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BCWA-sponsored lecture will “awaken the biologist within”

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – For the seventh annual Bethel College Women’s Association (BCWA) Faculty Public Lecture, Francisca Méndez-Harclerode, Bethel College assistant professor of biology, will speak on “Biology – A Lifelong Love Affair.”

The free lecture is at 7 p.m. Thursday, June 3, in Krehbiel Auditorium of the Fine Arts Center on the Bethel campus, with refreshments at 6:15 outside the auditorium. The public is cordially invited.

“The aim of this lecture is to awaken the biologist every human has within,” said Méndez-Harclerode. “I will describe my personal, lifelong love affair with biology and the journey that took me to specialize in population genetics. I will also outline current population genetics projects that several of our students have undertaken and my hopes for future research.”

Méndez-Harclerode has a B.S. from East Texas University and earned her M.S. from Central Missouri State University and Ph.D. from Texas Tech University. She has taught at Bethel since 2008.

“I find Dr. Méndez-Harclerode to be engaging, enthusiastic and passionate about her field,” said Donna Becker, BCWA president, “eager to engage with others in discovery and learning. Her presentation will be not only educational but fun and inspiring. The audience is in for a special experience.”

The date of BCWA’s Faculty Lecture is also that of its annual meeting, held immediately before the lecture. This year, the organization is observing its 75th anniversary and there is a special gathering at 5:30 p.m. to which former BCWA Council members are invited for a short program. Becker will give a brief history of BCWA, followed by a time of reminiscing and reflecting.

For more information about the annual meeting or the Faculty Lecture, contact Becker at 316-283-5437.

The BCWA Faculty Public Lecture award is open to any Bethel College professor and carries with it a $1,000 stipend, with $200 going to the faculty member and the remainder to his/her department to be used at that department’s discretion. Last year’s winner was Allison McFarland, professor of business and economics.

Bethel College is a four-year liberal arts college affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. Bethel is known for its academic excellence and was the only Kansas private college to be ranked in Forbes.com’s listing of “America’s Best Colleges” for 2009 and one of only two Kansas colleges profiled in Colleges of Distinction 2009-10. For more information, see the Bethel Web site at www.bethelks.edu.

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