Tag : john-wesley-honors-college

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Kristie Anders

By: Dezaray Barr

Kristie Anders and her family

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.

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Nursing & JWHC Alum: Mary-Madison Weaver

By: Dezaray Barr

Mary-Madison Weaver

Mary-Madison Weaver graduated from Indiana Wesleyan University (IWU) and the John Wesley Honors College (JWHC) in 2016 with a nursing degree. She said, “My motivation for choosing IWU was a blend of things: the strong academic programs, the scholarship opportunities and the Honors College classes.”

Weaver’s time at IWU was busy, but fulfilling. “Pursuing a nursing degree coupled with the JWHC demanded the majority of my time,” she said, “but I built meaningful friendships along the way. Some of my favorite times were when conversations continued outside of class.”

While at IWU, she dove into the Marion community through college ministries at her local church, volunteering at the St. Martin Community Center, committee work with the Honors College Student Association and, of course, late-night runs to Meijer.

Through Weaver’s time with the JWHC at IWU, she experienced true spiritual growth. “Much of my spiritual growth yielded from exploring theological foundations and liturgical practices of the Christian Church in my Honors classes. The history – where we came from and why we do what we do – enlivened how I saw and continue to see the Church. Overall, IWU and the JWHC reminded me how exciting the Christian story is,” Weave explained.

Weaver is currently finishing a three-year critical care and trauma nurse internship at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas, Texas. “After working in intensive care for approximately two years, I am now training to work in the emergency department,” she shared.

It wasn’t just the JWHC that prepared Weaver for her future – the nursing division at IWU had a tremendous impact on her future. She said, “My nursing education prepared me to pass my nursing boards on the first try. The Honors College faculty taught me how to think. The curriculum provided me with language that helped explain my world, who I am and how I fit into the greater Christian narrative. Brokenness is experienced daily in my profession. I hope that even amidst suffering I can offer comfort to my patients.”

Some fun facts about Weaver include that she loves plants. “I am involved in a community garden and harvested my first cucumbers this week! I have also dabbled in roller blading since moving to Texas. In my own corner of community in Dallas, I have been dubbed the event planner. I love finding events and activities, exploring the city and hosting people. Hosting people for dinner is simple, but it provides a formative means of building community,” she shared.

 

 

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.

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United States Army Officer: McKinzie Horoho

By: Dezaray Barr

McKinzie Horoho

McKinzie Horoho graduated from Indiana Wesleyan University (IWU) in 2017 with a degree in Political Science and Honors Humanities through the John Wesley Honors College. Horoho came to IWU unexpectedly. “I was not accepted to my top choice school,” she shared. “IWU was my backup plan. I grew up 30 minutes from campus and didn’t want to go to college so close to my hometown; however, my parents moved the summer before my freshman year which made attending IWU more appealing. God was very clearly working and the move was perfectly timed for my parents and myself.”

During her time at IWU, some of Horoho’s greatest joys and greatest sorrows occurred. “It was a time of immense personal growth for me. Friendships were forged in a time when, as young adults, we had fewer responsibilities, yet were also faced with new challenges, both personally and professionally,” she said.

It was at IWU that her faith became a real relationship. Horoho said, “While there were plenty of 20 minute power naps taken as a freshman, I also came to take even just 5 minutes to shut my eyes, pray and continue on with my daily schedule.”

Now, Horoho is an officer in the United States Army. After being commissioned one year ago, she is now working in Europe doing administrative support for personnel. IWU’s influence on her life impacts her work each day. “I can only imagine trying to do my job without the spiritual footing I developed at IWU. I am still growing, but I have such a respect for a Christian liberal arts education. Coming from a public school, I had never experienced classroom discussion on theology and philosophy like I enjoyed for four years in the John Wesley Honors College — what a gift that was!” she said.

If Horoho could speak to current IWU students, here is what she’d say: “Your degree will not give you your purpose in life — it may help you along that path, but often God gives us bits of purpose in bite-sized chunks, like puzzle pieces.”

 

 

Written by Dezaray Barr, PR Specialist for the Alumni Office. Dezaray is a junior 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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Spotlight on the John Wesley Honors College

By: Dezaray Barr

As the year comes to an end, this semester’s spotlight on the John Wesley Honors College at IWU comes to a close. As the series wraps up, be sure to review the five alumni of the JWHC who have shared their stories.

