Saying goodbye to familiar faces

by Vista Kalipa

As the end of this academic year draws near, the Simpson community will be saying goodbye to some very familiar faces around campus.

Faculty members Dan Bauer, Alvera. Kromer, Jane Kvetko and Assistant Chaplain Medea Saunders are all leaving the institution at the end of this academic year to either retire or pursue greener pastures.

Many students who worked with Saunders expressed that they felt Simpson was losing a very spectacular individual.

“For me as a student chaplain, she definitely provided a lot of support that I needed,” said senior Andrea Poland. “Simpson will definitely miss how caring she is and the time she takes with students and her ability to listen.”

Not only will Saunders be missed by students, Ann Shepherd, chapel administrator, also spoke on the brilliance of the person that Saunders is.

“I truly appreciate her help over the last couple of years. She’s been very involved and has been helping in organizing things with students,” said Shepherd. “We’ll definitely miss her a lot.”

Also leaving Simpson this year is Assistant Professor of English, Dan Bauer. “I’m going to miss my students here and I am going to miss those faculty members who really care about students,” he said.

During the four years that Bauer has been at Simpson he has had a great impact on the Simpson community. Many students have appreciated his involvement with different organizations on campus. Not only students have benefited from his dexterity and vibrant personality, so have some of his fellow faculty members.

Melvin Wilk, professor of English said, “My experience with Dan has been, somewhat, of an unusual pleasure, partly because we both came to Simpson at the same time. He was a freshman in my first American Literature class and was outstanding.”

Senior Kate Parker, a student in Bauer’s “Gay and Lesbian Literature” course this semester said, “Bauer has always been interested in individual students-more with their learning and who they are than anything else. He takes a special interest in his students has been really involved in many student groups.”

Students do not only support this aspect of Bauer’s personality, but so do faculty members who feel the same way too.

“Dan spends great amounts of time conferencing with students and student think of him as an outstanding teacher,” said Wilk.

Bauer will be going on to teach at a larger state university, where he will be taking on a smaller teaching load with an increased salary. He also said that part of what he is looking forward to in his new job is the warmer climate and the fact that the campus is in a place that is rich in history.

“I’ll be doing a very similar course load but much of it will be at the graduate level,” he said. “All work-study graduate students for the writing lab will be working with me and I’ll have a close working relationship with them.”

Bauer went on to explain that he is looking forward to starting his new job, where he will be in a department of about 30 people.

“This new job will require much more scholarship and it will not be as much of an option there as it is here,” said Bauer.

After being denied tenure this year, Bauer admits that he is still disappointed with his experience at Simpson College. “I’m still a little bit sour about the lack of leadership displayed by the institution,” he said.

Apart from all the hard feelings, Bauer is definitely a name that is going to be remembered by many students and faculty who encountered him during their time at Simpson.

“He has a very congenial and lively personality and has a vibrant interest in literature and film,” said Wilk. “He has secured a fine new position and I’m sure that he’ll do an excellent job there. I’ll definitely miss his excellent home-baked cookies and I wish him the very best of luck.”

Another professor who has added a said saintly quality to the Simpson community over the last years is Jane Kvetko, professor of sociology.

Since coming to Simpson in 1981, Kvetko said that she has enjoyed her years here. “I have particularly enjoyed the friendships I have built and the opportunity to form with students and colleagues,” said Kvetko. “The daily interactions are what I’ll miss the most. However, I also hope that the friendships will last beyond Simpson.”

Kvetko is more than just a professor. Her students saw her as somewhat of mother and mentor and some faculty members shared the same sentiments.

“Jane is the kind of person who always treats the patient and not the disease,” said Associate Professor of sociology Mark Freyberg. “I’m surprised that she can be as personable as she is. She goes out of her way to get to know and find out about the whole person.”

Also sharing in Freyberg’s feelings is Assistant Professor of sociology Lora Friedrich.

“She is such a good colleague. She’s just been so generous. I worked on a field experience with her and it was fun,” said Friedrich. “She is also very attentive to students and has been an excellent advisor. She sees her students as whole people, not just as sociology majors-she sees them in a greater context.”

Another professor who’s been a very valued member of the Simpson community is Assistant Professor of Communication Studies Alvera Kromer.

Kromer has worked a great deal towards the development of the Public Relations program at Simpson. She has been also heavily involved in student groups such the Public Relations Students Society of America.

Her students have expressed the sadness they feel about her retirement, but they’ve also expressed that an understanding and respect for her wishes to move on.

As it appears, all of these members of the Simpson community have played an integral part in the enrichment and enhancement of the college community.