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Bethel Celebrates GREAT Employees

On July 21, 2014, President Gregg Chenoweth, Ph.D., recognized several Bethel College faculty and staff who have done an exemplary job in living out the GREATer priorities. He and the department vice presidents presented the awards at a special ceremony.

Alex Daniel, Men’s Basketball Graduate Assistant
Ryne Lightfoot, Men’s Basketball Assistant Coach

President Gregg Chenoweth, Ryne Lightfoot, Alex Daniel and Vice President Shawn Holtgren
(pictured above, ,l-r: President Chenoweth, Lightfoot, Daniel, Vice President for Student Development Shawn Holtgren, Ph.D.)

Daniel and Lightfoot are responsible for recruiting 154 high school basketball teams – including more than 200 coaches and 1,500 students – for a summer tournament at Bethel. The event was the largest ever in our metropolitan region, having grown from just 12 teams in 2011. The size of the program garnered attention and a sponsorship deal from Adidas, who will be the title sponsor for the 2015 Adidas Summer Shoot-out.

Jessie Lacay, Admissions Counselor

Vice President Toni Steffensen Pauls, Admission Counselor Jessie Lacay, Assistant Vice President Andrea Helmuth, President Gregg Chenoweth
(pictured above, l-r: Vice President for Adult and Graduate Studies Toni Steffensen Pauls, Ph.D., Lacay, Assistant Vice President for Traditional Enrollment Andrea Helmuth, President Chenoweth)

Lacay is known for her enthusiasm and passion for the students she serves. In this recruiting season, Lacay has made more than 2,000 contacts to students within her recruitment territory, which is 800 more contacts than the average for the office. And this statistic doesn’t account for the hundreds of additional contacts she’s made while assisting other counselors. In May, Lacay was recognized by the North American Coalition for Christian Admissions Professionals as a regional Rookie of the Year.

Sandra Lesko, Senior Advisor/Recruitment Manager
(not pictured)

According to Vice President for Adult and Graduate Studies Toni Steffensen Pauls, Ph.D., many people saw Bethel’s transition to teaching program as a dying effort and she was encouraged to phase it out. But Lesko believed otherwise. She relentlessly promoted the program and almost single-handedly increased it from 11 students to 33 students. Due to the continued efforts of Lesko, Pauls anticipates starting a fall cohort for the program for the first time in its history.

Chad Meister, Ph.D., Professor of Philosophy

President Gregg Chenoweth, Professor of Philosophy Chad Meister, Vice President Barb Bellefeuille
(pictured above: President Chenoweth, Meister, Vice President for Academic Services Barb Bellefeuille, Ed.D.)

Since publishing his first book, “Building Belief,” in 2006, Meister has published an impressive 17 books with several additional projects in the works. His work routinely receives positive reviews from world-renowned philosophers and his book “God Is Great, God Is Good: Why Believing in God is reasonable and Responsible,” co-authored with William Lane Craig, received Christianity Today's 2010 Book of the Year Award in the category of evangelism and apologetics. He has been invited to spend a semester at the University of Oxford as a Visiting Research Fellow in 2015, focusing on religious diversity and the nature of God and divine action.  He has also been invited to spend a semester at the John Hick Center for Global Philosophy of Religion at the University of Birmingham, England, possibly as the William Paton Visiting Fellow in Global Philosophy of Religion.

Tony Natali, Track Team Head Coach

President Gregg Chenoweth, Head Track Coach Tony Natali, Vice President Shawn Holtgren
(pictured above, l-r: President Chenoweth, Natali, Vice President for Student Development Shawn Holtgren, Ph.D.)

Natali and his group of track coaches were recognized for the numerous impressive achievements their team received in the 2013-14 school year:

  • NAIA Outdoor Nationals: 24 athletes qualified, five All Americans (the second most for any NAIA Outdoor Nationals), women finished 12th in the country
  • NCCAA Outdoor Nationals: 61 athletes qualified, 12 All Americans, three National Champions - Taylor Tepper in pole vault, Elias Micozzi in Discus, Rob Rose in shot put; women finished 4th and men 2nd in country
  • NAIA Indoor Nationals: 26 athletes qualified, six All Americans (the most at any NAIA Indoor Nationals), women finished 11th and men finished 22nd in country
  • NCCAA Indoor Nationals: 64 athletes qualifies, 15 All Americans, three National Champions - Michael Ponce in shot put, Avante Newsome Gunn in long jump, and Kate Carr in pole vault; women finished 3rd and men finished 6th in the country

As a result of their continued success, the team anticipates increased numbers for the 2014-15 season, with a total of 105 members, up from 95 last year.

Physical Plant Staff

Members of the physical plant staff with Vice President Clair Knapp and President Gregg Chenoweth

(pictured above l-r, back row: Vice President for Business Affairs Clair Knapp, Director of Physical Plant Steve Yaw, Grounds Supervisor Rick Hall, Groundskeeper Rick Miller, HVAC Service Technician Jim Blake, Maintenance Staff Steve Spangle, Assistant Director of Physical Plant Butch Breedlove. Middle row: Housekeeping Staff Paula Snyder, Groundskeeper Earl Valentine, Physical Plant Secretary Carol Ziegler, Physical Plant Office Manager Miriam Wertz. Front row: Housekeeping Staff Angie Montgomery, Maintenance Staff Andrew Oldfield, President Chenoweth.)

The 2013-14 school year has seen several weather-related events that proved challenging for our campus, including the harsh “polar vortex” winter and a severe storm that caused a loss of power and nearly 30 damaged trees. The Physical Plant team demonstrated extraordinary effort in the wake of these challenges – some slept on campus to ensure needs were met, and the crew worked 12 of the first 14 weekends in 2014 in order to make sure snow removal was a top priority. Many staff worked outside of their normal job responsibilities and went above and beyond, earning an encore for providing surprising service to the Bethel community. The team also recently received a Campus Champion award from SchoolDude for having low utility cost per square foot and for quickly implementing a utility module which tracks our cost and trends.