NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – Math was the dominant discipline for this year’s Thresher Awards at Bethel College. Threshers are given each year to seniors who have made an outstanding contribution to their academic fields. This year, three math majors and a social worker received Threshers at the honors convocation on May 12.
The 2006 Thresher Award recipients were Margaret Penner, West Chester, Ohio, for physics (with math and German as supporting departments); Joel Krehbiel, Moundridge, for math (with physics as a supporting department); Eunice Voth, Newton, for math (with education as a supporting department); and Rachel Voth Schrag, Elkhart, Ind., for social work.
Don Lemons, professor of physics, recognized Penner, who will graduate on May 21 with a triple major in physics, math and German, for her senior seminar entitled “Sola Regula Secunda: A logical approach to the Second Law of Thermodynamics.” In presenting the Thresher Award, Lemons commended Penner for “making deductions from the Second Law of Thermodynamics without presupposing the truth of the first one.”
Richard Rempel, professor of mathematics, presented the Thresher to Joel Krehbiel, a math and physics double major, for his seminar “Possibilities for digital image correlation on biological materials.” Rempel reported that Krehbiel did much of his seminar research during a research program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign last summer, and that his supervisors there were so impressed with Krehbiel that he has been offered a graduate fellowship at Illinois for next year.
Eunice Voth received a Thresher for her study entitled “Fair Division: An exploration of utility functions with player thresholds.” Voth will use her math and secondary education double major to teach at Newton High School next school year. According to Christopher Earles, assistant professor of mathematics, who presented Voth with her award, “the next generation of students will be better for it.”
Finally, Ada Schmidt-Tieszen, professor of social work, presented Rachel Voth Schrag in absentia with an award for her year-long study “Personal perceptions and role conflicts in cases of domestic violence: A study of social workers and lawyers in Oklahoma and Kansas.” Schmidt-Tieszen said that Voth Schrag hopes to combine social work and law in the future.
Another highlight of the annual awards convocation is recognition of a faculty or staff member nominated by one or more students to receive the J. O. and Esther Schrag Helping Hand Award. The Schrags, of North Newton, are both 1938 graduates of Bethel College.
The 2006 winner was instructor of music Stephen Jones, director of the jazz bands, nominated by three members of Jazz Ensemble I, sophomores Brett Jackson and Joel Linscheid and junior Aaron Linscheid. Jones will leave Bethel this summer to pursue graduate studies at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign.
Another outstanding math student was recognized with the Gerald Schrag Award in Mathematical Sciences, given to Peter Goerzen, junior from Goessel, while Jennifer Regier, Newton, received the CRC Press Freshman Chemistry Achievement Award.
The Dorothy Wedel Kaufman Honor Scholarship in English, given to support and encourage the pursuit of excellence in English, went to junior Adam Gaeddert, Hutchinson, and sophomore Megan Klaassen, Whitewater. The English department also recognized the top three Critical Writing papers, written by freshmen Jennifer Regier, Newton, first place, Allison Boehm, Prairie Village, second place, and Max Wedel, Tucson, Ariz., third place. The 2006-07 Writing Fellowship Award for the position as writing consultant in the Center for Academic Development went to Heidi Johnson, junior from Topeka.
One outstanding language student from each year received a Goethe Institute German Language Award. Merle Schlabaugh, professor of German, presented the awards to Grant Hiebner, Hampton, Neb. (freshman), Miriam Friesen, Paoli, Ind. (sophomore), Braden Hiebner, Hampton, Neb. (junior) and Margaret Penner, West Chester, Ohio (senior).
Six students received the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics All-American Scholar Athlete Award: juniors Kent Peters (basketball), Hillsboro, Emily Rothlisberger (basketball), Leonardville, Ricky Snyder (basketball), South Hutchinson, and Bethany Trimble (volleyball), Clyde; and seniors Jimmy Charles (basketball), Clearwater, and Stephanie Thimm (volleyball), Beatrice, Neb.
