April 23, 2016

Exec Team

Joey Snyder

Overall Co-Chair

Hey, all! I’m Joey Snyder, and I’m a senior Health Services Administration Major from Pierre, SD. I became involved with Dakotathon my freshman year as a Dancer, then as a Morale Captain my sophomore year, and then as one of the Co-Morale Chairs my junior year! This year I am honored to serve as one of the Co-Overall chairs for this amazing organization! Being able to help put together the best day of the year for the miracle children and their families (as well all of the participants!) is a humbling experience. Seeing the smiles on the faces of the miracle children makes every second of planning and hard work worth it. I highly encourage everyone to participate in this truly life changing organization.

If you are interested in getting involved with Dakotathon, email me at Joe.Snyder@coyotes.usd.edu or call/text at 605-222-9560.


I dance for miracles, more birthdays, and for those who can’t! FTK!!!

Audrey Truhe

Overall Co-Chair

Hi! My name is Audrey Truhe and I am this year’s Overall Co-Chair for Dakotathon. I am a Junior from Elk Point, SD double majoring in Elementary and Special Education here at the University of South Dakota. Being involved in Dance Marathon was one of the best decisions I have ever made. Dakotathon truly is the best way I can think of to spend 24 hours—its the best day of the year! I love having Dance Marathon in my life to celebrate with the CMN families and to see the smiles on the Miracle Children’s faces. I dance for more laughs, more birthdays, and for the children dancing in heaven. FTK!

Jarrett Fowler

Sponsorship Co-Chair

I am Jarrett Fowler and currently a senior at the University of South Dakota.  My major is Medical Biology with minors in Chemistry, Psychology, and Interdisciplinary Sciences.  I am interested in sports, hanging with friends and family, and hunting.  Some organizations I am involved in at USD include Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity, Sorority/Fraternity Life Ambassadors, PreMed Society, and intramural sports.  It is an honor to play a bigger role in this year’s Dakotathon as a sponsorship co-chair on the exec team. Dakotathon is such an impactful and inspiration organization to be a part of.  I cannot wait to plan out all the fun that happens during the day for the miracle children. 


KC Herman

Sponsorship Co-Chair

My name is KC Herman and I am a Junior, Double major in Kinesiology-Excercise Science and Spanish at The University,of South Dakota. I am from Milford Nebraska and some of my favorite hobbies include, fishing, cooking, coaching and hanging out with my friends. I am also active on campus in, Coyote Crazies, Student Ambassadors, as well as The Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity (PIKE). 
The main reason I am involved in Dakotathon is to make a difference and put smiles on the kids faces. Being able to just enjoy the day with the kids who have been through so much, and are still able to put a huge smile on their face is something I would never be able to part ways with. I have been involved in quite a few organizations but there is nothing like Dakotathon. 

Krissy Zalud

Sponsorship Co-Chair

I'm Krissy Zalud, a senior Medical Biology major from Vermillion, SD. My heartfelt dream is to become a pediatric oncologist, a doctor who specializes in treating cancer in children. My career goals first motivated me to participate in Dakotathon. As an freshman, it seemed like a wonderful opportunity to make a difference in the lives of children before I was even practicing medicine. Dakotathon turned out to be so much more--a time to celebrate the miracle children, network with other students, and gain perspective regarding what is truly important in life. It's a humbling experience, and I'm incredibly honored to serve as a member of exec for a group supporting such a worthy cause. The kids truly are my heroes. Let's make this Dakotathon the best one yet! FTK! 

John Ricketts

Finance Chair

My name is John Ricketts and I am a Junior at the University of South Dakota. I am majoring in Business Finance and some of my interests include sports, music, and politics. I am very active in the Delta Tau Delta fraternity on campus as well as Student Government Association. 

The main reason I joined Dakotathon and stayed passionate about it is seeing firsthand how much we help these families. Seeing all of our hard work right in front of is truly inspiring. I love seeing the kids on the day of the event and seeing how much fun they have. I can not fathom a college career without Dakotathon and look forward to improving the event throughout all of next year.

