Special online introduction to the Bulletin from President Jim Brenneman

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010

Greetings from Goshen College! I’ve written this special introduction because I want to provide you with some background and context about this special issue of the Bulletin. This issue, which took several months for the Public Relations Office to produce, provides an introduction and overview of our new “Healing the World, Peace by Peace” messaging and marketing initiative. Far from being simply a slogan, we are using this initiative to communicate something essential about Goshen College — our commitment to making peace in all its forms. Our core values and our Culture for Service motto remain central to the college, but we will be emphasizing our peace witness even more in the coming years.

In this Bulletin, you will find a column in which I outline what we mean by “Healing the World, Peace by Peace” and an exceptional article by Joseph Liechty, professor and director of our peace, justice and conflict studies program, describing why hospitality is an essential component of peace. Our special “peace” coverage also includes profiles of outstanding alumni and ways you can make peace in your daily lives.

Over the past few weeks, you may have heard — or even participated in — discussions about the decision I led with the full support of the President’s Council to allow an instrumental version of the national anthem to be played before some sports events, starting this spring. This decision, which followed more than a year of discussion and prayerful deliberation, is intended to invite us to seek a deeper understanding of the diverse perspectives within the Mennonite church and beyond. It also is an example of the college’s commitment to engage complex issues with respect for each other and the church — truly a hallmark of a Christian liberal arts education. Indeed, some faculty members already have incorporated the anthem decision and the response it has received into their teaching plans. And I expect excellent dialogue to continue over the next year and to include more opportunities for alumni engagement.

While our decision on the anthem is important, I also hope that in the coming months we also will discuss other important questions I have posed to the campus community:

  • What makes Goshen College unique and how do we express that?
  • Why is hospitality an important value? What do we mean by being hospitable? How do we best express that?
  • Since we have agreed that exploring complex issues is the best way of learning, how can we engage as a community on such issues as our relationship with God and our relationship with the world?
  • How do we live out our peace witness, more effectively transmit that value and better communicate about it?

I invite you to join us in considering these questions and welcome your prayers for the campus community as together we continue, “Healing the World, Peace by Peace.”


Jim Brenneman
President of Goshen College

Peace through the eyes of children

Monday, March 1st, 2010

The following artwork was created during College Mennonite Church Bible School by children who went on to become GC alumni. They were illustrating what peace meant to them. Thanks to Professor Emerita of Education Kathryn Aschliman for connecting us with them. They were included in her 1993 book Growing Toward Peace, along with many others. The alums were then contacted to find out what they are doing today and how they view peace today.

Eric Harley ’97

Researcher at IBM Lagrangeville, N.Y.
Artwork from second grade

What peace means to him today:
“I think of peace right now on a much smaller scale than I used to. Most of the time peace is not about global conflict resolution but about family dynamics. It’s about all of us treating each other with kindness, love and selflessness.”

Lisa Koop ’99

Immigration attorney Chicago, Ill.

Artwork from age 6

What peace means to her today:
“Peace is sending a client a closing letter after we’ve won her case. Peace is lights from the El train reflecting off the Chicago River. Peace is my daughter sleeping.”

Bryan Falcón ’95

Co-founder of the Web-based software Haiku Learning Systems Tucson, Ariz.

Artwork from age 9

What peace means to him today:

“Over the years, my understanding of peace has become disconcertingly nuanced – achieving peace appears to require a balance of empathy, mutual respect and shared quality of life. Peace, to me, seems to be an inherently unstable state of human relations, thus we will always struggle to achieve peace. I firmly believe that if we do not work together to live simple, sustainable, community-supported lives, then peace will continually elude us.”

Jeremy Garber ’96

Ph.D. candidate at the University of Denver (Colo.) and the Iliff School of Theology, concentrating in philosophy, theology and cultural theory.

Artwork from age 9

What peace means to him today:
“As I study theology and culture more and more, I am convinced that peace is a conversation – that it is in the complicated work of me talking to you, or to a piece of art, or to a holy scripture, and trying to understand it on its own terms, that we come to understand the other through the Holy Spirit and so to love them as God loves us. I still stand by that statement I  made when I was 9 – I just have a few more details now.”

Erica Friesen ’98

Costume Shop Manager for The University of Chicago’s professional theater in residence.

