Bethany Alumni in the Spotlight

Johnathan Foster ’13

Attorney
Cohen & Grigsby, Pittsburgh

My education at Bethany and my experience as an All-American student-athlete definitely helped me prepare for my education at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. Maintaining a high level of productivity in the classroom and on the field helped, because doing so fostered time-management skills.

My Bethany coaches were always very supportive of me wanting to do well in the classroom. The people at Bethany are the most important part of the institution. My time as an assistant in the president’s office was an experience I’ll never forget as it has helped me develop professionally and facilitated important relationships I still maintain.

The ability to form new relationships and step out of my comfort zone are important life skills, and the experience of stepping out and making my own decision has been beneficial to me.

Thankfully, I experienced a great deal of success at Bethany, and that continues to inspire me because the success I experienced there is something I worked extremely hard for. It continues to inspire me because as I’ve gone through life since graduating, I always remember how hard I worked at the things I set my mind to, and I know that if I continue to work hard, I’ll continue to be successful in the future.

Ashley Dougherty

Ashley Dougherty ’05

Meteorologist
WTAE Action News, Pittsburgh

Bethany allows you to start at the campus television station as a freshman. Every other school I looked at made you wait until you were a junior to be able to participate in the campus production. I just knew I wanted to be in television, and I was able to hold almost every position at the campus TV station. It definitely prepared me and helped me get into the field.

A Bethany education is like no other. It’s still one of the only schools that requires you to pass comprehensive exams before you graduate. Honestly, that helped me more than I ever thought it would because I graduated knowing everything I needed to know in my major. The liberal arts focus helped me think outside the box and have skills that were useful in different ways, like critical thinking and communication.

Although Bethany may be small…it is mighty. And I loved, loved, loved my Greek experience! I joined Zeta Tau Alpha my freshman year, and it really helped me to get comfortable with college life. Bethany is where I met some of my closest friends and have some of my most cherished memories.

Dr. Cara Halldin ’01

Biology
Team Lead at National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Morgantown, West Virginia

I remember how peaceful the campus was…how you could go to the library and sit in one of the back cubby-desks and read or study without noise or distractions while observing the beautiful landscape looking out over the hills of Bethany.

The sciences coursework at Bethany was integral to preparing me to earn a higher degree in the field of biology. However, more importantly, the liberal arts background that I received at Bethany has had the largest impact on the trajectory of my career. For example, my job now, and every job I’ve had up to this point, has required me to work with people from a spectrum of disciplines. Specifically, courses I took to fulfill degree requirements outside of the biology department at Bethany, like sociology, human development, and a variety of psychology courses, have helped me to understand how to relate to people from all different backgrounds.

The campus community seemed so close-knit and inviting, and it felt like the faculty were really interested in ensuring the students no only succeeded in their studies but also stepped outside their comfort zones to experience new areas of study and thought.

Nate Smith ’05

Communications
Global Communications and Business Readiness Manager
The Kraft Heinz Company

Prior to Bethany, my worldview didn’t extend much beyond my like-minded group of friends and the small town of Washington, PA. At Bethany, I was introduced to ideas that had global implications by professors who had experienced those ideas firsthand. I became friends with people who actually lived in those countries that I only knew about from geography class.

I’ve made a career on the fact that things change. My liberal arts education not only gave me the tools to continue to learn and change with the times but also actually positioned me to be in front of those changes and sometimes even be the person leading or causing change.

Any professional success I’ve had is because of Bethany. My family has always, and continues to, inspire and support me. However, Bethany provided me with the professional and personal foundation that I consistently rely on in my career.

As a first semester freshman, I was able to host my own radio show, play for and act as the vice president of the lacrosse club, and also write for the campus newspaper. I loved the strong reputation of the communications department, but what I really loved was that I could immediately get involved.

Even as I entered Bethany, I wasn’t completely sold on any one communication medium—print, television, radio, graphic design. This made a Bethany liberal arts education the perfect fit for me.