Marlow Ediger ’53, North Newton, has had six manuscripts accepted for publication in various journals: “Which Plan of Reading Instruction is Best?” in Journal of Reading and Literacy; “Parent Teacher Conferences” in College Student Journal; “Developing a Philosophy of Science Education” in Connecticut Journal of Science Education; “The Principal as Supervisor in the School Setting” and “Effective Public School Relations,” both in Education magazine, with the latter translated into Chinese for Education in China; and “Reading Information Sources—The Textbook” in Reading Improvement. Marlow was also reappointed to the editorial board of Reading Improvement.

Esther Patkau ’51, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, continues in full-time ministry as spiritual care coordinator at Bethany Manor in Saskatoon.


Les Groves ’60, McPherson, was an elementary school teacher for 38 years. Since retiring in 1993, he has followed other passions, becoming a freelance writer and poet, writing his memoirs and making toys. Poetry Quest, one of the poet societies to which Les belongs, honored him as 2015 Poet of the Year for “Silence in White.” He also spends time representing the McPherson Arts Foundation, going to nursing homes to give presentations from his book of memoirs and published poems, and singing in a choir.

Barry Hieb ’66, Tucson, Arizona, is the founder and chief scientist at Global Patient Identifiers, Inc. in Tucson.


Sara Fretz Goering ’76, Silver Spring, Maryland, is the author-editor of Simple Life Fretz: A Kitchen Table Memoir of the First Mennonite Sociologist (Friesen Press, 2016), a book about her father, J. Winfield Fretz, who was a professor of sociology at Bethel 1942-63, and interim president 1959-60. The publisher’s website notes that Winfield Fretz’s life story is “told in his personable voice from childhood days on a Pennsylvania farm through years as a student, professor, researcher, author, and founding president of Conrad Grebel University College in Waterloo, Ontario. The narrative voice ends with [Sara’s] conversations with him reflecting on simple matters of the heart. The author has drawn from over 300 letters between her father and his older brother, recorded interviews, letters of her mother and personal conversations with her father. Excerpts from others on their interactions with this wonderfully spirited man are included.”

Vern Jantzen ’78, Plymouth, Nebraska, was featured on National Public Radio April 10 in a “Weekend Edition Sunday” story titled “Facing a Shaky Future, Nebraska Family Farm Ponders a Renaissance.” The piece explored the challenges that small family farms face in competition with large collective business operations. Vern’s daughter, who is interested in local locally sourced, locally grown, environmentally friendly food production, may pick up on the four-generation farm, transforming it but keeping it small, independent and in the Jantzen family for a fifth generation.

David E. Ortman ’75, Seattle, won the 200-meter dash for men ages 60-64 at the USA Track and Field national masters indoor track and field championships in Albuquerque, March 4-6. David took second in the 60-meter dash, third in the high jump and fourth in the long jump. He also ran the lead-off leg for the winning Syracuse Chargers Track Club 4x400-meter relay for men age 60+ at the Millrose Games in New York City Feb. 20.

Wes Schmidt-Tieszen ’75, Newton, was inducted into the Kansas Teachers Hall of Fame June 4.

Mark Stucky ’71, Moundridge, was inducted into the Kansas Speech Communication Association Hall of Fame, for 36 years of “teaching and coaching excellence” at both the college and high school levels. As director of forensics at Bethel 1979-92, Mark led teams to top-10 rankings at the American Forensic Association National Individual Events Tournament (AFA-NIET). As a high school speech instructor and debate/forensics coach at Hoisington, Remington and most recently Moundridge High Schools (1992-2012), Mark coached 12 state debate championship teams and three speech and drama state champions. Upon his retirement from teaching and coaching in 2012, Mark was inducted into the West Kansas National Forensics League Hall of Fame. He currently farms near Moundridge and is a volunteer forensics coach at Bethel.


