By: Dezaray Barr
Kristie Anders (Oke) graduated from Indiana Wesleyan University (IWU) in 2013 with a degree in elementary education through the John Wesley Honors College (JWHC). There were many reasons for Anders to attend IWU. “My dad works at Indiana Wesleyan, and my sister was attending IWU as well. It was close to home, and I loved the Christ-centered atmosphere,” she said.
Anders really enjoyed her time at IWU. “I had a lot of engaging projects in my education and honors college classes, and I was excited to pour myself into them,” she said. “I had a great group of friends who both challenged me and did ridiculous things with me. It was a season of growing, changing and learning, and IWU was an amazing place to do all of those things.”
When she arrived at IWU, Anders said that she had a pretty extensive background in regards to spirituality. “I come from a family of teachers and pastors and was blessed to grow up in the church. While I was at IWU though, I had the opportunity to pursue my faith in a different context and was challenged by the professors and other students. In the JWHC, I was asked to research and then articulate many aspects of my faith. I had to wrestle with some ideas I had never encountered before, but thankfully I had a great support structure to help me,” she said.
After graduating from IWU, Anders taught second grade in Gas City (near IWU’s Marion campus) for one year. She then moved to Hawaii where she taught second grade at a Nazarene school for three years. She said, “I’m not currently working, but I’m enjoying raising our 4-month-old son and pursing a master’s degree in Leadership Design and Technology online at San Diego State University.”
While in Hawaii, Anders met her husband, who is in the Air Force. “We are now stationed in Little Rock, Arkansas,” she said. “I’m also (very slowly) working on a children’s book, but we’ll see if anything ever comes of that!”
Written by Dezaray Barr, PR Specialist for the Alumni Office. Dezaray is a senior Strategic Communication, Journalism and Honors Humanities triple major at Indiana Wesleyan University in the John Wesley Honors College. Visit Dez’s website at www.dezaraybarr.weebly.com.