Eastern | Spring/Summer 2017

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First Female Fulbright Student,

Emily cole '17 Bound for Ecuador to teach and mentor


The Space Within to Speak Across Divides


Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees MS ’01 providing leadership on shared global values

A journey that spans from Romania to a historic ordination










Every Esperanza College of Eastern University commencement ceremony ends with a litany where the graduates along with everyone else jointly declare how their journey of Esperanza (hope) has been made possible through the support and opportunities they have received at the college.



THE SPACE WITHIN TO SPEAK ACROSS DIVIDES Born and raised in the city of Bristol in the United Kingdom, Alumnus Marvin Rees MS '01 became Mayor of Bristol in May of 2016 on his second run for the office.




Photo Credit: Walter Dirks


IMPRISONED DURING ROMANIA'S 1989 REVOLUTION, LUMINITZA NICHOLS SHARES JOY OF ORDINATION At the age of 19 in 1989, Luminitza Cristescu was imprisoned in her native Romania for protesting with hundreds of others the mistreatment of Rev. Laszlo Tokes, the figurehead of the rapidly unfolding and bloody Romanian revolution, leading to the overthrow of the communist Ceausescu regime.





FIRST FEMALE FULBRIGHT STUDENT, EMILY COLE Graduation is a huge step. Like many seniors, Emily Cole ’17 had a bunch of ideas about what she might do. Never one to settle for the ordinary, Cole decided to try for something really big.

8 P.16-17

FALL 2016 ATHLETIC HIGHLIGHTS Men’s Soccer claimed their 2nd MAC Freedom Championship title in November, giving them an automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament, Men's Basketball ties for first in conference regular season, Volleyball advances to the Elite Eight, Dan Mouw is named the Director of Athletic Communications, and Five Fall Athletes earn SIDA Honors.






2017 DISTINGUISHED YOUNG ALUMNA OF THE YEAR Brisa DeAngulo ’07 had a desire for justice and started her career in


activism long before she received her BA in Psychology at Eastern.











Executive Vice President | M. THOMAS RIDINGTON, PH.D Editor | DENISE MCMILLAN Writer and Photographer | ELYSE GARNER ’13 Creative Director | DANIEL PEIRCE Production Assistant | STELLA URBINA ’14 Design | 20NINE

LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT International Influence

Please send comments or article suggestions to: publications@eastern.edu

Alumni news should be sent to: alumni@eastern.edu

Palmer Seminary alumni news should be sent to:

THE INTERNATIONAL INFLUENCE OF EASTERN UNIVERSITY CAN NOT BE OVERSTATED. THROUGH OUR MISSION AND OUR PROGRAMS ALUMNI, FACULTY, STUDENTS AND STAFF ARE INFLUENCING THE WORLD FOR GOD’S KINGDOM IN WAYS THAT DEFY MEASURE. IN THIS ISSUE ALONE, YOU WILL READ STORIES DEPICTING AN EASTERN UNIVERSITY INFLUENCE FOR GOOD IN COUNTRIES SPANNING THE GLOBE SUCH AS: BHUTAN, BOLIVIA, CUBA, ECUADOR, KOREA, LIBERIA, MEXICO, NEPAL, ROMANIA AND THE UNITED KINGDOM. In many of these stories God has led these students from countries far away to Eastern; where they were taught and mentored by our gifted faculty. Transformed, these students are then led by God again, sometimes back to their home country and sometimes to a new location, but always with the intention of improving the lives of others they will encounter. You will read about Jazmin Sosa ’17 who emigrated from Mexico to the United States at the age of four with her family. Her personal struggles to realize her education will inform her work as she graduates from Eastern to pursue a dream of helping others as an immigration attorney. In a Q & A with alumnus Marvin Rees MS ’01, Mayor of the city of Bristol in the United Kingdom, he discusses his work providing breakfast to hungry school children, affordable housing for the people of his city and leadership on shared global values. We also celebrate the many accomplishments of Emily Cole ’17 who is a scholar, an athlete, a humanitarian, and now Eastern’s first female 2


student Fulbright Scholar. As an ambassador of the United States, Emily will spend a year in Ecuador as a teaching assistant, assisting university students with their English skills. She will also work with community leaders to develop soccer teams or training clinics for young girls, to increase their confidence. Another first female is Luminitza Nichols ’15, who is thought to be the first native-born Romanian woman to serve as an ordained Baptist minister anywhere in the world. Read how her journey takes her from imprisonment in Romania to Palmer Theological Seminary and ordination. Finally, close to home we celebrate the dynamic work of our very distinguished Alumnus of the Year, Dr. Howard Stevenson ’80. As an expert in African-American psychology, racial identity, family and parental engagement, bullying and violence prevention and sports psychology he reaches urban and impoverished rural neighborhoods through clinical work and special projects in Philadelphia.


Address corrections should be sent to: advservices@eastern.edu

PUBLISHED BY The Office of University Relations at Eastern University

ONLINE AT eastern.edu/publications Eastern, The Magazine of Eastern University is the winner of the 2016 Gold Cuppie Award for creative excellence in marketing and communication as recognized by CUPRAP, the College and University Public Relations and Associated Professionals.

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These stories serve as a summer vacation around the globe. I hope you will marvel at the work of others and at the same time be inspired in your own pursuits.

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FOR GENERAL INQUIRIES, CONTACT Eastern University Office of University Relations 1300 Eagle Road, St. Davids, PA 19087 (610) 341.5800 eastern.edu /universityrelations


When you send your Spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the ground. PSALM 104:30





College of Arts and Sciences

College of Health and Social Sciences


Recent Faculty Accomplishments:

Recent Faculty Accomplishments:

Recent Faculty Accomplishments:

• Dr. Wendy Mercier recently co-authored a training module for family practice physicians and nurse practitioners, accepted for publication this Spring 2017 titled Pre-participation Examination for High School Athletes: Determining Cardiac Pathology.

• The Social Work Department held a day-long conference entitled La Familia which took place at the Esperanza College Campus on Friday, March 31. La Familia Perspective is a framework developed by the national professional organization, LSWO (Latino Social Workers Organization) to enhance social work practice with Latinas.

• Dr. Loida Martell-Otero completed University of Michigan’s New Leadership Academy in March 2017, for which she was nominated. In August 2017 she is completing her participation in the Christian Leadership Institute sponsored by the American Jewish Committee. Participation in this “think tank” allows for engaging in serious dialogue about Islamophobia and antiSemitism. She was also the Keynote speaker for the inaugural Horace G. Underwood Lecture for New Brunswick Theological Seminary, New Brunswick, New Jersey on April 1, 2017. Her presentation was titled Called to be Neighbor: Global Missions in a Globalized World.

Undergraduate Studies

• Dr. Joon-Seo Park from the Department of Chemistry was invited to present his research at the University of Houston International Symposium on Chemical Sciences. His talk was entitled Covalently Conjugated GoldPolymer Nanocomposites Prepared by Self-Assembly Between Carboxylic Acid-Terminated Gold Nanoparticles and Amine-Based Polymers. Dr. Park’s presentation was based on his research with Eastern chemistry and biochemistry students for the last seven years. • Director of Dance, Mr. Stephen Welsh, choreographed the critically acclaimed political satire, Swing Vote, for the award winning, professional Philadelphiabased dance company, Dance Fusion.

Undergraduate and Graduate Studies

• On Friday, March 17 The Center for Urban Youth Development sponsored a free Youth Mental Health First Aid Certification course at the Falls Center. Youth Mental Health First Aid is primarily designed for adults who regularly interact with young people. The course introduces common mental health challenges for youth, reviews typical adolescent development, and teaches a 5-step action plan for how to help young people in both crisis and non-crisis situations. • Dr. Sharon Gramby-Sobukwe, Alexios Alexander and Drick Boyd were speakers at an all day workshop for students Saturday, March 18. Be The Change Social Justice Organizing Workshop was the first annual mini-conference to assist members of student organizations to develop skills to advance social justice. This was organized and sponsored by the Campolo Institute for Applied Research and Social Justice.


• Dr. George Hancock-Stefan took his yearly trip to Romania and Serbia from February 23-March 10, 2017 to visit, encourage, and learn from churches, denominational leaders, and academics. Highlights included: preaching at various churches, including Baptist Church of Vrsac, one of the leading churches in Serbia, a trilingual church made of Serbians, Romanians, and Hungarians; Teaching a course on Church History at The Faculty of Baptist Theology, which is a part of the University of Bucharest; Coordinating research, presentations, lectures, and publications with scholars at the University of Bucharest, the Baptist Theological Seminary in Bucharest, and Belgrade University.


Templeton Honors College Undergraduate Studies

College of Business and Leadership

College of Education

Esperanza College

Recent Faculty Accomplishments:

Recent Faculty Accomplishments:

Recent Faculty Accomplishments:

Recent Faculty Accomplishments:

• Dr. Phillip Cary published an article entitled Luther and the Legacy of Augustine, in Remembering the Reformation: Martin Luther and Catholic Theology, ed.s Declan Marmion, Salvador Ryan, and Gesa E. Theissen (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2016).

• Ms. JoAnn Flett MBA '06 senior lecturer, presented at the Mennonite Economic Development Association convention in San Antonio, TX. She has also been appointed to the board of directors of Broad Street Ministry, a $2.6M outreach to vulnerable Philadelphians experiencing hunger and homelessness.

• Senior Lecturer Mr.Tom Bonerbo and Dr. Cathy Neimetz worked together to establish a new partnership between the College of Education and Manor Junior College.

• Dr. Lydia Lopez-Ruiz received her certification in Trauma Awareness and for becoming a group facilitator with the Program of Institute for Family Professionals.

• Dr. Harry Gutelius presented at the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC) Convention in San Diego, CA in January.

• Dr. Elizabeth Conde-Frazier MDiv '82, DD '10 delivered the Barton Lecture at Perkins School of Theology April 6.

• Dr. Kristen Stromberg Childers published a book entitled Seeking Imperialism's Embrace: National Identity, Decolonization, and Assimilation in the French Caribbean, (Oxford University Press, 2016), which just won the Gilbert Chinard Prize awarded by the Society for French Historical Studies. • Dr. Michael Lee presented March 30 at the American Society for EighteenthCentury Studies 48th Annual Meeting in Minneapolis, MN: The Face of Race: Teaching the Historical Constructedness of Race, addressing structural racism in eighteenth-century studies.

Undergraduate and Graduate Studies

• Dr. Kirk Mensch, associate professor, presented his research on moral disengagement at the Royal Marines Commando Training Center in the UK and later at the University of Exeter. In April 2017, he presented Religion and Moral Disengagement at the Religion & Spirituality in Society conference in London.

Undergraduate and Graduate Studies

Undergraduate Studies

• Dr. Harry Gutelius, Dr. Cathy Neimetz, Mr. Nick Rotoli and Dr. Kathy Hastings collaborated to secure the new Early Learning Instructional Coaching Program (ELPIC) principals' Certification grant with Pennsylvania Department of Education for our College of Education.

ON KNOWING HUMANITY RESEARCH VIDEO BY FELISHA KISSEL ’17 In the last edition of this magazine, we learned about Eastern’s On Knowing Humanity Project which seeks to study anthropology from a Christian perspective. Subsequently, Chalk & Table produced a video that looks deeper into the project and focuses in on Eastern student, Stephanie Oelrich '15 MA '17, and her experiences in Nepal working with victims of human trafficking.









