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Threshers through and through

Threshing stone

Four seniors -- Matt Lind, Westen Gesell, Kylee Schunn and Austin Regier -- received 2018 Thresher Awards, the institution’s highest recognition for academic achievement.

William Eash, professor of music, and James Pisano, director of jazz studies, presented Thresher Awards in music to Matthew Lind, Newton, and Westen Gesell, Winnipeg, Manitoba.

In his citation, Eash noted Lind’s senior saxophone recital, which one audience member described afterward as being of “major conservatory graduate [quality],” as well as Lind’s “crossing of academic disciplines” as a “highly regarded” mathematics major.

Pisano also pointed out Gesell’s musical accomplishments while praising him for his “involvement with many campus organizations [such as Student Government Association] outside his disciplines.”

Jennifer Chappell Deckert, assistant professor of social work, presented a Thresher Award to Kylee Schunn, Whitewater.

“Kylee is an exceptional student, who eagerly asks questions, respectfully challenges her instructors and fellow classmates, and volunteers for difficult tasks with passion and persistence,” Chappell Deckert said, noting that Schunn carried that passion into whatever she did at Bethel, whether basketball (as a four-year letter winner), music or social work field placements. 

Ada Schmidt-Tieszen, professor of social work, and Patricia Shelly, professor of Bible and religion, were joint presenters of a Thresher Award to Austin Regier, Newton.

Reading the citation for Regier, Schmidt-Tieszen said faculty “consistently comment on his diligence and consistent work ethic, his strong grasp of difficult concepts, his ability to work with a wide variety of student colleagues, his humility and [his] good humor,” and called Regier “not only a fine scholar but a skilled social work practitioner.”

The four students will graduate from Bethel this May – Lind with a double major in music and math, Gesell with a double major in music and biology, Schunn with a degree in social work and Regier with a double major in social work and Bible and religion.

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.