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Young Alumnus Award winner to speak in March 9 convocation

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – Susan Loepp, Williams, Mass., will be on campus Friday, March 9, to receive the 2007 Young Alumnus Award from the Bethel College Alumni Association.

Loepp will deliver a special convocation presentation that morning at 11 a.m. in Krehbiel Auditorium of the Fine Arts Center. Her topic is encryption and protecting personal information.

Loepp, a 1989 summa cum laude graduate of Bethel College with a B.A. in mathematics and a B.S. in physics, is an associate professor of mathematics at Williams College, where she has been since 1996. In 2001, she received the Faculty of the Year award from the Williams student body. She earned her Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Texas at Austin in 1994 and was a visiting professor at the University of Nebraska, 1994-96.

In 2006, Loepp published her first book, a collaborative effort with fellow Williams College professor William Wootters, a physicist. Protecting Information: From Classical Error Correction to Quantum Cryptography (Cambridge University Press) is intended as a text for undergraduate students as well as an introduction to mathematical strategies used to ensure faithful transmission of information. The book begins with a brief history of secret codes and goes on to explain important present-day code systems as well as futuristic schemes based on the laws of quantum physics.

“Susan’s convocation presentation should be interesting and fun,” said Dave Linscheid, director of Alumni Relations. “I’ve seen the PowerPoint slides that Susan has prepared to make her topic accessible to everyone. The presentation includes lots of visuals to explain her topic, plus some things about Bethel.”

Convocation is open to the public and usually includes a time for questions from the audience at the end of the presentation.

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

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