EVERY ESPERANZA COLLEGE OF EASTERN UNIVERSITY COMMENCEMENT CEREMONY ENDS WITH A LITANY WHERE THE GRADUATES ALONG WITH EVERYONE ELSE JOINTLY DECLARE HOW THEIR JOURNEY OF ESPERANZA (HOPE) HAS BEEN MADE POSSIBLE THROUGH THE SUPPORT AND OPPORTUNITIES THEY HAVE RECEIVED AT THE COLLEGE. As part of the litany the graduates declare “Because of what God has done we have God’s hope, tenemos Esperanza!” Many of the graduates arrived at the college a few years earlier unsure of themselves, with dreams yet lacking the necessary hope and preparation needed to succeed. Many had heard from friends and family that at Esperanza College they would get the education, support, resources and opportunity needed to succeed. Jazmin Sosa fit that profile. She graduated from Esperanza College with her AA in Criminal Justice in 2015 and is scheduled to graduate from Eastern with her bachelors in Criminal Justice in 2017. While you wouldn’t know it from the smile on her face, Jazmin’s journey has been tougher than most. Like many immigrants, her family arrived in pursuit of the American dream. Jazmin was four. While she did not speak English, her teachers quickly realized she was very bright. Through the dedicated support of her ESL teacher, she quickly learned English. Not only did God create her with high intellectual ability that flourished with the aid of dedicated teachers, He also created her with a desire to help others and by the time she was in middle school she was volunteering and tutoring other students. She graduated from middle school with honors and was accepted into one of the best schools in Philadelphia. However, she felt out of place and lacked support, so she 6


transferred out and went to a neighborhood school. She lost all hope when she realized that she lacked the necessary documentation to be able to attend college. Without hope for the future her grades dropped and her once bright, promising future came to a dark and dangerous dead end street. She went back to the country of her birth, but found there was nothing there for an Americanized young lady. On the way back to the States she was kidnapped and her parents had to pay a ransom. After that dangerous and arduous ordeal, as she was trying to finish high school, she came across Esperanza College. It was near her home and had a history of helping those in need of opportunity.

“Esperanza is Hope and from attending Esperanza College it has given me hope to pursue my dreams and goal of becoming an immigration attorney.” Her hope was renewed as she interacted with staff eager to help her accomplish her dreams. They helped her find the necessary resources and provided the encouragement, support and guidance she needed. She started her studies pursuing a major that was not the ideal pathway to her dream of becoming an attorney because she did not think her dream was possible. Through encouragement from staff she changed her major and found the support she needed through Dr. Andria Kallarakal, the

director of Esperanza’s criminal justice program. Dr. Kallarakal is pleased to see that Jazmin’s incredible potential to help the community is already being realized, “I have seen Jazmin mature over the years during her time with us. Her passion for immigration work comes with personal experiences of struggles.” Esperanza provides opportunities for its students and prepares them for that opportunity. The combination of an excellent education, her personal drive, and God’s providence resulted in her being hired by the law firm where she did her internship. After graduating with honors with her associate's degree, Jazmin continued on to her bachelor studies through Eastern’s accelerated criminal justice program taught at the Esperanza campus. Dr. Kallarakal continues to encourage, guide and support her. Law school is next on the horizon for Jazmin. Esperanza’s commencement litany ends with the graduates declaring “We go out to serve with faith, reason and to do justice,” and everyone present responds “We have God’s hope, tenemos Esperanza!” Now as Jazmin graduates with her bachelor’s degree, she recalls a key to her success, “Esperanza is Hope and from attending Esperanza College it has given me hope to pursue my dreams and goal of becoming an immigration attorney.” Jazmin continues to inspire others who are coming along behind her on the journey, especially those who are losing hope. She is one of the hundreds of alumni who are making an incredible difference in the community. This fruit that keeps on giving is the result of Eastern and Esperanza Inc. joining forces in obedience to the biblical mandate in Matthew 25:40 to help those who are in greatest need.



Deans’ Corner



College of Arts and Sciences: Dr. John Pauley 1 This is a tough one. So many places!! I guess if I had to make a choice it would be the Camino de Santiago in Spain. I am really taken with the notion of pilgrimage and the Way of St. James has such rich tradition.

2 Hands down the answer is Mexican food, with this qualification—there are many local variations on Mexican food, e.g. Texas and New Mexico Mexican food are slightly different from Arizona Mexican food. In my humble opinion, there is none better than what can be found in Arizona.

College of Health and Social Sciences: Dr. Patricia Reger 1 If I could travel anywhere, it would be Italy. I have never been there but it seems that every city, town and village is as interesting and beautiful as the next. Of course, the food, the art, the culture. The list goes on. I have always dreamed of visiting the Vatican. I actually get chills thinking about the opportunity.

2 So the answer is obvious about my international themed cuisine, Italian. I know the Italians claim to the invention of pizza (which, by the way is my food choice if I am stranded on an island) but there are also so many delicacies to enjoy! A diet will not be followed on that visit!


College of Education: Dr. Harry Gutelius 1 At the risk of sounding pompous, my wife and I have been to all seven continents (including an excursion to Antarctica), and we just returned from a week in Cuba. Thus, my request would be for a return visit and not a new country; that would be Egypt. My wife and I agree that was our favorite country—loved walking the Valley of the Kings, going into the Great Pyramid, etc.

2 My favorite themed cuisine is the pork and kraut that we have had in Germany and Austria.

Palmer Theological Seminary: Dr. David Bronkema 1 I would go either to Honduras, Italy, or Portugal, to visit friends, rekindle relationships, and relive memories of my time living in each of those countries. Hopefully I would be traveling with my family so that I could share my friends and memories with them in all their fullness!

2 I’m going to have to go with Portuguese. Thinking about codfish (especially pastéis de bacalhau), potatoes, olive oil, cabbage soup and bolas de Belém gets my mouth watering.


College of Business and Leadership: Dr. Douglas Clark 1 Iceland, because of the paradoxes. Mild temperatures year-round even though “ice” is in its name; and the long winter days of darkness contrasted with the midnight sun of summer.

2 Is Polish-Italian a category? I always have an appetite for lasagna with kolaczki for dessert thanks to my wife’s great cooking and family recipes handed down from her immigrant ancestors.

Esperanza College: Dr. Elizabeth CondeFrazier MDiv ’82, DD’10 1 I would travel to Barcelona to see the Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família whose construction was commenced in 1882. I would also tour the Andalucia area where before Fernando and Isabel, Jews, Catholics and Muslims had houses of worship on the same square and lived inter-religiously.

2 Italian, Mexican, Thai, Cuban, Greek etc.: All of the above. I am an inclusive eater.






Graduation is a huge step. Like many seniors, Emily Cole ’17 had a bunch of ideas about what she might do. Never one to settle for the ordinary, Cole decided to try for something really big. With the encouragement of her Eastern professors, she decided to pursue an opportunity that would combine her passions. She had heard Dr. Anne Francois give a presentation on Fulbright Scholarships in her sophomore year. Cole was immediately intrigued. Following her studyabroad experience in Seville, Spain, Cole returned home and started the process of applying for the prestigious award. Over the next three or four months, the senior Political Science and Spanish double major worked through the process of applying through the U.S. State Department to work with university students studying English in Ecuador. Cole received confirmation in late March that she was one of four U.S. students selected for a Fulbright award in that country.





To work with university students studying English in Ecuador and to develop soccer leagues and training clinics for young girls.



receiving the grant, Cole joins an illustrious list of local and national leaders who have received the award since the program’s inception in 1946. Her notification about the award included the following encouragement from the Scholarship Board: The Fulbright Board places its confidence in you to fulfill Senator Fulbright’s goal to develop international understanding. This effort depends on a commitment from Fulbright grantees to establish open communication and long-term cooperative relationships. As a Fulbright recipient and a representative of the United States, you will have the opportunity to work collaboratively with international partners in educational, political, cultural, economic, and scientific fields. We hope you will engage directly as well in your local community throughout your Fulbright exchange. In so doing, you will exemplify the qualities of service, leadership, and excellence that have been hallmarks of this Program for 70 years. Cole’s full intention is to interact with her local community. Much of her passion for Spanish emerged after she traveled to Honduras with her church/ family in high school. While there, she and her sister saw children in need and noticed that many of them did not have shoes. The two girls decided to act on what they saw and started a non-profit with the intention of providing shoes for children in Honduras. Honduran Soles, now in its fifth year, has provided more than 12,000 pairs of shoes to people in 16 countries around the globe. The intention of the organization is bigger than just responding to physical need. They look to distribute their shoes with mission teams that are traveling to places of need. This is not only cost-effective, but with each pair of shoes, the message of the Gospel comes to children and families. In 2014, Cole and her soccer teammates traveled to Zambia. While in Africa, she realized the value of sport for girls around the world. The team did soccer clinics for boys and girls. As she interacted with the girls, she saw them thrive on the encouragement and saw them advance in skills and confidence in a short time. “I remember working with groups of kids in Macha,” she shared. “We had set up stations for skills, and each time the kids rotated to our station, they had such joy. Even though we did not speak their language, soccer transcended that gap.”

In developing countries, that confidence can make all the difference as women seek to gain financial and personal autonomy in a culture that has historic roots of misogynistic tendencies. As she looked at the prevalence of violence and harassment of women in Ecuador she realized that there was the potential to do good with her love for the game. In her purpose statement in the Fulbright application, she wrote: As a female athlete, I know the value and confidence soccer has given me throughout my life: strength, endurance, mental toughness and unmatched joy. I hope to instill these same attributes in the young women of the Ecuadorian community where I am placed, helping them to feel confident in who they are and what they can be. I would like to work with community leaders to develop soccer teams or a training clinic for young girls. While at Eastern, Cole was more than just a player. She missed much of her first season with injury, but turned into Eastern’s top goal-scoring threat in each of her final three seasons. She finished her career with 49 goals. She earned All-MAC Freedom honors as a forward three times and was recognized as a CoSIDA Academic All-American in her senior season. She is the second Academic All-American in the history of Eastern Athletics. Twice she was named as the Academic All-Area Women’s Soccer Player of the Year by the Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Sports Information Directors Association. That award for academic and athletic excellence is presented to the top performer from all the four-year colleges and universities in the Philadelphia Area. She scored 36 goals in her final two seasons for the Eagles and was named MAC Freedom Co-Offensive Player of the Year in her junior campaign. Soccer is a common theme in the Cole household. Her older brother and sister played through high school, and her two younger brothers will play together this fall at Messiah College. When she was looking for a college, Cole wanted to look at Christian schools where she could play and not be too far from home. She had torn her ACL in her junior year, and for a while was unsure if she would play in college. “I met with Coach Mouw,” Cole said. “And knew that I loved what I saw when I visited the campus. When he called and offered me a spot, I knew Eastern was where I was supposed to be. It is cool to see how God works and knows what is best for us.” Cole found that she really loved to study when she got to Eastern. She enjoyed so many things that it caused a little problem. She excelled in all her classes, but at the end of her sophomore year, she had to declare a major.“I remember laying on the floor of my room in Eagle Hall and was in tears trying to figure out where I wanted to go. My roommates still give me grief about this all the time. They were nursing majors and had it all figured out.”





