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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 1 convocation.

Laura Prahm, instructor of nursing, recognized the Sigma Theta Tau nursing honor society inductees (from fall 2016) – seniors Stephanie Duncan, North Newton; Hailey Heide, Wichita; Olivia Leif, Concordia; Tana Myers, McPherson; Shannon Neifert, Pratt; Holly Peters, Hesston; Bryna Rietcheck, Bavaria; and Melissa Wimer, Smolan.

Neifert 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 2017: 1st Team – graduating seniors Katelyn Fatten, Riverside, California, and Rachael Terbush, Castle Rock, Colorado; 2nd Team – senior Jessica Krestine, Louisburg; and Honorable Mention – juniors Joe Kelleher, Oneonta, Alabama, Ciara Mckinney, Moore, Oklahoma, and Abby Pineda, Malone, Texas, and sophomore Lara Scott, Newton.

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

Dan Wassink, a senior staff member for the Kansas Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (KIPCOR), recognized the winners of Bethel’s 2017 C. Henry Smith Peace Oratorical Contest: Jacob Miller, senior from Westmoreland, first place for “Mennonites’ Race for Peace Must Include Race: Our Deflection of Colin Kaepernick’s Knee of Protest,” and Emily Alexander, freshman from Wichita, second place for “K(no)w God, K(no)w Peace.”

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 Storm Myer, senior from Miltonvale.

Allen Jantz, professor of education, identified the 2016'17 “Teachers of Promise”: in elementary education, Jaime Tschetter, Freeman, South Dakota, in elementary and special education, Mattison Hiebner, Hampton, Nebraska, in history secondary education, Kyle Regier, Whitewater, and in music education, Braden Unruh, Goessel.

Mallory Marsh, director of forensics, recognized Jacob Miller and senior Clinton Unruh, Newton, for their induction into Pi Kappa Delta, the forensics honor society for undergraduate students. She also noted that Miller was named a Forensics All-American at this year’s national tournament, the first Bethel student to receive that honor.

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

Marsh presented an award to Miller in forensics, Mark Jantzen, professor of history, to Spencer Bailly, Wichita, and Dwight Krehbiel, professor of psychology, to Azucena Gonzalez, Newton.

The May 1 convocation wrapped up with three “special recognition” awards:

? Student “ambassador of the year” for Admissions – Lacey Pfannenstiel, senior from Hays;

? The John O. and Esther Schrag Helping Hand Award – Karen Garcia, assistant in the financial aid office, nominated by senior Tia Goertzen;

? Resident Assistant of the Year – Alexis Brewer, Prescott Valley, Arizona (Warkentin Court).

Robert Milliman, vice president for academic affairs, opened the second of the two awards convocations, held May 5.

Dwight Krehbiel announced the URICA Summer Fellowship winners for 2017 – possibly “the highest number in URICA Summer Grant history,” he said. URICA stands for Undergraduate Research, Internships and Creative Activity.

URICA Fellows are Storm Myer in history and peace studies; Jordan Schroeder in programming; Neil Smucker in music (composition); Cayla Lawless in natural science; Leah Friesen in psychology; and Austin Regier, Kylee Schunn and Meredith Stone in social work (see sidebar).

Other special presentations were:

? J. Lloyd Spaulding Award for Economics and Business to senior Shelby Howard, Halstead;

? Dorothy Wedel Kaufman Honor Scholarship in English to sophomore Elizabeth Ratzlaff, Moundridge;

? Writing Fellowship Award to sophomore Bailey Strausz, Moundridge;

? “Programming achievement” recognition to seniors Mareike Bergen, Moundridge, and Zach Preheim, Peabody, and junior Neil Smucker, North Newton, for taking first place in the programming contest earlier this spring co-hosted by the Central Plains chapter of the Consortium for Computing Sciences in Colleges and Computer Science and the engineering department at the University of Nebraska.

Gabriel Fonseca, director of student activities and engagement, recognized the outgoing 84th Student Government Association (SGA) and introduced the incoming 85th SGA (see sidebar). New chief justice Cassie Voth, Littleton, Colorado, swore in the new SGA members, with special attention to the student body president speaker of the senate.

