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Bethel explores new ways to help maximize value of liberal arts

As more and more students start college undecided about a major, Bethel College has been implementing ways to address that trend.

And one of its most effective tools may be the oldest -- its liberal-arts nature.

Anywhere from 33 percent to 50 percent of incoming freshmen -- depending on the institution -- are undecided when it comes to their choice of major.

Even those who start college with a declared a major have a good chance of changing their minds, sometimes more than once, by the end of their sophomore year.

Furthermore, a study of graduation rates of 7,000 students at Western Kentucky University suggests students who enter college without declaring a major may actually enjoy the best chance of graduating in four years.

Bethel’s newest plan to meet this current reality is an Undecided Major Program.

In their first two years, students who come to Bethel undecided will be guided in completing all lower-level general education requirements while exploring major areas.

For more of this article, visit www.bethelks.edu/news-events/news/post/5043/.

Training helps teachers create positive discipline

Kansas is on the leading edge when it comes to creative ideas for classroom discipline, and the Kansas Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (KIPCOR) at Bethel College is helping make that concrete.

During the past three years, KIPCOR staff has led a number of Restorative Schools Initiative trainings -- aimed at public school teachers, administrators and social workers -- on “classroom discipline and school climate.”

The trainings introduced and began to teach restorative practices that align with what’s called in Kansas MTSS, or Multi-Tier System of Supports -- a continuum of responses to students’ academic and behavioral needs.

Restorative practices are first and foremost about healing relationships. They are not, said KIPCOR Director Gary Flory, “[part of] the kind of discipline that schools typically use.”

They are what KIPCOR is about. And because Flory has a particular interest in public-school issues and how to bring restorative practices into that environment, he has for the past number of years been looking for ways to get KIPCOR more directly involved in schools.

About six years ago, at the same time as Flory was beginning to explore the possibility of writing a grant to The New Society Foundation for a school-based initiative, Kent Reed, the school counseling liaison for the Kansas State Department of Education, came to Flory with a proposal.

For more of this article, visit www.bethelks.edu/news-events/news/post/5036/.

College reaches Bethel Fund goal for 2013–14

The Advancement team reached its goal of $1.4 million for the Bethel Fund for the 2013–14 academic year.

The goal for the 2014–15 year, which is part of the Board’s balanced budget, is $1.5 million. Anyone wishing to donate to Bethel Collegecan call the Development Office at 316-284-5341 or send donations to Bethel College, Office of Development, 300 E. 27th St., North Newton, KS 67114.

In other Advancement Office news, Pam Tieszen started as vice president for Advancement on July 1, and Gail Marsh began work June 23 as the new Development administrative assistant. Marsh is replacing Mary Regier ’70, who worked at the college for 39 years.

Social Work Department to celebrate 40 years

During Fall Fest this year, one of the highlights will be the social work 40th-anniversary celebration: Fall Fest Symposium.

The college’s acclaimed social work department has been producing qualified graduates for 40 years. The first class that earned degrees in social work graduated in 1974. The department will celebrate with a symposium the Friday afternoon, Oct. 17, of Fall Fest weekend. All alumni, community social workers and others interested in the program are invited.

Other special events include an informal gathering Friday night, Oct. 17, and a reunion Saturday morning, Oct. 18.

Fall Festival this year will be Oct. 16–19.

Registration for the social work anniversary symposium is requested by Friday, Oct. 3. For more information or to register, contact Tricia Lopez at 316-284-5255 or swdept@bethelks.edu.

Registration with continuing education credit is available for $30. The cost for others not wanting CEUs is $10. Watch for more details in the Fall Fest flier or at www.bethelks.edu/sw40.

New director chosen for Kauffman Museum

The Kauffman Museum board of directors announced the appointment of Dr. Annette LeZotte as the next director of the museum.

She will begin her duties Sept. 8. Richard Walker ’70, chairman of the Search Committee, said, “Dr. LeZotte brings an exceptional combination of experience and enthusiasm to the position which impressed the search committee. We believe she is exactly the right person to lead the unique cultural treasure called Kauffman Museum into the future.”

LeZotte has a doctorate in art history from University of Texas at Austin and taught at Wichita State University for 12 years. Her publications focus on art of the Northern European Renaissance and decorative painting. Her book, “The Home Setting in Early Netherlandish Paintings,” was published by Edwin Mellen Press in 2008. She worked at the Wichita Art Museum, where she developed educational programming and curriculum, and curated special exhibitions featuring British watercolors, art by Josef Albers and Guy Wiggins, and quilts from the WAM permanent collection.

LeZotte will oversee all museum operations, including marketing, fundraising and coordinating exhibitions. She replaces Rachel Pannabecker ’80, who served as director for 17 years. Pannabecker will return to collections management at the museum as part of her transition to retirement.