Bonnie Bartel ’84, Houston, has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, a private, nonprofit society of distinguished scholars. She is the Ralph and Dorothy Looney Professor of Biochemistry and Cell Biology in the Department of Biosciences at Rice University in Houston. Her groundbreaking research in plant biology has led to a deeper understanding of how plants produce and use hormones and how they sequester oxidative metabolism in subcellular compartments known as peroxisomes.

Rachel Kasper ’88, Astoria, New York, was cast in the movie Creedmoria under the stage name Rachel DeBenedet as the character Angela Cahill. The movie tells the story of a 17-year-old finding courage to walk away from everything with the hope of discovering a better future.

Heidi Regier Kreider ’83, North Newton, became conference minister for Western District Conference of Mennonite Church USA in August 2015.

Jeanette (Voran) Leary ’84, Moundridge, received the United Way Certificate of Appreciation for “Partner Organization Distinguished Service to the Harvey County United Way in 2015.” Jeanette is director of Community Playschool at Bethel College Mennonite Church, which celebrated 50 years in 2015-16.

Susan Miller ’87, Petoskey, Michigan, achieved cardiac surgery certification by the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses, signifying the knowledge base and experience required for the care of patients in the first 98 hours following cardiac surgery. Susan continues to work as a nurse in a multi-specialty intensive-care unit in Petoskey.

Tony Otto ’89, Tulsa, Oklahoma, is the tax service area leader, overseeing the tax department of Hogan Taylor LLP, a regional public accounting firm with more than 225 employees, and offices in Oklahoma City and Tulsa, as well as Fayetteville and Little Rock, Arkansas.

Donna Petri (Klassen) ’84, Kamloops, British Columbia, has been appointed associate vice president academic at Thompson Rivers University, where she has been since 1990 in a variety of positions and capacities.

Rich Preheim ’89, Elkhart, Indiana, is the author of The Pursuit of Faithfulness: Conviction and Compromise in Indiana-Michigan Mennonite Conference, part of the Studies in Anabaptist and Mennonite History series published by Herald Press.

Susan Schultz Huxman ’82, Waterloo, Ontario, has been named the ninth president of Eastern Mennonite University, Harrisonburg, Virginia, as of Jan. 1, 2017. She will complete 5½ years as president of Conrad Grebel University College in Waterloo, and has served for more than 25 years in higher education in a variety of roles.

Karen Reimer ’82, Chicago, had a new art installation at the Hyde Park Art Center, which ran May 22-August 13. The installation was composed of more than 200 yards of hand-dyed blue fabric, sand, and a wooden boardwalk, partially made with old South Side trees sawyered by Bryan Saner ’79.

Tim Wall ’84, Goshen, Indiana, is architect-project manager for Troyer Group in Mishawaka, Indiana.


Ilona Abrahams ’94, Newton, published Five Mennonites and a Greek, a book inspired by a group of six women from an assortment of backgrounds and interests. The book is a collection of personal stories, devotional reflections and pictures, and includes recipes such as melomakarona, a cookie made with a variety of spices and served in Greece at Christmas time.

Carrie Hostetler ’92, Newton, presented information about PANS (Pediatric Acute-onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome) and PANDAS (Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal infections) to all Wichita public-school social workers in February 2015. In May 2015, Carrie graduated from Newman University, Wichita, with a master’s degree in social work. She was named Social Work Student of the Year for 2015 at Newman. Carrie is currently employed as a school social worker at Isely Traditional Magnet Elementary School in Wichita.

Travis Krehbiel ’92, Newton, is the lead biology teacher at Wichita Area Technical College, primarily teaching microbiology to nursing students.

Brent Martisko ’94, Inman, was honored by the Wichita Business Journal with a 2016 CFO Award and featured in an article in the publication. Brent is CFO and vice president of Martin Machine and Welding Inc. Since joining the company in 2004, Brent has helped implement new practices for tracking projects, and automated the company’s financial reports. Other leaders at the company say Brent has been instrumental in the growth and success of Martin Machine. In addition to finance, he also oversees insurance and is involved in information technology.

