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Alumni Association announces award recipients for 2013

The Awards Committee of the Bethel College Alumni Association has announced this year’s award recipients:

Young Alumnus Award

Co-recipients of this year’s award are Sherilyn (Graber) and Will Ortman, Marion, S.D. Sherilyn graduated in 1998 with a major in music and completed a German major the following year. Will graduated in 1999 with majors in music and psychology.

Both are accomplished musicians -- Will as a composer and conductor, Sherilyn as a conductor, accompanist and piano teacher. Will’s oratorio, “Jesus the man, the Christ,” was performed at the 2003 Mennonite Church USA convention; another original oratorio will premiere this Easter. Sherilyn is also a freelance writer and a communications associate with Advancement Associates LLC, Bellefontaine, Ohio. In addition, the two do organic farming and are involved in local rural revitalization, with Will giving presentations regionally. Both are very involved with church activities and the annual community Schmeckfest.

The two will be the convocation presenters and receive the Young Alumnus Award on April 12.

Distinguished Achievement Award

G. John Dick, Claremont, Calif., graduated from Bethel in 1961 with majors in physics and mathematics. In a postdoctoral research fellowship at Caltech, he developed the technology for a superconducting heavy ion accelerator constructed at SUNY Stonybrook. Dick joined NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., in 1986 as a member of the technical staff, advancing to principal staff in 1997.

His projects with NASA include work for the Deep Space Network, which communicates with NASA’s deep space missions, including those to Mars and Saturn, and the Voyager, Galileo and Cassini missions that brought back photos of the moons and rings of the distant planets. He developed a cryogenic clock for the Cassini mission that uses a synthetic sapphire as the resonating element and also served as project scientist for an experiment in the Low Temperature Microgravity Physics Facility, being built to take experiments in fundamental physics to the International Space Station.

Dick will receive the Distinguished Achievement Award at the Alumni Banquet on Saturday, May 18.

Outstanding Alumnus Award

Justina Neufeld, North Newton, graduated from Bethel Deaconess Hospital School of Nursing in 1955 and received a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from Bethel College in 1957. Neufeld was a leader in nursing at the forefront of the community mental health movement, and continued in leadership roles at Prairie View and in regional mental health. She has written and presented papers regionally and nationally.

Neufeld served with the Paraguay-Kansas Partnership Program, the Newton community has honored her for her work, and Prairie View has named a student scholarship for her. She is also the author of the book “A Family Torn Apart,” about her trek out of Russia as a girl during World War II. Neufeld will receive the Outstanding Alumnus Award at the Alumni Banquet on Saturday, May 18.

Complete articles about the recipients can be found on the Bethel College Website and in “Bethel College Context” magazine and public media.

Students reflect on interterm experiences

Six recent Bethel news articles reveal the life-changing value of the college’s longtime interterm travel experiences.

Julie Wedel, a junior from Peabody, reflects on the cultural diversity she experienced in the class “School and Community: Chicago.” In it she says, “A story that stuck with us was that one of the upper middle-class neighborhoods, to this day, does not allow African Americans to live there.”

Social work major Jennifer Scott, a junior from Newton, was part of the group that went to Mexico for the class “Social Development and Social Justice.” “There were things we had seen that we did not understand. . . . Despite these feelings of hopelessness and unfairness, I also experienced joy and happiness. I speak minimal Spanish, but most times, it didn’t matter, because laughter and love are the same in all languages.”

Sophomore Angelina Adame from Newton describes her experience in Costa Rica. She concludes by saying, “The most common phrase I heard used in Costa Rica for greeting, farewell or to express excitement was ‘¡Pura vida!’ which, literally translated, means ‘Pure life!’ For me, these will forever be the defining words for my memories of Costa Rica. . . .”

Julia Miller, a senior from Hesston, starts her report humorously by saying, “There were three life lessons I experienced during interterm in Germany, where we visited more than 10 cities in two-and-a-half weeks.”

Junior Marike Stucky from Moundridge went on the “History of East Central Europe” trip. In her reflections, she says the course “enabled students to grapple with complex historical, political, religious and social issues and to understand how history affects the way people live today.”

And, sophomore Ben Kreider and his grandmother Sara Regier ’57, both of North Newton, saw added benefits to going on the Jerusalem Seminar trip together. Although the two planned the trip independently, each was pleased to discover the other was going.

Two Lincoln programs at Kauffman Museum

In connection with the traveling exhibition “Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War,” Kauffman Museum will host two Sunday-Afternoon-at-the-Museum programs, both at 3:30 p.m. at the museum.

