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Commencement 2018: College of Arts & Sciences

Commencement 2018: College of Arts & Sciences

Students graduated from the College of Arts & Sciences at Bethel University on May 26.

Business and political science double major Wendy Lorenzo-Sanchez '18 says she immediately knew she wanted to attend Bethel because—as someone who had always attended public schools—she loved how faith was interwoven with learning. During her time at Bethel, she has hosted prospective students; was involved in Student Activities, Student Senate, and Voz Latinx; and did service-learning at Maxfield Elementary.

"These experiences really allowed me to grow outside of the classroom. I had many opportunities to connect with different students on campus, and feel part of the Bethel community,” says Lorenzo-Sanchez. "Bethel helped me to learn a lot more about my beliefs. This learning came in the form of my education, as well as the challenges I had to overcome. The experiences I've had with other people has also made me learn new things about myself. I have become more aware of myself, and that has helped me understand my career path as well."

On May 26, Lorenzo-Sanchez joined missional ministries major Raygen Brown ’18, psychology major Marco Ochoa ’18, and nursing major Svannan Yang ’18 to become the first four Act Six Scholars  to graduate from Bethel—a year early. Their cadre of 11 Act Six Scholars began Fall 2015 in the new program that granted full-need scholarships to emerging urban and community leaders. Each year since, 10 more scholars have started—with the fourth class beginning in August.

The four Act Six scholars were part of the 541 students in the College of Arts & Sciences who graduated from Bethel University on May 26. Eleven students in the Bethel University Inclusive Learning and Development (BUILD) program earned a certificate in applied studies; one student earned an associate’s degree; and the remaining graduates earned a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, or Bachelor of Fine Arts.

Commencement speakers Dan and Alea Dye ’81 shared the opportunities and challenges they have faced since their days at Bethel. Dan Dye graduated in business and worked at Cargill as a commodity trader for years. He then became president of Cargill AgHorizons, the company’s U.S. grain handling business. In 2009, he transferred over to lead Horizon Milling, Cargill’s North American flour milling business. Then, in 2014, Horizon Milling became part of a joint venture with ConAgra Mills and he became CEO.

Alea Dye worked as a social worker for years and then, after their two children were born, she took the opportunity to stay home with them. However, on January 7, 2017, their lives changed forever when Alea was in a life-threatening snowmobile accident. She suffered a traumatic brain injury and a series of lung and breathing problems. While the Dyes acknowledge 2017 was a trying year for them, they also shared stories of how God used those months to shape and mold them for His plans and purposes.

“I needed to completely rely on God,” Alea Dye said about the experience. “Just like me, when you step into the world, you will experience new things in life,” she told graduates. “There is comfort and assurance that you will not walk alone.…As you begin your new life after graduation, God will always be with you.”

“During this time of transition in your life, lean into God,” Dan Dye added. “He will hold you in the palm of His hand, and you can rest in that assurance.”

Find out what comes next for Bethel’s College of Arts & Sciences Class of 2018:

Accounting and Finance

Hannah Fontaine, Tax Associate at PricewaterhouseCoopers

Erik Hall, Audit Associate at Grant Thornton, LLP

Elliot Larson, Auditor at Baker Tilly Virchow Krause


Christine Schwartz, Counselor at Inspiration Point Christian Camp and Retreat Center in Minnesota

Graphic Design

Allegra Berger, Freelance photographer, graphic designer, and social media marketer in Los Angeles, California

Elizabeth Dahlin, Designer at WELL Summit/WELL Insiders

Petra Lee, Graphic Design Intern at JOYCE

Athletic Training

Jacob Harle, Des Moines University, Doctor of Physical Therapy

Brianna Kieger, Clinical Athletic Trainer

Biochemistry/Molecular Biology

Stephanie Peterson, Southwest College of Natural Medicine, Naturopathic Medicine


Kelly Bonde, Des Moines University, Doctor of Physical Therapy

Tiana Kloos, Health and nutrition teacher and CrossFit trainer in Cairo, Egypt

Wendy Roberts, St. Catherine University, Doctor of Physical Therapy

Biokinetics and Spanish

Betsy Peterson, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Master of Science in Occupational Therapy


