DWU’s online bachelor’s program ranked by U.S. News & World Report

Tuesday, January 12, 2016
Dakota Wesleyan University’s online bachelor’s program has been named as one of the best by U.S. News & World Report.

DWU announces newest members of Board of Trustees

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Dakota Wesleyan University has invited several new members to its board of trustees over the course of the last year. The university is proud to announce the following as new members.

Phillip Becker, of Mitchell, is an anesthesiologist with Mitchell Anesthesia, PC. He has served as the chief of staff at Avera Queen of Peace Hospital, and served on the board of directors at the hospital, as well as the foundation board. He currently serves on the Avera Health board of consultors; on the regional marketing committee for the Mitchell Chamber of Commerce; and serves on the lead team and finance committee for Mitchell Fusion.

Becker graduated from Floyd Valley High School in Alton, Iowa, and earned his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of South Dakota and his Doctor of Medicine from Creighton University.


Joseph Beran, of Wentworth, is retired following a career in telecommunications.  He worked for the Redwood County Telephone Co. as manager, director and secretary from 1981 to 2010.

Beran is a graduate of Redwood Falls High School and received his Bachelor of Science degree from St. Cloud State University.



Carey Miller, of Sioux Falls, is an attorney at Woods, Fuller, Shultz & Smith P.C., in Sioux Falls.

She is involved with the South Dakota Historical Society Foundation Board, Eide Bailly Advisory Board, Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce, and South Dakota Bar Association Business Law Committee.

She is a graduate of Plankinton Public High School and obtained her bachelor’s degrees from the University of South Dakota, Vermillion, and her Juris Doctorate from Drake University Law School.


Terry Nebelsick, of Huron, is the superintendent of schools for Huron Public School District No. 2-2.  He was previously the high school principal for McCook Central, Lead and Huron, teaching and coaching before that for Gregory High School and Artesian High School. He also spent two years as a sportscaster for KWYR radio in Winner.

Nebelsick earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Dakota Wesleyan and went on to earn a Master of Arts degree and educational specialist degree from the University of South Dakota.

Nebelsick is active in the Huron First United Methodist Church; Kiwanis Club; the Huron Chamber of Commerce and Greater Huron Development Corporation.  He is a past board member and chairman of South Dakota High School Activities Association; past board member and chairman of School Administrators of South Dakota; and has served on committees for three South Dakota governors.

Nebelsick hails from a family with great ties to Dakota Wesleyan. His father, Earl, graduated in 1959, his mother, Rowena, graduated from the Methodist School of Nursing in 1955, his brothers Larry and Gary graduated in ’79 and ’81, his sisters Lori and Linda in ’79 and ’86, and his sister-in-law, Barb, in 1983.

Jeff Nelson, of Sioux Falls, has been involved in real estate sales since 1977 and is a realtor with Keller Williams Realty.

He is the regional vice president for the National Association of Realtors and the liaison for Region 8, which includes Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota. Nelson served on the NAR Board of Directors from 2000-03 and 2010-11, and also served on the Executive, Public Policy Coordinating, RPAC and Federal Housing Policy committees, in addition to multiple other committees and boards and positions. He also received the Omega Tau Rho Medallion of Service Award in 1994.

Nelson is the president of the Sioux Empire Housing Partnership and serves on the Sioux Falls Homeless Advisory Board.  He is also on the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra Board, fundraising boards for Bishop Dudley Hospitality House and Feeding South Dakota, and is the meet president of the Howard Wood Dakota Relays.

Nelson is a graduate of Canton High School and received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of South Dakota.


DWU announces Christmas break hours

Friday, December 18, 2015

Dakota Wesleyan University offices will be closed Thursday, Dec. 24, through Friday, Jan. 1, for Christmas break. Offices will reopen at 8 a.m., Monday, Jan. 4.

The McGovern Library will be closed Saturday, Dec. 19-20, and again Thursday, Dec. 24, through Sunday, Jan. 3.

Dakota Discovery Museum on DWU’s campus will be closed Wednesday, Dec. 23, through Sunday, Jan. 3.


DWU to produce ‘Godspell’ in spring, auditions set for January

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Dakota Wesleyan University’s Department of Theatre has announced “Godspell” as it spring musical and auditions are set for mid-January.

Auditions for the musical will be at 7 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, Jan. 13-14, in Patten-Wing Theatre, Hughes Hall. The musical calls for a cast of 10 adult characters.

All those interested in auditioning should come prepared to dance and share at least 16 bars of their favorite Broadway show tune; bring sheet music in the correct key for the accompanist.

