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Austin named new VP for student life

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – Bethel College President Perry D. White has announced the appointment of Aaron L. Austin as vice president for student life.

Austin will begin in the position June 11. Weldon Martens is currently serving as interim vice president for student life.

“We are excited about the energy, experience and enthusiasm Aaron brings with him,” White said, “as well as the vision he has for the future of the Office of Student Life on the Bethel College campus.”

Austin comes to Bethel from Texas Tech University, Lubbock, where he has served as assistant director of residence life for university student housing since July 2010.

He is a 1997 graduate of Kansas State University with a bachelor’s degree in music education (minor in American ethnic studies) and a 2002 graduate of Arizona State University, where he earned a master’s degree in education (higher and postsecondary education).

Austin has previously served as senior admissions representative and coordinator of multicultural recruitment at K-State (1997-2000); graduate hall director (2000-02) and residence hall coordinator (2002-04) at ASU’s main campus in Tempe; vice president of operations for California Capital & Investment Groups, San Diego (2005-08); and assistant resident dean at Revelle College, University of California-San Diego (2008-10).

As Bethel’s vice president for student life, Austin will coordinate many of the services Bethel provides to students, focusing on aspects of student involvement, student development and well-being, and student satisfaction. Food service, campus housing, spiritual life and career services, among others, fall under the Office of Student Life auspices.

“My fiancée Carey and I have been overwhelmed by the support we have received and are really looking forward to joining the Bethel College community,” Austin said. “During my visit to campus, it was evident students, faculty and staff are excited to be at Bethel and for what the future holds.

“I hope to continue the work of those before me by furthering the development of a caring and responsive network of support for current students and providing them with the best undergraduate experience possible. Additionally, I want to work within and beyond Student Life to prepare Bethel College for the next generation of Threshers.”

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

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