Accomplishments are listed by date of achievement in reverse chronological order, with the most recent first
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After completing her fourth year at Bethel, Tricia Clark has been promoted to executive director of marketing and communications, effective July 1, 2023.
Tricia was selected as a judge for the Council for Advancement and Support for Education (CASE) Circle of Excellence Videos 2023 in two categories: Fundraising and Stewardship (Short), and Promotional (Short). The judges are marketing and advancement professionals from colleges and universities in the United States, United Kingdom and Canada.
The Wichita travel blog onedelightfullife.com recently highlighted Tricia's outdoor yoga sessions, Yoga on the Bridge in Lindsborg, Kan. She is certified in 200-hour yoga teacher training through Siva Yoga and has been leading vinyasa yoga since 2013.
Rachel Epp Buller, Ph.D., professor of visual arts and design, Christine Crouse-Dick, Ph.D., professor and chair of communication arts, and Sheryl Wilson, M.L.S., executive director of KIPCOR, co-presented the workshop “Slow Leadership: A New Model for Higher Education” June 9, 2023, at Restorative Kansas, a regional Restorative Justice conference at Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence, Kan. They first presented this workshop March 1, 2023, at a national conference, the Teaching and Learning Symposium for Social Justice in Higher Education, sponsored by the Center for Teaching, Learning and Innovation at Hudson County Community College in Jersey City, N.J., with most sessions taking place online.
Jennifer Chappell Deckert, Ph.D., associate professor of social work, received the Ralph P. Schrag Distinguished Teaching Award at commencement on May 14, 2023.
She had two peer-reviewed presentations accepted for the Council on Social Work Education national meeting, to be held in October in Atlanta: a paper, “Lessons Learned from the 2022 Cuban Families Code,” and an interactive teaching workshop, “Understanding the Art of Collaborative Assessment for Ungrading in the Social Work Classroom.” She was granted the Julius A. and Agatha Dyck Franz Teaching Development Award, which will support her attendance at the CSWE national meeting along with a comprehensive revision of the Skills for Human Services course, which offers critical understanding and skill development in deep listening, human engagement, empathy, facilitation and dialogue. This spring, Jennifer participated in a Kansas Leadership Center training, “Equip to Lead.”
Christine Crouse-Dick received a spring 2023 Bethel Faculty Development Grant to develop resources on inclusive pedagogy, and is participating in monthly research/support sessions with University of Kansas colleagues on inclusive pedagogy and leadership.
Mark Jantzen, Ph.D., professor of history, participated in the invitation-only symposium “Jews and Mennonites: Reading the Bible after the Holocaust” at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary in Elkhart, Ind., May 8-10, 2023.
He has two recent publications: “A ‘Strategy of Supporting and Learning’: Lessons from Mennonite Central Committee’s Peacebuilding Work behind the Iron Curtain, 1966-1991,” in Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace: Global Mennonite Perspectives on Peacebuilding and Nonviolence, ed. Fernando Enns, Nina Schroeder-van ’t Schip and Andres Pacheco-Lozano, 298-306 (Wipf and Stock, 2023); and a review of Heavenly Fatherland: German Missionary Culture and Globalization in the Age of Empire by Jeremy Best, in Church History, 91, no. 4 (December 2022), 948-950 (https://doi.org/10.1017/
He presented on “Mennonite Farms in the Vistula Delta and Jewish Slave Labor from Stutthof Concentration Camp” at the Kansas Association of Historians annual conference at Johnson County Community College, March 31-April 1, 2023.
Andi Schmidt Andres, director of Kauffman Museum, was recognized for 30 years of service to Bethel College at the annual end-of-semester Last Lunch & Service Awards, May 8, 2023. In November 2022, she completed 10 years of service on the Kansas Museums Association Board of Directors, including serving as president for two years.
Michael Unruh, campus pastor, celebrated his ordination May 7, 2023, in the Ad Building chapel. He was granted an ordination credential in the Western District Conference of Mennonite Church USA, following a successful interview with the WDC Ministerial Leadership Commission in March.
At the Threshpy athletic awards celebration on May 6, 2023, Chris Ibach, director of sports medicine, and Brooke Powers, associate athletic trainer, were joint recipients of the Gerry Sieber Service Award.
Rachel Epp Buller was invited as a featured artist to the SpokenWeb Symposium and Institute, “ReVerb: Echolocations of Sound and Space,” held at the University of Alberta, May 1-5, 2023. Two of her pieces were on exhibit all month in the Sound Art Gallery of the Sound Studies Institute at the University of Alberta, where she gave an artist talk, “Reverberations of Winter Walking.” Rachel had two solo shows during the 2022-23 school year, first “In/Visible Care” at Outlook Gallery, Minneapolis, Minn., October-January, and currently “Invitations to Listen” at the Mulvane Art Museum at Washburn University, Topeka, Jan. 17-June 5, 2023.
