DWU’s Dr. Seuss Carnival to return for 18th year

Friday, February 12, 2016

The Dakota Wesleyan University Future Teachers’ Organization will host its 18th annual Dr. Seuss Carnival from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, March 5, in the L.B. Williams Commons Area.

A few new things this year will be a photo booth with Dr. Seuss accessories to pose with, several new games and Dr. Seuss reading stations.

“This event is mutually beneficial to the Mitchell community as well as the Dakota Wesleyan students who put it on,” said René Pruitt, associate professor of education. “Our education students are hard at work fundraising for the event and planning activities and generally each year we have non-education students volunteering to help, as well.”

Children from preschool through fifth grade are welcome to participate, and adults must accompany their children to the carnival. Children will have a chance to play several types of games and receive prizes, read different books, be read to by DWU students, and each child who participates in the festivities will receive a free book. Adults might like to bring a camera, because the Cat in the Hat and Thing 1 and Thing 2 will make the rounds and pose for photos.

“Each carnival provides exciting fun for area children while at the same time allows the DWU students an opportunity to serve their community,” Pruitt said. “In addition, the teacher candidates and other DWU students receive valuable experience in hosting a large event and managing hundreds of elementary children in just a few hours. That is real-world experience in a really fun atmosphere.” 


DWU sophomore Austin Buysse granted Evonik Cares Scholarship

Wednesday, February 10, 2016


Dakota Wesleyan University sophomore Austin Buysse, of Minneota, Minn., was recently awarded the Evonik Cares Scholarship, which was given to four Minnesota college students whose families were affected by last year’s bird flu epidemic.

Buysse’s family owns a turkey farm in Minneota and were forced to destroy 70,000 turkeys when the virus was found in one of their barns. He said it took four to five months for his family to fully recover. Evonik Industries worked with Minnesota Turkey Growers Association to distribute emails to the Minnesota farms affected by the bird flu virus HPAI, and helped to select the winners. Evonik is a large corporation which, among many other things, manufactures amino acids for the animal nutrition industry.

Buysse is majoring in sports management and minoring in communications at DWU.

The $2,500 scholarship from Evonik Industries representative Gregg Veldman personally handed Buysse his certificate and award recently on campus.


Cast announced for DWU’s production of ‘Godspell’

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Dakota Wesleyan University’s Department of Theatre has announced the cast for this spring’s musical, “Godspell.” 

The cast includes:

Jesus – Marian Ragels, freshman, theatre, Mitchell

John the Baptist/Judas – James Van Oort, 1999 DWU graduate, Mitchell

Nick – Ian Hyde, senior, theatre, Irvine, Calif.

Telly – Dyrani Clark, senior, digital media and design, Loveland, Colo.

George – Clinton Desmond, DWU choral director

Anna Maria – Rowan Byrd, freshman, theatre, White Lake

Lindsey – Alaina Bertsch, junior, theatre, Mitchell

Uzo – Ann Thury, junior, theatre, Parkston

Morgan – Kurt Schwarzenbart, junior, music, Salem

Celisse – Madi Miller, senior, theatre, Mitchell

DWU will perform “Godspell” April 8-10, and April 15-17, in the DWU Sherman Center. General admission tickets are $12 for community members, and $5 for Dakota Wesleyan staff, students and faculty with a DWU I.D.

The musical consists of a small group of people helping Jesus Christ tell different parables by using a wide variety of games, storytelling techniques, and hefty doses of comic timing.


Mitchell Area Youth Night set: Alan Hirsch to speak

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Alan Hirsch, the founding director of Forge Mission Training Network and the author of “The Forgotten Ways,” will be this spring’s Mitchell Area Youth Night speaker.

The Youth Night, sponsored by Dakota Wesleyan University’s Campus Ministry, is free and open to the public and will begin at 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, March 2, in the Sherman Center on campus. This speaker’s message will be geared toward youth-audiences.

