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Awards convocations recognize achievement in academics, athletics, service

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – By newly established tradition (beginning last year), the final two Bethel convocations of the school year, held April 29 and May 3 this year, focused on excellence in both athletics and academics.

Kent Allshouse, athletic director, opened the April 29 convocation by pointing out that a liberal arts education, which Bethel prides itself on providing, produces students who strive for excellence in the classroom and on the field or court.

Dale Schrag, campus pastor, presented the Seth Dunn Memorial Award that Dunn’s family established following his death from a longboarding accident Aug. 1, 2011, right before his senior year at Bethel.

Schrag noted that the award stipulates “primary consideration … be given to a senior who identifies areas of needed change on campus, challenges others and takes action that makes a difference in accordance with the stated ideals and values of the Bethel community.”

He presented the award to Creigh Bartel, senior from Newton.

Other special awards were:

● David H. Richert Distinguished Scholar award to Rachel Epp Buller, assistant professor of art

● Gerald Schrag Award for mathematics to Megan Leary, senior from North Newton

● 2013 Undergraduate Research, Internships and Creative Activity (URICA) Awards to Brooke Banning in biology, Nicole Eitzen and Rebecca Epp in literary studies, Rachel Evans and Wesley Goodrich in natural sciences, Megan Leary and Austin Unruh in math and computer science, Emily Luedtke in art history and Jocelyn Wilkinson in communication arts (see sidebar)

● C. Henry Smith Peace Oratorical Contest awards to Arthur Kauffman, senior from Burgettstown, Pa., first place for “Beyond Speaking Truth to Power: New Possibilities in Enacting Social Change”; Aaron Rudeen, senior from Osage City, second place for “Engagement”; and Renee Reimer, senior from Sioux Falls, S.D., third place for “The Sacredness of Humanity”

● Writing Fellowship award to Rebecca Epp, junior from North Newton

Nancy Lugo-Baez, assistant professor of nursing, introduced the Sigma Theta Tau nursing honor society inductees, senior nursing students Mariah Hostetler, Dodge City, Ana Jimenez, Wichita, Susan Morris, North Newton, Beth Piper, North Newton, Virginia Pyle, Park City, Misty Randolph,  Newton, Anju Shrestha, Wichita, and Payton Walker, Sharon Springs. Morris also received the Iota Chi Excellence in Nursing Scholarship Award for having the highest grade point average in the senior nursing class.

The athletics department presented Bethel watches to four-year letter winners: Aaron “AJ” Benton, San Antonio, Texas, and John Watson III, North Newton, for basketball; Emily Gundy, Halstead, Mariah Hostetler, Dodge City, and Kyle Kroeker, Hutchinson, for cross country; Ben Suchsland, Agra, for football; Abram Rodenberg, Halstead, for golf; Lizzie Shelly, Lenexa, for soccer; Patrick Loganbill, Wichita, Shayne Runnion, Phillipsburg, and Miranda Weaver, Hesston, for tennis; and Whitney Steingard, Henderson, Neb., for volleyball.

Allshouse also named “B” Letter Award winners for those who have been in their sports two or more years (see sidebar).

The April 29 awards convocation concluded with “special recognitions”:

● Student “ambassador of the year” for Admissions – Leland Brown, sophomore from Galveston, Texas

● The George Rogers Outstanding Athlete of the Year Award – Ben Suchsland and Miranda Weaver

● The 2013 Douglas A. Penner Champions of Character Scholarship – Edward Davila, senior from San Antonio, Texas

● The Gerry Sieber Service Award – Austin Unruh, senior from Goessel

At the May 3 awards convocation, athletic training faculty recognized Kansas Athletic Trainers Society (KATS) honors for 2013: 1st Team: Emily Gundy, Steph Shogren, senior from Hesston, Whitney Steingard and Jacob Stucky, senior from Moundridge; and Honorable Mention:  Mariah Ekhart, sophomore from Wamego, B.J. Heffernan, senior from Lakewood, Colo., Jeremiah Howington, senior from Paris, Texas, Sadie Minkevitch, senior from Newton, Taylor Morris, junior from Buhler, Serenity Seiler, junior from Hanston, and Tanner Steingard, sophomore from Henderson, Neb.

Both academic and athletic awards from the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference and National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics were announced (see sidebar for list).

Other awards and special recognitions were:

● J. Lloyd Spaulding Award for Economics and Business to Natasha Orpin, senior from Canton

● Ray and Betty Funk Award for Entrepreneurship to Casey Schunn, senior from Whitewater

● Dorothy Wedel Kaufman Honor Scholarships for literary studies to Nicole Eitzen, Arthur Kauffman, Martin Olson, senior from Denver, and Marike Stucky, senior from Moundridge

● John O. and Esther Schrag Helping Hand Award to Tim Shade, assistant professor of music, who was nominated by Shianne Defreese, sophomore from Goessel, and Rebecca Trumble, senior from Newton

● Resident Assistant of the Year award to Wesley Goodrich, RA in Haury Hall

● KCAC and NAIA academic awards (see sidebar for list)

There were also two Thresher Awards given to seniors being honored for making an “outstanding contribution in their academic field.”

