NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – Bethel College will welcome one of its distinguished alumnae – who also happens to be the parent of a 2012 graduate – as the commencement speaker May 20.
Susan Schultz Huxman began serving July 1, 2011, as the seventh president of Conrad Grebel University College, Waterloo, Ontario. She will deliver the address, which she has titled "Hidden in Plain Sight," to Bethel’s class of 2012, which includes her daughter, Julia Huxman, and her daughter’s fiancé, Trey Ronnebaum of Wichita.
Before taking the Grebel appointment, Huxman served seven years as director of the Elliott School of Communication at Wichita State University.
She is a 1982 graduate of Bethel with a B.A. in English, but spent many years before that on the Bethel campus, growing up as the oldest of three children of Harold J. and Carolyn Schultz. Harold Schultz was president of Bethel College for 20 years, from 1971-91.
Huxman’s M.A. and Ph.D. are from the University of Kansas in communication studies. Her dissertation, “In the world but not of it: Mennonite rhetoric in World War I as an enactment of paradox,” has inspired several publications including a book in progress, Landmark Speeches in U.S. Pacifism.
After beginning her academic career in 1990 at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C., Huxman went on to hold various administrative roles at WSU, balancing these responsibilities with her passion for teaching. During her tenure at WSU, she also served on the board of directors of Mennonite Education Agency of Mennonite Church USA; the executive board of Western District Conference of MC USA; and the board of education for her congregation, Lorraine Avenue Mennonite Church in Wichita.
Huxman has won numerous awards and other recognition for her teaching while at WSU. An active scholar in the field of rhetoric, media literacy and corporate communication, she has published two dozen scholarly articles and book chapters and is co-author, with Karlyn Kohrs Campbell, of The Rhetorical Act: Thinking, Speaking and Writing Critically, 4th ed. (2009).
She has served her profession in a variety of ways, including as a member of the executive committee of the Public Address Division of the National Communication Association; as a fellow in the Journalism Leadership Institute sponsored by the Association of Schools of Journalism and Mass Communication; and by holding posts in various other national academic organizations and local and state communication and press associations.
Huxman is married to Jesse Huxman, a 1980 Bethel graduate who, before moving to Canada, was director of content for KPTS-TV 8, a PBS affiliate in Wichita. He is now communication strategist for Mennonite Foundation of Canada. The Huxmans are the parents of, in addition to Julia, Emily and Connor, who attend Rockway Mennonite Collegiate in Kitchener.