Alumni to be Honored at DSU Homecoming

Alumni from Dakota State University will be honored as part of the annual Trojan Days Homecoming celebration Saturday, September 25.  The alumni will take part in the parade, be recognized at the DSU Alumni Association Annual Meeting at 1:30pm, and again be recognized at the Trojan Football game in the evening.

Alumni chosen for the Homecoming honors are nominated by their peers, and voted on by the DSU Alumni Association Board of Directors.  This year the honorees are:  Sharon Delzer, Class of 1967, Dwayne Jacobson, Class of 1970, Shirley Jacobson, Class of 1970, Steve Bartel, Class of 1978, Renae Spohn, Class of 1984, and Chris Olson, Class of 2001, 2004. 

Sharon Delzer, Outstanding Educator
Sharon Anderson Delzer graduated from Dakota State in 1965 with a two year teaching certificate (the last class to graduate with a 2-year teaching degree.)  She taught 3rd and 4th grades and grades 1-4 vocal music in Franklin, SD for one year and then returned to GBSC and graduated in 1967 with her bachelor's degree in elementary education.  Sharon received her master's degree in education from Colorado College, Colorado Springs, CO.  Sharon has taught for 8 years in SD, CO and IA and has been principal for 36 years in SD (4 years in Custer, SD and 32 years in Estelline, SD).

Upon her retirement in May, 2010, the Estelline School Board renamed the elementary school, Sharon F. Delzer Elementary School in her honor.  In 1997, Governor Janklow named Estelline as the #1 rated school in SD based on academic test scores over several years. Sharon has been honored as Instructional Leader of the Year in South Dakota, 1997; Educator of the Year sponsored by DARE Officers of South Dakota, 2010; South Dakota Health Care Providers "Volunteer of the Year", 2010.  

Dwayne and Shirley Jacobson, Outstanding Service to Alma Mater
Dwayne "Jake" Jacobson graduated with a degree in business education in 1970. He has worked at a bank, a finance company, sold insurance and has been in commission sales since 1974. He  spent the last 19 years with Brown & Saenger in Sioux Falls where he sells office supplies, printing, promotional products and furniture. He is active in his church, has served on city council and was mayor of Garretson.

Shirley (Christensen) Jacobson graduated in 1970 with a degree in elementary education. She taught second grade in Adrian, Minnesota and Montrose, South Dakota. After moving to Garretson she taught 3rd grade for 29 years and retired in 2003 after 33 years of teaching.

The Jacobsons served on the Alumni Association Board of Directors for many years.  Dwayne is a former president of the board.  They have two children, Matthew, a 2000 graduate and Amanda and two grandchildren.  They have attended every DSU Homecoming since they started to attend college, marking their 45 year in 2010. 

Steve Bartel, Outstanding Professional Achievement
Steve Bartel graduated from Dakota State in 1978 with a bachelor of science degree. That same year he began a career as a manager at InterLakes Community Action Agency working in their weatherization program. In September of 1981 he was hired by Dakota State University as the activities director and student union manager. Over his 29 year career at DSU, Steve's responsibilities continued to evolve. In time he took on the additional duties of code of conduct coordinator and facilities manager for residence life. He served as an assistant volleyball coach for three different head coaches.  Steve officially relinquished the title of activities director and became the director of residence life/student union manager in June of 2008. He also served as the interim dean of students from June, 2004 to September of 2004.

Over the years Steve has been an active member of the National Association for Campus Activities; South Dakota College Personnel Association; Association of College Unions-International and the Association of College and University Housing Officers. He has held a number of volunteer positions primarily in the regional National Association for Campus Activities organization and received their regional volunteer of the year award in 1987.

Steve has been married to Terri (Brown) for 29 years and has three children, Jeremy, Justin and Kristin.

Renae Spohn, Outstanding Professional Achievement
Renae graduated from Dakota State in 1984 and is currently the Director of Clinical Applications for the Good Samaritan Society at the corporate office in Sioux Falls, SD, working on planning and implementing an electronic health record for almost 200 nursing homes and just under 30 home health/hospice agencies.  She is also employed by Dakota State University as an Adjunct Professor where she has taught current trends in Health Information Management for three years.  In the recent past, she has been employed by the Society as the Director of Quality Services for many years and as an HIM Consultant.  Renae also has been the Director of Medical Records in Alamosa, Colorado and in Cheyenne, Wyoming.          

Renae currently volunteers for the American Health Information Management Association and is in her third year on the Board of Directors for this organization with just under 60,000 members.  She also volunteers for the National Association for Healthcare Quality where she is a member of their Fellow Review Board.  She also has served several years on the Dakota State University--HIM Program Advisory Board as well as serving as a website judge for the e-Healthcare Leadership awards process.  Renae also served in several volunteer leadership roles for the South Dakota Health Information Management Association and for the American Health Information Management Association throughout her career.

Chris Olson, Outstanding Young Alumnus
Chris Olson graduated with a bachelor's degree in Information Systems in 2001 and a master's degree in 2004.  He began teaching as an online adjunct faculty member in 2005 and was hired as a full time Instructor in the College of Business and Information Systems in 2006.  He teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses in programming, and was promoted to Assistant Professor in 2010.

Olson serves on the Barrier Free Learning Committee at DSU, which was formed to ensure equal access to students who rely on assistive software to use a computer.  He has served as a member of the South Dakota Spinal Cord and Traumatic Brain Injury Research Council and the South Dakota Board of Vocational Rehabilitation.  In the spring of 2010, he volunteered his story to the Parents Matter campaign and spoke to area high school students on the perils of drinking and driving. 

In 2007 the South Dakota Jaycees honored Chris as a recipient of the Ten Outstanding Young South Dakotans award.  He received the Dr. Ernest Teagarden Award for Excellence in Teaching at the 2010 Legends and Legacy Banquet at DSU.  Chris is a lifelong resident of Lake County and currently resides a few miles east of Madison.


Last Updated: 1/12/12