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Social work professor emeritus leaves a legacy of service and stories

Submitted by mzuercher on Wed, 08/19/2020 - 14:53
Larry Friesen and friends in Mexico

Generations of Bethel social work majors are recalling their favorite “Larry stories” following the death of Larry D. Friesen on Aug. 8.

He had struggled for a decade with frontal temporal dementia (FTD).

Friesen was born and raised on a farm in the Aberdeen, Idaho, area. Both he and his older brother, Duane K. Friesen, fulfilled the dreams of their parents, Waldo and Linda (Zielke) Friesen, for education by graduating from Bethel College and completing graduate degrees.

College mentors see changes in themselves, students

Submitted by mzuercher on Tue, 05/12/2020 - 11:45
Social work mentors reflect on their experience.

As with so many things, the pandemic put an abrupt end to a special mentoring program involving Bethel College students, but they won’t forget it any time soon.

Seven young African-American men volunteered at Chisholm Middle School in Newton during the 2019-20 school year (two are repeats from the previous year).

They found out about the program from school social worker Ralita Cheeks, who had the opportunity to “give the best 30-second speech of my life” when the Bethel football team showed up at the school on the annual fall Service Day two years ago.

Professor named local Woman of the Year

Submitted by mzuercher on Tue, 04/28/2020 - 12:40
Ada Schmidt-Tieszen

Professor of Social Work Ada Schmidt-Tieszen was named a Newton Area Woman of the Year for 2020.

She will retire from Bethel at the end of the 2019-20 school year, after 35 years on the Bethel faculty.

Schmidt-Tieszen graduated from Bethel in 1974 as a member of the first class of social work graduates.

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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.