“I think sometimes we think that coming out of a smaller school that we cannot compete, but I know that I am prepared. I am grateful for the investment of my professors as educators and more importantly as people.”

In the end, she felt that a political science degree would help her to work toward a career that could pursue justice. She is still looking at law school in the future, but she valued her time as a political science student because she was able to learn about people, study international relations, and to integrate her passion for Spanish language and culture. She originally intended to minor in Spanish, but she could not ignore her passion to learn and grow in that discipline. In her Spanish classes, the original seed of the idea to pursue a Fulbright was nurtured. Dr. Julia Stewart, who was awarded a Fulbright to Mexico as a professor, encouraged Cole through the arduous application process. Cole cites Stewart’s encouragement as a reason she was able to persist, and she attaches tremendous value to the wisdom Stewart provided in the application process. “She helped me so much,” Cole said. “Even little things like avoiding clichés or finding the right things to highlight about myself helped. I am so grateful for her encouragement. There were times where I thought I had no shot, and she just kept telling me that I was a great candidate and to be confident in that.” Cole knew she wanted to go to Latin America. The interest began with her trip in high school, but she cites her classes in Latin American literature and a political history of Latin America as points where she knew that she wanted to go and study more. “I really liked the English Teaching Assistant (ETA) program I will be pursuing in Ecuador. In the program I will be working with university students. I was attracted to it because it allows me to be a native presence in helping students who are learning a second language. For the person learning a second language, the ETA is huge.”

Cole hopes that through her experience that more Eastern students will apply and receive the grant. “Eastern has equipped us,” she concluded. “I think sometimes we think that coming out of a smaller school that we cannot compete, but I know that I am prepared. I am grateful for the investment of my professors as educators and more importantly as people.” She noted that she has friends at bigger schools that barely know or even dislike their professors, but added that Dr. Sharon Gramby-Sobukwe, Dr. Elvira Ramirez, Dr. Christopher Butynskyi '01, Dr. Stewart and others have taken the time to really know her and to inspire her to love learning and to find her passions. After her Fulbright ends, Cole will again be looking for the next thing. Wherever she winds up, whether it is in law school or in another language-based program, she knows that she will continue to seek to glorify God as she grows in her faith, increases her learning, and pursues justice in the world around her.

Soli Deo Gloria! Dan Mouw is the current Director of Athletic Communications. He served as Eastern’s Women’s Soccer Coach from 2002-2016.

Alondra Cervantes '19, her teammate and friend, has served in that role for Cole. The two live in a Gallup Apartment with teammates Lydia Peachey '17 and Hannah Bomberger '17. Cervantes is a native speaker who encourages Cole in her language development. “Lon and I will be speaking in Spanish in the apartment, and the nurses will tell us to be quiet. Lon will correct me—if I ask her to—and she gives me confidence that I am progressing. I want to do that for students who are learning English.” Cole also noted that the Ecuador program would give her the opportunity to use soccer with the teaching program. The Fulbright program requires applicants to propose a community outreach component. For Cole, this was the easy and exciting part. While in Ecuador, she is expected to be a cultural ambassador for the United States. She is looking forward to this, but she also understands that as much as she is an ambassador for the U.S. she is also going to share her love for people that comes from her commitment to Christ. SPRING/SUMMER 2017 |





BORN AND RAISED IN THE CITY OF BRISTOL IN THE UNITED KINGDOM, ALUMNUS MARVIN REES MS '01 BECAME MAYOR OF BRISTOL IN MAY OF 2016 ON HIS SECOND RUN FOR THE OFFICE. Prior to becoming Mayor, his journey would take him far from Bristol to the United States to work in Washington D.C. at Sojourners magazine and then on to Eastern University where he received his Master of Science in Global Economic Development. Mayor Rees identifies as mixed race, his father is Jamaican and he was raised by his white mother, at various points in two underserved neighborhoods of the city. Prior to attending Eastern he attended Swansea University and after Eastern participated in the Yale University World Fellows Global Leadership Program. Among other positions, in the UK he has worked at Tearfund, a UK international Christian aid agency, and in the U.S. to organize the response of faith-based groups to President Bill Clinton's Welfare Reform Bill. In 2011 Rees founded the City Leadership Program in Bristol which invests in the personal development and leadership skills of youth from disadvantaged backgrounds. One of Britain’s “Core Cities” Bristol is the largest in the South West with a population of 449,300. In March of 2017 Bristol was named “Best Place to Live in the United Kingdom” in the Sunday Times Best Places to Live Guide. The Sunday



Times Home editor Helen Davies said "The city is a worthy winner thanks to its ideal combination of extraordinary culture, impressive schools, buzzing culinary scene, exciting redevelopment and community spirit. We sum the city up as cool, classy and supremely creative."

Q&A I caught up with Mayor Rees to learn a little more about his time at Eastern and what it’s like being the Mayor of Bristol: Q I understand you were born and raised in Bristol. Your journey then took you to the United States, including Eastern, before returning to Bristol. What are the many emotions you experience when you return and become Mayor of your hometown? A I was born and raised in Bristol and I never planned to come back, but I suppose it was inevitable that I would return. When I did it felt like a completion of a journey. I suppose that when you achieve something and you feel it’s gone well, you feel like it’s been the right path. It’s great to be able to share my story with the city, growing up from nothing and a state of ‘racial-limbo’ and now today I’m the Mayor.

Q What does it mean to you to become the first directly elected black mayor of Bristol? A Being the first directly elected black mayor in Europe is important to me—it really matters. It’s also nuanced. I am mixed race and that matters too. From that place I can try and find the space within all the other noise to speak across divides. I also grew up in a working class family. My Gran said that she bought her house from Alderman Ross, a Lord Mayor of Bristol in the 1950’s which she was proud of. She was of that generation that doffed their caps to people with titles and had the reverence for professionals. It’s great to think that I am now the directly elected Mayor. Q How did your journey bring you to the graduate program at Eastern? A I was working at Tear Fund, a development agency, and I was trying to work out my own politics and if there was a Christian politics. I started my journey during my first masters in political theory where I studied the Civil Rights movement. I came across Jim Wallis ‘Soul of Politics’ which contained an interesting challenge to the church. While I interned at Sojourners I heard about Economic Development at Eastern and went to


MARVIN REES MS '01 ACCOMPLISHMENTS Founded the City Leadership Program in 2011 and is the current mayor of Bristol.

visit. While there I met Tony Campolo '56, BD '60, ThM '61 who said that I should just “turn up” and he would help me find a place, and so I did on a freezing cold Philadelphia winter in 2000. It was great working with Tony and I was grateful to be awarded the scholarship. One big thing that I took away from my time at Eastern was that I met my wife there. Q How has your MS in Economic Development guided you in your role as Mayor of Bristol? A My MS in Economic Development from Eastern has given me principles that have guided me in my time as Mayor. I did take some flak for being a Christian during my campaign as one of my credits was Biblical Economics. And I was asked what use this was. Exploring Economic Development is essential, not just because of the need to grow sustainably but also the moral aspect to do this. Economic growth can be good or bad, not just technically but morally. Q Congratulations, Bristol was recently named “Best Place to Live” in the Sunday Times Best Places to Live Guide. What is your reaction to this accolade? In an interview with the BBC you remarked you were “chuffed”, what would be an American equivalent to this sentiment?

A I was pleased to learn that Bristol had been named “Best Place to Live” by the Sunday Times recently but was conscious of the work still to do. My predecessor as Mayor publically expressed some criticisms for putting it that way, but in my campaign I highlighted the fact that while the city has so much going for it, it was perverse that we have areas amongst the 1% most deprived in the country and huge amounts of child poverty. The success Bristol has experienced has contributed to the fiercely competitive, and expensive, housing market and the problems this causes for low income families. Q What are some of the initiatives you are working on as Mayor? Or areas you would like to effect change? A My term as Mayor ends in May 2020, and during my administration I am prioritizing Housing, Breakfast clubs and some work as part of the Global Parliament of Mayors. The city faces a housing crisis and competition for homes causes difficulties for a great many people so, housing is a key part of delivering my aims. I campaigned on a pledge to build 2,000 homes a year – 800 affordable by 2020 and I believe it is a large part of my mandate to do so. I have stopped the Council from selling its own land so that we are better placed to control

development and have commenced work to create a housing delivery unit within the council. Breakfast clubs provide a meal for students before school, as well as a range of games and activities, which break down the entrenched inequalities which affect children of disadvantaged backgrounds. I am working with Partners to deliver on a promise to ensure every primary school child in Bristol has access to a breakfast club with the aim that no child goes to school hungry. Britain is experiencing a turbulent time in international politics as we move toward Brexit, so I want a rebalancing of sovereignty giving a stronger voice to cities. This is part of a global agenda, and we are working with national and international partner cities, some as part of the Global Parliament of Mayors. Our international communities and global citizens link Bristol to the world, creating a culturally vibrant, cohesive and welcoming city. This places Bristol in strong position to develop an economy as an international gateway to the UK. It can also provide leadership on shared global values and development goals, including inclusivity, sustainability and resilience.






CHONI SELDEN ’11 LIVES IN THE COUNTRY OF BHUTAN AND IS THE HOST OF THE POPULAR CHILDREN’S SHOW, DO YOU KNOW YOUR CHILD? RECENTLY, CHONI CAME BACK TO THE UNITED STATES AND WHILE HERE TOOK SOME TIME TO VISIT AND REMINISCE ABOUT EASTERN. During her visit, Evan Hewitt ’11, Assistant Director of Enrollment Communications and a classmate of Choni’s, sat down with her to talk about just how influential Eastern was in her life. Bhutan is a small country located south of China, with a population of around 750,000 people. It contains many natural beauties, such as the majestic eastern Himalayas. Choni’s journey to Eastern became possible through her dad’s tourism business. Jim Zug, one of Choni’s thirteen sponsors, happened to be touring in Bhutan with her father’s tour company. While working with the tour company during her gap year, Choni told Jim of her dream to go to college in the United States. Jim and twelve others said that they would be her sponsors. After meeting with a counselor, and coming up with a few different universities as options, Eastern was the one Choni selected. Since the majority of people in Bhutan are Buddhist, one of the reasons she chose Eastern was that she wanted to learn more about Christianity. Choni said, “If I could turn back in time and go to any university in America I would still choose Eastern because I had a beautiful experience being in a Christian community. A lot of the stereotypes that I had of Christians were broken at Eastern, and I just had a great experience.” While she was at Eastern Choni majored in English with a concentration in journalism



and minored in communication studies and business management. She was also a writer for the Waltonian, Eastern’s campus newspaper, eventually becoming the copy editor for the publication. Of her professors at Eastern Choni explained, “On the verge of sounding very diplomatic, I loved all of my professors: my business professors, my Bible professors, everybody. I still can’t believe I got so lucky with the professors I’ve had. But Talli Sperry, my communications professor and Kevin Maness '92, they have a special place in my heart. With Talli there was a personal connection too… she was one of those professors who really touched me personally. And she was a great communications professor too." After graduating from Eastern, Choni immediately joined the workforce in Bhutan. Her first job as an International Relations officer at a private college in Bhutan’s capital, Thimphu, utilized the communication skills she acquired at Eastern. However, it was not very long until Choni realized that this job was not her calling. Choni left the college to teach second through fifth grade students, which she loved. Eventually, her husband transferred away from the capital to a different district. Choni left her teaching job to be with her husband, but realized she couldn't cope well with living in a remote area. After feeling like she was starting to become depressed in her new home, Choni and her husband decided it was best to live long distance, if it meant she would feel better. After moving back to Thimphu, Choni took a new job with the Bhutan Broadcasting Service as the host of Do You Know Your Child? Do You Know Your Child? is one of the most popular television shows in Bhutan. In her

position Choni has many roles; she is anchor, producer and even a writer. She is most known for her job as the anchor where she asks her contestants questions to see how well they really know their child. Parents and children are given the same set of questions to answer individually and then reveal their answers on the show to see how closely the answers match. One of Choni’s goals with the show is to foster healthy communication between parents and their elementary age children. Do You Know Your Child? is an educational/entertainment genre awardwinning program, winning back to back best TV program and best talk show awards in 2014 and 2015. The show is most popular with children. According to Choni, Eastern prepared her for work in many ways, but the way that it most prepared her was by turning her into a people person. Before coming to Eastern, Choni said that she was very shy. The encouraging professors and students at Eastern gave her the confidence to speak up and come out of her shell. Being a talk show host involves a lot of communicating with contestants, with fans and in all the work behind the scenes. Choni can perform all of these roles far away in the country of Bhutan because of the support and confidence that she received at Eastern. Of her time at Eastern Choni said, “I wouldn’t change a thing about my experience at Eastern it was that perfect…I loved it.”



