Dakota Wesleyan University crowned its homecoming royalty Monday night during Coronation. Michaela Herman, of Reliance, and Mason Larson of Langford, were named the DWU homecoming royalty for 2021.
Michaela Herman, Reliance, is majoring in Mathematics Education. Herman is a member of the women’s soccer team. She also serves as treasurer for the Student Senate Executive Board, is vice-president of the Math Club, is a member of the Future Teachers Organization. Herman is the recipient of several scholarships including a Trustee Academic Scholarship, Athletic Scholarship and Christian Leadership Scholarship. On campus, she has worked for three years as a Dayton Hall resident assistant. Her parents are Nathan and Tisha Herman.
Mason Larson, Langford, is a Psychology major with a concentration in Counseling and a Business minor. He is a captain for the men’s basketball team and has been named all-conference honorable mention. Larson is a penny stock investor. He graduated from Langford Area High School and is the son of Susan Larson and Kevin Larson.
DWU also crowned its 2021 Beanie Royalty – a title bestowed on two freshmen who have already made an impact on the campus community during their short time at DWU and have embraced DWU’s values of learning, leadership, faith and service. Adaya Plastow, of Mitchell, and Chase Riche, of Council Bluffs, Iowa, were named this year’s Beanie Royalty.
Adaya Plastow, Mitchell, is a biochemistry major. She is a member of the DWU women’s basketball team and competes in cross country and track. She is the daughter of Robert and Pamela Plastow.
Chase Riche, Council Bluffs, Iowa, currently has an undeclared major. He is a member of the DWU football team. Riche is the son of Rich and Pamela Riche.
The following were also candidates for homecoming royalty:
- Tayven Aga, Spearfish. Aga is majoring in Nursing. He has played men’s basketball and serves as treasurer of the Student Nurses Association. Off campus, he works as a plumber. Aga’s parents are Cole and JaeDee Herren and Tom and Lindsey Aga.
- Brennan Bence, Kenniwick, Wash. Bence is majoring in Theatre and has played football for DWU. He is a member of the Dakota Wesleyan Choir, the Highlanders and the Scotchmen. Bence is the recipient of several scholarships and awards including a DWU Presidential Scholarship, CBC Scholarship, DWU Music Award and DWU Theatre Award. He is the e-sports team captain and has twice been nominated for the Irene Ryan Actor Excellence Award. Bence keeps busy working for Residence Life, Campus Security and as a workstudy in the theatre and business departments. Off campus, he has been employed at Walmart, Caribou and Starbucks. He graduated from Tri-Cities Preparatory School in Pasco, Washington. His parents are Kadi Bence and Jon Door.
- Jonathon Freeman, Ethan. Freeman is a double major in Theatre and Music. At DWU, he is in Wesleyan Choir and Highlanders. He plays trombone in the Wesleyan Band, Pep Band, Jazz Band, and Lyricwood. He is a member of the DWU NAFME chapter. On top of music activities, Freeman has been in every play and musical, at DWU, in his last three years, including the recent original TV sitcom “Hello, Hennepin.” Outside of the fine arts, Freeman is a Student Ambassador, is the Student Philanthropy Manager, and is a Resident Assistant in Koka Hall. Outside of DWU, he spends his time working in the box office at the Luxury 5 Cinemas and the Mitchell Area Community Theatre. He can also be heard on the weekends on KORN News Radio. He graduated from Ethan High School and is the son of Karen Freeman.
- Natalie Gottlob, Salem. Gottlob is majoring in Athletic Training with a minor in Allied Health. She plans to continue her education to become a Physician Assistant in orthopedics. While at DWU, Gottlob has played women’s basketball. She is a scholar-athlete; a member of the Athletic Training Club, has served two years as executive leader for the Student Ministry Council and is vice-president of the History Club. She is a recipient of both basketball and academic scholarships. Gottlob is an EMT for Madison Regional Hospital and also waits tables at the Scoreboard in Mitchell. She is a graduate of McCook Central High School in Salem and is the daughter of Pat and Laura Gottlob.
