Category: News

Dakota Wesleyan University earns place on national honor roll for community service

Friday, December 12, 2014

Dakota Wesleyan University was named to the 2014 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction, in the General Community Service category.


The award is a reflection of DWU’s service to its community and the world.


“Dakota Wesleyan’s values are ‘Learning, Leadership, Faith and Service,’ and we try to not just teach this in the classroom but mirror this motto in our lives,” said DWU President Amy Novak. “Part of how we do this is by encouraging volunteerism among our staff and faculty and incorporating it into class projects. The students gain from these service projects just as much as the community.  Some of the charitable projects they have designed for classes are truly inspiring – everything from fundraisers to teaching aerobics at the senior center.”


The university takes part in multiple service-oriented projects, mission trips, service-learning trips, and volunteer projects each year, organized by the college, students or staff. The largest service project DWU provides for Mitchell is the annual Service Day, when hundreds of students, staff and faculty volunteer in the community doing projects, trash pick-up, and cleaning. On a global level, the university also organizes a campus ministry mission trip every spring to a developing country, and the McGovern Center led a service-learning trip to Uganda and Rwanda last summer.


Nearly all major areas of study have a service component for graduation, and each student organization and athletic team commits to at least one service project each semester as a way to give back.

DWU is one of 766 higher education institutions named to the 2014 President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll in the nation, according to a press release.


“Service and higher education go hand in hand,” said Wendy Spencer, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service, in the release. “These schools are inspiring young leaders to roll up their sleeves and work alongside community members to solve problems. By recognizing the institutions who are leading the way to achieve meaningful, measurable results for the communities they serve, we also highlight the vital role all colleges and universities play in addressing community challenges and placing more students on a lifelong path of civic engagement.”


Stuck in a Job? Move Up with DWU's Online Degrees

Monday, December 8, 2014

CategoriesBlog: Online Degrees @ DWU, News,

NEA grant gives SD poet ‘greatest gift’: time to write

Friday, December 5, 2014

By Jill Callison
Argus Leader

Barbara Duffey didn’t exactly come home again when she moved from Utah to South Dakota in August 2012.

But her ties to the state were strong, since her mother, Virginia Duffey, was raised in Deadwood and Winner and her father, James Duffey, grew up in Brookings. Going back another generation, her grandfather, George Duffey, taught at South Dakota State University for many years.

That’s why Duffey describes the state as “her ancestors’ homeland for a few generations,” and why she is enthusiastic about a connection to the land that now can influence her poetry.

Duffey, assistant professor of English at Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell where she teaches creative writing, composition and literature courses, has written poetry for almost 25 years, since her fifth-grade instructor told the class to write similes.

“He also had us write Mother’s Day poems to our mothers,” Duffey said. “I actually think my mother still has the poem I wrote for her, Mother’s Day 1991. My parents were always supportive of my writing.”

More recently, support came this week when Duffey was announced as the recipient of a $25,000 Creative Writing Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.

“It’s very difficult to get an N.E.A.,” said Jacqueline Osherow, Duffey’s dissertation director and a poet. “The odds are way stacked against you.”

The award allows recipients to set aside time for writing, research, travel and general career advancement, according to the announcement.

In a word, it will give Duffey time. And that’s something to be valued.

“For a writer, the gift of time is the greatest gift you can give,” said fellow poet Valerie Wetlaufer of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, who met Duffey when they studied at the University of Utah.

“Time is what it takes to write a good poem. It gives you the space to write and to research.”

The fellowship also is a statement of faith in a person’s work, Wetlaufer said.

“Someone else is seeing what you’re trying to do, and you’re reaching people,” she said.

Reaching people is important to Duffey, who knows poetry can intimidate some people.

“Poetry is not something you need a special degree to read,” she said. “If you come to a poem with an open mind in good faith trying to understand the poem, you can.”

Duffey’s poems are unique, Osherow said.

