Great job awards - fall 2015Faculty, Staff Receive GREAT Job Awards
In October 2015, President Gregg Chenoweth, Ph.D., recognized several Bethel employees for doing an exceptional job in living out the GREATer priorities. He and the department vice presidents presented the awards at a special ceremony. Awards were given to James Lovaas, director of the Center for Professional Development; Kristie Cerling ’96, Ed.D., AGS – education program director; Jacob Brubaker ’06, web developer; Aaron Schavey, Ph.D., associate professor of economics; Lucy Sears, coordinator for donor and advancement services; Chris Hess ’95, head women’s basketball coach, assistant athletic director and assistant women’s basketball coach; Kevin Ulmer, head volleyball coach; Erin Kinzel, director of public relations; and the departments of nursing and biology and chemistry. For more information about their accomplishments, visit

Suzanne Mauro

Suzanne Mauro

Katharine Schmidt

Katharine Schmidt

Faculty Artwork Featured in Elkhart’s Midwest Museum of Art
The artwork of three Bethel College faculty members was showcased in the fall at the Midwest Museum of American Art as part of the museum’s 37th Elkhart Juried Regional Art Exhibition. The work of Katharine Schmidt, assistant professor and chair of the visual art department; Suzanne Mauro, assistant professor of ceramics; and Jeffrey Combs, adjunct professor of 2D design and digital photography, was selected from among more than 400 submissions to be featured along with 207 pieces in the exhibition.

“I’m very proud of our department,” says Schmidt, who hopes that this honor will show people the high caliber of Bethel’s art program. “We have a high-quality art department. We offer top- quality instruction, but there’s still an intimacy that you may not be able to find at other schools.”

Thiago Pinto

Pinto Named NCCAA Soccer Coach of the Year
The National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) named Bethel Men’s Soccer Head Coach Thiago Pinto ’05, ’07, ’11, NCCAA DI Men’s Soccer Coach of the Year. This national honor comes after Pinto led the Pilots to a runner-up finish at the 2015 NCCAA National Tournament.

Pinto collected his award at the NSCAA Awards Banquet on Jan. 15 in Baltimore, Maryland. He is the first Bethel men’s soccer coach to receive National Coach of the Year honors and is the 34th recipient of a National Coach of the Year award in Bethel Athletics history.

Marilynn HamHam Publishes 26th Piano Book
In November, Bethel College Associate Professor of Music and Artist-in-Residence Marilynn Ham released her 26th piano book, “Great Day! 10 Spirituals for Solo Piano.” Its release coincides with her 26th year of teaching at Bethel. “Great Day!” is a collection of traditional spirituals including, “Standin’ in the Need of Prayer,” “All My Trials,” “Down by the Riverside” and “Steal Away.” The book is now available for purchase at Shirk’s Piano and Organ in Mishawaka, through Ham’s website at or from the Lorenz Corporation Publishing Company at

New and Promoted Directors
Aaron Bradford is the newest member of the Institutional Advancement team, serving as Director of Development. Bradford has been working with nonprofit organizations for the last 13 years, raising over $4.5 million in philanthropic funds. He has worked for the United Way of Greater St. Louis, the March of Dimes, the Boy Scouts of America and most recently Lakeland Health Foundations. He and his wife, Christina, have three children.

Kelly Courington joined the Institutional Advancement team in October as Director of the Annual Fund. Courington graduated from St. Mary’s College, Notre Dame, Ind., with a degree in Philosophy and Political Science. Upon graduating, she worked at St. Mary’s as the assistant director of their Phone-a-Thon.

LeeAnn Laidig has been hired to serve as a part-time Director of Health Services. A graduate of Grace College, Laidig received an Associate Degree in Nursing and then went on to earn a bachelor’s in behavioral science and counseling. Her experience includes working as a medical/surgical staff nurse, a labor and delivery nurse, an office nurse at an orthopedic practice, a visiting nurse, and most recently, as a school nurse with the Mishawaka School System.

Howard Patterson has been named Director of the Business Office and will oversee the daily operations of student accounts, accounts payable and internal controls. Patterson began his career at Bethel College in 2002, after having worked as a credit manager for OneSource Micro Products. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Michigan and earned an MBA from Indiana University South Bend.

New Positions in AGS
Luz Rivera has been hired to work with Adult and Graduate Studies as the Hispanic Initiative Coordinator. Rivera is originally from Puerto Rico and has a Bachelor of Science in business and an MBA with a concentration in marketing. She worked as an enrollment manager for University of Phoenix in Puerto Rico for 16 years. She is a pastor’s wife and the mother of five children, two of whom studied at Bethel.

Emily Nelson was recently hired as a Business Development Representative working in Adult and Graduate Studies. In addition to this part-time role, she also works in Retail Services at Granger Community Church, where she has been a member for the last eight years. Nelson has an 8-year-old daughter.