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Bethel College celebrates achievement and excellence at annual Awards Convocation

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. -- By tradition, the last convocation of the academic year at Bethel College celebrates student academic achievement. The awards convocation, held this year on May 13, also recognizes a faculty or staff member nominated by students to receive the John O. and Esther Schrag Helping Hand Award. The 2005 winner was admissions counselor Megan Goering, Moundridge.

One of the most highly anticipated awards is the Thresher Award, given to graduating seniors for academic excellence. Recipients of Thresher Awards this year were Bethany Amstutz, Hillsboro, for theater; Julie Miller, Inman, for art; Jesse Nathan, McPherson, for Bible and religion and history; and David Stucky, Moundridge, for restorative community justice and business and economics.

The Gerald Schrag Award in Mathematical Sciences went to Joel Krehbiel, junior from Moundridge, and Eunice Voth, junior from Newton.

The Dorothy Wedel Kaufman Honor Scholarship in English, given to support and encourage the pursuit of excellence in English, went to sophomore Adam Gaeddert, Hutchinson, and junior Hannah Klaassen, Whitewater. Also, the English department recognized the top three Critical Writing papers, written by freshmen Mark Abrahams, Newton, and Athena Erickson, Shawnee Mission, and sophomore Adam Gaeddert, Hutchinson.

One outstanding language student from each year received a Goethe Institute German Language Award--Timothy Haynes, Lawrence, for the freshman class; Aaron Linscheid, North Newton, sophomore; Jimmy Charles, Clearwater, junior; and Michael McKitrick, Albuquerque, N.M., senior.

The Freie Universität Berlin North American Freshman Scholarship went to Miriam Friesen, Paoli, Ind. The scholarship will enable Friesen to spend a month studying in Berlin this summer.

Eight students were honored for receiving the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics All-American Scholar Athlete Award. They were: seniors Kris Hiebner (soccer), Hampton, Neb.; Tony Hoops (basketball), Byron, Neb.; Ryan Lohfink (basketball), Holcomb; Sally Nietfeld (soccer and basketball), Home; Joseph Penner (soccer), Reedley, Calif.; Lauren Symmonds (soccer), Emporia; and Lance Tally (basketball), Madison; and junior Jessica Garner (soccer), Wichita.

A number of other Bethel College athletes received the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference Academic All-Conference Awards. They were: sophomores Jodi Enz (tennis), Newton; Adam Gaeddert (tennis), Hutchinson; Sarah Regier (basketball), Goessel; Megan Reha (soccer), Tiskilwa, Ill.; Emily Rothlisberger (basketball), Leonardville; Kent Peters (basketball), Hillsboro; Cydney Taft (soccer, track and field), Show Low, Ariz.; and Bethany Trimble (volleyball, basketball), Clyde; juniors Anna Bucklin (track and field), Mountain Lake, Minn.; Jimmy Charles (basketball), Clearwater; Jessica Garner (soccer), Wichita; Hannah Klaassen (volleyball), Whitewater; Johann Reimer (tennis), Reedley, Calif.; Paula Regier (soccer, track and field), Beatrice, Neb.; and Stephanie Thimm (volleyball), Beatrice, Neb.; and seniors Russell Adrian (cross country, track and field), Butterfield, Minn.; Bethany Amstutz (soccer), Hillsboro; Kara Bartell (volleyball), Halstead; Kris Hiebner (soccer), Hampton, Neb.; Tony Hoops (basketball), Byron, Neb.; Ryan Lohfink (basketball), Holcomb; Sally Nietfeld (soccer, basketball), Home; Joseph Penner (soccer), Reedley, Calif.; Lauren Symmonds (soccer), Emporia; and Lance Tally (basketball), Madison.

Vice President for Student Development Donna Becker presented senior Russell Adrian, Butterfield, Minn., with the Resident Assistant of the Year Award.

The local winners of the C. Henry Smith Peace Oratorical Contest were announced at the awards convocation: Jesse Nathan, senior from McPherson, first place; Heidi Holliday, junior from Andover, second place; and Joseph Penner, senior from Reedley, Calif., third place.

Eric Stucky, senior from Galva, received the level of "Highest Distinction" in Pi Kappa Delta, the honor society for intercollegiate forensics and debate.

In the natural and social sciences, the recipients of the 2005 Summer Undergraduate Research Awards were announced. They are: Rachel Voth, Topeka, in social work; Jennifer Clark, Durham, and Jeff Janzen, Fresno, Calif., in psychology; Heidi Holliday, Andover, in social sciences (global peace and justice studies); and Karrie Peterson, Pella, Iowa, and Jonathan Root, Topeka, in history. In addition, Michael Unruh, Peabody, received the CRC Press Freshman Chemistry Achievement Award.

Bethel College is a four-year liberal arts college affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. Founded in 1887, it is the oldest Mennonite college in North America. Bethel is known for its academic excellence and in 2004 was named a Top Tier college by U.S. News & World Report for the 7th straight year. For more information, see the Bethel web site at

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