Tag : iwu-alumni

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Alumni Awards Homecoming 2016: Janice Cotrone

 By: Emily Lehner

Janice Cotrone has devoted her adult life to improving healthcare in the country of Haiti. She served as Director of Nursing, Pediatric Programs, Surgery, and held the position of Station Manager. Upon living full-time in Haiti for 26 years, Cotrone and her family moved back to the United States and settled in Naples, Florida for 6 years, pastoring there. Her husband then retired, and the family moved to Missouri. “However, in 2012, The Lord spoke to me very clearly at the General Conference of the Wesleyan Church and He wanted me to return to Haiti and open a four year RN/BSN School of Nursing,” Cotrone said.

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Janice in Haiti

Cotrone returned to IWU to receive a degree in Nursing Education, and when she finished with that, she jumped right into the Doctorate Program. The four year RN/BSN launched the first class of freshman in 2014 and things have been going smoothly. The program is only one of two in the entire country of Haiti. There are over 600 schools of nursing in Haiti, only 50 being accredited and Cotrone’s school is one of those 50. A few years ago, the school was given a distinguished honor by USAID and the department of public health in Haiti. “I am very thankful we received that award. We are seeing the outcome. We are already seeing things happen, and I just thank the Lord for helping me shoulder this kind of load and program,” Cotrone responded.

Cotrone currently travels to Haiti often to maintain upkeep of the school and teach. However, she is not able to live there full-time because she has assumed care of her mother here in the United States. Her son recently began school at IWU. Cotrone believes that in the future, the school will have many other degree options for students.

Cotrone’s time at IWU throughout the years has prepared her for multiple disciplines. She also believes that her background in life helped her wear the many hats she has to do daily. “IWU gave me the foundation I needed to handle what my life would look like down the road,” Cotrone stated. She is strategically placed to change the face of healthcare for the entire nation of Haiti. To Cotrone, it is much more than just training nurses, though. She said, “I want to train these young people for life, and I put heavy emphasis on this. We have bible classes taught every trimester.” The ratio of nurses to citizens in Haiti is 1 RN for over 9,000 people. Cotrone believes her greatest joy is preparing her students to not only save lives physically, but through salvation in Jesus Christ as well.

“I am blown away. I am not really an extraordinary person, I just work for an extraordinary God. It is such an honor. I just feel like I am doing what I am supposed to be doing in the world. When you are doing what you are supposed to do, should you be awarded for that? I don’t know. I am very honored and humbled to receive this award. I appreciate IWU. They’ve been very supportive of me,” responded Cotrone when asked how she felt about receiving the award.

This award is granted to an alumnus or alumna of the School of Nursing who has exhibited excellence in serving his or her profession, community, church, or alma mater in the spirit of Jesus Christ, and will be awarded during the Homecoming Weekend of October 7th.

 

Written by Emily Lehner, a 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.

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Alumni Awards Homecoming 2016: Cynthia Booth

By: Dezaray Barr

 

Annually, Indiana Wesleyan University awards the Distinguished DeVoe School of Business Alumni Award to a deserving alum. This year, that award goes to Cynthia Booth. Booth currently serves as the President and CEO of Owner of COBCO Enterprises, LLC. She is currently a member of Greater New Hope Missionary Baptist Church and she continues to support her son, Paul Jr., at Legacy Pointe Church.

Cynthia Booth

Cynthia Booth

Booth is very active in the community and serves in the following ways: Board of Advisors of DeVoe School of Business at Indiana Wesleyan University, Chair of McDonald’s REAL Team as part of the National Leadership Council, Board of Advisors at the Goering Center, Board of Directors at First Financial Bank, Board of Trustees at Denison University, Treasurer on Board of Directors for Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber, Deaconess Ministry at Greater New Hope Missionary Baptist Church and Vice Chair for Trustee Ministry at Greater New Hope Missionary Baptist Church.

Booth has received many awards, dating back to 1999. Since receiving her first award in 1999 she has received over 35 awards, the most recent being the Lead Magazine’s Emerging Business Award and the National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa’s Extraordinary Entrepreneurship Award.

While at IWU, Booth’s favorite professor was Shelley Webb. Her education and experience at IWU were exceptional, but it changed and grew her. “It not only challenged me academically, but it also challenged me to think globally and to be a world changer.  More importantly, it allowed me to learn in an environment that supported my Christian values and beliefs,” she said.

