TOTY | 'One big family': Chase Dempsey reflects on his Bethel work, students echo praises for inaugural award recipient
Dempsey's time in North Newton has been unforgettable.
Note: For full Thresher of the Year content, pick up a copy of issue 12.
Often, people don’t expect too much from the social media platforms of a small college, but that’s not the case with Bethel College, thanks in large part to this year’s Thresher of the Year. And after years of staying behind the camera, the focus is now on him: Chase Dempsey.
After obtaining his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Wichita State University in 2021, Dempsey immediately received an offer from Bethel and was hired quickly. Coming from a bigger school, he carries a lot of perspectives and knowledge with him to now give his employer a “bigger image.”
“It’s been fun since I’ve been here, I enjoy it so much, but what really gets me are the students,” Dempsey said. “When I tell them that they could see themselves years later in commercials or on social media, they get so excited, which gives me a lot of energy,” he added. “They make me feel like my job is worth it.“
One thing that makes Bethel really special is its various corporations abroad. “What are international students doing when they’re interested in Bethel? Right, they check our social media. That’s why we need to keep people updated and interested,” Dempsey explained.
Understanding the reality of his job, Dempsey has been getting help from sophomore Akindotun Ogunbiyi — commonly known as DT — for over a year now. As his “backup,” he covers every event that Dempsey can’t attend. In the process, he himself found his own passion for videography and started his own business, “DTmedia.”
Dempsey‘s goal is to eventually form a team. And as the media coordinator, a focal point of his job is diversity. Dempsey emphasized the importance of putting the focus on aspects of Bethel outside of athletics: “An athlete has practice every day, an actor has practice every day. It’s the same principle, but only in different areas that need to be highlighted,” he said.
The focus of Dempsey’s work is to capture all the faces of Bethel. “The way you get people [to Bethel] is diversity,” he said. “We have to show all colors of campus, not just one, so that we can have one big family.”
Many students have had the opportunity to work with Dempsey, including senior Lindsey Pfannenstiel. “I was thrilled to be able to see Bethel hire such an incredibly talented artist in photography and videography,“ Pfannenstiel said. She described him as a “truly caring” person, who can reach an audience without even trying.
Pfannenstiel admires his strength and the energy he puts into his work without complaints, even though it gets tough sometimes. “He‘s transformed our marketing and appeal to Bethel digitally and physically. He’s so deserving of this award, without a doubt,” she said.
Fellow senior Logan DeMond also had the privilege of working with Dempsey more than once. When DeMond formed an ad hoc committee as an SGA senator last spring to address student concerns in the Caf, DeMond described Dempsey as his “go-to,” coordinating to achieve the professional feel they desired.
Then, when DeMond started the Beyond BC series this spring, Dempsey helped him with digital promotion. “He‘s been flexible, easy to work with, and brought new life to our promotional videos,“ DeMond explained, adding that he hopes to work with Dempsey after his time at Bethel “[not] because of the quality of his work, but because of his positive energy and our friendship.”
“I feel honored by everyone who nominated me. I hope I set an example for whoever the next [recipient] is.”
“First, I want to thank God,” Dempsey said when asked about receiving this award. “I feel honored by everyone who nominated me. I hope I set an example for whoever the next [recipient] is. I hope this shows people that if you put in the effort, you’ll be recognized.
“I would’ve never thought that I’d be here. … Thank you, Bethel College.”