Artwork from age 8

What peace means to her today:
“Peace is a quiet night with a big moon and a starry sky. It is the knowledge that the sun will rise and I will see my son’s effervescent smile and hear my husband’s deep voice whisper, “good morning.” It is the ability to go about our day much as we did the day before without fear, full of love and the chance to dream.”

First-year student enrollment best in 27 years

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010
First-year student Lewis Caskey (right), from Goshen, moves his things into his dorm room during the college’s Orientation Weekend for new students.

First-year student Lewis Caskey (right), from Goshen, moves his things into his dorm room during the college’s Orientation Weekend for new students.

Community colleges and public universities were expecting significant increases in enrollment last fall, but they are not the only educational institutions bucking the economic downturn.

College officials reported a first-time freshmen class of 238 students, the largest for the college in 27 years (there were 239 students in 1982). It was a 39 percent increase over the 2008-09 incoming class.

Profile of the Class of 2013:

Average GPA: 3.59

Average SAT score: 1110

Average ACT composite score: 24

48 percent are from Indiana

131 high schools represented

62 percent female, 38 percent male

34 denominations are represented,

50 percent are Mennonite

31 percent have parents who are alumni

Top declared majors are nursing, biology,
education, music and communication

The Goshen College enrollment team attributed the positive numbers to many factors, in addition to noticing that in this economy students are looking to stay closer to home to save money on travel costs and to increase convenience.

Vice President for Enrollment Management Lynn Jackson noted several measures the college had taken over the past year to ensure desired recruitment in the midst of unprecedented economic times. The college pushed students to apply sooner to get a better understanding of what their financial aid package might be compared with other colleges. Additional need-based grants were given this year because of the economy. Coaches contributed to the enrollment increase with larger rosters. And the college marketed itself more aggressively in Northern Indiana than ever before, including regional television advertising to increase awareness.

College officials also reported a head count of 974 students in the undergraduate program and a total headcount of 1,017 students, including graduate programs. This is the largest total headcount since 2000, when there were 1,041 students.

This year’s graduate total includes an all-time high of 43 full- and part-time students enrolled in the college’s two programs – a master of science degree in nursing and a master of education degree in environmental education. Last year, 28 graduate students were  enrolled. In addition, 54 students are enrolled in the two Division of Adult and External Studies degree-completion programs – the bachelor of science in organizational leadership and the bachelor of science in nursing for registered nurses.

Retention – a key measure of student satisfaction – also continues to be high at Goshen College. The latest figures show that 85 percent of the 2008-2009 first-year students were enrolled this fall. This marks the seventh year in a row of retention rates at or above 80 percent.

– By Jodi H. Beyeler

GC ranked well by Forbes and U.S.News

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

Goshen College ranks in the top 4.5 percent of U.S. colleges and universities, according to Forbes magazine and the Center for College Affordability and Productivity (CCAP). In its second annual ratings of America’s Best Colleges, Goshen College placed 177th on an elite list of 600 institutions – selected from more than 4,000 U.S. colleges and universities – based on its quality of education, affordability, student satisfaction, achievements by alumni and several other factors. Sixteen Indiana schools made the top 600 list, with Goshen placing seventh among them.

Goshen College placed 131st out of 249 liberal arts colleges in the 2010 “America’s Best Colleges” rankings by U.S.News & World Report. Last year it was ranked 149th out of 265. Goshen continues to be ranked in the third tier of Best Liberal Arts Colleges for the ninth straight year.

In addition, Goshen was ranked sixth for the percentage of graduates studying abroad among all colleges and universities, with 85 percent. And among liberal arts colleges, Goshen was given special recognition for being a “least debt” college, having a high freshmen retention rate, low acceptance rate, low class sizes, and for the economic and racial diversity among its students, as well as a high percentage of international students.

Roth completes Mennonite book trilogy

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

Professor of History John D. Roth and his new book "Practices: Mennonite Worship and Witness"

How do the practices, habits and routines of worship form Christian – and specifically Mennonite – identity? Professor of History John D. Roth explores these questions in his new book “Practices: Mennonite Worship and Witness,” (Herald Press, 2009).

“Practices” is the final book in his three-volume series on Mennonite identity in the 21st century.

In “Practices,” Roth examines the traditions of Anabaptist-Mennonite worship, focusing especially on how worship is related to ethics and to the church’s mission. Among other expressions of worship, Roth reflects on how distinctive Mennonite practices such as baptism, communion, foot washing and common meals extend beyond the church as a witness to the world.

