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Two MJF key staff members retire in 2020

By Joanna Hollern

PR Visions 

Two of MJF’s longtime staffers are retiring this year – Steve Beitzel and Kim Hensley.

Beitzel, chief engineer, has worked at Miami for 25 years. Before then, he worked as a director, editor and engineer for television stations in Indiana, Illinois and Ohio. Beitzel has been a steady force in Williams Hall, always making sure all equipment is in tiptop shape and also teaching students how to use the equipment in the studio. He also provided tours to incoming students and their families.

Hensley is the staffer you might remember seeing in MJF’s main office. She is a master administrative assistant who works with students and with special programs like Inside Hollywood and Inside Washington. She has worked at Miami more than 37 years with the last 25 at MJF. Before then, she worked in the math and statistics department.

Steve Beitzel and Kim Hensley

Beitzel will retire at the end of May. He worked in MJF for 25 years and played a key role in the departments success. He started out as the engineering supervisor for the department and then moved into the role of chief engineer. 

Beitzel worked closely with students to help them develop media production skills. One thing he said he will miss most about working at Miami is “working with students that are just learning media production skills. There’s an instance where they have been struggling, or not having great success and then something opens up and they figure it out and it’s really gratifying to be a part of that process.”

Beitzel worked hard at keeping up with the growing technology coming into his field. “When I started in 1995, the internet was pretty much brand new,” he said. “All audio recordings were done on a tape.”

Beitzel plans to spend a lot of time in his retirement with family. He has two grandchildren, a 5-year-old boy and a 3-year-old girl. He is eager to spend time with them. He is also hoping to do some traveling with his wife throughout his retirement. 

Hensley is going to continue into the summer to help the department with registration, scheduling and other administrative tasks that need to be kept up to date. 

Hensley said she will miss working with students. “I have always been in academics,” she said.

 “With force adds, changing majors, they would come see me.”

Hensley plans to spend more time with family, watch her grandsons in their sports and travel with her husband. “I would like to do some sightseeing in New England,” she said. Because “sitting on the beach you can get your worry and stress out.”

Both Hensley and Beitzel had a lot of experience in the department, said Bruce Drushel, chair of MJF and professor of Media &  Culture. “We are going to miss their experience. I am going to miss relying on them to do their jobs without much direction on my part.”

The department had a group that would get lunch together on Fridays. “Kim and Steve are kind of at the heart of that group,” Drushel said. “I hope they can continue to join us on a regular basis.”

Drushel worked closely with both Hensley and Beitzel throughout their time at Miami. “I certainly wish them the best,” he said. “They have earned a nice quiet, peaceful retirement, or whatever kind of retirement they desire.”