Siobhán Scarry, Ph.D., professor of English, had two poems published in the anthology Level Land: Poems For and About the I-35 Corridor (Lamar University Press, 2022) and read at Watermark Books in Wichita April 29, 2023, with fellow poets published in the anthology. She published a review of a volume of experimental poetry/memoir, NOS (disorder, not otherwise specified) by Matthew Cooperman and Abby Kaupang, in American Book Review Vol. 43, No. 3. Her poem “The Last Photographs of Dora Maar” was included in the show “LAST” at La Mob Gallery, Ménerbes, France, through March 2023.
The Wichita State University Symphonic Band gave the world premiere of “Soundscapes for Trombone” by Joel Boettger, director of bands, on April 24, 2023. The work was a commission from Tim Shade, former director of instrumental music at Bethel who is now director of the WSU School of Music. You can watch the performance, which features Dr. Shade on trombone, at the following link (starts at minute 36): https://www.youtube.com/watch?
The Thresher Leadership Awards given on April 21, 2023, included Student Supporter of the Year, which went to Allen Jantz, Ph.D., professor of education, and Adviser of the Year, Sam Bond, coordinator of student activities and engagement.
Professors Emeriti Richard Rempel, Ph.D. (math), and Jon Piper, Ph.D. (biology), along with Keith Harder, Sand Creek Trail caretaker, and David Kreider, collections coordinator and technician at Kauffman Museum, presented “Celebrating 25 Years of the Sand Creek Trail at Bethel College” April 20, 2023, for Life Enrichment. In addition, Jon Piper published “Bur oak two-part inventions: Growth and reproduction in two Quercus macrocarpa cohorts” in the Spring 2023 issue of the Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science Vol. 126, Nos. 1-2. The paper summarizes 16 years of oak demographic research on the eastern portion of the Bethel campus.
Gregg Dick, controller, directed a 25-voice choir at First Mennonite Church, Halstead, in a 45-minute cantata titled Jesus, comprising songs and readings, on Easter Sunday morning, April 9, 2023, at the church. The choir was made up of First Mennonite members and a few community singers.
Tony Hoops, athletic director, led a session at the BOSCA (Business of Small College Athletics) Regional Conference, held in Kansas City in February 2023 at Rockhurst University, titled “Budget Planning in Small College Athletics.” In March 2023, he presented at the Kansas Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (KIAAA, the association of Kansas high school athletic directors) annual conference in Mulvane, with “Developing Culture as an AD.” Tony served on a panel at the NAIA National Convention in New Orleans in April 2023 along with the president of St. Francis University. Their workshop session was titled “Return on Athletics: Informing decisions through association trends and peer stories.”
Megan Kershner, M.B.A., dean of employment experiences, and President Jon Gering attended the ASU+GSV Summit in San Diego in April 2023. The acronym stands for Arizona State University and Global Silicon Valley (venture capitalists), and the summit is described as a place that “connects leading minds focused on transforming society and business around learning and work.” There were more than 7,000 people attending. Megan says, “We were able to attend through our membership with [the Council of Independent Colleges, CIC]. We made some excellent connections and quickly learned that Bethel is on the right track with our push toward vocational exploration (purpose)/human flourishing initiatives and the Employment Experiences program. In particular, I was able to meet the executive director of the Charles Koch Foundation, who took special interest in the Pathway to Purpose course I developed, and requested a copy of the syllabus. He had just facilitated a panel discussion titled ‘More than Skills: How to Put Purpose Back into Work and Learning.’ I believe the connections President Gering and I made at this summit will help open doors to more funding opportunities and additional resources our campus could benefit from.”
David Kreider coordinated several traveling exhibit installations in spring 2023. “Sorting Out Race” moved in early April 2023 from the Wenatchee Valley Museum in Wenatchee, Wash., to the Mansfield Library at the University of Montana, through June 4, 2023. “Climate and Energy Central: Doing Science in Kansas” was on display at Stauth Memorial Museum in Montezuma, Kan., though mid-April 2023. And “Better Choose Me: Collecting and Creating with Tobacco Fabric Novelties” is at the McPherson Museum through mid-June 2023.
