MISHAWAKA--A new school year means new faces on campus, not only from freshman and transfers, but also from new staff and faculty. Between professors, coaches, resident directors and wellness center staff, Bethel employed around 20 new hires for the 2021-2022 school year.
Bradley Smith, Ph.D., filled the position of vice president of academic services left vacant by current Interim President Barb Bellefeuille and played a significant role in the hiring process for new faculty. Smith explained that the university likes to look for people who have experience, credentials and values that line up with Bethel’s views.
“They have to fit the Bethel ethics,” Smith said. “If they don’t, we won’t hire.”Bradley Smith
In the end, Bethel hired 10 new professors, the nursing department topping off the most hires with four: Laurie Beck, Stacie Meyers and Lizzie Smith as assistant professors of nursing and Gisela Schmidt as associate professor of nursing.
The kinesiology department brought on two new assistant professors of kinesiology: Mary Estepp and Scott Polsgrove.
The math department hired Amy DeCelles as associate professor of math, and the literature and language department hired Tara Holmes as an assistant professor of English and director of the writing center. The marketing department hired David Stauffer as associate professor of marketing, and in the education department, Kim Meyer, assistant professor of education, moved up from part time to full time.
Shawn Holtgren, vice president for student development, spoke about new staff hires, which include three new resident directors, two part-time counselors in the Wellness Center and an associate director of counseling.
Holtgren also shared some fun facts about the new resident directors. First is Nick Geever, an Olivet grad who previously did mission work in the Dominican Republic and speaks Spanish. The second is Rachel Schwartz, who has done resident director work at Sioux Falls College. Third is Jessi Flores, who did mission work in China and speaks Mandarin.
Within the hiring process, Holtgren said he looks for someone who can interact well with others and relate with good interpersonal communication skills.
“I look for a pastor’s heart,” Holtgren said. “To be able to be mature enough in their faith to disciple someone else.”Shawn Holtgren
Athletic Director Tony Natali spoke about Bethel’s three new coaches. John Freeman was hired as head coach of women’s soccer, Brandon Auker was hired as a full-time assistant coach for women’s basketball and Natalie Newell was hired as the head softball coach.
“I love our staff,” Natali said. “They’ve really bought into being Christ-centered and student-focused.”