Something old, something new!

I also became a part-time photographer at my job. Here’s my first photo essay! I can’t upload the photos here like I can the articles but I can at least give you the link to look at them yourself.


How many is this now?

Another Beacon article. It’s all I’ve written these days.

Artist showcases the fruit of her labor
by Sydney Sheltz

Bethel College hosted an art gallery on Friday, November 21, 2014 in the Fine Arts Building in the Rotunda featuring the works of local artist Beth Mathes.

The gallery was open from 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. during the day and again at night from 5-7 p.m. Entitled “First Fruits,” the show was open to students and to the public.

Mathes showcased two main collections at the show: “Experience the Rescue” and the “RockWater.”

The title of the show was inspired by Mathes’ most recent work, also called “First Fruits.”

The idea for the piece came when Mathes was admiring a vineyard on a sunny day. A cluster of green grapes on a sun-warmed rock, the piece also has the signature Bible verse text etched into the rock.

Over 20 pieces were featured at the show. Although most were part of the three collections, some pieces, like “Reckless Abandon” and “Solitude,” were solitary works.

“Reckless Abandon” was inspired by news that a family member was diagnosed with cancer while “Solitude” is the picture of a woman walking on a beach.

According to the biography provided at the show, Mathes has a passion “to help people connect with one another and with God in real and unpretentious ways through artistic expression.”


Once again, the press underestimates me!

Fourth article for the Beacon! Also unedited…

Theater Department prepares for “39 Steps”
by Sydney Sheltz

The Bethel College Theater Department is finishing rehearsal for Hitchcock spin-off comedy “39 Steps” which premieres Thursday, Oct. 2, 2014 at 7:30 p.m.

The show is described as a realistic and slap-stick comedy with a fast-paced plot. With allusions to several Hitchcock films, the spy story is full of intrigue and clichés that only add to the seriousness of the international organization and the manhunt within the plot.

Junior and theatre major Sarah Beason said, “The funny appeal of the show is different from what we’ve done in the past and it’s definitely student-friendly. It’s a good show for our demographic.”

The production features a cast of four people playing a total of 24 roles. Beason has three roles as the lead female while her lead counterpart, Cam Matteson, only plays one. The other two supporting players play a total of 20 roles. Theatre Department Chair Richard Young is directing the performance.

For the past few weeks, rehearsals have been lasting three or four hours a night, depending on how many scenes the cast is working on. The rehearsals are scheduled from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. However, the rehearsal times will change from 6:00 p.m. to midnight the week before the show opens.

“We auditioned the first Monday of school and started rehearsals that Wednesday,” said Matteson when asked how long preparations for the show have been under way.

Since the story is so complex as compared to other shows, there will not be a material set on stage. There is a minimal set and only a few props to account for the many scene changes. A white blank wall has been constructed on the stage and pictures of the set will be projected onto the screen in order to create the background.

This unique aspect of the show isn’t the hardest part. “The real challenge is not laughing during rehearsal,” said Beason.

“39 Steps” will premiere Thursday, Oct. 2, 2014 at 7:30 p.m. There will be another night showing at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 3, 2014. A matinee will be offered on Saturday, Oct. 4, 2014 at 1 p.m. followed by the final performance on the same day at 7:30 p.m.


Make it a double plus one.

Third article for the Beacon! Also unedited…

Bethel entertains concept of welcome center
By Sydney Sheltz

Although Bethel College hasn’t had an official welcome center since it opened in 1947, current President of Bethel College Dr. Gregg Chenoweth and the Board of Directors are working to approve a plan that would allow the construction of a new welcome center and conference space.

The idea of a welcome center is not new and has been thrown around for about 40 years.

“You can only sell nostalgia for so long,” said Dr. Chenoweth. “It fulfills both a need and an opportunity.”
The current Admissions Office was renovated from a barn that remained on the property after Bethel College was constructed. Since the college has grown, this facility is no longer large enough to accommodate all the offices needed.

Bethel College also caters to many organizations that hold conferences over the summer months. For example, Conn-Selmer, a company who specializes in the making of brass instruments, has held their national conference on campus for the past 4 years.

The goal of the new welcome center is to provide more offices for admission counselors and financial aid, offer more areas for graduate and adult studies, and present a new conference space that could hold 400-450 people from visiting organizations.

The new welcome center would potentially be attached to the Dining Commons, across the street from the Wiekamp Athletic Center.

The current concept of the two-story building would split the floors. The top floor would combine the conference center and office space. The bottom floor would hold more office space and include a student community center.

“I want students to be able to get together and hang out, play cards, and watch movies,” said Dr. Chenoweth when asked for the reason behind the addition of the student center.

Currently, the plan only consists of schematic drawings. Upon approval, architectural drawings would take another 6-8 months. Construction of the building would last one year after that.

The project will be split into two phases. There are not enough details at this time to determine the two phases.
The total estimated cost of the project is 7 million dollars. All money will be raised through philanthropy and approximately 3 million dollars has already been pledged. Bethel College will not take on any debt during this project so that student tuition will not be affected.

There are safety policies to keep the college from taking on too much debt. For example, when an idea is approved by the Board, 115 percent of the funds must be pledged or raised. Before construction on the same idea has begun, it is required that the college have 75 percent of the cash in hand.

Nevertheless, Dr. Chenoweth said, “I am prayerful and hopeful that in a year’s time, we would have enough commitment for at least the first phase.”

The specifics of the idea have not been worked out at this time and the Board has not yet approved of the concept.