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Fifth annual Service Day set for Tuesday

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Students, staff and faculty will descend upon the land once again, armed with trash bags and gardening rakes, for Dakota Wesleyan University’s annual Service Day on Tuesday, April 29.

This is the fifth year that Dakota Wesleyan has organized Service Day – a morning when the entire campus comes together to perform community service projects on campus and around the entire community, including the Huron campus. At least 575 participants are signed up for the day, with another 29 volunteering on the Huron campus on Monday.

“Dakota Wesleyan’s values of ‘learning, leadership, faith and service’ are not a mere tagline, it is something that we incorporate into every aspect of our students’ education,” said Amy Novak, DWU president. “Through our coursework, mission experiences and community service we encourage students, who will be our future leaders, to constantly reach outside of themselves and into their community. Service Day was created around the time of our 125th anniversary as a thank you to the Mitchell community for its support spanning more than a century; it was immediately clear to us that this was going to become an annual tradition and a reminder of the value of the many partnerships we share between the university and the community.”

The first Service Day included about 400 DWU students, staff and faculty. Despite weather, finals week and the temptation of sleeping in, participation has been admirable each year, said Diana Goldammer, director of student life and Service Day co-coordinator.

“We’ve had overcast, rainy weather for Service Day and still the students show up in their blue Service Day T-shirts, ready to take it on,” Goldammer said. “Our wrestling team has picked up trash around Lake Mitchell every single year, even on the year when we had a downpour. They do it because they want to, because it means something to them.”

In fact, the DWU wrestling team officially “adopted” Ohlman Street along Lake Mitchell.

DWU senior Amanda Hart, of Alexandria, has participated in Service Day all four years and as a member of the women’s basketball team, she has benefited by the public support of the community throughout her athletic career and sees Service Day as a way to say thank you.

“Service Day is a great opportunity for DWU students to come together and help to improve our community, which does so much for us as students and the university as a whole throughout the year,” Hart said. “It’s our chance to give back and show Mitchell that we’re willing to help them the way they have helped us. There are very few experiences I’ve had in my four years at DWU as rewarding as the Service Days I’ve been able to take part in.”

About 1,000 man hours are projected to be spent in town on Tuesday, with project sites at: The Carnegie Resource Center, First United Methodist Church, the Abbott House, Dakota Discovery Museum, Cadwell Park, Lakeview Golf Course, Wild Oak Golf Course, the Pepsi-Cola Soccer Complex, YWCA, Mitchell Prehistoric Indian Village, Snack Pack Program, Area Community Theatre, Mitchell Area Safehouse, and trash pick-along Dry Run Creek, near Wal-mart and all around Lake Mitchell.

Students in the Arlene Gates Department of Nursing will split up into teams and work at Wesley Acres and Avera Brady Health and Rehab in Mitchell, and the education department will send groups to each of the elementary schools and middle school.

Following the volunteer projects, everyone will reconvene in the cafeteria and East Main Dining Room for an indoor picnic and video from last year’s Service Day.

The Tuesday before graduation was traditionally known as “Reading Day” before 2010, when Dakota Wesleyan established “Service Day” as a thank you to the community that has supported the university for more than a century.

*Photos of students were taken during 2013's Service Day, top photo: Mitchell Area Safehouse; bottom: Lake Mitchell


DWU’s Weins to release book on youth sexting; first of its kind

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Jesse Weins, assistant professor of criminal justice and dean of the College of Leadership and Public Service at Dakota Wesleyan University, will publish a book based on his previously published and nationally recognized research on teen sexting.  It will be the first book-length secondary resource on this topic in the U.S.

“Sexting and Youth: A Multidisciplinary Examination of Research, Theory, and Law,” edited by Todd C. Hiestand and W. Jesse Weins, will be available in print in May from Carolina Academic Press.

Weins co-edited the project, as well as wrote the opening chapter. He was assisted in research and editing by DWU human services major Darin Bartscher, of Emery, and Sarah Owens, a 2013 graduate with a human services and criminal justice double major.

Weins first co-authored the journal article “Sexting, Statutes, and Saved by the Bell: Introducing a Lesser Juvenile Charge with an ‘Aggravating Factors’ Framework” in 2009 in the Tennessee Law Review with Hiestand, professor of criminal justice at MidAmerica Nazarene University. At the time, they were among the first in the nation to address the subject of teen sexting laws and legal responses.

