By: Dezaray Barr
Miranda Hardesty graduated from Indiana Wesleyan University (IWU) in 2017 with a degree in strategic communication from the Division of Communication & Theatre.
Hardesty attended IWU on a soccer scholarship. She said, “My sister was also attending IWU on the women’s soccer team, which helped to persuade me to accept an offer from the head coach. We were able to play side-by-side for two seasons… I originally was set to accept an offer from another school – so much so that I wasn’t even considering IWU. The week that my final decision was due, I really prayed that God would give me a clear head and that his will would be done. The next day, I woke up and went to school. I was sitting in math and decided I wanted to make a pro/ con list for college instead of work on per-calculus problems. I went home that day and shocked my parents when I told them that I was going to commit to IWU… and I never looked back.”
During her time at IWU, Hardesty stayed busy with classes, athletics, working in the nursing department and being an active member of IWU’s chapter of Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA). She also said, “I met several life-long friends during my time at IWU, and even met my (soon-to-be) husband during my time as a student. One of my favorite parts about being a student at IWU was that I truly felt like I belonged and wasn’t just another number. My advisors and professors knew me by name and, more than that, they had an understanding of who I was as a person.” She said that her favorite part about being a student at IWU was McConn. She added, “I still order their coffee by the bags!”
Hardesty was fortunate enough to grow up in a faith-based family, but her time at IWU still impacted her faith. “I think when one is raised in such a strongly rooted Christian family, it’s easy for faith to become habitual rather than spiritual. You go to church because you were raised to and it is expected of you. By going away to school, I was able to make my faith my own,” she said. “I had wonderful professors who pushed and questioned their students. One professor in particular loved to play devil’s advocate whether he agreed with you or not. By challenging my faith, I was able to grow my faith. Now I have a stronger relationship than ever with the Lord and am secure in where I am in my walk with Him.”
Since graduation, Hardesty is now working as a marketing assistant with Ethos Apartments in her home town and is preparing to be relocated out of state. She explained how her faith impacts her work: “Working in the communications field, I have the ability to be the voice of a company. I get to help shape what comes to mind when people think of our company as well as highlight select activities and messages put out by others in the community. Being a part of an apartment complex, I work with a large number of residents and their families. I make it my personal goal to go to bat for those that I work with. I try to be a voice for them inside of our company meetings. I attempt to shine a light on and provide solutions for the problems that they bring to my attention.”
Some fun facts about Hardesty include that she is a proud chapstick lover, and she always has at least three with her! She’s getting married in September, she aspires to be a foster dog mom and since graduating, she has started taking Italian lessons!
If Hardesty could give advice to current IWU students, she’d say, “Network! It’s not a cop-out answer – it can change everything. There are so many people out there who genuinely want to help connect you to industry professionals… Stay flexible. Take a deep breath and remember that the sun will always rise in the morning.”
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.