Alumni are invited to submit recent news of interest to others — marriage, job change, birth of a child, award, promotion, graduate school, retirement and so on — to the Office of Alumni Relations. Mail to 300 East 27th Street, North Newton, KS 67117, e-mail to email@example.com or submit via the Bethel website. Please model your information after the current listings below, beginning with name, class year, city and state.
Anyone who earns 24 or more credit hours is a Bethel alumnus, whether a graduate or not. When reaching alumni status, they are assigned a
class year (later replaced by
grad year if they graduate).
The year behind each name below is the person’s class year, often the same as the grad year unless the individual has told the alumni office that they wish to associate with another reunion year (as in the case of a five-year program, study overseas, etc., that delays graduation).
- Marlow Ediger ’53, North Newton, was appointed to the Editorial Advisory Board of the Journal of Research Education. He also received notice that the following manuscripts were accepted for publication: “Teaching Science In-depth” in Connecticut Journal of Science Education; “The Pupil, Writing and the Science Curriculum” in Experiments in Education; “Teaching Mathematics in the Common Core” in Montana Mathematics; “Innovations in Teaching Science” in Missouri Science News; “Seven Criteria for an Effective Classroom Environment” in School Administrators of Montana; “Teaching Social Studies, an In-depth Approach” in Edutracks. Marlow was reappointed to the editorial board of Education, a journal for educators and those interested in education.
- Vernon Lohrentz ’54, North Newton, completed a four-year term on the board of directors of the National Santa Fe Trail Association. He helped start the Cottonwood Crossing Chapter of the association in Marion County 20 years ago. Vernon and his wife, Luella (Wiens) Lohrentz ’55 recently celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. They were married June 1, 1953. The two met at a Mennonite youth retreat at Camp Mennoscah, the camp of Western District Conference of Mennonite Church USA.
- Eldo ’53 and Grace (Miller) Neufeld ’53, Salt Spring Island, British Columbia, moved from Vancouver to a retirement facility. They celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary June 13.
- Karen Ross Epp ’68, Newton, has written a novel, Corn Rose (AuthorHouse, 2013), about Rose Calamia, a first-generation Italian American who works in an aircraft plant in 1945. Karen earned her master’s degree in 2004 from Wichita State University and is retired from the Newton public schools, where she taught visual arts.
- Duane K. Friesen ’62, North Newton, had an article titled “Kultur” published in Mennonitisches Lexikon, Bd. 5, 2012. He also wrote a chapter, “The Gift of the Other: Toward Mutual Transformation,” in Sharing Peace: Mennonites and Catholics in Conversation (Liturgical Press, 2013), edited by Gerald W. Schlabach and Margaret Pfeil.
- Elizabeth Raid ’66, and her husband Lou Gomez, Newton, were appointed as the campus pastoral team for Mennonite Friendship Communities, a retirement village in South Hutchinson. This summer, she was licensed toward ordination by the Western District Conference of Mennonite Church USA. She earned a master of divinity degree from Earlham School of Religion. As a couple, Elizabeth and Lou provide pastoral care for residents and staff on campus through weekly services, daily devotions, Bible studies and other activities. Elizabeth has international voluntary service experience in Latin America. Her recent employment includes positions with Mennonite Central Committee and Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary-Great Plains Extension in North Newton. She is a published author of her father’s biography and writes for Rejoice! and other publications.
- Sheldon Sawatzky ’65, Harrisburg, Pa., served as a mission worker in Taiwan with the Commission on Overseas Mission from 1965–97 and as director for East Asia with Mennonite Mission Network from 1997–2009. From 2010–12, he was general secretary of the Fellowship of Mennonite Churches in Taiwan, retiring in November 2012.
- A. Emerson Wiens ’60, Newton, recently had a book published, Coming to Terms & Other Poems. It includes 30 sketches and 68 poems on topics ranging from American culture to growing old and dying to rhymed children’s poems to verses about nature. Raylene Hinz-Penner ’70, Topeka, wrote the book’s foreword. In the fall, Emerson hosted book readings and signings at Pages Books & Coffee, Faith & Life Bookstore and Newton Public Library, all in Newton. He also exhibited sculptures at Pages. The 20-plus pieces were sculpted from black walnut and Osage orange with wood, limestone and silverdale bases.
- Sherman Yen ’60, Columbia, Md., president of Asian American Health Associates, was awarded a contract with Maryland University Medical Hospital to provide gambling addiction prevention with the Asian-American population in Maryland.
- Philip Koontz ’70, Newton, retired after 40 years as an industrial equipment mechanic at Price Brothers Equipment, Wichita.
- Sondra (Bandy) Koontz ’70, Newton, retired from Bethel College July 12, where she had been vice president of advancement. Sondra served Bethel College for nearly 15 years on the President’s Cabinet, working with five presidents during her tenure. She led the development team in the successful completion of a number of capital projects on campus and the achievement of annual budget goals.
