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Social work department, museum to collaborate for continuing ed workshop

April 16th, 2018

NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – Thanks to a Bethel College “Entrepreneurial Grant,” Kauffman Museum and the college’s Department of Social Work are collaborating on a special workshop.

“We are excited to announce an innovative and collaborative continuing education opportunity for social workers, educators or others who work to support families who have been touched by immigration,” said Jennifer Chappell Deckert, assistant professor of social work.

The workshop, titled “The Things We Carry: An Ethics Workshop on Immigration, Social Work and Museums,” is April 30 from 8 a.m.-12:30 p.m., and provides 4.5 hours of continuing education credits in ethics for social workers.

“This workshop will give an opportunity to learn more about creative strategies and ethical considerations when working with people who have ‘lived experience’ with migration,” Chappell Deckert continued. “You will use museum artifacts and stories of immigrants in Kansas history to understand and consider current immigration stories and issues.”

The internal Entrepreneurial Grant was awarded in 2016, based on Kauffman Museum and the Department of Social Work’s proposal to collaborate on continuing education workshops for social work professionals.

The initial workshop on April 30 will draw on the artifacts and experiences of immigrants profiled in the museum’s permanent collection to help “empower social work professionals to assist current immigrants as they confront new geographical and cultural environments.”

While most continuing education experiences “are offered via traditional lecture format or online,” the proposal presents collaborative workshops that “employ active, experiential learning in a unique setting.”

If this workshop proves successful, the hope is that “it could serve as a model for continuing education programs in other academic disciplines (in particular [teacher] education), and for collaborations with other affiliate organizations.”

The workshop presenters are Ada Schmidt-Tieszen, Bethel professor of social work, Chappell Deckert and Linda Schmitt, Kauffman Museum interim director. The museum’s curator of education, Andi Schmidt Andres, is also on the logistics team, and former museum employees Annette LeZotte and Pamela Pancake were a part of the original planning committee.

The workshop concludes with a lunch – included in the $60 registration fee – featuring guests and foods from different immigrant groups.

There is no registration deadline, but space is limited to 20 participants.

You can complete a registration form with payment at Kauffman Museum, at the corner of Main and 27th Streets in North Newton, during museum hours, do a credit card registration by calling 316-283-1612 during museum hours, or register online at

Kauffman Museum is open Tues.-Fri., 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Sat. and Sun. 1:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m., closed Mondays and most major holidays. Admission to the permanent exhibits, “Of Land and People,” “Mirror of the Martyrs” and “Mennonite Immigrant Furniture,” is $4 for adults, $2 for children ages 6-16, and free to Kauffman Museum members and children under 6. The museum store is open the same hours as the museum but there is no admission charge for just visiting the store.

For more information, call the museum at 316-283-1612 or visit its website,, or Facebook page.

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.