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The department has an excellent record of placing graduates in secondary teaching positions.

Another common choice for graduates is to pursue an advanced degree, most often in literature or cultural studies programs, but with law school also a frequent choice. Still other graduates choose communications-related careers in journalism or public relations (for non-governmental organizations, museums, arts organizations, public institutions, and so on).

Notable Alumni

Adam Gaeddert – ’07
Adam graduated from Bethel through the English department. His liberal arts education allowed him to make a career change — he earned a master’s degree in accounting and became an auditor for a company in Atlanta.
Nathan Bartel – ’02

By the middle of his sophomore year at Bethel, Nathan says, his identity as a writer was established. His only choice: fiction or poetry?

He chose poetry. After he graduated from Bethel – magna cum laude, and with a prestigious Thresher Award for his senior seminar paper – he worked for a year as a teacher in the day school at Prairie View Mental Health Services in Newton while applying to graduate schools. He was accepted to his first choice, the University of Montana at Missoula, which he said he had picked in part because it seemed to emphasize community among the writers in the Master of Fine Arts program – an impression which he says proved to be true.

Halfway through his MFA studies, Nathan was one of the winners of the Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellowship, an award of $15,000 apiece given annually to two young poets enrolled in a graduate or undergraduate institution in the United States who have yet to publish a collection of poetry. Upon finishing his M.F.A. in 2005, Nathan was one of 10 writers for that year accepted as a fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts. During his seven months at the center, Nathan completed the bulk of the work on a poetry manuscript, tentatively titled The Pangaea.

A scant four years after graduating from Bethel, Nathan began teaching there. He was assistant professor of English from 2006-14.

He has now taken his education in poetry into the creative world of graphic and exhibit design, as a full-time designer and copy writer on a team that builds museum exhibits such as the Pike’s Peak International Hill Climb addition to the Penrose Heritage Museum in Colorado Springs, Colorado (the addition opened in September 2014).

Katy June-Friesen – ’02
Katy earned two master’s degrees — one in literary and cultural studies from Carnegie Mellon University and one in journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She is currently pursuing a doctorate from the University of Maryland as she works as an independent journalist, writer and editor.

About Bethel

As the first Mennonite college founded in North America, Bethel College celebrates a tradition of progressive Christian liberal arts education, diversity within community, and lifelong learning.