Tag : alumni

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Our Compass is the Word of God: James Jackson

By: Noelle Beans

Reverend James Jackson is this year’s recipient of the Distinguished Wesley Seminary Alumni Award.

Rev. Jackson is not a stranger to authoritative positions. Throughout his ministerial career, he held many positions of authority and performed with great esteem and with great integrity.

The positions Jackson has held include the following:

  • Director of the Far-Eastside Action Coalition – a task-oriented community group for crime prevention and mentoring, and other projects.
  • Chief Administrative Officer of Valley Kingdom International – a group which seeks to advance the kingdom through intercepting the different systems of society.
  • Member of the Police Merit Board – governing body for the Metropolitan Police Department

Jackson was the first pastor in the history of Indianapolis to ever be asked to serve on this board.

Now, Jackson is the lead pastor of Fervent Prayer Church and the president of the affiliated Academy.

He founded the church 24 years ago and the school 22 years ago.

Somewhere along this journey of ministry, Jackson became frustrated.

Encouragement from Bishop Tom Benjamin to apply and enroll at Wesley Seminary came at the right time.

The first two years of seminary were difficult for Jackson because he had been out of school for a long time.

As he acclimated, the transformation in his life began. Rev. Jackson describes his time at IWU as a lift: “restorative, inspirational and informational – a second wind.”

He graduated in 2016 with his master’s degree.

There are now over 180 children enrolled at the Fervent Care Christian Academy from kindergarten to 12-years-old.

Jackson is a commissioner for the Indiana Civil Rights Commission. He was appointed by Governor Holcomb to make decisions on civil rights cases.

In his daily work, Jackson’s faith is his standard. He functions on a mantra of not who is right, but what is right. When seeking guidance on decisions his compass is the word of God.

Developing a relationship with God over all else is of utmost importance to Rev. Jackson. Apparent by his respected appointments over the years, Rev. Jackson chooses to live this out every day.

Watch the video from the Homecoming Celebration honoring Rev. James Jackson! https://youtu.be/UKuXqbJaGQI?t=494

Written by Noelle Beans, a writer for the IWU Alumni Center. Noelle is a sophomore Nursing and Honors Humanities double major at Indiana Wesleyan University in the John Wesley Honors College from Greenville, Illinois.

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Living by Faith Outside the Comfort Zone: Joel Herzog

By: Kendra Housel

At the age of 39, Joel Herzog found himself going back to school, surrounded by others who were about a decade younger than he was.

He originally came to Indiana Wesleyan University to complete his associate’s degree, and then he went on and to get his bachelor’s degree in management in 2010.

His time at IWU was quite unique. Herzog, returning to higher education and balancing that with his family life, found himself at one point stuck with the problem of needing to do homework, but already being committed to taking his daughter to a concert.

He jokes that he was the only person at the Jonas Brothers Concert reading the Bible.

Herzog chose to attend IWU both for its community and the proximity to his home in West Chester.

Though he was considerably older than his fellow students, which was difficult at times, he enjoyed his time and thrived in a learning environment which emphasized personal attention between professors and students.

Today, Herzog is the Chief of Police at the West Chester police station. It is a larger agency than most, where they will soon have 90 officers on staff.

He works often in the behind-the-scenes duties as Chief, so his days either look very routine, (planning meetings, looking at requests, setting goals, etc.) or they are incredibly difficult (discerning the next appropriate move in a hostage situation).

This, Herzog said, is why his faith is so essential, and why he is so thankful for his time at IWU.

Before coming to IWU, Herzog was raised Catholic, but had not gone to church faithfully for many years.

Through his professors showing him how everything ties back to God, Herzog began attending a nondenominational church constantly and recognized the importance of following Jesus faithfully.

His faith now informs everything he does, both in his personal life and in his job as Chief. He finds that it is important to pray for and with his officers and members of the community.

He has also taken hold of the unique opportunity he found in the West Chester department. When he began, two officers were ordained ministers, and the number has increased to four.

These chaplains are always available to the officers to help them process their spiritual well-being on the job, which in some places can be taboo. However, Herzog says spiritual well-being is just as important as physical well-being.

With a faith that he says has given him a greater vision and more compassion, Herzog has prioritized community engagement with his unit. He wants the community to know his men by their first names and as people, not only as officers.