“Alan Hirsch is one of the most forward thinking Christian leaders in the world,” said DWU Campus Pastor Eric Van Meter. “He challenges his audiences to think big and act big, regardless of whether they are in a megachurch in California or a small but thriving community in South Dakota."

According to his biography, Hirsch currently co-leads Future Travelers, “an innovative learning program helping megachurches become mission movements.

For questions or more information, contact Van Meter at 605-995-2919, or by email at ervanmet@dwu.edu.

DWU is a private, liberal arts university associated with the Dakotas Conference of the United Methodist Church.  For more information about Dakota Wesleyan University, go to www.dwu.edu.


Kelley Center to bring speaker to campus: Andreas Widmer

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

The Kelley Center for Entrepreneurship at Dakota Wesleyan University invites the community to attend a free speaker on Feb. 24.

Andreas Widmer, director of entrepreneurship programs at The Catholic University of America and president of The Carpenter’s Fund, will be on campus giving the lecture, “Business as a Moral Enterprise,” at 9 a.m., Wednesday, Feb. 24, in Java City within the McGovern Library. This speaker is free and open to the public.

Widmer was previously the co-founder of SEVEN Fund, a philanthropic organization run by entrepreneurs who invested in original research, books and films to further enterprise solutions to poverty.

He is the author of “The Pope & The CEO: Pope John Paul II’s Lessons to a Young Swiss Guard,” a book exploring leadership lessons that Widmer learned serving as a Swiss Guard protecting Pope John Paul II and refined during his career as a successful business executive.

He is a frequent speaker around the world on issues related to business ethics, entrepreneurship, business leadership, productivity and the challenges of executive management.

Widmer works closely with top entrepreneurs, investors and faith leaders around the world to foster enterprise solutions to poverty and promote virtuous business practices. He has developed entrepreneurial initiatives at the intersection of business and faith such as the Catholic Mental Models Project, a research effort through his social science research firm GSPEL LLC.


DWU Department of Theatre returns from regional festival; theatre director wins award

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The Dakota Wesleyan University Department of Theatre students participated in the weeklong Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF) and came home with new experiences, skills and awards – including one for DWU director Dan Miller.

 The students were competing for awards and recognition for various productions from the spring 2015 to fall 2015 seasons. Junior Ann Thury, of Parkston, was awarded Achievement in Scenic Design for both “Bedroom Farce” and “Spiders in the Night”; Jake Habermann, who graduated in May 2015, was awarded Achievement in Set Construction for “Bedroom Farce”; and senior Ian Hyde, Irvine, Calif., was awarded Achievement in Directing for “Spiders in the Night.”

“Spiders in the Night” was an original play by DWU alum James Van Oort, of Mitchell.

Alaina Bertsch, a junior from Mitchell, and Madison Miller, a senior from Mitchell, both competed for the prestigious Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship, and for the first time in DWU history a student advanced to the second round. Miller was one of 64 students chosen out of 334 auditions to advance.

“Regrettably, she did not make it to into the final round of 16 nominations, but I am extremely proud of the amazing work these students did and felt they represented DWU theatre very well,” said Dan Miller, who is also Madison’s father.

Dan Miller was also recognized last week – receiving Best Director of a Musical from BroadwayWorld.com for the production of “Spamalot” at the Sioux Empire Community Theatre in Sioux Falls last summer. Dan Miller took the directing position under the condition that he could bring some of his own crew, which consisted of Thury, Habermann, Morgan Schoenfelder, a former DWU student, and Brittney Kaufmann, who graduated in 2015, and Madison Miller, who was also presented the Best Choreographer award for her work.

DWU, belonging to Region 5 of the KCACTF, attends the regional festival in each January along with North Dakota, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska and Minnesota. The region showcases its best productions, as well as offers activities, workshops, symposiums and the regional-level award program. The program involves 20,000 students from 700 academic institutions throughout the country.

There are also auditions for national scholarships and auditions for summer stock theatre and professional theatre jobs nationwide. Madison Miller, Alaina Bertsch, of Mitchell, and Chris Gollnick, a sophomore from Bradley, auditioned for professional theatres and Miller and Gollnick both received callbacks.