A number of Bethel College athletes received the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference Academic All-Conference Awards. They were: sophomores Jeff Buller (football; track and field), Inman, Tyler Doerksen (tennis), Prescott Valley, Ariz., Megan Klaassen (track and field), Whitewater, Bill Pruett (football), Holton, Dana Rathbun (basketball), Bennington, and Jordon Regehr (basketball; track and field), Halstead; juniors Jodi Enz (tennis), Newton, Wes Haines (football), Haven, Braden Hiebner (soccer), Hampton, Neb., Andrea Mendel (soccer), Enid, Okla., Robin Montano (soccer), Newton, Meghan Reha (soccer), Tiskilwa, Ill., Mark Saner (tennis), Goshen, Ind., Tyler Stutzman (golf), Hutchinson, Jacy Suttlemyre (basketball), Draper, Utah, Bethany Trimble (volleyball), Clyde, and Jessica Yocum (soccer), Sedgwick; and seniors Anna Bucklin (track and field), Mountain Lake, Minn., Jessica Garner (soccer), Wichita, Annie Graber (volleyball), Moundridge, and Paula Regier (soccer), Beatrice, Neb.
Vice President for Student Life Donna Becker announced the 2006 senior inductees into the Sigma Theta Tau honors nursing society, including Patricia Agoitia, Maize; Anna Bucklin, Mountain Lake, Minn.; Doña Carriker, Colby; Lori Pappan, Wichita; Danielle Phillips, Herington; Rhiannon Schrag, Halstead; Allison Simon, Derby; Angela Steinkirchner, Valley Center; Sheila Watson, Wichita; Shelly Wedel, North Newton; and Cavan Winn, North Newton.
In the natural and social sciences, the recipients of the 2006 Summer Undergraduate Research Awards were announced: Aislinn Conrad, Goessel, in social work; Adam Gaeddert, Hutchinson, and Zachary Gingrich-Gaylord, Newton, in English; Ross Lehman, Bluffton, Ohio, in physics; Joel Linscheid, North Newton, in music; Bethany Trimble, Clyde, in psychology; and Robert Weaver, Wichita, in history. In addition, three students were recognized for their participation in the National Conference on Undergraduate Research in Richmond, Va.: juniors Tyler Huntley, Newton, Jeff Janzen, Fresno, Calif., and Emma Lewis, Newton.
One of the oldest research awards offered by Bethel, the Mennonite Contributions Contest Award, went to Braden Hiebner, junior from Hampton, Neb.
Gary Flory of the Kansas Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (KIPCOR) at Bethel College recognized the Bethel winners of the C. Henry Smith Peace Oratorical Contest, open to students from all Mennonite colleges in North America. Heidi Holliday, senior from Andover, placed first, Miriam Friesen, sophomore from Paoli, Ind., second, and Adam Gaeddert, junior from Hutchinson, third.
The bi-weekly Bethel Collegian received honorable mention from the Kansas Associated Collegiate Press in the overall Four-Year Private College Newspaper category. Additionally, the KCAP recognized four individual contributors: junior Aaron Linscheid, North Newton, honorable mention for feature photography; sophomore Jonathan Nathan, McPherson, third place for column writing; senior Eunice Voth, Newton, honorable mention for interior page design; and junior Meghan Reha, Tiskilwa, Ill., third place for review writing.
Lindsey Miller, senior from Haven, received the level of “Highest Distinction” in Pi Kappa Delta, the honor society for intercollegiate forensics and debate.
The Ray and Betty Funk Prize for Entrepreneurship went to juniors Nicholas Alexander, Meade, and Tobias Ruhle, Wuppertal, Germany, and sophomore Andrea Nickel, Windsor, Colo.
Karen Schlabaugh, professor of music, presented the Walter and Elsbeth Hohmann Music Award to Daniel Graber, sophomore from Marion, S.D., for keyboard study and performance.
At the close of the convocation, Brad Born, acting academic dean, noted one faculty promotion: Mark Jantzen was granted tenure and promoted to associate professor of history. Born also gave special recognition to Kathryn Kasper, associate professor of music, who retires at the end of this school year and will spend the next six months teaching in Paraguay with a Fulbright grant.
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 has been named a Top Tier college by U.S. News & World Report every year since 1998. For more information, see the Bethel web site at www.bethelks.edu.