- Grace Imbery, Aberdeen. Imbery is an Athletic Training major currently pursuing her Masters of Athletic Training degree. She has played women’s basketball for three years and is a scholar-athlete. Imbery is a member of the Athletic Training Club and the recipient of a DWU Trustee Academic and Athletic Scholarship and the DWU Christian Leadership award. Off campus, Imbery is employed as a server at Blarney’s Sports Bar. She graduated from Aberdeen Roncalli High School. She is the daughter of Todd and Shannon Imbery.
- Kaylee Kirk, Balaton, Minn. Kirk is a Nursing major. Kirk is a women’s basketball starting point guard. She has served as a team captain the past two years and received all-conference honorable mention in the 2020-2021 season. She has been a member and officer of the Student Nurses Association and currently serves as the club’s vice-president. Kirk is the recipient of an athletic scholarship. She works off campus as a medication aide at Edgewood Assisted Living and at Lakeview Golf Course. Kirk graduated from Tracy Area High School in Tracy, Minnesota. Her parents are Hondo and Pam Kirk.
- Brendan Langbehn, Worthing. Langbehn is majoring in Nursing with a Chemistry minor. He participates in cross country and track and field and was named all-conference in the 1500 and 10,000 meter events. He serves as president of the Student Nurses Association and is treasurer of the Conservation Club. Langbehn has been awarded several scholarships including the Methodist Hospital Endowed Scholarship. He works on campus as a nursing and chemistry tutor and has been an ARD in Allen Hall. Off-campus, he works as a certified medication aide at Edgewood Assisted Living. Langbehn graduated from Lennox High School. He is the son of Wayne and Amber Langbehn.
- Delanie Larson, Gettysburg. Larson is a psychology major with a concentration in School Counseling and an Educational Studies minor. Larson is a captain for the cross country team and sits on the Top-10 list of best runners in team history. She also participates in track and field and is a medley relay record holder. Larson also participates in the Dakota Wesleyan Choir and is a flute player for the Dakota Wesleyan Band. She is Director of Membership for the Lost and Found club and a member of Student Ministry Council, Psychology Club and Future Teachers Organization. On campus, she serves as a student ambassador. Off campus, Larson works at the Mitchell Area Safehouse. She graduated from Gettysburg High School. Her parents are Doug and Jessica Larson.
- Jeffrey Schuch, Dell Rapids. Schuch majors in Biochemistry with a minor in Psychology. He is a scholar-athlete and plays for the men’s basketball team. Schuch has been named all-conference honorable mention. Schuch was recently awarded the NAIA’s A.O. Duer Scholarship. He’s also received the John Wesley A&A Scholarship, the Carhart Prize in Science Scholarship and the St. Joseph Hospital Scholarship. He is a Student Senate representative, a member of CHAOS Club and a member of the DWU Association of Student Athletes. On campus, he works as a tutor and off-campus he is employed as a certified nursing assistant at Avera Brady Health and Rehabilitation. Schuch graduated from Dell Rapids High School. He is the son of David and Cindy Schuch.
- Hannah Traster, Papillion, Neb. Traster is a double major in Criminal Justice and Behavioral Science. She is a scholarship recipient who also helps out with the women’s basketball team. Traster uses some of her free time to work at Caribou Coffee. She hopes someday to be a social worker and is currently applying to graduate programs in social work. Traster attended Bellevue East High School in Bellevue, Nebraska. Her parents are Jane and Doug Traster.
The following were also candidates for Beanie Royalty: Emma Christopherson, Mitchell, Pre-athletic training; Allyson Hamilton, Avon, Nursing; Lane Miller, Winfred, Pre-athletic training; Taylor Pourier, Rapid City, Undeclared; Chandler Pruitt, Puyallup, Wash., Business Administration; Christian Rystrom, Stromsburg, Neb., Entrepreneurial Leadership; Jasmine Salcido-Santos, Spokane, Wash., Nursing; Justin Schumacher, Sioux Falls, Business Administration; Hannah Trumbull, Casper, Wyo., Pre-athletic training.
Blue and White Days events continue with the dedication of the new facility for the School of Business, Innovation and Leadership at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 23, and the university's Legacy Banquet at 6 p.m. Thursday. The Blue and White Unite all-alumni reunion will be held at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 24, with the Homecoming parade at 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 25 and the football game against Hastings at 1 p.m. Saturday. The DWU Homecoming concert will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 26 at the Sherman Center.