WITH EASTERN UNIVERSITY by SHERRY KULL, MDIV, PHD – traveling with Linda Beck, Julia Stewart, June Phillips, Susan Zacharkiw, Krysta Zacharkiw, Dawn Spaar MBA '09, Frieda Brinkmann '85, Ingrid Cooper MEd '10, Molly Rozbeh, Stephen & Christine Kim

“WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT I’D EVER BE IN CUBA?” As I de-boarded the plane in Jose Marti Airport in Havana, this was truly one of the pinch-yourself moments in life. I was traveling with eleven other intrepid souls, about half from Eastern University, who wanted to experience this small island nation before it is forever transformed by tourism. First impressions—delicious warmth, swaying palm trees, classic old cars. I started taking car photos at the airport when our guide said to us, “You’ll soon grow tired of that.” Giselle was right. Cuba doesn’t have a handful of classic cars—they have hundreds of them. They mix in seamlessly with the newer cars on the road. Not only old Chevys, Fords, Oldsmobiles, and Cadillacs, there are also plenty of old Ladas and Moksvitches from the Soviet era. All are routinely cannibalized to keep them going as long as possible—sixty years and beyond! As our bus tooled along the 30-minute drive from the airport to our resting places in Havana, I thought that, except for the Caribbean colors and tropical plants, this reminded me so much of Eastern Europe, which I had visited during its communist days. The poverty was evident, and there was no doubt this was a third world country. If it looks like this in the outskirts of Havana, what must the outlying regions be like? Our guides told us more about the difficulties of life in the Cuban hinterlands as the week went on. LAS TERRAZAS Today we headed out of the city to Las Terrazas, a beautiful nature preserve and rural community with a UNESCO world heritage designation. It’s hard to imagine that Cuba’s forested lands dropped from 90% of the island to only 14% by

the time the government stepped in to stop the clearing in 1968. This lush tropical gem was one of the deforested areas. They built terraces (hence the name) and planted a variety of trees. You would never guess now how barren it had become. The lakes, rivers, waterfalls, hillsides, and breezes are refreshing to the soul. A small community lives here in their own little ShangriLa, and our walking tour included visits inside the homes of two local artists. We ate lunch in the aptly named Buena Vista Café, situated on top of one of the Sierra del Rosario mountains. The view extended beyond the mountains all the way to the sea. This place isn’t all sugar and spice, however. We saw the site of a former coffee plantation and the ruins of the tiny living quarters of the workers. The colonial Spanish overlords enslaved both Haitians and Cubans to pick the beans, and they lived a sadly precarious existence. THE ARCHITECTURE One of the surprising things we ended up appreciating on this journey were the lectures we received at the Centro de Estudios Martianos (Center for Martí Studies). Our package included talks from university level specialists in Cuba’s health care system, education, architecture, Cuban-American relations, and so on. About half the talks were in Spanish with translators and half were in English. It was a great opportunity for our little group of twelve to ask our questions of these experts before we headed out for the day to see firsthand what they were talking about. Let’s take architecture, for example. This is one of the richest treasures of the island with examples from pre-Baroque, Baroque, neo-Classicism, eclecticism, art nouveau, art deco, and modern styles. Cuba has numerous cities listed as UN World Heritage sites due to their concentration of

such styles. Old Havana, for instance, dates back to the early 16th century Spanish colonialists, and the Spanish influence is evident everywhere in the buildings and spacious plazas. OH, THOSE CARS! All week long we watched admiringly as these classic autos sped past us. Finally, we had our chance. On Thursday evening, we gathered ocean-side at the Hotel Nacional for drinks and music at sunset. We decided to take the classic taxis home instead of walking, so Julia, who speaks Spanish fluently, served as our negotiator. Take her along on your next trip! She hired three taxis for the twelve of us, all three pink convertibles from the 1950s. We piled into a Ford, a Buick, and a Chevy. The drivers took us for a 30 minute joy ride around the Malecón (ocean boulevard), and yes, we felt like giddy teenagers again.

FINAL REFLECTIONS I have only scratched the surface on our many experiences in Cuba, so all I can say is, Go. Don’t wait. Go now before it is all irrevocably changed by the influx of tourists with money. Don’t forget to pray for Cuba while you’re at it. Pray that the light of the Gospel will shine brighter than the false hope of any earthly utopia.





MEN’S SOCCER CLAIMS MAC FREEDOM TITLE Men’s Soccer claimed their 2nd MAC Freedom Championship title in November, giving them an automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament. After trailing 1-0 late in the Championship game, the Eagles tied it up with 88 seconds left. The match vs. Misercordia University went into double overtime before ending in penalty kicks and a victory for the Eagles.

MEN’S BASKETBALL TIES FOR FIRST IN CONFERENCE REGULAR SEASON, SHAQUAN TURK EARNS MULTIPLE HONORS For the first time since joining the Mid-Atlantic Conference, Eastern University Men's Basketball won 11 league games, making them tied for first place at the end of the regular season and securing them a spot in the MAC Freedom Tournament. The 11 wins in conference play matched a program record set in 2005-'06 when Eastern finished 11­–7 in the Pennsylvania Athletic Conference. One of the team’s five seniors, Shaquan Turk ’17 earned multiple honors, including AllRegion Honors and Conference Player of the Year, making him the first to do so since 2015 Hall of Honor inductee, Antoine Harden '96, in 1996. Turk was also the first Eastern player to be invited to play in the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) All-Star Game in Salem, Virginia. 16




VOLLEYBALL ADVANCES TO THE ELITE EIGHT Eastern Volleyball clinched its ninth consecutive MAC Freedom Championship with a victory over DeSales University in November. The team’s run continued into the NCAA Tournament with an eventual run to the Elite Eight in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. This was the third time in the last six seasons that the Eagles advanced to the site of the National Finals.

DAN MOUW NAMED DIRECTOR OF ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS After serving Eastern Athletics as Sports Information Director and Head Women’s Soccer Coach for 15 years, Dan Mouw took on the role of Director of Athletic Communications in January 2017. "For the past 13 years I have known and appreciated Dan's outstanding talent related to sports contest and sports-related human interest writing, his outstanding abilities in the visual arts including effective and engaging photography and videography, and I've witnessed his ability to work very well with the coaches and staff in Athletics,” said Vice Provost for Student Development Bettie Ann Brigham '74. In his new role, Mouw hopes to support all of Eastern's programs as they recruit and compete in the Middle Atlantic Conferences and the region. He has goals to expand video coverage and the department's presence in relevant social media platforms.






FIVE FALL ATHLETES EARN SIDA HONORS Eastern Athletics had numerous athletes recognized by the Philadelphia Area Sports Information Directors Association (Philly-SIDA) in the fall 2016 season. Sports Information Directors from the 30 four-year institutions in the Philadelphia Metropolitan Area selected outstanding performers to be added to the prestigious list of 2016 Philadelphia Inquirer Academic All-Area Teams. Eastern had a representative on five of six possible teams and joined the University of Pennsylvania as the only other school with multiple performers of the year. Emily Cole from Women's Soccer and Alicia Weigel from Volleyball were both recognized as Performers of the Year. Cole also received recognition from the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) as one of 33 athletes on the CoSIDA Academic All-America® Men's and Women's Division III Soccer teams. Jadon Ramsing (Men's Soccer), Kierra Zack (Women's Cross Country), and Nicole Berger (Field Hockey) also represented Eastern on the prestigious Philly-SIDA All-Area lists. SPRING/SUMMER 2017 |





AT THE AGE OF 19 IN 1989, LUMINITZA CRISTESCU WAS IMPRISONED IN HER NATIVE ROMANIA FOR PROTESTING WITH HUNDREDS OF OTHERS THE MISTREATMENT OF REV. LASZLO TOKES, THE FIGUREHEAD OF THE RAPIDLY UNFOLDING AND BLOODY ROMANIAN REVOLUTION, LEADING TO THE OVERTHROW OF THE COMMUNIST CEAUSESCU REGIME. Today, Luminitza Nichols (her married name), 46, has achieved a lifelong dream she could never have imagined in her darkest days in Romania. Last August 7 the 2015 Palmer Seminary graduate was ordained an American Baptist pastor. The ceremony took place at the Baptist Church of West Chester, PA, where Nichols served for a time as Associate Pastor for Pastoral Care before receiving a call February 26 as Pastor of First Baptist Church (Duke Street) in Lancaster, PA. “Women were never allowed to serve as pastors in Romania,” she explains. Nichols is believed to be the first native-born Romanian woman to serve as an ordained Baptist minister anywhere in the world. Flash back 27 years. Arrested with others on the streets in her home of Timisoara in western Romania, where Tokes served as a pastor, Nichols was thrown into a dark, narrow, maximumsecurity cell for dangerous dissident criminals, where she found herself with 19 other women. The cell contained two bunkbeds, a bench, a small bathroom and one sink. When guards asked the prisoners if any of them was a Christian, Nichols was the only one who raised her hand—against the advice of the other prisoners. “You could 18


be killed,” they told her. Indeed, her execution seemed likely. “But I refused to be ashamed of Christ,” she recalls. “I wanted to honor God.” Then Nichols watched as guards led her cellmates away one at a time and severely tortured them before returning them to the cell. “The guards wore heavy boots,” she remembers, “and they liked to kick prisoners relentlessly in the kidneys.” The cell was so tiny, Luminitza explains, “that we had to sleep on top of each other. For some reason I was never interrogated,” Nichols says. “No one ever laid a finger on me.” Unexpectedly, after five days in prison, Nichols and her cellmates were freed by the Romanian government just before Christmas in 1989. She found her way home through ravaged streets filled with burned buildings. “When I got home, my parents were crying in the kitchen,” she recalls. “They never expected to see me again.” Eight months later, in August 1990, Nichols was on her way to the U.S. with a student visa to study at Tennessee Temple University. She met her husband, Eric Nichols, in Tennessee. He and Luminitza have two daughters, Ana, 11, and Teodora, 6. After working in Tennessee for 10 years as a nurse, Luminitza and Eric decided to move to Pennsylvania, where Eric became an aerospace engineer with Boeing Rotorcraft Systems. Soon thereafter Luminitza began to pursue her dream of becoming a pastor by studying six years for her Master of

Divinity degree at Palmer Seminary. She also became a U.S. citizen. “Christians must never let the culture define their beliefs,” she says. “To compromise is a danger to the church.” She says the church can remain united despite attempts at splintering over issues involving racism or the variety of political positions believers will hold. “Suffering can be good for the church,” she says. “The freedom we have in America is so precious.”