“We felt this subject was in need of policy analysis because in the beginning, justice system workers had no guidance whatsoever for how to approach these cases,” Weins said.

“Sexting” is the term coined to describe sexualized texting – especially sending sexually explicit photos or videos via cellular phones. Taking such photos of minors is punishable by law, but four years ago states didn’t differentiate in their state codes between  minors and adults  under traditional child pornography laws. Weins and Hiestand made the argument for a lesser juvenile legal response appropriate to the behavior.

Since then, the subject has been up for much debate.

“Positive steps have been made in the last five years towards better responses for teen sexting,” Weins said. “But even now there is not uniformity in how to approach the topic, neither in law nor policy. It remains a challenging area, compounded by deeply held views about youth and sex and technology, which prevent agreements from person to person and place to place. Most people see the reason for legal intervention in some of these cases but not others. But they often disagree on what kinds of cases those are, what should be done, and how to approach communicating with youth. 

“At least half of the U.S. states have reviewed the question of law and policy, with nearly half the states passing some form of legislation either directly addressing the issue or amending their statutes to accommodate these situations in their present laws.”

In other Western nations like Canada and Australia, province by province decisions are being made.

Weins was eager to include students in the research process because he knows that hands-on experience is important in education.

“As a student, it’s helpful to see the research and publishing side of academia, since it demystifies the whole process,” he said. “Seeing this process and having that experience sheds light on scholastic work and higher education.  It’s helpful for faculty to include students, especially in topics like this where youth are involved, to get a different perspective, to get their take on it.”

DWU is a private, liberal arts university associated with the Dakotas Conference of the United Methodist Church.  For more information about Dakota Wesleyan University and the criminal justice department, click here.


Spring music concerts set for remainder of semester at DWU

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Music’s in the air this spring, with four free concerts in the works through Dakota Wesleyan University’s Department of Music.

The Spring Concert will be at 7 p.m., Thursday, April 24, in the Sherman Center on campus. This concert is free and open to the public and features the Wesleyan University/Community Band, Wesleyan Brass, the Highlanders, Women’s Chamber Choir and the Singing Scotchmen.

Directors for this concert’s ensembles include: Brad Berens, band; Elizabeth Soladay, Wesleyan Brass; Dr. Clinton Desmond, Highlanders and Singing Scotchmen; and Erin Desmond, the Women’s Chamber Ensemble. Erin Desmond and DWU senior Lacey Reimnitz, of Corsica, will accompany the vocal ensembles on the piano.

“We have three more individual concerts coming up, but this is our last big department concert of the season and we hope everyone is able to come out and enjoy the pieces we have arranged,” said Dr. Clinton Desmond, DWU choral director.

The Singing Scotchmen, which is the university’s newly formed men’s a cappella group, will perform four pieces, including Tom Petty’s “Free Fallin’,” and the Highlanders have three songs prepared with DWU senior Jenna Callies, of Mitchell, conducting “Linus and Lucy.” The Women’s Chamber Ensemble has five chart-toppers planned, everything from Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep,” to Taylor Swift’s “I Knew You Were Trouble,” to the 1958 classic, “Lollipop.” The band also has four pieces planned, including “Danny Boy” and “The Land of the Midnight Sun.”

“This concert is full of favorites and will prove to be a fun, free night out for the community,” Dr. Clinton Desmond said.

Music lovers will have three more opportunities to enjoy Dakota Wesleyan music before the semester closes.

The Spring Ring will be at 7 p.m., Sunday, April 27, at the First United Methodist Church in Mitchell. The program will feature DWU’s Wesleyan Bells, the First United Methodist Church Circuit Ringers, United Ringers from the United Church of Canistota, First Lutheran Church (Mitchell) Handbell Choir, and the Glorious Company chime ensemble from St. Martin’s Church in Alexandria.

May concerts include the Children’s Choir Concert at 7 p.m., Thursday, May 8, at the Mitchell First United Methodist Church, and LyricWood’s concert at 4 p.m., Sunday, May 4, in the Sherman Center on campus. These concerts are also free and open to the public.

DWU is a private, liberal arts university associated with the Dakotas Conference of the United Methodist Church.  For more information about the Dakota Wesleyan University Department of Music, click here.


