Twelve Dakota Wesleyan University students are candidates for the Scotchman and Miss Wesleyan awards – the highest honor given to students in their senior year at the university.
The titles of Scotchman and Miss Wesleyan are given to honor two seniors based on campus leadership, service, community leadership, academics and character. The honor of Miss Wesleyan began in 1929 and the Scotchman in 1938. The title for the Scotchman was borrowed from the university’s song, “The Scotchman.”
To qualify for candidacy, students must have a minimum GPA of 3.25 and be ranked as senior status. Those eligible submit a résumé of activities and awards and a Student Senate-appointed panel chooses the top male and female candidates. The top candidates are interviewed by a committee of students, staff and faculty who choose the Scotchman and Miss Wesleyan. The winners will be announced at the annual Honors Convocation on Friday, April 27, in the Sherman Center on campus. Tickets to the event can be purchased by calling Carol Weiss at 995-2693.
The candidates for the 2018 Miss Wesleyan include:
Elizabeth Anderson, Bowdle, S.D.
Elizabeth Anderson is a nursing major with a minor in family studies. She is a TRiO mentor, DWU tutor, member of DWU Student Nurses Association and its past president, and currently president of the South Dakota Student Nurses Association. She is also a past member of the Highlanders and Dakota Wesleyan Choir. She has volunteered as a coordinator for Trinity Lutheran Love Feast and Bella’s 5K Color Run/Walk, is a Bible School teacher at Trinity Lutheran, and took part in the 2016 DWU mission trip to Peru. Anderson has worked as a care assistant for Avera@home, as well as a professional development program intern for Avera McKennan Surgery Center. She is also a direct support professional for LifeQuest and has worked as a certified pharmacy technician and certified nursing assistant. She is trained in BLS CPR, as a CNA, and has had training in medication aid and as a certified pharmacy technician. Anderson is a Randall Scholar at DWU, a recipient of the Avera Leaders Scholarship Award, the South Dakota SNC Florence Nightingale Nursing Scholarship Award, the DWU Nursing Ivan & Doris Bartels Endowed Scholarship Award, and the FNSNA Phizer Oncology Nursing Scholarship Award. Following graduation, she plans to work as a registered nurse and attend graduate school. She is the daughter of Mark and Dr. Tammy Anderson, Fort Pierre, and engaged to Cameron Paul.
Sara Husher, Winner, S.D.
Sara Husher is a biology major and a member of CHAOS (science club), Phi Kappa Phi and Sigma Zeta honor societies, and the DWU volleyball team. She has volunteered for new student orientation, the regional science fair and the Mitchell Animal Rescue. Husher was an international health care intern at the Gap Medic Program in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, and volunteered for a medical portion of the DWU Uganda service-learning trip. She has worked as a research assistant at DWU and as a Certified Nursing Assistant at Firesteel Healthcare for two years. She received the Hughes Grant-In-Aid Award for educational experiences, the St. Joseph Hospital Endowed Scholarship Award, and the S.D. Opportunity Grant Award. Following graduation, she will work as a post-baccalaureate research fellow at the National Cancer Institute in Frederick, Md., while working on a Master in Public Health degree. She is the daughter of Linda and Phillip Husher, Winner.
Natasha Letcher, Bridgewater, S.D.
Natasha Letcher is a history education major with a minor in allied health. She is an assistant resident hall director, the student missions coordinator for Campus Ministry and president of the Student Ministry Council and serves as its senate representative. Letcher is a past at-large student body representative and past Student Senate vice president, has been a student ambassador for four years, and is a current or past member of Future Teacher’s Organization, Dakota Wesleyan Choir, Dakota Wesleyan Band, and Universities Fighting World Hunger. Letcher works as a substitute teacher at Bridgewater-Emery School District and served as the head softball coach for the city of Emery for two summers. She has traveled to Peru on three mission trips through DWU and is attending her fourth this spring; she has also taken part in mission trips to Omaha and Chicago and the country of Colombia. She volunteers for Love Feast at First United Methodist Church, the Mitchell Snack Pack Program, Big Friend/Little Friend, Age-to-Age, DWU Service Day and the DWU freshman food drive. She is currently student teaching at Mitchell Middle School. She is the daughter of Todd and Jill Letcher, Bridgewater.
