EASTERN | The Magazine of Eastern University

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The Magazine of Eastern University

FALL 2021

flex


Flexpecta FOLLOWING WHERE CHRIST LEADS.


tions: Dear Alumni and Friends, In the Gospel of Mark, we read about two brothers fishing in a boat, Simon and Andrew. Both men were fishermen by trade. As the waves rocked the boat, we can imagine them conversing in hushed tones and casting their nets over the side of their boat — something they had done every day for years. What they didn’t know was that the Creator of fish, sea, and sand, the Savior of the World, was walking along the shoreline, about to disrupt their lives forever. “Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men,” he shouted across the water. Mark’s account says that immediately, the brothers dropped their nets, came ashore, and followed him. This fall’s edition of EASTERN magazine has us pondering Simon and Andrew’s readiness to drop everything familiar in order to obey and follow Jesus into the unknown. Faced with the decision to leave certainty behind for an unknown future, these fishermen exemplified unhindered flexibility as they altered their expectations and followed the Lord wherever he led them. At the end of the Gospel of John, it’s interesting to note that after that surprise, Jesus does another miracle in turning Simon the fisherman and the “fisher of men'' into a shepherd who would feed the lambs and care for Jesus’ sheep. What amazing flexibility in following the call of Jesus. As we enter this new season, let us ask ourselves - “Am I willing to flex my expectations to follow Jesus Christ wherever he calls?” I pray that the stories in this magazine will be an encouragement and resource to you as you grow deeper in physical, mental, emotional, social, and spiritual flexibility. With you on the journey of "flexpectations!"

Ronald A. Matthews, President


C O N T E N T S

04 FOOTBALL Eastern University is pleased to announce the addition of Football to its athletic offerings starting in the fall of 2022. The Eastern Eagles will begin competition in the Middle Atlantic Conference in the fall of 2023.

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COMMUNITY 6

ACA D E M I C S 8

F E AT U R E 18

SPOTLIGHTS 28

ALUMNI

18 SIDELINE MISSION Nursing major Kerry Phillips ’22 reflects on her experience serving the Women’s Soccer Team as Athletic Chaplain.

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06 NEW LIFEFLEX™ PROGRAMS Answering the call for affordable, convenient, accessible, and high-quality education, Eastern has reshaped the delivery of higher ed and is proud to announce the rollout of our new LifeFlex™ programs.

08 FEATURE: FLEXIBILITY Bend. Stretch. Flex. In every facet of life, we have to learn to develop new and healthy habits so we can survive and thrive. We invited several key members of our community to write on the concept of flexibility and how it relates to our lives physically, mentally, socially, and spiritually. ASSOCIATE VICE PRESIDENT / MICHAEL THOMAS, MBA ’18, PSYD Publisher / KELLY GODDARD EDITOR & PRODUCER / ALLY (HOLMES) ROSARIO ’14, MED ’21 Creative Director & Lead Designer / DANIEL PEIRCE Photographer & cover photography / ELYSE GARNER ’13 Designer / ALAINA MOSSO ADDITIONAL PHOTO CREDIT / HARTMAN BENZON MEDIA (23) PICTURED ON COVER / ANGEL REYNOLDS '24

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Please send comments or article suggestions to: media@eastern.edu Alumni news should be sent to: alumni@eastern.edu

ALUMNI SPOTLIGHTS

Palmer Seminary alumni news should be sent to:

Read inspiring stories of Eastern, Palmer, and Esperanza alumni, who learned how to adapt, bend without breaking, and flex to make the biggest impact in their spheres of influence.

Marketing and Communications at Eastern University

palmeralum@eastern.edu PUBLISHED BY ONLINE AT eastern.edu/MAGAZINE

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C O M M U N I T Y

EASTERN By Dan Mouw

I am pleased to see the arts, athletics, and our community as a whole come together to celebrate a new chapter in our Eastern legacy and future.”

