Campus News

Chenoweth mentors the ‘Freshman 15’

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Since the beginning of the school year, Bethel College’s new president, Dr. Gregg Chenoweth, and his wife, Tammy, have been leading a group called the “Freshman 15,” a mentoring group for 15 freshmen.“We know that the transition to college is not easy for anybody, particularly freshmen,” Dr. Chenoweth stated in an interview. “It seems to me that the first few months or the first semester for a freshman can be really fantastic or really hard.” Dr. Chenoweth said that the idea for the group was the result of a desire to walk alongside a group of freshmen and to assist them with the transition to college life. “I didn’t handpick them,” explained Dr. Chenoweth. “I just asked the Admissions Office if they would pick some students they thought would be good for us to work with.” The Beacon spoke with Andrea Helmuth, director of admissions, who shared briefly about the selection process.
Bethel President Dr. Gregg Chenoweth meets with a group of 15 freshman to help them adjust to college life.
Bethel President Dr. Gregg Chenoweth meets with a group of 15 freshman to help them adjust to college life.
“There wasn’t really any ‘magic formula’ or anything; I just asked the admission counselors to nominate some candidates for the group,” said Helmuth. “I then forwarded those names on to Dr. Chenoweth.” Dr. Chenoweth shared that he wanted to impact a very diverse group of students. “You can’t influence those you don’t have,” said Dr. Chenoweth. “One strength of Bethel is our retention rate. In the short term, I think the group serves a strength that Bethel has. In the long term, there has been a lot of talk through the years here about strengthening our diversity.” Gatherings are casual and are centered around fellowship and relationship-building. “We’re trying to meet at least once a month, if not more,” said Dr. Chenoweth. Dr. Chenoweth shared that the Freshman 15 group is made up of students from a variety of cultures, backgrounds, and life experiences. “It gives me an opportunity to get to know a person,” said Dr. Chenoweth. “Where they are in life, where they’re headed, and what some of their needs are, to be kind of a cheerleader for them, another voice on the sidelines cheering them on.” The Chenoweths plan to continue mentoring groups of freshmen in future years.
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