DWU recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of best regional colleges

Wednesday, September 9, 2015



Dakota Wesleyan University is ranked among America’s best regional colleges for the Midwest, according to the recently released U.S. News & World Report “Best Colleges 2016.”


The annual “America’s Best Colleges” study by U.S. News & World Report is a culmination of data taken from regional colleges, high school counselors and various sources to create a comprehensive look at what colleges offer and how they assist students on their road to success. Everything from class size to financial assistance to how competitive admission processes are, are taken into account.


“Dakota Wesleyan continues its 130-year tradition of educating remarkable students in a faith-based, small-community atmosphere while remaining competitive with much larger schools,” said President Amy Novak. “Our programs produce excellent young professionals, promote experiential learning, and cultivate a commitment to service among our students.”


DWU is ranked among regional colleges in the Midwest, which includes 12 states.

Dakota Wesleyan University announces record enrollment for fall 2015

Friday, September 4, 2015


Dakota Wesleyan University is experiencing record enrollment again this year.


DWU’s enrollment for the 2015 fall semester topped last year’s record by 20 students with a fall enrollment of 895.


This year’s freshman class is significantly larger than last year with 178 students; the 2014 count was 148.


“We have a compelling story of student success,” said Fredel Thomas, dean of admissions “When we can talk about 100 percent of athletic training students passing boards on their first attempt or nursing students and education students experiencing 100 percent job placement rates, or the great jobs our business students are landing, parents and prospective students are listening.  They want to be part of that success.” 


Enrollment in DWU’s online programs has grown steadily since they went live two years ago.  DWU offers a fully online M.B.A., a Master of Arts in Education, a degree completion bachelor’s program, and an RN to Bachelor of Science in nursing.  The online population is about 180.


“We find that people like the way our online programs fit into their lives,” said Derek Driedger, dean of adult and professional studies.  “They appreciate not having to come to campus or log in at certain times.  This is a learning opportunity geared toward working adult learners, and we are filling a need with these programs.”


Not included in the 895 are about 100 students who are enrolled in dual-credit courses at Mitchell High School.


DWU President Amy Novak also pointed out that DWU’s online programs have helped to reach new markets, a key to success in a rural area where traditional-aged students are declining.


 “DWU’s workplace-relevant curriculum, our expansion of new facilities, and our efforts to become a leader in workforce development in our region, are responsible for the growing momentum the university is experiencing,” Novak said. “DWU’s focus on putting students first is leading to exceptional outcomes.  Additionally, our online nursing degree has been very popular, and we’re also reaching new students in our master’s programs.”

To view DWU programs, click here. To schedule a campus visit, click here. To check out our online programs, including an M.B.A., a Master of Arts in Education, the bachelor's completion program, or RN to a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, click on the link on our homepage.


Labor Day hours at DWU

Friday, September 4, 2015

Dakota Wesleyan University offices will close Monday, Sept. 7, in observance of the Labor Day holiday and there will be no class.


The McGovern Library will also observe holiday hours this weekend. The library will be closed Saturday, Sept. 5, and Sunday, Sept. 6. The library will reopen at 6 p.m. to midnight on Monday, Sept. 7.  


Offices and the library return to regular hours on Tuesday, Sept. 8.


Religion in politics topic of discussion for McGovern Forum

Tuesday, September 1, 2015



Whether or not religion should play a role in politics is the topic of this fall’s McGovern Forum.


The McGovern Civic Engagement Forum will be from 6 to 8 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 29, in the Sherman Center at DWU. This event is free and open to the public.


“We are seeing more and more policy changes and proposed changes nationwide that involve matters of faith and religious beliefs,” said Dr. Alisha Vincent, director of the McGovern Center.


The theme, “Should Religion Play a Role in 21st Century Politics?” will be debated by the Rev. Barry Lynn, executive director for Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, and Professor Rena Lindevaldsen, interim dean and professor and associate director of the Liberty Center for Law and Policy, Liberty University.


DWU students will work with the McGovern Center to design four questions that the candidates will cover.


“These questions will relate to the topic and feature an issue that is appealing and relevant to audience interests, such as whether prayer should be allowed in public schools,” Vincent said.


Audience members will have an opportunity to write in a question and present it to the room moderator.


