Sandhoff and Stewart awarded Professional Excellence Awards for fall - Dakota Wesleyan University 360 WebCMS - News

Sandhoff and Stewart awarded Professional Excellence Awards for fall

Monday, December 9, 2013

Dakota Wesleyan University has awarded professional excellence awards to Diane Sandhoff and Malik Stewart for the fall semester.

Sandhoff serves as the associate professor of nursing and director of the RN program at DWU. She also recently accepted the position as the dean of the College of Healthcare, Fitness and Sciences. Stewart, a 2010 DWU graduate, has been the university’s talent adviser for the Center for Talent Development since summer 2012.

Sandhoff was awarded the Professional Excellence Award for faculty, nominated by her peers.

“Diane is very visionary in her thinking and has a passion to change nursing education to better meet the needs of students and health care,” stated her nomination letter. “When the nursing department initiated the LPN-RN upward mobility program for LPNs, Diane, with her pioneer spirit, participated in the creation and implementation of this program.”

Sandhoff’s role in the DWU nursing department has increased in the years since she began in ’89, and this summer she was appointed the program director of the registered nurse to Bachelor of Science nursing program at DWU and oversaw the significant changes made to the program in order to transition it to an adult learning model.

“She also initiated a mentoring program for new online adjuncts which has resulted in adjunct confidence and effectiveness. Diane is a very logical thinker, and takes time to reflect on the impact of potential decisions before they are made. She often finds humor in difficult times which assists in relieving stress of others on her team.”

Stewart was selected as the Professional Excellence Award winner for staff at the university. Stewart graduated from DWU in 2010 and earned his master’s degree at USD before returning to DWU as the talent adviser.

According to his nomination letter, since returning as a staff member, Stewart has partnered with the TRiO student support services staff to unite the tutoring program and strengthen the StudyStrong program.

“He has revamped the Learn Strong 101 syllabus and embraced teaching new freshmen how to understand and capitalize on their strengths. Malik has also become certified in the Strong Interest Inventory to help students understand their place in the world of work.”

Stewart also volunteers on and off campus, including assisting with the DWU wresting summer camp program, assisting with transportation for the track team, and volunteering as a team leader for this spring’s mission trip to Omaha. He also volunteered to participate in on-campus committees and as a co-adviser for the Multicultural Club.

The Professional Excellence Award is given throughout the year to faculty and staff members. The winners are then considered for the year-end awards for faculty and staff.

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.



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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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