EASTERN UNIVERSITY IS PLEASED to announce the addition of Football to

its athletic offerings starting in the fall of 2022. The Eastern Eagles will begin competition in the Middle Atlantic Conference in the fall of 2023. “We look forward to the many ways this addition will positively impact the student experience at Eastern,” Athletic Director Eric McNelley shares of the new program. “With the addition of Football as well as Cheer, Dance, and a Pep Band, students will have more opportunities to engage with our athletic department in a variety of ways.” Steps have already begun in related activities and athletic offerings. This past summer, McNelley announced the hiring of Coach Julie Berardi to lead Eastern’s new Cheer and Dance Program. Dr. Edward Jakuboski, Eastern’s Director of Music Education, assisted by Josh Guenther, Eastern’s Music Technical Director, will build and recruit a pep band. Eastern University signed an agreement with nearby Valley Forge Military Academy regarding the use of their football and track facilities. The location is less than a mile from Eastern’s campus and will provide a space that will be accessible and conducive to

RON MATTHEWS

PRESIDENT

community celebration and excitement. Work is already being done to resurface the football field and track, and to update the indoor facilities. Eastern’s Strength and Conditioning staff is already in the process of updating the weight training facility on site, and several current Eastern teams have started off-season workouts in that space. In making the announcement to the Eastern Community, President Ron Matthews shared, “I am pleased to see the

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FOOTBALL arts, athletics, and our community as a whole come together to celebrate a new chapter in our Eastern legacy and future. I look forward to programs sparking school spirit, more campus events, increased enrollment opportunities, and different experiences for our student body.” Leading into this announcement, Eastern Athletics has been in an unprecedented period of growth. This past summer, the department hired full-time assistants in Athletic Communications, Athletic Training, and several rapidly growing programs. Eastern is a member of the Middle Atlantic Conference and competes in the MAC Commonwealth for most of its sports. Eastern Football will join Albright, Alvernia, Delaware Valley, FDU-Florham, Lebanon Valley, Lycoming, King’s, Misericordia, Stevenson, Widener, and Wilkes in the MAC. Questions about the program can be directed to: football@eastern.edu.

Learn more and be recruited: goeasterneagles.com/football

DAN MOUW SERVES AS DIRECTOR OF ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS AT EASTERN

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A C A D E M I C S

We When Life Doesn’t B y A l ly ( h o l m e s ) R o s a r i o ’ 1 4 , M E d ’ 2 1

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Introducing Eastern’s New LifeFlex™ Programs COUNTLESS WORKING ADULTS share that the complexities of life, finances, and a hectic schedule keep them from taking the next step in their education. While they might desire the career opportunities and personal growth that higher education can bring, they worry about financial debt, lack of work-life-school balance, and the emotional strain of juggling their many responsibilities. What if there was a better way? Answering the call for affordable, convenient, accessible, and high-quality education, Eastern has reshaped the delivery of higher ed and is proud to announce the rollout of our new LifeFlex™ programs. These innovative programs are handcrafted to accommodate student needs and educational goals, while flexing to fit the demands and priorities of working adults. With online formats, self-paced courses, and incredibly affordable prices, these LifeFlex™ programs promise to flex when life doesn’t.

MBA in Organizational management

Master's in data science

Master's in social work

Our popular Master’s in Data Science is

Our new MSW program trains social work

Our innovative Master of Business

priced approximately 50 to 80% less than

practitioners to apply trauma-informed

Administration equips students with

most other schools’ programs and does not

competencies in a wide variety of settings.

the knowledge, business acumen, and

require prior knowledge or experience in

The MSW equips professionals to provide

strategic mindset necessary to lead

the field of data science. “Data science for

compassionate care and comprehensive

successful teams in high-performing

all” is our motto! This program teaches the

practical experiences that build upon the

organizations. An optional concentration

essential skill sets necessary to thrive in

resilience of clients and constituencies in

in Business Analytics is also available.

today’s data-driven economy.

order to help them thrive.

F O R M AT:

F O R M AT:

F O R M AT:

100% online, self-paced within

100% online, self-paced within

100% online, self-paced coursework

7-week terms

7-week terms

with guided deadlines within 7-week terms

TIME TO COMPLETE:

As little as 10 months

TIME TO COMPLETE:

As little as 10 months

TIME TO COMPLETE:

As little as 2 years •

CO S T:

$9,900 (for general track) Learn more at eastern.edu/mba

CO S T:

$9,900 Learn more at eastern.edu/data

CO S T:

$14,400 (for students who qualify for advanced standing) Learn more at eastern.edu/msw

