News briefs

Hesston College hosted 164 sixth graders from John Marshall Middle School in Wichita Nov. 30 as part of Marshall’s Achievement Via Individual Determination program. The program is designed to get students thinking about college and to prepare them for success through secondary education and beyond. The Marshall students visited 11 sites on campus where they participated in educational activities with college students, faculty and staff.

Students in First-Year Experience class spent time assessing and rediscovering their beliefs as they learned about basic beliefs and misconceptions of Islam and the similarities and differences between Christianity and Islam. The students read the New York Times bestseller Three Cups of Tea, heard guest presentations and hosted an interfaith dialogue and meal with members of the Islamic Society of Wichita.

“People get too caught up in the story of differences, but we both believe in peace and helping the poor,” said Zach Baumgartner, a freshman from Hesston, Kan. “I think the main thing to remember is not how we are different, but how we are working toward the same things.”

Hesston College’s nursing program was formally granted re-approval for the full eight years by the Kansas State Board of Nursing at a Dec. 13 and 14 meeting in Topeka. The board’s recommendation came from a two-day campus visit in late September, when a site team visited with nursing faculty and assessed the program’s facilities, curriculum and resources.

Hesston College welcomed new faculty members to start the second eight weeks of the fall semester. An English faculty position was vacated by an instructor leaving for a new opportunity at Wichita (Kan.) State University. Holly Nickel and Dr. Merle Schlabaugh ’68 along with current faculty member Rosie Jantz ’72 picked up the classes for the remainder of the academic year.

Psychology and youth ministry professor Kevin Wilder donated his hairstyle as a fundraiser for freshman Saralyn Mast’s service trip to Haiti during Christmas break. Wilder’s hairstyle, “The Mr. T.,” was one of four options students, faculty and staff voted on with their monetary gifts. Mast and Wilder hoped to raise half of the funds for the trip through the Hesston College community and exceeded their goal by $46.80. Mast is the daughter of David ’81 and Karen (Stoltzfus) ’82 Mast, and is from Ephrata, Pa.