Herzog stresses how important it is to get out of your comfort zone and to be around people who are not exactly like you. For his men, this not only opens their eyes to different people’s stories and life styles, but it also helps to continue to show communities that police officers are just normal people.

In his pursuit of community connection, Herzog likes to take his wife and visit a new church on some Sundays.

The first time he did this was a very special occasion and it left a lasting impact.

In July 2016, at the height of tension between African American communities and police officers, five officers were shot in Dallas, Texas.

Herzog did the only thing he could think to do: he donned his uniform and took his wife to a predominantly black church that Sunday morning. What happened there was a work of God: amazing love and embracing between the parties that he struggled to describe in a way that would fully honor the memory.

Herzog looks back at that experience as a powerful time, where a bond was built with members of that church family that last to today, because of the great compassion and understanding they shared in such a tumultuous time.

When asked what additional words of wisdom he had for current IWU students, Herzog shared the words he shares with his officers: “If something is important to you – sports, education, marriage, parenting – don’t train until you can get it right … train until you can’t get it wrong. Stick with it; life doesn’t always give you a second shot. Take what you got, work for what you got and fight for what you got.”

Watch the video from the Homecoming Celebration honoring Col. Joel Herzog! https://youtu.be/UKuXqbJaGQI?t=325

Written by Kendra Housel, writer for the IWU Alumni Center. Kendra is a junior 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. Kendra is passionate about serving Christ through writing, singing and caring for others.

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Encouraging Others through Victory: SaLisa Flagg

By: Dezaray Barr

SaLisa (Lisa) Flagg is this year’s recipient of the IWU Distinguished National and Global Alumni Award.

“I’m very excited and very honored to receive this award,” Flagg said.

She graduated from Indiana Wesleyan University in 2010 with her bachelor’s degree in nursing and in 2014 with her master’s degree in management.

She now works as a registered nurse at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. She utilizes her knowledge to access, plan, intervene, evaluate and document patient care.

“I like being part of the children’s healing process … to let them know that God is a healer and to try to direct them to Christ,” she said.

Flagg also trains and mentors new staff at the hospital, and she formulates nursing diagnoses for training staff on actual and potential health problems.

In addition to being the spokesperson for Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, she also started a women’s ministry mentorship project at Rose Chapel Church where her husband, Pastor Mark Flagg, serves in ministry.

The Women’s Ministry Mentorship Program aims to guide ladies ages 18 and over to triumph in all areas of their lives. They meet once a month with women from both the church and from the community.

“We let them know that they’re not alone,” Flagg said. “Whatever situation they’re fighting or coming up against, they’ll triumph over it through God.”

Most recently, Flagg has created a workshop, I’m Under Construction, where Christian women of various backgrounds and views gather together for discussion and spiritual growth.

Flagg’s motto is, “The odds may be stacked against you, the past may seem like it’s controlling your present and future and you may think that you can’t win; however, God and his glorious plan are enough to give you the victory.”

Congratulations, Lisa! It is an honor to call you an IWU alum!

Watch the Homecoming Celebration video honoring SaLisa Flagg! https://youtu.be/UKuXqbJaGQI?t=206

 

Written by Dezaray Barr, PR Specialist for the IWU 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.

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Using Your Gifts for God’s Purpose: Jacob Lapp

By: Kendra Housel

When Jacob Lapp began his college search, he knew that God was calling him to attend a Christian university. Given his family background, he assumed his journey would lead to a Nazarene college.

Jacob Lapp and his family.

He had never heard of The Wesleyan Church, but decided to check out Indiana Wesleyan University after he saw an IWU advertisement in a magazine.

It took only one visit to the Marion campus to end Lapp’s college search.

It was an important first step that eventually would lead to Lapp’s current job as Chief Information Officer (CIO) of The Wesleyan Church. He received a B.S. degree in accounting and management from IWU in 2006.

Lapp said he first developed a faith of his own during his years at IWU. During his first two years on campus, Lapp lived in Bowman Hall where he served as mission coordinator. He was a Resident Assistant in Phillippe Apartments his junior year.

The summer before his senior year, Lapp married his college sweetheart, the former Diane Taylor, who also graduated from IWU in 2006 with a degree in business administration.

Through his studies as an accounting major, Lapp developed a friendship and a mentoring relationship with Kent Williams, an accounting professor. Both men had grown up on farms, and Lapp said Williams understood him and made him feel at home.

Lapp was instrumental in starting IWU’s accounting club and served as the firsts president of the group in 2005.

