Dakota Wesleyan awards 172 diplomas at commencement

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

MITCHELL, S.D.  — The Dakota Wesleyan University awarded 172 degrees on May 4 during Commencement services at the Corn Palace.

Dr. Robert Duffett, DWU’s president for the past 13 years, gave the Commencement address in which he asked the students to reflect on the past and look forward to the future. Duffett and his wife, Connie, will move to St. Davids, Penn., at the end of May, and he will assume the presidency at Eastern University.

Duffett then conferred degrees on 172 eager graduates. Master of Arts degrees were presented to 13 students; Bachelor of Arts degrees went to 97; Bachelor of Science degrees were given to 11; Associate of Science degrees went to 48; and three students received Associate of Arts degrees.

During the ceremony, an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters was given to Jack Billion. Billion, a native of the Sioux Falls area, and former chairman of the DWU Board of Trustees, who was recognized for his contributions to the health sciences field through his practice in orthopedic surgery, as well has his service to state in country. Billion served two years in the U.S. Air Force. He also served two terms in the South Dakota House of Representatives from 1992 to 1996. Following his legislative career, he was elected vice chairman of the South Dakota Democratic Party, and he later served as chairman of the Minnehaha Democratic Party. In 2006, he was the South Dakota gubernatorial candidate for the Democratic Party. From 2006 to 2009, he was the state chairman of the South Dakota Democratic Party.

Though his practice was in Sioux Falls, in 1976, Billion became the volunteer team physician for Dakota Wesleyan athletics. He continued in that role for 10 years, near the end of which he was invited to serve on the DWU Board of Trustees and is the longest-serving Trustee until his retirement this year.

In addition to the honorary doctorate, the Clarke Award for Teaching Excellence was given to Dr. Anne Kelley, professor of psychology and psychology department chairman.

Kelly began at Dakota Wesleyan in 2000 and became a passionate advocate for the university’s honors and undergraduate research programs, becoming director of the undergraduate research program in 2003. Numerous students in the psychology program have since presented their original research at the Midwest Psychological Association, earning recognition from psychology professionals across the United States.

The following is a list of degree recipients:

Master of Arts degrees:

(Names followed by + indicates December 2012 graduate; and # indicates will graduate in August 2013)


Costa Mesa – Jeffrey Sanchez, educational policy and administration

Riverside – Jeffrey Holstein, educational policy and administration #


Omaha – Christopher Creal, educational policy and administration

South Dakota

Alexandria -- Jonathon Hart, educational policy and administration +

Canton – Derik Fossum, educational policy and administration #

Mitchell – Jason Glasco, educational policy and administration; Kelsey Hansen, educational policy and administration # ; Joshua Kotecki, educational policy and administration + ; Jesse Kroupa, pre-K-12 principal certification and degree and Curriculum and Instruction; Jenna Morrison, secondary education certification and degree; Stefan Skillman, educational policy and administration +

Other countries:



Rosthern – Heather Ebert, curriculum and instruction

United Kingdom

Great Britain

Essex – Daniel Williams, educational policy and administration

Bachelor of Arts degrees
(names followed by *** indicates Summa Cum Laude, ** Magna Cum Laude; and * Cum Laude; and names followed by + indicates December 2012 graduate and # indicates will graduate in August 2013)


El Monte – Sergio Leon, business administration #

Fair Oaks – Brandi Nekrassoff, multimedia +

Fontana – Rodolfo Barragan, history and criminal justice

Lancaster – Paul Burgess, criminal justice

Los Angeles – Steven Batista, behavioral sciences and communication; Euedell Clayton, human services #

Monterey Park – Andrew Hernandez, sport, exercise and wellness #

San Clemente – Christopher Ferera, history +

Santa Maria – Zachary Turbes**, sport, exercise and wellness +

Woodland – German Madueno, sports management +


Denver – Tamika Irvin, behavioral sciences and fine arts

Littleton – Alexander Hinz, sports management*


Cape Coral – Kari Durham, criminal justice +


Fairfax – Hugo Gonzalez, human services

Heron Lake – Kirk McBreen, sports management

Roseville – Erik Nockleby, sports management


Alliance – Zachary Nelson, criminal justice

Omaha – Dustin Bergmeier, business administration; Sarah Owens*, human services and criminal justice

Scottsbluff – Jordan Lovesee*, psychology


Belmont – Christopher Ciatti, sports management +


Fort Gibson – Kelty Godby***, criminal justice and religion and philosophy

South Dakota

Alexandria – Craig Henglefelt, entrepreneurial leadership # ; Matthew McManus, athletic training

Avon – Matthew Dykstra, elementary education

Belle Fourche – Michael Barnaud, history +

Canistota – Zachary Anderson, behavioral sciences; Alexa Townsend, human services #

Corsica – Faith Menning**, human services; Leah Miiller***, biochemistry

De Smet – Abby Hubbard, athletic training

Dimock – Moria Mathews, English with creative writing

Elkton – Milton Glover, sports management +

Emery – Jamon Harberts, criminal justice and business administration; Kara Schweitzer**, leadership and public service

Ethan – Joshua Endres, business administration

Faulkton – Kayleen Gupman, psychology and biology

Gregory – Raeanne Klein, business administration; Lacey Reuer, English with creative writing +