The first two books in Roth’s series were “Beliefs: Mennonite Faith and Practice” (Herald Press, 2005), and “Stories: How Mennonites Came to Be” (Herald Press, 2007).

Climate Action Plan finalized to reduce carbon impact

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

President Jim Brenneman finalized Goshen College’s Climate Action Plan and submitted it to the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC). The plan documents the college’s commitment to reducing campus greenhouse
gas emissions and outlines initiatives designed to achieve an overall goal of climate neutrality as well as a set of steps that will teach students the skills they will need to help society do the same.

“Climate change presents us with a societal emergency and a moral imperative for innovation,” said President Brenneman. “The campus has made good progress in the last 20 years in conserving energy use, but much more can be done to reduce
the college’s negative impact on the earth’s climate. This climate action plan represents a significant effort toward responsible global citizenship, one of Goshen College’s core values.”

The plan to reduce the college’s carbon impact to zero includes exploring creative ways to reduce the carbon-based energy usage; pursuing alternative carbon-free energy sources; and promoting carbon sequestration, credits or offsets.

The college’s climate action plan is expected to be primarily a self-funded effort. The creation of a Revolving Assets for Sustainability Projects will help with this, funding renewable energy, energy efficiency and other cost-saving projects. Through a revolving mechanism that draws operational cost-savings from projects funded, the fund will replenish itself while
still providing cost savings to the college.

The climate action plan notes that during 2008-09, Goshen College was responsible for the net emissions of approximately 9,500 metric tons of carbon dioxide, which is about 10.4 metric tons per student. Scientists say that greenhouse gas emissions are changing climates, threatening the planet’s ecosystems and its economy and threatening many lives.
The college has already made impressive progress in reducing emissions. The campus has been able to reduce emissions generated by natural gas consumption by more than one percent per year for more than 10 years. It has reduced emissions generated
by electrical consumption by more than three percent per year for the past seven years.

Read more about Goshen College’s ecological stewardship at www.goshen.edu/gogreen.

– By Jodi H. Beyeler

Parables Worship Team: “Wherever you go, there you are. And God is present.”

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

The Goshen College student-led worship team, Parables, will use music, dance, storytelling and drama to worship in congregations and other venues this year following the theme of “Wherever you go, there you are. And God is present.”

Directed by Professor of Music Debra Brubaker, Parables includes (left to right) Ashley Walker, a junior from Kirklin, Ind.; Reuben Sancken, a junior from Tolono, Ill.; Emily Bowman, a sophomore from Millersburg, Ind.; Allen Shenk, a senior from Findlay, Ohio; Rachel Nafziger, a sophomore from Harrisonburg, Va.; Jay Mast, a sophomore from Goshen; Aaron Kaufmann, a sophomore from Tiskilwa, Ill.; and Molly Kellogg, a junior from Candor, N.Y.

For more information about Parables and scheduling the group, contact Bethany Swope at (574) 535-7119 or e-mail churchrelations@goshen.edu.

Art of quilting lives on across generations

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010
The “Passing on Traditions” group in the fall 2009 hold up the Batik wall hanging that was auctioned at the Relief Sale: (left to right) first-year student Sophie Lapp, Shirley Dyck, Rebecca Sommers, Joy Hess, Talashia Keim, Vera Schmucker, Phoebe Lederach, Florence Nussbaum and first-year student Amanda Kwist.

The “Passing on Traditions” group in the fall 2009 hold up the Batik wall hanging that was auctioned at the Relief Sale: (left to right) first-year student Sophie Lapp, Shirley Dyck, Rebecca Sommers, Joy Hess, Talashia Keim, Vera Schmucker, Phoebe Lederach, Florence Nussbaum and first-year student Amanda Kwist.

Usually when college students attend the annual Michiana Mennonite Relief Sale, they see quilts auctioned off for the good cause of global relief which were made by people who remind them of their grandmothers back home.

But at this year’s Relief Sale in late September, some Goshen College students were the creators of #244 in the quilt program book: a 62-inch-square sampler wall hanging with an international feel of blue, purple, red and yellow Batik fabrics.

The quilt was the culmination of a new program, “Passing on Traditions,” which has not only produced contributions to aid in international relief and development, but has also built bridges of friendship across generations.

During weekly Wednesday night gatherings after a light supper together, about 50 college students – both men and women of varying levels of experience – contributed to the quilt during the spring of 2009.

