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Employees Honored with Core Value Mark of Distinction

Employees (left to right) Neal Dutton, Kristi Murchie, Judy Ryan, and Jared Johnson received the Core Value Mark of Distinction.

Four employees received the Core Value Mark of Distinction, an esteemed award that recognizes employees who consistently live out Bethel’s core values, positively affect department goals, constructively serve the Bethel community, and advance Bethel’s mission and vision.

This fall’s recipients for this nomination-based award are:

Neal Dutton, for being a Christ-follower
Associate Professor for the Department of Human Kinetics and Applied Health Science

For the past 35 years, Neal Dutton has held multiple leadership roles within his department. His passion for Christ has been evident through his personal mission for the athletic training education program, which he describes as “preparing students to be cleverly disguised as athletic trainers to go into the world to be salt and light." Dutton’s passion and mission have positively impacted those he serves.

Jamie Dolieslager, associate professor/assistant athletic trainer, recognizes Dutton as an individual who consistently demonstrates what being a Christ-follower entails: "Neal's leadership is instrumental. Through decisions he is patient, selfless, not irritable or resentful. He begins conversations with prayer or Scripture and consistently leads by example. He helps all of us be better Christ-followers by holding us accountable, and he encourages us in love."

Additionally, a student in the athletic training program agrees with Dolieslager: “That is who Neal is a genuine man of God with Kingdom perspective who overflows with love and the fruit of the Spirit. He tenderly loves Jesus and his faith is inspirational to me.”

Jared Johnson, for being salt and light
Sports Information Director in the Office of Marketing

One only need to see this year’s football team headshots to know the impact that Jared Johnson has had for accomplishing great things for Bethel. “Jared takes his passion for athletics and his talent in the area of communications, and shares Bethel with not only local community members, but also with the world via social media. He has been acknowledged by many as an expert in his field and has put Bethel on the map,” says Christine Erntson, communication and marketing coordinator.

Likewise, Athletic Director Bob Bjorklund commends Johnson as salt and light and using his natural passions and talents within our own community: “I hear comments from across campus about the competence, character, and chemistry Jared brings to his role. Employees within communications and marketing eagerly inform me of the excellence of his work. He is a team player when it comes to taking on tasks that do not fit within his job description. He works with alumni and family relations, connects with development and the Royal Athletic Association initiatives, takes on major roles in recruiting initiatives, and does front-line work in branding, even though none of that is in the SID (sports information director) job description.”

Kristi Murchie, for being a character-builder
Resident Director in the Office of Residence Life

Kristi Murchie’s personal mission is to develop whole and holy persons. The impact Murchie has had on students, fellow colleagues, supervisors, and other community members has been unlimited during her 10 years working at Bethel. Assistant Dean of Residence Life Jenn Hillier gratefully acknowledges Murchie’s impact: “Kristi walks with students through difficult questions so that they can get to a point of owning their ideas so that their thoughts, actions, and deeds demonstrate a life centered on Jesus. Kristi helps students personally develop strength and emotional intelligence to make right choices in a broken world. Kristi even encouraged me as a new supervisor.”

Numerous resident directors and students shared stories of how Murchie has helped them build their own character, but previous resident assistant Amber Nehotte sums it up nicely: “Kristi gave me a space to share my story, and she heard it with grace and unconditional love. She could have been quick to respond, giving me all of life's answers, but instead she held up a mirror and allowed me to reflect. She taught me about justice and redemption and goodness and grace all through listening to my story and telling me hers.”

Judy Ryan, for being a Christ-follower
Manager of Student Success for the College of Adult & Professional Studies and Graduate School (CAPS/GS)

Amanda Buol, student success advisor, shares how Ryan’s Christ-like, humble leadership positively impacts her department and our community at large: “Judy displays kindness and selflessness through consistently asking her subordinates if there is anything for which we need help or support. I have had multiple conversations with individuals from several departments at Bethel, who consistently comment on how wonderful Judy is in that she displays love, kindness, and a genuine interest in others' lives. She is truly a light to others and one need only interact with her once to see that she radiates Christ's love.”

Associate Dean of Student Affairs and Operations for CAPS/GS and Ryan’s direct supervisor Ryan Gunderson summarizes how Ryan lives out the mission of being a Christ-follower: “Judy's life is a wellspring of joy and kindheartedness, rooted in her relationship with Christ. God's goodness is consistently evident in the way she serves our students, supports and empowers her team, and ministers to the spirits of those around her through hospitality, thoughtfulness, and good cheer. We are blessed to consider Judy a colleague and friend.”

Dutton, Johnson, Murchie, and Ryan were honored at a recent executive leadership team meeting, where they were awarded the Core Value Mark of Distinction by senior administrators. Each recipient received a $250 check and a custom-made Bethel fleece jacket.

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