Chesney Nagel, Springfield, S.D.
Chesney Nagel is an athletic training major at DWU. She is captain of the DWU women’s basketball team and a member of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association and Phi Kappa Phi honor society. She is also the state student representative and student council member for MAATA, and president and former student leadership representative for the DWU Athletic Training Club. She has volunteered for a primary care clinic through Volunteering Solutions in South Africa, and has volunteered for South Dakota Special Olympics. Nagel also co-authored research to aid in ACL surgery. She has received the Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports-Scholar Award, been named a DWU Scholar Athlete and Daktronic Scholar Athlete, received the WBCA Good Works Team designation, and been named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District First Team. She is the daughter of Blane and Cindy Nagel, Springfield.
Cierra Schneider, Sioux Falls, S.D.
Cierra “CiCi” Schneider is a nonprofit administration and psychology double major with a minor in political science. She is the president of the McGovern Engagement Group and of Student Senate. She is the vice president of the Psychology Club and has worked as a local outreach coordinator for Universities Fighting World Hunger. She is a member of the Student Ministry Council, Psi Chi, Pi Gamma Mu and Phi Kappa Phi honor socieites, and was the 2015 GPAC Defensive Player of the week (soccer). She has interned for Innovative Systems, Mitchell; Good Samaritan Society, Sioux Falls; Special Olympics, Mitchell; and the Global Child Nutrition Foundation, Seattle, Wash. Schneider also helped develop a Uganda school meal program through the McGovern Center and has volunteered for the Dusty Johnson campaign. She received the Bishop Armstrong Peace and Justice Award from Dakota Wesleyan, the Sales Marketing Executives Scholarship, the Dave Mitchell Scholarship, and the Vicki Clarke Service Award for completing 520 hours of community service. Following graduation, she will begin work at Global Child Nutrition Foundation in Seattle. She is the daughter of Rob and Brenda Schneider, Sioux Falls.
Amy Zeller, Elk Point, S.D.
Amy Zeller is a nonprofit administration major with minors in international development and criminal justice. She was voted class president from 2014 to present, and is a member of the Student Ministry Council and president of Universities Fighting World Hunger. She was an intern for AsOne Ministries, Uganda, but based in Mitchell; Big Friend/Little Friend, Mitchell; and the Center for New Americans, Sioux Falls. She also served as the race operations assistant for the 2017 Sioux Falls Marathon and Expo. Zeller was an event coordinator for the DWU Israel trip banquet and the South Dakota Hunger Summit for two years. She also worked as a resident assistant on campus. She has taken part in the DWU Peru Mission Trip in 2015, the Uganda service-learning trip in 2016, and the DWU spiritual pilgrimage to Israel in 2017. She conducted social value research for her nonprofit capstone project in Kigali, Rwanda; served as a student panelist and speaker at the UFWH Conference, Columbia, Mo.; and has taken part in many DWU service activities and community charities. She received the George McGovern Legacy Scholarship for four years and was awarded the 2017 George and Eleanor McGovern Service Award by the McGovern Center. She is the daughter of Tim and Tama Zeller, Elk Point.
The following men are 2018 Scotchman candidates:
Tyson Allen, Mitchell, S.D.
Tyson Allen is an athletic training major at DWU. He has taken part in medical mission trips to the Dominican Republic and South Africa, and volunteered for construction needs for a church and elementary school while in the Dominican. He is a volunteer for the Special Olympics Polar Plunge, Special Olympics state basketball tournament, Special Olympics state softball tournament, Angel Tree for the Salvation Army and Soles4Souls. He has also provided free blood pressure checks within the community through the DWU Athletic Training Club. Allen presented independent research at the MAATA/NATA District Conference this year with his research partner, and he is a recipient of the Hughes Grant Scholarship. Following graduation, he will enroll in the physician assistant program at the University of South Dakota, Vermillion. He is the son of Dave and Julie Allen, Mitchell.