Hot Springs – Jesse Monfore, multimedia # ; Emilie Palo, history education

Humbodt – Tara Van Hofwegen, entrepreneurial leadership

Kimball – Trent Wookey, sport, exercise and wellness

Lake Norden – David Elliott*, psychology #

Lead – Joshua Thompson**, biology

Menno – Kate Herrboldt, athletic training +

Miller – Mikayla Davis, criminal justice +

Mitchell – Chelsea Boddicker, corporate homeland security management; Nathan Bowman**, multimedia; Erika Cobb*, psychology; Veronica Ford, accounting # ; Alli Fredericksen, sport, exercise and wellness + ; Chase Fredericksen, business administration; Stephen Gunnell, entrepreneurial leadership # ; Martin Haehn, music; Amy Honomichl***, elementary education; Traci Loecker, business administration; Alicia Odland, criminal justice; Joel Reinesch, criminal justice; Travis Salmonson, criminal justice and human services; Lori Thomas, human services and behavioral sciences; Angela Van Pelt*, accounting + ; Ashley Wagner, elementary education; Trever Wagner, athletic training (June); Kyler Way, accounting; Stephanie Wescoup*, psychology

Montrose – Joshua Cleveland, business administration and biology +

Mount Vernon – Tracy Hargens, accounting

Onida – Elizabeth Lamb***, accounting and criminal justice

Parkston – Timothy Weidenbach, leadership and public service #

Philip – Kayla O’Connell, mathematics education

Pierre – Yutzil Rodriguez, human services #

Plankinton – Natia DeGeest**, elementary education; Daniel Keney, criminal justice # ; Travis Olsen, athletic training

Platte – Caitlin DeGroot** # , elementary education; Joshua Wagner, human services

Rapid City – Jared Batman, business administration; Aaron Foss, sports management # ; Jonathan Holsworth, sport, exercise and wellness; Kasha Roberts, sports management and sport, exercise and wellness; Nicholas Tadlock, sport, exercise and wellness

Sioux Falls – Denet Christopher, accounting; Darryl Greene, accounting + ; Tara Hagen, psychology; Joshua Krause, sport, exercise and wellness; Bobbi Larson, elementary education and special education; Cecily Swenson, behavioral sciences # ; Marcus Watson, sport, exercise and wellness #

Spearfish – Carrie Swanson*, English and religion and philosophy

Summit – Brittany Hills**, elementary education

Volin – Brittaney Schroeder, human services

White Lake – Sara Konechne, athletic training


Copperas Cove – Anthony Pakutka**, business administration

Lewisville – Jose Lopez Rojo, criminal justice #



North Battleford – Cara Chomey, criminal justice

Bachelor of Science degrees
(names followed by *** indicates Summa Cum Laude, ** Magna Cum Laude; and * Cum Laude):


Clackamas – Skyler Swan, nursing

South Dakota

Aberdeen – Kirk Bunkers, nursing

Cavour – Meghan Hauck, nursing

Corsica – Desiree Bultje, nursing

Hitchcock – Kaylyn Gross, nursing

Madison – Marti Schoeberl, nursing

Mitchell – Natalie Muckey*, nursing

Sioux Falls – Jesse Bennett, biology

Tea – Christopher Engeseth, nursing

Woonsocket – Jenna Olson*, nursing

Yankton – Chynna Mikkelsen, nursing

Associate of Arts degrees

Heather Banister, Grand Junction, Colo., A.A. in general business

Maximum Shower, Waterloo, Iowa, A.A. in criminal justice #

Emily George, Woonsocket, S.D., A.A., general business

Associate of Science-Nursing degrees (* indicates graduated with honors; all nursing A.S. degrees will be official in June)


Cypress – Emily Mizrahi


Hawarden – Crystal Millikan


Balaton – Lori Lima

Taconitt – Jobi Troumbly


O’Neill – Jody Parks

South Dakota

Alexandria – Lindsey Kayser

Armour – Krissa Wermers

Baltic – Alexis Howe; Deborah Koopman; Holly Kraft; Glenn Scotting

Beresford – Melissa Marty

Bridgewater – Tracy Hofer

Canton – Jessica Pederson

Corsica – Angela Cleveland

Dell Rapids – Kylie Kommes; Lindsay Merry

Ethan – Vicki Kranig

Freeman – Jonilyn Rinehart

Geddes – Jessica Vanderham*

Harrisburg – Kelli Harmer

Hoven – Jamie Gunderson

Huron – Elizabeth Johnson; Ashley McHugh; Katie Miner; April Moeller; Shova Parajuli; Miranda Regnier*; Jennifer Warren

Lesterville – Ashley Fischer

Mitchell – Tiffany Hogen; Andrea Paul; Natalie Roth; Ashley Thurman

Montrose – Andrew Townsend #

Mount Vernon – Kalla Renken

Parker – Heather McKenney

Parkston – Amber Friedel; Samantha Mogck

Sioux Falls – Seth Barck; Jennifer Chau; Joseph Johnson; Kimberly Johnson; Sarah Teeslink

Tripp – Brittany Fischer

Tulare – Kelsey Frost

Yankton – Tiffany Fiechuk; Jo Stanage

Categories: News
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.
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