Aly Perry

Event Fundraising Co-Chair

My name is Aly Perry and I am a nursing student at the University of South Dakota.  I became involved with Dakotathon my freshman year as a dancer and then was a morale captain.  Now, I am lucky enough to be the co-events and fundraising chair for such a great organization.  Dakotathon is such an inspiring and rewarding organization. It has been by far the best part of my college experience!  After a year-long wait, you see an outstanding total amount of money raised that puts into perspective how many smiles we cause, how much laughter we create, how many memories we make, and the miracles that have touched lives all around us.  This is the only all-nighter that I look forward to doing again the moment it’s over!  I dance for more birthdays and for those who never got the chance.  Lets make miracles!  FTK!!

Dakota Navrkal

Event Fundraising Co-Chair

Hi everyone! My name is Dakota Navrkal and I am this year’s Events/Fundraising Co-Chair. I am a junior from Elk Point, SD majoring in kinesiology on the physical therapy track. Last year I participated in Dakotathon as a dancer and loved every minute of it! I am honored and fortunate to be a part of the executive team this year. Dakotathon has definitely had an impact on my life and is one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever been a part of. Having the opportunity to put a smile on the miracle children’s faces and giving them a stress-free day is especially worthwhile. The miracle children really put your life into perspective and you think about what is really important in life. I am excited to help make this year’s Dakotathon one of the best! FTK!

Matt Svendsen

Technology Chair

Hello Everyone! My name is Matt Svendsen, and I am a Junior Business Administration major from Pierre, SD. When I was a freshman here at the University of South Dakota I got involved with Dakotathon by being a dancer. Then last year I wanted to be more involved and became a Morale Captain. After another great experience with Dakotathon I wanted to take it to the next level. This year I am proud to be a part of the Dakotathon Exec team, serving as the Technology Chair. I love seeing the excitement on all of the children’s and their family member’s faces the day of, and knowing that I helped make that happen! HAPPY DM!!


Sarah Nelson

Marketing Chair

Hey! My name is Sarah Nelson  I am a senior at the University of South Dakota majoring in business marketing with a minor in art. I have been involved as a dancer with Dakotathon the last two years, and it is the best way to spend 24 hours. It was such a fulfilling experience that I had to get more involved and I am so honored to be a part of the Executive team! Seeing the impact this event has on the children and families is so inspiring, and I cannot wait to make this year’s Dakotathon one to remember! FTK!

Diego Marquez

Morale Co-Chair

My name is Diego Marquez and I am a junior at the university of South Dakota. I am majoring in sociology and Spanish and am from Sioux city Iowa. I love being involved, I am part of student ambassadors, Dakota days exec, USD dance team, SGA and strollers. I love being outgoing, fun and crazy. 

The biggest reason why I wanted to be involved in Dakotathon was because since the first time I did it my freshmen year I fell in love with it. It has been a great 2 years of it and I can't wait to complete my 3rd. I could not imagine the things these kids go through and I am so glad USD brings this awareness to college students not only because they should know that these things are hard for people but because it has a bigger impact in how a person looks at life and for that I am lucky to be a part of this organization. 

Lyndsay Claussen

Morale Co-Chair

My name is Lyndsay Claussen and I am a junior political science and history major from Sioux Falls, SD.  I first got involved in Dakotathon my freshman year as a dancer and then I participated as a morale captain my sophomore year. I am beyond excited to serve as the co morale chair on the executive board and I cannot wait until Dakotathon 2016! My favorite part about Dakotathon is hearing the miracle children’s stories and seeing the kids have an absolute blast during the day. It is truly humbling to be apart of an organization that truly creates miracles every day. Happy DM!! 

Mackenzie Blow

Entertainment Co-Chair

My name is Mackenzie blow and I am this year's co-entertainment chair. I am a junior at The University of South Dakota majoring in dental hygiene. 

I joined Dakotathon my freshmen year and have been apart of it ever since. I have been a dancer, morale captain and I am happy to say that I'm on the exec team. While being apart of DM, I know that I am apart of something bigger than myself. FTK!

Robert McCauley

Entertainment Co-Chair

Hello! My name is Robert McCauley IV and I am a junior nursing major from Primghar, IA. This is my third year participating in Dakotathon, and I love every minute. My Dakotathon journey started as a freshman morale captain, moving on to the executive team as a sponsorship chair last year, and this year I have the honor of serving as an entertainment chair! I am truly inspired each day by the children and families served by the Children’s Miracle Network and dance with the hope that one day EVERYONE will dance their own dance.

