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Alumni

Alumni Awards

Each year an Awards Committee of the Alumni Association bestows Young Alumnus, Outstanding Alumnus and Distinguished Achievement Awards on select graduates. The awards have been given since 1960.

The Young Alumnus Award recognizes character and citizenship, achievement or service rendered, honors and recognition received. The recipient must be 39 years of age or younger.

The Outstanding Alumnus Award is given on the basis of character and citizenship, service to church/community or college or other outstanding achievements, honors and recognition.

The Distinguished Achievement Award acknowledges character and citizenship, achievement in a chosen profession or vocation and work of benefit to humanity.

To make a nomination, please complete and return a nomination form to the Office of Alumni Relations, Bethel College, 300 E. 27th, N. Newton, KS 67117 or e-mail bschmidt@bethelks.edu.

2020 Award Recipients

Young Alumnus Award:

Todd Flory, Wichita, graduated from Bethel in 2004 with a B.A. in communication arts, intending to be a print journalist.

He spent a year as a staff writer for the McPherson (Kan.) Sentinel and then two years with Brethren Volunteer Service in Washington, D.C., and Elgin, Ill.

He was an online reporter for the Salina (Kan.) Journal for a year, then went back to school and completed a B.S. in elementary education at McPherson College.

After one year teaching 5th grade at Buhler, Kan., Flory moved in 2012 to his current position as a 4th-grade teacher at Wheatland Elementary School in Andover, Kan.

He was a 2018 Kansas Master Teacher (one of seven chosen each year by Emporia State University) and the 2018 president of the Kansas Association of Teachers of Mathematics, and has earned considerable recognition for his use of technology in the classroom.

Flory was one of the first two dozen Skype in the Classroom® Master Teachers in the World and also serves as a Skype in the Classroom® Mentor Teacher.

He was chosen as a "Teach U.N. Sustainable Development Goals" Ambassador; a PBS Digital Innovative Educator (Kansas lead, 2016); a Google Certified Educator Level 2; and a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert.

He regularly speaks and gives workshops at state and national education conferences on using Skype and other technology in the classroom to "widen the world" for students. 

He co-developed a media literacy and news reliability education project that was featured in an NPR article, appeared on national Japanese news, and is featured on the Microsoft Education website.

He's written numerous education articles for EdSurge, Kidblog, PBS Education and the Microsoft Education blog (see toddflory.com). In 2015, he was one of 20 U.S. educators selected to attend the Microsoft Global Educator Exchange conference in Redmond, Wash.

The Young Alumnus Award will be presented (along with a program by the recipient for Bethel students, faculty and staff) at a convocation to be scheduled in the 2020-21 school year.

Outstanding Alumnus Award:

Doris Bartel (Dyck), Riverdale, Md., worked in various capacities with CARE USA from 2001-18, then transitioned to an independent consultant in designing processes for strategic visioning and planning.

She describes herself as "a passionate advocated for women's and girls' rights, reproductive rights and gender justice, and advancing progressive social change."

Bartel graduated from Bethel in 1984 with a B.A. in international development and peace studies. She went on to earn a master of science in nursing, RNC (registered nurse, certified), NP (nurse practitioner), at the Institute of Health Professions in Boston.

From 1988-90, Bartel worked as a registered nurse at Massachusetts General Hospital, and from 1990-95 as an OB/GYN nurse practitioner in Florence, Mass.

She was a health services researcher at Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., and then a medical director for the International Medical Corps in both Kosovo and Eritrea, providing primary health care and health education with a focus on maternal and child health.

In 2001, Bartel began working with CARE USA, which has a mission to "save lives, defeat poverty and achieve social justice" around the world, with women and girls at the center of the organization's work. 

She served as a technical adviser and senior program adviser in sexual and reproductive health and finally, from 2010-18, as senior director for gender and empowerment.

Now semi-retired, Bartel is an independent consultant. Recent projects have centered on disability rights, immigrant justice, applied social change, and women-led conflict resolution efforts in Latin America.

The Outstanding Alumnus and Distinguished Achievement awards are normally presented at the annual Alumni Banquet on campus in early June, but now will be celebrated at a time and place to be determined. 

Distinguished Achievement Award:

Barry Hieb, Tucson, Ariz., is a medical doctor with a master's degree in computer science and more than 40 years of experience in medical informatics.

He graduated from Bethel in 1966 with a B.A. in natural sciences and a deep love for mathematics.

He continued his education with medical school at Washington University in St. Louis, where he discovered the thing that really excited him, a brand-new field: computers and medical computing. He eventually completed a master's degree in computer science, as well as his M.D. degree, at Wash U.

Hieb worked for five years at Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) in Marlboro, Mass., and one year at First Data Corporation at Charlotte, N.C., before moving to Tucson in 1996.

Over the next 15 years, he worked for Sunquest Corporation, a lab automation company, and Gartner, an information technology consultant for hospitals all over the United States and around the world. 

Since 2010, he has been the chief scientist at a small company he co-founded, Global Patient Identifiers, Inc.

In that role, he has been responsible for the design, implementation and deployment of the Voluntary Universal Healthcare Identifier (VUHID) project.

He believes the VUHID "represents a simple and cost-effective way to enable error-free patient identification and enhanced patient privacy." After years of work, he says he is finally seeing some interest in VUHID at a national government level.

The Outstanding Alumnus and Distinguished Achievement awards are normally presented at the annual Alumni Banquet on campus in early June, but now will be celebrated at a time and place to be determined. 

Awards Committee

  • Jeffrey Graber ’04, Newton, Chair
  • Gwen Neufeld ’89, North Newton
  • Monica Schmidt Spicer ’11, Newton
  • Richard Zerger ’69, McPherson

About Bethel

As the first Mennonite college founded in North America, Bethel College celebrates a tradition of progressive Christian liberal arts education, diversity within community, and lifelong learning.