Despite saying he never would take a job in public accounting, after graduating from IWU Lapp worked two years auditing non-profit organizations – many of them Christian organizations.

Through that experience, he discovered the different kinds of work people were doing for God’s kingdom across the nation and around the world.

In 2008, during the housing crisis, Lapp and his wife sold their home in Colorado and returned to Marion where he took a job as a purchasing agent. Less than two years later, Professor Williams alerted his former student to a job opportunity at the world headquarters of The Wesleyan Church in Fishers, Indiana.

Lapp began his ministry with the denomination in 2012 as the Director of Finance, and in 2017 became the Chief Information Officer with responsibility for all information technology.

He sees his dual roles as strategy and leadership, where about 60 percent of his work revolves around the question of how technology can support the mission of the church. The other 40 percent of his job deals with finances and accounting.

Lapp looks back on his IWU experience as a time when he felt the emphasis of using his gifts for God’s purpose.

“Although I work in a Christian community, it is also important to use those same gifts working in secular industries,” Lapp said. “Anything you do is significant if you do it for Christ.”

Any words of wisdom to share with current IWU students?

“Well, I have lots of words, but I don’t know if any of them qualify as wisdom,” he said. “I fear failure. I had to come to a place where I loved pleasing God more than pleasing others and more than I feared failure. I live for an audience of One.

 

 

Written by Kendra Housel, writer for the IWU Alumni Center. Kendra is a junior 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. Kendra is passionate about serving Christ through writing, singing and caring for others.

 

 

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The Importance of Community : Joe Winger

By: Kendra Housel

Joe Winger and his family at his graduation.

Joe Winger learned several life-changing lessons during his college years at Indiana Wesleyan University that cannot be discovered in textbooks or class lectures.

Winger, who graduated in 2010 with a B.S. degree in psychology, knew as a high school student in Colorado that he wanted to attend a Christ-centered university. After a Google search and a campus visit, he knew IWU was where he belonged.

The years he spent at IWU confirmed his choice, but in a way that he neither expected nor desired. The summer before Winger returned to campus for his senior year, he was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, a cancer that primarily affects the lymph nodes.

Winger remained in Colorado to begin chemotherapy and radiation treatments during the first semester of his senior year, but he was able to complete his degree thanks to independent study.

“Dr. Tim Steenbergh and other faculty members become advocates for me,” he said. “The opportunity to work on my studies helped me to stay focused and to have a positive attitude during my treatments.” Steenbergh, a Professor of Psychology, has taught at IWU since 2003.

 Winger returned to campus for his final semester in the spring of 2010, but he struggled with taking a full load of classes and missed the Colorado community that had surrounded him.

Winger would quickly learn how important community and meaning were in successfully battling cancer.

“The IWU community made my transition back to campus as smooth as possible,” he said. “So many people at IWU did everything possible to support me in person, just as they had done when I was in Colorado.”

Through his diagnosis and treatment, Winger said God taught him that life has meaning regardless of your circumstances. He learned the importance of staying connected to people and to Christ at all times.

Joe Winger and his wife, Bekah.

“My eyes were opened to the suffering of cancer patients,” Winger said.

During his treatments, Winger read Man’s Search for Meaning, a book by Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl. “The book focuses on the importance of maintaining meaning in the midst of suffering,” Winger said.

Fast forward to 2017 when Winger finished his Ph.D. He recently completed his first year as a postdoctoral associate at Duke University Medical Center.

Through a fellowship from the American Cancer Society, Winger’s work focuses on Meaning-Centered Psychotherapy (MCP) with an emphasis on helping patients with advanced cancer

and pain.

The study focuses on pain coping skills, relaxation techniques and identifying ways to stay engaged in a meaningful life. He is testing MCP with 50 cancer patients at Duke.

“God’s faithfulness put me in the field where I belong,” he said.

What advice does Winger have for today’s IWU students?

“Value being in a Christian community,” he said. “When I was at IWU, it never fully sunk in for me just how unique a time it was in terms of community. Especially for students who will go into secular environments, they will never get the same sense of community that seeks to glorify Christ in their work that they have now on campus.”

 

Written by Kendra Housel, writer for the IWU Alumni Center. Kendra is a junior 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. Kendra is passionate about serving Christ through writing, singing and caring for others.

