Bethel alumna named to presidential advisory council

Sept. 25, 2015

NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – A Bethel College graduate is among the 18 individuals whom President Barack Obama has appointed to the President’s 3rd Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.

Aziza Hasan, who was a KIPCOR team member when she was a Bethel College student, is currently the Executive Director of NewGround: A Muslim-Jewish Partnership for Change, an organization she co-founded in 2006.

NewGround works to facilitate conversations that explore issues at the personal, local, national, and global levels – among them identity, gender, pluralism, and Israel/Palestine – based on the premise that honest communication forges meaningful relationships and a solid base from which both Muslims and Jews can build in the communities they share. NewGround has been featured on American Public Media’s “Speaking of Faith” with Krista Tippett.

Hasan graduated from Bethel College in 2003 with a degree in history and a certificate in conflict resolution. While at Bethel, she was active in student government, debate and forensics, and social justice organizations, and was a valuable member of the KIPCOR team.

The President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships brings together religious and secular leaders as well as scholars and experts in fields related to the work of faith-based and neighborhood organizations. The charge for this Council focuses on steps the government should take to reduce poverty and inequality and create opportunity for all, including changes in policies, programs, and practices that affect the delivery of services by faith-based and community organizations and the needs of low-income and other underserved persons.

Hasan expressed particular thanks to the KIPCOR faculty members Gary Flory and Kirsten Zerger, and to Bethel College faculty member Patty Shelly: “I have so much gratitude for everything you have done to help me see effective ways to better navigate difference,” she said. “Thank you!”

Bethel College is the only private, liberal arts college in Kansas listed in the 2015-16 analysis of top colleges and universities in the United States, and is the highest-ranked Kansas college in the Washington Monthly annual college guide for 2015-16. The four-year liberal arts college is affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. For more information, see

Bethel College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, creed, age, gender, sexual orientation, parental or marital status, gender identity, gender expression, medical or genetic information, ethnic or national origins, citizenship status, veteran or military status, or disability. E-mail questions to

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