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Awards convocations recognize achievement in academics, athletics

September 11th, 2017

NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – As spring semester winds to a close, the last two Bethel convocations of the school year recognized students for their academic and athletic accomplishments in 2013-14.

Brad Born, vice president for academic affairs, opened the May 2 convocation by expressing thanks to Nathan Bartel, assistant professor of literary studies, for his “tremendous leadership” of convocation over the past three years. Bartel leaves Bethel at the end of the school year to take a position with Flint Hills Design, North Newton.

Allen Wedel, vice president for business affairs, gave a brief run-down of facilities improvements scheduled to take place over the summer in the cafeteria, all three residence halls, Franz Art Center and the Fine Arts Center.

Doug Maury, director of Bethel’s athletic training program, announced Kansas Athletic Trainers Society (KATS) honors for 2014: 1st Team: Taylor Morris, senior from North Newton, Stephanie Shogren, senior from Hesston, and Tanner Steingard, senior from Henderson, Nebraska; 2nd Team: Mariah Ekart, senior from Wamego, B.J. Heffernan, senior from Evergreen, Colorado, and Sadie Minkevitch, senior from Newton; and Honorable Mention, Tori Pickens, junior from Cortez, Colorado, Kendra Scott, sophomore from Newton, and Lauren Ulrich, sophomore from Walnut, California.

Both academic and athletic awards from the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference and National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics were announced (see sidebar for complete list).

Other special awards were:

? The Dorothy Wedel Kaufman Honor Scholarship, established by the late Gordon Kaufman to honor the memory of his wife, and now carried on by their son, Edmund Kaufman, to Kaylen Fike, freshman from Ada, Oklahoma;

? C. Henry Smith Peace Oratorical Contest awards to Henry Unruh, senior from Newton, first place for “Traditional Violence”; Jerrell Williams, senior from Garland, Texas, second place for “No More Superheroes”; and Megan Siebert, senior from Topeka, third place for “A Personal Relationship with the Divine Spark”;

? Writing Fellowship award to Timothy Taylor, sophomore from Pittsburg, Texas.

Thresher Awards went to four seniors honored for making “outstanding and sustained contributions in their academic field.”

The 2014 Thresher Awards went to

? Guadalupe Gonzalez, Newton, in psychology, presented by Paul Lewis, professor of psychology (Gonzalez is a double major in business and psychology);

? Evan Koch, Colorado Springs, Colorado, in music, presented by Karen Bauman Schlabaugh, professor of music;

? Carl Lehmann, Marion, South Dakota, in biology, presented by Francisca Méndez-Harclerode, associate professor of biology;

? Audra Miller, Hesston, in fine arts, presented by Rachel Epp Buller, assistant professor of art (Miller is a triple major in art, communication arts and graphic design).

The May 2 convocation wrapped up with two “special recognition” awards.

? The John O. and Esther Schrag Helping Hand Award went to Denise Krase, assistant to the academic dean and the football team’s honorary “Mama D,” nominated by Travon Lewis, senior from Houston;

? Resident Assistant of the Year awards went to Mariah Ekart, junior from Wamego (Voth Hall), and Marvin Rice, senior from Ontario, California (Haury Hall).

Kent Allshouse, athletic director, opened the May 5 convocation by praising the Bethel College community following the KCAC track meet that Bethel hosted May 2-3.

“Having a track meet is organized chaos,” he said. “It takes about 50 people to do it. As I was seeking volunteers, I was amazed. People said Yes. You don’t know how unusual this is.

“Bethel College has the best students I have ever seen. This is not ‘common’ ground – we’re here to celebrate uncommon ground.”

Dale Schrag, campus pastor, presented the first award, the Seth Dunn Memorial Award. Dunn’s family established it following his death in an Aug. 1, 2011, accident, right before his senior year at Bethel.

Schrag noted that the award stipulates “primary consideration … be given to a [student] who identifies areas of needed change on campus, challenges others and takes action that makes a difference in accordance with the stated ideals and values of the Bethel community.”

He presented the award to Leland Brown, senior from Galveston, Texas.

Other special awards followed:

? Gerald Schrag Award for mathematics to Brendan Bergen, junior from Moundridge;

? Sigma Theta Tau nursing honor society inductees (from fall 2013) – seniors Sarah Bell, Newton, Marissa Bontrager, North Newton, Whitney Cunningham, McPherson, Naura Harlow, Satanta/Park City, Erin Hilger, Colwich, Kristen Olson, Wichita, and Ashley Wasserman, Valley Center. Hilger also received the Iota Chi Excellence in Nursing Scholarship Award for having the highest grade point average in the senior nursing class;

? 2014 Undergraduate Research, Internships and Creative Activity (URICA) Awards to Angelina Adame in biology, Jessica Ebenkamp in psychology, Katelyn Melgren in social work, Karina Ortman in biology, Kaitlin Schmidt in biology and Seth Tarrant and Dylan Jantz (joint project) in chemistry/physics (see sidebar);

? J. Lloyd Spaulding Award for Economics and Business to Guadalupe Gonzalez, senior from Newton (a double major in business and psychology);

? Ray and Betty Funk Award for Entrepreneurship to Christian Krehbiel, sophomore from Hesston, Hayley Morrical, junior from Lindsborg, and Marvin Rice, senior from Ontario, California.

