GOSHEN, Ind. — The Goshen College Presidential Search Committee announced alumna Rebecca Stoltzfus as its candidate of choice to become the college’s 18th president during an all-campus gathering May 24.
She would follow in the footsteps of her father, Victor Stoltzfus, who was president of Goshen from 1984 to 1996.
Stoltzfus is vice provost for undergraduate education at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y. She oversees initiatives to enhance undergraduate instruction and campus efforts to support inclusivity and academic success. She also has experience cultivating major financial gifts for the university. Since 2011, she has been part of the leadership team of public engagement initiative Engaged Cornell.
Stoltzfus is also a professor in Cornell’s Division of Nutritional Sciences. Before joining the faculty in 2002, she taught human nutrition at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore. Her research focuses on the causes and consequences of malnutrition in women and children in low-income countries.
“The transformative education I received at Goshen College has fundamentally shaped my understanding of the world and my work as a global health researcher, as a teacher and as a leader in higher education,” she said. “Thus, I am deeply honored by this call to return to my alma mater to serve and lead at this time.”
Stoltzfus graduated from Goshen in 1983 with a major in chemistry and received master’s and doctoral degrees in human nutrition from Cornell.
“We believe that Rebecca’s extensive leadership experience at two of the top academic institutions in our country as a distinguished professor and administrator will serve her as president and the college very well as we together continue to build on the positive path we are on,” said Conrad Clemens, chair of the Goshen board of directors.
Stoltzfus will be formally introduced to the college community when she visits the campus June 14-15. The search committee will review feedback received during the visit and present a final recommendation to the college and Mennonite Education Agency boards.
“In addition to being someone who knows how to listen well, ask good questions, solve hard problems and put everyone around her at ease, Rebecca’s passion for and commitment to the college’s Anabaptist-Mennonite core values of compassionate peacemaking and global citizenship exemplify her life and work,” said search committee chair Faith Penner.
Stoltzfus graduated from Eastern Mennonite High School in Harrisonburg, Va., which honored her with an alumni award in 2009. She also served on the Goshen board from 1998 to 2007.
Stoltzfus is married to Kevin W. Miller, a 1985 Goshen graduate with bachelor’s degrees in biology and nursing and a master’s degree in public health from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
They are parents of Lydia Miller, a Goshen College senior majoring in mathematics, and Gabe Miller, a Goshen College sophomore majoring in environmental science. Her parents are alumni Victor and Marie Stoltzfus of Goshen.
Goshen provost Ken Newbold will serve as interim president beginning July 1 until Stoltzfus takes office in early November.