DWU to host 23rd regional science fair

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Dakota Wesleyan University will host the 23rd annual South Central South Dakota Regional Science and Engineering Fair on Tuesday, March 24, in the Christen Athletic Center.


The competition includes students in grades six through 12, from 21 schools in 18 South Dakota counties.  Projects will be on display for viewing by the public from 2 to 5 p.m.


Students participating in this regional event will bring projects that have already won in science fairs at local schools.  This year’s fair includes 134 projects produced by 171 students.


“Our science fair projects continue to show their worth,” said Dr. Mike Farney, science fair director, professor of mathematics at DWU. 


Last year’s entries at the 65th International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) were: a microchip system to monitor cows, by Justin Krell, Plankinton; a sunscreen made of berries, by Julie Boyle, Avon; and a natural herbicide, by Amanda Reiff and Devin Tolsma, Avon.


While these did not win at the ISEF, Boyle’s project won second place ($500) at the Sanford Science Festival last June. Another one of last year’s entries, by Riley Namminga from Avon, won the right to compete at I-SWEEP held in Houston, Texas.  There he won a bronze award ($150) for his project, “Application Cent$,” which was a study on sprayer control.


“This year’s South Central South Dakota Science and Engineering Fair will have projects researching: cancers cures, pencils made from grass, and a new set of gears for bicycles,” Farney said. “Titles range from the exotic, ‘Homopolar Motors,’ to the earthy, ‘What’s the Scoop on Manure?’”


More than 90 judges will select the Grand Award winners, including three projects that will advance to the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair May 10-15 in Pittsburgh, Pa. One project will advance to I-SWEEP in Houston, and one project to compete in Oswego, N.Y.


Awards to be given to participating students include cash, certificates, DWU scholarships including $10,000 to the senior grand award winners, plaques, medals, trophies, major industry recognition, and recognition by a variety of military branches. 


In addition to DWU, sponsors include The Daily Republic, Your Touchtone Energy Cooperatives, Sixth District Medical Society, Twin City Fan Companies, LTD., Corey and Lisa Thelen, Davison County Implement, and Logan Luxury Theatre.


Bishop Leadership Awards given for Dakota Wesleyan University

Wednesday, March 11, 2015




Dakota Wesleyan University has announced five winners of the Bishop Leadership Award to the university.


Thanael Certa-Werner, Superior, Wis.; Rachel Christensen, Jamestown, N.D.; Mason Juracek, Gregory; Beau Keeter, Miller; and Erik Wehlander, Iroquois, were all awarded the Bishop Leadership Award, a prestigious scholarship at DWU for students affiliated with the United Methodist Church. The Bishop Leadership Award is a $14,000 per year award available to a United Methodist student who demonstrates strong commitment to youth leadership in his or her local church and pledges to be active in student ministry at DWU. The award is renewable for four years.


Certa-Werner, of Superior, Wis., is the son of Joel and Barb Certa-Werner. He is a senior at Superior Senior High School and a member of Faith United Methodist Church.


Christensen, of Jamestown, N.D., is the daughter of Jody Christensen. She is a senior at Jamestown High School and a member of St. Paul’s United Methodist Church.


Juracek, of Gregory, is the son of Wade and Amy Juracek. He is a senior at Gregory High School and a member of Gregory United Methodist Church.


Keeter, of Miller, is the son of Jim and Chris Ketter. He is a senior at Miller High School and a member of the First United Methodist Church of Miller.


Wehlander, of Iroquois, is the son of Curt and Lori Wehlander. He is a senior at Iroquois High School and a member of Esmond United Methodist Church.


-A photo of Rachel Christensen was not available.


McGovern Center for Leadership and Public Service awards McGovern Legacy Scholarship

Wednesday, March 11, 2015



Dakota Wesleyan University’s McGovern Center for Leadership and Public Service has named its second McGovern Legacy Scholar.


Cassidy Hendricks, Buffalo, Minn., was named the 2015-16 McGovern Legacy Scholar during DWU’s Scholarship Day last month. The McGovern Legacy Scholarship is a relatively new scholarship offered at the university, awarding its first in 2014 in tribute to Sen. George McGovern who passed away in 2012. Hendricks is a senior at Buffalo High School and the daughter of Ron and Lisa Hendricks.


The McGovern Legacy Scholarship is currently the largest scholarship of this kind offered at DWU and covers tuition up to 16 credits for each semester in the 2015-16 academic year and is renewable for up to four years of continued enrollment at DWU with maintenance of academic requirements and involvement with the McGovern Center. This scholarship was created to honor McGovern and the 1972 campaign volunteers, while educating and inspiring future generations of student activities to volunteerism, public service and to work for a just society.


The Friends of the McGovern ’72 Campaign Scholarship fund was established in 2012 through the Leonard and Sophie Davis Foundation in remembrance of the 40th anniversary of the presidential campaign to honor McGovern and the 1972 McGovern Presidential Campaign volunteers. Thousands of 1972 campaign volunteers’ lives have been positively impacted by their volunteerism and by the life and legacy of Sen. McGovern, according to Vincent.

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,

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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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