“She’s very, very original,” she said. Duffey created a series of poems in a pinwheel shape. When turned, the poem changes.

Duffey lived in the Los Angeles area until she was 12 before moving to Albuquerque. She is considering using her fellowship money to rent a house somewhere and pay for child care for her son, now 2, and then devote the summer of 2016 to writing.

“I’m thinking Greece, maybe,” she said. “I’d really like to go to Crete in particular. I took an archaeology class and fell in love with the history of Crete.”

Poetry in which the writer takes a risk attracts her, Duffey said, and she tries to be vulnerable in her own work. To do that, she turns to events in her own life.

The poem “That There Would be Better Pornography” deals with a trip to an infertility clinic. It’s real, Duffey says: Her son was born after an intrauterine insemination.

“She writes about regular experiences like parenting, trying to get pregnant and teaching, and she offers intelligent insight into these everyday experiences,” Wetlaufer said.



To read some of Barbara Duffey’s poetry, visit


Dakota Wesleyan University joins universities worldwide in historic effort to fight global hunger

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

PUSH - DWU represenativesDakota Wesleyan University is one of nearly 50 universities worldwide that have banded together to address the global issue of hunger. On Dec. 9, three representatives from DWU, including President Amy Novak, will join leaders from the other universities to sign the Presidents’ Commitment to Food and Nutritional Security at the United Nations in New York City.


Novak is one of just a handful of institutions/presidents who were selected to be on the steering committee for this initiative and will be joined by McGovern Center Director Alisha Vincent, and Ariana Arampatzis, of Aberdeen, a DWU sophomore and president of DWU’s chapter of Universities Fighting World Hunger (UFWH).


“Food insecurity is not confined to a city, region or country, and DWU is proud to partner with these universities to seek out actionable solutions to aid those who don’t know when their next meal is coming,” Novak said. “Dakota Wesleyan has already partnered with the Mitchell Weekend Snack Pack Program and conducts an annual food drive for the local food pantry every fall, while different clubs conduct additional drives the year, so we are interested to hear how other universities aid their communities and whether we can provide those options here.”


There are several programs currently run by Dakota Wesleyan personnel and students which strive to address hunger insecurity locally, as well as globally.


Vincent has led one group to Uganda and Rwanda last year and will take a group of students from the DWU chapter of Universities Fighting World Hunger to Uganda this summer to work on food security projects, including expanding the Livestock for Life project that Vincent began last year.


“We will also do a series of series educational workshops for smallholder farmers and with the school that we are helping create the school lunch program for,” Vincent said.


In addition, UFWH is also working on a partnership with the Mitchell Area Food Pantry to support them on a weekly basis, and the McGovern Center will also host the McGovern Hunger Summit on April 15 on campus.



“It will bring together people from across South Dakota to find ways to collaborate to end hunger here in the state,” Vincent said.


Novak and Vincent consider this invitation to be a great honor and were excited to have the opportunity to include a DWU student on the trip.


“Ariana is driven to help others,” Vincent said about the biochemistry major. “This summit will not only offer opportunities for President Novak and me to connect with other universities with the same values and mission to end hunger, but will give Ariana a fantastic opportunity to see just how many other people in the world care about this cause that she has dedicated her time for, as well.”


Arampatzis has already begun steps toward a more global perspective. She and another DWU student traveled to the Millennial Campus Conference last month in Boca Raton, Fla., where people from around the world came together to work to enhance global development and strategies for the achievement of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals.


What Novak will sign on Dec. 9, The Presidents’ Commitment to Food and Nutrition Security, is a declaration acknowledging their commitment to make food insecurity a priority. The declaration is the result of Presidents United to Solve Hunger (PUSH), created by Auburn University in Auburn, Ala., as the result of a first-time gathering of leaders of more than 30 universities in the U.S., Canada and Central America at Auburn in February.


