Bethel’s Summer Science Institute in June had another banner year, with the distinction in 2011 of having three science alumni on the institute faculty.
The institute turned 12 this year with, like last year, a capacity 32 students. The 2011 faculty included Gary Lyndaker, Gravois Mills, Mo. (a 1968 graduate in mathematics), Richard Platt, Avenue, Md. (1985, psychology and philosophy), and Darrell Wiens, Cedar Falls, Iowa (1972, biology).
Lyndaker recently retired as an information technology specialist for the state of Missouri following eight years as IT director of the state Department of Mental Health. Platt is associate professor of psychology at St. Mary’s College of Maryland, where he has taught for 18 years, and Wiens is professor of biology at the University of Northern Iowa, where he has been for 22 years.
“We’ve had maybe one or two alumni as part of the Summer Science Institute faculty over the years,” says Dwight Krehbiel, Bethel professor of psychology and institute co-director. “This year, for a variety of reasons, many of our own faculty weren’t able to do the institute. So I started thinking of dedicated alumni who would likely be good teachers.”
Lyndaker is a member of the STEM (Science, Technology, pre-Engineering and Mathematics) Advisory Council, which has given Bethel faculty strong support on the Summer Science Institute. Platt is a former student of Krehbiel’s and a North Newton native. And Wiens’ son, Eric, is married to Krehbiel’s daughter, Stephanie, so the two have kept in touch through their children.
“I contacted them,” says Krehbiel, “and it didn’t take very long at all for them to say yes.”
The teaching experience of the three alumni has been mostly limited to college-age students at the undergraduate (and, for Wiens, graduate) level. All