By Ozzie Briesch
Staff reporter

Diane Nickelson, new assistant professor of teacher education for Southwestern, is no stranger to the halls of the private college.  Nickelson graduated in 1996 from Southwestern College with a master’s degree in teaching, where she later became principal at Clearwater Elementary and assistant principal at Clearwater High School. Eventually, her inner alumni told her it was time for a change.

“I’ve always had a love for [Southwestern] and I got the opportunity to teach in the doctoral program a few years ago and I did some online work and the timing was right for me to retire from my other job and come back to SC,” said Nickelson.

Nickelson recalls her experience as a student on campus.

“Southwestern has had a huge effect on the teacher that I became. It was a very intimate group of people that got to know each other really well,” she said. “It was the first time that I felt like a professional.”

Now, she sees the college from the perspective of faculty and says it feels very comfortable and her fellow faculty members have been supportive the entire way.

“I thought it would be a great way to give back to people, a chance to influence the next generation and help people become teachers just like the ones who helped me,” said Nickelson.

Nickelson came from a farm family. She says she relies on her three children and husband to help make the daily struggles go smoothly. She says she enjoys spending time with her kids and gardening when she is not behind her desk.

Nickelson will be working primarily with elementary education majors, teaching literacy and reading classes. Her office is on the second floor in Mossman Hall in the education department.

Nickelson , “I am really looking forward to meeting everyone, the students, the faculty, and just gaining new experiences here at Southwestern.”

Ozzie Briesch is a sophomore majoring in communications. You may contact him at