Psychology student presents research in D.C. for second time

Brad Celestin, senior psychology major from Newton, is the author of one of only 74 — out of more than 850 submitted — undergraduate research posters that were selected to be part of the Council on Undergraduate Research Posters-on-the-Hill presentation in Washington, D.C., April 24.

Not only was he selected for presentation at a national conference this year, Brad had already been a presenter at a national event in 2011. Last November, he and his major professor, Dwight Krehbiel ’69, traveled to Washington, D.C., where Brad was one of about 160 student presenters from colleges and universities across the United States at the FUN Undergraduate Research Poster Session.

The poster Brad presented at both conferences was titled "Neural Correlates of Implicit Sexual Identity Bias as a Function of Religiosity." It was based on his senior thesis project, in which he studied electroencephalographic responses (event-related potentials or ERPs) and behavioral reaction times to pictures by people who were also given religious prompts in the form of biblical texts usually associated with homosexuality.

Reaction time measurements showed that test subjects were slower to pair favorable adjectives with pictures of same-sex couples than of opposite-sex couples. ERP results indicated that these slow responses were accompanied by strong emotional responses, which were modified by the biblical texts.

For a news story about last fall’s trip, go to here.

Kansas historians laud Bethel student work

The Kansas Association of Historians (KAH) invited Alyssa Schrag, history senior from Moundridge, to present a paper at its meeting in Salina March 31. Her topic, "Peace or Persecution: Mennonites in the Holocaust," was an outgrowth of summer archival research in Washington, D.C., and New York City. It was funded by a summer URICA (Undergraduate Research, Internships and Creative Activity) research grant.

URICA awards are available to students to support up to four weeks of full-time undergraduate research during the summer. Each research project is planned in close consultation with a Bethel faculty member. Award recipients receive a stipend of up to $1,000.

KAH recognized the work of another Bethel historian, as well. Though no longer a student, Alex Stucky ’11, Washington, D.C., won a top prize for a paper submitted while still at Bethel. The paper, "War of the Cartoons: The Golden Age of Comic Books from 1930-45 and WWII," used depictions of not only the Nazis and Japanese, but also U.S. troops to demonstrate parallels to and support for other forms of propaganda.

Stucky is currently in Mennonite Voluntary Service, working with For Love of Children, a program that helps youth apply for college. MVS is a program of Mennonite Church USA.

Students revive online journal

Two Bethel students have resurrected the student-run creative journal "BClines" in an online format

The journal, which features photography, poetry, short stories, drawings, photos and prints, was published in print form until 2005. Nicole Eitzen, sophomore from Veracruz, Mexico, and Anthony Gonzalez, senior from Newton, brought it back in March as part of an internship with the Literary Studies Department.

"’BClines’ accepts entries not only from Bethel students, but also from alumni, faculty and staff," said Eitzen. "We’ve gotten the word out to students and faculty, but also want alumni to know that they can submit original material. As of April 27, ’BClines’ has had 2,394 views in more than 13 different countries."

Material is posted in five categories: digital art; drawings, paintings and prints; photography; poetry; and short stories. For more information on submitting work or to view and read the creative work,go here.

Students get a day off class, give a day for service

Whether required (for some) or by choice (for most), service was the primary activity for Bethel students April 11.

That was the annual Service Day, with classes cancelled and the time dedicated to one of Bethel’s core values.

Projects this year included work at the local Mennonite Central Committee office in North Newton; installing tree cages and new steps at Camp Mennoscah near Murdock; eradicating invasive Tatarian honeysuckle in the Kauffman Museum woods; giving chemistry demonstrations at a local middle school; painting hallways in Thresher gym; washing windows at Mantz Library; and spreading wood chips on Sand Creek Trail, among other projects.

Most students participated in projects that meant something to them — even those on the "required" end of the spectrum.

The men’s and women’s basketball team project was painting gym hallways, by the women’s locker room and from Thresher Gym to Memorial Hall. Brianne Zerger, freshman from Hutchinson, enjoyed spending her time on this project for three reasons.

"One, because I actually enjoy painting; two, it was fun to do a service project with some of my good friends; and three, Coach Fox treated us with doughnuts after," Zerger said.

For more of this story, go to here.

Professor organizes exhibit to show ’art lives’ in Kansas

The arts in Kansas may have suffered a blow when state funding ended a year ago, but Rachel Epp Buller ’96 is among the Kansans making sure art stays alive in the state.

Epp Buller, Bethel assistant professor of art, and students in her painting class were featured recently in a regular segment on KAKE TV Channel 10 in Wichita after a story about a special exhibit that Epp Buller organized appeared in "The Newton Kansan."

KAKE’s Larry Hatteberg, whom Epp Buller says is "a strong supporter of the arts," read the story and then did on-camera interviews with Epp Buller and several other artists involved in the exhibit, to create a piece for his well-known "Hatteberg’s People" feature.

The exhibit, "Art Lives!," was on display March 30-April 21 at CityArts in Wichita’s Old Town area. It featured the work of about 24 artists (including Lora Jost ’88, Kate Larson ’08 and Carolyn Wedel’83, as well as Epp Buller) from across the state and was the inaugural exhibit of the Kansas chapter of the Feminist Art Project. Epp Buller is chapter coordinator.

The Feminist Art Project is based at Rutgers University and has chapters worldwide, though most are in North America. Epp Buller knew of the organization through her participation in the College Art Association. A couple of years ago, she initiated the Kansas chapter.

"I had wanted to organize an exhibit," she says. "The art funding cuts were a catalyst." In February 2011, newly elected Kansas governor Sam Brownback signed an executive order that in effect made Kansas the only state in the nation that does not support the arts through state funding.