- Judy Loganbill ’75, Wichita, retired from USD 259-Wichita after 30 years of teaching. She also spent a two-year term with Mennonite Voluntary Service as a teacher at Hopi Mission School in Kykotsmovi Village, Ariz., and two years as a teacher in the Ganado (Ariz.) Public Schools on the Navajo reservation. She spent her last 23 years of teaching at Allen Elementary.
- David Ortman ’75, Seattle, spoke at the Swiss Mennonite Cultural and Historical Association meeting Aug. 29 at Whitestone Mennonite Church in Hesston. David, an attorney, shared his interest in Schweitzer history, touching on historical areas where more research could be directed.
- Teresa Pankratz ’78, Chicago, is a self-employed studio artist. She is looking forward to interactions at Bethel surrounding her upcoming solo exhibit mid-January to mid-February of 2014. “The Dream House Collection OR Tales of Narrow Escape, A Sculptural Novel” is an installation of artist’s books and narrative sculpture that will coincide with an interterm Book Arts class taught by Rachel Epp Buller ’96.
- Janine Wedel ’78, Washington, D.C., was featured in Pacific Standard in an article called “Meet the Flexians.” Janine, an anthropologist, coined the term “flexian”: “a creature peculiar to our moment in history: a mover and shaker who serves multiple, overlapping roles with smiling finesse – business consultant, think tank fellow, government adviser. He is someone who ‘glides in and around the organizations that enlist his services.’” Janine writes that flexians are power brokers with a new set of cultural norms who have taken over institutions people used to trust.
- Keith Wiens, ’78, Glouster, Ohio, litigated a case that went to all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. As staff attorney for the Athens County Child Support Enforcement Agency, Keith filed and successfully argued a motion to enforce a child-support order in the trial court in Athens, Ohio. The defendant appealed. Keith filed briefs with that court and orally argued the case, and the court affirmed the trial court decision. The defendant appealed to the Ohio Supreme Court, where Keith filed legal briefs and orally argued the case, and the court affirmed the trial court decision. The defendant filed briefs with the U.S. Supreme Court asking them to hear the case. The court asked Keith to file a brief instead. After Keith submitted his brief, the Supreme Court affirmed the Ohio Supreme Court decision. As part of this process, Keith was admitted as a lifetime member of the bar of the United States Supreme Court.
- Catherine (Coon) Bitikofer ’83, St. George, is a substitute teacher with USD 383-Manhattan. She is one of 28 illustrators for A BC ABC Book, which the Bethel College Women’s Association published this fall.
- Thane Chastain ’82, Wichita, began March 25 as program manager for the Kansas Leadership Center’s Leadership and Faith effort. He is a lifelong member of the United Methodist Church and currently supports Calvary United Methodist Church in Wichita as director of emerging media ministries.
- Lisa (Jantzen) Donahue ’83, Lincolnville, is the police response advocate coordinator with the Harvey County Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault Task Force.
- Becky Fast ’84, Mission, was elected as a Ward I councilwoman to the Roeland Park City Council in the spring of 2012.
- Kevin Goertzen ’87, Waynesboro, Va., is lead pastor at Springdale Mennonite Church in Waynesboro.
- Bron (Walton) Hack ’83, Albuquerque, earned a master of arts degree in curriculum and instruction-learning tech at New Mexico State University, Las Cruces. She is the head teacher in the Department of Special Education in the Albuquerque public schools.
- Cindy (Pankratz) Jantzen ’89, Wichita, is an advanced practical registered nurse at WesleyCare Family Medicine in Wichita.
- Dorothy (Stucky) Janzen ’81, McPherson, is a piano instructor and accompanist at McPherson College.
- Karen (Kraybill) Linn ’83, Topeka, received the Women to Watch Award in the Experienced Leader award category. The Kansas Society of CPAs gives this award in conjunction with the American Institute of CPAs. Karen is managing director of Berberich Trahan & Co., P.A. in Topeka.
- Susan Loepp ’89, Williamstown, Mass., was involved Aug. 1–3 with the Mathematical Association of America MathFest in Hartford, Conn. She helped organize the invited paper session “Developments in Commutative Algebra.” She also was invited to present a paper, “Coding Theory for Quantum Cryptography,” at MathFest.
- Kyle Nevills ’89, Scott City, recently completed his 10th surgical mission trip delivering anesthesia. He has served in the Dominican Republic and Haiti.
- Dana (Leeper) Selzer ’83, Broomfield, Colo., is the chief academic officer with the Greeley-Evans School District 6 in Greeley, Colo. She also is an educational consultant with Improvement Strategies LLC and with the Colorado Department of Education.
- Barbara (Thieszen) Thiesen ’81, Newton, completed her 500-hour yoga teacher certification in June at the Yoga School of Therapeutics in Overland Park.
- Jorge Cova ’93, Geneva, Switzerland, after several years of research, is ready to publish an edition of the complete keyboard works of Giovanni Battista Ferrini (Italy, 17th-century). Jorge is a seasonal lecturer at the University of Geneva.
- Lowell Ebersole ’93, Eastborough, is the hospitalist program medical director at Via Christi Clinic in Wichita.