Erin Alpers, Bethel University, Master of Science in Physician Assistant

Abby Ludens, Medical Scribe then PA school

Bethel University Inclusive Learning and Development (BUILD) Program

Patrick Elmore, Target Ridgedale Cashier


Emily Bauer, Loan Portfolio Analyst at NorthMarq Capital in Bloomington, Minnesota

Holly Bjelland, Staff Auditor in Corporate Audit Services at US Bank

Cole Buttenhoff, Loan Officer at HomeTown Bank in Waconia, Minnesota

Nellie Buttweiler, Onboarding Specialist at Dahl Consulting

McKinzie Fettig, Human Resource Representative at Multi-Tech Systems, Inc.

Micaela Gochanour, Sales and Marketing Manager at TPI Hospitality

Kevin Hintz, Human Resources Coordinator at US Bank

Austin Thomas, Financial Analyst at Optum

Cody Treptau, Account Install Specialist at Prime Therapeutics

Kelly Megan Walsh, Business Analyst in the Consulting Development Program at Optum

Dylan Webster, Account Development Manager at Barton & Associates in Austin, Texas

Business, and Economics and Finance

Jackson Arland, Data Analyst at US Bank

Eli Schipper, Associate Business Consultant at Perficient

Economics and Finance

Daniel Parkin, Bethel Seminary, M.A. in Ministry

Business and Political Science

Michael Cameron, Food Security Lobbying Intern at World Vision in Washington, D.C.

Sterling Harer, Disability Examiner, Disability Determination Services


Mark Mitmoen, Marquette University, Chemistry

Communication Studies

Madison T Chau, Youth Ministry Associate at Colonial Church in Edina

Corrinne Johnson, Central Michigan University, Master of Arts in Communication Studies

Communication Studies and Organizational Communication

Hannah Gomes, Illinois State University, Master of Arts in Communication Studies

Relational and Organizational Communication

Courtney Peterson, Events and Marketing Coordinator at the Shakopee Chamber of Commerce

Relational Communication

Cecily Lemon, Elementary Teacher with Teach for America

Communication Arts and Literature 5-12

Meckenna Marie Woetzel, English Teacher at Blaine High School

Communications Arts and Literature Education 5-12, and Teaching English as a Second Language Education K-12

Samantha Hindt, English Teacher at Hastings High School

Computer Science

Michael Fontaine, Applications Developer at Securian Financial Group

Jonathan Jarl, Software Developer at Travelers Insurance

Peter Klemme, Associate Application Developer at IDeaS

Kyle Larsen, Applications Developer at Securian Financial Group

Elementary Education

Jackie Anderson, Teaching (still in the interview process)

Brooke Bamberger, Kindergarten Teacher at PACT Charter School

Kaylee Isom, Early Childhood Head Teacher at St. David’s Center for Family and Child Development

Andra Johnson, Middle School Math Teacher at Calvin Christian School

Emily Lemons, Math Teacher (6th and 7th grades) at Hennepin Charter/ Hennepin Elementary School

Carissa Nelson, Secondary Science Teacher at Legacy Christian Academy

Abbey Schmit, 5th Grade Teacher at Eisenhower Elementary, Hopkins Public Schools

Nicole Seest, Math Teacher (6th and 7th grades) at Hmong College Prep Academy

Madison Wuertz, Kindergarten Teacher at Hennepin Elementary School

Elementary Education and Spanish Education

Lindsay Johnson, English Language and Culture Assistant in Madrid, Spain

English and Philosophy

Berit Turnquist, Office Administrator at Thrivent, then graduate school


Andrew Fort, High School Social Studies Teacher, Greenway Public Schools in Coleraine, Minnesota

Sarah Sauer, Luther Seminary, graduate work


Abby Petersen, Head Counselor and Administrative Assistant at Pioneer & Rimrock Camps and Retreat Centers. After that, law school!