This award is granted to an alumnus or alumna of the DeVoe School of Business who has exhibited excellence in serving his or her profession, community, church, or alma mater in the spirit of Jesus Christ, and will be awarded during the Homecoming Weekend of October 7th.

 

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

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Alumni Awards Homecoming 2016: Tom Cully

Tom Cully and his family

Tom Cully and his family

By: Dezaray Barr

 

Annually, Indiana Wesleyan University presents the Distinguished Young Alumni Award, and this year the recipient is Tom Cully. Cully currently works at Holsum Dairies as a Herd Veterinarian. He is a member of Faith Alliance Church where he serves as a nursery volunteer, greeter leader, assimilation committee member, Discovery Land volunteer and Sunday School teacher.

During Vet School, Cully served as president of the Cornell Student Chapter of the American Veterinary Medical Association (SCAVMA), secretary of the Christian Veterinary Fellowship and captain of the Bovine Palpation Team.

He has received the following awards: American Association of Bovine Practitioners Amstutz Award, American Veterinary Medical Foundation and Zoetis Scholarship Award, the Student Chapter of the American Veterinary Medical Association Distinguished Member Award, Zoetis Clinical Proficiency Award in Dairy Production Medicine, Leadership Recognition Award and the New York State Veterinary Medical Society Senior Seminar Award.

Cully’s favorite professor was Dr. Matthew Kreitzer, and his favorite thing about IWU was the Christ-centeredness, as well as the competitive programs that allowed him to succeed. “The most valuable aspect of my IWU education was a Christ-centered perspective in professional and personal matters. The second most valuable aspect was highly competitive pre-professional program preparation that helped me to excel from the onset of my veterinary education,” Cully said.

This award is granted to an alumnus or alumna of Indiana Wesleyan University who has graduated in the past ten years and exhibited excellence in serving his or her profession, community, church, or alma mater in the spirit of Jesus Christ, and will be awarded during the Homecoming Weekend of October 7th.

 

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

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Alumni Awards Homecoming 2016: Lydia Pfenniger

By: Dezaray Barr

Lydia and her family Photo obtained from http://www.fredandlydia.com/pictures/

Lydia and her family
Photo obtained from http://www.fredandlydia.com/pictures/

 

Annually, Indiana Wesleyan University presents the Distinguished College of Arts and Sciences Alumni Award. This year, the recipient of this award is Lydia Pfenniger. Pfenniger currently works as an OB Fellowship Trained Family Physician at the Association of Baptist for World Evangelism. She is married to Fred Pfenniger and has two children, Noah and Nathanael.

Pfenniger is currently a member of Temple Baptist Church in Tacoma, Washington. She enjoys traveling and has taken multiple medical mission trips to Honduras, Bolivia, Zambia and most recently traveled to Togo. From January 2013 to July 2015, Pfenniger and her husband traveled to Togo, West Africa with the Samaritan’s Purse Post Residency Program to practice full scope medicine. The hospital the couple served in is a full service mission hospital that serves primary adult care, pediatrics, obstetrics and surgical needs. They are just now starting a second 30-month term at the same hospital.

Pfenniger’s education at IWU taught her many important things, but most importantly, it taught her how to see the bigger picture. “IWU challenged me to keep my focus on God and not just what is before me, to see a bigger picture through God’s eyes and not just the picture in front of me, to keep my focus on the end goal and not just the challenge directly ahead,” she said. Coach John Foss, Dr. Jim Lo, Dr. Hess, Dr. Webb and Dr. Lakanen were some of her favorite professors and mentors who influenced her greatly while at the university.

Learn more about Lydia and Fred’s journey on their website: http://www.fredandlydia.com/.

This award is granted to an alumnus or alumna of the College of Arts & Sciences who has exhibited excellence in serving his or her profession, community, church, or alma mater in the spirit of Jesus Christ, and will be awarded during the Homecoming Weekend of October 7th.

 

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

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Alumni Awards Homecoming 2016: Reba Lynn Harris

Reba Harris, photo obtained from http://www.gileadhousekokomo.org/about-us/

Reba Harris, photo obtained from http://www.gileadhousekokomo.org/about-us/

By: Dezaray Barr

 

Annually, Indiana Wesleyan University presents the Distinguished College of Adult and Professional Studies Alumni Award. This year, the recipient of the award is Reba Lynn Harris, a 1997 graduate.