Rachel Epp Buller gave a talk, “Listening as a Guest through Artistic Inquiries: Toward More Just Futures,” at the Listening Pasts, Listening Futures conference of the World Forum for Acoustic Ecology, held in Smyrna Beach Fla., and online, March 19-26, 2023. Her paper, “Caring for our Futures: Epistolary Praxis and the Promise of Slow,” was published in Performing Ethos: International Journal of Ethics in Theater and Performance, Vol. 12 (Winter 2022): 9-20.
Eric Preheim, director of admissions, was part of “Ye Olde Threshers,” a team that ran a relay marathon in Wichita on March 12, 2023, sponsored by Wichita Brewing Company as a fundraiser for the Kansas Food Bank. Temperatures were in the 30s as the 6-person team passed the baton from one runner to the next to collectively run 26.2 miles from Wichita Brewing Company’s west location to its east location. The team was ⅚ Bethel alumni: Eric, Kiley (Varney) Preheim, Drew Trollope, Abby (Schrag) Koch and Laird Goertzen, with one stand-in, Jake Smucker of Newton. Ye Olde Threshers finished 11th overall (up from 22nd place in 2022) and 9th in the mixed relay category, with a time of 3:33:19.
Siobhán Scarry attended the Associated Writing Programs (AWP) conference in Seattle, March 9-11, 2023.
Renae Schmidt Peters, library assistant for interlibrary loan and serials and adjunct instructor of music, directed the Newton Chorale in a concert March 5, 2023, at Bethel College Mennonite Church. The concert featured The Chariot Jubilee by R. Nathaniel Dett, with soloist Dr. Matthew Schloneger and a chamber orchestra. Renae has directed the Newton Chorale since 2015. The community choir was founded in 1976.
Henry Waters, D.M.A., director of choral music, conducted the USD 259 Wichita 2023 High School Honors Choir in a concert at Century II on Feb. 21, 2023.
Jayson Artaz won his 100th game as Thresher head men’s basketball coach Feb. 4, 2023, against Sterling.
Peter Goerzen, assistant professor of Bible and religion, received the Ralph P. Schrag Distinguished Teaching Award at commencement on May 15, 2022, and on Jan. 30, 2023, he presented the honors convocation, “Just a Game: Sports and/as Religion."
He preaches regularly in area churches. His schedule this school year included:
·“Written on Your Heart” (Tabor Mennonite Church, rural Newton, Aug. 14, 2022)
·“Seeing in the Dark” (Hope Mennonite Church, Wichita, Sept. 18, 2022)
·“You Are What You Worship: Guns and Other Idols of Our Age” (Salina Mennonite Church, Sept. 25, 2022, adaptation of a workshop presented earlier at the 2022 Western District Conference annual assembly)
·“Sacred Spaces: Lands of the Bible” (Peace Mennonite Church, Lawrence, March 12, 2023)
·“Light of the World” (Hoffnungsau Mennonite Church, rural Inman, March 19, 2023)
·“The Wisdom of Foolishness” (Moundridge Mennonite Education Sunday, April 23, 2023; also delivered at Hope Mennonite Church, Feb. 5, 2023)
In fall 2022 and spring 2023, Allison J. McFarland, Ph.D., chair of the business department, was invited to speak at the following events on the recruiting, mentoring and retention of Generation Z workers:
Texas A&M TEEX Leadership Symposium, San Marcos
Institute of Management Accountants, Tacoma, Wash.
Meeting of executive directors, NonProfit Connect, Kansas City, Mo.
Women's Employment Network, Kansas City, Mo.
During the same time period, Allison also collaborated with the pastoral team at Grace Community Church in Newton on the topic of reaching Gen Z, and served as a speaker on the church and Gen Z at the following:
National Conference on Ministry to the Armed Forces (military chaplains), Arlington, Va.
Pastors and Church Leaders Conference, Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary, Elkhart, Ind.
Shirley Dietzel, director of business services, has been elected chair of the board for the Newton Convention and Visitors Bureau. She has served on the CVB Board since 2013.
Richard Walker, adjunct instructor of social work (criminal justice), was elected president of the Kansas State Historical Society for 2023.
Megan Kershner has been serving on the board of the Newton Area Chamber of Commerce since August 2020. She is currently president-elect of the Chamber and will start her one-year term as president in September 2023, after which she’ll serve one year as past president.
Heidi Hoskinson, Ph.D., vice president for enrollment management, currently serves as the Region 4 West representative to the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) Small Colleges and Universities Division. She has held this role for two years and was recently appointed for another 2-year term. She will also serve on the NASPA Region 4 West Conference planning team as co-coordinator for registration activities. That conference will take place in November 2023 in Oklahoma City.