DWU will perform “Godspell” April 8-10, and April 15-17, in the DWU Sherman Center.

Rehearsals are created and based on cast availability. For more information, contact DWU theatre director Daniel L. Miller at daniel.miller@dwu.edu.


Professional Excellence Award Winners Named at DWU

Thursday, December 10, 2015


Dr. Bethany Melroe Lehrman and René Cardona are the winners of the Professional Excellence Awards for the fall term at Dakota Wesleyan University.

 Melroe Lehrman, assistant professor of chemistry, is the faculty winner, while Cardona, talent adviser and assistant baseball coach, is the staff winner.

 Melroe Lehrman’s nomination letter described her as a professor and colleague who is always willing to help and work with others, as well as brings enthusiasm and humor into every situation. She is also known for building lasting relationships with her students.

 “She is a professor in the sciences who has taken DWU’s motto of Sacrifice or Service outside the classroom to include local elementary students,” her nomination letter read.  “Bethany wrote a grant that is currently funding a bi-weekly science class for L.B. Williams fifth-graders, taught by DWU science students from the CHAOS Club. The students receive no course credit, but choose to teach on a voluntary basis because they see the value in outreach. This mindset is exactly what Dakota Wesleyan has tried to foster in its graduates since the very beginning – use your talents to make an impact and with no thought of personal gain; which coming full circle, this is exactly what Bethany is doing.”

 Cardona was described as the “guy who is everywhere.” Whether he is teaching in the classroom, gathering graduate data, providing student support services, visiting with prospective students, or advising academically struggling student, Cardona has made an impact on nearly every student’s DWU experience.

 “René is continually meeting with someone – students, faculty, coaches – with the end goal to help students succeed,” stated his nomination. “He has an understanding of students, an empathy that he employs daily to connect with those students who need just a little more support. He never says ‘no’ to a challenge, and he is a strong example of professional excellence in action.”

 The Professional Excellence Award is given throughout the year to faculty and staff members. Winners are given campus recognition and a gift certificate. The award recognizes employees for “outstanding service, for exemplary commitment to the university and for making a difference in the lives of students.” The DWU Employee Recognition Committee selects the winners from nominations submitted by faculty, staff members and students.


Christmas at Dakota Wesleyan: DWU plans Christmas concerts

Monday, November 23, 2015

Dakota Wesleyan University invites the community to celebrate this Christmas season through music.

The Ron and Sheilah Gates Department of Music presents “Bethlehem: City of Wonder,” at 7 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 5, and 4 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 6, at the Sherman Center. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased online here. The music department will also present “An Advent Service of Lessons and Carols” at 7 p.m., on Saturday, Dec. 12, at the First United Methodist Church. This concert is free and open to the public.

“Our theme (for the first two concerts) is ‘Bethlehem: City of Wonder’ so many of the songs reflect on the majesty and wonder of the coming of the Christ Child and the events that lead up to his birth,” said Dr. Clinton Desmond, director of choral activities.

The Wesleyan Choir, Wesleyan Band, LyricWood strings ensemble, and the Mitchell Area Children’s Choir will perform for “Bethlehem: City of Wonder.”

“The Christmas concert will be a festive concert of both sacred and secular Christmas carols,” Desmond said. “Each ensemble will present its own pieces and we will have many combined choral and orchestral works along with audience participation of well-known carols."

“An Advent Service of Lessons and Carols,” a free concert set for the First United Methodist Church in Mitchell, will be a more traditional concert featuring the DWU Highlanders, the Singing Scotchmen, DWU’s Women’s Chamber Choir and the Wesleyan Bells, as well as nine community members to be readers for the service.

“This will follow in the great tradition of King’s College Cambridge, complete with nine readings, prayers, and appropriate musical responses,” Desmond said. 


South Dakota director of Homeland Security to speak at DWU

Friday, November 20, 2015

The Dakota Wesleyan Criminal Justice Department and its terrorism course has invited to campus South Dakota’s director of Homeland Security, Steve Pluta.

The presentation will take place, with a Q&A session to follow, at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 8, in Java City within the McGovern Library.  The event is free and open to the public.

The director will discuss homeland security and emergency management in this state and region, such as what agencies are involved and the kinds of work they do, key issues in South Dakota, how South Dakota fits into the bigger picture, and other topics of concern to students and the community.  


DWU announces Thanksgiving break

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Dakota Wesleyan University will observe the Thanksgiving holiday with a full week of vacation from classes.

DWU classes will be closed Monday through Friday, Nov. 23-27, and offices will be closed Wednesday through Friday, Nov. 25-28.