DWU's Online RN-B.S. Perfect Fit for ER Nurse

Friday, April 18, 2014

After considering several other nursing programs, Lindsay Merry, an emergency department nurse from Eagle, Colo., chose Dakota Wesleyan University (DWU).DWU Online RN-B.S. Student Lindsay Mary

“I decided DWU was a good fit for me,” she says. “The university has an outstanding reputation and is recognized throughout the country. The program also allowed me to work and gain experience in my field while pursuing my degree.”

Merry started with DWU’s associate degree LPN-RN plan of study in 2012 and was so impressed with the program and its structure she decided to go directly into the fully online RN-Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN-B.S.). She is on track to complete her degree in October.

“The online program offers flexibility for those of us with children and families,” says the mother of a 5-year-old boy. “It allows you to study at your own pace, which is great when you work and have other obligations.”

“Wonderful” is the word she uses to describe DWU nursing faculty members. “Everyone responds in a timely manner to concerns and questions—typically within 24 hours. They are very encouraging and help push you in the right direction. You can tell the faculty are truly passionate about nursing and about the success of each student in the program.” 

Merry also appreciates the sense of community she feels—something she did not anticipate from an online program. When working on a group project, each person can offer suggestions and ask questions. When reading discussion posts, students can also respond and comment on the thoughts and ideas of their peers.

 “It is nice to have someone to correspond with when working on papers, projects and assignments. The group projects in the RN-B.S. program allow students to work together without physically being together.”

Merry appreciates the Christian aspect of her DWU nursing education. “Serving others rather than ourselves is a top priority,” she says. “It is exhibited in many ways by serving in the community, hospitals and other settings. The kindness and compassion shown by faculty and staff reflect the Christian values of the university.”

She also feels the program will open up career opportunities for her in the near future.

“Most of the curriculum is directly relevant to nursing and is career focused. With the RN-B.S. program, I hope to gain advancement in nursing skills along with leadership, competency and management.

“I’m impressed that the RN-B.S. can be completed in as little as 14 months. That makes it attainable for many who are looking to finish their completion degree.”

Learn more about DWU’s RN-B.S. program.

CategoriesBlog: Online Degrees @ DWU,

DWU junior named finalist for sales, marketing scholarship

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Dakota Wesleyan University junior Jared Stearns is a finalist for the Sales and Marketing Executives Inc. scholarship competition which will be announced next week in Sioux Falls.

Stearns, of Canton, is an accounting major at DWU and learned about the opportunity during the fall semester when his professor, Monty Bohrer, brought it to his attention. Bohrer is an associate professor of business administration and economics and as the director of business graduate programs at DWU.

The award is based on academics, leadership and community service. The presentation of the award is April 22 in Sioux Falls, and awards range from $1,000-$3,000.

“I have held a couple of different leadership positions over the past year,” Stearns said. “I am a resident assistant and also serve as secretary for the Dakota Wesleyan Enactus chapter.”

Stearns has also worked as an accounting tutor for the past two years, as well as participated in DWU Service Day, Mitchell Weekend Snack Pack Program, New Student Orientation, and volunteered for the Special Olympics bowling tournament.

“During spring break I went on a mission trip to Omaha where I helped at a couple of different homeless shelters and served,” he said.

Stearns is the son of Craig and Lee Stearns, of Canton.


DWU nursing student wins first place Governor’s Giant Vision award

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Ashley Kingdon-Reese, a Dakota Wesleyan University nursing student, has won this year’s Governor’s Giant Vision Award in the student category with her business plan for Independent Health Solutions.

Reese was named the winner of the $5,000 award on Tuesday night at the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) Conference banquet in Sioux Falls. Reese plans to open doors to Independent Health Solutions in Huron, where she is from, by this summer. They will offer home health care services, independent from any particular hospital.

“I believe this will be the first agency in South Dakota that will be independent (from a hospital), offering care equally, without competition between difference agencies,” Reese said in an earlier interview.

Home health care begins with a doctor’s assessment that a patient could better recover at home, under the supervision of a home care nurse. This can be for a variety of reasons, Reese said, for instance, if the patient’s needs do not require 24-hour attention of a hospital staff and could be treated at home. Another reason could be to prevent exposure to hospital germs or possible infection for patients with compromised immune systems.

“Prior to this, all house health care came from a hospital,” she said. “Independent Health Solutions would be a hub, a place where nurses will be and the public is welcome. The front area will have a conference room for family meetings to take place with or without the patient.”

Independent Health Solutions would offer temporary nurse staffing and also provide catered education for anyone in the field.

