Alumni News – Summer 2021


Larry Oden ’75 wrote and published the book Holding an Edge: A Guide to Sixty Years of BUCK Factory Production Knives.

William Westafer ’78 retired from the First Baptist Church of Cowpens, SC and published Clergy Stress: Causes and Cures available on Amazon.

Robert Patterson ’79 completed 25 years as the IT manager for General Tire Wabash and 14 years as a programmer and system analyst at Weaver Popcorn in Van Buren, IN. He is currently enjoying retirement in Indiana and Foley, Alabama.


Anthony Abell ’97 is Vice President for Enrollment at Trinity College in Trinity, FL. He continues in his adjunct professor roles at both Trinity College and Saint Petersburg College.

Marcus Kephart ’98 is a Commanding Officer of the Electronic Attack Squadron 132 – a US Navy Unit that flies the EA-18G Growler.


Will Sims ’00 is the Founder and CEO of Tru-Spot Technologies in Pelahatchie, MS.

James Rowland ’00 is serving as a Police Officer assigned to the Air Support Unit (drones) of the Fort Wayne, IN Police Department.

Ann Johansson ’07 completed her PhD in Nursing in April 2018 and Doctor of Nursing Practice in August 2020 at the University of Pittsburgh. Ann is currently working as a nurse practitioner in the Department of Medical Genetics at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.

Lindsay Rapini ’07 was honored with a DAISY Award at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital for the high level of care she shows towards her patients.

Lisa S. Chambers ’08 is the program director for the Prestera Center for Mental Health in Mason County, WV.

Matthew Prost ’09 is the General Manager and COO of the Bayview Yacht Club in Detroit, MI.


Robert Anderson ’10 completed his MBA with the IU Kelley School of Business and is currently working as the Account Manager for Eli Lilly and Company.

Dawn Pittinger ’13MBA17 is a Research Billing Compliance Manager at Moffitt Cancer Center and is on track to become a doctoral graduate in the inaugural DBA program at IWU.

Jenn Phillips ’15 is a Financial Advisor at Northwestern Mutual in SC. Her regions team experienced a historic moment when herself and two other women became the first females to ever lead their district’s monthly leader board.

Michael K Blanchard ’15 has recently published two books available on Amazon: The Black Book of Lamentations and A Community Research Guide to Student Persistence: Research-Based Strategies to Improve Student Persistence.

Laura Schmidt ’17 is a Chief Human Resources Officer at Marburn Academy in New Albany, OH.

Sherri Smith ’17 is the new Event Services Coordinator at IUPUI in Indianapolis, IN.

Abbie Grisham ’17 is a self-employed author who released her first book June 2021.

Susan Manser ’17 is the Senior Coordinator of Treasury Services at Raytheon Technologies and serves on the board of UR Community Cares, Inc.

Sheryl Hayes ’18 is an ICU Charge Nurse for Licking Memorial Health Systems in Ohio and a Clinical Adjunct Professor for Central Ohio Technical College.

Patrick Donahue ’18 is the VP of Leadership Development at Danaher Corporation. He has also written and published The Power of Genuine Leadership: How Authentic Leaders Earn Trust, available on Amazon.

Bradford Denham ’19 was promoted to Lead Project Manager at L3Harris Technologies in Salt Lake City, UT.

Maggie O’Heran ’19 is the owner and CEO of Magpie Weddings, specializing in unique floral designs, in Bloomington, IN.


Heather Martinez ’20 is an SSA (Service & Support Administrator) at the Allen County Board of Developmental Disabilities in Lima, OH.

Tanika Edmonds ’20 is a motivational speaker, writer, and published author. She is also a co-founder of Be A Bridge & Elevate (BABE), an organization that uplifts women and connects communities.

Carol Oliver ’20 is a Vendor Management Professional at Humana in Louisville, KY.

Thomas K-Johnson ’21 is the Founder and Executive Director of The Kneeland Center for Poetry, Inc – a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that discovers and enhances the works of underrepresented poets across the globe.

Birth Announcements

Olivia Brooke Dongell was born April 3, 2020 to Oliver Brent Dongell ’06 and his wife, Natasha.


Margot Patricia Colwell was born May 20, 2021 to Justin ’16 and Melia (Sneden) ’15 Colwell.







