John Mullen, Ph.D., is a retired U.S. Naval Reserve Commander, who earned his doctorate in philosophy from the University of Notre Dame and specializes in epistemology and philosophies of religion and science. He has previously taught at St. Gregory’s University, Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics, Oklahoma Baptist University, and Valparaiso University. Mullen began at Bethany in 2012.
Natalie Nelson joined the Bethany College Staff in the summer of 2012. She is a native to Lindsborg, Kan. After graduating from Kansas State University, she lived and worked in St. Louis for five years before deciding to move back to Lindsborg. Natalie also works in the cafeteria at Bethany College. Outside of work she is involved in Broadway R.F.D. and the Lindsborg Folkdanslag.
Gretchen Norland has been an assistant professor of secondary education at Bethany College since 2012. Norland teaches education courses in classroom management, middle and secondary methods, foundations of education, and educational psychology. Norland received her Masters of Arts in education from Baker University in 2009. She has taught as an adjunct instructor for Baker University. Norland is also a former graduate of Bethany College, earning her bachelor’s degree magna cum laude in English education in 1979.
Norland has 32 years of teaching experience in USD 400, Smoky Valley. She is certified in K-9 elementary, 7-12 English, 5-8 history, and 7-12 psychology. Her teaching experiences also include virtual charter school and online instruction. Norland received leadership training at an ASCD conference in differentiated instruction and alternative assessments, and has given district presentations. She has served as co-chair of the Professional Learning Communities Social Studies Committee, North Central Accreditation in Reading Committee, and USD 400 District Steering Team.
At Bethany College, Norland is currently serving on the Curriculum Committee and is a member of the Teacher Education Committee. Norland is active in the Education Department accreditation and assessment process. On the ACCK council, she is the secondary coordinator of education representative for Bethany. Norland served on the Kansas Teacher of the Year State Selection Committee for the 2012-2013 year. She has been a member of the Bethany College Teacher Education Advisory Council since 2009.
The 2013-2014 season is Head Coach Clair Oleen’s 35th season on the sidelines in Hahn Gymnasium, two years as the late George Stephens’ assistant coach (earning KCAC titles in 1980 and 1981) and 12 years as the women’s basketball head coach (winning 208 games, one KCAC title, 10 NAIA play-off appearances and numerous national rankings).
Oleen now enters his 21st season as head coach of the men’s basketball program.
During his time as men’s coach, the Swedes have won 267 games, won three KCAC Tournament Championships, earned several national rankings and qualified for three NAIA National Tournaments. The 2003 team played in the NAIA National Championship game, finishing as national runners-up. That year Oleen was honored as the NAIA Division II Coach of the Year, while the team was honored by then Kansas Governor, Kathleen Sebelius, with a state proclamation on April 10, 2003.
Oleen earned his 450th head coaching win at Bethany in the 2011-2012 as his teams have amassed 475 total wins.
Oleen insists that the reason for all the Bethany wins over the years is the fact that he has been blessed with good players, good people, and good assistant coaches.
As a basketball player, Oleen was a two-year starter and a captain at Barton County Community College before he joined the Swedes at Bethany. In a Swede uniform he earned All-KCAC, All-District 10 of NAIA, and All-Lutheran honors nationally. He was a Bethany co-captain for the 1976-77 KCAC co-champion team, while he also received the Most Valuable Swede award. Following his college playing days, Oleen received numerous AAU basketball awards, including induction into the Kansas Independent Basketball Tournament Hall of Fame.
He received his bachelor’s degree in 1977 from Bethany College and his master’s in physical education from Kansas State University.
Oleen and his wife, Jerrine, have two adult children, Nathan and Andrea.
Warren Olson joined the Bethany College Advancement Office in 2007. He graduated from Bethany in 1972 with a bachelor’s degree in physical education and health. After graduation, Olson taught and coached in Herington, Kan. He has also served as the executive director at the Salina Family YMCA and has also held marketing positions in the Xerox Corporation.
Olson and his wife, Lynnda (Peterson) ’72, have 3 children and 9 grandchildren.