Paul Lewis, professor of psychology, recognized the successful applicants for 2016'17 for the Waldo H. and Linda Zielke Friesen Global Ministries Scholarship awards: juniors Julie Baker, Park City, Kimberly Buzbee, Topeka, Randall Schmidt, Lawrence, and Alexis Wilson, Wamego, and seniors Mitchell Dutcher, Flower Mound, Texas, Tana Myers, McPherson, and Shannon Neifert, Pratt.

Kent Allshouse, athletic director, and the respective coaches presented Bethel watches to four-year letter winners: Santiago Aragon, Mora, New Mexico (football), Ethan Birdwell, Moore, Oklahoma (football), Lucas DuPriest, Fort Collins, Colorado, and Gothenburg, Sweden (soccer), Ryan Ford, Canon City, Colorado (soccer), Tia Goertzen, Goessel (volleyball), Justin Haflich, Pretty Prairie (cheerleading and football), Kimberley McLaughlin, Fremont, California (soccer), Kelsey Peterson, Allen, Texas (soccer), Trista Rich, Junction City (softball), Rickey Rodriguez, Port St. Lucie, Florida (football), Jaden Schmidt, Moundridge (golf), Ryan Stuchlik, Newton (soccer), and Rachael Terbush, Castle Rock, Colorado (basketball and soccer).

Allshouse also recognized, with “B” letter awards, seniors who had participated in their sport for at least two years (four-year letter winners plus the following): in men’s basketball, Deven Goodwin, Van Buren, Arkansas, Jacob Miller, Westmoreland, Austin Mitchell, Plano, Texas, Kyle Regier, Whitewater, and Chris Robinson, Colorado Springs, Colorado; in women’s basketball, Kim Carbonell, Wichita, Brittany Carter, Sylvia, and Elise Gerlach, Derby; in cheerleading, Julia Campfield, Wray, Colorado; in cross country, Rashé Boynton, Perrine, Florida, and Katelyn Fatten, Riverside, California; in football, Marquis Jackson, Miami, Quoran Lewis, Victorville, California, Rashaka Lucas, Tacoma, Washington, Hunter Long, Portland, Oregon, Mark Martin, Plano, Texas, Jerome Puletapuai, Anchorage, Alaska, James Purvin, Palatine, Illinois, Anthony Romero, Salinas, California, Jalen Sykes, Bakersfield, California, and Kerry Washington, Wichita; in golf, Taylor Hageman, Cheney, Brian Krehbiel, Donnellson, Iowa, Kyle Regier, Whitewater, and Drew Trollope, Kingman; in men’s soccer, David Platt, Medicine Lodge; in women’s soccer, Elise Gerlach, Derby, and Breetta Moe, Ignacio, Colorado; in softball, Kayla Sparkman, Trinity, Alabama; in men’s tennis, Preston Gapter, New Cambria; and in track, Rashé Boynton, Perrine, Florida, Katelyn Fatten, Riverside, California, Tia Goertzen, Goessel, and Bryna Rietcheck, Bavaria.

The May 5 awards convocation included these “special recognitions” in athletics:

? George Rogers Outstanding Athlete of the Year Award (one male, one female) – Rickey Rodriguez, senior from Port St. Lucie, Florida (football) and Kelsey Peterson, senior from Allen, Texas (soccer).

? Douglas A. Penner Champions of Character Scholarships (one male, one female) – Gabe Johnson, sophomore from Abilene, and Lacey Pfannenstiel, senior from Hays.

? Gerry Sieber Service Award – Royce Flaming, maintenance staff.

? Loren and Peggy Reusser Spirit Award scholarships – Karlie Schroeder, sophomore from Buda, Texas, and Tanner Long, junior from Portland, Oregon, along with Baylie Blouin, sophomore from Moundridge (female runner-up) and Kobi Russom, sophomore from Iowa City (male runner-up).