Phillippe Presents – January, 2018 – MLK Celebration

5th Annual Living the Dream MLK Celebration | Friday, January 12 at 7:00 PM | Phillippe Auditorium

Join us as we mark Dr. King’s 89th birthday and celebrate his dream of radical, revolutionary love that still inspires the world.
This year’s concert will feature the five-time Grammy Award and Grammy Lifetime Award winner, Blind Boys of Alabama. A reception will take place in the IWU Student Center Piazza following the event. This event is sponsored by Indiana Wesleyan University’s Office of Multicultural Enrichment & Employee Development.

This event is free to attend but a ticket is required. You can get tickets online by visiting You can also get tickets through the IWU Box Office. Please note that there is a limit of eight tickets per transaction. Also, tickets not claimed ten minutes prior to the start of the event will be subject to reissue.

About the Blind Boys of Alabama – Hailed as “gospel titans” by Rolling Stone, the Blind Boys first rose to fame in the segregated

south with their thrilling vocal harmonies and roof-raising live show. They released their debut single, “I Can See Everybody’s Mother But Mine,” on the iconic Veejay label in 1948, launching a 70-year recording career that would see them rack up five GRAMMY Awards (plus one for Lifetime Achievement), enter the Gospel Music Hall of Fame, collaborate with everyone from Mavis Staples and Stevie Wonder to Prince and Lou Reed, and perform on the world’s most prestigious stages.


It would be difficult to overstate the Blind Boys’ influence on their contemporaries and the generations that came after. The New York Times said that they “came to epitomize what is known as jubilee singing, a livelier breed of gospel music,” adding that “they made it zestier still by adding jazz and blues idioms and turning up the volume, creating a sound…like the rock ‘n’ roll that grew out of it.” TIME Magazine raved that “they’re always hunting for – and finding – the perfect note or harmony that lifts an old tune into the sublime,” while The Washington Post praised their “soul-stirring harmonies” and “range of cross-genre collaborations,” and The New Yorker simply called them “legendary.”

“When the Blind Boys started out, we weren’t even thinking about all these accolades and all that stuff,” founding member Jimmy Carter told NPR. “We just wanted to get out and sing gospel and tell the world about gospel music.” Mission accomplished. (Biographical information from the group’s latest album project, “Almost Home“.)


Phillippe Box Office: 765-677-2610 or | *Stated ticket prices represent the base price and are subject to additional processing fees.

Phillippe Presents December 2017

Indiana Wesleyan University Phillippe Presents – News and Note on Phillippee Performing Arts Center events.

December, 2017

Phillippe Presents – December 2017

From the Director’s Desk:

Christmas Time is Here, and It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas here in the Phillippe Performing Arts Center.

We’ve Decked the Halls and lobby with The Holly and the Ivy and Silver Bells and O the Christmas Trees are beautiful.

Come see Little Drummer Boys and girls of the Heart of Indiana Children’s Choir as they sing and play their percussion instruments for you on December 5th.

It will be anything but a Silent Night as the Chorale presents their Lessons and Carols concert on December 9th.


You will swear that Santa Claus is Coming to Town and he’s Wishing You a Merry Christmas as you sit and enjoy The Christmas Songs of the Mississinewa Valley Band on December 12th.

We in the Phillippe hope you Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas and that you remember the reason for the season, Away in a Manger, the little Lord, Jesus, the greatest gift of all. — Phil Huber, Director

Read more: Phillippe Presents December 2017

Saturday, December 9 at 7:30 PM – Lessons and Carols — Division of Music Presents.












                                                              Don’t miss the Mississinewa Valley Band –

Tuesday, December 10 at 7:30 PM (FREE ADMISSION)

Celebrate the season with their Christmas concert, Yuletide Spectacular at the Phillippe.




Phillippe Box Office: 765-677-2610 or


Phillippe Presents October 2017 Newsletter

From the Director’s Desk
I was reminded today by one of my student employees that every month that starts on a Sunday also includes a Friday the 13th. Now, I already knew that little nugget of information, but when I heard it today, it caused me to pause for a moment and reflect on it.


November 9-11 and 16-17 @ 7:30pm November 18 @ 3:00pm Black Box Theater “In Eurydice, Sarah Ruhl reimagines the classic myth of Orpheus through the eyes of its heroine. Dying too young on her wedding day, Eurydice must journey to the underworld, where she reunites with her father and struggles to remember her lost love. With contemporary characters, ingenious plot twists, and breathtaking visual effects, the play is a fresh look at a timeless love story” (Samuel French).