“It was, as always, a very productive week,” Dan Miller said. “This is such an important week for our department as it truly showcases the talent we have here at DWU, and it allows students to get feedback from others on their work, gives them an opportunity to network, to see what other universities are doing and to appreciate the art that is theatre.”


Three DWU band members chosen for Intercollegiate Band

Friday, January 22, 2016

Three Dakota Wesleyan band members have been selected to the 2016 South Dakota Intercollegiate Band.  Senior trumpet player Abby Roseland, Canton, senior clarinet player Heidi Willett, Canton, and sophomore flute player Rheanna Pheifer, Platte, were selected to the band during a meeting of the South Dakota Collegiate Band Directors on Dec. 12.  

“Students were selected based on their musical abilities and nominations from their director,” said DWU band director Bethany Amundson. “The South Dakota Intercollegiate Band is comprised of the top college band musicians from South Dakota's colleges and universities.”

The Intercollegiate Band will rehearse March 30-31 at Watertown High School and will perform a concert at 11:20 a.m., Friday, April 1, during the South Dakota All-State Band weekend. The concert is open to the public. The Intercollegiate Band program will consist of “Folk Dances,” by Dmitri Shostakovich, “Jupiter” from The Planets by Gustav Holst, “Danzon No. 2,” by Arturo Marquez, and “More Cowbell,” by Scott McAllister. The band will be conducted by Dr. John Locke, director of bands at University of North Carolina Greensboro.


Dakota Wesleyan to celebrate dedication of DWU/Avera Sports and Wellness Complex

Friday, January 22, 2016
Dakota Wesleyan will dedicate the DWU/Avera Sports and Wellness Complex on Feb. 4.

DWU to host Custer Battlefield Highway Academic Festival

Monday, January 18, 2016

Students from 10 area high schools will compete in the 21st annual Custer Battlefield Highway Academic Festival at Dakota Wesleyan University.

Students from Sanborn Central, Corsica, Ethan, Kimball, Mitchell Christian, Mount Vernon, Plankinton, Stickney, White Lake, and Woonsocket will attend the festival set for Wednesday, Feb. 17, in the Sherman Center.

The festival consists of students taking written tests covering 18 academic areas from 9 a.m. to noon.  Beginning at 1 p.m. the students will compete in a Quiz Bowl.  The Quiz Bowl is the only part of the competition that is open to the public. 

Each school can enter two students in each academic area tested.  Points are awarded to schools with students placing first through sixth in the competition. Four students from each school may enter the Quiz Bowl portion of the competition.  When students answer a question correctly, they receive points.  The school with the most points at the end of the competition wins. 

Scholarships to attend DWU will be awarded to winners who are juniors that rank first, second and third in qualifying competitions.  Students can earn a $1,000 award with a first-place win and $500 if they are second and $250 if they place third.

For more information on the festival, contact either Dr. Michael Catalano at (605) 995-2669 or at micatala@dwu.edu, or Jody Strand at (605) 995-2182 or at jostrand@dwu.edu.


DWU announces 2015 fall dean’s list

Monday, January 18, 2016

The 2015 fall semester dean’s list at Dakota Wesleyan University includes 276 students.

To qualify for the dean’s list, a student must have a semester grade point average of at least 3.5 on a four-point scale. They also have to complete at least 12 hours of academic work during the semester. The following students have been named to the dean’s list.

