Departing Goshen faculty and staff reflect on time at Goshen, look forward to the future

By Maddie Ruth

Following this school year, Goshen College will say farewell to several faculty and staff.

Jake Shipe, Resident Director of the Yoder dorms, has worked at Goshen for three years, but has decided to leave to pursue a call in full-time ministry. He is currently looking into an internship at his home church in Mishawaka, Indiana, and various ministry positions elsewhere in the country.

Regardless of where he resides, Shipe knows one new role that he will take on next year. In mid-September, he and wife, Amber Shipe, will become parents. Shipe said that wherever God takes him, he intends to make his home a safe place for people in need of a second chance and a stable environment.

Tamara Shantz, assistant campus pastor and apartment manager, is wrapping up her fourth and final year as assistant campus minister.  Shantz, a Canadian citizen, will return to Ontario when her work visa expires at the end of July. Shantz will use her first months home to relax, reconnect with family and friends, and consider her next steps.

Jerry Peters, Umble Center technical director, has been with Goshen College since the summer of 2000 when he began his current position. As he prepares to leave to make way for changes in the theater department, Peters reflects that he has thoroughly enjoyed his time working with students at Goshen College.

“They simultaneously keep me young at heart and are the reason for most of my foul language. I hope I’ve taught them a fraction of what I’ve learned from them,” said Peters.

Among many memories that he will cherish, Peters mentioned, “ ‘Wine’ and cheese parties in my office, cameo roles in Michelle Milne’s mainstage productions, ‘directing’ the theater faculty in the Peace Play rejects festival, learning to negotiate the vast London transportation system, late nights hanging out in the St. Athans lounge [in London] swapping stories of the day’s discoveries, and the breath-taking exhilaration of experiencing world-class music, theater or visual art, and then the inevitable question: ‘Can we do that?’”

Peters plans to remain in Goshen doing free-lance work that he hopes will pay enough to support his extravagant lifestyle. It is his desire that any changes that occur in the college’s theater department will only lead to a richer and more excellent educational experience for students.

In a response to the dwindling budget, the Goshen administration has cut the positions of Christine Seitz and Christine Gerig Way, assistant professors of music.

Seitz has been the assistant professor of music for the past eleven years. She taught a breadth of classes, served as staff accompanist, and is beloved among music students for the energy she puts into her Music Theory class (a course that students say could otherwise scare away more than a few music majors). While she is saddened by the fact that she will no longer teach theory, Seitz has decided to remain as staff accompanist because of the people at Goshen.

“The primary reason I decided to stay here was because of the music faculty. My colleagues are superb to work with. I have taught with other people at different schools, and I can say that I am very lucky to work with these people.” She added, “The level of students here is considerably higher than any other place I have been as far as their commitment and attitudes. These last 11 years have been the best and most rewarding in my teaching and playing career because they were spent at Goshen College!”

As these employees look back on their years at Goshen, the overriding theme is that the people who comprise the college is what makes Goshen so special.  The employees expressed sincere thanks to colleagues and students alike.

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