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Career Development: Daryn Bronsink and Nathan Milner

By: Emily Neideck

Daryn Bronsink and Nathan Milner work in Career Development at Indiana Wesleyan University. This department has many unique qualities that guide students in their journey during and after college. Bronsink and Milner work specifically with students, helping them find jobs and internships during and after college.

Daryn Bronsink

Daryn Bronsink

Bronsink, the Employer Relations Coordinator, connects with employees within and outside of the state of Indiana. He stated, “I try to discover what their needs are, certain positions they need to fill or even, skills gaps they see within new employees.” Learning what skills students are missing when they enter the career world allows Bronsink to plan educational activities to strengthen those skills.

Not only does Bronsink seek out job opportunities for IWU students, but he also builds relationships with the employers. The employers, in turn, attend career fairs, recruiting events at the Career Development kiosk and mock interview days. Bronsink said, “I also do career coaching with students. I help them to discover where their skills fit within different careers. We also learn to write resumes, cover letters and do mock interviews.”

Nate Milner

Nate Milner

Milner, Internship Coordinator, oversees the Accelerate Indiana internship program. The program is a part of Lilly Endowment grant and places students in start-up companies around Indiana. The program not only allows start-up companies in Indiana to succeed, but gives students unique internship opportunities. Each internship is paid by Indiana Wesleyan.

The goal of the Lilly Endowment grant is to create jobs in Indiana, hoping that students will remain in the state upon graduation. Milner stated, “The program allows students to use the experience they gain to find a job after graduation, or even, to find a job within the same company in which they interned.” Internships and jobs in different states are also found for students. Students are also able to complete summer internships through Career Development. These internships can, in some cases, gain them credits toward their degree.

Amy Hobson, a Spring 2017 graduate, received an internship through Career Development. She said, “I think my internship was a great way for me to get real-word experience working in a small business. It opened my eyes to all of the working parts that are necessary when running a business, and it also allowed me to apply some of the concepts I had learned in the classroom.”

The university benefits highly from the Career Development program. Milner stated, “We are here to help students go beyond their four years in college. The program is a launching pad into their careers. We see more and more government, parent and people outside of the university that are looking at what students are learning in college.” Employers want to ensure that their employees have hands-on experience before entering the workforce, and the Career Development program enables that.

Bronsink and Milner work hard to engage the IWU community. They speak in different classes about the Career Development program opportunities. Career Development also hosts a Graduate School fair, different field trips, an Experience Indiana Job and Internship fair and different mock interview days. These different events allow students to discover jobs and internships and better prepare for life after graduation.

 

Written by Emily Neideck, writer for the Alumni Center and a junior Writing major at IWU. She is active on the cross country and track teams. She is passionate about using her writing skills to share the good news of Christ with others and writes often on her personal blog at www.emilylehner.wordpress.com.

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Alumni Art Exhibit: 1920 Gallery

By: Emily Neideck

Alumni ExhibitThe 1920 Gallery, located in the Indiana Wesleyan’s Barnes Student Center, hosted an Alumni Exhibit Friday October 6 from 8:00PM-9:30PM. The gallery held pieces created by various alumni from different career paths and backgrounds.

Sophie Stewart, The 1920 Gallery Fellow, wrote in her Curatorial Note, “Working from a variety of media and conceptual backgrounds, these artists are linked by their playful curiosity in the materials each uses and subject matter they depict.” The show hosted artists with many different IWU Art degrees, varying from Printmaking to Illustration to Art Therapy.

The Alumni Exhibit is a great resource. Stewart stated, “I have found the alumni show to be very encouraging. Especially for those, like me, who have went through the IWU Art program. Being able to come into this space and see what artists with the same background as me are doing is really encouraging.” This show exemplified the various paths an art student can take after college, showing art students what their options are upon graduating.

Stewart believes that the The 1920 Gallery gives its viewers, particularly students, a vision of great art, which encourages a higher standard of art-making. She said, “These pieces are from great artists, and I think learning from them is important.” Stewart hopes that alumni, students and visitors were able to interact with each other, growing in their artistic pursuits.

