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Employees Awarded For Exhibiting Bethel Core Values

Suzi Nelson (left), Taylor Hoffer (center), and Bonnie Hoekstra (right) received the Fall 2017 Core Value Mark of Distinction.

Three employees were awarded the Fall 2017 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.

Bonnie Hoekstra, Christ-follower

Administrative Assistant for Post-traditional Admissions

Hoekstra received the award as a Christ-follower for her ongoing and consistent living out the mission of Jesus.

As Hoekstra’s supervisor, Amy Evans, assistant director of operations and first impressions for post-traditional admissions, commends Hoekstra’s excellence in serving others. “Bonnie constructively serves the Bethel community as a Christ-follower through her care and shepherding of our student interns,” says Evans. “She goes out of her way to care for our student interns not only through guiding them in their work, but also caring for them holistically, whether academically, spiritually, or emotionally. Bonnie prays for our staff regularly and goes out of her way to follow up with the needs of those around her.”

Lead Enrollment Counselor for Post-traditional Admissions Timothy Van De Walker lifts up Bonnie’s commitment to Jesus. “Bonnie embodies the vision in the phrase ‘Rooted in faith. Committed to excellence.’ She helps and welcomes students with a heart full of love, reflecting Christ through her joy and kindness,” he says.

Taylor Hoffer, Christ-follower

Enrollment Counselor for Post-traditional Admissions

Hoffer received the award as a Christ-follower for his servant attitude and care of others.

Devin Lehnhoff, lead enrollment counselor and Hoffer’s supervisor, notes Hoffer’s consistent Christ-like behavior. “Taylor consistently reflects Christ in every interaction he has. He is willing to drop what he is doing at a moment’s notice to help others. His servant attitude has an impact on every student he works with and has made him an important part of our department.”

“Taylor serves in and outside of work,” says colleague Bonnie Hoekstra. “It’s not unusual for him to offer to change the oil or repair a coworker's car. Recently he replaced brakes for someone on our team. He is a team player. He’s always supporting and encouraging others.”

Suzi Nelson, Reconciler

Administrative Assistant for the Office of Academic Affairs

Nelson received the award as a reconciler for consistently demonstrating honor and dignity to all people.

Claudia May, associate professor in the Department of Sociology and Reconciliation Studies, affirmed Nelson’s ability to live out worth and dignity to all in the workplace. “Suzi makes everyone feel welcome. She calls us by name. She asks us if she can help us,” May says. “She prays for us, feels with us, and cries with us. In this, she follows the way of Jesus who forged relationships with peoples of different backgrounds. Like Jesus, Suzi honors the dignity of those she encounters. You know you are seen, heard, and valued when you share space with Suzi.”

Dean of Arts & Humanities Barrett Fisher is Nelson’s supervisor and he praises her for her ongoing demonstration of honoring others. "Suzi is unfailingly compassionate, gracious, helpful, humble, and kind. She dedicates herself unflaggingly to the well-being of others, supporting them in any way that she can, both with her many practical actions on their behalf and through her emotional and spiritual hospitality,” says Fisher.

Executive Vice President and Provost Deb Harless agrees with May and Fisher. “Suzi embodies what it means to be a reconciler,” she says. “At the heart of her interactions with others is her deep commitment to honoring the worth and dignity of all persons as made in the image of God. This is evident in how she cares for students, supports those who are struggling, and assists others in their work. Suzi even finds ways to write in her emails about day-to-day matters to bless and affirm others.”

Hoekstra, Hoffer, and Nelson were honored in December at the Executive Leadership Team meeting, where they were awarded the Core Value Mark of Distinction by senior management. Each recipient received a $250 check and a custom-made Bethel fleece jacket.

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