Members of the director search committee were Walker, Rosalind Enns Andreas ’68, Glen Ediger ’75, Bob Regier ’52, Kathy Schroeder ’77, David Stucky ’05, Brad Born ’84 for Bethel College and Andi Schmidt Andres ’84, representing Kauffman Museum staff.

Golf team members teach, learn from young campers

Bethel College golfers went back to camp in Missouri -- not for training or competition, but to spend time with kids interested in their sport.

For the seventh straight year, members of the Thresher golf team were at Kids Across America, June 1-5. KAA is a Christian sports camp for inner-city youth on Table Rock Lake near Golden, in southwestern Missouri.

“There were a total of eight players plus myself who went this year,” said coach Gregg Dick ’87, “which I think is the largest group we have ever had. It was, once again, a great experience for the players to get to work with inner-city youth who have never been exposed to golf.

“They teach [the kids] basic skills, as well as talk to them about life -- where they come from, what do they like to do, just anything they wanted to talk about. As a coach, it was awesome to see my players interact with the kids, working and talking with them, and hopefully making at least some impact in their life.

“Doing service together is one of the greatest ways to build team chemistry. The guys worked together great and really came together as a team.”

Jaden Schmidt, sophomore from Moundridge, agreed with Dick’s assessment.

“It [made] it easy for all of us to get to know each other and to grow closer as a team,” Schmidt said.

For more of this article, visit www.bethelks.edu/news-events/news/post/5039/.

KIPCOR receives grant to help lessen divorce impact

“Divorce” might not be the first word that comes to mind in connection with “health.”

However, the Kansas Health Foundation (KHF) has recognized -- through the award of a $23,425 grant -- the Kansas Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (KIPCOR) at Bethel College for exactly that. Or, more specifically, for a proposal on divorce impact education.

“The evidence is clear,” KIPCOR Director Gary Flory said. “There have been hundreds, maybe thousands, of studies showing the negative impact of parents in conflict on the physical and emotional health of children.”

KIPCOR will receive the funds through the Kansas Health Foundation’s Recognition Grants program.

Recognition Grants expand KHF support to a broad range of health-related organizations throughout the state. The program is targeted for organizations and agencies that propose “meaningful and charitable projects or initiatives that fit within the KHF mission of improving the health of all Kansans.”

In addition to projects, KHF also seeks to support initiatives that focus on promoting policy, systems and environmental transformations that support health.

“Each year, we are amazed at the incredible projects being done by organizations across Kansas,” said Steve Coen, KHF president and CEO. “This grant program allows us to support these innovative and impactful community initiatives and recognize the groups and individuals making them a reality.”

For more of this article, visit http://www.bethelks.edu/news-events/news/post/5042/.

Bus tour planned in September to northeast Kansas

Kauffman Museum is planning a bus tour to Olathe and Overland Park.

Join Kauffman Museum members and friends for two days, Sept. 10–11.

Olathe has many unique sites: the Deaf Cultural Center and Museum, Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop and Farm living history site, public artwork by alumni Phil Epp ’72 and Arlie Regier ’53, Ernie Miller Nature Center, the Chestnut Fine Arts Center where the tour group will see the play “Looking Over the President's Shoulder,” and, in Overland Park, the Overland Park Botanical Garden and Arboretum.

The cost for museum members is $280 (non-members are $295) and includes transportation, all meals and admissions, lodging and gratuities. Contact Kauffman Museum curator of education Andi Schmidt Andres ’84 at asa@bethelks.edu or 316-283-1612 for more information or to make reservations using a credit card.

Host families needed for next academic year

Host families are needed for students for the 2014–15 academic year.

The Student Life Office encourages out-of-state students to apply to the Host Family Program. Students complete a student survey indicating their interests and expected campus involvements in order to be matched with a host family with similar interests. Host families also can fill out a survey, and community volunteers match students to families.

Expectations of the host family include welcoming the student into their family life and to the Newton community, providing home-away-from-home opportunities, such as a place to study or watch a movie, and attending special functions from time to time.

“Students need family to stay successful,” said Aaron Austin, vice president for Student Life.

Things not expected of the host family include providing financial support, laundry services or transportation to events, or snacks/meals to a student’s friends or roommates on a regular basis.

A host family’s home also is not intended to be a place for the student to stay during breaks or during the summer, although the host family may be willing to offer their home if they so choose.

This experience provides benefits to the college student and family alike. Students benefit from having a home away from home, having someone to turn to with questions and enjoying an occasional home-cooked meal. Families benefit by forming long-lasting relationships with students, experiencing college life through the eyes of the student and receiving affirmation of helping a student with a family support system.

Anyone interested in being a host family can contact Patsy Dirksen ’81 in Student Life at 316-284-5324 or studentlife@bethelks.edu.