“What makes this event especially significant is the recognition that universities have a tremendous role to play in addressing global grand challenges,” said Auburn University President Jay Gogue. “Our institutions have a deep faculty talent pool, an energetic, innovative population of students, an unprecedented commitment from top leadership, and a staying power from generation to generation that lends itself to tackling long-term issues like hunger.”


The Hunger Forum and Public Signing Ceremony on Dec. 9 marks the first time universities around the world will share a collective focus on ending food insecurity. It is also the first time students and university leaders will be united in the effort with international organizations, NGOs and student groups joining Auburn in this initiative.


Affiliates of Universities Fighting World Hunger, a worldwide coalition of more than 300 colleges and universities, have met annually since 2006 to share ideas and best practices related to local and global hunger. To take the movement to the next level, leaders from more than 30 universities in the U.S., Canada and Central America gathered in February 2014 to discuss taking collective action against food insecurity and malnutrition. The pre-summit was organized by Auburn’s Hunger Solutions Institute (HSI) and co-sponsored by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. PUSH and the Presidents’ Commitment to Food and Nutrition Security are both direct results of the February meeting.


PUSH member institutions include land-grants, liberal arts, faith-based, historically black, and Hispanic-serving colleges and universities from five continents. Participation in PUSH enables members to share their collective knowledge in areas where hunger is historically addressed at academic institutions: teaching, research, outreach and student engagement. One of the first action items in the Presidents’ Commitment to Food and Nutrition Security is an inventory and mapping exercise so all schools can register their food and nutrition security work in these four major areas.


“Most universities are already contributing to food security across their programmatic agendas,” said Hunger Solutions Executive Director Dean June Henton, founder of UFWH and HSI. “But PUSH will accelerate individual university achievements in two distinct ways. First, additional strength will come through the power of collective action and commitment to share best practices. Second, it will give universities a strong and unified voice at the multi-sector table as the world defines sustainable food security initiatives going forward.”


DWU sets ‘A Service of Lessons and Carols’

Monday, November 24, 2014
 It’s a longstanding tradition, singing Christmas carols among friends and sharing the story of the Nine Lessons.

Dakota Wesleyan will carry this tradition on with “A Service of Lessons and Carols,” 7 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 7, in the Sherman Center on campus. This event is free and open to the public.

This will be a beautiful evening of word and song that will spiritually prepare audiences for the seasons of Advent and Christmas,” said Dr. Clinton Desmond, DWU choral director. “We have invited nine pastors from various churches in Mitchell to share each lesson and paired these lessons with appropriate musical responses. The tradition of Nine Lessons and Carols dates back to England in the late 19th Century. We follow the fall of humanity, the promise of hope, and then the birth of Jesus Christ."

The concert, produced by the Ron and Sheilah Gates Department of Music at DWU, will feature the Highlanders, Wesleyan Bells, the Singing Scotchmen, Women’s Chamber Choir, LyricWood, and the Mitchell Area Children’s Choir.

The ensembles will sing the following, with opportunities for the congregation to join in on several: “O Come, All Ye Faithful,” “Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day,” “Keep Your Lamps Trimmed and Burning,” “Mary Had a Baby,” “E’en So Lord Jesus, Quickly Come,” “Canticle of the Turning,” “Two French Noels,” “Lo, How a Rose Er’Blooming,” “A La Nanita Nana,” “Magnificat,” “Fantasia on Greensleeves,” Carol of the Russian Children,” “Away in the Manger,” “We Three Kings,” “Golden Carol,” “Still, Still, Still,” “O Come, O Come Emmanuel,” “Glory to God in the Highest,” “Joy to the World,” “Ding Dong Merrily On High,” and “Silent Night.”