Tickets go on sale Monday, October 9th at the Box Office and online
General Admission: $10* Faculty/Senior: $9* Students: $7*

IWU Orchestra presents A Mighty Fortress
Tuesday, November 7th @ 7:30pm Phillippe Auditorium

The concert will feature renowned guest artist, Stephen Clark performing Mozart’s Flute Concerto in G Major. He is recipient of the 2016 Sir James Galway Rising Star Award and gives more than 200 performances per year worldwide.

The orchestra will perform Mendelssohn’s “Reformation” Symphony in honor of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. The work ends with a grand fantasia on the hymn tune A Mighty Fortress. The night will open with Johann Straus’s Overture to Die Fledermaus conducted by Mr. Davy Chinn in anticipation of the upcoming performances of the full opera in the spring. Tickets go on sale Monday, October 9th at the Box Office and online.

General admission: $10* Students/Seniors: $5* Children 12 and under are free

Also, Mr. Clark will also be sharing his musical gifts during a guest recital on Monday, November 6th at 7:30pm in Baker Recital Hall. Admission is free for this recital event.

Wind Ensemble Performance and IWU Singers Performance | Read More: Phillippe Presents October 2017

Grace Alone: A celebration of the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation | Tuesday, November 14th @ 7:30pm Phillippe Auditorium

The IWU Singers will present, Grace Alone, a concert on the music and influence of the Reformation. This concert will center on the three solas that came to define the movement- Sola gracia (only grace), Sola fide (only faith), and Sola scriptura (only scripture). We will sing classic works by Martin Luther (A Mighty Fortress, Morning and Evening Prayers, I Shall Not Die But Live) and J.S. Bach (Jesus bleibet meine Freude) as well as modern arrangements of gospel songs and hymns (Crosby, Whittle, and Newton). Tickets go on sale Monday, October 9th at the Box Office and online.

General admission: $5* Groups of 3 or more: $10* Children 12 and under are free All proceeds will go to hurricane relief efforts via World Hope.

See you there!

– Phil Huber Interim Director


Homecoming 2017 Collection

By: Dezaray Barr

It’s officially homecoming! Be sure to check out all of our homecoming 2017 stories!



Phill Tague is the lead pastor at The Ransom Church in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. He and his wife, Stephani, planted the church in 2009, and the church has flourished since.

Pastor of the Week: Phil Tague

Each Fall, Indiana Wesleyan University awards one outstanding individual with the Distinguished Wesley Seminary Alumni Award. This award is granted to an alumnus or alumna of the Seminary who has exhibited excellence in serving his or her profession, community, church, or alma mater in the spirit of Jesus Christ.

This year, Phill Tague of The Ransom Church in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, is the recipient of this award. Tague and his wife, Stephani, planted The Ransom Church in 2009, and since then, the church has grown abundantly.

Homecoming 2017: Phill Tague

Each year, Indiana Wesleyan University awards a Distinguished College of Arts and Sciences Alumni Award. This award is granted to an alumnus or alumna of the College who has exhibited excellence in serving his or her profession, community, church, or alma mater in the spirit of Jesus Christ. This year’s recipient is Phil Talbert.

Talbert is the CEO of Talbert Educational Consulting, LLC.

Homecoming 2017: Phil Talbert

Every year, Indiana Wesleyan University awards an individual the Distinguished DeVoe School of Business Alumni Award. This award is granted to an alumnus or alumna of the School who has exhibited excellence in serving his or her profession, community, church or alma mater in the spirit of Jesus Christ.  This year, that award was given to Brian Harlow. Harlow graduated in 1998 with a Master’s in Management and received an honor doctorate degree from IWU in 2015 at the December Commencement.

Homecoming 2017: Brian Harlow

Every year, Indiana Wesleyan University gives the Distinguished College of Adult and Professional Studies Alumni Award to an alumnus or alumna of the College who has exhibited excellence in serving his or her profession, community, church, or alma mater in the spirit of Jesus Christ. This year, Chris Daughtry receives this honor.

Daughtry is the Superintendent at Elwood Community School Corporation located in the heart of Indiana.

Homecoming 2017: Chris Daughtry

Each year, Indiana Wesleyan University awards an outstanding individual with a Distinguished School of Nursing Alumni Award. This award would be granted to an alumnus or alumna of the School who has exhibited excellence in serving his or her profession, community, church, or alma mater in the spirit of Jesus Christ. This year, Brandon Lee was the recipient. Lee received his Master Degree in Nursing from the Indiana Wesleyan University’s online program in 2006 and is currently using his passion for nursing to help many.