Doug Shima ’91, Topeka, was appointed in March as clerk of the Kansas Supreme Court—a constitutional officer who, by statute, is also clerk of the Court of Appeals. Doug has been with the state judicial branch since 1995. In addition to processing cases, the clerk’s office conducts bar exams, keeps records of the Kansas bar and registers attorneys. Doug is also secretary for the Commission on Judicial Qualifications, the Client Protection Fund Commission, the Kansas Board of Law Examiners and the Supreme Court Nominating Commission.


Andy Gingerich ’05, Albuquerque, was featured in the June 2016 issue of The Mennonite as one of “20 under 40,” for his work at Albuquerque’s metropolitan planning organization, where community values are reflected in the design of city spaces and places.

Brad Kohlman ’07, Whitewater, is the director of alumni relations at Bethel College. He was previously director of recreation and community education in Hesston.

Tony Redelfs ’07, Dallas, was one of only four out of 400 flight service managers representing 14 crew bases to receive an Innovation Award from the vice president of American Airlines at the national meeting of 1,200 managers in February. The award recognizes creative problem solving in regards to dependability, or on-time departures.

Peter Regier ’11, Miami, helped Florida International University researcher Henry Briceño study sea-level rise and water quality changes in the Miami area, examining floodwater in Biscayne Bay off Miami Beach. The research team has found high levels of nutrients and bacteria in the water being pumped into the bay. In March, Peter and Dr. Briceño were featured on the Politico magazine website in a photo shoot about the study. Peter is a doctoral candidate in environmental chemistry at Florida International University.

Adam Robb ’05, Moundridge, was a semifinalist for the Wolfe Teaching Excellence Award administered by the University of Kansas. Nominations come from KU seniors who wish to recognize a high school teacher who encouraged and positively influenced them to dream, aspire and persevere. Adam is a science and math teacher at Moundridge High School.


Leland Brown III ’16, Galveston, Texas, has been accepted into Durham (England) University’s master’s program in English.

Chelsea Crowl ’16, Newton, has accepted a position as a first-grade teacher at Bentley Primary School.

Shelby Jessup ’16, Wichita, has accepted a position at Wesley Medical Center, Wichita, as a registered nurse in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

Amy Mason ’16, Mulvane, has accepted a position at Via Christi Health, Wichita, as a registered nurse.

John Miller ’12, Newton, is the owner of Longview Advisors, LLC, which provides holistic financial planning solutions to customers. The firm has been operating since January in Old Mill Plaza in Newton.

Josh Nathan ’10, Los Angeles, has been working on his film The Dreams of Rene Sendam for the past five years, including writing the script in 2011, developing it for production and, most recently, launching a Kickstarter campaign to fund it. A horror film in the style of Alfred Hitchcock, The Dreams of Rene Sendam is about a deeply troubled and lonely graduate student who is a gifted and thoughtful poet, yet often an alienating eccentric. The piece follows Rene’s relationships with three other students, including Marie DiPierro, a free spirit traumatized by her father’s untimely death.

Veronica Pitchford ’16, Manhattan, has accepted a position at the Boys and Girls Club in Manhattan.

Christopher Smith ’13, Wichita, has completed a master’s degree in ESOL curriculum and instruction at Newman University, Wichita, and been accepted into the Ed.D. program for curriculum and instruction at Capella University, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Tori Stanhope ’16, Andale, has accepted a position at Via Christi Rehab Hospital, Wichita, as a registered nurse.

Melissa Volk ’12, Lawrence, graduated magna cum laude from Cleveland Chiropractic College, Overland Park, with a doctor of chiropractic. She is a member of Pi Tau Delta and Who’s Who, and plans to open her own private practice in Lawrence.

Emily Wedel ’16, Hutchinson, has been accepted into the Mennonite Voluntary Service program of Mennonite Church USA. She will join the Alamosa, Colorado, MVS unit as an emergency food coordinator with La Puente Home Food Bank Network.

Jerrell Williams ’15, Newton, was featured in the June 2016 issue of The Mennonite as one of “20 under 40,” for his work as director of prison ministries for Offender Victim Ministries of Newton, a nonprofit that addresses crime and justice.