairie Winds magazine holds writing contest, announces winners

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Prairie WindsPrairie Winds, a literary magazine at Dakota Wesleyan University, has recently released the winners of its youth writing contest.


The magazine editors and adviser began accepted submissions from area youth for the first time this year and have chosen four winners, whose work will be published in the magazine this spring.


High School Poetry

    ”Spaghetti and Tears,” by Jocelyn McCormick, student at Mitchell High School; Carli Ellwein, teacher 


High School Prose

    ”Hot Dog Cathedral,” by Ryan Solberg, student at MHS, Leslie Warnke, teacher


Middle School Poetry

    ”Memories,” by Cailey Scott, student at Mitchell Middle School; Karen Harrington, teacher


Middle School Prose

    ”One Moment,” by Bridget Thill, student at Mitchell Middle School; Karen Harrington, teacher


Online DWU Students Share Success Tips

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

When I talk to prospective students who want to pursue a fully online degree at Dakota Wesleyan University, they often ask, “How will I find time for my studies?”

It’s a great question.

Five current online DWU students share these secrets to their success:

1.    Color-code your calendar. Rebecca Jones puts her family’s events in red on her calendar so they stand out. Work-related events are in blue. Then she pens in time for her studies around her family and work schedules. For example, she may set aside time each day to read, or block out time for assignments on the weekend. On weeks with few family and work commitments, she takes advantage of the extra time to complete her readings and assignments so she can reward herself with a weekend off.

2.    Use your smartphone. Kathy Brand says organization is key to her success at DWU. To keep organized she enters her assignments into her iPhone calendar. She does most of her reading assignments during the week—after working 10- to 12-hour days. She uses Saturdays for her coursework, and then enjoys Sundays with her family.

3.    Set reasonable goals. Chelsey Loney, a full-time middle school teacher, prioritizes her tasks and sets reasonable goals every day. “When it gets to be too much, I tell myself the best way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time and just do the best I can,” she says.

4.    Exercise. To stay energized and focused, Chelsey also recommends exercising. She works out three or four times a week. She also takes breaks for supper, and she goes to bed at roughly the same time every night.

5.    Pace yourself. That’s the word from Amanda Hart. She suggests regularly checking the Virtual Campus throughout the week and tackling each assignment little by little. “It keeps you from being overwhelmed at the end of the week trying to do it all at once,” she says.

6.    Carve out time each day. James Hardwick is a husband, father of three, elected local official and CEO of a health delivery system. Each day he finds time in his schedule for his MBA studies. That might be before work, over the noon hour or in the evening—“essentially any time that works for me.”

I hope these tips help you to see that earning your degree is possible through DWU’s fully online degree programs. If you have questions, or would like more information, please email me.

Amber Turner

Online Admissions Counselor

CategoriesBlog: Online Degrees @ DWU, News,

A Winter Choral Showcase is set for this weekend

Monday, February 23, 2015

Dakota Wesleyan University will celebrate the season with A Winter Choral Showcase this weekend.


The Ron and Sheilah Gates Department of Music offers the free concert at 4 p.m., Sunday, March 1, at the Mitchell First United Methodist Church, featuring the Women’s Chamber Ensemble, Wesleyan Bells, Highlanders, The Singing Scotchmen, and the Dakota Wesleyan Choir. They will perform selections ranging from “The Longest Time,” to “Stairway to Heaven,” “We Will Rock You,” and the more traditional, “How Great Thou Art.”


The Dakota Wesleyan Choir will also perform at 4 p.m., April 19, at the Mitchell First United Methodist Church; the Spring Ring Concert is set for 7 p.m., April 26, at the church; and the Children’s Choir Concert will be at 7 p.m., May 2, at the church.


Highlanders, Wesleyan Bells to go on four-state tour

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Dakota Wesleyan University’s Highlanders and Wesleyan Bells will be on the move next month, celebrating music and dance during their annual tour.


The two groups will travel to Iowa, Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin March 6-11.


“This is our most ambitious performance tour to date,” said Dr. Clinton Desmond, choral director. “With the Highlanders and Wesleyan Bells performing at such a high level, we are excited to spread the name of DWU Music to the Chicagoland area and beyond.”