JesAnne Bouchard, registrar, Denise Krase, assistant to the VP for academic affairs, Christine Crouse-Dick and Jennifer Chappell Deckert participated in a microcredential course, “Fostering a Culture of Belonging,” through the Association of College and University Educators and sponsored by the Council of Independent Colleges.
Chase Dempsey, multimedia coordinator in marketing and communication, was named the inaugural Thresher of the Year by The Bethel Collegian.
Joseph Gogus, head cheer coach, was named KCAC Coach of the Year in cheer.
Oscar Gonzalez, graphic design coordinator in marketing and communication, is finishing his first semester in a two-year MFA in interdisciplinary media arts (area of study: graphic design) through Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Mo. He anticipates completing the online program in December 2024 and walking in May 2025.
The Christmas Bird Count exhibit team at Kauffman Museum – Andi Schmidt Andres, Nathan Bartel, KM curator of design, Chuck Regier, KM curator of exhibits, and Lorna Harder, guest curator – is happy to report they recently secured two grants to support the exhibit. Humanities Kansas will provide $10,000, with an additional $2,000 toward translation services to create a bilingual exhibit (English and Spanish). Evergy has also awarded the museum $10,000 for the exhibit. BC grad and adjunct professor of biology Harder has already committed hundreds of hours to the project, and the museum looks forward to a late-fall 2023 opening of the exhibit celebrating the 75th continuous year of the Halstead-Newton Christmas Bird Count. From that local history, the exhibit will engage visitors in broader topics such as declining avian populations, bird conservation, citizen science, the national Audubon count, personal opportunities to make a difference, and local species highlights.
During her sabbatical in 2022, Jennifer Chappell Deckert was awarded the Kilian McDonnell Fellowship in Faith and Culture from the Collegeville Institute in Collegeville, Minn. She was a resident scholar during November and December 2022, focused on faith communities, migrant inclusion and social activism. In October 2022, she was a delegate to the Witness for Peace Solidarity Collective in Havana, “Healing our Land, Healing Ourselves.” Along with other social workers, educators and community activists, she visited community organizations and learned about social issues facing Cuban people related to education, health care, nutrition, social justice and historic trauma, and spirituality.
John Thiesen, archivist and co-director of libraries, had an article posted Oct. 20, 2022, on the Anabaptist Historians blog about a recent archival document discovery, “A Letter from Maggie Leonard” https://anabaptisthistorians.org/2022/10/20/a-letter-from=maggie-leonard/, and published an article, “A Deeper Perspective on the Berlin Exodus,” in the April 2022 Mennonite Quarterly Review. https://www.goshen.edu/mqr/
Jon Piper published “Vegetation change in a sand prairie over ten years following a gas pipeline installation” in the Spring 2022 issue of Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science, Vol. 125:31-40 https://bioone.org/journals/transactions-of-the-kansas-academy-of-science/volume-125/issue-1-2/062.125.0103/Vegetation-Change-in-a-Sand-Prairie-over-Ten-Years-Following/10.1660/062.125.0103.short
John Thiesen published “Mennonite Nectar: Alcohol Production in the Vistula Delta” in Preservings, issue #43 (https://www.plettfoundation.org/preservings/past-issues/); “John Kroeker and the Backstory to the Berlin Exodus” in Intersections: MCC Theory & Practice Quarterly in the fall 2021 special issue on Mennonite Central Committee and National Socialism (https://mcc.org/sites/mcc.org/files/media/common/documents/intersectionsfall2021.pdf); and an article in the Journal of Mennonite Studies, “The Contested Legacy of the First Mennonite Anthropologist, H.R. Voth,” 08/01/2021 (https://jms.uwinnipeg.ca/index.php/jms).
Barbara Thiesen, co-director of libraries, received E-RYT 200 yoga teaching credentials from Yoga Alliance. E-RYT stands for Experienced-Registered Yoga Teacher and requires a minimum of 1,000 hours of teaching since completing yoga teacher training.
Mark Jantzen published “Anabaptists in Prussia” in T&T Clark's Handbook of Anabaptism, edited by Brian C. Brewer, 169-183 (London: T&T Clark, 2022). https://www.bloomsbury.com/us/tt-clark-handbook-of-anabaptism-9780567689481/
Rachel Epp Buller was awarded a Fulbright U.S. Scholar Grant for 2021-22. In spring 2022, she was the Fulbright Canada Research Chair in Arts and Humanities at the University of Alberta. https://www.bethelks.edu/article/professor-receives-fulbright-award
Michael Unruh graduated with a Master of Divinity degree from Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary, 05/01/2021, https://www.ambs.edu/news-events/news/1709852/seminary-commencement-to-be-held-may-1
Megan Kershner was nominated and selected as a “Woman Who Leads in Education” by the Wichita Business Journal, 04/21, https://www.bethelks.edu/article/kershner-tagged-among-women-leaders-education
Rachel Epp Buller was a featured conference participant (speaker, presenter, panelist, moderator) at the Research-Creation + Social Justice CoLaboratory at the University of Alberta, 03/21. She spoke on “Slow Art for Fast Times” and presented a workshop, “Listening Across Time through Epistolary Praxis” in the “Art, Activism, and Global Crisis” series. http://www.researchcreation.