Bethel Interim President John Sheriff concluded the final convocation of the year by noting two faculty promotions: from assistant to associate professor, Bobby Lloyd, business and economics, and Yanxu Liu, accounting. In addition, Rachel Epp Buller, associate professor of visual art and design, Sarah Masem, associate professor of nursing, and Geri Tyrell, director of nursing, were all granted tenure.

Sheriff also named staff and faculty with years of service to Bethel – for 30 years, Karen Garcia, financial aid assistant, and Greta Hiebert, library assistant; for 20 years, Jon Piper, professor of biology; for 15 years, Christine Crouse-Dick, associate professor of communication arts, Larissa Rauch, associate director of admissions, and Michelle Sheriff, custodian; for 10 years, Rosa Barrera, assistant to the president, Candi Jaso, custodian, and Carmen Schmidt, admissions data entry/custodian; and for 5 years, Aaron Austin, vice president for student life, Rachel Epp Buller, associate professor of visual art and design, Marcia Miller, registrar, Darrel Schmidt, custodian, Tony Turini, women’s soccer coach, and Kip Wedel, assistant professor of history and peace studies.

There are also two retirements at the end of this school year: Paul Lewis, professor of psychology, after 29 years at Bethel, and Karen Bauman Schlabaugh, professor of music, after 24 years.

Bethel College is the only private college in Kansas listed in the analysis of top colleges and universities, the Washington Monthly National Universities-Liberal Arts section and the National Liberal Arts College category of U.S. News & World Report, all for 2016'17. The four-year liberal arts college is affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. For more information, see

Bethel College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, creed, age, gender, sexual orientation, parental or marital status, gender identity, gender expression, medical or genetic information, ethnic or national origins, citizenship status, veteran or military status or disability. E-mail questions to

SIDEBAR: 2017 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, as available, to the mentor/s 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, James Pisano, director of jazz studies, and Megan Kershner, director of career services – evaluates student proposals and makes award decisions.

The students awarded URICA Summer Research Grants for 2017, with their faculty mentors, are: Storm Myer, senior from Miltonvale, “Effects on the Community in the Closing of Miltonvale Wesleyan College,” with mentor Kip Wedel, assistant professor of history and peace studies; Jordan Schroeder, senior from Newton, “Proposal to Create an Open Access Journal,” with the URICA Committee as mentors; Neil Smucker, senior from North Newton, “Ni L’Un Ni L’Autre, a Recording Project,” with mentor Jim Pisano, associate professor of music; Cayla Lawless, senior from Burlingame, “The Effects of the Perceived Patient-Physician Relationship on Medication Adherence in a Rural Family Practice,” with mentor Dwight Krehbiel; Leah Friesen, senior from Henderson, Nebraska, “Social-Belonging in College Students,” with mentor Dwight Krehbiel; Austin Regier, senior from Newton, “Examining the Relationship Between Various Social Factors and Religious Viewpoints within Mennonite Churches of Central Kansas,” with mentor Ada Schmidt-Tieszen, professor of social work (also supported by the Mennonite Contributions Contest Endowment); Kylee Schunn, senior from Whitewater, “A Qualitative Study of Intrinsic and Extrinsic Factors in the Healing Process of Survivors of Child Sexual Assault,” with mentor Jennifer Chappell Deckert, assistant professor of social work; and Meredith Stone, senior from Fresno, California, “Influence of Racial and Ethnic Identity on Bethel College Campus through Photovoice,” with mentor Jennifer Chappell Deckert.