The 2013 Thresher Awards went to

● Joel Boettger, Hesston, in music, presented by James Pisano, associate professor of music

● Jordan Ortman, Marion, S.D., in music, presented by Karen Bauman Schlabaugh, professor of music

Bethel President Perry D. White concluded the final convocation of the year by noting staff promotions: Francisca Méndez-Harclerode, biology, and Doug Siemens, education, from assistant to associate professor.

He also recognized two faculty members who have been at Bethel for 35 years – Diane Flickner, associate professor of health and physical education, and Dwight Krehbiel, professor of psychology – and faculty or staff members at the college for 25 years – Russ Graber, associate professor of health and physical education, Marla Krell, director of experiential learning and career services, Paul Lewis, professor of psychology and professor of philosophy, and Kay Schmidt, associate registrar.

Finally, White gave a tribute to and led a standing ovation for Flickner, who is retiring this year after a career at Bethel that included 11 years as head volleyball coach and 21 years as athletic director, in addition to her teaching responsibilities.

Bethel College is the only private college in Kansas listed in the 2012-13 Forbes.com analysis of premier colleges and universities in the United States and ranks in the top five “Best Baccalaureate Colleges” in the Washington Monthly annual college guide for 2012-13. The four-year liberal arts college is affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. For more information, see www.bethelks.edu.


Sidebar: 2013 URICA Awards for Bethel student research

Each year, Bethel College offers support for student summer research through the Undergraduate Research, Internships and Creative Activity (URICA) program.

These grants provide a $1,000 stipend to each student selected, with additional, smaller cash awards to the mentor working with the student and to the student’s department to help defray the research expenses of the project.

The URICA Committee – currently Dwight Krehbiel, professor of psychology, John McCabe-Juhnke, professor of communication arts, and Doug Siemens, associate professor of education – evaluates student proposals and makes award decisions.

Brooke Banning, senior from Lenexa, will do “Functional comparison of the prion protein genes in Danio rerio (zebra fish),” working with research mentor Francisca Méndez-Harclerode, associate professor of biology.

Nicole Eitzen, junior from Xalapa, Mexico, will do “The hippie and jipiteca narrative: A comparative study and creative writing project,” working with research mentor Nathan Bartel, associate professor of literary studies.

Rebecca Epp, junior from North Newton, will do a creative writing project based on the life stories of her German-Russian immigrant grandparents, working with research mentor Ami Regier, professor of literary studies. Epp’s research is also being supported by a grant from the annual Mennonite Contributions Contest.

Rachel Evans, senior from Bel Aire, will do “Characterization of norepinephrine differences for rural vs. urban emergency responders,” working with research mentors Kathryn Layman, associate professor of chemistry and physics, and Dwight Krehbiel, professor of psychology.

Wesley Goodrich, senior from Independence, will do “Salivary cortisol response to manual labor,” a first step toward studying cortisol responses in altruistic behavior, working with research mentor Dwight Krehbiel.

Megan Leary, senior from North Newton, will do “A strategic analysis of the game Pandemic using graph theory and game theory,” working with research mentor Karl Friesen, adjunct assistant professor of computer science.

Emily Luedtke, junior from Wichita, will do a project combining oral history and the creation of seven portraits of LGBT people, working with research mentor Rachel Epp Buller, assistant professor of art. Luedtke’s project is also being supported by the Klassen Diversity Fund.

Austin Unruh, senior from Goessel, will do a project dealing with chaos theory, working with research mentor Karl Friesen.

Jocelyn Wilkinson, senior from San Antonio, Texas, will do “What can you do for me?: The effects of branding on major cultural, historical landmarks worldwide,” working with research mentor Christine Crouse-Dick, associate professor of communication arts.

The students will do their primary research this summer and make public presentations during the 2013-14 school year in a special convocation and in the annual URICA Seminar in spring.


Sidebar: Achievement awards for Bethel athletes


“B” Letter Awards (four-year letter winners plus the following):

● Men’s basketball

Ronnie Hodge, senior, Newton

Nathen Yunker, senior, Larned

● Women’s cross country

Susan Morris, senior, North Newton

● Football

Joey Creiglow, senior, El Centro, Calif.

Edward Davila, senior, San Antonio, Texas

Levi Minkevitch, senior, Newton

Nathan Murphy, senior, Newton

John Regier, senior, Beatrice, Neb.

Jacob Stucky, senior, Moundridge

Grady Stultz, senior, Goessel

● Football, track and cheer

Jeremiah Howington, senior, Paris, Texas

● Golf

Matt Diller, senior, Goshen, Ind.

● Men’s soccer

David Counts, senior, Lakewood Village, Texas

● Women’s soccer

Linsey Laird, senior, Newton

● Softball

Becca Bradley, senior, Omaha, Neb.

