The Awards Committee of the Bethel College Alumni Association has announced this year’s award recipients:
Young Alumnus Award
Aziza Hasan ’03, Los Angeles, majored in history and social sciences with a minor in global peace and justice studies. She is executive director and a co-founding team member of NewGround: A Muslim Jewish Partnership for Change. Formerly, Hasan was also southern California director of government relations for the Muslim Public Affairs Council.
Hasan is among 18 individuals whom President Barack Obama recently appointed to the president’s third Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. The council brings together religious and secular leaders as well as scholars and experts in fields related to the work of faith-based and neighborhood organizations.
Last summer, Hasan gave a TEDx Talk titled “Unlocking the Courage of Curiosity,” which explores the courage it takes to wade through emotionally charged conversations and unlock conflict.
Bethel will honor Hasan during a convocation in 2016, where she will also give the presentation.
Distinguished Achievement Award
Duane Schroeder ’62, Orinda, California, double-majored in chemistry and psychology. He did research in biochemistry at Brookhaven National Laboratory and earned a PhD in biochemistry from Tulane University, did post-doctoral work at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, then worked as a research biochemist with Cutter/Miles/Bayer Laboratories from 1969-2005.
Schroeder’s many accomplishments include inventing the first intravenous gammaglobulin sold in the United States to treat severe immunodeficiency, developing therapies for hemophilia, emphysema and thrombosis, and serving as the assistant to the vice president of research and development, helping to oversee approximately 130 scientists. His laboratory worked to speed the testing of biotechnology products to fight HIV and pulmonary disease. Later, he directed the transition to genetic engineering of new proteins.
Outstanding Alumnus Award
LaVon Ediger ’62, McPherson, majored in industrial arts and, after college, taught high school industrial arts and coached. Then he founded Stewart-Ediger Construction, which often hired individuals who had difficulty finding and keeping jobs with other companies.
During his construction career, Ediger became frustrated with the usual practice of throwing away perfectly good used building materials as businesses remodeled. Shortly after retiring, Ediger initiated and provided leadership as he and First Mennonite Church of McPherson created the ReUse It Center for selling donated usable materials.
He also became an advocate for the Omega Project, a program for men newly free from addiction but adjusting to employment and lifestyle change, involving and mentoring them in the ReUse It Center ministry. Proceeds from the Center go not only to the Omega Project, but to Mennonite Central Committee and other charities.