NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – Bethel College Faculty Athletics Representative (FAR) Merle Schlabaugh has been named 2013-14 FAR of the Year for the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference.
He will be formally recognized at the upcoming KCAC Sport Management Conference at Sterling College Aug. 5.
The annual FAR award is determined by a peer vote among the members of the KCAC Governing Council.
Schlabaugh has also been nominated for the Wally Schwartz Award, which the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, of which the KCAC is a member conference, presents annually to a faculty athletics representative.
“Merle is dedicated to the welfare of student-athletes, always wanting to uphold the high standards of his institution and the NAIA,” said Joyce Pigge, KCAC Eligibility Committee chair and a professor at Bethany College, Lindsborg.
Schlabaugh has been a professor of German at Bethel since 1985. In 2000, he became the faculty athletics representative for the Threshers and a member of the KCAC Governing Council. Schlabaugh also serves on the KCAC Eligibility Committee, a position he has held since 2002.
“He has played a key role in promoting balance among academics, athletics and the social lives of our student-athletes,” said Perry D. White, president of Bethel College. “The relationship between Professor Schlabaugh and our student-athletes is visibly strong, encouraging and respectful. He goes beyond the call of duty to assist students with any issues or concerns.”
Currently, Schlabaugh serves on the Kansas State Department of Education’s Foreign Language Program review, for which he has been an active team member since 2000.
Schlabaugh is also treasurer of the Kansas Association of Teachers of German. A member of the organization since 1993, he has held the offices of vice president, president and past president.
Schlabaugh has an A.A. degree from Hesston College and a B.A. in history and German from Tabor College. He earned a master’s degree in German from the University of Iowa and a doctoral degree in German from the State University of New York-Stony Brook.
In addition to his duties as FAR and as adjunct professor of German at Bethel, Schlabaugh is the transfer student adviser and the Bethel administrator of one of the oldest college exchange programs between an institution in the United States and one in Germany, with the Bergische-Universität-Gesamthochschule in Wuppertal.
“Merle’s commitment to our students is exemplary,” said White. “We are very proud of him, and this recognition.”
Bethel College is a four-year liberal arts college affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. In sports, Bethel competes within the 11-member KCAC and the NAIA. See www.bethelks.edu and www.bethelthreshers.com.