Tag : adult

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Master’s Degree in Management: George Middleton

By: Kendra Housel

George Middleton, photo obtained from Facebook

George Middleton is a 1987 graduate of Indiana Wesleyan University’s masters program, where he earned his M.S. in management. He had been working for American Electric Power in Fort Wayne, Indiana as a Human Resource professional, when he heard about their education assistance program. Through that, Middleton decided to pursue his graduate work at IWU. Through this adult learning program, he got to pursue higher education in an experience that Middleton said “put together like-minded and motivated people of exceptional talent and drive.”

Middleton felt that IWU was the perfect fit for him in pursuing his education, not only for the convenience, but because there was a priority in emphasizing spiritual growth, along with academic growth. As a Music Minister, he appreciated the way education was paired with a spirit of love, compassion and teamwork. Middleton currently works in the mental health field, dividing his time between his roles as an author, therapist and mentor.  He consistently fuses together his passions for music and psychology to create innovative therapy programs. His time at IWU, he feels, “set the tone for not being afraid to think above the ‘status quo,’ to be more focused more on [relevance] and effectiveness, and less on traditional ways for the sake of tradition only.” Also important to him is the way IWU prepared him to carry on a lifestyle of learning; a flexible mind is one of the most valuable things he developed during his graduate work.

His spiritual life is a large part of his career in the attitude he approaches everything with. He maintains an attitude of humility and empathy as he engages with his clients. Through the techniques he uses, Middleton directs the clients towards an ability to make their own effective and healthy life choices, which is the goal of therapy in and of itself. Middleton must put himself aside, and think always of the good of the client, which is a direct result of his spiritual walk. The most spiritually engaging portion of his work is the time he spends in racial healing. He presents many workshops which address racial beliefs from the lens of mental health. Through these talks, he raises awareness about the harmful behaviors and consequences one may inflict upon themselves and their community based upon their underlying belief systems about race.

Before pursuing his graduate work, Middleton spent lots of time in some very unique professions, including time as an over-the-road truck driver, a high-line transmission tower mechanic and a professional firefighter. His career as a firefighter ended when he was seriously injured, which actually resulted in him and his brother being featured in an issue of Life Magazine. He is also a skilled and versatile musician. Middleton has produced three jazz music projects, in smooth jazz, gospel jazz and holiday jazz. You can view his music at www.cdbaby.com. Finally, Middleton’s advice to current IWU students is this: “Do what you love so that you will love what you do.”

 

 

Written by Kendra Housel, writer for the Alumni Center. Kendra is a sophomore Education and Honors Humanities double major at Indiana Wesleyan University in the John Wesley Honors College. She is also a member of the University Chorale. She is passionate about serving Christ through writing, singing and caring for others.

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David Liebel – Volunteer Initiatives and Prison Ministry

By: Kendra Housel

David Liebel graduated from Indiana Wesleyan University in 2002 with a bachelor degree in management. His time as a undergrad student was incredibly busy, because he was a full time student and also worked full time. He completed his degree through IWU’s online program. This specific, adult online program is what drew Liebel to IWU, considering the university had emerged as a leader in degree completion programs.

D-Liebel3Though he never stepped a foot on the residential campus in Marion until his graduation ceremony, Liebel greatly enjoyed and grew from his time as a university student. As he had just returned to the states from ministry work over in England, Liebel appreciated that IWU’s online management program was not composed solely of Christians, which gave him (as well as his peers) the opportunity to apply their faith to a more traditionally secular environment. He greatly valued the diverse student body he met and learned alongside.

Liebel stands by his decision to complete his degree at IWU, saying that his degree in management was a great fit for his current career. The skills he learned, specifically in organization, accounting and human resources, are things he uses everyday.

When asked about his favorite class, Liebel couldn’t pinpoint just one. Liebel said that the strength of the degree program is not in a specific class, but in “the sum of things as opposed to the parts.” He also mentioned how much he appreciated learning from professors who currently or previously earned a living in their field.

Before coming to IWU, Liebel worked for Youth of the Mission and helped pastor Tabernacle Presbyterian Church. After finishing his degree in 2007, Liebel began the work he is currently invested in: working for the Indiana Department of Correction as the Director of Religious and Volunteer Services. He works with chaplains and volunteers to organize and run events within the prison system.

Liebel values the unique experience he gets as he serves in the nation’s government. He feels as if he is a bridge between the often polarized worlds of faith and government. He has a rare understanding of the inner workings of “both worlds,” so he is able to see the rules and limitations that come in varied work environments. Most recently, Liebel is excited that thirteen Indiana prisons hosted the Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit. This was a special opportunity open to all prisoners to attend a conference that has the opportunity to enable the prisoners and staff alike to grow in compassion, conviction and faith.

Through all the opportunities and experiences he has encountered, Liebel has accumulated lots of wisdom. To students, he gives a piece of advice: pay attention, make the most of your time and go wherever you get the chance to go. He also passes on this advice, to students and peers alike; Liebel said “Do stupid things. Do dangerous things. Don’t do anything that’s dangerous and stupid.”

 

Written by Kendra Housel, a writer for the Alumni Center. Kendra is a sophomore Education and Honors Humanities double major at Indiana Wesleyan University in the John Wesley Honors College. She is also a member of the University Chorale. She is passionate about serving Christ through writing, singing, and caring for others.