McKenzie Van Loh, Impact intern at Calvary Baptist Church

Mathematics Education 5-12

Kayla Hewitt, Math Teacher at Blaine High School

Missional Ministries

Kathryn Holmberg, Princeton Theological Seminary, Master of Divinity

John Miller, Fuller Theological Seminary, Master of Divinity

Michaela Silvis, Princeton Theological Seminary, Master of Divinity and Master of Arts in Christian Education and Formation


Jillian Drewes, Registered Nurse at Abbott Northwestern Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit

Sydney Durkot, Registered Nurse at Abbott Northwestern, Cardiac Step-down Unit

Ellie Elmquist, Registered Nurse at Abbott Northwestern Hospital

Eleanor Erholtz, Registered Nurse at Abbott Northwestern, Orthopaedic Unit

Sydney Gray, Trauma/surgical ICU nurse at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota

Rachel Gryte, ICU nurse at Mercy Hospital in Coon Rapids

Breanna Hess, Registered Nurse at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in the Neuroscience and Epilepsy Center

Meghan Higgins, Registered Nurse at Regions Hospital: Trauma/Surgical Unit

Liza Kormann, M.S. in Nurse-Midwifery at Bethel University

Travis Lamecker, Registered Nurse at Rice Memorial Hospital in Willmar, Minnesota

Maria Markoe, Registered Nurse at Dartmouth-Hitcock Medical Center

Matt Olson, Registered Nurse at St Joseph’s Hospital-Cardiac/Telemetry PCU in Saint Paul, Minnesota

Claire Stephens, Cardiac Operating Room Nurse at Mayo Clinic - Saint Mary's Hospital

Claire Stewart, Registered Nurse at Abbott Northwestern Hospital

Ellie Tiegs, Registered Nurse at Abbott Northwestern Hospital

Applied Physics

Anthony Droogsma, Project Engineer at UHL Co. in Maple Grove, Minnesota

Samuel Nelson, Carnegie Mellon University, graduate work in electrical and computer engineering

Zachary Peterson, Graduate Research Employment Program at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota

Greyson Stocker, University of Michigan, Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering

Keith Vollendorf, University of Minnesota for Mechanical Engineering, and U.S. Air Force for Space Operations after graduate school

Nathan Wahlberg, Engineering Project Manager at Harris Companies in Saint Paul, Minnestoa


Ben Kaiser, Graduate School

Joseph Nelson, Project Engineer at Open Systems International in Medina, Minnesota

Maxwell Werner, University of British Columbia, graduate work in physics

Physics and Applied Physics

Peter Christenson, University of Minnesota, graduate work in electrical engineering

Michael Neubauer, Montana State University, graduate work in mechanical engineering


Sophia Burville, Behavior Technician at Fraser

Danielle DeBiaso, Bethel University, M.A in clinical counseling

Melanie Nelson, University of St. Thomas School of Law

Mikayla Peters, Behavioral Therapist at Partners In Excellence

Maddie Reding, Bethel University, M.A. in Counseling

Stephanie Starks, University of Michigan, Master's in Social Work with a concentration in Mental Health and Interpersonal Studies

Social Work

Ami Armstrong, Abilene Christian University, Master's in Social Work

McKenzie Libbesmeier, Geriatric Medical Case Manager

Christina Moorlag, Case Manager at Pinnacle Services in Minneapolis

Julia Stanch, Case Manager at Meridian Services

Teaching English as a Foreign Language

Paige Silfugarian, Teaching English in the Czech Republic with TeachBeyond; Wheaton College, M.A. in TESOL and Intercultural Studies

Alanna Williamson, Teaching English in Reutte, Austria, for the summer

Teaching English as a Foreign Language, Elementary Education

Mario Munoz, Au Pair in Munich, Germany

Theatre Arts

Madeline Ritter, Working at Disney World

 Are you a member of the Class of 2018 and you don’t see your name included? Send an email to the Office of Marketing and Communications with your name, major, and what’s next after Bethel.