Other winners include:

Second ($4,000):  College Golf Bound, Kyle Cooper, South Dakota State University

Third ($3,000)Dr. Dak’s Protein Pack, Jeremiah Fawcett, Northern State University

Fourth ($2,000)Nanotechnology R&D Company of the Black Hills, Greg Christensen, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology

“The Governor’s Giant Vision Business Awards and Governor’s Giant Vision Student Awards were established to help citizens realize that South Dakota is the very best place to start a successful business,” states a press release by the organization.

The program was designed as an opportunity for entrepreneurs to compete for seed money and a chance to achieve their dream. 

The Governor’s Giant Vision Business Competition is a program of the South Dakota Chamber of Commerce and Industry and is an annual event held in April.


DWU professors present at South Dakota Academy of Science annual meeting; named to positions in academy

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Two Dakota Wesleyan professors presented at the annual South Dakota Academy of Science meeting in March and three were elected to positions within the academy.

Dr. Tim Mullican, professor of biology, and Dr. Brian Patrick, assistant professor of biology, each presented during the meeting, which took place March 28-29 at the South Dakota School of Mines, Rapid City.

Mullican presented a paper on population estimates from a capture/recapture study of the Bear Lodge meadow jumping mouse in the Black Hills.

“In 2005, the Bear Lodge meadow jumping mouse was listed as a ‘species of greatest conservation need’ in South Dakota as a result of its limited geographical range and threats to its habitat from grazing, logging, and development,” Mullican said. “As a result of my study conducted between 2010 and 2013, the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Department delisted this species from its Wildlife Action Plan, as it was relatively common on my study areas, comprising an average of 23 percent of the small mammal fauna in riparian areas throughout the northern and central Black Hills.”

Patrick’s presentation, “South Dakota Spider Survey: Undated Findings and Summary,” provided an update on the status of the South Dakota Spider Survey (SDSS), which to date, has identified more than 300 species from the state. The project has also expanded to include efforts to image, database and DNA-barcode all species found within the state.

“A reasonable estimate for the number of species expected in the state is about 1,000 species, so there are a lot more species left to find,” Patrick said. “The SDSS has already documented one species new to science – Theridion pierre, published in the November issue of the Journal of Arachnology – and many records that have expanded the known ranges of several species.”

Patrick was also re-elected a member-at-large to the executive committee of the academy, joined by Dr. Paula Mazzer, assistant professor of biochemistry at DWU, elected to the same position for the first time. Mullican was elected as the webmaster for the academy.


DWU holiday hours for Easter announced

Monday, April 14, 2014

Dakota Wesleyan University will be closed Friday, April 18, for Good Friday. Classes will end at 10 p.m., Thursday, April 17, and office hours will resume at 8 a.m., Monday, April 21. Classes will resume at 8 a.m., Tuesday, April 22.

The McGovern Library will be closed Friday through Sunday, April 18-20, for Easter. The library will reopen Monday, April 21, at 8 a.m. Java City, within the library, will close at 3 p.m., Thursday, April 17, and reopen at regular hours on Tuesday, April 22.


DWU athletic training, nursing students conduct interdisciplinary response simulation

Monday, April 14, 2014

The DWU Department of Athletic Training and the DWU Arlene Gates Department of Nursing combined forces for an interdisciplinary response simulation to allow students in both departments the opportunity to experience a realistic emergency situation.

To view the KSFY television spotlight, Medical Minute, click here.

The scene began with two DWU football players, Matt McManus and Tanner Munk, during a mock practice on the DWU practice field. When Munk took a pretend bad hit, DWU athletic trainers on duty responded to the scene under the supervision of Dr. John Swisher, with Avera Medical Group Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, acting as the team physician. The football player suffered a spinal injury and the athletic trainers assessed the situation, determined treatment and carried it out, all while being photographed and videoed by DWU personnel, as well as a Daily Republic photographer and TV crew from KSFY out of Sioux Falls.

“The DWU athletic training and nursing departments have been working collaboratively since the Corrigan Health Sciences Center opened this fall to create experiences for our students,” said Lana Loken, athletic training professor and clinical education coordinator. “We began by creating laboratory experiences utilizing the simulation equipment available through the simulation labs within the nursing department. As we progressed, we began discussing the need for more interdisciplinary exposure for our students.

