Employee milestones

Bluffton faculty, staff honored for service

Bluffton University honored 23 faculty and staff members for their years of service at the university’s annual recognition dinner on Jan. 19. The honorees have been at Bluffton for five, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30 and 35 years.

The longest-serving faculty or staff member recognized at the dinner, with 35 years, was Dr. Michael Edmiston, professor of chemistry and physics. Honored for 30 years was Fred Rodabaugh, heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) maintenance specialist; for 25 years, Janine Paul, bookstore/duplicating manager; and for 20 years, Dr. Robert Antibus, professor of biology, and Sarah Woods, custodial services manager.

Edmiston served Bluffton first as a faculty member, where his knowledge of chemistry and physics was “coupled with the power to reduce the complexity of a subject to the students’ level of understanding,” notes Dr. Donald Pannabecker, vice president and dean of academic affairs emeritus. Edmiston has since served in many other ways, through several technology-related innovations, for example, and currently as chair of the natural and applied sciences division.

Rodabaugh, also a 1974 Bluffton alumnus, “has been instrumental in supporting the sustainability initiatives on our campus,” says Mustaq Ahmed, director of buildings and grounds. He knows the location and background of campus infrastructure as well, “and, should something break, he also knows how to fix it,” Ahmed adds, calling Rodabaugh’s mechanical and technical knowledge “nothing short of amazing.”

Paul graduated from Bluffton in 1988 and began working shortly thereafter as the university’s printer—a position she holds to this day, in addition to managing the bookstore. “Janine has quietly been making positive contributions to the life of the university” throughout her 25 years as a staff member, says Mark Bourassa, director of the university event complex and assistant dean of students.

Antibus, the biology department chair, also teaches general education courses and directs general education physics labs. That means he works—sometimes in the same course—with students majoring in pre-medicine and dietetics, as well as biology, and with students fulfilling their general education science requirement. “He handles all of this very well, and students have high regard for his rigor as well as his friendly and approachable demeanor,” Edmiston says. 

Woods directs custodial assignments for a group of more than 80 student employees. “Managing student workers is not easy, but Sarah has it down to a science after 20 years,” says Ahmed. She plans for every contingency, he notes, and the clean residence-hall rooms that await new and returning students each fall are the result of many hours of hard work by her summer crew and supervisory staff.

Other faculty and staff recognized at the Jan. 19 dinner were:

For 15 years of service, Ted Bible, director of adult and graduate studies; Julie Hadding, communications coordinator in the public relations office; Carrie Phillips, archives and special collections librarian; and Phil Sugden, assistant professor of art.

For 10 years, Robin Bowlus, director of public relations; James Grandey, associate athletics director for development and head baseball coach; Audra Hammond, access services coordinator in Musselman Library; Cindy Luginbuhl, student accounts coordinator; Larry Maynard, Founders Hall custodian; and Iris Neufeld, registrar.

For five years, Marie Yoder Dyck, financial aid secretary; Dr. Rudi Kauffman, assistant professor of restorative justice; Kim Schimmoeller, associate athletics director, senior women’s administrator and head athletic trainer; Nancey Schortgen, adult and graduate studies representative; Sue Schutz, business office cashier; Amber Smith, student life administrative assistant; Tom Sommers, groundskeeper; and Jacklyn Wells, director of residence life.