On March 3, William Rich from the Washburn University School of Law, Topeka, will speak on “The Gettysburg Address: Lincoln’s Framework for a New American Constitution.” On March 10, Brian Craig Miller, Emporia State University, will present “The Tattered Lincoln Photo Album: Lincoln’s Likeness and Image in History and Memory.”

The exhibition and both programs are free and open to the public. “Lincoln” will be on display through April 5.

Concert Choir on tour this month

All alumni and friends of Bethel are invited to hear the Concert Choir when it sings in 12 venues throughout five Midwestern states during spring break this month. The student musicians will sing in Kansas, Missouri, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois March 15-24.

William Eash, professor of music, conducts the choir. Dale Schrag ’69, director of church relations and campus pastor, will travel with the group, as well. Log on to the Bethel College website for additional info about the tour, along with a schedule of performances.

Classic SLR cameras needed

Do you have a single-lens-reflex (SLR), 35-millimeter film camera that’s just lying around collecting dust, but is still in good, working condition? If so, donate it to Bethel for students to use.

The Visual Arts and Design Department has an active program that still offers film photography to approximately 20 students each year. By using film rather than digital technology, students learn the foundations of photography, such as the interplay of light and shadow in black-and-white images. The SLR feature permits the student photographer to view through the lens exactly what will be captured when they take the picture.

“Ten years ago students were able to borrow cameras from family members, but this is becoming more difficult with each passing year,” said David Long, professor of art and chair of the department. “I love teaching film photography and working in the darkroom and would hate to see us switch completely to digital technology. Your donation would really help us out in the coming years.”

If you are interested in donating a camera, please call Long at (316) 284-5223 or e-mail details to dlong@bethelks.edu. Thank you.

Grandparents’ names sought for visit day

This year’s Grandparents Day is scheduled for Friday, April 19. The popular one-day event is planned and hosted by the Student Alumni Association (SAA). More than 100 grandparents and guests attend each year.

So that all grandparents of current students might receive an invitation, parents as well as grandparents are asked to e-mail the following to dlin@bethelks.edu by Monday, March 11:

(1) name of current Bethel student,

(2) name(s) and address(es) of the student’s grandparent(s) and great-grandparent(s) who would appreciate receiving invitations.

Other guests are welcome to accompany grandparents who may need transportation or assistance while on campus. If needed, family may also e-mail a request that grandparents NOT receive an invitation due to health or travel concerns (they may be on the invitation list from the past).

For more information, contact SAA advisor and director of alumni relations Dave Linscheid ’75, 316-284-5252, dlin@bethelks.edu. Thank you.

What (in the world) are you doing?

The alumni office invites all alumni to keep Bethel up to date with information about what they’re doing throughout the world -- marriage, job change, addition of a child, recent accomplishment, award, promotion, graduate school, retirement, and so on. The updates are useful as college personnel compile “Class Notes” for “Bethel College Context” magazine, consider outstanding graduates for Alumni Association awards, plan networking events or regional alumni gatherings, seek speakers for convocation and other lecture series and involve alumni in other ways.

In addition to alumni personally submitting information, parents, grandparents, colleagues and friends of alumni are encouraged to submit information about alumni who have made recent changes or done notable things. (Sometimes Bethel alumni are too modest to send in their own information.) This may be in the form of a magazine or newspaper clipping, company announcement, web broadcast, e-mail or written note.

Alumni may submit their own information via the Bethel website. Other individuals as well as alumni may e-mail alumni@bethelks.edu or mail items to Office of Alumni Relations, 300 East 27th Street, North Newton, KS 67117.

Mark your calendar for Fall Fest 2013 and 2014

Mark your calendar now for this year’s extended Fall Festival weekend, scheduled for Oct. 3-6. It will begin with Taste of Newton Thursday evening, Oct. 3. The traditional Fall Fest fair on campus will be held Saturday, Oct. 5. Other activities will occur Friday and Sunday.

Looking ahead to 2014, Fall Festival will be later than usual, Saturday, Oct. 18 -- the first weekend in October with a home football game, as scheduled by the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference. Taste of Newton will take place Thursday evening, Oct. 16.

The last weekend of September 2014 was another option, but conflicted with the Bethel College Corporation meeting and did not allow time to rehearse for a musical and to have sufficient financial data to present to the Board of Directors, which meets in conjunction with Fall Fest.