The Highlanders’ concert, “In Praise of Music and Dance,” features 15 pieces meant to make audiences rejoice in song and dance, including an Irish folk song, Hungarian dancing song and two selections from “Shakespeare Songs Book III.”


The Wesleyan Bells’ concert, “Three Rings to Rule Them All,” features nine songs in three categories: A Joyful Ring, A Sacred Ring, and A Just Plain Fun Ring, which includes “Stairway to Heaven,” “An Irish Blessing,” and “Old MacDonald.”


The concert dates are as follows:


March 6 – First United Methodist Church, Sioux City, Iowa, 7:30 p.m.

March 7 – Grace United Methodist Church, Lake Bluff, Ill., 7 p.m.

March 8 – Grace United Methodist Church, Lake Bluff, Ill., 10 a.m.

March 8 – Dyer United Methodist Church, Dyer, Ind., 6 p.m.

March 9 – Lake Central High School, Saint John, Ind., time to be announced

March 10 – Portage High School, Portage, Ind., 8:30 a.m.

March 10 – Trinity Lutheran Church, Valparaiso, Ind., 7 p.m.

March 11 – First Congregational Church, Fort Atkinson, Wis., 7 p.m.


DWU’s Turner: ‘Yes, You Can Fit an Online Degree Into Your Life’

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

In my role as online admissions counselor at Dakota Wesleyan University, prospective students often ask me if they really can complete an online degree program while working and raising families.

Without hesitation, I tell them “yes.”

Our fully online degrees at DWU were designed specifically with working adults in mind. The online format, with courses available 24/7, allows students the flexibility to fit their studies into their life. They were created so adult learners could succeed.

Students can choose to be full-time students and complete their studies in 14 months or go part-time and finish in 26 months (though programs like our Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Leadership will take longer). Some students start out full time and then scale back to part time—or start part time and switch to full time. Students appreciate having that option.

Prospective students also ask me how much time they should devote each week for their studies. This question has no correct answer. I tell students it depends on their motivation, their reading habits, research, and their desire to do well. With that said, on average, part-time students spend 10-12 hours per week while full-time students spend 20-22 hours.

I let them know that our students succeed because they’re willing to put in the time—whenever and wherever they can carve out that time. For some that’s over their lunch breaks at work, after dinner, while they wait for their child to finish dance class or Little League practice, or after their family has gone to bed.

Often, adults are at a point in their career where they need to finish their degree to move up. They may feel anxious or fearful or a lot of other emotions. I remind prospective student that they are not alone. Most of their classmates will be in similar situations. Even though these are online programs, community does happen. Our students navigate the online environment together. They share study tips, post encouraging words to each other, and support one another as they balance their studies with their personal and professional commitments. Professors also do all they can to help students succeed.

Tune in for our next blog, in which actual DWU students share how they find time to study.

In the meantime, I invite you to email me if you have other questions or would like more information about online degrees at DWU.

Amber Turner

Online Admissions Counselor

Dakota Wesleyan University

CategoriesBlog: Online Degrees @ DWU, News,

LyricWood and vocal concert set for Saturday

Monday, February 16, 2015

The Ron and Sheilah Gates Department of Music at Dakota Wesleyan University announces the first concert of the year.

Vocalists and the LyricWood, a special strings ensemble on campus, will perform a free concert at 7 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 21, in the Sherman Center.

DWU senior and student conductor, Lacey Reimnitz, of Corsica, will lead the voices and orchestra in Henry Purcell’s “Rejoice in the Lord, Alway,” and Marc-Antoine Charpentier’s “Magnificat H. 73.” Dr. Clint Desmond, DWU’s choral director, Erin Desmond, voice and piano instructor, and James Van Oort, of Mitchell, along with singers from The Highlanders will provide vocals.

The first half of the program will close with a string quintet by the Italian composer Domenico Dragonetti.  

“This work has only recently been published, so has not been played widely in the U.S.,” said Elizabeth Soloday, LyricWood director. “It features LyricWood cellist John Casey on his principal instrument, the stringed bass.”

