Almost two decades of teaching Intercultural Studies has left Ed Klotz with much more than just a few memories of John Brown University.
Before teaching full time, Klotz served with his family in Africa with an organization called SIM, which used to stand for Sudan Interior Mission, but not simply stands for Serving in Mission. Klotz was with the mission organization for 22 years total, serving in Nigeria, Liberia and Eritrea.
18 years after returning to JBU specifically to teach Intercultural Studies, Klotz is retiring.
Klotz has a longstanding relationship with the people of JBU.
“I was a student here as well,” Klotz said. “I transferred here from a community college and attended here from 1965 to 1968.”
“We also served here as the Missionaries in Residence for two years,” Klotz said. “That was in 1992 to 1994 before we came back to JBU long term.”
Klotz’s wife, Kay works in the library and has also enjoyed working with the community of JBU.
“My favorite part of getting to work alongside the students here is when we host dinners and get together at our house,” she said.
“We have really gotten to know the students and have built relationships with them.”
For Dr. Klotz, there are a lot of memories that have been packed into his years serving here.
“My favorite memory from one of my classes was from when I used to have my students in Anthropology do a review of an ethnography,” Klotz said. “There is one tribal group in Venezuela that is known for their fierceness and fighting. I had three male students who gave the report on that group, and when they came to class all they had on was their underwear and a flap. They had painted their chest in the color that the Indians paint themselves. They gave their report in front of the class dressed that way. It was hilarious, but it caught everyone’s attention.”
Klotz also recalls some of his favorite classes being Intercultural Communications and Perspectives.
“In intercultural Communications there is a lot of variety to it, and I get to teach a lot of concepts. It seems basic, but if you know some of those basic ideas about the different values, it will save you an awful lot of trouble, tension and frustration,” Klotz said. “When you know your own strengths and values, then when you go to another country you will understand them better and it saves a lot of frustration.”
Klotz also explained the significance of the Perspectives class, and how it shows students how the Lord is working in the world today and how they can fit into that plan.
“It is not necessarily showing them in a way that means they should go overseas as a full time mission worker, but that there is a different variety of roles they can have.”
After this semester, Dr. Klotz will be retiring, however, Mrs. Klotz will still be working in the library.
“I may do a little adjunct work in the fall,” Klotz said. “I will be doing a lot of hobby work with some woodworking, and I may end up helping out with some international students. That’s all in the air. I will definitely still be around.”