DWU homecoming parade entries sought

Monday, August 31, 2015

Dakota Wesleyan University is celebrating its 130th year and is inviting local businesses, clubs and area schools to participate in this year’s Blue & White Days Parade.


The Blue & White Days Parade is set for 10 a.m., Saturday, Sept. 26, on Mitchell’s Main Street and the parade theme this year is “The ’70s.” There is no fee to enter the parade and the registration deadline is Friday, Sept. 11.


Plaques will be given for first, second and third place, as well as honorable mentions.


To register, please contact Jeff Holstein, student activities coordinator, at jeholste@dwu.edu or at 995-2943.


For a full schedule of events, click here.


DWU Freshman Food Drive introduces new students to university’s core values

Sunday, August 23, 2015



One canned good at a time, the Mitchell Area Food Pantry’s shelves were filled Sunday by student volunteers from Dakota Wesleyan University.


The Annual DWU Freshman Food Drive brought in 4,000 pounds of food from the Mitchell community, all delivered to the food pantry housed in the Mitchell Salvation Army.


This year’s class of freshmen, along with upper-classman leaders, conducted the food drive from noon to 3 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 23. The students canvased the city as part of an annual tradition at the university going back as long as anyone can remember.


“We don’t have stats dating the food drive but staff members know it’s been at least two decades, probably longer,” said Campus Pastor Eric Van Meter. “It’s incredible when you think of the partnership DWU has with the Mitchell community on this. I mean, it might be students going door to door collecting it, but there would be no food drive if it weren’t for the generosity of the city of Mitchell. The community helps give our students this great experience in servant leadership and this is exactly the kind of experience we want our newest students to have right at the beginning of their Dakota Wesleyan journey.”


The Freshman Food Drive is a large component of the New Student Orientation weekend at Dakota Wesleyan and an activity that is structured to help new students acclimate to their new community, as well as introduce freshmen to the university’s core values – learning, leadership, faith and service – and the university motto, “Sacrifice or Service.”


“DWU is in the news for our amazing academic programs – from our students’ science research to internships to experiential learning through our entrepreneurial partnerships, but we’re proudest still that when people think of DWU they think about our service work – the food drive, our annual Service Day, all the outreach our clubs and athletic teams do – this is part of the experience that will mold our students’ lives in college and how they will live those lives after graduating.”


The Mitchell Food Pantry accepts donations of non-perishable items and is open from noon to 3 p.m., Monday to Friday.

Professor writes children’s poem ‘The Memory Thief’ to help explain Alzheimer’s Disease, promote discussion

Thursday, August 20, 2015



By DWU Marketing and Communications Department


Alzheimer’s Disease indiscriminately affects millions of Americans — stealing their memories, changing their behavior and making families strangers to one another.


This is a difficult enough concept for adults to comprehend, but how do you explain it to children?


Kyle Herges, assistant communications professor and head of the digital media and design department at Dakota Wesleyan University, has written a children’s book to help facilitate those difficult conversations. “The Memory Thief” is for sale now at the DWU Campus Bookstore, Amazon, and through Herges’s website – listed below. Part of the proceeds from the book will be donated to the Alzheimer’s Association, which gave the book its approval and permission to use its site’s statistics.


Herges will co-host a book signing at 7 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 10, in Java City in the McGovern Library on campus. This will be in conjunction with Dr. Barbara Duffey’s poetry book, “I Might Be Mistaken,” which was also recently published.


Herges watched two generations of his family battle the disease; his grandfather died of Alzheimer’s when Herges was in college and his mother, Peg, is currently diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s.


He watched his steadfast grandfather become almost a stranger to him while his mother was helpless to stop the disease; now it is his mother who is becoming the stranger while he gropes for the words to explain it to his own children. The book came about as a way of coping as well as a way to begin a tough conversation with his three small children.


“It’s my way of being able to talk about this with my kids,” he said. “I want them to ask me questions so I can answer them honestly … to spawn conversations.”


The book explains what is happening from the perspective of someone with Alzheimer’s. Each page is illustrated with word-images like butterflies, a cross and clouds. Coming from a graphic design background, he approached the process of explaining to his own children how grandma is feeling using these visuals, accompanied by a poem easy enough for a child to read.


After the book came out a week ago, local newspaper, The Daily Republic, published a feature on Herges’s book and the journey to its completion. Since then, he has been engaged in many positive conversations with people going through similar circumstances.


