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January 11, 2013

New faces at DWU this past fall

MITCHELL —Dakota Wesleyan University welcomed new additions to the staff and faculty last semester.

Joining the ranks this year are:

Erin Desmond, a familiar face on campus, is now the instructor of voice and piano, as well as the university accompanist. Desmond has begun her second year teaching the Mitchell Area Children’s Choir, based at DWU. She is a 2003 Bachelor of Music Education graduate from Valparaiso University, with a Master of Choral Conducting degree from Illinois State University. Desmond taught music at Ethan School for two years and was the choir director at Willowcreek Middle School, Portage, Ind., and the choir and general music teacher at Belvidere South Middle School in Belvidere, Ill.

Barbara Duffey, assistant professor of English, 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. Duffey also served as a grant writer for the University of Houston’s College of Education; a writer in residence for the Writers in the Schools, Houston; and a reading instructor at the Institute of Reading Development. She has one chapbook, “The Circus of Forgetting,” in the process of publishing, and has also written a book of poetry, “Simple Machines.”

Kyle Herges, who previously served as an adjunct instructor for the department of Web design, was promoted to assistant professor. Herges was a designer and developer for CHR Solutions in Mitchell and also has experience as a graphic designer and Web developer for area businesses. He is a 2004 graduate of Dakota State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in computer graphic design and another degree in multimedia and Web design. He received his Master of Fine Arts in Web design and new media from the Academy of Art University, San Francisco.

Roxane Hunt joined the DWU nursing program as an assistant professor. Hunt graduated from St. Cloud School of Nursing, as well as the RN Upward Mobility program at South Dakota State University. She recently completed the graduate program for nursing education at SDSU. She has worked at the Redwood Area Hospital; in the Brookings Health System; and also served as an adjunct clinical instructor in the OB unit from 2010-2011 at the DWU nursing department at the Huron site.

Becka Schelske also joined the nursing staff as assistant professor. She received her Bachelor of Science degree from Northern State University, Aberdeen, in 2000; graduated with her Bachelor of Arts in nursing from DWU in 2010; and achieved her Master of Science degree in nursing from Grand Canyon University, Phoenix, in 2012. She also works at Avera Queen of Peace Hospital, Mitchell, in the emergency department as an RN.

Justin Zajic, assistant professor of education, is a new face in the education department. Zajic graduated summa cum laude from Southwest Minnesota State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in social science education in 2007; received his Master of Arts degree in teaching American history in 2011 from the University of South Dakota; and his Education Specialist degree in educational administration in 2012 from USD. He has been an adjunct instructor at DWU for two semesters before joining full ranks this past fall, and also taught seventh and eighth grade social studies at the Mitchell Middle School since 2008.


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.


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Last updated: 1/11/13