Harris founded the Gilead House in September of 2000 and is now the executive director. The Gilead House offers education, training, programs and services for broken and hopeless men, women and children.

Harris belongs to Mt. Pisgah Missionary Baptist Church in Kokomo, Indiana where she serves as the president of the F.D. Reece Christian Academy, as well as an adult Sunday school teacher. She is a member of the Howard County Drug Court, Howard County Mayor’s Task Force and is a board member on the Kokomo Veteran’s Home. Finally, Harris has been honored with the Indiana Black Expo Award for community enrichment.

Harris’s education at Indiana Wesleyan University is what inspired her to open the Gilead House, as well as give her resources to help the Howard community. “It has given me the confidence to strive for the vision that God has given me,” Harris said about her education at IWU.

This award is granted to an alumnus or alumna of the College of Adults and Professional Studies who has exhibited excellence in serving his or her profession, community, church, or alma mater in the spirit of Jesus Christ, and will be awarded during the Homecoming Weekend of October 7th.

 

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

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Kirk & Emily Proctor: Ministry from Michigan to Sierra Leone

By: Dezaray Barr

 

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The Proctors striking a pose: (from left) Coby (6), Kirk, Aubrey (8), Bryce (10), and Emily.

Kirk and Emily (Robinson) Proctor are doing great things to expand God’s Kingdom, and it all began at Indiana Wesleyan University.

 

Kirk grew up in the Wesleyan church. His family was well known in the church, usually attending multiple services a week. Kirk says that the only family who stayed longer in his childhood church besides his own family was the pastor’s family.

 

From a very young age Kirk put his faith in Christ, “From the ages of three to five, I gave my life to Christ every time I got in trouble, which was a lot.”

 

When Kirk was in seventh grade, he rededicated his life to Christ, which is when Kirk believes it was the first time it was real for him. The next summer Kirk received his call to ministry while at summer camp, knowing the Lord wanted him to be a pastor.

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Kirk preaching at Faith Church in Lansing, MI

 

Being the youngest child in his family, Kirk’s older brother and sister had attended Indiana Wesleyan, and Kirk knew Indiana Wesleyan was where he wanted to be. During his first few years in college he spent time dodging and rediscovering his call into ministry, including a six month period where he thought he did not want to be a pastor at all.

 

Emily also grew up in a family active in the Wesleyan church. Although Emily gave her life to Christ at a young age, she became serious about her faith in middle school and high school by learning from her summer counselors at church camp. Through camps, conferences and rallies Emily was introduced to Indiana Wesleyan. When she discovered that IWU had a competitive cheer team that offered scholarships, Emily knew IWU was where she wanted to go.

 

During their time at IWU, Kirk and Emily were both admissions tour guides, which is where they met. They became friends and eventually began dating. The couple graduated in April of 2002, Kirk with a degree in Christian Ministries and a minor in Intercultural Studies, and Emily with a Communication degree in Public Relations and a minor in Spanish. They married a month after graduating on May 25, 2002. IWU has had a huge impact on both of their lives, “We absolutely loved our time at Indiana Wesleyan,” Emily said.

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This number represents how many people have found Salvation through Faith Church

Since leaving IWU, the Proctors have been working in the Wesleyan church for 14 years. After marrying, Kirk and Emily moved to Wisconsin where they had taken jobs as youth ministers at Sand Lake Wesleyan Church. The pair then served for a few years at Sturgis Wesleyan Church in Michigan, and then moved to Illinois where they served at Heritage Church for six years. Now, the couple lives in Lansing, Michigan where Kirk is the senior pastor at Faith Church.

 

Kirk is passionate about keeping his congregation accountable for bringing new believers to Christ. About two years ago, Kirk told his church congregation that every time a non-believer comes to Christ they will put a number on the wall of the church. The number is located above the door, so that when congregants leave after the Sunday services they are reminded church is not just the pastor, but that they are a part of the Church.

 

Kirk believes his congregation has changed immensely because of this number above the door, “When they leave they think, ‘How many more people can come to Christ this week?’ And then they celebrate that number. We’ll announce a new number from time to time, and there is always a standing ovation with whooping and hollering.”

