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McPherson College awards Dayton Rothrock Alumni Fellows

posted Oct 01, 2008 in ALUMNI

McPherson College is pleased to announce its Dayton Rothrock Alumni Fellows. Marlo Oltman and Jason Pendleton are the 2008 award recipients. This award honors professional educators who exemplify the goals and model the mission of the teacher education program by effectively blending the art and science of teaching.

Upon graduating from McPherson College in 1958, Oltman spent five years teaching social studies in Aurora, Nebr., until he got a job teaching in Buhler, Kan., where he spent the remainder of his teaching career. Oltman received his master’s degree from KU in 1968, and has also completed additional graduate work at various universities in the region. In 1995, he retired from teaching and completed a three-year ministry training program through the Church of the Brethren, and is now an ordained minister. Throughout Oltman’s teaching years, he found motivating students both a challenge and a reward when he was able to change students’ “negative attitudes toward a subject into a positive response and interest in the subject.” Oltman found his greatest success to be when he was able to “use simulations of periods of history to help the issues and challenges come alive.” Oltman currently lives in Buhler with his wife Frances (Straka ‘60). They have three grown children, one of whom also lives in Buhler, and three granddaughters.

“I am surprised and humbled by this honor. I am humbled because I know so many talented and creative teachers that received their training at McPherson College,” Oltman said. “The surprise is because I have been retired from teaching for quite a few years and I thought the selection would be someone actively teaching.”

Jason Pendleton is a 1992 graduate of MC. He has been a teacher for 15 years, taking off two years to pursue a master’s degree. Currently, Pendleton teaches U.S. History, African American History, and U.S. Government at Lawrence Free State High School. Pendleton’s strengths in teaching lie in his ability to teach “big picture” themes and the cause and effect relationships of historical events. Pendleton’s favorite aspect of his career is “the opportunity to interact with students and see them mature into young adults and witness the development of critical thinking skills over time.” Pendleton and his wife Jodi (Roudybush ‘93) have two sons, Nicholas and Nathan, whose middle name ‘Leland’ is in honor of Dr. Leland Lengel, former history professor at McPherson College.

“I am incredibly honored and humbled to be recognized. McPherson College has an excellent teacher education program and consequently has produced numerous outstanding educators,” Pendleton said. “To be chosen from what had to be a large pool of potential recipients is flattering.”

“It is always a special time when we honor outstanding educators,” said Dr. Marilyn Kimbrell, Professor and Chair of the Education Department at McPherson College. “These two recipients embrace the mission of the college as well as the mission of the Teacher Education Program. They have proven to be service-oriented educators who blend the art and science of teaching.”

Pendleton and Oltman will be honored at the Dayton Rothrock Alumni Fellow Luncheon and Awards Banquet in Mingenback Hall on October 11 at 11:30 a.m. Pre-registration is required to attend the luncheon. Reservations may be made by calling 620-242-0434 or register online at

The Dayton Rothrock Fellowship was initiated in 2004 in honor of Dr. Dayton Rothrock ’47, who spent 32 years serving his alma mater as a faculty member, department chair and trustee. He was named Professor of the Year in 1984-85 and now holds the title of professor emeritus of education and psychology.

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