Subscribe to RSS

STEM Symposium 2011 to honor mathematics, Rempel

1200px 650px

NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – The STEM Symposium at Bethel College has become a Fall Festival tradition. This year, it honors mathematics and a mathematician, Professor Emeritus Richard Rempel.

Rempel, of North Newton, is a newly minted Kansas Master Naturalist, the caretaker of Sand Creek Trail and an avid gardener – not to mention a close, personal friend of elusive campus prankster Herman Bubbert – in addition to being devoted to his discipline, which he taught at Bethel for more than 40 years. He retired in 2007 although he has continued to teach an occasional class at Bethel.

The STEM (Science, Technology, pre-Engineering and Mathematics) Symposium begins Friday, Oct. 7, at 1 p.m. in Krehbiel Auditorium in the Fine Arts Center and continues through Saturday morning’s keynote address in the Administration Building chapel, which is will be followed by a reception for all STEM alumni and students (STEM covers biology, chemistry, computer science, mathematics, natural sciences, physics and psychology at Bethel).

Three of Rempel’s former students will be the featured STEM speakers this year. Gary Goertz, a 1976 graduate, will speak at 1 p.m. on “Doing social science with mathematical logic.” He is professor of political science at the University of Arizona, Tucson.

Christine Jantz, a 1978 graduate, will give the second presentation, at 2 p.m. She is chief investment officer and portfolio manager for Jantz Morgan LLC in Boston, and will present “Simulation of investment strategies with volatility: How much will you need to retire?”

Following the two lectures, at 3 p.m., Goertz and Jantz, along with keynote speaker Garth Isaak, will participate in a panel discussion on mathematics career paths, with Lisa Thimm, Bethel assistant professor of mathematics, as moderator.

The lectures and panel take place in Krehbiel Auditorium. At 3:45 p.m., there is a reception in the Fine Arts Center Gallery area, outside the auditorium.

Isaak will deliver the symposium’s keynote address Saturday morning, Oct. 8, in the chapel. A 1984 Bethel graduate, Isaak is professor of mathematics at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa., and his topic is “Mathematics and round robin tournaments.”

All STEM Symposium events are free and open to the public, except the Friday evening dinner, which required advance reservations.

Garth Isaak graduated from Bethel College summa cum laude with majors in mathematical science, chemistry and physics. Following graduation, he taught math at both Bethel and Hesston College for a year. He earned an interdisciplinary Ph.D. in 1990 from Rutgers Center for Operations Research at Rutgers University. After teaching for two years at Dartmouth College, Isaak took a position at Lehigh University in 1992, where he has been ever since, with his area of teaching and research concentration being discrete mathematics.

Gary Goertz graduated from Bethel College with majors in mathematical science and peace studies. After studying for a year at the Institute for the Formation of Cadres for Development in Brussels, he earned an M.S. in mathematical statistics from the University of Iowa. Following another year of study abroad, at the Graduate Institute for International Relations in Geneva, he went to the University of Michigan, where he earned his Ph.D. in political science.

Goertz held teaching positions at the University of Geneva, the University of Florida and the University of Toronto before going to the University of Arizona in 1999, where he is a member of the Department of Political Science. He is the author or co-author of seven books and more than 40 articles on issues of international politics, methodology and conflict studies. His current interests include conflict management and conflict resolution, and the theory of international institutions and norms.

Christine Jantz graduated from Bethel College with a degree in mathematical science and earned a master’s degree in statistics from the University of Iowa and an M.B.A. from the Sloan School of Management at MIT. She first worked in an operations research group at a paper company before moving to Boston to join a small telecommunications start-up. In 1985, she became a consultant statistician in the operations research group at Arthur D. Little, three years later moving on to ADL client Sears as director of catalog statistical analysis, then a position as an assistant vice president for quantitative equity research at Putnam Investments. She went from there to Grantham, Mayo, Van Otterloo & Co. as a member of the global portfolio management team for quantitative funds. She and Sean Morgan founded Jantz Morgan LLC in 2002, on the premise that superior quantitative models will significantly outperform human experts over the long term.

For more information about the STEM Symposium, contact Lisa Thimm, coordinator of this year's event, at 316-284-5294.

For a complete Fall Festival schedule, go to, where you can view and print a festival program.

Bethel College is the only private, liberal arts college in Kansas listed in the 2011-12 analysis of top colleges and universities in the United States and is the highest-ranked Kansas college in the Washington Monthly annual college guide for 2011-12. The four-year liberal arts college is affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. For more information, see

Back to News