Though the group participants changed weekly, they cut the fabric, arranged the blocks and sewed them together. And they were joined by about 20 avid quilters from College Mennonite Church (CMC) to do the framing and quilting over several months. During
these evenings together, students also learned how to tie comforters and knit, while sharing stories and fellowship as their hands and fingers moved needles and thread to create something new.

Kelly Frey, a sophomore nursing major from Shipshewana, Ind., attends CMC on Sundays while in school. “I learned that quilting and knitting with women equals quality conversation and bonding,” Frey said. “It’s nice to know that these women are thinking
of us throughout the week; I know they are praying for me, and that is comforting.”

The group was formed out of the theatrical production of “Quilters” in May 2008. Professor of Music Deb Brubaker, a quilter herself, was directing the musical, and in teaching the actresses and crew how to quilt, excitement and interest developed for the lost art. She made connections with College Mennonite Church, which shares the college campus, and the idea for a longer term opportunity to learn the art and craft of quilting was developed by Edna Rieth and others from the church’s Mennonite Women group. When “Passing on Traditions” began in the fall semester, the group quickly knotted five comforters to send to refugee camps through Mennonite Central Committee.

“The students seem to like that the projects go to serve others,” said Rebecca Sommers, a long-time quilter that has offered her expertise for this project. When the 2009 Relief Sale quilt auction was over, the Batik wall hanging the students had completed – with varying sizes of stitches – first sold for $350, and then was donated back to the sale and sold for another $170. The money raised was important, but maybe not the most important outcome. Sommers said, “What I like about it is the big stitches next to the small stitches. I see it as a coming together.”

Sophie Lapp, a first-year music and art major from Goshen, started attending the weekly gathering this school year. “I really like quilts and it is always something I thought I would like to learn,” she said. With that, maybe there will be quilt auctions at Relief
Sales for many more years to come.

– By Jodi H. Beyeler

Music Department releases new choir CDs

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

The Music Department released two new CD recordings featuring the four choirs.

The new CD “Song by Song” features the 2008-09 Chamber Choir and Chorale, directed by Professor of Music Debra Brubaker and

Assistant Professor of Music Scott Hochstetler. The new CD “Sisters and Brothers” features two of the campus’ most beloved choirs: the 2008-09 Women’s World Music Choir and Men’s Chorus, also directed by Brubaker and Hochstetler.

The CD features performances of world music, spirituals and choral arrangements.

The CDs can be purchased for $15 (includes shipping) at the Music Center office, by calling (574) 535-7361 or e-mailing music@goshen.edu.

New faculty and staff (and transitions) at Goshen College

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010


Jim Caskey ‘84

Jim Caskey ‘84

President Jim Brenneman named Jim Caskey ‘84 as the new vice president for institutional advancement. He began his new role on Jan. 1, 2010 and oversees the Development Office; Alumni, Church and Parent Relations Office; the Public Relations Office; and the Music Center, as well as serving on the President’s Council.

In 1997, Caskey returned to Goshen College to serve as the regional director of development. During that period, he helped
form the Maple Leafs Athletic Club and assisted with a capital campaign to raise funds for the Music Center.

In 2004, he began to focus primarily on maintaining strong institutional relationships with the college’s top donors. In 2006, Caskey became the director of major gifts, with a significant role in doubling the size of the group of largest donors, as well as helping to design a comprehensive campaign. Caskey served as the interim vice president after Will Jones left in September and began working at Virginia Intermont College in Bristol, Va.


Andrew Ammons is an assistant professor of biological sciences. He received a bachelor’s degree from Berea College and a doctorate in entomology from Purdue University. He was most recently in a postdoctoral position at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas. Ammons’ continuing research interests are in honeybee genetics.

Anne Berry ’99 is an assistant professor of art. She received a master of fine arts degree from the School of Visual Communication Design at Kent State University. Her graduate work focused on environmental graphic design.

Julianne Bruneau is an assistant professor of English, after serving in that role for an interim position for a year. She received a bachelor’s degree in English from Colby College, a master’s of education degree from the University of Hartford (Conn.) and completed her doctorate at Notre Dame. Her dissertation was “Perceval the Welshman: Identity in Medieval British Romance.”  Bruneau has taught English at Highlands Ranch High School in Littleton, Colo., and worked at Notre Dame’s Kaneb Center for Teaching and Learning.

