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Bethel ranks well in new U.S. news category

Bethel College is the highest ranked Kansas college in the national liberal arts category of the 2008 edition of “America’s Best Colleges,” published annually by U.S. News & World Report. The rankings, which this year feature some substantial changes in methodology, were published in the magazine’s August 27 issue and are available online at www.usnews.com/colleges.

Bethel was previously in “Best Comprehensive Colleges,” divided into four regional groups. That category no longer exists — its closest equivalent is “Best Baccalaureate Colleges” — and Bethel is now compared to liberal arts institutions nationwide. Bethel appears in the third tier of “Best Liberal Arts Colleges,” defined by U.S. News & World Report as those that focus almost exclusively on undergraduate education, awarding at least 50 percent of degrees in the arts and sciences. The highest scoring liberal arts schools are ranked in one table, followed by the so-called third- and fourth-tier schools.

New group for nurses helps supply mentors

The importance of good mentors can’t be overestimated.

That was a major motivation behind the formation of a new student group at Bethel College, which has turned out to be the only one of its kind in the country.

At the end of July, Nikkii Dolce, senior nursing major and chair of the Bethel College student chapter of National Black Nurses Association (NBNA), attended the organization’s national conference in Atlanta, traveling with officers from the Wichita chapter of NBNA, under whose wing the Bethel group was organized.

That happened a year ago. When Debra Davis — who graduated from Bethel in May with a bachelor’s degree in nursing — came as a junior, she said, she and some of her peers “looked around and saw what we wanted wasn’t here in terms of [black role models for] leadership and empowerment in the nursing profession.”

Thelma Latrice Moses, who also graduated in May with her nursing degree, added, “We wanted something for minority [nursing] students that would get people actively involved in leadership. We were looking for mentors.”

Davis’s friend Anniece Berry, a nurse at Via Christi-Good Shepherd in Wichita, was also the president of the Wichita chapter of NBNA. So Davis and Moses joined the organization but they discovered that there was no student component, similar to the National Student Nurses’ Association.

“We wrote to the [NBNA] to see if they would approve us starting the first student chapter,” said Moses. They got approval, as long as the group was organized under the auspices of the Wichita chapter. Davis and Moses served as co-chairs of Bethel’s first NBNA group, which had about 20 members in its first year. Dolce, Marla Bell and Patricia Ngigi are this year’s officers.

Visit the NBNA Bethel student booth at Fall Festival on Saturday, Oct. 6.

Golfers get more than they give in work with inner-city kids

When Bethel golf coach Gregg Dick ’87 considered team-building activities leading into a new season, he wanted it to be about more than just the team itself.

So in early August, Dick and seven of his golfers spent several days at Kids Across America, a camp along Table Rock Lake in southern Missouri. KAA is a Christian sports camp for inner city children and youth--around 6,300 come to the organization’s facilities in Missouri each summer from nearly 500 cities across the United States.

“There are about 750 kids at camp each week,” Dick said. “Some of them choose golf as a sport they want to focus on, but the staff want all of them to be at least introduced to the game of golf.” Dick and the seven students worked with some of the introductory sessions and also helped with the campers who had chosen golf as one of their sports for the week, helping them learn how to swing and hit a golf ball.

Koehn wanted to give back for a life spent at Bethel

Earl Koehn ’48 earned both a degree and his livelihood for most of his working life at Bethel College. So one of his long-held wishes was “to give something back,” says his wife, Louise.

The Koehns have done just that, establishing the Earl D. and Louise Duerksen Koehn Scholarship, $100,000 to help new students, whether first-time freshmen or transfers, attend Bethel. “Earl wanted to get more students to come to Bethel,” says Louise ’44. “The scholarship will help make up the difference between what Bethel and another school might be offering [in financial aid], so a student who wants to come to Bethel can afford it.”

Earl died March 25 at age 86, but he had already worked with Louise and their sons--Dennis ’75, David ’76 and Brent ’79, all Bethel graduates — to get the scholarship set up.

Kauffman Museum to feature new exhibition, Smithsonian Day

From Sept. 1 through Jan. 20, 2008, Kauffman Museum will feature the Charles J. Kauffman avian collections in a learning center called “Meet the Beak.”

The focus on an exhibition and activities that explore the structure and function of bird beaks grew out of a request from Newton-area school district USD 373 for field trips that specifically meet fourth grade science standards. The museum lessons were developed by museum curator of education Andi Schmidt Andres ’84 and USD 373 science curriculum coordinator Karen Loucks ’81. For information on “Meet the Beak” field trip opportunities, contact Andres at (316) 283-1612, asa@bethelks.edu.

On Saturday, Sept. 29, Kauffman Museum will join museums nationwide in “Smithsonian Museum Day.” Admission to all exhibits will be free upon presentation of a Museum Day admission card, available in the September issue of Smithsonian magazine. The card is also available in a downloadable version at www.smithsonian.com/museumdaycard.

This is Kauffman Museum’s second year to participate in this nationwide program to support public access to culture, learning and knowledge.

Bethel’s new blog

Bethel is entering the world of Web 2.0 as it introduces its first-ever blog, “beyond the green,” found at blog.bethelks.edu.

Throughout the school year, bloggers will be sharing — in their own words — a taste of Bethel with other students, faculty, staff, alumni and prospective students.

Alumni are invited to read posts, subscribe to the blog, submit comments (by logging in) and pass along the link.

The blog was created not only to engage the current Bethel community but also to use as a marketing tool to attract prospective students. Visit now and visit often, as bloggers will be adding new content throughout the year.