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Awards convocations recognize achievement in academics, athletics

September 11th, 2017

NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – By tradition, the last two Bethel convocations of the school year recognize students for their academic and athletic accomplishments.

Kent Allshouse, athletic director, opened the May 9 convocation.

Campus Pastor Peter Goerzen presented the Seth Dunn Memorial Award, which Dunn’s family established following his death in an accident Aug. 1, 2011, right before his senior year at Bethel.

This award goes 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.”

Goerzen presented the award to Ben Carlson, junior from Hurley, South Dakota.

Laura Prahm, instructor of nursing, recognized the Sigma Theta Tau nursing honor society inductees (from fall 2015) – graduating seniors Brandi Bergmeier, Wakefield; Shelby Bernt, Park City; Chianne Cates, Colorado Springs, Colorado; Tanesha Cayton, Keyes, Oklahoma; Mekale Chapple, Jones, Oklahoma; Lindsay Fawcett, Wichita; Lisa Goering, Lawrence; Breanna Honer, Shawnee; Shelby Jessup, Wichita; Haleigh Kerr, North Newton; Reilly Klein, Salina; Abigail Ludwig, Phoenix; Bonnie Marnell, Park City; Alani Miller, Salina; Roseanne Riddle, Wichita; and Abigail Schrag, Newton. Miller also received the Iota Chi Excellence in Nursing Scholarship Award for having the highest grade point average in the senior nursing class;

Doug Maury, director of Bethel’s athletic training program, announced Kansas Athletic Trainers Society (KATS) honors for 2016: 1st Team – graduating seniors Tori Kaufman, Cortez, Colorado, Kendra Scott, Newton, and Lauren Ulrich, Walnut, California, and junior Rachael Terbush, Castle Rock, Colorado; 2nd Team – junior Jessica Krestine, Louisburg; and Honorable Mention – senior Katelyn Fatten, Riverside, 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).

Dan Wassink, a senior staff member for the Kansas Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution presented the winners of Bethel’s C. Henry Smith Peace Oratorical Contest, Leland Brown III, senior from Galveston, Texas, first place for “#BlackLivesMatter: An Examination of the Painful Silence within the Christian Community,” and Jacob Miller, junior from Westmoreland, second place for “We Christians haven’t reconciled a peaceful racial past, so how can there be a future one?”

Doug Siemens, associate professor of education, identified the 2015–16 “Teachers of Promise”: in elementary education, graduating senior Jennifer Kaufman, Moundridge, and in secondary education, graduating senior Ridge Foster, Haven (history), and fall 2015 graduate Michelle Unruh, Goessel (music).

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

Kathryn Layman, associate professor of chemistry and physics, presented an award to Bryce Hostetler, Dodge City (chemistry); Kip Wedel, assistant professor of history and peace studies, to Renae Stucky, Moundridge (history); and Karen Schlabaugh, professor of music, to Jill Siebert, Topeka, and Braden Unruh, Goessel.

The May 9 convocation wrapped up with three “special recognition” awards:

? Student “ambassador of the year” for Admissions – Lucas DuPriest, junior from Fort Collins, Colorado;

? The John O. and Esther Schrag Helping Hand Award, to Michelle Sheriff, custodian, nominated by Logan Dahl, junior from Live Oak, California;

? Resident Assistant of the Year, to Taylor Wright, Salem, Oregon (Haury Hall).

Robert Milliman, vice president for academic affairs, opened the second of the two awards convocations, held May 13.

“Being a community doesn’t make us all alike,” he said, “[but] when one succeeds, we’re all better.”

Doug Siemens announced the URICA Summer Fellowship winners for 2016. URICA stands for Undergraduate Research, Internships and Creative Activity.

URICA Fellows are Kelsey Peterson and Santiago Aragon in biology, Spencer Bailly in history, Brittany Carter in social work and psychology, Azucena Gonzalez in psychology and Taylor Simmons in psychology (see sidebar).

Other special awards were:

? Gerald Schrag Award for mathematics to Julia Campfield, Wray, Colorado.

? J. Lloyd Spaulding Award for Economics and Business to Xi Cheng, Shanghai, China.