South Dakota:

Aberdeen — Thomas Hogg

Alexandria — Michael Bartlett, Ralph Helmuth, Timothy Leach, Kassie Marek, Kelsey VandenHoek, Jerrod Zens

Armour — Lydia Ymker

Baltic — Nathan Stadem

Belle Fourche — Shelbie Budmayr

Blunt — Macey Chambers

Bowdle — Elizabeth Anderson

Box Elder — Amy Aldren, MacKayla Nohr

Britton — Jade Hoisington

Brookings — Lauren Fitts, Katelynn Runge

Bruce — Jace Goodfellow

Burke — Jay Determan, Shailhyn Schweigert, Turner Serr

Canistota — Dylan Lynde, Trevor Schroeder

Canova — Lynze Wobig

Canton — Jessica Fossum, Anna Schutte, Heather Willett

Cavour — Sierra Crater

Chamberlain — Makenna Hancock

Colome — Cohl Ratermann, Michael Rohde

Corsica — Cassie Bamberg, Nicole Bamberg, Hope Menning, Kayla Vanden Hoek

Crooks — Trae Bergh, Tyler Bergh, Kamberlyn Lamer

Dallas — Skylar Forgey

De Smet — Rylie Osthus, Sharleen Wipf

Dell Rapids — Hannah Hammer, Tanner Munk, Trevor Peter

Elk Point — Amy Zeller

Emery — Jill Tietze

Estelline — Daniel Mitchell

Ethan — Chase McBrayer

Faith — Shanna Selby

Fedora — Cal Wiese

Fulton — Mitch Johnson

Garretson — Dustin Steckler, Patrick Whethan

Geddes — Rachael Kriz, Maddison Slaba

Gregory — Taylor Anshutz, Mason Juracek

Harrisburg — Bailey Schriever

Hartford — Caleb Heiberger, Jacey Jira, Madison Kuehl

Howard — Kaleb Haas, Kassidy Maznio, Andrew Schwader, Maria Schwader

Huron — Caleb Carr, Lucas Carr, Ashley Gaddis, Amanda Halsey, Terrell Newton

Irene — Dustin Livingston

Iroquois — Erik Wehlander

Kimball — Russell Pick, Jesse Taylor

Lake Andes — DiMera Dvorak, Nichole Dvorak, Kelsey Kniffen

Lake Preston — Cole Casper

Letcher — Nadine Cota, Lacey VanLaecken

Madison — Cody Warns, Kelsey Warns, Heith Williams

Martin — Brady Hicks

Mitchell — Tyson Allen, Stephanie Bravo, Tatyana Brown, Kylee Burdick, Mason Cahoy, Brittney Eichacker, Matthew Fouberg, Kayla Geraets-Majercik, Tori Houwman, Krista Huber, Emma Kelly, Chandra Koch, Morgan Larson, Katherine Lazenby, Serina Lesnar, Brooke Louwagie, Tate Martin, Mareisha Marvin, Madison-Ainsley Miller, Melinda Miller, Molly Neugebauer, Parth Patel, Marian Ragels, Rachel Reichel, Alyssa Roy, Katie Sanderson, Mellissa Spitzer, Jerry Stravia, Anna Thompson, Josy Thompson

Mount Vernon — Jesse Olsen, Delayna Paulson

Onida — Ryan Yackley

Parkston — Tessa Meyer, Ann Thury, McKenzie Weidenbach

Philip — Rachel Parsons

Pierre — Matthew Bader, Maranda Ehrenfried, Michael Hardwick, Alexander McGuigan, Travis Moodie, Tyson Moodie, Jared Neilan

Plankinton — Kimberly Smith

Platte — Kathleen Holter, Nicole Nelson, Rheanna Pheifer

Presho — Stetsen Eriksen

Pukwana — Anna Pazour

Rapid City — Tucker Berg, Bryce Blank, Samuel Britt, Leslie Carsrud, Andrea Elmellouki, Jarrick Jensen, Alisha Lascelles, Kristle Russell, Alexandra Sterling

Salem — Ashley Lindgren, Kurt Schwarzenbart

Scotland — Aisha Abbink, Jaymie Barrett, Haley Brunke, Chelsea Raker, Lindsay Raker

Selby — Kayla Olson

Sioux Falls — Kristy Albers, Katlyn Arneson, April Carlson, John Dosch, Sarah Dreyer, Rebecca Ford, Brittany Forsman, Brooke Forsman, Melinda Hulit-Stock, Becky MacManus-Hexum, Ian McClanahan, Brooklynn Oehlerking, Megan Peltier, Joy Roth, Cierra Schneider, Zachary Schneider, Maggie Stehly, Patrick Verley, Andrea Wickersham