The following local pastors will deliver the Nine Lessons: Dr. Joel Allen, assistant professor of religion at DWU; Keith Nash, senior pastor for Mitchell Wesleyan Church; Brandon Vetter, pastor for Mitchell Fusion Church; Ben Payne, pastor for Northridge Baptist Church; Kathy Hartgraves, pastor for Mitchell First United Methodist Church; Father Michael Schneider, Holy Spirit Catholic Church; Heidi Kvanli, pastor for Mitchell First Lutheran Church; Russell Stewart, pastor for Alexandria and Ethan United Methodist Churches; and Eric Van Meter, campus pastor for DWU.


DWU professor, Tim Mullican, publishes paper on Black Hills’ jumping mouse

Monday, November 24, 2014

Dr. Tim Mullican, biology professor at Dakota Wesleyan University, Mitchell, has recently published his research on the Black Hills Bear Lodge meadow jumping mouse.


Mullican’s findings, “Population Estimates and Habitat Associations of the Bear Lodge Meadow Jumping Mouse in the Black Hills of South Dakota,” appears in the journal, Proceedings of the South Dakota Academy of Science, 2014, Vol. 93.


“The Bear Lodge meadow jumping mouse (Zapus hudsonius campestris) is com­monly reported from the Black Hills of South Dakota and the adjacent Bear Lodge Mountains of Wyoming, however little information is available regarding its population densities and habitat associations,” Mullican states in the paper’s abstract. 


His research was based on population distribution and estimates, hoping to compare the current numbers to historical record to determine if their populations were remaining stable or declining.   Mullican utilized live-trapping methods to capture the creatures, which are typical mouse-size, with a very long tail and large hind feet which they use to hop around like a kangaroo.


Bear Lodge meadow jumping mouseHis research took place from June 2010 to July 2012, taking samples from 18 sites over the course of three nights. A total of 88 jumping mice were captured at 14 of the 18 sites, located in Lawrence, Meade, Pennington and Custer counties. Mullican found that jumping mice in the Black Hills are one of the most common species along small streams and do not appear to be declining in numbers. As a result of his study, the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks have decided to remove the Bear Lodge meadow jumping mouse from their list of species of greatest conservation need.


According to Mullican, the results of this study make it much less likely that an environmental group, such as WildEarth Guardians or the Center for Biological Diversity, will be able to successfully petition the federal government to list this population as federally threatened or endangered, which could threaten development and mining activities. Without evidence that the Black Hill’s population of jumping mouse is stable, the federal government would be obligated under the Endangered Species Act to protect its habitat and populations, which is what has happened in Colorado and Wyoming with Preble’s jumping mouse, a closely related subspecies.


DWU announces Thanksgiving holiday hours

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Dakota Wesleyan University announces its holiday hours for Thanksgiving week for campus and the McGovern Library.


Thanksgiving break for students officially begins at 10 p.m., Friday, Nov. 21. Classes will resume at 8 a.m., Monday, Dec. 1. DWU offices will be open Monday and Tuesday, Nov. 24-25, and close Wednesday, Nov. 26, through Friday, Nov. 28.


The McGovern Library will be closed Saturday through Sunday, Nov. 22-23. The library will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday and Tuesday, Nov. 24-25; closed Wednesday through Saturday, Nov. 26-29; and open again beginning at 3 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 30. Java City, the café within the McGovern Library, will close at 2 p.m., Friday, Nov. 21, and remain closed until the Monday, Dec. 1.


President Novak: DWU’s Online Degrees Prepare Leaders in the Workplace

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Online learning at Dakota Wesleyan University started with an important question: How can we better prepare leaders for an ever-evolving workplace?

From there we sought input from top leaders across the Great Plains region in a variety of industries—from health care and business to the financial sector and technology. We then created workplace-relevant programs that are also flexible so busy adults can learn any time, day or night—from any location.

Since starting online learning in August 2013, we now prepare leaders in four programs:

The primary distinction about online learning at DWU is that coursework is relevant. That means students can apply what they are learning well before they earn their degrees.

In our programs, we are very intentional about fulfilling our mission to prepare leaders. And it has paid off. Our graduates (and our students) tell us their understanding of leadership and how they apply it increased substantially because of their online education at DWU.