Will Whitlock

Dancer Recruitment Co-Chair

I am a senior Psychology major on the Pre-PT track and I hail from Watertown, SD.  This is my first year on the Dakotathon Exec board serving as the Co-Recruitment Chair. Participating in Dakotathon the past two years as a dancer and a morale captain has been one of the best decisions I have made at USD. This organization clearly helps create miracles and I’m stoked to be a part of it! Get excited to raise a ton of money and make this year’s Dakotathon the best yet! FTK all DM day!!!

Lucy Benitez

Dancer Recruitment Co-Chair


Art Education/ Art History Major

I love Dakotathon because of all the wonderful things we are able to accomplish for the kids when we all work together! It's great to spend the day with the kids and see just how much everything we do helps them :) 

John Paul

Security Chair

Hello everybody, my name is John Paul, and I am a Senior at the University of South Dakota.  I am on the Pre-Medicine tract majoring in Medical Biology with minors in Interdisciplinary Sciences and Psychology.  In addition to Dakotathon, I am involved with Sorority and Fraternity Life Ambassadors and the Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity on campus.  I have been a part of the Dakotathon Logistics team for two years before becoming a member of the Dakotathon Executive Board as the Head Logistics Officer. Dakotathon brings out the best of every single individual that participates, and it is a life changing event that will have an awesome impact on the rest of your life. My favorite part of Dakotathon is seeing the smiling faces of everybody and knowing that what we are doing is truly making an extraordinary difference.

Madison Michels

Family Relations Chair

Hello! My name is Madison Michels and I am a sophomore at the University of South Dakota. I am a Health Science major from Sioux Falls, SD. This is my second year being involved in Dakotathon. Last year I was a dancer and now am happy to be on the Dakotathon Executive Board as the Family Relations Chair. We help make a difference in the kids and their families lives, but they also impact our lives by helping us realize how lucky we all are and remember the important things in life. I dance for miracles and all the kids and families that aren't able to. FTK!

Nicole Plueger

Alumni Chair

My name is, Nicole Plueger and I am a senior in my last semester of nursing school and will graduate in 2015! I am the alumni chair. The reason that I participate in Dakotathon is not only to raise money to support the families and children but to give them a fun day that they can remember and just enjoy! One of the things this year, which I am excited for would be to meet and support new families along with the ones we have worked with in the past!


Kori Junkman

High School Recruitment Co-Chair

Hello everyone! My name is Kori Junkman and I am a junior at the University of South Dakota. I am majoring in Social Work with minors in psychology and addiction studies. I am originally from Neola, Iowa and other organizations that I am involved with on campus include Dakota Days Executive Team and Kappa Alpha Theta. 


This will be my third year with Dakotathon. When I first got involved as a dancer my freshman year, I did not realize what an impact Dakotathon would have on me. Seeing children half my age face death and win truly impacted me. The children helped me put my life into perspective. When I became a morale captain my second year, I knew that I wanted to play an even bigger part if possible. Now as an executive member, I can't wait to start planning the best day of the year. Seeing the miracle children have the time of their lives is a highly rewarding experience. I hope that I have half an impact the children have had on me and give them a day to remember. 

Kelsey Johnson

High School Recruitment Co-Chair

Hi everyone! My name is Kelsey Johnson and I am a senior at the University of South Dakota.  I am majoring in Business Management with a minor in Earth Science. This coming year will be my third year participating in Dakotathon. I started out as a Dancer, then I was a Morale Captain, and now I am High School Dance Marathon Co-Chair! Dakotathon is such an amazing organization, I love seeing all of the smiling faces of the miracle children when we get the spend the day with them. It is such a rewarding feeling to know that you are changing a child’s life. I am very excited to see what this year will bring! FTK!

Hannah Whitlock

Hospitality Chair 

Hi! My name is Hannah Whitlock and I am an Elementary and Special Education major from Watertown, SD.  I first started participating in Dakotathon as a dancer my freshman year and then morale captain my sophomore year.  This year I will be serving on the executive board as Hospitality Chair.  Being apart of this organization is truly inspiring and by far my favorite way to spend 24 hours.  Dakotathon has been the most rewarding experience of my college career and has helped me to realize the important things in life.  I couldn’t be more excited for what the next year brings.  FTK!

I dance for those who can’t, for smiles & for more birthdays!