Staff Awarded for Living Out Bethel’s Core Values

Doug Kojetin, Nadine Johnson, Avis Soderstrom, and Sue Gazich received the 2019 Core Value Mark of Distinction awards.

By Claire Swenson ’19

July 23, 2019 | Noon

Core Value Award Winners

Doug Kojetin, Avis Soderstrom, Sue Gazich, and Nadine Johnson

Bethel’s Core Value Mark of Distinction award highlights employees who consistently live out the core values of our university. Together, we strive to be Christ-followers, character builders, learners, truth-seekers, world-changers, reconcilers, and salt and light. Nominated by their colleagues, these four Bethel community members were named as the 2019 award recipients.


Doug Kojetin, Christ-Follower and Character-Builder

Residence Maintenance Specialist, Facilities Management

Doug Kojetin is honored as a Christ-follower and character-builder for his tireless hard work which ensures our facilities run smoothly.

Susan Wilberts, a teacher in the Child Development Center, attests to Kojetin’s impact through his work. “Doug has a true servant heart,” she says. “He works tirelessly to serve others… Everyday no matter the challenges presented to him, he appears in good spirits, has a positive attitude, and is always willing to tackle any kind of task, big or small. He is extremely hardworking and efficient with his use of time on a given task.”

Kojetin is praised for his commitment to getting the job done in the most efficient and effective way possible, making sure his solutions are always safe and cost-effective. He consistently goes above and beyond to serve the entire Bethel community, even going so far as to stay overnight on campus during snow emergencies in order to ensure everyone is safe and taken care of.

“Doug’s example of excellence in service is far reaching with students, faculty, and staff. He is a gracious servant. He is a calm, caring, respectful, humble employee,” Wilberts says. Kojetin’s work in Facilities Management reflects his own character and relationship with Christ everyday.


Nadine Johnson, Christ-Follower

Education Licensing & Advising Specialist, Department of Education

Nadine Johnson is praised by her colleagues and students for the joy and hospitality she radiates in the Education Department. As a Christ-follower, Johnson is a source of light and God’s love to her department and students.

Associate Professor of Education Geri Von Grey works alongside Johnson. She attests that Johnson is consistently, “professing Jesus is Savior and Lord and modeling His character to others through such manners as being kind, patient, humble, selfless, gracious, grateful, not irritable or resentful, not rejoicing with wrong, but rather rejoicing in the right while staying rooted in Scripture.”

Johnson is a light in the Education Department, affecting everyone she comes in contact with as she works hard to ensure their success. Students consistently applaud her consistent ability to lift others up. She works hard to prepare the teachers that will come out of Bethel as people who will be ready to make a difference in the lives of their students.  


Avis Soderstrom, Salt and Light

Director of Conference & Event Services, Conference & Event Services

Avis Soderstrom is the face of Bethel to many people outside our community through her role in Conference & Event Services. Soderstrom has built a team that not only advances Bethel’s mission and continues to strengthen our reputation, but serves tirelessly. 

“Avis has developed a team that is superb at working with internal and external audiences to help them achieve their goals while they are at Bethel,” says John Addleman, Soderstrom’s supervisor. “[She] is an excellent example of how our commitment to make a difference in the world can impact all those around her.

Not only is Soderstrom a strong piece of Bethel’s Conference & Event Services, her work is a source of salt and light to internal and external audiences. Jennifer Scott, director of Alumni and Family Relations, says, “Avis is faithful to Jesus and His call on her life, one who recognizes that the little details make others feel special, noticed and loved by the King of Kings, much like salt that makes us notice flavors that we would have missed otherwise.”

“Avis is a wonderful ambassador for Bethel. She embodies Bethel’s values and mission,” says Addleman. “And, most importantly, faithful to Jesus and His call on her life… What a precious gift [she is] to all of Bethel and to the many outside of Bethel whom [she] meets in the course of fulfilling [her] duties here.”

Sue Gazich, Christ-Follower

Registered Nurse, Health Services

Sue Gazich is consistently praised by her coworkers and supervisors for her ability to provide professional and comprehensive care to everyone that comes into Health Services. She leads the department in lab coding in order to ensure that the staff is equipped to give the highest level of care they can. 

Not only is she an excellent employee, Gazich is a Christ-follower as she cares for her patients’ well being. “From her very first greeting, Sue conveys personal interest and affection for the individual, seeking to know them, not just about the issue that brings them into the clinic. Her genuine and caring personality sets students at ease and almost always brings them a smile. Sue bears the image of Christ in her life, she is truly a source of healing love,” says Liz Miller, director of Health Services.  

“She makes a connection with each [patient] and that gives them a warm feeling that they are welcomed and loved like Jesus did in His ministry,” says Judy Jackson, Health Services nurse practitioner. “Our Bethel students/patients deserve our best, and that is what Jesus wants us to give. Sue does just that.” 

Her connection with the Bethel community goes beyond her work as a nurse. “Sue is a prayer warrior! I know she prays for the students and everyone in Health Services and Counseling Services know that we can ask Sue to pray for us and it will happen. She is genuinely interested in others and how she can be praying for them,” says Hannah Wassink, Health Services office coordinator. “If I could describe Sue in one word, it would be selfless.”


Kojetin, Johnson, Soderstrom, and Gazich were recognized and given the Core Value Mark of Distinction Award at the Executive Leadership Team meeting by Bethel’s senior management. Each recipient received a check of $250 and a custom Bethel University fleece jacket.

Explore Bethel's Core Values.

At Bethel University, we share a common goal: to become whole and holy persons. As a community, we have created core values that will help us get there. We understand that in order to be come people who reflect the image of God, we must bring transformation into every part of our lives. When you study at Bethel, you will see that our core values affect academics, student life, employees, faculty, and everything in between.


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