We have long been an institution recognized for personalized attention to the learner. That does not change in the online learning environment. Our faculty members are very accessible and ready to support our students through whatever personal, educational, or professional challenges they may encounter. Our faculty mentor online students and help prepare them for that next promotion or their next opportunity.

We will continue the conversation with industry leaders so we can grow and adapt our courses and our programs to meet emerging needs of our current and future students, such as:

  • Rising business leaders
  • Registered nurses who are seeking leadership roles
  • Teachers who want to learn more

We also look forward to visiting with you. If you would like to know more about DWU’s online degrees, please request more information. It would be our pleasure to support you as an online learner.

Amy Novak


Dakota Wesleyan University

CategoriesBlog: Online Degrees @ DWU, News,

DWU professor, Sean Flynn, publishes chapter in ‘Plains Political Tradition’

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Sean J. Flynn, professor of history at Dakota Wesleyan University, is the author of “Bicultural Conservatism: Native American Congressman Ben Reifel and the GOP,” a chapter in the newly-released “The Plains Political Tradition: Essays on South Dakota Political Culture, Vol. 2.”  The book is published by South Dakota Historical Society Press and edited by Jon K. Lauck, John E. Miller, and Donald C. Simmons.


Flynn’s essay examines the political career of Reifel, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1961 to 1971 and the state’s sole Native American congressman. 


“In that he broke the race barrier in South Dakota politics is reason enough to study Reifel’s career,” Flynn said. “But that he did so as a Republican and at a time when the state’s Indian voters had transferred their loyalties to the Democrats is equally compelling.  A Native American Republican with conservative credentials. That combination is really rare in South Dakota politics.”


Congressman Reifel, a bilingual Rosebud Sioux tribal member and 22-year veteran of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, served what was then the First House District that covered the eastern half of the state. There were only about 4,000 Indian voters in the district, a situation that required Reifel to win over an overwhelmingly white electorate.  He did so by brandishing his agricultural experience and knowledge of the rural economy.


“Reifel had farmed and ranched on his home reservation and was a serious student of South Dakota agriculture,” Flynn said. “Once elected, he was able to divide his time between agricultural and reservation issues and to do so in a way that benefitted both of the constituencies he served.”


His philosophy on Indian affairs made Reifel, who was an outspoken proponent of Indians’ integration into American society, a somewhat controversial figure. Since Indian reservations were overpopulated and unable to support their residents, Reifel urged individual Indian families to relocate to towns and cities that provided employment opportunities. He also called on young Indians to embrace educational opportunities so that they could one day join their non-Indian peers in the economic and political mainstream. 


“By the end of his career, Reifel was being labeled an ‘apple Indian’ — red on the outside, white on the inside,” Flynn said. “Reifel’s response to that label was to remind Indian activists that the buffalo culture was gone and Indians must learn to live in the present. The Teton Sioux were an adaptive people and they must once again adapt to changing circumstances or be resigned to living in conditions that were far below the white standard of living. There was no third option, in Reifel’s view.”


Roger Musick, Jeff Logan to speak at DWU for Global Entrepreneurship Week

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Two local entrepreneurs will be on campus this month to share their life experiences and answer questions about beginning their own businesses.

In recognition of Global Entrepreneurship Week, Dakota Wesleyan University’s Kelley Center for Entrepreneurship will host the DWU Coffee Series, “The Power of Stories to Fuel Innovation!”

The first session will be at 11 a.m., Tuesday, Nov. 18, in Java City inside the McGovern Library, with Roger Musick, CEO of Innovative Systems Inc. in Mitchell. The second session will be at 10 a.m., Wednesday, Nov. 19, in Java City with Jeff Logan, president of Logan Luxury Theatres Corporation. These sessions are free and open to the public. The DWU entrepreneurial club, CEO, will provide free coffee for attendees.


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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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