 

Annastasia Bonczyk graduated from Indiana Wesleyan University in 2011, after pursuing Biblical Studies in the school of Theology and Ministry. Following graduation, Annastasia attended Western Theological Seminary in Holland, Michigan to further her education and earn a master’s degree. Five years after graduating, Annastasia returned to Indiana Wesleyan, as a coordinator of recruitment and student formation. “I’m recruiting students for the honors college, and I am helping with the external communications, with the broader community whether it’s with our alumni, or our prospective students.”

 

Chloe McLaughlin, a 2016 graduate of Indiana Wesleyan University, said, “I applied for the honors college because I wasn’t very humble. I stayed in the honors college because it humbled me… The best way to learn something,” McLaughlin said, “is to be in a room with people who are smarter than you.” McLaughlin, upon graduation this April with a double major in Christian Worship and Honors Humanities and a minor in Church Music, took the position of Modern Worship Leader & Youth Director at Trinity United Methodist Church in Elkhart, Indiana.

 

Amy Wagner graduated from Indiana Wesleyan University in 2012 with a degree in Fine Arts. In addition to majoring in Fine Arts, Wagner was also a member of the John Wesley Honors College. Wagner said that growing up she had always excelled in school and had been placed in gifted programs at an early age. Joining the honors college on campus just seemed to make sense. She began working at God TV, and met her now husband, Derek Wagner. Before the two married last July, Wagner began working for a company he had started, called Peak Distribution LLC.

 

Ethan Linder graduated from Indiana Wesleyan in 2015 as a Christian Ministries major with an Honors Humanities minor through the John Wesley Honors College. Linder also had a positive experience being involved with the John Wesley Honors College. He said that he enjoyed learning from people who were in other majors outside of Christian Ministries and loved that the honors college values shaping students not only in knowledge, but in virtue. “You’re not going to just be shepherding Christian Ministries majors in your church after graduation, you’re going to have people who think deeply about nursing and education and journalism and marketing and things like that,” Linder said. “So having the opportunity to engage with people who were outside my discipline and find out how the spirit would draw them to shepherd areas of their own influence was really helpful for me.”

 

Anna Noveroske Freije graduated Indiana Wesleyan University in 2012 with a major in Biology. Freije was also a member of the John Wesley Honors College during her time at IWU. Frieje said her experience with the honors college was one of the more formative pieces of her college career. “I enjoyed a higher caliber of academic rigor and the honors college just seemed like a really cool way to incorporate that into my studies at Indiana Wesleyan,” Frieje said. “And I had known somebody from before college who had recommended the JWHC to me, and I’m so so glad I was a part of it.” Freije said the honor’s college was like a small family, and it was a very valuable part of her college years.

 

Written by Dezaray Barr, PR Specialist 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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John Wesley Honors College: Anna Noveroske Freije

By: Heather Cox

Anna Noveroske Freije graduated Indiana Wesleyan University in 2012 with a major in Biology.

A Granger, Indiana native, Freije knew she wanted to attend a Christian school. Once she had decided she wanted to study Biology, she was able to narrow her search down to two schools, and the rest is history!

Freije and some friends while at IWU

Freije and some friends while at IWU

“I was really attracted to environment at Indiana Wesleyan. I remember showing up on campus near the time I think I had to make my final decision and the campus just seemed so lively, and I loved that,” Freije said.

When it came to choosing a major, Freije said she grew up very interested in Biology, and was happy to figure out how to make a career out of it.

“During the college search, I was looking at different majors and saw something about environmental sciences and thought ‘Oh! I could actually do that! That would be so cool,’” Freije said. “I didn’t think I could actually do what I love like that for my job or study that. Kind of prayed about it and got the ‘okay’ from God. So I went ahead and became a biology major with the intent to do something environmental science or agricultural related.”

Freije was also a member of the John Wesley Honors College during her time at IWU. Frieje said her experience with the honors college was one of the more formative pieces of her college career.

“I enjoyed a higher caliber of academic rigor and the honors college just seemed like a really cool way to incorporate that into my studies at Indiana Wesleyan,” Frieje said. “And I had known somebody from before college who had recommended the JWHC to me, and I’m so so glad I was a part of it.”

Freije said the honor’s college was like a small family, and it was a very valuable part of her college years.

“It felt like it was essentially a minor in church history. I liked the discussions and the different types of education,” Frieje said. “With Biology, a lot of the work is ‘memorize this and learn this for the exam or do this lab,’ and it’s very information based. The honors college was much more discussion and analytical thinking. I feel like it helped round out my education.”

Not only was Frieje involved with the honors college, but she even took an opportunity to study abroad in New Zealand during the Spring of her junior year in 2011 with Creation Care Study Program.

Freije enjoying her time at IWU

As for her favorite part about Indiana Wesleyan, it was the people she was able to meet.

“When it comes down to it, it was the people who really made my experience there so wonderful,” Frieje said. “The teachers and my friends, and there are so many people I’m still in contact with that, had I not gone to Indiana Wesleyan, I would not have met them– people who just poured into my life.”

Two of Frieje’s favorite classes she took as a student were a C.S. Lewis class taught by Dr. Charles Bressler, who has since retired, and Plant Biology taught by Dr. Grace Miller.

“So many people in Biology were pre-med, and I was not, so I was kind of the rarity there taking plant botany,” Frieje said. “It was one of those things where a lot of the pre-med students didn’t enjoy quite as much. It was not their field, where for me, botany was so much fun and so wonderful.”

Following graduation, Frieje went on to Purdue University and earned her Master’s Degree in Plant Pathology. After earning her Master’s, the professor she had worked under, Dr. Kiersten Wise, then hired her in December 2014, to become a part of Purdue Extension. Dr. Wise specializes in diseases on field crops, such as corn, soybean, and wheat.

Frieje is currently still at this job, as an Extension Crop Pathologist.

“I kind of went from the science and the biology, to in some ways agricultural communication,” Frieje said. “Since my boss is a professor though, I am considered part of her lab, so I also will help with research and/or data collection and analysis from time-to-time.”

Freije and her husband

Freije and her husband

Frieje and her husband will be moving in February to live in Kenya for a year and a half.

As for advice for current Indiana Wesleyan students, Frieje said to seek God and do what you want to do.

“God gives you passions for a reason,” Frieje said. “It’s a really exciting thing to know you can follow your passions and delight in the gifts that God has given you and in the sense that he’s allowed you to love.”

 

Written by Heather Cox, writer for the Alumni Office. Heather is a junior Journalism major at IWU. She is also the Editor of GrantCOnnected.net, a community news site run by IWU students. She is unsure of where life will take her after college, but she knows she never wants to stop writing!

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Chloe McLaughlin: Humbled by the John Wesley Honors College

By: Dezaray Barr

Chloe McLaughlin, a 2016 graduate of Indiana Wesleyan University, said, “I applied for the honors college because I wasn’t very humble. I stayed in the honors college because it humbled me.”

Coming into college, McLaughlin thought she was brilliant, the smartest of the bunch, and wanted everyone to know it. This was her incentive for joining the John Wesley Honors College (JWHC) at Indiana Wesleyan University, but she quickly realized she was not the smartest individual in the room. While a horrifying experience, this was how she became humbled and how she grew into the woman she is today.

“The best way to learn something,” McLaughlin said, “is to be in a room with people who are smarter than

you.”

The 2016 John Wesley Honors College Graduating Class

The 2016 John Wesley Honors College Graduating Class

 

McLaughlin, upon graduation this April with a double major in Christian Worship and Honors Humanities and a minor in Church Music, took the position of Modern Worship Leader & Youth Director at Trinity United Methodist Church in Elkhart, Indiana. McLaughlin knows that the honors college readied her for the career she now has. During the first few years of the JWHC curriculum, students are required to question everything they believe.

McLaughlin said, “Now that I’m in the church I have a firm grasp on what the historic church says… and because of the honors college I have a better idea of how to have a conversation of those things and what I believe.”

McLaughlin easily affirms that the honors college is the community she enjoyed the most at IWU and the place where she never questioned her worth or if she was in the right spot. This affected McLaughlin so much that during her junior and senior years of study, she was both a peer educator and the chaplain for the honors college.

“I knew that we were all learning together and there wasn’t judgement in that process,” McLaughlin said. “If we had questions or started to bring up certain topics, no one would question our commitment to our faith or our education because we knew it was a process, and we would come out stronger on the other side.”

As McLaughlin works with teenagers in her role as a youth director, she uses this skill that the JWHC taught her everyday. She has a lot of students who have a lot of questions, and she knows the honors college prepared her to understand why these students have the questions they have, as well as help the students answer their own questions by asking them new questions.

As McLaughlin reminisced and remembered her time in the John Wesley Honors College at IWU, it was obvious that her love for the program and the impact it had on her life are both very large. As McLaughlin finished, she said, “the honors college challenged us, and we became better people because of it.”

 

Written by Dezaray Barr, PR Specialist 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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Annastasia Bonczyk: Pouring into the Community She Has Loved From the Beginning

By: Heather Cox

Annastasia Bonczyk graduated from Indiana Wesleyan University in 2011, after pursuing Biblical Studies in the school of Theology and Ministry. For Annastasia, Indiana Wesleyan has been one of her favorite places since the beginning. Originally from a small town in West Michigan, it was her youth minister and his wife, both IWU alums, who led her to loving Indiana Wesleyan as much as they do.

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Annastasia Bonczyk

“They took us here a lot. Not just for Fusion and other Wesleyan weekends, but in the middle of January to visit students who were already down here. So I was really familiar with the school by the time it came time to apply to colleges,” Bonczyk said.

Though she did not know exactly what she wanted to study when first arriving at IWU, she knew she wanted to be involved in ministry in some way. During her time at IWU, her major may have shifted a time or two, but she always stayed within the school of Theology and Ministry.

In addition to pursuing ministry, Annastasia was also involved in the John Wesley Honors College, which originally happened “on accident!”. Annastasia explained, “They had put out some feelers based on some suggestions from my admissions counselor and next thing I knew I was driving down here with my mom for my interview and getting accepted.”

Since Annastasia was already familiar with the campus and some of the people at the school, she liked having the community of the honors college already established. She could be actively involved in a community of her own.

Annastasia has wanted to work with college students since the very beginning. Though she did not know exactly what that would look like, she pursued it through studying Biblical Studies.As graduation neared, she began to think about becoming a Resident Director or a career counselor, however these positions had started requiring a master’s degree.

Following graduation, Annastasia attended Western Theological Seminary in Holland, Michigan to further her education and earn a master’s degree. During this time, she also worked at a church, and was the Holland Program Coordinator at Kids’ Food Basket, a non-religiously affiliated nonprofit which helped provide food to children who were food insecure.“It was an incredible learning and growing opportunity, but predominantly my time over the last five years was spent working at a church and working with Hope College students,” Annastasia said.

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Annastasia in Cambodia

Five years after graduating, Annastasia returned to Indiana Wesleyan, as a coordinator of recruitment and student formation. “I’m recruiting students for the honors college, and I am helping with the external communications, with the broader community whether it’s with our alumni, or our prospective students.”

Annastasia also teaches a class on spiritual formation, is a teacher assistant for a few classes, and has the opportunity to spend intentional time with students.  

Since returning to Indiana Wesleyan Annastasia has enjoyed rediscovering the community, as well as becoming colleagues with her professors. Her favorite part of being back is working with the students in the honors college. She has loved watching the freshmen go into their fourth week of the semester, facing their first tests and finding their own “niche.”

“I remember that was one of my favorite parts of being a student was when I sat around a lunch table and all of a sudden realized ‘these are my people!’ Now I get to watch them experience that for themselves as well, and it’s just really cool to be a part of that and to watch that unfold for them; to watch them make this place that I really love their own as well.”

Annastasia is currently enjoying settling into Marion and into her new job. Going through two graduations in the past five years has been full of transitions. She hopes to someday become a campus chaplain at IWU, but for now is glad she gets to start where she is at in her current campus job within the John Wesley Honors College.

Learn more about the John Wesley Honors College here: jwhc.us.

 

Written by Heather Cox, guest writer for the Alumni Office. Heather is a Junior Journalism major at IWU. She is also the Editor of GrantCOnnected.net, a community news site run by IWU students. She is unsure of where life will take her after college, but she knows she never wants to stop writing!