“But I refused to be ashamed of Christ,” she recalls. “I wanted to honor God.” Among the officiants at the ordination service was Rev. Dr. Frank Frischkorn, the regional executive pastor for American Baptist Churches of Pennsylvania and Delaware (ABCOPAD) and Eastern University Trustee. “Ordination ceremonies have always been a joy to me,” Frischkorn says. “As God continues to raise up new pastoral leaders to serve His Church, these services provide a beautiful affirmation that we have an exciting future before us as the Church of Jesus Christ! Lumi’s call to ministry and her ordination provided the added blessing of seeing our God do a ‘new’ thing in the work of His Kingdom—what a privilege to be a part of that! I’m

excited to see how the Lord will use this special servant in the days to come!” A charge to Luminitza, a highlight of the ordination ceremony, was delivered by Dr. George Hancock-Stefan, also a Romanian and a Baptist, and among her professors at Palmer Seminary. Hancock-Stefan said in part: “From the moment that I received your invitation two images kept moving in my head. One is a famous painting by Constantin Daniel Rosenthal entitled Romania Revolutionara painted during the great Romanian revolution of the 19th century. Rosenthal participated in that revolution, and you participated in the great revolution of the 20th century. Like Rosenthal, you have experienced the Romanian jails. Out of those experiences, Rosenthal created that famous painting which became the symbol of the Romanian nation looking for the days when we will be a free nation. Out of your jail experience you have become a fearless person in the service of the Lord Jesus Christ and your testimony has stirred the hearts of many people to become more committed to the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Q&A by M. THOMAS RIDINGTON ’78, MAR ’81, PHD Q At your ordination service, Dr. HancockStefan recognized you as the first Romanianborn female in the history of the Baptist movement. How does that impact your thinking about pastoral ministry? A I have to admit that his announcement came as a big surprise to me. I wondered if other Romanian women sensed a similar call to pastoral ministry and served somewhere in the world. I think what I had hoped was for someone else to break the ground for me, and take the brunt of criticism that often follows when one attempts a countercultural shift. Being the first in the world at anything makes one feel both vulnerable and empowered which, for me, defines pastoral ministry in a nutshell. Cutting through the gender barrier, especially in my culture of origin, has only strengthened my conviction that anything is possible with God. Q You entered seminary as a second-career person with a family. How did you manage to keep everything in a healthy balance?

In conclusion, Hancock-Stefan announced: “This week I called the dean of the Baptist seminary in Bucharest to verify that we are participating in an historic event. As far as we have been able to discern, Luminitza is the first Romanian Baptist woman in history to be ordained. Neither the Romanian Baptist Convention of Romania, nor the Romanian Baptist Association of USA and Canada has ever ordained a woman. That honor goes to American Baptist Churches USA and the Baptist Church of West Chester who today are ordaining

A With the risk of sounding cliché, I could not have done it without my husband’s support. Despite his demanding career, he consistently made time to help with the children and do housework so I could write papers and study for tests. He has encouraged me to persevere through six years of seminary and has embraced so graciously his current role as a pastor’s husband. Going on dates on a regular basis has always been a non-negotiable in our marriage and has helped us remain close especially through the seminary years and now in ministry. Q What were some of your most memorable classes and professors at Palmer? A Each class, in its own way, contributed to my overall formation as a minister of the church. The Biblical Studies, in particular, deepened the love I already had for Scripture— offering me practical tools to understand the Bible in its context, apply its truths to my life and teach them aptly to others. As a woman preparing for pastoral ministry, I felt especially affirmed by Drs. Peter and Carol Schreck DMin '99 who encouraged me to find


the first Romanian Baptist woman, Luminitza Nichols, graduate of Palmer Seminary.” This article first appeared in the newsletter of ABCUSA. Reprinted with permission. The author is a communications consultant for American Baptist Churches USA, working in the Office of the General Secretary.

my own voice, tell my story and follow my call without apologies— even if that required starting “another revolution.” Q What authors that have become increasingly meaningful to you as you actively minister? A A.W. Tozer and Eugene Peterson have become, by far, my favorite authors. Their singleness of heart in pursuit of God inspires me daily to live an eternity-centered life in the midst of my busyness as a wife, mother and pastor. Q What advice might you offer to students who are still attending Seminary? A As your theological knowledge increases, it can easily give you a false sense of spirituality. My advice is not to rely on your courses to replace your personal time with the Lord. It is possible to study about God and steadily move away from Him. In my short ministry experience I learned that the best preaching and outreach is an extension of one’s hidden prayer life.




PALMER SEMINARY PROFESSOR DR. PHAEDRA BLOCKER MDIV '03 IS LEARNING WHAT IT IS TO BE AN IMMIGRANT IN AN IMMIGRANT COMMUNITY. As one of the pastors of Eternal Life Missionary Baptist Church in Southwest Philadelphia, she is the only African American in a predominately Liberian immigrant congregation. “There are many things that we share, of course, but there are also distinct differences,” Dr. Blocker says. “I have become keenly aware of my own ‘Americanness’—the ways in which my perspective is influenced by American culture. That isn’t necessarily a good thing or a bad thing— just different. We try to acknowledge these differences, while also acknowledging a call from God to be community. This helps us stay at the table when we differ, and work to build authentic relationship with one another.” Building that relationship has been a rich experience for Dr. Blocker and has informed how she pastors at Eternal Life. “I have a different pastoral stance here. My professional background is in communications, leadership and organizational development and so my go-to leadership style tends to be strategic. But now I lean much more on my spiritual formation skills and experience. I take much more of a listening stance. What do I hear—from God and the people? What have I learned? What are we learning from each other? What is needed? Eternal Life has a very congregational polity, and



so our pastoral approach is much more a ‘coming alongside’ than ‘directing.’ That’s different for me.” One “learning” that emerged was the need to be attentive to an orientation toward oral culture. “As a lover of books and a professor, I am very print-oriented. But African culture, even for welleducated people, is much more grounded in orality.” So, Dr. Blocker has turned to the practices of the early Church, also an oral culture, and begun using the liturgical calendar and the associated symbols to help members deepen their faith. Another “learning” had to do with the size and age of the congregation. “I came to Eternal Life having served on the pastoral staff of a 15,000-member congregation that is over 125 years old. Now I help pastor 45-50 folks who are about to celebrate their fifth anniversary as a congregation,” Dr. Blocker notes. “Radically different—but a wonderful challenge! We are still in our formative stage, and so Brother Charles and I are trying to build a healthy foundation on which to grow a mature, thriving congregation.” This has meant doing a bit of “deconstruction” of unhealthy theology and perspectives, but also building on cultural strengths. “In African culture, the value of community runs very deep. When you are immersed in the culture, you really begin to understand Ubuntu—I am because we are. As an introvert, this has been

both a comfort and challenge to me at times.” It has also been a pastoral opportunity. Dr. Blocker and fellow pastor, Dr. Charles Jones, have gently guided the congregation to share their communal orientation with others. “Eternal Life has always served lunch after worship service each week and it is open to anyone. But as we began to listen, and learn the felt needs of the neighborhood, people began to see how much food insecurity exists around us. So, we began a food ministry that we are now in the midst of expanding. We want to feed hungry bodies as well as hungry souls.” When asked about how her experience at Eternal Life has informed her Palmer Seminary teaching, Dr. Blocker observed, “I emphasize with my students that they must do their own spiritual and emotional work if they are going to be mature disciples and effective leaders. Talent and education are not enough. And being, as Robert Mulholland put it, ‘formed in Christ for the sake of others,’ means that we have to learn to lovingly embrace whoever our ‘others’ are—whether we are embedded in another culture or welcoming folks from other cultures into our midst. We must be willing to listen—to the voices in our midst and the guidance of the Spirit; and to learn from what we hear so that we can ‘lead with all diligence.’ That requires grace, humility, and maturity.”



PALMER SEMINARY'S WEST VIRGINIA PROGRAM HELD ITS ANNUAL GRADUATION BANQUET ON MARCH 21 AT ITS PARCHMENT VALLEY CAMPUS. This event also marked the 25th anniversary of the program. Following dinner, the audience received remarks from President Bob Duffett. Then, the audience heard from four individuals with ties to the program's beginnings. First up was Ms. Ruth Mcfarland MATS '00; she was the seminary

registrar when the program began and she was instrumental in the program’s development. Next up was Rev. Ed Rogers MDiv '98 who was one of the first graduates of the program. He was followed by Dr. Lloyd Hamblin, who served as Executive Minister during the program’s formative years. Also speaking was Dr. Don Brash who has been teaching courses in West Virginia for 17 years, the longest among all tenured faculty.

The program’s two MDiv. graduates were then recognized. Evan Arkell MDiv '17 and Eric Seckman MDiv '17 both shared brief remarks about their academic journey. The final part of the evening was the presentation of the Matherly Award. The award is given in memory of Bob Matherly BD '61, DMin '76, the visionary of the West Virginia Program. This year’s recipient was Dr. David Carrico DMin '83, executive minister of the WV Baptist Convention.


IN THE EARLY 1980S, A GROUP OF CONCERNED PASTORS AND EDUCATORS GATHERED TO ADDRESS A VISION OF PROVIDING THEOLOGICAL EDUCATION AND TRAINING TO CLERGY AND LAY MINISTRY WORKERS IN PHILADELPHIA AND ITS SURROUNDING COMMUNITIES. In the 1982-1983 academic year, Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary (EBTS) began a new and unique certificate program named the Eastern School of Christian Ministry (ESCM) under the leadership of Orlando Costas and Tom McDaniel BD '551. ESCM has grown from offering one certificate program and now offers several levels of theological programming. Students may earn a Diploma of Biblical and Theological Studies or a Diploma of Pastoral Studies. There are three certificate programs: Certificate of Biblical Studies, Christian Leadership, or Christian Studies. In 2004, the Priscilla Institute at the Hestenes Center for Christian Women in Leadership was

conceived to provide theological training and education specifically for women in Christian leadership roles. Priscilla Institute offered a three stage program which allows its participants the opportunity to earn a Diploma in Pastoral Studies then further their education through Eastern University to earn an Associate of Arts degree and Bachelor of Arts degree in Organizational Leadership. In 2010, the NEST International cohort was added to the ESCM program. The NEST cohort is composed of international students from Korea and other nations. These students matriculate in the Certificate in Biblical Studies and the Diploma of Biblical and Theological Studies. For many students, ESCM and Priscilla Institute became the spring board which propelled them further into their theological studies. These individuals have continued their theological education and have obtained master’s degrees

from Palmer Theological Seminary and other seminaries in the Philadelphia vicinity. To commemorate the anniversary of its inception, an emerald anniversary celebration will be held on Saturday, October 7, 2017. The keynote address will be delivered by Rev. Dr. J. Wendell Mapson, Jr. DMin '83, DD '02, Pastor of Monumental Baptist Church, Palmer alumnus, and former director of the ESCM Program. This event promises to be a glorious time of celebration, reunion, and praise for the opportunities God has afforded us through the ESCM program. For additional information regarding the anniversary celebration please e-mail your contact information to ESCM@eastern.edu. 1 Frame, Randall L. Praise & Promise: A Pictorial History of The Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary. Virginia Beach, VA: The Donning Company Publishers, 2000, 147. SPRING/SUMMER 2017 |



O F T H E Y E A R:

D R . H O W A R D S T E V E N S O N '8 0, D D '9 9 by ELYSE GARNER ’13

THE ACCOMPLISHMENTS AND ACCOLADES OF ESTEEMED ALUMNUS, DR. HOWARD STEVENSON ’80, DD '99 ARE NOT NEW TO THE EASTERN COMMUNITY. Since graduating from Eastern College in 1980 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and sociology, Dr. Stevenson has continuously produced dynamic work that displays his commitment and passion for exhibiting faith, reason, and justice in the world around him. As an undergraduate student, Dr. Stevenson was very involved in the campus community. In addition to his academics, he was active in the athletics program, playing on both the men’s soccer (All-American) and baseball teams; experiences that would heavily influence his later work with sports therapy among inner-city youth. He was also a member of Angels of Harmony, Eastern’s beloved and distinguished AfricanAmerican Gospel Choir which just celebrated it’s 45th anniversary in 2016. Since graduating, Dr. Stevenson has returned to campus multiple times as both a guest lecturer for Windows on the World as well as commencement speaker in 1999 , during which he received an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters. “My time and travels while at Eastern played a major role in my current research and community intervention work,” he stated in a previous interview. Having finished his bachelor’s degree at Eastern, Dr. Stevenson went on to further his education with an MA in theology and a PhD in clinical psychology from Fuller Theological Seminary and Fuller Graduate School of Psychology. He is now the Constance Clayton Professor of Urban Education, Professor of Africana Studies, 22


and former Chair of the Applied Psychology and Human Development Division in the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania. Much of his work both inside and outside the classroom deals with his particular areas of expertise: African-American psychology, racial identity, family and parental engagement, bullying and violence prevention, sports psychotherapy and more. Since assuming this role at Penn, Dr. Stevenson has taken on numerous research projects and has produced a number of scholarly publications that address these topics on a deeper level. One of his most recent books, Promoting Racial Literacy in Schools: Differences that Make a Difference (Teachers College Press), for example, focuses on stressful and undermining encounters that reflect racial profiling among students and how they can be resolved through emotional engagement and communication with educators, parents and community leaders. In addition to his academic pursuits, Dr. Stevenson has sought to reach urban and impoverished rural neighborhoods through his clinical work and special projects. Over the past 30 years, he has served as a clinical and consulting psychologist, specializing in therapeutic and strengths-based approaches to teaching families and young children about the importance of racial literacy and emotional wellbeing. Perfectly conjoined with his work at Penn, his clinical work has helped produce a number of research projects that ultimately serve the larger community in Philadelphia. Among his most well-known endeavors is PLAAY (Preventing LongTerm Anger and Aggression in Youth), a project

that uses sports and athletics as a means of emotionally counseling young African-American boys while at the same time teaching parents and coaches to become solid emotional supports for their children. Likewise, the Shape Up: Barbers Building Better Brothers program draws on the familiar location of a local barbershop to engage young men on a variety of personal topics such as safe-sex habits and prevention of violent behavior that will ultimately provide the healing and intervention needed to help them better understand their own behavior and racial identity. Recently, Dr. Stevenson has continued this sort of work with additional opportunities for research and ministry in the Greater Philadelphia area. He is currently the Executive Director of the Racial Empowerment Collaborative (REC), a “research, program development, and training center that brings together community leaders, researchers, authority figures, families, and youth to study and promote racial literacy and health in schools and neighborhoods.” Dr. Stevenson was also recently honored as one of 10 individuals in the Philadelphia area to be awarded $10,000 at the BMe Community Leaders Awards for the further development of his Villages Raising Us (ViRUs) program, which draws on the same goals of PLAAY and Shape Up to train a neighborhood network of individuals to use cultural strengths to counsel families and youths in familiar and comfortable settings. With so much already on his resume, Dr. Stevenson shows no signs of slowing down. With such devotion to healing, reconciliation and the pursuit of justice in his work, he has displayed a true love for his neighbors and a firm commitment to the mission and values of his alma mater.






BRISA DEANGULO ’07 HAD A DESIRE FOR JUSTICE AND STARTED HER CAREER IN ACTIVISM LONG BEFORE SHE RECEIVED HER BA IN PSYCHOLOGY AT EASTERN. DeAngulo’s father, Jose DeAngulo MAR ’85, and brother, Juan DeAngulo ’06 attended Eastern, so she was already aware of the small community, but it was the University’s commitment to faith, reason, and justice that truly drew her in. When she began attending Eastern she was still struggling emotionally with the traumas that she had been through as one of the first adolescents in Bolivia to bring a rape case to court. She spoke very little English, but had a desire to learn. Her psychology professor, the late Dr. Weathersby, spent extra hours with her, tutoring and teaching and giving her extra work. The atmosphere of justice and social transformation at Eastern served to focus her on the mission she was given as a young girl. Living in Bolivia with her family, Brisa saw every day the kids in her neighborhood returning from school still suffering from the violence experienced in school. She was moved to seek relief for the mistreated students experiencing the worst kind of education while she experienced the joys of learning with her sisters in the comfort of their home. So, at age 7, she set about gathering spare wood and stones around her house to set up tables and chairs in her backyard. She invited her neighborhood children into the safety of the makeshift classroom, and helped

them with their homework assignments, while showing them that school can be fun. The school, which is now known as Comunidad Educativa Para La Vida (CEV), grew into a fully functioning school with teachers, students and a building by the time she was 14. Two months before attending Eastern, Brisa started Centro Una Brisa de Esperanza (CUBE) seeking to provide victims of sexual abuse, specifically young girls, professional support. The desire to create such a place stemmed from her own experience as a victim of sexual abuse in Bolivia. “I dreamed of a place where I could provide girls with the professional support that I never received. I wanted to provide them with a place where they could break the silence and be believed; where they could find comfort and hope among other survivors and together muster the strength to build new lives for themselves,” Brisa said of founding CUBE.

to victims of sexual violence. As founder and CEO of CUBE, Brisa’s responsibilities range from securing funding and support, to researching and implementing the best practices. DeAngulo was recognized as a 2016 Global Hero, awarded by Safe Magazine. The award recognizes people who leverage their public platforms to support those at risk for or who have suffered violence of all kinds, in order for them to live free of their fears and traumas, and prevent it from happening to others. DeAngulo says winning the award means “our hard work is making an impact, one that’s seen on an international level.” It also serves to display the organization in front of larger organizations that would be vital in increasing the reach of the ministry. Within the next few years she is hoping that CUBE and CEV will serve as leaders of change within the Bolivian government and educational systems, to reach out to more children and victims across the country.

Today, CUBE is an organization with bases in both Bolivia and the United States (A Breeze of Hope Foundation) made up of a team of lawyers, psychologists, and social workers that provide free comprehensive services to child and adolescent victims of sexual violence, and work consistently toward making changes within the flawed Bolivian justice system. CEV and CUBE work together to prevent sexual violence, offer educational opportunities to impoverished families in Chilimarca, Bolivia and holistic support SPRING/SUMMER 2017 |




Alumni News Eastern Alumni Class Notes

Marcel Remy ’56, MDiv ’76 returned to Eastern this

1950s Joe Tatta ’55 has been teaching Italian to the local

community for years and he is one of the founders of Il Circolo Italiano of the Main Line. Il Circolo Italiano, or The Italian Circle, is a club that promotes the Italian language with lessons, an opportunity to practice speaking it, along with cultural programs, fellowship and, of course, food. The Religious Communications Association honored Tony Campolo ’56, BD ’60, ThM ’61 with their "2016 Scholar of the Year" award on November 9, 2016. Tony, along with his son, Bart, co-authored a book Why I Left/Why I Stayed that was published in February 2017.




“Thus, Eastern is truly a part of my family.” –Dr. Gutelius



past fall to celebrate his 60th class reunion at Homecoming. He shares that he lost his wife on December 22, 2009 after 27 years of marriage. He graduated from Eastern seminary in 1976, though he had finished in December 1975. He also graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1962. He began teaching in Mt. Holly, NJ in 1959 and retired in 1991. If not for Eastern, he never would have received a college education and a year and a half of seminary. This allowed him to earn his livelihood in the States, Africa for 2 years and Haiti for 4 years. Daniel Abrams ’57, BD ’61 and Claire (Philpott)

First Baptist Church in Livingston, MT. He spends much of his spare time photographing the beautiful mountains, valleys and wildlife of their region. Claire keeps busy in her studio producing new oils and watercolors. Their big news is that they have moved across town and now reside in a duplex condo. They say that it “has several advantages for us: no mortgage or real estate taxes, one meal per day provided and housecleaning provided each week. We are thoroughly enjoying the change!” Elizabeth (Smith) Burch ’57 has been married

to her husband, Terry, for 62 years (63 this September 4th). They have three daughters and three grandchildren and “all is well”.

Abrams ’59 send their greetings from Bozeman, MT. Dan continues to serve as Interim Pastor of the

THE LAMPLIGHT SOCIETY WAS ESTABLISHED IN 2002 TO COMMEMORATE EASTERN UNIVERSITY’S 50TH ANNIVERSARY. The Society serves to honor significant contributions to the life of Eastern University which have left an indelible print on the campus community. The award honors an individual who is alumni, faculty, staff, or administration and the contributions they made while they were at Eastern. Dr. Harry Gutelius came to Eastern University after 32 years of teaching and serving in the Philadelphia School District. Since coming to Eastern, he has served as our Athletic Director, co-directing the building of the turf fields as well as driving the move from the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) to the Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC). Dr. Gutelius has also served as the Associate Dean of the Department of Education, and Interim Dean of the College of Education. In these roles, he established two exchange programs for Education students in New Zealand and British Columbia, started the ACED program that has seen several hundred

adult students graduate from Eastern, co-founded our Athletic Hall of Honor and served as Chair of the committee for all but one year, and expanded our Masters Degrees offerings. He is currently at work creating a new Doctor of Education program set to launch in the summer of 2018. When asked what this award means to him, Dr. Gutelius said, “It's such an honor to win this award because of what Eastern means to me personally. My older son, Scott, after transferring from Messiah, graduated from Eastern in 2000. His younger brother, Kevin, was president of Eastern's graduating class the following year, 2001. I started working full time at Eastern the next year. Both of my sons married Eastern grads, Kristen (Fogg '06) and Brynn (Hiscott '01), and my wife Joyce (Gutelius MEd '06) has her Masters from Eastern. Our oldest granddaughter, Bailey, who is 13 and the child of Kevin and Brynn, dreams of one day going to Eastern like her mom and dad. Thus, Eastern is truly a part of my family.” Dr. Gutelius, from all of us here: thank you for being a part of Eastern’s family.



1960s Jane (Martinson) Buss ’62 is pondering a big

question at the moment: To stay in Florida or move to the North East to be closer to family? Lester Gallihue ’62 and his wife, Ruth, have been

married for 60 years. They have four sons and four grandchildren. They live with two of their bachelor sons in DE. Before Eastern, Lester served in the US Army and four years in the US Navy Submarine Service. After six years of service, he became interested in becoming a minister and attended the University of PA and Eastern to earn his BA. He went on to earn Masters’ Degrees at BBDS in Berkeley, CA, Andover/Newton in Boston, MA, and the University of Connecticut. While serving as a pastor of St. Paul’s UCC in Buffalo, NY, he completed his DMin at Eden Seminary in St. Louis, MO. His doctorate documents his thesis that God is in the world as much as God is in the church and which he tried to integrate in a variety of pastorates in VT, CT, NY, PA, and CA. Since retirement in 1996, he has worked as a hospital chaplain, school bus driver and a chaplain in a continuing care community in DE. Influential faculty who helped him intellectually and spiritually were the following: Professors Engles, Ferre, Shinn, and Grigola. They helped him to love Shakespeare, the German language both spoken and read, a critical understanding of our Christian faith, and history of both ancient and modern cultures. If not for Eastern, he never would have pursued a life trusting in Jesus Christ as his higher power and in understanding to the best of his abilities the whole panorama of spiritualties at work in our human world and the choices and changes caused by them! His classmates would be surprised to know that “I’m still alive!” Also, that he has visited many places in our world with a travel group known as Road-Scholars allowing him and Ruth to savor the diversity of humankind. He is also serving in the Peoples UCC in DE as a member of their deaconate and the chancel choir. The big question he’s pondering at the moment “involves a plea to the Almighty as to how to pray for our new President and how to withstand the speed bumps he is causing in our nation by his overactive ego.” John Hill ’64, who is Professor Emeritus of Politics

and History at Curry College in MA, has written a second book entitled Adam Smith’s Equality and the Pursuit of Happiness, (PalgraveMacMillan, 2016). “There is a connection between both of my books and my father’s (Samuel Hill ABThB ’44,

BD ’47) training at EBTS”, John told the Alumni

Office. “The Social Gospel movement was part of his training; I believe that my concern for social justice comes directly from his EBTS training.” He goes on to say that he sees “this as a book that can help stimulate productive conversations about the future of the United States– conversations about ideas for healing our deeply fractured nation.” 1970s Lorraine (Pinnelli) Geist ’72 shares her husband

passed away in 1998. Her three daughters are married and she has several grandchildren - three biological, five through a new relationship, and three step-grandchildren. They are planning on moving to North Carolina to be near their children. Some of her professional accomplishments include Who's Who in Education and Who's Who in the World. She has all her course work for doctorate, but due to health reasons, has not completed her dissertation. She will be attempting that this year, God willing. The faculty/staff that impacted her the most were the faculty at Walnut Street Elementary School because of their generous and giving nature to the children and community of Darby. In fact, all the teachers of the William Penn School District for the most part are dedicated, caring and loving towards their students. They deeply care about the welfare of the students and work very hard under extremely difficult conditions to achieve the goals for the district. She was a union representative for her building and worked hard to represent her staff at meetings and worked hard on the negotiations committee as well. The big question she’s pondering at the moment is what to write for her doctoral dissertation. Karen (Osterburg) Warriner ’72 is active in her

church as volunteer Mexico Missions Coordinator

where she supervises volunteers preparing Vacation Bible School materials for over 150 churches. She is going solo now since her husband, Robert, died of cancer in 2012 after 36 years of marriage. She is happy to share that she has three lovely granddaughters and spends any extra time with her daughters, their husbands and the granddaughters who all live in TX. She still works part-time as a social worker for Windsong Home Health. She specializes in geriatric social work and provides an essential role in assisting families with long term planning and end of life issues. The faculty/staff that made the greatest impact on here was Tony Campolo ’56, BD ’60, ThM ’61 who stretched her intellectually and in applying herself to the situation. She still remembers “being scared to death when he came up with the idea that all senior sociologyanthropology majors needed to go through an oral exam in our field by the U. of Penn professors. He wanted us to be on equal playing field with his U. of Penn students. Despite that experience, I still graduated! Thanks a lot Tony! At least that is how I remember the event.” If not for Eastern, she wouldn’t have been able to get out of any comfort zone she had. For four years she worked all day Sunday in inner city Philadelphia with the Community Christian Fellowship Center. Pastor Walker picked her up at the train station in the morning and she worshiped with the families and learned new gospel songs. They served lunch for the children of the community and tutored the children in the afternoon. Fellow classmates, Blanche (Zortman) Fanchi ’72, Cindy Lyon ’72, Ken Phelps ’72 and a few others joined her for the tutoring. Some of her classmates may be surprised to know that she has done mission work in Malaysia, Nigeria and most importantly in Mexico for 30 years. This summer she and her church will be in Oaxaca, Mexico.





in the mailroom reaching high up to get her mail and suddenly went down on the floor. She couldn't get up. She knew it was God and what it was like to be Jesus on the Cross in great pain but no distress. She returned to Eastern in January 2007 and says “those mailboxes are mostly gone but that stool is still there”. It is like an Old Testament altar of remembrance for her. There were no words for it back then but she realized years later it was being slain in the Spirit. What God said to her that day is on JesusIsLord.org. Vincent Wilkerson ’72 was married for 24 years

Elizabeth Turner ’72 received her MDiv from

Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and has several other AS and AA degrees from colleges in CA. She retired in 2007. There were two members of the faculty/staff who had an impact on her. Dr. Ackley understood her well. She got 120 on all the Bible exams due to extra credit for complete answers. When she ran into his classroom and sprayed Silly String on everyone he just took the eraser of his pencil and tapped it gently on the podium and said, "Now now." He let her borrow his German Shepherd and take it for walks. She had Dr. Ackley for many classes as she came to Eastern as a junior from engineering. Dr. Zulker ’53, DMin ’78 let her in Thursday afternoon before classes started Monday, never having heard of her before her convincing phone call. She picked Religion as her major right then and there. At that time this was not highly looked upon by students. As for Elizabeth, she couldn't believe she could go to college and study the Bible! If not for Eastern, she would never have known Lisa (Shiffler) Guilmette ’73, her blind roommate, who taught her to put everything back exactly where she found it. In return she described everything to Lisa who said no one ever did that for her before. God answered so many prayers at Eastern but so few knew. Also, she went with Campus Crusade to Bermuda for their first Spring Break outreach there and she’s had a lifelong great relationship with them. Something her classmates would be surprised to know about her was that she always wanted to reach the world for Christ and so she started JesusIsLord.org in January of 1996. Also, when Eastern changed the qualifications for Magna Cum Laude as she graduated, she talked them into grandfathering those graduating. The Spirit of God completely filled her September 7, 1969, the day after she moved into Eastern. She was on the stool 26


and raised two wonderful children. He now has three beautiful grandchildren. He worked in a few lumber yards and a brickyard in NJ (loved it) and a supermarket in Philadelphia (hated it) but is now retired. The faculty/staff that made an impact on him were Tony Campolo ’56, BD ’60, ThM ’61, Steven Boyer, Peter Enns, and Margaret Kim Peterson. If not for Eastern, he never would have done yoga at the age of 66. Since they wouldn't exempt him from the phys-ed requirement (Vincent returned to EU and graduated in 2016). He says he also wouldn't have come to understand the Bible as the collection of diverse documents that it is. His classmates may be surprised that he spent two and a half years as a crack addict. The big question he’s pondering at the moment is “Is God a person or a way of life?” Dr. Timothy Brigham ’76, MDiv ’79, chief of staff

and senior vice president in the Department of Education at the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), was speaking to representatives from the 32 member schools of the AMA’s Accelerating Change in Medical Education Consortium at the 2016 consortium meeting in Chicago in October 2016. His keynote, which focused on physician well-being, referenced what many know but are reluctant to mention. The overall purpose of the symposium, Dr. Brigham explained, was to advise the ACGME Board of Directors on how it could effect change to improve well-being for residents, faculty and practicing physicians. Out of it grew an action plan and recommendations for six areas of impact on which the ACGME needs to focus. Melinda (McWilliams) Bauers ’77 shares that she

has a wonderful granddaughter who will turn two and be joined by a little sister in September. Mark Moore ’77, MDiv ’80 shares that he became a

grandfather in 2015. On July 1st, he will retire after 40 years as a pastor in the United Methodist Church.


Oxford University announced the honorary degree recipients for 2017 and Bryan Stevenson ’81 will be receiving the Doctor of Civil Law degree. The degrees will be awarded at Encaenia, the University's annual honorary degree ceremony, on June 21, 2017. John Hallock ’82 is married with two children,

three stepchildren, and four grandchildren. He has earned his PhD and says that the English Department had the greatest impact on his life. If not for Eastern, he never would have met some great friends. The big question he’s pondering at the moment is “if the country will survive Trump”.


Palmer Alumni Class Notes 1950s Dr. Vincent deGregoris ThB ’52 turned 90 years

old on January 15! Vince joined the seminary in 1978 as professor of Pastoral Psychology and had an important role in the Doctor of Ministry Program to Marriage & Family. He retired in 1997 but continued for a number of years as an adjunct. In his retirement years, Vince found his artistic side & enjoyed painting. 1970s Marcia J. Patton, MAR ’73, MDiv ’84 has just

released her new book, "Intentionally Inclusive" through Judson Press. Also, Marcia, while working at the Seminary, completed her PhD at Temple University. She was the first Executive Minister of Evergreen Association of American Baptist Churches, installed in June 2004, and has recently announced her retirement. William H. Griffith DMin ’75 has co-authored a new

book, 8 Questions Jesus Asked: Discipleship for Leaders (Judson Press, 2017). Asking questions is a normal process for discovery and Jesus asked many questions. Those who heard the questions were invited to process them and apply them the idea, experience, or concern that was being addressed. Each chapter invites the read to hear Jesus’ question and examine



Meet your Alumni Council:

Christopher Lister ’86, MDiv ’14

In Memory


1950s Paul B. Caley BA ’52, BD ’53 January 11, 2017 George F. Morton ’58 November 25, 2016 1960s Lewis F. Bryan ’60 December 15, 2016 Richard “Dic” R. Pass ’60, BD ’64 December 1, 2016 George K. “Duke” Wallace ’60 November 3, 2016 Darwin Erek Gass ’62 September 18, 2011 Linnea C. (Burger) Silcox ’63 December 5, 2016 Helen (DuBois) Veltkamp X’63 November 3, 2016 Brittian E. Lukens ’64 January 23, 2017



MAJOR: Double Major in Computer Science/Business Administration (undergraduate) and Master

Robert A. Suessmuth ’65 September 22, 2016 John W. Lasher ’67 October 21, 2016

of Divinity (graduate)

Joyce A. (Moody) Johnson Washington ’68 April 4, 2015

CURRENT EMPLOYER: Pastor of Church in The Acres in Springfield, MA

1970s Candace C. (Iacobucci) Shandlay ’74 May 9, 2013

FAMILY: Daughter: Morgan; Sons: Kevin and Joshua.

Anthony DiBenedetto Jr. ’74 November 26, 2016 James “Jim” B. Cleland ’76 December 23, 2016

WHY DID YOU SERVE ON THE COUNCIL?: I serve because I care. I am especially thankful for

Marie C. DeJohn ’77 January 12, 2012

my time at Palmer, and I want to give back to the University. The older I get, the more I love staying connected with Eastern. It's a special place for many reasons.

Esther M. Moore ’77 September 1, 2012

FONDEST STUDENT MEMORY: My favorite memory was when I came back to the Eastern community and spoke to the admissions director at Palmer. I had completed my undergraduate degree many years prior, and I had grown immensely. When I stepped through the doors of Palmer, I immediately felt that I had come home. The presence of the Holy Spirit was amazingly powerful. I knew I was in the right place. My seminary experience would turn out to be one of the greatest experiences of my life.

William K. Lucy ’78 November 4, 2014 Jessie (Julian) Pettine ’79 October 6, 2016 1980s Patricia L. (Brown) Lehman ’80 August 3, 2016 David L. Pipe X ’83 January 21, 2017 Betty A. (Cawley) Hartigan ’87 September 8, 2016 Vince W. Buonfiglio ’88 November 12, 2016 1990s Ilene L. Seitchik ’92 February 9, 2014 2000s H. Thomas McAlpin MBA ’00 September 30, 2016

it through the lens of their own experience. Questions at the end of each chapter and in the appendices provide the ready additional resources. The book is an excellent resource for both individual and group study and a preview of the book’s introductory chapter may be read on his website wmgriffithbooks.com. 1980s Mark S. Caruana MDiv ’85 will concluded his 17½

year ministry as the senior pastor of Tabernacle Baptist Church of Utica, New York on January 15, 2017. During his tenure, the congregation has developed a ministry of welcome to ethnic Karen refugees from Burma being resettled in their city that has transformed their church. Mark has accepted the invitation of his undergraduate alma mater, Houghton College to serve as dean of an associate of arts degree program serving refugees, immigrants, and other new Americans

that the college will offer in Utica beginning in September 2017.

Kenneth M. Suh ’07 October 30, 2011

Rev. Randolph Palada MDiv ’86 celebrated 30

Pulcheria Ricks-Poole MBA ’06 December 14, 2016

years in ministry. He ministers in a Baptist Church in upstate New York.

Teresa Brennan ’06 December 9, 2016 Maryann Musselman ’07 July 23, 2016

Rev. Rothangliani Chhangte MBA ’87, MDiv ’91

joined the American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) as special assistant to the executive director for Strategic Priorities and Relationships. As such, she will assist the executive director in developing, clarifying and communicating objectives, goals and action steps related to advancing the “Connect, Cultivate, Change” strategy with staff, along with cultivating and managing relationships during highly strategic and critical outreach to historic American Baptist partners. Chhangte has served Baptist World Alliance as director of Baptist World Aid and, before that, had been

Faculty/Staff John W. Boyer (Emeritus Trustee) August 30, 2016 James F. Engel (Former Professor of Economic Development & Director of the Center of Organizational Excellence) September 24, 2016 Ethel Klingerman (Former Library Director) August 9, 2016 Charles F. Hackenyos (Former Student Teacher Mentor) January 11, 2017





ABHMS’ liaison for Burmese refugees. In 2013, she received American Baptist Churches USA’s (ABCUSA) Luke Mowbray Award for outstanding contribution in ecumenism at the local, national and international level.

2001. She serves with the leaders of American Baptist Home Mission Societies, International Ministries, and MMBB Financial Services, along with the General Secretary of American Baptist Churches, on the National Executive Council.

Rev. Joel Sierra-Cavazos MDiv ’89, DMin ’09

Judson Press has named Welcoming Community: Diversity that Works by Douglas Avilesbernal MDiv ’05 as their 2017 ABC Reads selection. This resource helps congregations to connect cross-culturally and to cultivate community with their neighbors.

celebrated the 25th Anniversary of his Ordination, in Monterrey, Mexico. Joel, besides being a pastor, is a singer, songwriter & recording artist. He is very active in the Baptist World Alliance as well as the Baptist Convention of Mexico. 1990s

ABCNJ is pleased to announce Rev. Eric Hoheisel MDiv ’95 has been called to join our Regional Ministry Team as an Associate Regional Pastor and will begin his service July 1, 2017. Eric's call was confirmed by the personnel committee and was unanimously accepted by the ABCNJ Regional Council at its February 4, 2017 meeting. Under the leadership of Rev. Alyn E. Waller DMin ’98 Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church in Philadelphia grew from a few hundred congregants praying in a historic church in Germantown to 15,000 members of a megachurch, convening in an amphitheater-like sanctuary on the city's northern edge. Rev. Waller was featured in a December 25, 2016 Philly.com article discussing the business of the church. 2000s Bishop Dr. Victor A. Brown DMin ’00 celebrated

30 years as pastor to Mt. Sinai United Christian Church in Staten Island. "What has taken place over the past 30 years has been phenomenal,'' he said in an article, "When I first started pastoring, my church was situated in a storefront on Victory Boulevard and I was looking at about 11 people on Sunday. Over the 30 years, the Lord has blessed us and we've grown tremendously and we've had such a large impact on the Island. I have a very loving congregation and I couldn't ask for anything better.” Virginia Holmstrom MTS ’04, Executive Director

of American Baptist Women's Ministry, announced her retirement for March 2018. She has served in the role of executive director of ABWM, based in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, since August 2001. Prior to this, she was director of communications for the Board of Educational Ministries, ABCUSA, from 1990 to



The associate pastor for pastoral care at Westminster Presbyterian Church, Ann Hatfield MDiv ’09 is a birthright Quaker who joined the Presbyterian Church when she married her husband, Jim. Her strong math and science skills had led her to study civil engineering at Johns Hopkins University. She worked in the field for seven years before leaving to take care of her mother. Always interested in education, social work and the ministry, Hatfield re-entered the working world as a teacher at her sons’ preschool. She entered Palmer Theological Seminary in 2003 as a part-time student and completed her Master of Divinity in 2009. Hatfield was ordained in 2011 and joined the staff at Westminster. She was highlighted in an article in Mainline Today (February 2017) about women finding leadership roles in religion. 2010s

Congratulations to Michelle Neil MTS ’12 who was recently appointed to the State of Pennsylvania's Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD) by Governor Tom Wolf. The Commission, chaired by Josh Shapiro, initiates, validates and financially supports justice related programs in Pennsylvania's justice system. PCCD's efforts help to protect and support crime victims, enhance law enforcement and to empower communities through collaboration. The Commission also works on advocating for safe schools, provides technological and information-sharing tools and launches evidence-based innovative programs. J. Nicole Morgan MTS ’14 is writing a book

about body image and faith communities, which was mentioned in a November 13, 2016 OSV Newsweekly article "Dignity at every size: Catholicism and the size acceptance movement both seek to bring mercy and community".

Rev. Lumintza Nichols ESCM ’06, MDiv ’15 is

now serving the congregation at First Baptist Church on North Duke Street in Lancaster, PA after being a prisoner in her former homeland. This is all you need to know about Luminitza Cristecu Nichols' faith: She was willing to die for it. A former nurse, she is the first native-born female Romanian Baptist pastor in the world. She was featured in an article in Lancaster Online on February 20, 2017.

In Memory


1930s Walter N. Hill THB ’38, BD ’40 November 5, 2016 1950s Howard D. Berglund BD ’50 January 26, 2017 Donald N. Jones BD ’50, MDiv ’73 February 1, 2017 Charles R. Egedy AB ’52, BD ’55 November 18, 2016 Thomas Hunter IV BD ’52 October 7, 2016 Paul B. Caley BA ’52, BD ’53 January 11, 2017 Herbert W. Mitchell ’55 October 2, 2016 Rex D. Wilson BD ’59 January 27, 2017 1960s Robert B. Boring BD ’60, MDiv ’69 September 14, 2016 Floyd C. Wilder BD ’61 June 5, 2012 Richard “Dic” R. Pass ’60, BD ’64 December 1, 2016 Ralph Luker BD ’65 March 24, 2016 Robert H. Sperry BD ’66 February 19, 2017 1970s Edward “Al” McCallister THM ’70 December 1, 2016 Russell W. Streeper MDiv ’72, DMin ’84 December 15, 2016 David C. Spicer Jr. MAR ’76 January 18, 2017 Robert W. Capwell Sr. MDiv ’78 May 31, 2014 1990s Nellie L. Gilmore MATS ’92 October 18, 2014 2010s Samuel L. Jones MTS ’13 November 19, 2016

Faculty/Staff Rev. Dr. Paul Duaine Eppinger (Former Adjunct Professor) November 10, 2016

Claghorn Heritage Society SCHOLAR. TEACHER. FRIEND. Dr. Martha Shalitta, affectionately known as “Martie” or “Doc Shalitta,”

“She personally tutored me until the mathematical concepts clicked in for me. She made each and every student that she came into contact with feel like they were special.” - Christine Carter James '80, P'12

The Claghorn Heritage Society is a special group of alumni, parents and friends who have remembered Eastern in their charitable estate plans. Would you please consider joining Dr. Shalitta by including Eastern as a beneficiary in your estate plans? For more information contact the Office of Advancement at advancement@eastern.edu or 1.844.341.5932

by the many students, faculty and staff she touched during her 20+ year career at Eastern, passed away three years ago at the age of 90. During her tenure, she was instrumental in the development of the Psychology Department and chaired the department for a number of years. She received numerous awards, including Professor of the Year and the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching. “Doc” was also named a Danforth Fellow. She loved her students, and her students adored her. Their affection was clearly evident in the outpouring of comments shared at the time of her death. Phrases and words such as “dynamic educator,” “influential professor,” “mentor,” “friend,” “contagious smile” and “gusto for life” were used by many to describe Dr. Shalitta. One alumna’s comment particularly stood out. Tracy Gallagher Barnes ’83 said, “She often came into the pharmacy where I worked all throughout high school. She helped me find a way to attend Eastern College by putting me in touch with the right people, including those in the Financial Aid Office, which allowed me to be the recipient of a number of scholarships. It completely changed my life! She was a woman who TRULY made a difference.” The same Doc Shalitta who made a difference in Tracy’s life by helping her find a way to attend Eastern continued that legacy by making a charitable gift through her estate. This gift allowed Eastern to establish an endowed scholarship in her name, The Dr. Martha Shalitta Memorial Scholarship. Eastern is pleased to report that Dr. Shalitta’s memory will live on for many generations of Eastern students to come through her generous gift. SPRING/SUMMER 2017 |


Nonprofit Org. U.S. Postage


19 25

ITP of USA 17022

1300 Eagle Road, St. Davids, PA 19087-3696


Homecoming & Family Weekend October 13–14, 2017 SPECIAL EVENTS

Alumni Brunch Reunions for the Classes of: 1957, ’62, ’67, ’72, ’77, ’82, ’87, ’92, ’97, 2002, ’07, ’12, & ’17 SIFE/ENACTUS Alumni Reunion Affinity Reunions Athletic Events Planetarium and Observatory Visits Fall Festival 3 WAYS TO REGISTER:

Online: eastern.edu/homecoming Phone: 1.800.600.8057 E-mail: homecoming@eastern.edu

An up-to-the minute schedule will be online at EASTERN.EDU/HOMECOMING Printed event schedules will be available Homecoming Day at the Alumni Brunch and Alumni & Parent Registration Tents

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