? Ray and Betty Funk Award for Entrepreneurship to Terrence Jones, Little Rock, Arkansas, Tony Wagler, Partridge, Reece Hiebert, Walton, and Chase Banister, Douglass.

Kelsey Peterson, Plano, Texas, chief justice for Bethel’s Student Government Association (SGA), recognized the members of the outgoing 83th SGA and introduced the members of the incoming 84th SGA. As chief justice, she was charged with swearing in the new members, with special attention to the student body president and the speaker of the senate (see sidebar for list).

Kent Allshouse, athletic director, recognized, with “B” letter awards, seniors who had participated in their sport for at least two years: in women’s basketball, Mekale Chapple, Jones, Oklahoma, and Jaime Tschetter, Freeman, South Dakota; in cheer, Sondra Buller, Aurora, Nebraska, Will Chao, Taichung, Taiwan, Erin Doerksen, Newton, Mikayla Hiebert, Peabody, Josh Janzen, Aurora, Nebraska, Jenni Schrag, McPherson, Renae Stucky, Moundridge, and Amy Wedel, Peabody; in cross country, Rashé Boynton, Miami, Olivia Gehring, Manhattan, Laird Goertzen, Goessel, and Erin Regier, Newton; in football, Leland Brown III, Galveston, Texas, Delvert Emerenciano, New York City, Christian Krehbiel, Moundridge, Josh Lewis, Rialto, California, Erik Long, Sonora, California, Richard Linares, Desert Hot Springs, California, Preston Oliver, Los Angeles, Greg Parham, Pomona, California, Ryan Peete, Compton, California, Jordan Potts, Houston, Robert Purvin, Lemont, Illinois, and Brandon Steed, La Mesa, California; in softball, Taylor Wright, Salem, Oregon; in women’s soccer, Daisy Arambula, Wichita, Kassandra Rodela, Dodge City, and Kathryn Kelman, Ft. Worth, Texas; in women’s tennis, Rachel Shogren, Hesston; and in volleyball, Ashley Dishon, Horton, Breetta Moe, Bayfield, Colorado, Veronica Pitchford, Manhattan, and Monique Sutton, Omaha, Nebraska.

Allshouse and the respective coaches presented Bethel watches to four-year letter winners: Cody Cape, McPherson, men’s basketball; Jenson Kingsley, Newton, men’s basketball and men’s tennis; Kendra Scott, Newton, and Lauren Ulrich, Walnut, California, women’s basketball; Matt Dewberry, Blanchard, Oklahoma, golf; Mitchell Dutcher, Flower Mound, Texas, Eric Preheim, Brentwood, Tennessee, and Nestor Reyes, Dallas, men’s soccer; Nichole Gabriel, Omaha, Nebraska, Shelby Johnson, Derby, and Ana Velazquez, Ennis, Texas, women’s soccer; and Chris Soosalu, Ottawa, Ontario, men’s tennis.

The May 13 awards convocation included these “special recognitions” in athletics:

? George Rogers Outstanding Athlete of the Year Award (one male, one female) – Jenson Kingsley and Lauren Ulrich.

? Douglas A. Penner Champions of Character Scholarships – Brittany Carter, Sylvia, and Kyle Regier, Whitewater.

? Gerry Sieber Service Award – Merle Schlabaugh, professor of German, faculty athletic representative (FAR) and transfer student adviser.

? Loren and Peggy Reusser Spirit Award scholarships – Kimberly Carbonell, Wichita; Ben Carlson, Hurley, South Dakota; Kimberly Buzbee, Topeka (female runner-up); Jaden Schmidt, Moundridge (male runner-up).

Allshouse also announced that the athletic department faculty and coaches had decided to give a Thresher Team of the Year Award this year, presented to Head Coach Joseph Gogus and the Bethel cheer team, who went all the way to cheer nationals for the first time in school history.

Bethel President Perry D. White concluded the final convocation of the year by noting four faculty promotions: from assistant to associate professor, Doug Maury, athletic training, and Geri Tyrell and Sarah Masem, nursing, and from instructor to assistant professor, Mallory Marsh, communication arts/forensics. In addition, Kathryn Layman, associate professor of chemistry and physics, was granted tenure.

