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25 BLUFFTON FACULTY, STAFF HONORED FOR SERVICE
Bluffton University honored 25 faculty and staff members for their years of service at the universitys annual recognition dinner on Jan. 16. The honorees have been at Bluffton for five, 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30 years.
The longest-serving staff recognized at the dinner were Larry Kinn, carpenter, and Lawrence Matthews, director of financial aid, both 30 years; Phill Talavinia, director of athletics, 25 years; and Sue Van Eman, associate director of admissions, along with Gary Schiefer, associate professor of business, both 20 years.
In addition to his duties as carpenter, Kinn has been responsible for re-keying locks on campus and maintaining key and lock records. He has also "poured concrete, repaired roofs, managed the paint crew, repaired building and grounds equipment, cut and welded metal and done many other jobs," noted Fred Rodabaugh, HVAC maintenance/electrician. "Larry has used all of his many skills while at Bluffton, but he enjoys his time in the carpentry shop the most," Rodabaugh said, pointing out that Kinn built most of the bookshelves and custom-made office furniture on campus.
Matthews is a 1978 Bluffton graduate who was director of Marbeck Center before becoming financial aid director in 1992. "During his tenure, he has brought a commitment and dedication to meeting the needs of our students in the most excellent ways possibleoften helping out in ways that extend well beyond the requirements of his job," said Dr. Eric Fulcomer, vice president for enrollment management and student life. "Lawrence is among the most highly respected financial aid professionals in Ohio," he added, citing Matthews service both to the Ohio Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators and to the Ohio Board of Regents.
Dr. George Metz, professor of education and faculty athletics representative to the NCAA, saluted Talavinia for consistently demonstrating "dedication to the well-being of the Bluffton student-athlete." As head athletic trainer early in his years at Bluffton, Talavinia developed "strong relationships with the coaches to ensure the quality of care for the student-athlete," recalled Metz, also chair of the universitys education and sport science division. As director of athletics, "he takes seriously the role of mentor, advisor and colleague, and provides leadership and guidance" to Blufftons teams and coaches, Metz said.
Also a Bluffton graduate, Van Eman "has seen a lot happen at Bluffton and in the world of admissions in her 20 years" on staff, noted Chris Jebsen, director of admissions. She has adjusted to new ways of recruiting students and has been "a trusted and hard-working colleague" to 25 staff members and three admissions directors, he said. "However, prospective students today are still greeted with the same smile and care from Sue as they were in 1990," Jebsen continued. "She is a model of commitment to her job, the students she recruits and Bluffton University."
Schiefer, current chair of the business department, has taught economics, finance and strategy, and has taken on several related administrative duties in recent years. "Many students keep in touch with Gary following their university careers based on their positive experiences with him both as a teacher and as an engaged, supportive faculty member," said Dr. George Lehman, professor of business and chair of the business studies division. Schiefer has also worked with the Student Investment Club, and "earnings generated by the wise decisions of that group have enabled a wide range of supplemental experiences for business students," Lehman pointed out.
Other faculty and staff recognized at the Jan. 16 dinner are:
For 15 years of service, Dr. Kay Soltesz, professor of dietetics; Mary Pannabecker Steiner, adult and graduate education representative; and Deb Turner, director of information technology.
For 10 years, Dr. Cindy Bandish, associate professor of English; Jebsen; Dr. Deb Myers, associate professor of food and nutrition and chair of the nutrition and dietetics department; Elaine Suderman, assistant director of cross-cultural programs and assistant to the dean; Dr. Mark Suderman, professor of music; and Dr. Pete Suter, associate professor of business.
For five years, Tim Byers, assistant professor of education; Dr. Susan Carpenter, assistant professor of English; Bill Hanefeld, sports information director; Jennifer Hughes, assistant professor of social work; Dr. Hamid Rafizadeh, associate professor of business; Janean Shannon, assistant to the business manager; Chad Shutler, assistant professor of health, fitness and sport science and head womens basketball coach; Deb Simon-Heinfeld, site coordinator/adult and graduate education representative; Randy Steiner, assistant custodial supervisor; Dr. Paul Neufeld Weaver, assistant professor of education; and Steve Yarnell, assistant professor of health, fitness and sport science and head volleyball coach.
Bluffton public relations, 1/19/11