- Production and marketing researcher
- Pastoral minister
- Print journalist
- Public relations officer
- Communication trainer
- Communication consultant
- Human relations manager
- Public opinion researcher
- Media sales representative
- Customer service representative
- Personnel manager
- Public information officer
- Press secretary
- Technical editor/writer
- Speech writer
Jeremy Schrag ’04
Jeremy began his college career at the University of Kansas, then – after completing a year with the Service Adventure program of Mennonite Voluntary Service – transferred to Bethel. Since then, Jeremy’s talents and education have afforded him a number of diverse career opportunities.
“Being able to communicate effectively prepares you for nothing directly and everything indirectly,” Jeremy says. “Bethel prepared me by teaching me how to learn. It is not what you know in this world that defines, it is your ability to learn and your ability to communicate what you’ve learned that will ultimately define your place.”
As a Bethel student, Jeremy took advantage of all facets of the communication arts department. He spent three years on the forensics and debate team, was involved in nearly every theater production during his junior and senior years and did a few radio shows of his own on KBCU-FM. In 2004, he became Bethel’s first national champion in forensics, beating out 155 competitors to win first place in Persuasive Speaking at the American Forensic Association National Individual Events Tournament (AFA-NIET). In his senior year, Jeremy won a prestigious Thresher Award for his forensics successes.
Jeremy entered Washburn University School of Law in Topeka in fall 2006, and currently works in Topeka as a research attorney for Supreme Court Justice Nuss.
Matthew Friesen ’90
Matt graduated with a double major in communication arts and Bible and religion. In his 15 years as a pastor of Mennonite churches in Wichita and in Albany, Ore., he was able to work within both of his chosen disciplines.
Although Matt did not grow up in the Mennonite church, a recommendation from a close friend and an interest in debate and public speaking drew him to Bethel. He originally registered as a business major, but his interest in Bible and religion grew as he attended classes and learned to know the faculty. He traveled to Israel and the West Bank with his interterm course led by Professor Patty Shelly in 1989, at the time of the first Intifada. That experience provided the impetus for his cross-disciplinary senior research project, entitled “A Study of the Rhetoric of Palestinian Nationalism.”
After graduating from Bethel, Matt went to Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary in Elkhart, Ind., where he earned his M.Div.
“I find I use my degrees in some specific ways as I do Bible study or organize a sermon in preparation for Sunday morning,” says Matt. “But far more often I use my education as a model for how to problem solve or bring new vision to life.
“I find I go into these experiences wondering how Bethel or AMBS mentors might approach them. I try to ask the important questions and recognize that there will be a variety of answers. I listen carefully and wonder where God’s spirit of hope or healing might be moving.
“I hope that God will speak through me and am convinced that people from faith and personal experiences outside of my own will bring truth and wisdom as well. I suspect that these approaches come, at least in part, from my Bethel and AMBS experiences.”
In fall 2008, Matt entered a Ph.D. program in sociology, with an emphasis in peace, justice and social change, at the University of Oregon.
Joy Blackburn ’04
Joy became a speech/theater teacher at Little River (Kan.) High School.
Todd Flory ’04
Todd works as the assistant to the director of Brethren Voluntary Service in Elgin, Ill.
Ladd Epp ’02
Ladd became an information specialist at the University of Kansas Information Technology Center. He is now a Tier 3 support manager for Sopris Surfers Inc., a growing internet service provider headquartered in Carbondale, Colo. He is also chief operating officer/chief technology officer for Printpop.com, which allows emerging and professional artists to sell digital reproductions of original work to anyone in the world.
Jody Schmidt ’01
After graduating from Bethel, Jody took a position as the wardrobe department dresser for the Chicago Shakespeare Theater. Following that, she began a two-year term with Mennonite Voluntary Service in Chicago, where she worked at Chicago Mennonite Learning Center.
Rachel Schrag Sommerfeld ’01
Rachel is news director at KSNW-Channel 3 in Wichita.
Brian Huxman ’00
Brian became public information coordinator for Newton Unified School District 373. Following that, he took a position as marketing director for Mid-America Youth Basketball (MAYB). He is also a realtor for Coldwell Banker Stucky and Associates.
Chad Frey ’96
Chad became a news reporter for The Newton Kansan and is currently the paper’s managing editor.