Allshouse presented Bethel watches to four-year letter winners: Robbie Wright, Lawrence, men’s basketball; Katie Regier, Whitewater, and Samantha Wilkerson, Hartford, women’s basketball; Edward Davila, San Antonio, Texas/Hesston, Jared Kaufman, Moundridge, and Garrett Garcia, Newton, football; Casey Budd, Newton, and B.J. Heffernan, Evergreen, Colorado, men’s soccer; Brooke Banning, Lenexa, and Caroline Mayhew, Lawrence, women’s soccer; Clinton Chlumsky, Wichita, Kris Dubach, Topeka, and Wesley Goodrich, Independence, men’s tennis; Stephanie Shogren, Hesston, women’s tennis; Cris Nelson, Marietta, Georgia, and Jake Sperry, Newton, men’s track; and Erin Bradley, Newton, and Michelle Kaufman, Moundridge, women’s track.

Allshouse also named “B” Letter Award winners for those who have been in their sport two or more years (see sidebar).

The May 5 awards convocation concluded with “special recognitions”:

? Student “ambassador of the year” for Admissions – Tamires Gongora, senior from São Paulo, Brazil/Newton, and Stephanie Shogren, senior from Hesston;

? The George Rogers Outstanding Athlete of the Year Award – Clinton Chlumsky, senior from Wichita (tennis), and Stephanie Shogren, senior from Hesston (tennis);

? The 2013 Douglas A. Penner Champions of Character Scholarship winners – Ethan Rodenberg, senior from Halstead, and Angelina Adame, junior from Newton;

? The Gerry Sieber Service Award – Mallory Marsh, director of forensics, who served as faculty mentor to the men’s basketball team, particularly the junior varsity.

Bethel President Perry D. White concluded the final convocation of the year by noting one faculty promotion: Geri Tyrell, assistant professor of nursing, to director of nursing.

He also recognized Mary Regier, who retires in July after 39 years, mostly in the advancement and development offices, and two who are retiring after 30 years – Dale Schrag, director of church relations and campus pastor (end of school year), and Rachel Pannabecker, director of Kauffman Museum (next fall).

Additional retirements – Donna Becker, assistant professor of nursing, Russ Graber, associate professor of health and physical education, Marla Krell, director of experiential learning and career services, James Lynch, assistant archivist in the Mennonite Library and Archives, and Frank Nachtigal, custodian, for a total of seven – represent “150 years of experience, wisdom and service,” White said.

He also named staff and faculty with 25 years of service to Bethel: Cynthia Stucky Beth, assistant to the vice president for advancement; Tony Graber, financial aid director; Patty Shelly, professor of Bible and religion; and John Thiesen, co-director of libraries and director of the Mennonite Library and Archives.

Sidebar: 2014 URICA Awards for Bethel student research

Each year, Bethel College offers support for student summer research through the Undergraduate Research, Internships and Creative Activity (URICA) program.

These grants provide a $1,000 stipend to each student selected, with additional, smaller cash awards to the mentor working with the student and to the student’s department to help defray the research expenses of the project.

The URICA Committee – currently Dwight Krehbiel, professor of psychology, John McCabe-Juhnke, professor of communication arts, and Doug Siemens, associate professor of education – evaluates student proposals and makes award decisions.

Angelina Adame, junior from Newton, will do “Functional Comparison of the pitx2 Gene in Danio rerio” with research mentor Francisca Méndez-Harclerode, associate professor of biology.

Jessica Ebenkamp, senior from Conway Springs, will do “The Effects of Pain and Depression on Rehabilitation Progress in a Physical Therapy Clinic” with research mentor Dwight Krehbiel.

Katelyn Melgren, junior from Olathe, will do “Burnout Does Not Hinder All Social Workers: A Qualitative Study on How Social Workers Take Care of Themselves” with research mentor Ada Schmidt-Tieszen, professor of social work.

Karina Ortman, junior from Marion, South Dakota, will do “Branched-Chain Ketoaciduria: A Study of Carrier Frequency in a Bethel Population” with research mentor Francisca Méndez-Harclerode. This project will be partially supported by a Mennonite Contributions Contest award.

Kaitlin Schmidt, junior from North Newton, will do “Effects of Cardiac Glycoside-Containing Plant Tissues on Eukaryotic Cells” with research mentor Jon Piper, professor of biology.

Seth Tarrant, senior from Conway Springs, and Dylan Jantz, senior from Newton, will do a joint project, “Removal of Contaminants from Wastewater by Means of Magnetic Composites” with research mentor Kathryn Layman, associate professor of chemistry and physics.

The students will do their primary research this summer and make public presentations during the 2014-15 school year in a special convocation and in the annual URICA Symposium in spring.

