BETHANY, W.Va. – The Bethany College Alumni Association has announced the recipients of its 2019 awards, including the first James E. Allison Award for Teaching Excellence in more than a decade.

The recipients will be honored at a dinner ceremony at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 27, in Commencement Hall as part of Bethany’s Homecoming festivities. The dinner, which also includes a 50th class reception, is open to all alumni. Tickets are $25 and those planning to attend are encouraged to register by Monday, Sept. 23.

Members of the Bethany Alumni Association voted on the recipients.

Harald MenzDr. Harald Menz is the recipient of the James E. Allison Award for Teaching Excellence. He is co-chair of the Department of Humanities, co-director of Interdisciplinary Studies, director of International Studies, and a German professor.

He joined Bethany in 1994 as an assistant professor of German. In his tenure, he has taught German language, literature, and civilization of all levels; foreign language teaching methods; first-year seminars; English as a Second Language; and elementary Spanish.

As the director of International Studies, Dr. Menz coordinates study abroad for outgoing and incoming students, develops faculty exchanges, and advises the Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant Program and Heidelberg Exchange students.

He is also the faculty adviser for the Bethany German Club and Phi Kappa Tau, Phi Chapter, and is a member of the “Student First” Anti-Racism Task Force.

Aside from his work at Bethany, he is the chief reader for the AP German Language and Culture Exam and a test item writer for the PRAXIS Test in German.

Paul ChewningPaul Chewning ’75 is the recipient of Distinguished Service to Alma Mater Award, the college’s highest honor for alumni involvement, volunteer service, and support of Bethany.

Chewning is a senior associate at Trek Advancement of Lexington, Ky., and a former CEO of the Appalachian College Association and president of the West Virginia Independent Colleges and Universities, Inc.

He is a former director of alumni relations and men’s lacrosse coach for Bethany. He has volunteered with Bethany’s Career Resource Network and is a loyal donor.

He graduated magna cum laude from Bethany with Bachelor of Arts in History. He also has an M.A. from the University of Minnesota and an Ed.D. from Drake University.

Lynn Menzel InlowLynn Menzel Inlow ’70, of Hobe Sound, Fla., is the recipient of the Community Service Award.

In 2001, Inlow, and her husband, Hart, partnered with friends in the African nation of Tanzania to form the Lion of Judah Academy in rural Bulima with a goal of providing a high-quality education to the poorest of the poor.

The academy began with 10 students and a part-time teacher in a borrowed classroom. Today, it has almost 850 students in 14 grade levels. Though few of the students can afford the cost of their education, Lion of Judah – or Simba wa Yuda Academy as it is known in Tanzania – is consistently ranked as one of the top academic schools in the country.

Inlow is the founding president of the Lion of Judah Academy’s board of trustees and is president of the board of directors of the Lion of Judah Ministries’ board, a U.S. based 501 (c)(3) organization that supports the academy. Recently, the two boards have taken over a struggling dispensary near the school with plans to transform it into the best health care center in the region.

Inlow has a B.A. in Elementary Education from Bethany and at M.A. from Central Connecticut State University.

Kurt FranckKurt G. Franck ’78, of Perrysburg, Ohio, is the recipient of the Alumni Achievement Award, which honors contributions to one’s profession or field.

Franck is the president, general manager, and executive editor of The Blade in Toledo, Ohio. He also is vice president of operations for Block Communications Inc., a role in which he oversees the business side of The Blade and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

He joined The Blade as managing editor in 2000 and helped direct the newspaper’s award-winning “Coingate” coverage and its 2004 Pulitzer Prize-winning Tiger Force series, which detailed the atrocities committed by the elite U.S. Army platoon during the Vietnam War.

He was deputy managing editor and executive news editor at the South Florida Sun Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale and worked in several bureaus of United Press International.

He has served as a juror for the Pulitzer Prize and is a member of the Associated Press Managing Editors board of directors and the American Society of News Editors. He is an inductee of Bethany’s Communications and Media Arts Wall of Fame.

On Thursday, Sept. 26, Franck will deliver the John Keresty Lecture, the keynote address of the Bethany Communications and Media Arts Week, in the Renner Art Gallery.


Bethany College, founded in 1840, is the oldest private college in West Virginia. The Bethany experience focuses on academic excellence in the area of liberal arts and prepares students for a lifetime of work and a life of significance.