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The combination of community, service, and academics are what stand out to me about [being a] Thresher. With small classes, attentive professors, and the focus on service…students get the opportunity to excel in multiple areas.
Cassidy McFadden ’12

Staff

Aaron Austin

Aaron Austin

Vice President for Student Life
Ext: 324
Phone: 316-284-5324
Education:
  • B. Music Education Kansas State University 1997
  • M.Ed. Arizona State University 2002
About Aaron:

Aaron L. Austin has served as Vice President for Student Life at Bethel College since 2012.  Aaron earned his undergraduate degree from Kansas State University in Music Education and completed a minor in American Ethnic Studies.  Eventually, Aaron moved on to Arizona State University – Tempe, where he completed a Master’s degree in Higher and Postsecondary Education.   He is currently pursuing an Ed.D. from Texas Tech University, and plans to focus on Black Male Achievement as a research topic.

Aaron has worked in professional positions at Kansas State University, Arizona State University, the University of California – San Diego, and Texas Tech University, and has a variety of experiences ranging from fraternity advising to student conduct boards.

Originally from Garden City, KS, Aaron is excited to be back in Kansas and to work with the Student Life staff to develop, implement, and maintain a quality Student Life department that provides the best experience possible to Bethel College students.

Joanna Bjerum

Joanna Bjerum

Director of Counseling, Career Services & Experiential Learning
Ext: 326
Phone: 316-284-5326
Education:
  • Bachelor of Science Bethel College 2005
  • Master of Social Work Newman University 2010
Jean Butts

Jean Butts

Resident Director, Coordinator of Cross-Cultural Engagement
Ext: 338
Phone: 316-284-5338
Patsy Dirksen

Patsy Dirksen

Student Life Office Coordinator
Ext: 324
Phone: 316-284-5324
Education:
  • A.A. Bethel College
Gabriel Fonseca

Gabriel Fonseca

Resident Director, Coordinator of Student Activities
Ext: 371
Phone: 316-284-5371
Education:
  • B.A. Communication Coker College
About Gabriel:

Gabriel Fonseca is originally from a suburban community in Puerto Rico. As a military child, he has moved from time to time ending up in Columbia, SC. He graduated from Coker College (Hartsville, South Carolina) with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications. He hopes to earn a Masters in Higher Education in the upcoming years.

While at Coker College, Gabriel had the opportunity to work in almost all areas of Student Affairs. He was a resident assistant for two years before serving as the Residence Life Coordinator overseeing internal and programming operations for the Residence Life Student Staff.

Following an early graduation, he began working at Ridge View High School in Columbia, South Carolina as the Lead, Learn and Serve Program Coordinator (a leadership based community service program).

I am extremely excited about beginning a new fresh start here at Bethel, says Gabriel. I am so thrilled about getting to know Bethel students and it’s community. I am truly excited about being a part of students’ lives.

Peter Goerzen

Peter Goerzen

Campus Pastor, Director of Church Relations
Ext: 356
Phone: 316-284-5356
Education:
  • B.A. Bethel College 2007
  • M.Div Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary 2015
Paige Townley

Paige Townley

Resident Director, Coordinator of First-Year Success
Ext: 369
Phone: 316-284-5369
Education:
  • B.S. in Elementary Education Indiana University of Pennsylvania 2013
About Paige:

Paige is originally from Western Pennsylvania, where she attended college at Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP). While earning her degree in Elementary Education, Paige became involved in various organizations in Residence Life and began serving on various committees. In addition to her organizational involvement, Paige worked as an Academic Peer Mentor and a Community Assistant.

During her last two years at IUP, Paige worked at a regional campus designated for First-Year Students. Through these experiences, Paige was able to see the struggles and successes with students working through academics in Higher Education for the first time, building relationships, and transitioning to a new environment.