Receive a 20% Alumni Discount if you earned an undergraduate degree from EU! 7


F E A T U R E

f l e x · i · b i l· i · t y /,fleksə'bilətē/ (noun)

the quality of bending easily without breaking

BEND. STRETCH. FLEX. It’s no secret that life in our world demands flexibility. We are constantly called upon to adapt, “roll with the punches,” and bend to whatever life throws our way. But at times, this ability to bend without breaking can prove to be more challenging than one would think. In every facet of life, we have to learn how to practice flexibility. Whether that’s in our daily interactions, mental health, physical wellbeing, or even our spiritual journeys, we have to bend without breaking, be willing to change, and develop new and healthy

EXPLORE ARTICLES ON FLEXIBILITY: 10 Physical 12 Mental 14 Social 16 Spiritual

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habits so we can survive and thrive. For this issue, we invited several key members of our community to write on the concept of flexibility and how it relates to their fields of expertise. Our prayer is that these reflections encourage and inspire you as you stretch forward into your next season. pictured right: Cion Rawls '23.



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3 Healthy Habits Simple Daily Tips for Staying Physically Flexible

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MORNING MOVEMENT:

Develop a quick morning routine for movement. This can be as simple as going for a 10 minute walk and then stretching the hip flexors, upper back (Thoracic Spine), hamstrings, and calves. There are many good fitness apps out there, too – I recommend the free Nike Training club app (you can find it in your phone’s app store); they have some great restorative yoga workouts that take less than 20 minutes.

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FREQUENT BREAKS:

Every 3-4 hours, get up and go for a 5-10 minute walk. During this time, stay off of screens including your phone, and stretch your hamstrings and upper back. After your break, drink 8-12 ounces of water (you’ll want to build up to 64 ounces daily!). Drinking water is critical for overall health and wellbeing – it

By Brian Bingaman, MEd, MSCC, PN1

IF 2020 TAUGHT US ANYTHING, it is the importance of flexibility — whether that flexibility is physical, emotional, or just the ability to be flexible with our schedule from day to day. As a strength and conditioning coach for more than 18 years, I've always understood the importance of physical flexibility as it pertains to athletic performance. But as I've gotten older, and as I’ve been

can affect your energy levels and brain functioning.

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STRENGTH TRAINING:

Get some sort of strength training workout in. This can be as little as 30 minutes a day. Many times "tight" muscles are actually weak and underworked muscles. Being strong and being able to move go hand in hand.

spending a lot more time sitting in front of a computer trying to do a job that is usually done in person (thanks to COVID), the idea of flexibility really hit home. From a physical standpoint, we all need to move. Plain and simple. Most of us have jobs that require us to sit at a desk for long periods of time. Tight lower backs, tight hips, and tight upper backs are usually the result. Taking a few minutes out of your day every few hours to walk around and move can pay huge dividends over the course of the year. Here are some of my personal suggestions for incorporating more flexibility into your daily life:

The tips above are all simple and actionable steps. They really only take about an hour each day if you do all of them. But when added up through the course of a week, a month, a year, the compounded time can make a huge impact on your overall health. If you haven't been doing a flexibility routine, get started! Start with one actionable step. When that becomes a habit, add another. If you miss a day, don’t be discouraged, don't stop – just keep moving and "stay flexible."

Brian Bingaman is the Associate Director of Performance, Health, and Wellness in Eastern University’s Athletics Department.

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The Key to a Healthy Mind B y R a n d o l p h Wa lt e r s , P s y D , L P C , C C T P, C S A M I HAVE ALWAYS HELD that flexibility is one of

healthy mind facilitates adaptation and growth and

structural categories. It is this ability that enables

the critical components in managing life well. All

prepares us for whatever life brings.

us to heal after traumatic brain injuries, cognitive

across the lifespan, flexibility is a contributing factor in healthy psychosocial functioning and developing and sustaining healthy relationships. Flexibility itself implies an ability to bend, to move, and to change. Psychological flexibility then, represents one’s willingness and openness in responding to both the internal and external factors in one’s life. It provides us with healthier coping responses to the world around us.