White also named staff and faculty with years of service to Bethel – for 40 years, Rodney Schmidt, maintenance, and Les Goerzen, director of facilities; for 30 years, John McCabe-Juhnke, professor of communication arts, and Gail Stucky, co-director of libraries; for 20 years, Debbi Caliendo, business office, Marilyn Flaming, admissions, Royce Flaming, maintenance, and Allan Jantz, professor of education.

Finally, White noted three staff member retirements – after 27 years, most recently as director of financial aid, Tony Graber; after 21 years, most recently as director of alumni relations, Dave Linscheid; and after 10 years in a variety of roles at the Kansas Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution, Kirsten Zerger.

Bethel College is the only private, liberal arts college in Kansas listed in the 2015–16 analysis of top colleges and universities in the United States, and is the highest-ranked Kansas college in the Washington Monthly annual college guide for 2015–16. The four-year liberal arts college is affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. For more information, see

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Sidebar: 2016 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.

The students awarded URICA Summer Research Grants for 2016, with their faculty mentors, are: Kelsey Peterson, Plano, Texas, and Santiago Aragon, “Effects of the removal of invasive Tatarian honeysuckle (Lonicera tatarica) species along Sand Creek Trail” with faculty mentor Jon Piper, professor of biology; Spencer Bailly, Wichita, “Polish Exclusion in the Eastern Provinces of the Kaiserreich” with Mark Jantzen, professor of history; Brittany Carter, Sylvia, “The Effects on Personality Facets of Bethel Students who Faced Type I or Type II Trauma during their Childhood” with Ada Schmidt-Tieszen, professor of social work, and Paul Lewis, professor of psychology; Azucena Gonzalez, Newton, “Behavioral Effects of Emotional Priming on the Go/NoGo Task” with Dwight Krehbiel; and Taylor Simmons, Wichita, “Interspecies Bonding: The Reciprocal Effects of Pair Bonds between Green Iguanas and their Human Caretakers on Physiological and Perceived Stress” with Dwight Krehbiel.

The students will do their primary research this summer and make public presentations during the 2016–17 school year in a special convocation and in the annual URICA Symposium in spring.