Dylan Dethlefsen, White Lake, S.D.
Dylan Dethlefsen is a religious studies major with a nonprofit administration minor. He is a member of the Highlanders and Dakota Wesleyan Choir. Dethlefsen is interning for the White Lake/Plankinton United Methodist Church, where he was a Sunday service worship assistant, vice president of the administrative board, and also works with youth groups and children’s sermons. He previously interned for Rapid City First United Methodist Church, providing leadership in devotionals, pastoral care and assistance for youth groups and mission trips. Following graduation, he plans to obtain his Master of Divinity degree and ordination as an elder in the United Methodist Church at Boston School of Theology, Boston, Mass., where he received a full-tuition scholarship. He is the son of Dan and Deb Dethlefsen, White Lake.
Tyler Fortuna, Gillette, Wyo.
Tyler Fortuna is a biochemistry major with a psychology minor. He is a member of the DWU football team, CHAOS (science club), and also tutors for TRiO Student Support Services. Fortuna conducted undergraduate research at DWU for two years, and presented research at the Central Regional IDeA Meeting, Sioux Falls; and competed in the undergraduate research poster competition at the Experimental Biology Conference, Chicago, as well as the South Dakota Academy of Science Annual Meeting, Mitchell, where he took first place. He also presented at the state capital during the Pierre Poster Session as the S.D. BRIN representative. He was named the 2017 BRIN Undergraduate Fellowship winner for summer research, is a four-time Academic All-American, was named to the 2015 CoSIDA Academic All-District Team and 2017 NAIA Scholar-Athlete, and is a member of Phi Kappa Phi honor society. Fortuna is a past recipient of the Homer Carhart Scholarship for Best Male Chemist. After graduation, he has been accepted into the Integrative Systems Biology Ph.D. program at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. He will conduct research on the neurobiology of disease at the University of Pittsburgh Center for Neuroscience in hopes to become a neuropharmacologist. He is the son of Matt and Tammi Fortuna, Gillette, Wyo.
Austin Van Poole, Yuba City, Calif.
Austin Van Poole is majoring in sports, exercise and wellness, with a minor in business. He is a member of the DWU football team and has interned for the DWU strength and conditioning program as well as for Chiropractic Center for Health Living. Van Poole has volunteered through various DWU football service activities, as well as Big Friend/Little Friend Field Day, and is the recipient of the Buffalo Funds Five Star Champions of Character Team Award. He also began Midwest Mobility with DWU alumnus Brady Bonte. Following graduation, he will be the graduate assistant for the DWU strength and conditioning coach while completing his Master of Arts-Education degree. He later plans to pursue chiropractic school. He is the son of Mark and Michelle Van Poole, Yuba City.
Erik Wehlander, Esmond, S.D.
Erik Wehlander is majoring in special education. He is the treasurer for Future Teachers Organization, a worship leader for Student Ministry Council, and member of Dakota Wesleyan Choir, Highlanders, Singing Scotchmen, DWU theatre, Universities Fighting World Hunger, McGovern Engagement Group, and a former resident assistant, as well as a Student Action Ambassador. Wehlander attended a DWU service-learning trip to Uganda twice, as well as the DWU spiritual pilgrimage to Israel. He is preparing for an internship this summer at a law firm, and will be student teaching next semester at the Mitchell High School. He is a recipient of the Bishop Leadership Award Scholarship. After graduation, Wehlander hopes to attend law school with the goal of becoming an educational lawyer to help advocate for the rights of students with disabilities. He is the son of Curt and Lori Wehlander, Esmond.
Nicholas Woslum, Palmdale, Calif.
Nicholas Woslum is a biochemistry major and minoring in allied health. He is a member of CHAOS (science club), TRiO Student Support Services, and the DWU wrestling team. He has also conducted undergraduate research at DWU through South Dakota BRIN. Woslum has his CNA and EMT licenses, as well as BLS/CPR/AED license and attended the bioinformatics boot camp at Auburn University. Following graduation, he plans to apply to medical school. He is the son of Trent and Dawna Woslum, Palmdale.