Sidebar: Achievement awards for Bethel athletes

NAIA All-America Scholar-Athletes (3.5 cumulative GPA):

? Women’s basketball

Katie Regier, senior, Whitewater

Jessica Ebenkamp, senior, Conway Springs

Samantha Wilkerson, senior, Hartford

Brie Zerger, junior, Hutchinson

? Football

Ridge Foster, junior, Haven

Taylor Morris, senior, North Newton

Seth Tarrant, senior, Conway Springs

? Golf

Ethan Rodenberg, senior, Halstead

? Men’s soccer

Benjamin Kreider, senior, North Newton

Jacob Weber, senior, Newton

? Women’s soccer

Angelina Adame, junior, Newton

Brooke Banning, senior, Lenexa

Paige LaFever, junior, Hutchinson

Madison Wiles, junior, Hutchinson

Brie Zerger, junior, Hutchinson

? Softball

Sarah Cunningham, senior, Oskaloosa

Mariah Ekart, senior, Wamego

? Volleyball

Katie Regier, senior, Whitewater

(awards still pending for tennis and track and field)

KCAC Scholar-Athletes (must be a sophomore or higher, 3.333 cumulative GPA, lettered; NAIA Scholar-Athletes plus the following):

? Men’s cross country

Laird Goertzen, junior, Goessel

Wesley Goodrich, senior, Independence

? Women’s cross country

Olivia Gehring, sophomore, Manhattan

Natalie Unruh, junior, Clay Center

? Women’s soccer

Nichole Gabriel, sophomore, Omaha, Nebraska

? Softball

Tanesha Cayton, junior, Keyes, Oklahoma

Jennifer Kaufman, sophomore, Moundridge

? Volleyball

Sondra Buller, junior, Henderson, Nebraska

Tori Pickens, junior, Cortez, Colorado

(awards still pending for tennis and track and field)


? Women’s basketball

April Harpe, senior, Memphis, Tennessee (2nd Team)

? Football

Tommy Alexander, junior, San Diego, California (1st Team)

Stephen Scott, freshman, Baltimore, Maryland (2nd Team)

Edward Davila, senior, San Antonio, Texas/Hesston (Honorable Mention)

Garrett Garcia, senior, Newton (Honorable Mention)

Jared Kaufman, senior, Moundridge (Honorable Mention)

Taylor Morris, senior, North Newton (Honorable Mention)

? Men’s soccer

Nestor Reyes, sophomore, Dallas, Texas (2nd Team)

Taylor Sigmund, sophomore, Flower Mound, Texas (Honorable Mention)

? Women’s soccer

Madison Wiles, senior, Hutchinson (1st Team; Goalkeeper of the Year)

Angelina Adame, junior, Newton (Honorable Mention)

? Softball

Kylee Gragg, senior, Minneapolis (Honorable Mention)

Victoria Roberts, senior, Sedgwick (Honorable Mention)

Men’s tennis

Logan Palenske, senior, Abilene (1st Team)

Clinton Chlumsky, senior, Wichita (2nd Team)

? Women’s tennis

Breanna Honer, sophomore, Shawnee (1st Team)

Stephanie Shogren, senior, Hesston (1st Team)

Allie Hipp, junior, Claflin (2nd Team; Sportsmanship Award)

Madelyn Weaver, senior, Hesston (2nd Team)

? Volleyball

Jordan Gray, senior, Newton (Honorable Mention)

Claire McStravick, sophomore, Dallas, Texas (Honorable Mention)

Katie Regier, senior, Whitewater (Honorable Mention)

(awards still pending for track and field)

“B” Letter Awards (four-year letter winners plus the following):

? Men’s basketball

Xavier Carter, junior, Kansas City, Kansas

Keon Jones, senior, Newton

Tanner Smith, senior, Hiawatha

? Cheer

Edward Davila, senior, San Antonio, Texas/Hesston

Jarred Erb, senior, Henderson, Nebraska

Jake Sperry, senior, Newton

? Men’s cross country

Wesley Goodrich, senior, Independence

Joseph Kondziola, senior, North Newton

? Men’s cross country and men’s track

Aaron Topham, senior, Peabody

? Women’s cross country and women’s soccer

Rachel Evans, senior, Bel Aire

? Football

Edmond Ngong, senior, Washington, D.C.

Brandon Pratt, senior, San Antonio, Texas

Cameron Stultz, senior, Goessel

? Football and men’s track

Taylor Morris, senior, North Newton

Jerrell Williams, senior, Garland, Texas

? Golf

Chris Santoya, senior, Newton

? Men’s soccer

Trever Ford, senior, Cañon City, Colorado

Jacob Weber, senior, Newton

? Softball and volleyball

Samantha Sheridan, senior, San Diego, California/Newton

? Men’s track

Jason Friesen, senior, Inman

Cory Graber, senior, Moundridge

? Women’s track

April Harpe, senior, Memphis, Tennessee

? Volleyball

Jordan Gray, senior, Newton

Maggie Hans, senior, Wichita

Katie Regier, senior, Whitewater

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.