Epp Buller contacted the artists to contribute to the exhibit, and placed them in pairs. "I paired people not in the same city," she says. "Most of them didn’t know each other before this. It’s a way of strengthening the networks."

For more of this story, go to here.

New Alumni Council members to be affirmed at banquet

The following alumni have agreed to serve on the Bethel College Alumni Association Council from 2012-2015. Their selection is to be affirmed at the association’s brief business meeting during the Alumni Banquet in May.

  • Beverly Baumgartner ’94, Newton
  • Shirley Delk ’73, Wichita
  • Heather Fischer ’04, Newton
  • Joanna Friesen Parks ’98, Wichita
  • Gregory Shelly ’11, North Newton
  • David Stucky ’05, Newton (second term)
  • Terrill Unruh ’71, Wichita
  • Zachary Unruh ’04, Hesston

Members serve three-year terms. For more information, including the names of current and continuing members, go here. If interested in joining, contact Dave Linscheid, director of alumni relations.

The Alumni Banquet is Saturday, May 19, at 6 p.m. in Memorial Hall. The discount price for the meal is $19 per person if paying by May 4, $21 May 7-9. To make a reservation, visit or phone Thresher Bookstore in Schultz Student Center at 316-284-5205. Payment or credit card information is required when the reservation is made.

Kauffman Museum is preparing for its 17th year of summer camps. In 2012, all will be led by local Bethel alumni.

Museum staff recommend two camps that have ample space available. "Behind the Mask I," an art camp for kindergarten and first-grade students led by LaDonna Unruh Voth ’86, will be held June 18-22. "Lions, and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!" art camp for grades 5-8 with Kathy Schroeder ’77 will be July 9-13.

Three camps are almost full: "Little Houses on the Prairie," a preschool camp led by Kristin Neufeld Epp ’95; the art camp "Behind the Mask II" for grades 2-4, also with Unruh Voth; and "Survivor: Prairie" for students in kindergarten through grade 2 and led by Amber Celestin ’04.

"Explorations in Archeology" with Nathan Dick ’81 and for grades 4-6 has a waiting list.

Sessions run for half a day. Complete descriptions, costs and more specific age requirements are here.

To register for an Uncle Carl’s camp or for more information, contact Andi Schmidt Andres.

Information about more Bethel summer camps can be found here.

College president, Bethel alumna to be commencement speaker

Bethel will welcome one of its distinguished alumnae — who also happens to be the parent of a 2012 graduate — as the commencement speaker May 20.

Susan Schultz Huxman began serving July 1, 2011, as the seventh president of Conrad Grebel University College, Waterloo, Ontario. She will deliver the address, which she has titled "Hidden in Plain Sight," to Bethel’s class of 2012, which includes her daughter, Julia Huxman, and her daughter’s fiancé, Trey Ronnebaum of Wichita.

Before taking the Grebel appointment, Huxman served seven years as director of the Elliott School of Communication at Wichita State University.

She is a 1982 Bethel graduate with a B.A. in English, but spent many years before that on the campus, growing up as the oldest of three children of Harold J. and Carolyn Schultz. Harold Schultz was president of the college for 20 years, from 1971-91.

For more of this story, go here.

17th summer for Kauffman Museum camps

Kauffman Museum is preparing for its 17th year of summer camps. In 2012, all will be led by local Bethel alumni.

Museum staff recommend two camps that have ample space available. "Behind the Mask I," an art camp for kindergarten and first-grade students led by LaDonna Unruh Voth ’86, will be held June 18-22. "Lions, and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!" art camp for grades 5-8 with Kathy Schroeder ’77 will be July 9-13.

Three camps are almost full: "Little Houses on the Prairie," a preschool camp led by Kristin Neufeld Epp ’95; the art camp "Behind the Mask II" for grades 2-4, also with Unruh Voth; and "Survivor: Prairie" for students in kindergarten through grade 2 and led by Amber Celestin ’04.

"Explorations in Archeology" with Nathan Dick ’81 and for grades 4-6 has a waiting list.

Sessions run for half a day. Complete descriptions, costs and more specific age requirements are here.

To register for an Uncle Carl’s camp or for more information, contact Andi Schmidt Andres.

Information about more Bethel summer camps can be found here.

Who deserves an alumni award?

The Bethel College Alumni Association Awards Committee invites nominations for alumni awards: Young Alumnus, Outstanding Alumnus and Distinguished Achievement.

The Alumni Association bestowed this year’s Young Alumnus Award on Jaroslav Tir ’95, Boulder, Colo., in March. It will honor Glen Ediger ’75, North Newton, this year’s Outstanding Alumnus Award recipient, and Toshihiro Fukudome ’72, Tokyo, the Distinguished Achievement Award winner, at its May 19 banquet.

The Young Alumnus Award recognizes character and citizenship, achievement or service rendered, honor and recognition received; the recipient should be age 39 or under. The Outstanding Alumnus Award is given on the basis of character and citizenship, service to church/community or college, or other outstanding achievements, honors and recognition. The Distinguished Achievement Award acknowledges character and citizenship, achievement in a chosen profession or vocation, and work of benefit to humanity.

The committee welcomes a broad range of nominees who reflect Bethel’s many programs, college experiences and diversity as well as achievement or service in a variety of areas. Send names with accompanying comments to Awards Committee, c/o Office of Alumni Relations, Bethel College, 300 East 27th Street, North Newton, KS 67117, or contact Dave Linscheid, director of alumni relations and liaison to the committee.