Jennifer Chappell Deckert was appointed book review editor for the Journal of Baccalaureate Social Work, 01/21
Kathryn Layman, Ph.D., professor of chemistry and physics, received a Pittsburgh Conference Memorial National College Grant of $10,000 for 2020-21 from PittCon, the Society for Analytical Chemists of Pittsburgh and the Spectroscopy Society of Pittsburgh.
Rachel Epp Buller received a Curriculum Development Grant from the National Art Education Foundation for 2020-21.
Mark Jantzen was published in Mennonitisches Lexikon Band V, 3 vols., edited by Han-Jürgen Goertz with Jelle Bosma, Fernando Enns, Josef Enzenberger, Helmut Foth, Daniel W. Geiser-Oppliger, Mark Jantzen, Diether Götz Lichdi, Pieter Post and Christoph Wiebe (Bolanden-Weierhof: Mennonitischer Geschichtsverein, 12/20).
Mark Jantzen and John Thiesen are co-editors of European Mennonites and the Holocaust (Toronto: University of Toronto Press in association with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, November 2020), and co-authors, with Doris L. Bergen, of the “Introduction” to the volume.
Sheryl Wilson was a presenter for the University of Minnesota School of Social Work Center for Practice Transformation webinar “Walking the Talk: Practicing Restorative Justice and Anti-Racism” in August 2020, and for the Catholic Mobilizing Network webinar “Five Lessons Learned from Restorative Justice: In the Time of COVID-19” in April 2020. She attended the International Association for Conflict Management (IACM) 33rd Annual Conference (virtual) and was a panelist for “Pursuing Racial Justice and Inclusivity through Engagement,” 07/20.
Sheryl published a chapter, “Calling Out Whiteness,” in Colorizing Restorative Justice: Voicing Our Realities (Living Justice Press, June 2020), and wrote an article, “Disrupting the School to Prison Pipeline in America’s Schools,” for The Mennonite in January 2020.
Rachel Epp Buller received a Visiting Regional Humanities Faculty Fellowship from the Hall Center for the Humanities at the University of Kansas in the summer of 2020. She was part of the exhibition “May You Live in Interesting Times” at the Northern Arizona University Art Museum in Flagstaff, Feb. 4-April 18, 2020.
She presented “Editorial perspectives on Inappropriate Bodies: Art, Design, and Maternity” at a Women’s Caucus for Art conference session at the College Art Association meeting in Chicago, Feb. 13, 2020.
Brad Celestin, Ph.D., assistant professor and chair of history and philosophy, was invited to be part of the livecast/podcast Lawful but awful: Fails in the court of public opinion; How the public thinks about police use of force from the National Police Foundation, Washington, D.C., 2020.
Christine Crouse-Dick presented “A Tale of Two Experiences: A Professorial Couple Navigates the COVID-19 Transition” at the Summer Institute on Distance Learning and Instructional Technology in Emporia, Kan., 2020.
Allison McFarland was invited to present “Just When You Finally Decoded Millennials, iGens Are Here!” at Non-Profit Connect, Kansas City, Mo., and at the Wichita Chamber of Commerce Manufacturer’s CEO Roundtable, both in 2020.
Jennifer Chappell Deckert wrote on “immigration and spirituality” for the Oxford Bibliographies in Social Work, 2020, and is the author of “Extending the story: Weaving the strengths perspective into study abroad initiatives” in Mendenhall, A. & Carney, M.M. (eds.), Rooted in strengths: Celebrating the strengths perspective in social work, 61-76. 2020.
Mark Jantzen wrote the “Vorwort” in Bernhard Thiessen, Mennoniten in Der DDR. Leben in Grenzen. Die Mennoniten in der SBZ und der DDR von 1945 bis 1990 (Bolanden-Weierhof: Mennonitischer Geschichtesverein, 2020; https://mennoniten-ddr.de), and is the author of “‘Eine offene Beleidigung,’ A Newly Discovered Review of Quitt by C.H. Wedel, Instructor at Ruth Hornbostel’s Mennonite School in Halstead” in Fontane Blätter, 110 (2020): 71-88.