Milt Claassen ’54, Newton, was named Outstanding Citizen of the Year by the Newton Area Chamber of Commerce.

Marlow Ediger ’53, North Newton, had 11 manuscripts accepted for publication in various journals: “Action Research in the Curriculum” and “Motivating Pupils in Science Activities” in Edutracks; “Curriculum, Testing versus Teaching” in Reading Improvement; “Science and the Common Core Standards” in Virginia Journal of Science Education; “Pointers in Teaching Mathematics” in Delta K; “Student Vocabulary Development in Science” in Science Times; “Teaching the New Social Studies” in College Student Journal; “Old Order Amish and Social Studies” in Trends and Issues; “Excessive Testing and Pupils in the Public Schools” in Journal of Research and Innovations in the Social Sciences; “Improving the Mathematics Curriculum” in Vector; and “Teaching Science and the Next Generation Science Standards” in Connecticut Science Education Journal. Marlow is on the External Examination Committee for Mother Teresa University in India. He evaluates Ph.D. theses, and is currently appraising “Health and Defensive Behavior of Higher Secondary Students and their Counseling Needs.”

John Gaeddert ’50, North Newton, had an exhibit titled “Revelations in Wood: The Sculpture of John Gaeddert, 1950-2015,” Sept. 28-Oct. 28 in Bethel’s Regier Art Gallery (see the article in this issue of Context).

Ellen Voran ’50, Hesston, was named Volunteer of the Year by LeadingAge Kansas for her efforts as an active volunteer at Schowalter Villa in Hesston.


Lauren Friesen ’67, Chicago, authored Prairie Lands, Private Landscapes: Re-framing a Mennonite Childhood. The book seeks to address one basic question—How does a Midwestern rural child end up in amateur, professional and academic theater?—by delving into the dynamics of Lauren’s religious heritage, family influence and community of origin.

Doyle Preheim ’63, Highlands Ranch, Colorado, is retired from Goshen (Indiana) College as professor of music.


Kathy Schroeder ’77, Canton, was named Overall Outstanding Art Educator of the Year 2016-17 by the Kansas Art Educators Association. Rachel Epp Buller ’96, Bethel associate professor of visual art and design, made the nomination.


James Bonds ’82, Virginia Beach, Virginia, is employed by McKean Defense Group (Department of the Navy) as a training consultant. He provides instructional oversight and expertise in public administration, quality assurance and engineering. James served as a United States Naval Officer Active Duty for more 27 years, retiring in 2011. He earned his doctoral degree in public administration from Capella University earlier this year.

David Morford ’81, Ottawa, is principal at Ottawa High School.

Sharon Franz Morford ’81, Ottawa, is a senior consultant with PI Consulting Group based in Kansas City.

Sondra (Kaufman) Tolle ’83, Albuquerque, and her husband, Bob, are Service Adventure-Albuquerque leaders with Mennonite Mission Network.

Cynthia (Shold) Wiens ’86, Goessel, was promoted to senior associate with the Adrian & Pankratz law firm in Newton.


Eric Cook-Wiens ’99, Lawrence, presented “Improving Population Health in Kansas” at Bethel’s STEM Symposium as part of Fall Festival this year. Eric currently works for the Kansas Healthcare Collaborative in Topeka.

Melisa (Funk) Cooper ’97, McPherson, Miranda De Luna ’98, Bel Aire, and Tracy Ediger ’93, Columbus, Ohio, were members of a panel for Bethel’s STEM Symposium during Fall Festival 2016, discussing “Improving Health Care through Collaboration among Professions.”

Suzanna Mathews ’94, Wichita, released her first book, Revising Mrs. Robinson: Navigating Cougar-Cub Dating and Relationships, in which she uses her experience with dating services to tackle ageism, sexism and cross-generational relationships.

Eric Nachtigal ’94, Wichita, successfully guided Maize South Elementary to becoming a designated “Lighthouse School” through a program called The Leader in Me. Eric’s school was the first in Kansas to receive this designation.

Byron Rupp ’93, Andover, was elected president of the Andover-Augusta Rail Trail Initiative.

Travis Schlenk ’95, Oakland, California, was promoted to vice president of basketball operations and assistant general manager of the NBA’s Golden State Warriors.

Christy Schunn-Sebes ’92, North Newton, executive director of the Kansas Infant Death and SIDS Network, Dr. Stephanie Kuhlmann, Dr. Zachary Kuhlmann and Dr. Cari Schmidt of the University of Kansas School of Medicine-Wichita took their research and work to a global audience in September at the 2016 International Conference on Stillbirth, SIDS and Baby Survival in Montevideo, Uruguay. Christy presented a paper on “Building a Statewide Safe Sleep Infrastructure.”


Jacy (Suttlemyre) Barker ’07, Wichita, and Jodi (Enz) Runge ’07, Newton, were members of a panel for Bethel’s STEM Symposium during Fall Festival 2016, discussing “Improving Health Care through Collaboration among Professions.”

Matt Burkey ’02, Williams Lake, British Columbia, is a public-health researcher, child and adolescent psychologist, and assistant in psychiatry and behavioral sciences at John Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore. Matt was the keynote speaker at the 2016 Bethel STEM Symposium, part of Fall Festival. His lecture was titled “Meeting Population Child Behavioral Health Needs: Perspectives from Baltimore, Nepal and Rural Canada.”

Heather Fischer ’04, Newton, recently began working as a school social worker at Walton Rural Life Center. She earned an MSW from Newman University, Wichita, in 2015.

Todd Flory ’04, Wichita, was named the PBS Digital Innovation Lead Educator for the state of Kansas. Todd also earned an M.S.Ed in instructional technology from Fort Hays State University.

Aziza Hasan ’03, Los Angeles, received the 2016 Young Alumnus Award for her work at NewGround: A Muslim-Jewish Partnership for Change and for being named by Barack Obama to serve on the President’s 3rd Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. Aziza accepted her award and gave a convocation presentation Oct. 19.

Brad Kohlman ’07, Hesston, received the CASE VI New Professional Scholarship, which will allow him to attend the CASE V & VI Joint Conference in Chicago.

Dana (Rathbun) Williamson ’08, Dodge City, completed all state and federal requirements to become a licensed architect in the state of Kansas and is employed by Bruce McMillian AIA Architects as a project manager.


Jaylene Burge ’13, Newton, was named the Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF) West Region Employee of the Quarter this past September.

Audra Miller ’14, San Francisco, was recognized by Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA) as one of “10 exceptional young women under the age of 35,” who exude a commitment to faith values and service and who embody an entrepreneurial spirit. The award citation noted Audra’s work as a project associate for Delivering Innovation for Supportive Housing (DISH) in San Francisco; for the “Everyone Deserves a Home” project, a public portrait series of formerly homeless San Franciscans; for the Gender Project, a photo series focused on gender as a social construct; and for UpDate, which provides eye-catching photos for online dating profiles.

Aimee Voth Siebert ’10, Denver, was featured in the University of Denver campaign “From Passion to Purpose.” Last year, she went to Sierra Leone as a health promotion specialist in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control, responding to an Ebola outbreak. Aimee was the inaugural awardee of the Service and Leadership pin given by the University of Denver Graduate School of Professional Psychology.

Laura Stewart ’10, Wichita, is employed by Presbyterian Manor, Newton, as a social worker.