“Our goal for the event was to provide a realistic experience for our students which would not only challenge their knowledge and skills, but to also expose them to the realistic interdisciplinary culture of healthcare,” Loken added. “Healthcare providers do not work in a vacuum. We work together with others who are trained to fulfill a specific role in the healthcare system.”

After the athletic trainers were met by EMTs (one nursing and one athletic training student acting as EMTs), the patient was carried on a backboard to the Corrigan Health Sciences Center. Here, the groups took a break to regroup upstairs in the Arlene Gates Department of Nursing, where the Thompson Simulation Labs were set up as a hospital emergency room.

Enter the DWU nursing students, supervised by Dr. Martin Christensen, Mitchell physician, acting as the ER doctor. He took the students through the process of treating the patient, which was replaced by a simulation manikin. DWU nursing professors stood outside the room and supervised the process from monitors, feeding information about the patient’s vitals to the students through the P.A. system.

“Both departments worked together closely for a couple months planning the scenario’s details, partnering with physicians, and encouraging students to join in on this learning experience,” said Carena Jarding, assistant professor of nursing. “No grades were attached to this, as we wanted to offer a fun, engaging, yet realistic scene that students could connect theory with clinical practice in a nonthreatening and safe environment.”

The simulation labs are set up to be monitored and recorded for educational purposes, and the footage was broadcast into an adjoining classroom for other athletic training students and nurses to observe.

“Reaching across disciplines is vital for the healthcare continuum, and students are learning that firsthand here at DWU. This experience could not have been done without the help of willing participants, and amazing physicians,” Jarding said. “These students will carry this experience with them into their practice to positively impact the outcome of their future healthcare participants.” 

To add to the realism, a distraught family member burst into the ER. Wyonne Kaemingk, nursing professor and A.A. program director, played the patient’s mother, and student nurses had a realistic experience calming her down and extracting her from the room. Then students watched as Dr. Christensen talked through the patient’s prognosis with her. In the end, their efforts were rewarded when the patient stabilized and responded to treatment.

“I feel that Friday’s event was an example of a very real situation which can occur any day, and that the individuals involved demonstrated their ability to work together to provide an optimum outcome for our patient,” Loken said. “We hope this is the first of many similar experiences we can provide for our students in the future.”

DWU offers a Bachelor of Science degree in athletic training; an Associate of Science two-year nursing program; and a fully online upward mobility Bachelor of Science program in nursing. The placement rate for A.T. students into graduate school or employment is 95 percent, and the 40-year-old DWU nursing program has a 100 percent placement rate.



DWU nursing student up for Governor’s Giant Vision award

Friday, April 11, 2014

Entrepreneurship isn’t defined by a major – a Dakota Wesleyan University nursing student has created a business model that has placed her in the running for the Governor’s Giant Vision Award, which will be announced April 15.

Ashley Kingdon-Reese, of Huron, is a DWU nursing student and creator of Independent Health Solutions, a business plan she intends to make a reality by this summer and which will offer home health care services, independent from any particular hospital.

“I believe this will be the first agency in South Dakota that will be independent (from a hospital), offering care equally, without competition between difference agencies,” Reese said.

Home health care begins with a doctor’s assessment that a patient could better recover at home, under the supervision of a home care nurse. This can be for a variety of reasons, Reese said, for instance, if the patient’s needs do not require 24-hour attention of a hospital staff and could be treated at home. Another reason could be to prevent exposure to hospital germs or possible infection for patients with compromised immune systems.

“Prior to this, all house health care came from a hospital,” Reese said. “Independent Health Solutions would be a hub, a place where nurses will be and the public is welcome. The front area will have a conference room for family meetings to take place with or without the patient.”

Reese said that this is advantageous for families who would like to discuss treatments for family members with dementia, in particular, without upsetting the patient.

Independent Health Solutions would offer temporary nurse staffing and also provide catered education for anyone in the field.

The Governor’s Giant Vision competition names the top 13 candidates and Reese is the only nonbusiness student on the list.

“It was a case of ‘see a need, fill a need,’” she said. “I have the location, and doors will open July 1. This is going to happen with or without the grant. It would be great to have it, but I will find a way to do it without it.”

The winner of the Governor’s Giant Vision could win up to $5,000. But another great opportunity provided to all nominees is the possibility of “angel investors,” people who give grants or invest in a company.

“So this is a great opportunity to get your name out there,” she said.


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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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Copyright © 2014 Dakota Wesleyan University
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