Below is a list of featured artists in the 2017 Alumni Exhibit:

Emily Fussner, Printmaking

Cherilyn Kurtz, Photography

Maggie Hubbard, Illustration

Madison Mosher, Graphic Design

Marina Goodwin, Illustration

Carolina Forman, Art Therapy

Jake Sneath, Photography (minors- Business Admin. & Youth Ministry)

Alec Hoogland, Ceramics

Andrew Luttrull, Painting & Illustration

Beaver, Painting & Printmaking (minor- Illustration)

 

 

Written by Emily Neideck, writer for the Alumni Center and a junior Writing major at IWU. She is active on the cross country and track teams. She is passionate about using her writing skills to share the good news of Christ with others and writes often on her personal blog at www.emilylehner.wordpress.com.

 

Homecoming Reunions

By: Dezaray Barr

Today, October 6, 2017, we have the opportunity to celebrate the Marion College/ Indiana Wesleyan University classes of 1952,1957, 1962, and 1967.

We began at 11:30 with a Prelude by IWU student, Jonah Hartsburg, on the piano. We were welcomed by 1967 graduate, John Earnest. Rev. Jim Blackburn, who graduated in 1957, provided the invocation, and IWU ROTC students provided the Presentation of Colors.

After pledging the flag and eating a lovely lunch of chicken salad and fruit, Earnest provided the introduction to Paul Mills.

Mills shared stories about his own life, his time as a coach at IWU and the time period when IWU began intercollegiate sports.

Interviews took place with 1952 graduate Rev. Bob Zuhl, 1957 graduate Rev. James Blackburn, 1962 graduate David Thompson, and 1967 graduate Charles Mealy. Linda )Dryer) Castro, a graduate of 1962, provided a memorial.

After a recognition of our veterans and a musical selection with the school song, John Earnest provided closing comments. Rick Carder, Director of Alumni and Church Engagement, provided some special announcements as the luncheon came to a close.

Once the event was over, class pictures were taken, and campus tours were offered to alumni.

 

 

Written by Dezaray Barr, PR Specialist for the Alumni Office. Dezaray is a junior Strategic Communication and Honors Humanities double major at Indiana Wesleyan University in the John Wesley Honors College. At IWU, Dezaray runs both the JWHC Blog and her own blog. Visit Dez’s website at www.dezaraybarr.weebly.com.

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Terry Neal: Spotlight on Nursing Alumni

By: Emily Lehner

Terry Neal

Terry Neal

Terry Neal has been an Indiana Wesleyan University employee for 15 years. Neal began her journey with IWU after working as a Medical Assistant for 10 years. After coming to the realization that she was performing similar tasks to a Registered Nurse, she decided to return to school.

Originally from Indianapolis, but living in Gas City at the time, IWU was accessible and close to home. “The Financial Aid office was phenomenal. They helped me with the application process, with financial aid, and they were just wonderful,” said Neal.

Neal completed her traditional Bachelor’s degree when she was 40 years old, and she immediately began her master’s degree, completing it within three years. She began by teaching and directing the Family Nurse Practitioner program at IWU, and now she holds the position of Associate Director of Doctoral Nursing. Neal works half-time in administration, where she works alongside faculty and tends to student needs and half-time as teaching faculty, where she teaches student courses.

When asked what it was like to be an IWU student, Neal said, “It was pretty awesome. I was a single mom of two kids when I decided to come to IWU. I had all the frustrations and difficulties that single moms have in trying to take care of the kids and work and then going to school at the same time.”

The faculty took an interest in Neal’s life and helped her to excel academically. “I was very pleased with the faith-based atmosphere of the university,” she stated. As a result of Neal’s love for the university, her children followed in her footsteps, both obtaining degrees from IWU.

Throughout her years of schooling, Neal believes she grew in her faith because she learned to rely on God. “I learned that no problem is insurmountable. Perseverance and determination are key, and as long as I do my part He is going to go above and beyond on His,” she stated.

Neal was active in her church at the time, and she said, “I have a great church family, and they were very supportive of me. I knew that if I had problems I could go to them, along with my faculty.”

Because of Neal’s caring professors, she has now cultivated a warm environment in the classes she teaches. She teaches online courses, but stated that she loves to be able to see the community her students create within their online classes. “I think that my experiences as a student have made me into the faculty I am today,” she said.

Neal continues to pursue the personal lives of her students, teaching them much more than just Nursing. Her true desire is to cultivate a relationship that bridges the gap between Nursing and God for her students.

 

Written by Emily Lehner, writer for the Alumni Center and a sophomore Writing major at IWU. She is active on the cross country and track teams. She is passionate about using her writing skills to share the good news of Christ with others and writes often on her personal blog at www.emilylehner.wordpress.com.