The students will do their primary research this summer and make public presentations during the 2017-18 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

Chase Banister, Douglass

Jacob Miller, Westmoreland

? Women’s basketball

Kylee Schunn, Whitewater

? Cross country

Katelyn Fatten, Riverside, California

Kylie Varney, Newton

? Women’s soccer

Elise Gerlach, Derby

Jessica Krestine, Louisburg

Kelsey Peterson, Plano, Texas

Lacey Pfannenstiel, Hays

Rachael Terbush, Castle Rock, Colorado

? Volleyball

Tia Goertzen, Goessel

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

? Cross country

Kendra Samuels, Girard

? Football

Matt Jones, Wichita

Logan Price, Wichita

? Men’s soccer

Chase Charles, Wichita

Lucas DuPriest, Fort Collins, Colorado/Gothenburg, Sweden

Ryan Ford, Canon City, Colorado

Randall Schmidt, Lawrence

Ryan Stuchlik, Newton

? Women’s soccer

Kimberley McLaughlin, Fremont, California

? Volleyball

Taylor Buessing, Topeka

Anna Stucky, Moundridge

Winner of the NAIA A.O. Duer Scholarship award (given to one male and one female athlete annually, nationwide)

Lucas DuPriest, Fort Collins, Colorado/Gothenburg, Sweden

NAIA All-American 1st Team

Rickey Rodriguez, Port St. Lucie, Florida


? Men’s basketball

Chris Robinson, Colorado Springs, Colorado (All-Defensive Team)

Deven Goodwin, Van Buren, Arkansas (3rd Team)

? Cheerleading

Kendra Gonzales, Minneapolis (All-Star)

Justin Haflich, Pretty Prairie (All-Star)

Michaela Stevens, Choctaw, Oklahoma (All-Star)

Blayne Stump, Crook, Colorado (All-Star)

? Football

Jariah Booker, Oroville, California (1st Team)

Rickey Rodriguez, Port St. Lucie, Florida (1st Team)

Jalen Sykes, Bakersfield, California (1st Team)

Henry Baxter, Dothan, Alabama (2nd Team)

Michael Bell, Wichita (2nd Team)

Marquis Jackson, Miami (2nd Team)

Jordan Bell, Wichita (Honorable Mention)

Carlos Dickerson, Gary, Indiana (Honorable Mention)

Gary Jolivet, Arlington, Texas (Honorable Mention)

James Purvin, Palatine, Illinois (Honorable Mention)

Miles Steed, La Mesa, California (Honorable Mention)

Kyle Wilson, California City, California (Honorable Mention)

Joseph Winfield, Edmond, Oklahoma (Honorable Mention)

? Golf

Brian Krehbiel, Donnellson, Iowa

? Men’s soccer

Arnold Iya, Irving, Texas (Honorable Mention)

Kobi Russom, Iowa City (Honorable Mention)

? Women’s soccer

Kimberley McLaughlin, Fremont, California (Honorable Mention)

? Softball

Trista Rich, Junction City (Honorable Mention)

Rylie Scudder, Little Elm, Texas (Honorable Mention)

? Women’s tennis

Kimberly Buzbee, Topeka (Honorable Mention)

? Volleyball

Katie Neira, San Antonio, Texas (Honorable Mention)

SIDEBAR: 85th Student Government Association

Executive branch

Kiley Varney, Newton, student body president

Alec Loganbill, Hesston, student body vice president

Cayla Lawless, Burlingame, chief of staff

Nicholas Preheim, Peabody, secretary of student activities

Jalal Gondal, Noble, Oklahoma, secretary of diversity affairs

Kate Jolliff, Newton, secretary of public relations

Legislative branch

Heath Goertzen, Goessel, speaker of the senate (junior senator)

Westen Gesell, Winnipeg, Manitoba, senior senator

Ciara Mckinney, Moore, Oklahoma, senior senator

Austin Regier, Newton, senior senator

Miguel Ballesteros, San Diego, junior senator

Rebecca Schrag, Newton, junior senator

Ryan LaCombe, Abilene, sophomore senator

Kaycee McClelland, Newton, sophomore senator

Sarah Turner, North Newton, sophomore senator

[three freshman senators to be named in fall 2017]

Naomi Epp, North Newton, commuter senator

Alex Haas, Topeka, at-large senator

Bethany Montoya, Wilmer, Texas, at-large senator

Elizabeth Ratzlaff, Moundridge, at-large senator

Judicial branch

Cassie Voth, Littleton, Colorado, chief justice

Kimberly Buzbee, Topeka, associate justice

Nathan Gamache, Halstead, 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.