Tracy Buller is an associate professor of nursing. She is a graduate of Lutheran Hospital School of Nursing and Ball State University, and received a master of science in nursing degree in community health nursing from Indiana Wesleyan University.

Seth Conley is an assistant professor of communication, teaching courses in television broadcasting and video production. He received a bachelor’s degree from Indiana Wesleyan University and worked as a news anchor and reporter for WLFI-TV, the CBS affiliate in West Lafayette, Ind.

Andrea Dalton is a part-time assistant professor of Bible, religion and philosophy. She received a bachelor’s degree from Messiah College and a master’s degree from Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary.

Josh Garrett is an assistant professor of American Sign Language. He has been interpreting professionally since 1998 and holds three national interpreter certifications. For the past six years, he has been training and mentoring interpreters. Garrett was elected and served on the Indiana Chapter of Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (ICRID) state board. He has taught at Purdue University also.

Kristi Glick ’97 is an assistant professor of art. She received a master of fine arts degree in metal design from East Carolina  University. She has worked as a studio artist in Charlottesville, Va., and has had work in national and international juried exhibits in the United States and in London.

Randy Horst ’83 is an associate professor of art. He received a master of fine arts degree in drawing from Bowling Green State University. He taught at both Bowling Green and Goshen College before teaching art and art history for the past 15 years at The University of Montana Western in Dillon, Mont. He previously worked as an art director at both Mennonite Mutual Aid and Great Harvest Bread Company.

Gregory Imbur is an assistant professor of education. He received a bachelor’s degree from the College of William and Mary, a master’s degree from Middlebury College and a doctorate in the social foundations of education from the University of Virginia. He most recently taught at the University of Wisconsin-Plattville, and previously studied and taught at Abo Akademi University in Vasa, Finland, and taught English in Hungary.

Lisa Kirkton ’97 is an assistant professor of nursing. She has been employed at Oaklawn Psychiatric Center as office psychiatric nurse, outpatient nurse case manager and coordinator of outpatient services, and is board certified in psychiatric mental health nursing.

Christine Noria is an assistant professor of psychology. At the University of Notre Dame, she received a bachelor’s degree in psychology and Spanish, a master’s degree in developmental psychology and a doctorate in developmental psychology. She has also completed a master’s of education in human development at Lehigh University in the school psychology program and a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Notre Dame’s First Year of Studies in Academic Advising.

Paul Meyer Reimer ’84 is an associate professor of physics. He received a master’s degree from Purdue University and a doctorate from the University of Illinois. He created Goshen College’s first Web site in 1994, while working as an adjunct professor and Web developer for the past 16 years.

Laura Wheeler is an associate professor of graduate nursing. She received a bachelor’s and a  master’s degree in nursing from the University of Cincinnati. She has been working since 2005 as a family nurse practitioner for the Goshen Primecare System in an internal medicine practice.


Chantell Barnhill is the admission office assistant.

Joe Bean ’01 is the director of printing and mailing services.

Rachel Campagnoli is a graphic designer in the public relations office.

Karen Day is the administrative assistant in the Academic Resource and Writing Center.

Doug Gossman is the head coach for women’s tennis.

Ana Juarez is the director for the Latino Studies Semester.

David King ’09 is a technology intern for Information Technology Services.

Roberta Miller ’73 is an administrative assistant at Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center.

Jim Routhier is the head coach for women’s volleyball.

Sandy Gebert Saggars ’01 is the assistant controller.

Mervin Stutzman is the assistant director of student financial aid.

Brandy Yoder is admission coordinator for the Division of Adult and External Studies.


Kevin Gross ’83 moved from Information Technology Services senior analyst to institutional research analyst.

Vickie Miller changed from computer support specialist to assistant director of human resources.

Floyd Saner changed from professor of computer science/director of instructional technology to director of institutional research, educational technology and assessment.

Mary Beth Bomberger Schlabach ’87 changed from cataloging and acquisitions specialist to cataloging and acquisitions librarian.

Dan Stutzman ’05 moved from AV systems specialist to senior desktop architecture specialist in the Information Technology Department.

Victoria Waters added the position of Mennonite Historical Library (MHL) serials manager to her ongoing position as MHL associate librarian.

Mandy Yoder ’09 moved from applicant administrative assistant to administrative assistant to the vice president for enrollment management.