The second half of the concert begins with a Baroque concerto that will feature LyricWood players Soladay, Jeremiah Helmuth, Erin Mairose, Beth Neitzert and Ben Ward.  The concert will close with a concerto for orchestra by Guiseppe Sammartini.  


DWU theatre changes up spring show, names cast

Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Dakota Wesleyan University Department of Theatre was set to show a high-flying comedy, “Boeing, Boeing,” but after auditions and careful consideration has decided to change this spring’s production to “Bedroom Farce.”


The British comedy is set for March in the Patten-Wing Theatre on campus.


With all DWU theatre shows, we as a department vote on what shows we would like to do from season to season,” said Dan Miller, theatre director. “Students will choose shows based on research, interests, popularity and classroom exposure. When auditions occurred for’ Boeing, Boeing’ one thing became very clear: students who were designing the show, drafting the show and acting in the show did not feel it was a show that would challenge them. At this stage in their studies, the majority of theatre majors felt we would be better off finding a show that truly excited them – intellectually, creatively.”


In answer to this, Miller presented the students the option of producing “Bedroom Farce,” a British comedy by Alan Ayckbourn, a playwright whom Miller studied with in Scarborough, England.


“The show is a beautiful production about relationships,” Miller said. “The relationship between married couples, boyfriends, girlfriends and parents. Along with that, this comedy takes place in three different bedrooms of three different homes with four different couples. It’s unique, it’s intriguing, it’s funny. …”


Production dates are: 7:30 p.m., March 20-21, 27-28, and 2 p.m., March 22, March 29, in Patten-Wing Theatre, Hughes Hall, on campus. Tickets are $7 for general public, $2 for DWU staff, faculty and students with a DWU I.D.


The cast for the production, directed by Dan Miller, is as follows:


Ernest – Ian Hyde

Delia – Alaina Bertsch

Nick – Chris Gollnick

Jan – Brittney Kaufmann

Malcolm – Jeffrey Holstein

Kate – Ann Thury

Trevor – Michael Hardwick

Susannah – Madi Miller


Scenic design: Ann Thury

Technical direction: Jake Habermann

Stage management: Lily Jones

DWU Department of Theatre returns from regional festival

Wednesday, January 28, 2015



Dakota Wesleyan University theatre students recently returned from the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF), bringing with them a distinction in stage management and possible job opportunities.


DWU junior Morgan Schoenfelder, Blue Earth, Minn., was awarded a Certificate of Merit for her professional approach and execution of stage management in last year’s DWU production of “Les Miserables.”  


DWU, belonging to Region 5 of the KCACTF, attends the regional festival in each January along with North Dakota, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska and Minnesota. The region showcases its best productions, as well as offers activities, workshops, symposiums and the regional-level award program. This year’s festival was hosted by Normandale Community College, Bloomington with activities occurring there, the Ames Center in Burnsville and the Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis.


There are also auditions for national scholarships and auditions for summer stock theatre and professional theatre jobs nationwide, said Dan Miller, DWU’s theatre director. Junior Madi Miller and freshman Alaina Bertsch, both of Mitchell, and junior Ian Hyde, Irvine, Calif., auditioned for professional theatres and Miller received five callbacks. She should hear back about the possibility for a summer theatre job in a month.


“This year, all Bachelor of Fine Arts theatre majors attended with about a thousand other students from our region,” Dan Miller said. “I was incredibly proud of our students.”


Madi Miller and Kurt Schwarzenbart, sophomore from Salem, were also entered in the Irene Ryan acting completion in which they and their partners had to prepare a three-minute acting scene, a two-minute acting scene and then each had to perform a one-minute monologue. They didn’t move on, but Dan Miller was happy with their performances.


“It was incredible competition with 314 actors and their partners in just the first round,” he said. “It’s great experience for the students, great exposure, and a chance for networking in the business.”


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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.
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.
The Chronicle of Higher Education named Dakota Wesleyan University one of the “Great Colleges to Work For®” for 2014-2015. DWU won honors in three categories: facilities, workspace and security, and supervisor/department chair relationship.
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