 

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Each new Christian holds up their “number” that represents when they found Salvation

After the first year the number above the door was “113”. Kirk planned on taking the number down and starting over. However, people in the church asked him not to. Many people knew what number they were or what number their friends were, and they did not want to lose that symbol.

 

Today, the number is “227”. Of these 227 people, one-third of them were led to Christ by members of the church outside of services. Kirk has seen dozens of people come into the church and put up their own number, either by themselves or with their friend who brought them to Christ.

 

Last month, Kirk and Emily had the opportunity to travel to the Republic of Sierra Leone in West Africa. Faith church is currently partnered with World Hope International in a three year village partnership commitment. During these three years, Faith church raises monetary funds to allow the village they are partnered with to create commerce within their owsierra leonen community in West Africa.

 

Kirk is passionate about what World Hope International is doing around the world, “They know how the old saying goes, ‘Give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he’ll eat for a lifetime.’ That is what World Hope International does. They know what crops can grow or certain livestock that each village can have, so we pay for them to have these things.”

 

The village Kirk and Emily visited on behalf of their church had no well and only muddy water. Through the partnership, the village has been able to plant pineapple fields, and they now have two wells. The people of the village now have clean water, and can sell the pineapple to create commerce to provide for education and basic needs.

 

While in Sierra Leone, Kirk and Emily also had the opportunity to help missionaries who were in need of prayer, “We got to pour into some of the Wesleyan Missionaries there,” said Emily. Kirk knows that his work is not done with Faith church or with World  Hope International, “I hope that when this three year partnership is done we’ll pick another village.”

 

Written by Dezaray Barr, Writer for the Alumni Office. Dezaray Barr is a Freshman Strategic Communication and Honors Humanities double major at Indiana Wesleyan University in the John Wesley Honors College. At IWU Dezaray is involved in PRSSA leadership and runs both the JWHC Blog and her own blog. In 2015, Dezaray received the award of Horatio Alger National Scholar.

 

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Executive Christian Roundtable Inaugural Event

Thres BriggsThis April, the IWU Alumni Association will be hosting an inaugural event, the Executive Christian Roundtable, a gathering of dynamic professionals, committed to living out their faith in the workplace.

IWU Alumni and President & Chief Performance Officer of Performance 3, LLC, Thresette Briggs, will facilitate the event. Thresette’s management consulting firm focuses on speaking, coaching and training services to help leaders and team build the competency and capacity necessary to achieve high performance. Thresette also serves on the Alumni Association Board as CAPS Representative and is passionate about providing individuals who attend the event with the support to excel spiritually in their profession and in the community.

The roundtable will feature an IWU Alum, who was selected because he is respected in the community for not only business leadership, but for also integrating his faith in business leadership. “Alumni from Indiana Wesleyan understand the faith-based community of college experience and this roundtable event is meant to provide the same sense of spiritual support in a professional setting,” Thresette explained. She hopes that this roundtable series will encourage participants to continue living out their faith, and that they will seek additional opportunities to demonstrate their faith in business and in the community, as followers of Jesus Christ.

Thresette identified the core purpose of the roundtable as a way to, “inspire alums, to share faith-based insight and to be encouraged by an alum who attributes success to [his] faith.” To increase the success of the inaugural event, participants will include Alums who are actively participating in alumni events, as well as long-term supporters. “We invited individuals that are interested in this project and are ready to engage in it,” Thresette shared. “In the future we might grow the size of the group, but this is still a trial run.”

“We want to create an environment that will give attendees the opportunity to discuss and celebrate the important work they are doing, while staying true to their faith. We want to empower them to continue that work,” Thresette added. “And a smaller number of participants will facilitate development of a sense of community within the group.”

The Executive Christian Roundtable is scheduled to be a semi-annual event, and aligns with the Alumni Association’s mission that includes building community. “Through dialogue between individuals at the event we hope to help them stay engaged and build community between events,” said Thresette. “We hope that through this event, we can empower them to live out their faith boldly, and be who God has designed them to be.”

Rick Carder, Director of Alumni and Church Engagement said of this event, “It has been a pleasure to work with Thresette preparing this event. I am excited to see how God uses this time and what opportunities He opens for spiritual growth among the Alumni family.”