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Students Given Unique Opportunity to Interact with Bethel Trustees

Seniors Janika Hemmingson (left) and Lis von Schmidt-Pauli (right) invite Board of Trustee members to hear more about the exercise science program at Bethel.

Bethel University students and faculty from five programs recently had a unique opportunity to interact with Board of Trustee members through informal presentations. The faculty and students set up visual displays and invited trustees to stop by the exhibits to hear more about each program through one-on-one conversations.  The event included programs that are featured initiatives of the university’s strategic plan and was organized as an opportunity for trustees to meet some of the individuals associated with the programs they heard about during the May board meeting. The five programs included the Graduate School’s Master of Business Administration (MBA) program and physician assistant program; Bethel Seminary’s Ministry Partnership Program; and the business and exercise science programs in the College of Arts and Sciences.

“I suggested this ‘poster session reception’ as a way to help the trustees ‘put faces’ to the various ways Bethel is at work trying to extend our reach and reputation, build relationships with churches , and grow particular academic programs,” said Rich Sherry, executive assistant to the president. “I’m glad the faculty and deans have been supportive of this effort to inform the trustees and build relationships.”

MBA Program

Director of the MBA Program Duncan McCampbell said he was delighted his program was invited. He asked faculty members Steve Ogren and Vanessa Ranallo as well as students Fangjing Huang and Jonathan Weinhagen to join him during the event. The group interacted with at least six trustees and informed them about a recent trip to China that was the formalization of a professional relationship between Bethel and five Chinese universities regarding the MBA program.

Physician Assistant Program

Wallace Boeve, director of the physician assistant program at Bethel, said the event went very well and he answered many great questions from the trustees about the new program that will start in summer 2013, pending accreditation. The new program, offered through the Graduate School, is in the development stage, which involves hiring new faculty members, working with area doctors and hospitals to establish clinical sites for students, and working on accreditation requirements.

Ministry Partnership Program

Sarah Crabtree, assistant director of operations at Bethel Seminary, chatted with trustees about the Ministry Partnership Program that began in 2010. The program connects churches and parachurch organizations across the country with the Bethel Seminary to offer 30% scholarships to students from the partnering organizations. Crabtree explained the program to trustees by answering questions about the objectives as well as where and what the partnerships are. To date, the program has 53 partnering organizations in Bethel Seminary’s three locations – St. Paul, San Diego, and the East Coast – and 112 students have participated in the program in the last two years.

Business and Economics Programs

College of Arts and Sciences faculty Tom Johnson and Bethany Opsata presented on the European international study abroad opportunities offered through the Bethel program, and students Ethan Anderson, Kellan Dahlquist, Dan Cannon, and Toby Robinson presented on their experience competing in the recent Minnesota CFA Institute Research Challenge.

“We had about six or eight trustees stop by,” said Chuck Hannema, associate professor of business, who presented with the CFA team. “Many trustees intentionally sought out the group to learn more. They came with good questions, were very gracious and inquisitive of the students, and had keen insights to offer them. The students felt that the trustees had genuine interest in them and this project and appreciated the opportunity to visit with them in person.”

Exercise Science Program

The Bethel exercise science program, soon to be renamed biokinetics, has seen significant growth recently and will continue to expand as part of the health sciences emphasis at the university. Students were on hand to talk to trustees about the recent American College of Sports Medicine Northland Chapter’s Research Symposium, where seniors Josh Hageman and Brandon Johnson took the first place award. The two competed against 88 other research teams, including nine from their Bethel classmates, and 16 other universities. Five of the Bethel teams were on hand during the trustee presentation to explain their work.


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