The McGovern Library will be closed Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 21-22, and Wednesday through Saturday, Nov. 25-28. The library will be open 8 to 5 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, Nov. 23-24; and will reopen after the break at 3 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 29.

Java City will close at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 20, and reopen at regular hours on Monday, Nov. 30.


Bread for the World volunteer receives McGovern South Dakota Hunger Ambassador Award

Thursday, November 12, 2015


Cathy Brechtelsbauer, of Sioux Falls, was the recipient of the McGovern South Dakota Hunger Ambassador Award for her work as a longtime volunteer for Bread for the World.

 Brechtelsbauer received the award Thursday during the McGovern Hunger Summit at Dakota Wesleyan University. She has been serving as the South Dakota coordinator for Bread for the World for more than 40 years. Her primary efforts revolve around policy reform to aid those with the fewest resources.

 “Cathy has done most of her work on behalf of hunger, poverty, equity and peace at her own expense. She is a well-known and well-respected champion of the causes George McGovern worked all his life for,” stated one nomination.

 “Cathy has been the guiding light of Bread for the World in South Dakota for many years …,” stated a second nomination.

 This is the second award that the McGovern Center has given.

 “The McGovern Hunger Ambassador Award was created to recognize South Dakotans who exemplify the same passion for ending hunger as George McGovern showed in his life’s work both home and abroad,” said Dr. Alisha Vincent, director of the McGovern Center. “What the center hopes is that this award finds a home with someone who devotes him or herself selflessly to ending hunger – whether that be on a small scale or large – we want to honor those who act in the service of others.”

 The McGovern Hunger Summit brought special speakers Bob Reiners, South Dakota apiarist (bee keeper), to campus to discuss the interconnection of bee keeping and food production within South Dakota, and Matt Gassen, executive director for Feeding South Dakota, to discuss the program, how people may become involved and also positive changes people can make in how they view the food-insecure within the state. The summit also hosted students from South Dakota State University during a discussion panel, as well as DWU students during a second panel. The event is annual and is organized largely by students in the Universities Fighting World Hunger chapter at DWU called Third Freedom, and the program coordinator for the center, Dan Churchwell.


DWU forms partnership with GreatLIFE for new wellness facility

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Dakota Wesleyan University has announced it will partner with GreatLIFE Malaska Golf & Fitness Club for management of the Donna and Paul Christen Community Health and Fitness Center within the DWU/Avera Sports and Wellness Complex, set to open after the new year.

 Officials broke ground on the sports and wellness complex a year ago and will celebrate its grand opening with a dedication ceremony planned for Feb. 4. GreatLIFE will manage the 4,000-square-foot community health and fitness center within the complex by handling all staffing needs, and personal training services, as well as marketing and membership sales.

“We are excited by this new partnership with GreatLIFE and the level of excellence they will bring to our wellness facility,” said Dr. Amy Novak, DWU president. “Partnerships are exactly how this new wellness complex came to fruition, and it is how we will ensure its success.”

GreatLIFE will lease the wellness space from the university. Community members will have the opportunity to purchase a variety of different membership levels. GreatLIFE members receive unlimited access to its fitness centers and golf courses, based on membership level, and it currently manages and/or partners with 11 fitness centers and 21 golf courses at 19 locations within three states. Twelve of these locations are within Eastern South Dakota.

“We are excited and honored to be partnering with such a quality program as DWU in providing world-class fitness equipment, programs, personal training and golf, with Wild Oak Golf Course, in fulfilling our GreatLIFE mission to enrich the lives of families and individuals through golf, fitness and healthy lifestyles,” said Tom Walsh Sr., GreatLIFE’s chairman/CEO.

Wild Oak Golf Course in Mitchell, and the Avera Queen of Peace Wellness Center are both currently affiliated with GreatLIFE.  

“Our fitness center at Avera Queen of Peace has been the local GreatLife partner since June of 2014,” said Tom Clark, regional president and CEO of Avera Queen of Peace Hospital. “Avera is excited that the GreatLIFE presence in Mitchell will continue and now grow as part of the new DWU/Avera Sports and Wellness Complex.” 

The new DWU/Avera Sports and Wellness Complex is an 85,000-square foot, one-story facility. The building includes:

·      Three indoor multipurpose sport courts

·      A 200-meter track

·      A wrestling room

·      The Donna and Paul Christen Community Health and Fitness Center

·      The Glenda and Fitz Corrigan Fieldhouse and Athletic Institute

·      Locker rooms for students and for community members


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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.
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