Homecoming 2017: Brandon Lee

Each Fall, Indiana Wesleyan University awards an outstanding IWU graduate with the Distinguished Young Alumni Award. This award is granted to an alumnus or alumna who graduated from the College of Arts and Sciences within the past 10 years and has exhibited excellence in serving his or her profession, community, church, or alma mater in the spirit of Jesus Christ. This year, two distinguished alumni won this award – Aaron and Jathniel Shepherd.

Homecoming 2017: Aaron and Jathniel Shepherd

Garrett Howell is the Founder of Awaken Ministries. He graduated from Indiana Wesleyan University in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in Christian Ministries and in 2016 with a graduate degree in Practical Theology.

Indiana Wesleyan University’s Homecoming schedule this year includes the Awaken Night of Worship on Thursday, October 5th.  This event will be a worship service that gathers alumni and current students together to seek a fresh movement of God’s Spirit in our lives and in our community. Worship band Alanna Story will be leading worship. and Garrett Howell will be preaching.  Doors open at 9 pm, and the service begins at 9:30 pm.  We would love to see you there!

Pastor of the Week: Garrett Howell at Awaken Ministries

A new scholarship has been established at Indiana Wesleyan University for students who are a part of the Division of Pre-licensure Nursing. The Sloan-Harrison Scholarship will be available beginning in this upcoming 2017-2018 school year. This unique, endowed scholarship was set up by Indiana Wesleyan’s School of Nursing to honor Professor Brenda Sloan and Dr. Pamela Harrison, past educators who have both greatly impacted their students.

Sloan-Harrison Scholarship



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



Hurricane Irma Impacts IWU Alumni

By: Emily Neideck

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to contact a few of our Florida alumni in preparation for Hurricane Irma. Some had fled to northern states, but some stayed in the state of Florida, preparing their homes and selves to take on the massive tropical storm. I was inspired by their strength, hope and desire to be the light of Jesus during this difficult time.

Anthony Abell
Anthony Abell

I first spoke with Anthony Abell, whose son, Clayton, is currently attending school at Indiana Wesleyan. He said:

“One of the biggest ways I’ve seen God’s presence through this is through the church. Many of the members, even through the preparations, have reached out to one another and provided goods in the shortages – things such as gas, propane, water and plywood. The church has come together unselfishly, even in their peril, to give to others.

We know God is in control. We have people in our community fretting about property and other things. We know, though, that God’s Will is going to come through. If that means that we are sitting in a tent in our front lawn after this, then that is the ministry opportunity that He’s given us in this time.”

When asked how we could pray for the Abell’s family, Anthony stated:

“First off, for protection. We are hosting people that are in evacuation zones that couldn’t get out of Florida, and really, they have no other place to go. Please just pray that they aren’t coming into another dangerous situation by being at our house.

Second, please pray that we could be Christ to those after the hurricane. We are surrounded by people who don’t believe in Jesus, so I pray that through the church’s response, they would see that our views on things are different because of The Gospel.”

Secondly, I received a response from Kris Vastbinder. She said:

“We are watching the hurricane updates, making final preparations and trusting for God’s protection. Based on past experience, we know that hurricanes can be unpredictable. Tree damage and power outages are concerns. My parents live nearby, and we are concerned for them.

We are praying for protection over everyone regardless of where the path of the hurricane leads. We had invitations to evacuate, but believe we need to be here for extended family. Thanks for your prayers and support. We look forward to seeing you on the other side of this beast.”

Sarah Mcbeath and her family
Sarah Mcbeath and her family

Sarah Mcbeath, a Florida native and a Spring 2017 IWU graduate, stated:

“Times of tension like this remind me that first off, God is so in control, and second, He can give wisdom and peace in the midst of chaos caused by factors you can’t control. Also, I’ve been able to see God’s presence through friends and family reaching out every day since Labor Day to check in on me.

I just moved into my very first apartment and to a new city that could possible look very different next week. What I do know and can hold onto is that God is in the business of redeeming this broken and storm-ridden world for His glory and good. You saw it last week with Hurricane Harvey, you’ll see it again this week, and hopefully, you can see it in how God is working in the storms of your life.”

Director of Alumni and Church Engagement, Rick Carder, has spoken with many alumni who are in the path of Hurricane Irma, including Rev. Tom and Vangie Armiger. He stated:

Rev. Dr. Tom and Vangie Armiger
Rev. Dr. Tom and Vangie Armiger

“Rev. Tom and Vangie Armiger have relocated from their Fort Myer’s home to Kissimmee to be with their children. They are people of faith and want to be available to provide ministry after the hurricane has passed. One of the comments that Vangie communicated was a concern for friends and their possessions in the region. One of their parishioners has a student, Oscar, who is a sophomore at IWU and this has an impact on him as well.”