According to the Alzheimer’s Association, more than 5 million Americans – 16,000 of whom are South Dakotans – are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease.


“Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia affect millions of people, so the likelihood that you know someone with it, or know someone who has a close family member with it, is pretty high. Since the story came out Saturday (Aug. 15), I’ve had people come up to me and say that they read the article and they can relate to it,” he said.


In Herges’s case, he realizes that his situation with his mother is the same situation his mother was in with her own father — watching this person they love struggle with their own minds – trying to find the words, trying to place the faces.


“This is the way I feel, but I know this is the way my mom felt when her dad was going through it too. The way I wrote it in the book and poem is exactly how it happened. I know she knows what she wants to say but she can’t find the words.”


“The Memory Thief,” in its own way, allows her to explain and to say goodbye.


Where to find it:

The DWU Campus Bookstore


Herges’s website

Follow “The Memory Thief” on Facebook


Duffey releases new book of poetry, ‘I Might Be Mistaken’

Thursday, August 20, 2015

No stranger to metaphor, Dr. Barbara Duffey’s previously released poems used machinery to describe emotions like inadequacy, fear, joy, maternity — her most recent collection uses the sciences.


“These poems look to science, particularly to zoology, biology and atomic physics, for their subject matter and to find a discourse that is similarly self-questioning as the speaker of these poems,” Duffey said.


“ ‘I Might Be Mistaken’ questions the traditional love lyric — many of the poems in this book begin as love poems but then move to places of doubt, or begin in a place of doubt and move toward a relationship while keeping in mind that any relationship is contingent.”


Duffey will co-host a book signing at 7 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 10, in Java City in the McGovern Library on campus. This will be in conjunction with Kyle Herges’s book, “The Memory Thief” — a poem in book-form explaining Alzheimer’s Disease to children. Herges is the head of the digital media and design department on campus.


Both of their books are available on Amazon, as well as at the DWU Campus Bookstore. Duffey’s book is also available for order through www.barabarduffey.com and www.wordpoetrybooks.com.


Duffey is an assistant professor of English at Dakota Wesleyan University. She received her Ph.D. in literature and creative writing from the University of Utah, Salt Lake City; a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Houston; and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Southern California.


DWU Freshman Food Drive set for Sunday

Tuesday, August 18, 2015


The Dakota Wesleyan University annual Freshman Food Drive is set for Sunday and students will go door-to-door asking for donations.


Every fall, freshmen and transfer students are encouraged to take part in orientation weekend, which is filled with activities to help new students acclimate to the campus, the community and meet new friends. One of those activities is the annual DWU Freshman Food Drive for the Mitchell Area Food Pantry. Freshmen and new students will canvass the city for donations. This year’s drive will be from noon to 3 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 23, and residents will know the students by their DWU orientation T-shirts.


“The food drive gets our students out in the community as soon as they arrive on campus,” said Eric Van Meter, campus pastor. “It helps them see DWU as part of the wider community, and it makes a statement to them that part of their education is to serve their neighbors.”


And a little competition never hurts. The students split into groups and compete to see which group brings in the most food. Last year’s food drive brought in a record 4,629 pounds.


For those wishing to donate directly to the food pantry but will not be home during the DWU Freshman Food Drive, donations may be made at the Mitchell Food Pantry, located within the Mitchell Salvation Army on Sanborn Boulevard, during regular hours Monday through Friday. The Mitchell Food Pantry is open to clients from noon to 3 p.m., Monday-Friday.


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 other service learning projects, go to www.dwu.edu.


Annual Community Plunge invites registration

Tuesday, August 18, 2015



The annual Community Plunge invites Mitchell area businesses and organizations to register for this year’s event.


Community Plunge began at Dakota Wesleyan University seven years ago as an opportunity for businesses and organizations to look for employees and volunteers and for DWU students to get to know their new community better. In years past, churches, service clubs and businesses have all participated, as well as student organizations. Last year, more than 41 booths were set up and more than 216 students participated.


The seventh annual Community Plunge will be from 5:30 to 7 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 3, in the Sherman Center at DWU.


To register, contact the DWU Center for Talent Development by email at talent@dwu.edu OR follow this link to register online. All registrations must be received by Aug. 24.

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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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