- Gary R. Entz ’90, Rhinelander, Wis., is the author of Llewellyn Castle: A Worker’s Cooperative on the Great Plains (University of Nebraska Press, 2013). The book explores the intellectual links between the British Chartist movement of the 1830s and ’40s and the Kansas Populist movement of the 1890s through an examination of a small political pragmatic utopian community in northeastern Kansas.
- Michael Goertzen ’91, Harrisonburg, Va., completed his master’s degree in business administration at James Madison University in Harrisonburg and was inducted into Beta Gamma Sigma International Honor Society.
- Todd J. Janzen ’95, Indianapolis, was appointed chair of the American Bar Association’s Agricultural Management Committee. The committee is part of the ABA’s Section of Environment, Energy and Resources. The appointment is for an initial term of one year. Janzen is a Plews Shadley Racher & Braun partner.
- Cara (Eshelman) Kliewer ’97, Wichita, was featured in an article about her dedication to non-profits in the late summer issue of the Wichita magazine WomensFocus. Cara received the “40 Under 40” Award from the Wichita Business Journal in August.
- Chris Kliewer ’97, Wichita, joined Law-Kingdon Architects in Wichita in September and accepted a board member position with Arts Partners of Wichita.
- Matthew Krehbiel ’99, Topeka, oversees science education for the Kansas Department of Education. For the past two years, he has briefed the state’s Board of Education every month on how the department is preparing to join a national initiative redefining the teaching of science in elementary and secondary schools in America. In June, the board voted to adopt the Next Generation Science Standards, which makes Kansas the third state to adopt the voluntary standards.
- Matthew Miller ’93, Freeman, S.D., is risk manager for U.S. Bank in Sioux Falls, S.D. He earned the certified regulatory compliance manager designation from the Institute of Certified Bankers in 2012.
- Eric Peters ’97, Prairie Village, was named the pole vault national champion (35- to 39-year-old division) at the 2013 USA Masters Track and Field Championship held in Olathe in July.
- Chad Schilling ’96, Hesston, is research coordinator with Ag 1 Source in Hesston.
- David Stigge-Kaufman ’98, St. Louis, is a clinical psychologist and assistant professor of psychology at Saint Louis University, where he teaches graduate and undergraduate classes, supervises clinical doctoral students and serves as director of the Cognitive and Affective Psychophysiology Lab.
- Sydney Stigge-Kaufman ’98, St. Louis, works for the East St. Louis school district doing development and community organizing for collective impact. She serves as an MSW field instructor at Brown School of Social Work at Washington University. She and her family are members of St. Louis Mennonite Fellowship.
- Jaroslav Tir ’95, Lafayette, Colo., was promoted to professor of political science at the University of Colorado-Boulder. He continues to research and teach about the causes and management of armed conflicts.
- Jason Auernheimer ’03, Moundridge, is an environmental scientist with Plains Environmental in Salina.
- Braden Dragomir ’09, Toronto, Ontario, has a new job as a videographer at CTV Kitchener. He also is the anchor/producer of Newswatch@11, a videographer/reporter and secondary sports and weather anchor at CKWS Television in Kingston, Ontario.
- Adam Gaeddert ’07, Decatur, Ga., received a master’s degree in accounting from North Carolina State University-Raleigh in May. He is an audit associate with Grant Thornton LLP in Atlanta.
- Ruth Harder ’01, Kansas City, Kan., is pastor at Rainbow Mennonite Church in Kansas City.
- Megan (Klaassen) Kohlman ’08, Augusta, is the library media specialist at Augusta High School. She previously taught middle school language arts in Andover.
- Orlando Rayfield ’08, Arlington, Texas, is employed by Nationstar Mortgage in Lewisville, Texas, as a loan counselor.
- Luke Schmidt ’03, Socorro, N.M., is an instrumentation scientist with Magdalena Ridge Observatory in Socorro.
- Erin (Schmidt) Stucky ’03, Boulder, Colo., earned a master of arts degree in speech, language and hearing sciences from the University of Colorado-Boulder in May 2012. She is employed as a speech/language pathologist in the Thompson school district in Loveland, Colo.
- Chelsea Vaught ’07, Fort Wayne, Ind., is organist and director of music at First Presbyterian Church in Fort Wayne.
- Erica Buller ’12, Lenexa, began one-year term of Mennonite Voluntary Service Aug. 25 in Boulder, Colo., working as an instructor for Out & About. She is a member of Rainbow Mennonite Church in Kansas City, Kan.
- Annika Janzen ’13, Fresno, Calif., began a one-year term of Mennonite Voluntary Service Aug. 26 in Seattle as a home delivery and volunteer coordinator with University District Food Bank. She is a member of Mennonite Community Church in Fresno.
- Emma Regier ’13, Newton, began a one-year term of Mennonite Voluntary Service Aug. 25 in Alamosa, Colo., as an environmental restoration associate with Rio Grande Headwaters Restoration Project. She is a member of Shalom Mennonite Church in Newton.
- Kristin Unruh ’13, Newton, is a kindergarten teacher at Hesston Elementary School.