Janice Catrone, a Wesleyan missionary in Haiti, sent:

“Irma has hit, but it looks like we will be spared.  We have the outer bands with strong gusts of wind and heavy rain, then a let-up.  I believe it will continue like that through the night.  Our mission station in the north of the country may not fare as well, but we are praying.  Those missionaries are in the central part of Haiti now.  All of us are safe.  Keep praying.  Haiti can’t take much.  She still hasn’t recovered from Hurricane Matthew of last October.”
We encourage all alumni to provide resources, especially prayer, for all involved in this storm. Here is a link to donate to the victims of Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma.



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

Sloan-Harrison Scholarship

By: Kendra Housel

A new scholarship has been established at Indiana Wesleyan University for students who are a part of the Division of Pre-licensure Nursing. The Sloan-Harrison Scholarship will be available beginning in this upcoming 2017-2018 school year. This unique, endowed scholarship was set up by Indiana Wesleyan’s School of Nursing to honor Professor Brenda Sloan and Dr. Pamela Harrison, past educators who have both greatly impacted their students.

With a combined 80 years of teaching in the School of Nursing, Sloan and Harrison impacted thousands of students as they pursued their calling to serve others in the medical field. Through both personal and intellectual encouragement, Sloan and Harrison helped students grow as nurses and as members of the body of Christ. Many students remember both Sloan and Harrison for their commitment to opening up about their personal walks with Jesus and for the way they deeply invested in each student.

Indiana Wesleyan, through the School of Nursing, established this scholarship to remember these amazing professors and to allow others to invest their money in a scholarship that will go towards assisting young people as they are equipped to impact our world now and for years in the future.

If you would like to give to the Sloan-Harrison Scholarship fund in honor of their commitment to serve and care for students, you may do so by contacting the IWU Advancement Services office at 765-677-1439 or by gifting online at and selecting Sloan-Harrison from the drop down menu.

A special reception is being planning during Homecoming (October 6-7) to honor IWU Faculty Retirees including Brenda Sloan and Pamela Harrison. The reception event is on Saturday, October 7 beginning at 10:00 AM. (Barnes Student Center, Commons) No admission fee required.

This event will also include Dr. Wilbur Williams who has retired after 50-years of service.sloan


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.

The Refinery: Shared Workspace

The Refinery location in Marion, Indiana has served the community and local entrepreneurs by providing inexpensive services and shared workspace for business and non-profit leaders.  Residents of all ages participate in “speed networking” and a CoderDojo experience for students. Check out the July/August 2017 Newsletter for more details on how IWU Grads like Jess Holland is making a difference leading and managing this innovative idea.

RefineryWith support from the community and IWU’s Career Services, this organization and workspace is active and buzzing with new ideas.

The Refinery Enewsletter – Check out this month’s edition.

Copy provided by The Refinery and IWU Career Services. (used by permission)


Ron Bogear – A Life of Servanthood

RonBogearRon Bogear was an outstanding member of the Indiana Wesleyan community, constantly serving those around him with a joyful, diligent heart. Originally from Huntington, Bogear and his wife, Lois, served Grant County in many ways.

Bogear was a member of Main Street Wesleyan Church for 65 years. Elvin Weinmann said, “Ron worked at Wesley Press for over 35 years, and he really considered that his ministry. He was a very conscientious and giving individual. He cared about people and would give anything for anybody. He was a Christ-like example and a testimony to everyone.”

Bogear was a key part in the Indiana Wesleyan Alumni Center, also. Rick Carder said, “Ron was a very important part of the IWU Alumni Association as a significant volunteer. For many years, the Alumni Association has provided Care Packs (formerly called Survival Kits) for students, and Ron was always counted on for managing the process.” Krista Brown, who worked closely with the care packs, said, “He cared about the students. He wanted them to receive the care packs and to feel important. He worked very hard every year and was always very grateful to be there.”

Funeral Services celebrating the life of Ron Bogear will be at 12:00 PM today with the family receiving guests for visitation from 10:00 AM – NOON at Armes-Hunt Funeral Home and Cremation Services Fairmount Chapel today. Memorials can be made to Main Street Wesleyan Church in Jonesboro, Indiana or the Hephzibah Children’s Home, Macon, Georgia.

Please join us in remembering our friend and Christ-like example, Ron Bogear.

To read more about Bogear: