EASTERN The Magazine of Eastern University
Academic ex curiosity se
xcellence is t in motion. Dear Alumni and Friends, I am honored to introduce this issue of EASTERN. Having been at Eastern for over 25 years, I am blessed and amazed at the energy and vitality of our community. A question becomes an inquiry, that leads to an idea, that suggests an opportunity, that confirms a direction, that births a program, event, or new entity, all of which can make differences for good in this wonderful and needy world. Eastern is about the movement of a community in faith, reason and justice. Eastern is about motion, e-motion, promotion, Spirit-led action pointing us to a loving God whose Son, Jesus Christ, emptied Himself and gave His life to offer salvation, forgiveness, healing, hope, reconciliation and eternal life. Itâ€™s about Spirit-led action propelling us to be sacrificial agents of reconciliation in love for our neighbors nearby and throughout the world. So I hope you will be encouraged and moved by the motion of EASTERN as we seek to flourish in the work of the kingdom of God.
With grace and gratitude,
Ronald A. Matthews, President
C O N T E N T S
ACA D E M I C S 12
TURNING TALK INTO ACTION AND DREAMS INTO REALITY
F E AT U R E
Nelson Bonilla’s life has been moving in an upward motion thanks to the faith-based education he has received at Esperanza College of Eastern University and Eastern’s College of Business and Leadership over the last six years.
PA L M E R 24
AT H L E T I C S
2017 ATHLETIC HIGHLIGHTS Men’s Hoops Returns To MAC Freedom Tourney, Distance Relays Pace Women’s Track at MAC Championships, Szenczy Ties MAC Standard with Gold Indoors, and Shelby Helps Volleyball Keep Title Streak Alive.
E A S T E R N
T A B L E
C O N T E N T S
DR. RONALD A. MATTHEWS, 10 TH PRESIDENT OF EASTERN UNIVERSITY
If you have been a part of the Eastern community over the last 25 years, you may know Dr. Ronald A. Matthews as Professor of Music and Director of Music Programs, Executive Director of the Fine and Performing Arts Division and Chair of the Music Department.
22 POSITIONED TO ADVANCE THE GOSPEL Running up and down, up and down the back stairs of the church. This was common for me. Our overflow room was in the basement, and we could fit 150 church attendees in that space.
Chief Marketing Officer & Publisher / MICHAEL THOMAS MBA ’18 PSYD Editor / DENISE MCMILLAN Creative Director / DANIEL PEIRCE Visual Director / LISA WOODS
Photographer / ELYSE GARNER ’13 COVER PhotographY / ELYSE GARNER ’13 Design / 20NINE
MOTION AS A MEANS OF CHANNELING CREATIVITY
Please send comments or article suggestions to:
The Lamplight Society was established in 2002 to commemorate Eastern University’s 50th Anniversary. One individual is selected each year from Eastern’s family. This year we recognize former Executive Vice President, Dr. M. Thomas (Tom) Ridington ’78, MA ’81.
Palmer Seminary alumni news should be sent to:
firstname.lastname@example.org Alumni news should be sent to: email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org PUBLISHED BY Marketing and University Relations at Eastern University ONLINE AT eastern.edu/MAGAZINE
BY DOXA ZANNOU ’18 Motion: changing place or position; movement Like a marathon that cramps your muscles stone-stiff; sore. When people ask, “doesn’t it hurt?” You say: “yes but water tastes divine afterwards.” Like a hike up the highest African peak—Kilimanjaro; when people ask, "what if you fall?" You say: “anything to touch Divine mist with bare hands.” Motion: changing place or position; movement Like my 16 hour flight from West Africa to Pennsylvania; when people asked, “wasn’t it hard?” I said: “yes but dreams are Divine air currents we rise on like eagles.”
WAT C H D OXA P E R F O R M H E R S P O K E N WO R D P O E M
Motion: changing place or position; movement
MOTION E A S T E R N . E D U/ D OXA
E A S T E R N
Like my years at Eastern; propelled to grow, to find hints of the Divine in my friends, professors, who like books, had His words inked in their lives.
Like the earth that spins around the sun, so the world can have light— Like the Divine who left heaven to drench our horizons with gold.
M O T I O N
WORDS IN MOTION ABOUT THE AUTHOR
b y K e l ly G o d d a r d D O X A Z A N N O U ’ 1 8 is a double major in
Psychology and English (Concentration in Writing). She grew up in Benin, West Africa, and has always loved writing and poetry. Her interest in spoken word was sparked by watching YouTube videos of a spoken word organization called Passion for Christ Movement. Inspired, she began doing Soundcloud recordings as a way to grow and share. Doxa’s first live performance took place at an Eastern coffeehouse during her freshman year. Following the performance, she co-founded a spoken word group on campus called Audacity with two friends, Flo Louis ’17 and MJ Smith ’19. The group focuses on helping one another improve as writers, and has also hosted on-campus performances. When asked why she loves spoken word, Doxa shares, “I really love words. As a writer, I like how through spoken word you can process the things that happen to you and understand them on a deeper level and find meaning. Without spoken word it’s easy to think we’re isolated in our experiences or struggles, but when we hear other people we realize they understand and can relate.” Doxa reflects with a smile about how a Google search for Christian psychology programs led her across the ocean to Eastern. “I knew this was where I was supposed to be,” she says with certainty. “I came without visiting.” After graduating, she hopes to pursue a master’s and doctorate in counseling with the goal of becoming a writing therapist.
A C A D E M I C S
Graduate Early, Save Money, Lighten Your Load. The New Eastern University FastPass™ Program by Denise McMillan
E A S T E R N U N I V E R S I T Y is excited to
The game-changing program works by
announce the new Eastern University Fastpass™
giving residential students in traditional
program. The value-laden and student centered
undergraduate programs two, tuition-free
program, which begins in the fall of 2018,
online summer classes for each year of study
is designed to offer residential students in
at Eastern University.
traditional undergraduate programs three options to graduate early, save money and lighten their load.
and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Kenton Sparks, said in announcing the one-of-a-kind offering, “If we assume that students will choose Eastern University because of the better value we offer, the end result of this initiative should be our mission of Faith, Reason and Justice being delivered to more students; and more students happy with their Eastern
two different academic qualifications. The summer online course offering will be robust and include courses from many academic departments and Eastern
student life needs and goals, students may
University’s core curriculum.
their tuition-free online summer classes.
In addition to Eastern University Fastpass™ the University is offering EU FastPass lite, which
G R A D U AT E I N 3 Y E A R S : Save
offers a discount on online summer courses
time and money: complete your “4-year”
to Eastern University Traditional Undergraduate
degree requirements in only 3 years for the
Commuter students who maintain a full-time
price of 3 years! (Most majors)
course load during the academic year. Summer
L I G H T E N YO U R C O U R S E LOA D ( A N D S T R E S S ) : Students with jobs
or vigorous extra-curricular activities will enjoy a little more breathing room.
online courses in 2019 will be $195 per credit hour, a discount of over 50%.
FOR MORE DETAILS ON THE EASTERN UNIVERSITY FASTPASS™ PROGRAM AND A FUN ANIMATIOn go to eastern.edu/fastpass
E A S T E R N
E A S I LY D O U B L E M A J O R : Pay
for college once but graduate with
Depending on their individual academic and choose from three options to capitalize on
The architect behind the concept, Provost
A C A D E M I C S
Turning Talk into Action and Dreams Into Reality b y D av i d H u r ta d o M B A , P H D
Listen to Nelson speak about his journey at EASTERN.EDU/NELSON
N E L S O N B O N I L L A’ S L I F E has been moving in an upward motion
He immediately knew he’d made the right choice. The environment was
thanks to the faith-based education he has received at Esperanza College
different. The sense of community was incredible. The professors were
of Eastern University and Eastern’s College of Business and Leadership
helpful and supportive. He was learning things about God he had never
over the last six years. This motion has taken him from North Philly to
known. He was learning from, and with, people he could relate to.
Center City and from the cold basement to the comfortable high-rise
He was taking courses close to home with the convenience of a
suite with a view. From long stressful hours that took a toll on his body
schedule that made studying possible. He realized he could make a
leaving little time for anything else, to working 8:30 to 5. From just
difference as long as he held on to God. It was a turning point in his life.
working, to living out his dreams.
As the time grew closer to graduation he was told about a highly
Like many hard-working Hispanics in North Philadelphia, Nelson started
competitive internship at AmeriHealth Caritas that was coordinated
working at a young age. He comes from a long tradition of tradesmen
by an Eastern alumna. Out of over 1100 applicants, Nelson was one
who work long hours under tough working conditions to make ends
of only 50 who were chosen for this prestigious internship. He grew
meet. When he was in his mid 20’s, a childhood friend told him she was
tremendously as a professional and as an individual in what became
studying at Esperanza College of Eastern University. He was shocked to
one of the best experiences of his life. After graduating as salutatorian
discover that there was a university in his barrio. The more she told him
with his associate’s degree in accounting, he landed a job in the
about her experience, the more intrigued he became with the idea that
accounting department of a big law firm where he has worked the last
a college education could change the direction of his life for the better.
three years while finishing his bachelor’s degree in business at Eastern.
After two years of talking about the idea but never taking the step
His education at Eastern opened a world of new opportunities along
because of his long work hours and the perception that he couldn’t afford
with the skills and resilience to pursue them. It’s been a tough journey,
it, a friend’s challenge confirmed what he was thinking and drove him to
but Nelson credits his faith as key to his persistence. “We all have
action. The friend told Nelson, “Your life would be different and you’d have
hardships. All these things define who we are. Are you a quitter or will
your college degree by now if you had started studying when you started
you keep moving? Take a second, pray, and sit on the bench if you need
talking about this two years ago!” Nelson quickly contacted Esperanza,
to get yourself back together. Then get back on the field.” It took him a
applied, and was accepted. With the help of the Esperanza grant and
little longer to finish, but he’s graduating in May of 2018, full of Esperanza,
government financial aid, he was able to start his studies right away.
that is hope for the future.
A C A D E M I C S
Holistic and Integrative: The New Online Master of Science in Nursing Program
b y L i n d s e y L av e r t y â€™ 1 8
E A S T E R N
A C A D E M I C S
D R . C H R I S T I N A J A C K S O N is known to
Beginning this fall, Eastern University will
in hospitals, healthcare agencies and
most of the student body as the lovely and
offer a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
public health settings.
radiant Yoga/Pilates instructor and professor
available online. In light of the success of the
of the Life Fitness core course, which she has
BSN program, this is a natural next step for the
taught every semester now for 18 years. To the
nursing department and is also a response to
nursing department, she is recognized for her
many nursing alumni who have asked for a way
impressive credentials as a practicing nurse
to continue their nursing education at Eastern.
and nurse practitioner for 40 years.
The MSN program is unique due to its online
As a certified advanced holistic nurse, she
format, faith-based mission and Eastern’s
is an advocate for Holistic and Integrative
endorsement from the American Holistic
approaches and her teaching, clinical practice
Nurses Credentialing Corporation. All
and publications awarded her the national
graduate students will take core courses that
AHNA title of Holistic Nurse of the Year in 2011.
feature a holistic and integrative focus such
In reference to her work she stated,
as Theoretical Foundations of Advanced
“The holistic approach means that we take a mind-body-spirit approach to all things involving individuals, groups and communities. The necessity of self-care,
were treated by healthcare professionals was limited in that the focus was on drugs and surgery, rather than getting to the root causes of the health challenge in partnership with the patient.”
is in taking care of oneself each day, as it is
Action Research Project.
ultimately the little things done every day
Dr. Dianne DeLong commented, “This program
communities of learning and work.”
responds to the needs within our field for more
newest program announcement.
“I could see that so much of the way people
and Therapeutics, ending with a Capstone and
are essential to developing holistic
groundwork for the nursing department’s
approach became apparent:
according to Dr. Jackson. The importance
either Leadership or Educator, as chairperson
a few years back. This ultimately laid the
her interest in a holistic and integrative
The key to wellness is making it a way of life,
curriculum she wrote during her sabbatical
moment she had early on in her career when
and Collaboration, Integrative Assessment
The program will offer two separate tracks of
integrative philosophy and applied it to the
core curriculum, Dr. Jackson described the
Holistic Nursing, Advanced Communication
self-awareness [emotional intelligence] and
Dr. Jackson later took this holistic and
In reference to the expansive and versatile
that add up. Eating well, staying away from chemical products, moving, maintaining strong interpersonal relationships, all are components of health.
nurses who are prepared to educate and lead.”
Eastern University is poised and ready to
Dr. Geri Remi coordinates the Leadership Track
continue making a positive impact on the
aimed to prepare nurses to assume leadership
healthcare field, and invites interested
positions in hospitals, clinics, healthcare
applicants to follow eastern.edu/MSN
agencies and businesses of all kinds. Those who
for more information.
track in Education, coordinated by Dr. Mary Boylston, will be equipped to teach in nursing schools and function as clinical educators
To see a video of Dr. Jackson discussing the program VISIT eastern.edu/MSN
Deans’ Corner by Denise McMillan
Question: How are you In Motion?
College of Business and Leadership: DR. DOUGLAS CLARK
Professionally: I’m energized by my daily engagement with students, faculty and community stakeholder as together we are moving CBL off the blueprint and on to the map. Personally: Every day is a new adventure! My regular interactions around
1. Professionally 2. Personally 3. Spiritually
work, home and church life are a constant source of personal growth, deeper learning and exciting ideas to explore. Spritually: I’m coming to especially appreciate how one’s spiritural journey is blessed when it’s cast as a pilgrimage that is joined by others.
College of Education: DR. SUSAN EDGAR-SMITH
This year has been a particularly
College of Arts and Sciences:
"in motion" time for me as I transitioned from directing Eastern’s School Counseling
D R . J O H N PA U L E Y
and School Psychology graduate
The concept of pilgrimage has become quite important to my understanding of the life of faith. I am struck by the Psalms of Ascent...songs sung by the ancient Israelites as they were processing to the temple to worship. Implied in these psalms are three ideas: I am in a certain place; I desire to be in a different place (the house of the Lord);
programs, after 12 years in that position, to Dean of the College of Education. Collaborating with new colleagues and developing relationships with a larger number of students from a wide variety of programs and diverse backgrounds has been more rewarding personally, than I expected. I am constantly surprised by how newly formed relationships, both internal and external to Eastern, has enriched my professional and personal life.
and the journey itself transforms my experience. The very fact that my
I am so grateful this new position keeps me in perpetual motion on
steps are meaningfully leading me to the presence of the Lord enables me
the job as well as personally and spiritually. Each day brings its own
to go "from strength to strength" (Psalm 84:7). For me, the question is: "In
challenges and opportunities to listen to alternative perspectives,
which direction will my next step lead me?"
stretch my imagination, tolerate my own shortcomings, and dedicate work to glorifying God.
E A S T E R N
A C A D E M I C S
College of Health and Social Sciences:
Palmer Theological Seminary: D R . D AV I D B R O N K E M A
D R . PAT R I C I A R E G E R
Professionally: Currently, I am in
Professionally: Gosh, I feel like
a constant state of learning from
my professional life is in constant
our faculty, students, staff, and
motion. My professional career
constituents, and it is a blessed
has evolved from clinical practice
journey, and working with them
to academia to administration. I am learning something new every day
to prayerfully discern and pursue each and every avenue through which
which makes every day exciting.
the Spirit leads to fulfill all aspects of the Seminary’s potential. And, I am
Personally: I will simply say I am now in my 6th decade of life and things have not slowed down....especially now that I have a puppy....perhaps in the 7th decade! Spiritually: Thank goodness my spiritual life has not been still and stagnant. My faith has certainly been challenged but it is during these challenges that my faith was strengthened. Nonetheless, since my life is in constant motion, I have been intentional to STOP and focus on my personal relationship with my Lord and Savior and dedicate myself to prayer.
constantly seeking ways to keep alive the research, writing, and work with organizations on the social and spiritual change side with which God has blessed me. Personally and spiritually: I am seeking to live the abundant life promised by Christ in all of its aspects. For me, this means trying to be consistently intentional and prayerful about being faithful in all dimensions of my life, using and nurturing the gifts that God has given me and taking great joy in that process (including still playing sports!); and struggling to serve my family and to respond to and create opportunities to serve those who are marginalized, share the Good News of Christ, and nurture my knowledge
of and relationship with the triune God.
Templeton Honors College:
DR. ELIZABE TH CONDEFRAZIER MDIV ’92, DD ’10
Personally: As an immigrant, to
DR. BRIAN WILLIAMS
be in motion is a very different
Professionally: I’m still
aspect of one’s life. Motion is about
developing my role in the
displacement and relocation and a
Honors College, advancing
rhythm of these two movements.
its three programs, and
Displacement is about being removed from the familiar. To be bilingual and bicultural involves constant movement and integration or creative tension between all of these different pieces of life. Professionally: I am always open to new things in the Spirit as it is the Holy Spirit that continuously guides where I go and what form it takes. This openness keeps me in motion as I have a steady place of work as well as a continuous calling to ministering in new and diverse communities in a variety of ways. Spiritually: To be embraced and enveloped in the spirit- to abide in Christ (John 15:1-17), is a relational motion, a flow of each of the parties in the relationship with one another where they interpenetrate one another until
reconnecting with people in the North American worlds of Liberal Arts Education and Christian Ethics, my two professional fields. Personally: I’m moving a lot along the roads and hills of suburban Philly. I’m a runner but was too busy to run much in 2017. In January, I laced up my road-and-trail-running shoes again and am out 4-5 days a week, often with our dog, Luna, at my side. Spiritually: I am not moving as much as I am resting: resting in God’s gracious provision, resting in his love embodied through the people around me, and resting in his undeserved goodness.
there is transformation. This is an everlasting motion initiated by the Holy Spirit who through grace invites and keeps us in the abiding with Christ.
F E A T U R E
Dr. Ronald A. Matthews, 10th President of Eastern University Orchestrating a Harmonious Future for Eastern: A Musician in Forward Motion by Denise McMillan
I F Y O U H AV E B E E N a part of the Eastern
wholeheartedly, unabashedly grateful and
community over the last 25 years, you may
moved.” He also said, “This is all about Jesus.
know Dr. Ronald A. Matthews as Professor
It’s not about me. It’s about the Kingdom, it’s
of Music and Director of Music Programs,
about Eastern University. It’s about us pooling
Executive Director of the Fine and Performing
our collective ownership of this place to share
Arts Division and Chair of the Music
our gifts and to give glory to God and to make
Department. On March 1, 2018, The Board of
a difference throughout the whole world.”
Trustees asked Dr. Matthews to step into a new conducting role: orchestrating a future for Eastern University as the 10th President.
Married to his wife Pamela for 40 years, President Matthews said her counsel and faith played a major role during his discernment
Board of Trustees Chairman Steven Clemens
and decision to serve in this new calling.
‘91 recently said Dr. Matthews is “a known
Pamela has had a rewarding professional
consensus builder. He is able to bring together
career serving others in health care in the field
people with very disparate views, and get
of ultrasonography. She has been active in
them all moving in a common direction. His
fundraising for local elementary and middle
organizational skill and his administration skills
schools, charitable projects to Haiti, and has
are beyond reproach. He’s a great cheerleader
served with the Cherokee Indians in Cherokee,
for Eastern and we are very optimistic that that N.C. and has most recently served on a trait will allow him to make connections which
mission trip in Cartagena, Columbia. Together,
will benefit Eastern.”
Pamela and Dr. Matthews have two adult
In his sermon at Reconciliation Chapel, Dr. Matthews began by describing how he felt regarding his appointment, “This is just an amazing convergence of events that for me I can only say has been miraculous. So I am
sons, David, who works for Boston Consulting Group and Andrew, who is employed by Merck and Co. Dr. Matthews often remarks how grateful he is for the joy and support his family brings to his life.
P P R E S I D E N T M AT T H E W S has served at
effective fundraising. When meeting President
“We have to figure out, together, how can we
Eastern University since 1992 and for 13 years
Matthews one is immediately drawn in by
give appropriate resources, in the appropriate
was the Pastor of Worship Arts at Church of
his warm, caring personality. In conversation
places, to get the appropriate things
the Saviour in Wayne, PA. Dr. Matthews holds
he listens deeply, putting others at ease and
done really well. We never have to
degrees in composition, orchestral and choral
making one feel as if you are his only concern.
apologize for excellence.”
conducting, church music and organ. He is a commissioned and published composer and has studied piano since the age of four. He has performed regularly in concerts and workshops throughout the United States and Canada with his brother Rev. Dr. Gary Matthews, with whom he has also released six recordings. Dr. Matthews has also conducted, recorded, and performed in France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Switzerland and the Vatican. From the start of his Presidency, he has been open and generous with his time, and his very first interview was with student Anthony Barr
“ This is all about Jesus. It’s not abou It’s about the Kingdom, it’s about E University. It’s about us pooling our ownership of this place to share our to give glory to God and to make a d throughout the whole world.”
’19, Managing Editor of the Waltonian, Eastern’s student newspaper. Anthony asked President Matthews to discuss his core beliefs about education and Dr. Matthews responded,
He genuinely wants to know people. Decisive
In describing his past responsibilities as a
and assured, he conveys a calm confidence and
conductor to unify towards a common goal,
is respected and loved by many in the Eastern
he said beautifully,
community. A surprising facet of his personality
“Education is transformational. Jesus links
is his quick wit and ability to tell an impromptu
learning to love (loving God with all your
joke, bringing sudden loud laughter to a room.
mind)…It is important that education is not
Also unexpected, but much appreciated, is his
isolated from relationships and life and that
ability as a composer to write thank you notes
it is not viewed as only information or skills.
to staff in poem form, with one such recipient
Education is about the process of experiencing
remarking, “it made my whole week.”
life. We were created with curiosity and learning is a part of the innate delight and task of being human.”
with all of these micro-communities; whether it be the strings, or woodwinds, or brass, or percussion they all had their identity but they amazingly transforming beauty in a world
references Jesus’s commandment that we
that is tremendously broken.”
soul, with all of our mind, and with all of our
story beginning with being born and raised in
strength, explaining that to him, that is what
Philadelphia, living in Frankford for 25 years,
Eastern is all about, and is both our history
and his subsequent love for the city. He began
and our future. Dr. Matthews said when
playing music at an early age with diverse
thinking about his role as President,
groups of people. A very relational person, he connects easily with people; a vital skill for
R O N A L D
were together to make music. And the joy of it,
the future of Eastern, President Matthews
16th, President Matthews introduced his
D R .
economy and none of it mattered because we
all came together to collaborate to make
love God with all of our heart, with all of our
was in their identity, their ethnicity, their
When expressing his hopes and plans for
In a University-wide staff meeting held March
E A S T E R N
“… in one sense it didn’t matter what anybody
M A T T H E W S
Much like his considerable abilities to bring disparate people together to conduct and create beautiful orchestral music together, I believe Dr. Mathews is well-equipped to orchestrate a harmonious future for Eastern, resulting in a rich sound pleasing to God’s ear.
ut me. astern r collective r gifts and difference
F E A T U R E
Another Eastern Love Story
How a car, homemade cookies and Eastern helped create a dynamic duo of industry-leading wedding photographers. by Michael Thomas, MBA ’18, PSYD
I T A L L S TA R T E D W H E N a tall guy met a
great and a few days later I asked her out the
As a communications major, faculty at Eastern
pretty girl…and got mad at her.
manly way… over instant messenger.”
helped Tony gain experience with design
Tony and Amy laughed as they told me about
The rest is history. Yes, another Eastern
how they first met at Eastern. Amy was a
sophomore and was having car trouble, and a mutual friend asked Tony if he would help her get back to her house. “I was mad because the Sixers game was on
happily married for over a decade.
to craft his own direction.
Now love is their occupation.
More importantly than technical skills, Tony’s
reminiscing about his immaturity, and how he
capturing the love stories of others through
nearly missed the weight of the moment.
their nationally renowned photography
demeanor and wanted to rebuild social capital: she offered to make cookies for him. “I make really good cookies, so I knew it would
“I was a poor college student and loved cookies, so of course I agreed,” Tony said. “We got along
E A S T E R N
business Hoffer Photography. Their work has been featured in The Guardian, Huffington Post, Professional Photographer and many other news outlets. Their reputation precedes them and they travel around the world for their work. So how could some of the best
work,” Amy grinned.
he wanted, but he enjoyed Eastern so much he stayed and worked with his helpful professors
For the past 10 years they have been
sophomore, noticed Tony’s less-than-pleasant
transferred to another school to get the major
Cheers to Tony and Amy who have been
and I had to miss it,” Tony laughingly shared,
Amy, a gracious and relationally astute
and imagery. Tony shared that he could have
wedding photographers in the country come from Eastern?
S O T E C N TY I O A N DN A M E Y
H O F F E R
most powerful take away from Eastern was learning to be open to new ideas and to listen to different perspectives. “It has helped with owning a business, having employees and understanding that my way of doing things isn’t always best. I can listen and incorporate the ideas of other people without compromising what we do. It has made our work far better.” Amy, an education major, appreciated the community and relational aspect of Eastern. It has informed their work and business.
â€œThe Eastern community helped me learn to push past social awkwardness and really connect with people and get to know who they are at their core. This really helps us in what we do. We intentionally meet with our clients for a lengthy meeting before we shoot their weddings to learn about them. We want to know what makes them unique, what drew them to one another and how we can really capture that. Eastern taught us that going deeper really matters and it definitely shows up in the photos we take.â€? A tall guy and pretty girl met at Eastern. They received a liberal arts education at a small Christian college where their experience shaped who they are today and how they impact the world in a meaningful way. I guess sometimes car problems are good.
F E A T U R E
Tony Hoffer ’04 and Amy (LIGHT) Hoffer ’07
Q: What are your favorite shots to take? A : TONY /
A : AMY /
One time we were
Most of my favorites are either
Everything worked out perfectly.
emotional photos or photos from
That kind of stuff is the most
times we’ve traveled on trips.
memorable for me because you
the groom and his mother had a
Traveling is great for our creativity
can’t really reproduce it.
difficult relationship and they were arguing through the wedding day.
and keeps us fresh. Seeing new places helps bring out something different in our work. Some people are nervous about not having control over things when traveling, we see it as exciting.
I like ones that
Q: Favorite memory as a photographer?
are difficult to
pull off… Part of being an artist is you get tired of your own stuff pretty quickly and want to try something new. I’ve taken photos standing on a moving car, sitting in a tree and leaning off a building.
At one point he [the groom] came back and was filling the bride in on what was happening. They
A : AMY /
We have been given the honor of
A : TONY /
photographing a wedding where
stood in a room off to the side and were talking. She was listening
being with people on the most
and consoling him. I didn’t take
emotional day of their lives. Being
pictures immediately, but listened
present in their lives at these
and once I felt it was ‘ok’ I took a
times is just really meaningful to
couple shots. They actually wrote
me. We’ve been with couples who
us a thank you note specifically
have lost a parent a few days
for taking that photo. The fact
before their wedding and couples
that we had that photo of them
whose young children are part
was meaningful to them and really
of the wedding. Being able to
authentic. When we take photos of
One of my favorite photos was
sensitively capture the emotions of
a wedding, we remember that this
one we took of a couple jumping
what’s happening no matter good
is a photo for now, but also for 20
out of a canoe. We told them
or bad is really meaningful to the
years from now.
“we’ve got one chance to get this.”
people we work with.
The goal was to jump out but have the canoe remain level. It was also fun because I was in the water up to my chest.
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"We have been people on the lives. Being times is just
given the honor of being with most emotional day of their present in their lives at these really meaningful to me."
S e e m o r e o f t h e i r w o r k at h o f f e r p h o t o g r a p h y. c o m 19
F E A T U R E
FIVE MORE MINUTES by Denise McMillan
AT E A S E A N D A G R E AT C O N V E R S AT I O N A L I S T ,
with a smile that doesn’t end, biology major and pre-dentistry Leadership Fellow, Kadeem Colburn ’18, is the epitome of a scholar-athlete who knows what it means to be in various forms of motion. In addition to his academic responsibilities for his major, Kadeem found himself an internship shadowing Dr. Gulia Omene at Omene Cosmetic and Family Dentistry in Paoli, PA a couple of hours per week. He is also engaged in research with Dr. Meg Laakso in the biology department; last semester working KADEEM COLBURN '18 MEN'S LACROSSE
on a bioinformatics project and this semester working with a few other students on a plant based cloning project.
What makes this remarkable is that he does all this while playing defense for the Eastern Men’s lacrosse team, a sport he has played for all four years of his college career. He says of the coach and team, “The reason I decided to join this team was because of the tight knit family that Coach Wallace has created. The team is very understanding of one another and is always trying to strengthen bonds within the team and in the community. What I like about this team the most is that Coach Wallace pushes kids to get involved in other things on campus. He supports the character it brings to the team and likes to see athletes venturing outside of the locker room and indulging in more academic activities. This team has given me the necessary support to juggle everything that I want to do on and off the lacrosse field. There is no other team I would rather play for.” Point in fact, Coach Wallace has let Kadeem leave a team activity and run across campus to have a quick chat with me for this article, even though there was a game later that night.
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While on the surface it might look as if Kadeem has always had it all figured out, he explains, “Prior to Eastern
A F T E R G R A D U AT I O N Kadeem plans to go to graduate school for a
Master’s in Oral Health at Boston University and then on to dental school.
I was quite content with just being still; however, my time at
After a family summer visit out to the west coast he fell in love with the
Eastern University has always pushed me to be in forward
state of Washington, and a long term goal would be to move out there to
motion. It has gotten to the point that I do not ever want to
practice dentistry and teach himself piano.
slow down. Eastern has given me plenty of opportunities to participate in various academic and social events that encourage constant thinking. Both major organizations that I have been a part of have pushed me to do more and further myself as a more complete person. Particularly, the Leadership Fellows Program has taught me what it means to be the best servant I can be.” Assistant Athletic Director and Head Men’s Lacrosse Coach Kevin Wallace told me, “Kadeem is a one of a kind student athlete. Kadeem has been one of our top players for the last 3 years while also going through one of the toughest majors on campus. This season Kadeem only practices two or three days a week at most, because of his labs and academics. Most students wouldn't be able to keep a high level of play with
When talking about the impact his advisor Dr. Maria Fichera had on his experience Kadeem said, “She has spent countless hours guiding me to how I can, one day, get to dental school. The beginning stages were rough, but she never showed signs of worry and continued to push me towards my goals. If anything, she showed me that, regardless of your current situation, there is always a way to achieve your goals.” When reflecting on his four years at Eastern Kadeem said when he initially came to Eastern things felt different and out of place and he was wondering if he should go somewhere more comfortable. He says, “That would have been one the biggest mistakes of my life! What is college without those eye-opening experiences? My time at Eastern has taught me to gravitate towards the uncomfortable as it builds the most
that much time missed. Kadeem is so dedicated and has
character. Conversations at Eastern spark new ideas and refine old ones
an extremely high work ethic that he still maintains his
in ways that I do not think I would have gotten at other schools. It has
high level of athletic play while missing so much time.
been humbling, and I have so much to learn from this school and not
Kadeem is what every coach wants in a student athlete. He represents Eastern Men's Lacrosse to the fullest and is going to be a great ambassador for years to come.”
Meet Kadeem and see a video of his continued movement throughout the day eastern.edu/KADEEM
enough time to do it. If I could only have five more minutes.”
P A L M E R
Positioned to Advance the Gospel B Y C H R I S F O LW E L L
unning up and down, up and down the back stairs of the
the “green room” with the worship leaders and volunteers during this
church. This was common for me. Our overflow room was
time. Everyone seemed so tired but so fulfilled, doing great work for
in the basement, and we could fit 150 church attendees in
God. One of our worship leaders would often fall asleep in-between
that space. A small TV with a few speakers allowed those in overflow
services, and I had the privilege of waking her up for the next service.
to hear the message and experience worship. My job was to ensure
It made sense that Becca needed to take a quick nap; we would arrive
Pastor Pierre knew who was in overflow, since we always wanted to
around 3 p.m on Saturday, leave close to 9 p.m., head home for what
make sure those in the basement, watching on a small TV, felt deeply
felt like a nap and arrive Sunday morning at 6 a.m. for sound check.
loved and cared for. The year is 2004, during this time there were six weekend services at The Father’s House. Two services on a Saturday Night, four on a Sunday. We lived and breathed church.
Pastor Pierre and Marlize believed strongly in recruiting staff and leaders from the “inside” or those who were currently attending The Father’s House. Young leaders that God was entrusting to the
In 2002 Pastor Pierre and Marlize du Plessis became the Senior
church. Though we were experiencing excessive growth, we were
Pastors of New Creation Fellowship, which would soon be renamed
not recruiting staff who had the experience to lead a church of multi-
The Father’s House in Rochester, NY. By 2004 we grew from a few
thousand. Our team consisted of: a carpenter that was previously
hundred attendees to several thousand and we had run out of space
installing granite, a youth pastor that had spent one year at bible
at our current facility. The lack of space was creating tremendous
school, a staff member with a masters degree in business, a good
parking and traffic issues within our town. I can remember sitting in
friend from the health insurance industry, and a financial director.
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There were a few other staff at this time,
transformational and got us “unstuck” in many
besides Pierre and Marlize, none of us had an
areas. This program has set me on the path
in-depth biblical or theological training.
to a lifelong posture of learning and being
As a staff member at The Father’s House, I would often feel “over my head.” Not as a
“ At times I would be asked questions about God, theological
There is a deeper connection between those
participating on staff at such a diverse, fast
of us who have completed the MTS program.
growing church. A church that has many guests
This program has provided us with the tools to
from multiple generations, ethnicities and
lead and pastor in a very diverse environment.
faith backgrounds. At times I would be asked
Though several of us came from different
questions about God, theological questions
backgrounds, having no in-depth theological
I struggled to answer. I saw a confidence in
training, this program has now equipped us
Pastor Pierre that I desired for myself. What
with the knowledge and strength to lead with
I needed was knowledge, deeper theological
tremendous courage and confidence. I'm so
understanding. I lacked the necessary
thankful for my Senior Pastors, Pierre and
confidence to be a meaningful contributor as
Marlize, and their desire to see each of us
the church continued to move forward.
growing into the pastors and leaders God has
It was a winter day in 2014 when Pastor Pierre pulled a few of us together to share an “educational opportunity.” Pierre spoke
questions I struggled to confidence in Pastor Pierre that I desired for myself.”
result of being too busy, more as a result of
about Professor Wynand de Kock and the MTS
answer. I saw a
shaped. I cannot recommend this program
called us to be. I’m grateful for Dr. Wynand and Eastern University. Dr. Wynand’s brilliant mind, coupled with his pastor’s heart, made way for incredible learning.
program at Eastern University. Since that day in
Much has changed since we were holding
2014 seven of us have completed the three-year
a six weekend service in 2004. In 2006 we
MTS program. Several new students from The
acquired 60 acres of farmland across the street
Father’s House have joined in the last few years
from our original location. As a result of the
as well. Pastor Pierre and Marlize shared these
faithful giving of those at TFH, we were able
comments when asked how the MTS program
to construct a building large enough to allow
has impacted their life,
for fewer services. In 2009 The Father’s House
"This program was like nothing I have experienced before. Studying (and applying) the study of theology not only deepened my faith and relationship with God but doing it in community with a group of our young pastors was deeply rewarding. I believe it has enabled us to steward with wisdom and confidence the influence God has entrusted to us in this season. It also included a strategically
opened a Downtown Campus, which has now become our Life Center where we distribute food and clothing to those in need. Our beautiful Greece Campus launched in 2015, this campus is 10 minutes away from our original campus. As a result of the Palmer Theological Seminary MTS at Eastern we are positioned to continue to advance The Gospel in Rochester, NY. We are forever thankful.
designed personal journey and goals that were
COMMUNITY OUTREACH THROUGH OUR FATHER'S HOUSE LIFE CENTER 23
A T H L E T I C S
fall / winter
by Dan Mouw
(from left to right: caroline shelby '21, aron szenczy '20, and Darius washinton '20)
MEN’S HOOPS RETURNS TO MAC FREEDOM TOURNEY Men’s Basketball battled through injury and early-season setbacks to claim a spot in the MAC Freedom Tournament for the second-consecutive season. The Eagles won ten league games and beat every team at least once. While the team’s nine-game home-unbeaten streak was snapped with a five-point loss to DeSales in the Semifinals, the Eagles turned in many memorable performances.
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Juniors Victor Peña '19 and Darius Washington '20 both earned First-Team All-MAC Freedom honors, and senior guard Antonio Chapman '20 was named to the second team. It is the first time Men’s Basketball has had two first-team All-Conference players since joining the NCAA in 1992. Peña led the league in rebounds and averaged 13 points per game. Washington, shot 42.2 percent from behind the arc and led the league in made 3-pointers with just under three per game.
SHELBY HELPS VOLLEYBALL KEEP TITLE STREAK ALIVE Volleyball had three All-Americans graduate in 2017. With those losses, the 2018 season would prove to be a challenging one for 28-year veteran head coach Mark Birtwistle. Playing on the road in a Conference Championship game for the first time ever, the Eagles beat DeSales in four sets. First year outside hitter Caroline Shelby '21 hit an incredible .556 and put away a season-
high 27 kills to power the Eagles to a tenthconsecutive MAC Freedom Title. Shelby fought through mid-season injuries to record the eighth-highest single-season kill total in the history of Eastern Volleyball. The next weekend, she put away 24 kills in a five-set loss to No. 9 Carnegie Mellon in the NCAA Tournament. Shelby was one of seven freshmen to play a role on last fall’s team. She and junior Michelle Paulsen '19 both earned AVCA Honorable Mention All-America Honors. Paulsen is closing in on Eastern Hall of Honor member Kate [Adams] Conneen's '04 career block record.
SZENCZY TIES MAC STANDARD WITH GOLD INDOORS
DISTANCE RELAYS PACE WOMEN’S TRACK AT MAC CHAMPIONSHIPS
Aron Szenczy '20 had only missed once on his way to clearing 1.99 (6’6.33”) meters at the Indoor MAC Championships in late February. When his sole remaining competitor missed his third attempt at 1.99 meters Eastern’s junior high jumper had the option to set the bar for his next height.
Led by a pair of gold medal relays, Women’s Track and Field finished fifth at the 2018 MAC Indoor Track and Field Championships. In only its third year, the program scored in 11 events and competed in seven more in the Championships.
With all the other competitions in the two-day event over, the entire meet watched as Szenczy set the bar at 2.06 meters (6’9.1”). He cleared the height on his first attempt to match the MAC record which had stood since 2011. Szenczy became the first Eastern individual to win a men’s championship event in the short history of Eastern Track and Field.
Eastern won both the 4000 meter distance medley and the 4 x 800 meter relay. Kierra Zach '19, Megan Bernotas '20, and Katelyn Bernotas '21 ran on both winning relays. Head Coach Mike Wilson '10 was pleased to see his women’s team win events and also grow in depth at this early stage in the program. The Eagles will look to build on their success through the outdoor season in the spring.
As a group, the Eastern men, in just their third season of competition, scored in 13 of 19 events and finished fifth of the 13 schools in the Championships. Frantzy Sainvil '20 finished second in the triple jump, and DaShawn Dale '21 took third in the high jump and fourth in the pole vault.
AS A MEANS OF CHANNELING CRE by Denise McMillan
T H E L A M P L I G H T S O C I E T Y was established in 2002 to
commemorate Eastern University’s 50th Anniversary. The Society serves to honor those who have “shined the light” by making significant contributions to the life of Eastern University and in so doing leave an indelible imprint on the campus community. One individual is selected each year from Eastern’s family of alumni, faculty, administrators and staff. This year we recognize former Executive Vice President, Dr. M. Thomas (Tom) Ridington ’78, MA ’81. When asked what it means to him to be this year’s
inductee Dr. Ridington said, “I was very surprised to receive the call. I’ve been around Eastern for a while and have witnessed the qualities of past inductees. It is a great honor to be counted among them.” Dr. Ridington worked for more than three decades at Eastern spanning various areas of the University including Admissions, Development, University Relations and the President’s Office. He has also contributed to student life by teaching and coaching. Over the years he has selflessly provided strategic vision, mentorship and guidance to the University community. Of his life’s work at Eastern he said, “I was blessed to work with a lot of really great people at Eastern. We raised a lot of money for student aid for a very long time so it’s really rewarding to hear when our alumni are out there doing well and making a difference. Stepping into the Howard Center, Observatory and other campus facilities always lifts me knowing that we secured the funds for those. I partnered with faculty and Deans to launch the Openseminary and the PhD programs so it’s always fun when those students arrive for their residencies. Finally, I was privileged to be there at key moments in Esperanza College’s development from conception through branch campus.” Fellow Alumnus and Lamplight Society Inductee and Professor and Chair of the Astronomy and Physics Department, Dr. David H. Bradstreet ’76 said of Tom’s fundraising skills,“Tom Ridington was
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instrumental in working closely with me in the fundraising for the
Bradstreet Observatory. He patiently and tirelessly worked to find prospective donors and put me in touch with several. Tom shared
The Lamplight Society inductee
2 0 1 8
Dr. M. Thomas Ridington ’78, MA ’81
my vision and was a fantastic encourager and supporter throughout the many years of fundraising. Ultimately, he was successful in this endeavor beyond either of our dreams, and I will be forever grateful for his steadfastness and commitment to Eastern.” I N F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 8 Dr. Ridington transitioned from the University
to a new position at Eastern’s partner, Esperanza, Inc., a faith-based non-profit organization driven by the biblical mandate to care for the “least of these," where he had recently served on the Board of Directors. He said of his new role, “I am delighted to be Esperanza’s Senior Vice President for Institutional Advancement and Growth, where I serve with many talented colleagues and several long-time friends to strengthen Hispanic communities. My responsibilities include providing leadership for the college, communications and development programs.” Dr. Ridington has been in constant motion contributing to Eastern since his days as a student worker in media services. When asked to comment on being in motion now in his professional and spiritual life he explained, “I have an active imagination, so I value motion as a means for working out my creativity in the workplace. I also embrace motion in my formation, both spiritually and in all of life. When I was younger, my primary motivation was the end goal, which was to accomplish consequential things. However, as I age my understanding of legacy is moving from producing good things to goodness itself. Praying in the ancient Ignatian tradition of the examen helps my faith walk remain dynamic as I endeavor to sync the constant motion of this life with the movement of the Holy Spirit.”
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The Alumnus of the Year
2 0 1 8 Justin Piff ’02
b y L i n d s e y L av e r t y ’ 1 8
J U S T I N P I F F ’ 0 2 continues to have a strong commitment to the
consulting as an evaluation manager at Cornell Companies. He moved
principles of faith, reason and justice years after his graduation from
to Devereux as a quality management coordinator and oversaw two
Eastern University. After receiving his bachelor’s degree in social work
residential treatment facilities and a therapeutic foster care program.
from Eastern, Piff went on to get his Master of Science in Social Work at Columbia University. From there, he became a consultant and evaluator at Equal Measure in Philadelphia, serving some of the largest foundations in the country, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Eastern University was the only college Piff applied to, saying of this decision,
Today, he works with organizations seeking to invest significant financial resources into systems and programs that improve opportunity and access to low-income youth and adults. These efforts seek to uplift underrepresented voices and increase equality in areas of health, education and employment. On receiving the news of being chosen Alumnus of the Year, Piff was humbled and added that he himself has been inspired
“I knew it was where I wanted to be—I wanted a
by so many Eastern graduates and what they have gone on to
Christian community with a strong social justice identity,
do. His pride and involvement in Eastern University is evident,
and Eastern fit that perfectly.”
through the years that he returned as an adjunct professor in
Piff shared that he looks back on his undergraduate experiences fondly, and that the friendships he developed are ones he will have for life. He appreciated and valued the diverse student body and strong sense of community on campus, and sighted his involvement in the YACHT club as having a significant role in shaping his perspective on poverty, homelessness, and injustice. Piff said,
at Homecoming. Thinking back to his student years, Piff passes on some excellent advice on his own personal experience with the unknown, stating, “It’s important to keep moving even when the path isn’t clear, and even when your movement may not be linear. In the time since I’ve graduated, nothing
“The social work program taught me how to think critically about social problems, understand how systems work and develop a broad range of skills and frameworks for working toward a more just society.”
– my career, personal, or spiritual life – has been linear, and none of it has been predictable. It’s important not to be complacent, but also not to get frustrated when the next move isn’t clear or exactly what
Following his graduate degree at Columbia University, Piff began
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the Social Work department, to his consistent presence
A L U M N I
A Life with Ripple Effects
Alumna of the Year
2 0 1 8
Lara Owlett ’09, MEd ’13
b y K e l ly G o d d a r d
W H E N A D I F F E R E N C E - M A K E R is set in motion, she not only
In addition to the physical journeys Lara takes her students on, she also
grows personally, but she brings life, energy, and transformation to those
creates activities in her classroom to broaden their understanding and
around her. Lara Owlett ’09, MEd ’13 is a teacher, mentor, and life-long
empathy for people and cultures different than their own.
learner who is living a life with ripple effects on the next generation. Lara, who was one of 12 finalists for Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year in 2017, is a French teacher in the rural school district of Wellsboro, PA. Every other year she takes her students to
“We often connect with French-speakers from around the world through written correspondences, Skype sessions, or other online platforms. As these connections promote a deeper understanding between cultures,
France, broadening their horizons and introducing them to
it is also my hope that they begin to promote
the transformational power of travel she has experienced in
peace...even in a small way.”
her own life.
While the exciting cross-cultural travel experiences
It was actually a trip to France right after high school that
and correspondence activities are definitely
sparked Lara’s own desire to become a teacher.
influencing the course of her students’ lives, Lara
"My world was expanded and I thought, 'I
finds that the small moments of connection with her
would love to open up this other world
students throughout the year may have the biggest
to students,’” she shares. Lara credits Eastern with setting her "in motion" as a French teacher, equipping her with knowledge and skills while also promoting personal growth. “At Eastern I had the fortune
ripple effect of all. “I think the biggest impact I make in the lives of my students may simply be the fact that I consistently invest in them. Last year at graduation a student who had been in my French program for four years gave me a
of being surrounded by
hug and said ‘You have no idea how many
peers and professors who
times I needed you.’ That moment made me
forced me to examine
realize that a teacher's love and respect for
social injustices in our
their students can make a bigger difference
society. I was forced to
than we'll ever know.”
decide how I could do my part to be God's love in a broken world. This set me in motion
I have no doubt that the motion of Lara’s life will continue to set others in motion in a beautiful pattern of multiplication.
to work as a mentor via Big Brothers Big Sisters and to work as an advocate for students who are often marginalized in our rural community.”
Hear more of Lara’s story at eastern.edu/lara 29
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Eastern Alumni Class Notes
William Offutt ’63 and Ruth Anne (Davis) Offutt
Robert Adams ’68 is married to Marie “Mickey”
’63 have two children and four grandchildren.
(Bowman) Adams ’70 and they have two
Bill’s parents are 101 and 98. Ruth’s parents
children and one grandson. Bob had a 44-year
passed away in 2013. Many may remember
career as a high school math teacher in public
Recently, Ursinus College awarded an honorary
Naomi Davis who worked as a secretary for
school and in a Christian school. The combined
doctorate to Tony Campolo ’56, BD ’60, ThM
many years at Eastern. Bill is a retired American
effort of various faculty members and the
’61 for his role in Christian leadership, helping
Baptist pastor. The faculty/staff that made an
ever-present Christian atmosphere on campus
the church to embrace a social justice agenda.
impact on Bill included: Dr. Claghorn BD ’44
were the factors that had the greatest impact
Also, World Vision Canada announced that
because he was a philosophy major under him;
on him. If not for Eastern, he never would have
Tony would receive the "Ken McMillan Heroes
Dr. Engel who made an impression and was a
pursued a career in teaching. Something his
for Children" award for outstanding work on
dramatic guy; Dr. Shinn gave him some books
classmates would be surprised to know is that
behalf of children. Tony has been responsible
that he used in class that helped him. If not
he drag-raced until his mid-60s – often the
for recruiting thousands of sponsors of children
for Eastern, both Bill and Ruth Anne said they
oldest guy at the track! The big question he’s
who, through World Vision, will be receiving
wouldn’t have met and married each other!
currently pondering is “What is ‘truth’?” It’s the
education, healthcare, along with programs
For Bill there were also the lifelong friends he
current Focus on the Family curriculum that he’s
that would facilitate the community
made like Ardell Thomas ’63, Peggy (Parker)
teaching in Sunday School.
development in those places where these
Thomas ’63, Ed Pickard ’64, Pete Bolster ’63,
sponsored children live.
Bob Plimpton ’63, and many more. Bill says there isn’t really anything that would surprise
Barbara (Liston) Lehman ’58 and her husband, Allyn, have four children, eight grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren. She is a retired teacher and shares that the Christian perspective from the faculty/staff made a
his classmates as there are “no secrets hidden”, except that he has two living parents at his age. The big question Bill is pondering is deciding when and where to move into a retirement home and whether or not to move at all.
lasting impact on her life. If not for Eastern, she
Ron Heinlen ’68 has been married to Mary who was the best friend of Big Mary in their folk band during their college years and beyond. His Mary was a “groupie”. They have a daughter, Krista. Ron was a Deputy Director, County Commissioners Association of PA and President of Hidden Lake Villas Condo Association of Naples, FL. The faculty/staff that made an
never would have discovered over the years
Peggy (Parker) Thomas ’63 shared that in
impact on him was Tony Campolo ’56, BD
that it is in our relationships where we most
January, she and Ardell Thomas ’63 returned
’60, ThM ’61. If it wasn’t for him, he wouldn’t
often encounter God. The friendships formed at
from their last "Thomas-led" missions trip to
have gone into Human Services as a career.
Eastern continue to be those that have lasted a
the Dominican Republic, which they have been
Something his classmates would be surprised
lifetime and she is grateful.
doing every two years since 1995 and believe
to know is that he is considered, by some, to be
they just cannot lead another team. Ardell's
a world-class turkey caller. The big question he’s
been doing medical teams since 1985!! The
pondering is, “will the tides be right to
pastor announced that whenever the new clinic
go fishing tomorrow?”
Terry Lothian ’63, BD/MDiv ’66 is semi-retired
is built (the wall will begin soon, but clinic is a
and living in Ocean City, NJ since 2005. He is
ways off) it will be named The Dr. Ardell
Assistant Pastor at St. Peters United Methodist
Thomas Medical Clinic.
Church of Ocean City. The faculty/staff that
Stephen Hutchison ’68, MDiv ’71, DMin ’91 and his wife Frances Hutchison ’94 will be married for 51 years in June. Since his retirement in
Dante Vincenti Jr. ’63 has been happily married
2012, he has enjoyed spending more time with
made the greatest impact on him was Tommy
to Barbara since 2005. Jean, Barbara’s older
his family (3 children and their spouses plus
Byron BD ’58. He never would have made the
sister and his first wife of 43 years, passed away
5 granddaughters). Following graduation, he
in 2004. The faculty/staff that made an impact
pastored for 13 years in Los Angeles and Santa
for Eastern. Something that his classmates
on him were Dr. Claghorn BD ’44, Dr. Love, and
Monica, CA. He also served as Chairman of
would be surprised to know is that even though
Dr. Martinez because they taught him how to
the Ordination Committee of the LA Baptist
think, analyze, and adapt. If not for Eastern, he
Association, President of the American Baptist
would not have been as successful as he was.
Ministers Council of LA, and Director for the
greatest memories and friends he has if not
he’s been a Baptist all his life, he now serves in a Methodist Church.
American Baptist Senior High Camp for the
A L U M N I Pacific Southwest. Steve was also involved in various TV and radio programs and participated in the Board of Directors for the American Baptist National Housing Ministries, and was Pastor-Counselor for the National Board of American Baptist Men. After returning to the East Coast in 1984, he served as Director of Admissions for EBTS/PTS for 28 years. During that time he established an annual “Exploring Christian Ministries” weekend conference. By the time he retired, nearly 3,000 new master degree students had been recruited. The faculty/staff that made an impact on him were Tony Campolo ’56, BD ’60, ThM ’61 who introduced him to a fuller understanding of the Christian faith and ignited a greater passion within him to make a difference throughout his life, and John Ruth ’56 who believed in him. Something his classmates would be surprised to know is that he is an introvert. The big question he’s pondering at the moment is if it’s true that Jesus really meant what He said, then when will we – assuming we’re good people – not
is that she’s finally out of her shell. The big
If not for Eastern, he probably would not have
questions she’s pondering are, “will those who
become a teacher and soccer coach, for which
call themselves Christians ever again become
he was hired at two schools. He would not have
Jesus-followers? Will she ever finish all the
had the biblical background that has guided
writing projects she has started or has swirling
him his entire life. Something his classmates
in her brain?
would be surprised to know it that he has matured and has a closer relationship with
only speak up but actually get involved with all
Steve Stewart ’68 and his wife will be
the hurts, loneliness, injustices around us by
celebrating their 49th wedding anniversary in
practicing the presence of Jesus – by maybe
June. They have a son and two grandchildren.
Reuben Wilbur ’68 is married to Shirley
taking a risk and following all His teachings,
He has been writing simple poems the last
(Teutken) Wilbur ’70 and they have two sons
especially those in the “Sermon on the Mount?”
two years for family and friends. He has also
and two grandchildren. Their children live
been accumulating/writing a few notebooks
and work overseas. Reuben served 38 years
on topics of interest. Last year, he was asked
with the United Methodist Church as a local
to teach ancient history classes at his former
church pastor and judicatory administrator.
school. He and his wife have been active in
There were several faculty/staff that made an
their church and volunteering. They both teach
impact on him. Dr. Buss who provided him with
Sunday School and he sings in the church choir.
the opportunity to work as a House Parent
Steve has spent 30 years coaching and 26 with
at the Mapleton Campus, Devereux Schools
AD work. He was voted into The Harrisburg
for his last two years at Eastern. It was great
Academy’s Athletic Hall of Fame. He also has
“on the job training” for dealing with difficult
two awards that were set up in his honor. There
individuals, as well as providing the finances
were faculty/staff that made an impact on him.
to fund his Eastern education. Mr. Mumford
Dr. Ruth ’56 was unpretentious and easy to
challenged his belief system at a crucial time
relate to. He was genuinely interested in Steve
in the development of his understanding of
as an individual. Dr. Ackley in his Old and New
what was going on in the world. Mr. Shier
Testament courses were challenging, but he
encouraged investigation into the political
learned and uses so much of them in his life.
understandings of individuals with who we
Jo Ann (Gundlach) Sherbine ’68, who is now retired, will be celebrating her 50th wedding anniversary on June 8th (which was the day before graduation 50 years ago). The newest member of her family is her grandson, Simon Francis Sherbine, to her “baby” daughter Dr. Kourtney Sherbine. The faculty/staff that made an impact on her were Dr. Ingles, because he gave her a thirst for great literature, and Dr. Ziglar, who fostered her love for Latin American history and culture. If not for Eastern, she never would have gained the confidence to speak publically and to teach in both public schools and religious settings. Something her classmates would be surprised to know
E A S T E R N
A L U M N I
Jesus, his Lord and Savior.
interact. Mr. Love helped him quickly conclude
Rich Heller ’71, Jay Hollinsworth ’72, Karen
attempting to get cats adopted, has six cats
that becoming a math major would not be in
(Osterberg) Warriner ’72, Meredith Ellis, Tom
inside their home, and feeds and houses 12 cats
his best interest. Dr. Campolo ’56, BD ’60, ThM
Ashbaugh ’72, Phil Jenks ’71, Brenda Fortes
outside their home. The faculty/staff that made
’61 made life interesting as his lecturing helped
’72, Vince Wilkerson ’72, Gary Peck ’72, and
the greatest impact was Dr. Frederick Boehlke
sociology come alive so much so that he chose
many others, including Faye Aiello ’72 and
BD ’52. If not for Eastern, he never would
that as his major. If not for Eastern, he never
Esther (Sprowls) Ashbaugh ’72, and his Alpha
have experienced the joy of getting a college
would have met his wife who has stood by him,
Phi Omega fraternity brothers. As he has been
education. Something his classmates would be
encouraged him, and moved multiple times with
watching the Ken Burns' Vietnam War film
surprised to know is the he loves working with
him for the past 48 years. Eastern’s small size
recently, the intersection of that war and their
cats. The big question he’s pondering is “What
helped develop his self-confidence. In further
time at Eastern has been constantly before him.
else is left for me to do with my life?”
educational endeavors, he found that he was
He remembers the outside prayer gathering
well prepared to learn with others from larger,
they had after the Kent State killings, filling out
and more prestigious institutions of higher
deferment cards at registration, and at least
education. Something his classmates would be
one professor hesitating to give any
surprised to know is that after retiring from his
male student a failing grade for fear of
“professional” career, he became an appliance
such a student immediately being drafted.
salesperson, first with Sears, then at Best Buy.
He also remembers the service projects Dr.
The big question he’s pondering concerns
Campolo organized in Philadelphia at Teen
the future of the world his grandchildren are
Haven or was it Teen Challenge?
inheriting, especially political divisiveness, as well as the assault on the environment.
1970 S Earl Roberts ’72 shares that he went on from Eastern to Drew University School of Theology and is an ordained United Methodist minister. He retired in 2013 after 40 years of service and then was appointed half-time to his present church in Lattimer Mines just outside of Hazleton, PA. He and his wife, Anne, have been married for 42 years. They have two son Scott and Stephen, both artists. Scott died at 20 of a heart defect and is greatly missed. He has many memories of Eastern (Baptist) College. It was an important time of growing up for him. He thinks of Dr. Frederick Boehlke BD ’52, Dr. Larry Ziegler, Dr. Tony
Douglas Hargis ’73 is fully retired clergy but open to coming out of retirement if the Lord opens the door. He and Beth (Ballantyne) Hargis ’73, who retired two years ago, have 6 grandchildren. Their youngest son, Gregory, is a leukemia survivor of 5 years thanks to God's medical miracle (the doctor's word) and a bone marrow transplant from his older brother, Jonathan Hargis ’00. Their daughter, Emily
Blake Edwards ’73, MDiv ’76 shares that he is
Hargis ’02, is now a Vineyard pastor. If not for
still married to Ann (Steinbright) Edwards ’60,
Eastern, they both say they never would have
retired in July 2003, maintains and operates all
met each other.
of New Covenant Baptist Church's computer and projector equipment, works four days a month at two different cat rescue units
Steve Murray ’73 has three daughters and 1 grandson. He worked for Honda of America MFG, Inc. as an associate/coordinator for 31 years. He was also a soccer coach for 37 years (boys, girls, and men’s soccer). The faculty/staff that made an impact on him was Dr. Beardsley for helping him to understand media/English. If not for Eastern, he never would have searched for Jesus! Something his classmates would be surprised to know is that he loves because Jesus first loved him! It’s all grace (John 1:17)!!! The big question he’s pondering is, “why as believers are we not extending the fruits of the spirit to everyone (believers and non-believers) to a greater extent?”
Campolo ’56, BD ’60, ThM ’61, Dr. Caroline
Sandee (Becker) Wilson ’73 shares that she has
Cherry, Frau Dr. Witmer, and Dr. Earnest
been widowed for three years from her best
Ackley to name just a few of the professors
friend of 45 years, David. Together they have
who influenced him. He remembers friends,
three grown children and two grandchildren.
like: Rich Schramm ’72, Dave Laquintano ’72,
She has been a biology/science teacher, CAN,
A L U M N I pharmacy technician, Sunday School teacher, as
Ruby (Harkness) Sosa ’78 shares that she
IN MEMORY BY CLASS YEAR:
well as an aging adult caregiver and advocate.
moved to Maine and is a CRRN, a Certified
The faculty/staff that made an impact on her
Rehabilitation Registered Nurse.
Samuel E. Appel ’53, BD ’60 / October 5, 2017 Norman R. dePuy ’53, BD ’56, DD ’88 / January 30, 2017
were the science department professors: Dr.
Ruth (Smith) Tschan x’57 / December 27, 2017
If not for Eastern, she never would have
received such a great science education that
In February, the Racial Empowerment
was so biblically grounded. Something her
Collaborative was excited to share the release
classmates would be surprised to know is
of a TEDMED Talk by Dr. Howard C. Stevenson
Katherine “Kay” J. (Lowry) Lopez ’61 / December 12, 2017
that she married her husband whose maternal
’80. Dr. Stevenson was also featured in a CBS
Dale V. Slaght ’65 / February 18, 2018
side of the family was British and she became
Philly interview "Conversation For All People:
a lifelong Anglophile. The big question she’s
Experts Try to Find Solutions For Parents,
pondering concerns the next stage of her
Educators Over Racist Incidents".
Sayles DD ’75, Dr. Sheldon, and Dr. Kim ’61.
life after retirement.
Donald Cuomo ’83 shares that there is nothing
Roger H. Frances ’58 / January 23, 2018 Rosemarie A. (Cobb) Banks ’59 / December 5, 2017 1960S Gosch L. Ehlers ’60 / January 16, 2018
Carol (Chandler) Malcarney ’67 / October 29, 2017 Christa M. (Wilmanns) Wells ’68 / July 15, 2014 1970S Jo Ann "Lillian" (Badie) Young ’76 / February 21, 2015 1980S
Jeff Leonards ’75 shares that he recently retired
new – just less hair! If not for Eastern, he never
from a 37-year psychology practice, which he
would have joined a kazoo band. Something
Robert W. Williams DD ’81 / December 15, 2017
and his wife, Dionna, commemorated with a
his classmates would be surprised to know is
breathtaking trip to Italy. In retirement, he is
he weighs the same as when he graduated.
Thomas M. Hunter ’98 / September 23, 2017
blessed to still be biking after 43 years (140,000
He says he’s not pondering any big questions
Craig D. Moore ’98 / September 26, 2017
miles to date), playing men's league ice hockey,
because there are too many small questions
and cross-country skiing. Aside from that, he
to think about.
is spending most of his time writing a historical novel, Denounced: A Mischling's Personal Apocalypse. He is happy to report that there are two young granddaughters. It continues to be very gratifying to maintain contact with former professors, Tony Campolo ’56, BD ’60, ThB ’61 and Peter Genco, and to follow the inspiring work of Bryan Stevenson ’81, among others— all heroes to him.
Lori (Manifold-Shepherd) Manifold ’81 / November 14, 2017
Robert J. O’Neill ’98 / May 1, 2014 John J. Riley ’98 / January 30, 2018 2000S
Phyllis Cassidy ’87 retired in 2009 after 19
Gregory G. Mercier ’07 / March 7, 2018
years of working as a social worker with the
William E. Abbott x’09 / December 26, 2017
Montgomery County Aging & Adult Services,
then for Aging Services with Lower Merion/
Heather R. (Lindsay) Mosher ’11 / December 23, 2017
Narberth, a private agency. Although she says
Olivia (Heffinger) Day x’19 / February 21, 2018
she can’t remember much at 91 years old, I just
know she had some great teachers and enjoyed
Russell Peck x’20 / January 10, 2018
her time at Eastern. If not for Eastern, she never
FA C U LT Y / S TA F F
would have possibly looked for an opportunity
A.J. Ashe - Former Trustee / July 25, 2013
In February, Scott A. Davis ’77, chair of
in medical records in a hospital setting where
the Department of Chemistry and Physics
she had worked prior to moving to eastern PA.