South Shore — Jordan Buchholz

Springfield — Chesney Nagel

Stickney — Adam Bormann

Summit — Jake Steinocker

Tabor — Dakota Bodden

Tea — Andrew Becker, Tasha Perry

Tripp — Michelle Nuss, Jessica Sandau, Morgan Ziegler

Tyndall — Travis McDonald, Tyra Patzlaff

Vermillion — Josie Huber

Viborg — Matthew Jensen

Volga — Tyson DeGroot, Danielle Van Kooten

Wagner — Allison Cimpl, Jasmine Kreeger

Warner — Mallory Jark

Watertown — Emily Pengilly

Webster — Tyler Wagner

Wessington Springs — Vanessa Thompson

White Lake — Jazmyn Hinker

Winner — Kelsey Bertram, Austin Calhoon, Anthony Husher, Sara Husher, Austin Schroeder, Tyler Vavra

Yankton — Derek Brenner, Andriana Sprakel


Other states:



Bullhead City — Katherine Holt



Chula Vista — Alexandra Davis

Dublin — Kelly Taylor

Mission Viejo — Kelsie King

Monterey Park — Vanessa Mendez

Palmdale — Joey Garba

San Diego — Meghan Bovee

Turlock — Savannah Ahumada

Yuba City — Austin Van Poole



Highlands Ranch — Colton Harguth

Loveland — Dyrani Clark



Wailuku — Katelyne Dougherty



Little Rock — Madeline DeBeer

Rock Valley — Maria Koenen, Shaybrielle Van Schepen



Driggs — Sean Riley

Kellogg — Keagen Hadley

Nampa — Michael Claar

Tetonia — Braiden Jorgensen



Chicago — Jelonda Singleton

Rock Island — Holly Lunde

Villa Park — Hayden Adams



Lewiston — Nicole Court-Menendez



Adams — Paul Apenhorst

Buffalo — Cassidy Hendricks

Chaska — Peter Wartenberg

Dawson — Sarah Zaiser

Finlayson — Susan Behrens

Jackson — Sydney Eddy, Nolan Luhmann

Kerkhoven — Jonah Johnson

Lonsdale — Thomas Dienst

Minneota — Meghan Travis

Pipestone — Lisa Nolan

Ramsey — Amber Bray, Ashley Bray

South Haven — Jenna Loch

Wilmont — Nathan Burkard

Worthington — Joseph Kinley



Corvallis — Jake Capko

Missoula — Alecia VanTassel

Roundup — Marissa Soderberg


North Carolina

Fayetteville — Christine Patterson


North Dakota

Fargo — Matthew Hockert

Jamestown — Sterling Hubbard



Blair — Adam Jahnel

Columbus Kelsey Newman

Greenwood — Dillon Campbell

Juniata — Ciera Eisele

Norfolk — Cassandra Fink, Zachary Uttecht

Omaha — Lillian Jones

Plainview — Dylan Moore

Rising City — Nathan Dahl



Henderson — Amelia Mutchelknaus


New York

Sound Beach — William Lutjen



Schertz — Taylor Spence



Superior — Thanael Certa-Werner



Casper — John Fabrizius

Cheyenne — Damon Macleary

Douglas — Jamie Geho

Gillette — Nicholas Aten, Tyler Fortuna, Alexis Wilde

Sheridan — Erin Deibele



Other countries:


British Columbia

Merritt — Benjamin McNiven


Ajax — Steven Somerville

Windsor — Nicholas Garofalo


Winnipeg — Lorissa Loeppky, Hailey Unger


Shaunavon — Claudia Nixon




Cuernavaca — Gilmar Kogiso



Lanus Buenos Aires — Daniel Clas



Sodertalje — Gabriella Frykbo

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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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