Sidebar: Achievement awards for Bethel athletes

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

? Men’s basketball

Jenson Kingsley, Newton

Jacob Miller, Westmoreland

Daniel Ratzlaff, Moundridge

Kyle Regier, Whitewater

? Women’s basketball

Mekale Chapple, Jones, Oklahoma

Cayla Lawless, Burlingame

Trista Rich, Junction City

Kylee Schunn, Whitewater

Kendra Scott, Newton

Rachael Terbush, Castle Rock, Colorado

Jaime Tschetter, Freeman, South Dakota

Lauren Ulrich, Walnut, California

? Cheer

Sondra Buller, Aurora, Nebraska

Wei Chao, Taichung, Taiwan

Mikayla Hiebert, Peabody

Josh Janzen, Aurora, Nebraska

Renae Stucky, Moundridge

Amy Wedel, Peabody

? Cross country

Laird Goertzen, Goessel

Kylie Varney, Newton

? Golf

Brian Krehbiel, Donnellson, Iowa

Kyle Regier, Whitewater

Jaden Schmidt, Moundridge

? Men’s soccer

Lucas DuPriest, Fort Collins, Colorado

Eric Preheim, Brentwood, Tennessee

Ryan Stuchlik, Newton

? Women’s soccer

Nichole Gabriel, Omaha, Nebraska

Shelby Johnson, Derby

Kelsey Peterson, Plano, Texas

Rachael Terbush, Castle Rock, Colorado

? Softball

Kaylen Fike, Ada, Oklahoma

Trista Rich, Junction City

? Men’s tennis

Jenson Kingsley, Newton

? Women’s tennis

Breanna Honer, Shawnee

? Women’s track

Tia Goertzen, Goessel

Bryna Rietcheck, Bavaria

? Volleyball

Ashley Dishon, Horton

Tia Goertzen, Goessel

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

? Women’s basketball

Brittany Carter, Sylvia

Elise Gerlach, Derby

? Cross country

Grace Bradfield, Derby

Olivia Gehring, Manhattan

Erin Regier, Newton

Natalie Unruh, Clay Center

Kendra Samuels, Girard

? Football

Leland Brown III, Galveston, Texas

? Golf

Sam Bertholf, Winfield

Taylor Hageman, Cheney

Drew Trollope, Kingman

? Women’s soccer

Elise Gerlach, Derby

? Softball

Emily Knight, Moundridge

Madison McDowell, Basehor

Paige Middleton, Marion

Elizabeth Ratzlaff, Moundridge

Jeni Reichenberger, Wichita

Michelle Schrag, Moundridge

Alyssa Sullivan, Kansas City, Kansas

Alexis Wilson, Wamego

Taylor Wright, Salem, Oregon

? Track

Katelyn Fatten, Riverside, California

Tyler Kaufman, Moundridge

Kendra Samuels, Girard

Tony Wagler, Partridge

KCAC female nominee for A.O. Duer Scholarship Award (NAIA award)

Kelsey Peterson, Plano, Texas


? Men’s basketball

RayJon Craig, Aurora, Colorado (2nd Team; Newcomer of the Year)

Deven Goodwin, Van Buren, Arkansas (Honorable Mention)

Jenson Kingsley, Newton (Honorable Mention)

Chase Banister, Douglass (All-Freshman Team)

? Women’s basketball

Lauren Ulrich, Walnut, California (Honorable Mention)

Brittany Carter, Sylvia (Champions of Character award)

? Cheer

Whitney Danbury, Killeen, Texas (All-Star)

Erin Doerksen, Newton (All-Star)

Kendra Gonzales, Minneapolis (All-Star)

Justin Haflich, Pretty Prairie (All-Star)

Nathaniel Ortega-Torres, Harker Heights, Texas (All-Star)

Jenni Schrag, McPherson (All-Star)

? Football

Preston Oliver, Los Angeles (1st Team)

Marquis Jackson, Miami (2nd Team)

Leland Brown III, Galveston, Texas (Honorable Mention)

Ryan Peete, Compton, California (Honorable Mention)

? Men’s soccer

Mitchell Dutcher, Flower Mound, Texas (Honorable Mention)

Nestor Reyes, Dallas (Honorable Mention)

? Women’s soccer

Elise Gerlach, Derby (Honorable Mention)

? Softball

Rylie Scudder, Little Elm, Texas (2nd Team)

Jasmine Wann, McPherson (Honorable Mention)

? Women’s tennis

Rachel Herzog, Ellsworth (2nd Team)

? Volleyball

Ashley Dishon, Horton (Honorable Mention)

Emma Hilgenfeld, Whitewater (Honorable Mention)

Katie Neira, San Antonio, Texas (Honorable Mention)

Amanda Ramsden, Coquitlam, British Columbia (Honorable Mention)

Tia Goertzen, Goessel (Champions of Character award)

KCAC Team of Character Awards

? Men’s basketball

? Women’s basketball

? Golf

? Softball

Sidebar: 84th Student Government Association

Executive branch

Jacob Miller, Westmoreland, student body president

Kiley Varney, Newton, student body vice president

Alec Loganbill, Hesston, chief of staff

Mareike Bergen, Moundridge, secretary of student activities

Zach Preheim, Peabody, secretary of diversity affairs

Emily Kondziola, North Newton, secretary of public relations

Legislative branch

Cayla Lawless, Burlingame, speaker of the senate (junior senator)

Grace Bradfield, Derby, secretary of the senate (senior senator)

Isaac Dunn, Fresno, California, senior senator

Breetta Moe, Bayfield, Colorado, senior senator

Storm Myer, Miltonvale, junior senator

Taylor Buessing, Topeka, sophomore senator

Mallory Case, Whitesboro, Texas, sophomore senator

Serena Wong, North Newton, sophomore senator

Elsie Deckert, Newton, commuter senator

Justin Soriano, Los Angeles, commuter senator

Lara Scott, Peabody, at-large senator

Judicial branch

Kelsey Peterson, Plano, Texas, chief justice

Daniel Ratzlaff, Moundridge, associate chief justice and clerk

Kimberly Buzbee, Topeka, associate justice

Terrence Jones, Little Rock, Arkansas, associate justice

Neil Smucker, North Newton, associate justice

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.