Lauren Franz, senior, Hesston

● Men’s tennis

David Tedone, senior, North Richland Hills, Texas

● Volleyball

Amber Blount, senior, Topeka

Lindsey Chandler, senior, Topeka

Breanna McConnell, senior, South Haven


KCAC Scholar-Athletes (must be a sophomore or higher, 3.333 cumulative GPA, lettered; NAIA Scholar-Athletes plus the following):

● Men’s cross country

Wesley Goodrich, senior, Independence

● Women’s cross country

Rachel Evans, senior, Bel Aire

● Football

Nicholas Bartholomaus, junior, San Diego, Calif.

David Bronson, junior, Reading

Nathan Murphy, senior, Newton

John Regier, senior, Beatrice, Neb.

Jacob Stucky, senior, Moundridge

Ben Suchsland, senior, Agra

Seth Tarrant, junior, Conway Springs

● Softball

Becca Bradley, senior, Omaha, Neb.

● Men’s tennis

Jesse Voth-Gaeddert, junior, Hesston

● Women’s tennis

Alyssa Scheuerman, junior, Scott City

Madelyn Weaver, junior, Hesston

● Volleyball

Allison Rudeen, junior, Osage City

Serenity Seiler, junior, Hanston


NAIA All-America Scholar-Athletes (3.5 cumulative GPA):

● Women’s basketball

Katie Regier, junior, Whitewater

Samantha Wilkerson, junior, Neosho Rapids

● Women’s cross country

Emily Gundy, senior, Halstead

Mariah Hostetler, senior, Dodge City

Susan Morris, senior, North Newton

Nicole Smith, junior, Elkhart, Ind.

● Football

Nathan Murphy, junior, Newton

John Regier, senior, Beatrice, Neb.

Jacob Stucky, senior, Moundridge

● Golf

Abram Rodenberg, senior, Halstead

● Men’s soccer

Ben Kreider, junior, North Newton

Austin Unruh, senior, Goessel

Jacob Weber, junior, Newton

● Women’s soccer

Angelina Adame, sophomore, Newton

Brooke Banning, senior, Lenexa

Paige LaFever, sophomore, Hutchinson

Elizabeth Shelly, senior, Lenexa

Madison Wiles, junior, Hutchinson

Morgan Wiles, sophomore, Hutchinson

Brie Zerger, sophomore, Hutchinson

● Softball

Sarah Cunningham, junior, Oskaloosa

Rachel Unruh, junior, Raytown, Mo.

● Men’s tennis

Clinton Chlumsky, junior, Wichita

Wesley Goodrich, senior, Independence

● Women’s tennis

Shayne Runnion, senior, Phillipsburg

Steph Shogren, senior, Hesston

Miranda Weaver, senior, Hesston

● Track and field

Emily Gundy, senior, Halstead

Michelle Kaufman, senior, Moundridge

Susan Morris, senior, North Newton

● Volleyball

Amber Blount, junior, Topeka

Katie Regier, sophomore, Whitewater

Whitney Steingard, senior, Henderson, Neb.



● Men’s basketball

Adam Arciniega, sophomore, Avondale, Ariz. – 3rd Team

Lee Griffin, junior, San Antonio, Texas – Honorable Mention

Cody Cape, freshman, McPherson – All-Freshman Team

● Women’s basketball

Lauren Ulrich, freshman, Walnut, Calif. – Honorable Mention/All-Freshman Team

● Football

Ben Suchsland, senior, Agra – 1st Team

Garrett Garcia, junior, Newton – Honorable Mention

Tevin Jones, sophomore, McKinney, Texas – Honorable Mention

Levi Minkevitch, senior – Honorable Mention

Nathan Murphy, senior, Newton – Honorable Mention

● Men’s soccer

Alex Hagan, sophomore, Flower Mound, Texas – Honorable Mention

BJ Heffernan, senior, Evergreen, Colo. – Honorable Mention

● Women’s soccer

Madison Wiles, sophomore, Hutchinson – 2nd Team

● Softball

Kylee Gragg, sophomore, Minneapolis – 2nd Team

Victoria Roberts, sophomore, Sedgwick – Honorable Mention

Shiann Wickham, freshman, Blackwell, Okla. – Honorable Mention

Men’s tennis

Clinton Chlumsky, junior, Wichita – 2nd Team

Logan Palenske, junior, Abilene – 2nd Team, Newcomer of the Year

● Women’s tennis

Breanna Honer, freshman, Shawnee – 1st Team, Freshman of the Year

Ashley Koester, sophomore, Conway Springs – 1st Team

Steph Shogren, senior, Hesston – 1st Team

Miranda Weaver, senior, Hesston – 1st Team

Allie Hipp, sophomore, Claflin – 2nd Team

Coach of the Year – Lonnie Isaac

● Volleyball

Lindsey Chandler, senior, Topeka – 1st Team

Jordan Gray, junior, Sedgwick – 2nd Team

Katie Regier, junior, Whitewater – Honorable Mention

(awards still pending for track and field)

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