Scotchman and Ms. Wesleyan candidates announced at DWU

Twelve Dakota Wesleyan University students are candidates for the Scotchman and Ms. Wesleyan awards -- the highest honor given to students in their senior year at the university.


Twelve Dakota Wesleyan University students are candidates for the Scotchman and Ms. Wesleyan awards - the highest honor given to students in their senior year at the university.

The titles of Scotchman and Ms. 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 1939. The title for the Scotchman was borrowed from the university's song, "The Scotchman."

The winners will be announced at Honors Night on Friday, April 26, in the Sherman Center on campus.


Nathan Bader


Nathan Bader, of Pierre, is double-majoring in history and nonprofit administration. He is a McGovern Scholar, president of McGovern Engagement Group, parliamentarian for Student Senate, and attended the University of Minnesota Model United Nations Conference 2017-19.

Bryce Blank

Bryce Blank, of Rapid City, is a Christian leadership and nonprofit administration double major. He is a resident assistant and involved in Dakota Wesleyan Band, Tiger Pep Band, LyricWood Orchestra, cross country and track team, Student Ministry Council, McGovern Engagement Group, Fusion Church and is a student ambassador.

Thanael Certa-Werner

Thanael Certa-Werner, of Superior, Wis., is a religion major at DWU. He is involved in the Dakota Wesleyan Choir, Highlanders, Student Ministry Council, Student Senate and is also a resident assistant and the co-chairman for SMC. During his tenure at DWU, he has taken part in an Elisha internship through the Dakotas Conference and traveled on service and mission trips to Israel and Peru.

Nicholas Garofalo

Nicholas Garofalo, of Windsor, Ontario, Canada, is a nursing major. He is a Certified Nursing Assistant and a member of the Phi Kappa Phi honor society. He was on the DWU baseball team from 2015-17 and served as the nursing class representative 2017-18. Garofalo also received the Methodist Endowed Hospital Scholarship for 2017 and 2018 school years.

Brady Hicks


Brady Hicks, of Allen, is an athletic training major. He is a member of the football team and served as a student assistant his senior year. He is also a member of the Athletic Training Club and volunteers for Special Olympics. Hicks has worked for Avera Brady Health and Rehabilitation, is Hawk Grips certified, and was the student speaker at the Mid-America Athletic Trainers Association this year.

Seth Soesbe

Seth Soesbe, of Box Elder, is an entrepreneurial leadership major with a concentration in building construction. Soesbe came to DWU as one of the first in the new joint entrepreneurship-construction degrees offered through DWU and MTI. He began his own company, Soesbe Contracting, and has been running it successfully while finishing his degree using office space at BankWest's Entrepreneurial Center. Following graduation, he plans to expand his business and apply to graduate school. He is the son of Dawn Soesbe and Bill Atkins.

Ms. Wesleyan

Sierra Crater

Sierra Crater, of Cavour, is an elementary education major with a minor in Spanish. She is involved in Future Teachers Organization, Student Senate, Dakota Wesleyan Choir, Highlanders, TRIO peer mentoring and Big Friend/Little Friend. She is a member of Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society and Student Ministry Council's Send Team and founded the program Age to Age, which allows college students the opportunity to build relationships with individuals who live at an assisted living center.

Lily Jones

Lily Jones, of Omaha, Neb., is double-majoring in theatre and Christian leadership with minors in creative writing and behavior science. Jones is the co-chair for Student Ministry Council, where she currently serves on the Send committee, and is also the Fusion UMC missions and outreach events coordinator.


Maria Koenen

Maria Koenen, of Rock Valley, Iowa, is a double major in biochemistry and athletic training. She is a member of the Athletic Training Club, weekly worship band and Phi Kappa Phi and Sigma Zeta honor societies. She is also vice president for Student Senate. Koenen works as a lab teacher assistant, student ambassador, New Student Orientation leader and an EMT for the city of Mitchell. She also volunteers for Special Olympics.

Niki Nelson

Niki Nelson, of Platte, is an elementary education major with a minor in music. She is involved in Student Ministry Council, Future Teachers Organization, Dakota Wesleyan Choir, the women's golf team, student ambassadors and Big Friend/Little Friend. She has been president of FTO, the at-large representative for Student Senate and was a resident assistant.

Rachel Parsons

Rachel Parsons, of Milesville, is a history and English double-major. She is involved in the McGovern Engagement Group, Big Friend/Little Friend and Mitchell Snack Pack program and is a student ambassador and action ambassador. Parsons has also interned for Sen. John Thune in Washington, D.C., and Lutheran Social Services - Center for New Americans teaching English. She took part in the University of Minnesota Model United Nations.

Meghan Travis

Meghan Travis, of Minneota, Minnesota, is double-majoring in biochemistry and psychology. She is a member of CHAOS (science club), the women's basketball team and track and field team, and volunteers for Special Olympics. She is also a lab tech and tutor for chemistry and biology. Travis has taken part in a medical mission trip to the Dominican Republic and a mission trip to Peru.

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