Economics Professor / September 23, 2017
at Mansfield University, was selected as a
Something her classmates would be surprised
Conrad Fowler - Emeritus Trustee / October 2, 2017
Pennsylvania Science, Technology, Engineering
to know is that she was a pastor’s wife for over
and Math (STEM) Ambassador. Davis, and the
20 years – her husband retired and passed away
other ambassadors selected after a state-
in 1982. The big question she’s pondering is how
Psychology / December 30, 2017
wide nomination process, are participating
she can continue serving God as she is in her
George S.Claghorn BD ’44, DD ’04, DD ’98 - Former
in a 10-month advocacy training program for
90th year and not too physically able.
leaders in business, education and/or STEM-
stakeholders and helping shape Pennsylvania policy through targeted relationships with elected officials and media.
E A S T E R N
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Eric D. Jarmon MDiv ’94 - Former Admissions Counselor / October 18, 2017 Wendy Steinburg - Former Assoc. Professor of
Dean of Eastern College / February 5, 2018 William H. Gundlah - Former Librarian / February 9, 2018 Shirley A. Weinhold - Former Statistician for Girls
related fields, sharing their experiences and content knowledge with influential Pennsylvania
A. Gilbert Heebner - Emeritus Trustee & Former
Basketball / February 19, 2018
News and notes for alumni from the 1990s, 2000s, 2010s and our graduate programs, please visit alumni.eastern.edu
MEET YOUR ALUMNI OFFICE
New Baptist Covenant was excited announce
Mary (Chaplin) Gardner ’83, MEd ’12
in February that Dr. Phaedra Blocker MDiv ’03 would be their new director of programs. Blocker is an ordained Baptist minister and has done clinical training in marriage and family therapy and is an Affiliate Professor in Leadership & Formation at Palmer Theological Seminary of Eastern University. She will continue her responsibilities at PTS while serving with the New Baptist Covenant. On November 11, 2017, the Executive Board of the West Virginia Baptist Convention, voted to hire Dr. Michael B. Sisson MDiv ’04, DMin ’10 as the Executive Minister for the West Virginia Baptist Convention. Sisson will begin his duties on April 1, 2018. Sisson is currently the
senior pastor of Crab Orchard Baptist Church (Greenbrier- Raleigh). He has served in that position for eight years. Prior to coming to Crab
D I R E C T O R O F A L U M N I A N D PA R E N T R E L AT I O N S
Orchard, he served the pastorates of Sutton
Mary is a two-time alumna from Eastern University. She graduated in 1983 with a BA in elementary
Baptist Church (Elk Valley) and New Life Baptist
education and 2012 with a Master's in Multicultural Education. Eastern has been deeply woven into
Church in Shady Spring.
Mary's family history. Her mother attended Palmer Seminary and her twin daughters graduated from Eastern in 2010. She is also an adjunct professor in the Education Department at Eastern. Connecting with current students and parents and reconnecting with the alumni is a passion that Mary embraces. She absolutely loves serving her alma mater and will be celebrating her 12th anniversary in May 2018.
2010 S Lorain Whitaker MDiv ’13 is an Elder at Ebenezer Temple Pentecostal Church in Southwest Philadelphia under the leadership of Elder Juanita D. Rivers MTS ’96, MDiv
Palmer Alumni Class Notes
’02, Pastor and Elder David Rivers. She is a one year Chaplain Resident at the University
of Pennsylvania Hospital (Penn Medicine),
Evangeline (Humann) Webb MA ’64 continues
At the 2017 Annual Meeting of the Evergreen
to her resident, she completed one unit of
her involvement at Grace Baptist Church in
Association of American Baptist Churches,
CPE at Lankenau Hospital from May - August
Kansas City, MO. Her activities involve Chair
held October 14 at New Beginnings Christian
2016, and has been putting her degree in
of Mission and Caring, Co-Adult Sunday
Fellowship in Kent, WA, the members of
action by preaching, teaching, counseling and
School Teacher, ABWM. Her community
the Association agreed by consensus to call
workshops, and practicing self-care.
activities involve health teaching. She is
the Rev. Douglas Avilesbernal MDiv ’05 as
a Registered Nurse and was so when she
their second Executive Minister. This action
graduated from Eastern in 1964. Her teaching
was taken following the search committee's
is mostly encouraging seniors to exercise
nomination of Rev. Avilesbernal. He began his
on a regular basis and am certified to teach
work with the region in January 2018.
in three programs.
which became effective August 28, 2017. Prior
Clesha Staten MDiv ’14 has been certified in the field of aromatherapy since 1992. After completing seminary and chaplain residency, she began to envision ways to merge her passion of aromatherapy with ministry. As she
A L U M N I IN MEMORY BY CLASS YEAR: 1940S George S. Claghorn BD ’44, DD ’04, DD ’98 / February 5, 2018 John S. Stannard ABThB ’46 / December 6, 2017 Leland “Bud” P. Bechtel ABThB ’47, BD ’48 / December 14, 2017 Winifred C. (Bower) Wright MRE ’48 / March 24, 2015 Marilyn J. (Smith) Schaeffer BSM ’49 / December 26, 2017 David P. Wright BD ’49 / October 4, 2017 1950S Alfred Bloom ABThB ’51 / August 25, 2017 Ralph J. Kievit ThB ’51 / November 22, 2017 Norman R. dePuy ’53, BD ’56, DD ’88 / January 30, 2017 Joseph A. Browde BD ’57 / November 7, 2017 Thomas K. McInnes BD ’57, MDiv ’70 / December 16, 2017 Valery A. Copan BD ’58 / April 4, 2016 1960S Samuel E. Appel ’53, BD ’60 / October 5, 2017 1970S Donald E. Kanaley ThM ’70 / November 19, 2017 1980S Adele G. deGregoris MDiv ’82 / December 1, 2015
shifted her aromatic focus from body care
applicable to life. Every chapter attempts to
to spiritual care, she embraced becoming a
make a story or passage in the Bible simple and
Chaplain Aromatherapist; helping people create
easy to relate to.”
Philip H.Chase DMin ’85 / March 5, 2016
Randall McCaskill MDiv ’17, Pastor of Olivet
sacred space and caring for their spiritual well-being using essential oils. As a Chaplain Aromatherapist, she is able to use her skills to assist with end of life care. She is also the
Baptist Church hosted the First Annual "Peace & Unity Crusade on September 30, 2017 in
Wendell L. Baglow DMin ’84 / November 29, 2017 Charles “Chuck” R. Johnson DMin ’84 / January 22, 2018
Renee L. McCleary MDiv ’90 / October 10, 2017 Ella Louise McCrary-Sanders MATS ’90 / June 1, 2012 James M. Brown MATS ’94 / November 23, 2017
Philadelphia. He partnered with The Nasir
Eric D. Jarmon MDiv ’94 / October 18, 2017
Mosque, Imam Bilal Abdulsalam, and Shalom
Henry Baldwin MDiv ’99, DMin ‘09 / December 28, 2017
Evan Arkell MDiv ’17 is ministering to the
Baptist Church, Reverend Dr. William F.
WHOLE person! He and his wife are health
Christmas, Jr. It is his prayer that this outdoor
Beverly B. Lewis MDiv ’01 / January 24, 2018
coaches that want to lead others so we all
evangelical ministry service will bring God's
Shelley K. Potter-Abrahamsen MDiv ’03 / October 31, 2017
can be our best for God together. After Evan
people back into the church. This event was a
FA C U LT Y/ S TA F F/ B O A R D M E M B E R S
had experienced some health issues he knew
first in more than one way. To his understanding
something had to change. Evan was inspired
there has not been an interfaith service in the
Renee L. McCleary MDiv ’90 & Former
by Laurie Reasons and her husband Dr. Allen
Logan area. There are as many, if not more
Faculty / October 10, 2017
Reasons (Palmer WV professor).
Muslims than Christians in this community,
founder of In Your Secret Place.
Nathaniel E. Jones ’12, MTS ’17 has released his book 20 Promises With Biblical Proof! Jones states, "20 Promises with Biblical Proof is an inspirational book which intends to encourage people through the application of biblical material. Each chapter focuses on one word and links the word with scriptures that are
E A S T E R N
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yet they are all affected by the same plight, and are all God's people. McCaskill stated, “Working with the members of Islam is a great opportunity to save and redeem God's people from certain fate.”
A.J. Ashe Former Trustee / July 25, 2013
Ralph J. Kievit ThB ’51 & Former Seminary Trustee / November 22, 2017
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Homecoming & Family Weekend
OCTOBER 12-13, 2018
SPECIAL EVENTS ALUMNI BRUNCH REUNIONS FOR THE CLASSES OF: 1958, ’63, ’68, ’73, ’78, ’83, ’88, ’93, ’98, 2003, ’08, ’13, ’18 AFFINITY REUNIONS ATHLETIC EVENTS PLANETARIUM AND OBSERVATORY VISITS FALL FESTIVAL
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EASTERN, the magazine of Eastern University, supports our mission to provide a Christian higher education for those who will make a differen...
Published on Jun 7, 2018
EASTERN, the magazine of Eastern University, supports our mission to provide a Christian higher education for those who will make a differen...