The Apostle Paul challenges believers to a kind of

impairments, and psychological trauma.

psychological flexibility, an open invitation to think

God has provided us with ways to help facilitate

and respond differently in the world:

neuroplasticity and a healthy mind. Exposure to

“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” (Romans 12:2, NLT)

new experiences, new learning, and the creation of memories reflects the existence of neuroplasticity. We can retrain our thoughts and behaviors through many researched psychological approaches, including things like personal mantras, selfaffirmations, use of scriptures in self-affirmations,

We must be willing to adapt and respond to the

use of prayer to confess and target negative

uncertain realities of life. This is part of a healthy

thoughts, mindfulness techniques like meditation,

mind.

guided imagery, and mental body scans.

life. In some sense, nothing is perfect and life can

God knew that we needed psychological flexibility

God has created us with a tremendous ability to

be messy. But psychological flexibility provides

to live life effectively, so he created our brains

flex, to adapt, and to change. No wonder King

us with the healing tools to respond to the

with the ability to do so. This is great news! He

David was in awe of our creation: “Thank you

uncertainty and messiness of life.

made our brains “neuroplastic,” which is simply the

for making me so wonderfully complex! Your

ability for your brain to reorganize itself. Negative

workmanship is marvelous - how well I know it.”

and dysfunctional thoughts do not have to have the

(Psalm 139:14, NLT)

This mental flexibility is the basis of cognitive restructuring. It is foundational to the healing process. Uncertainty is an existential reality of

Cognitive restructuring is an important technique that helps us change the way we think, particularly those thoughts and beliefs that are negative and dysfunctional that keep us in unhealthy patterns of behavior. Aristotle once said, “We are what we repeatedly do.” What we repeatedly do is a result of how we think, and what we believe. A

final say. The concept of neuroplasticity is more than just the ability of neurons and neuropathways

Dr. Randolph Walters is Associate

to alter their behaviors and connections in

Professor of Counseling Psychology

response to experiences and changes in their

and Special Asst. to the President

environment – it also involves functional and

for Diversity, Equity, & Belonging.

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F E A T U R E

C R E AT I N G M E A N I N G F U L

By julie morgan, Edd

How do we flex our ways of communicating to meet our deep need for connection? MY FRIENDS IN THE Templeton Honors College often ask questions about what it means to live a good life. In the world of communication, we understand that “a good life” requires good relationships, which require good communication and flexibility.

LEAD WITH CURIOSITY.

The key is to lead with curiosity, rather than diagnosis, assessment, or self-promotion. Let’s pretend that we are visiting an art museum. We go, we experience the art, but we don’t take it home. The encounter is fully viable in and

Let’s assume that we are all wired or designed for

of itself. We can do the same when we meet other people.

meaningful connection with each other. At the same

If we approach one another with curiosity, we have the

time, we can fear taking the steps toward meaningful

opportunity to make meaningful connections with others

connections with each other, wondering, “Am I worthy

that aren’t dependent on our own social satiation.

of connection?” This internal questioning can lead to fear and shame, and ultimately, a lack of connection. So how do we flex our ways of communicating to meet our deep need for connection despite being afraid of rejection?

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GO 3 QUESTIONS DEEP.

MINE FOR THEIR PASSIONS.

One theory in communication compares getting to know

Passions are more interesting than positions. What inspires

each other as peeling back layers of an onion. We want to

someone? What are their hopes and dreams? What do they

be curious and stay in an exploratory mode, rather than a

love? If you want to make real connections with others, focus

checklist mode, so we focus on asking 3 questions.

on their passion and what motivates them. “What do you find

For example, if I meet someone and they tell me that they like archery, the conversation might go something like this:

most inspiring about your faith right now?” is a much more interesting question than “What is your position on baptism?” Talking about passion rather than position leads us to explore

Me: Do you have any hobbies?

our common humanity together.

Them: I really like archery.

The next time you are in a situation where you feel like

Me: Oh interesting – what do you like about archery?

you’re struggling to connect with other people, remember that we are all designed for connection. Lean into initiating

Them: “....” (they tell me something they like about it and

conversation. Lead with curiosity. Try to go three questions

mention growing up doing archery with Dad.)

deep. And, mine for their passions. These approaches will

Me: That’s nice that you share a hobby with your dad – what was it like doing archery with your Dad? Them: “…” (they tell me a memory that involves them in the woods with their father as a child). Me: That is so interesting! I don’t plan ahead what my questions are; I ask them based on

help develop more meaningful conversations and deeper relationships for a better life.

dr. julie morgan is professor of Communication Studies at Eastern University and teaches courses in Interpersonal Communication, Conflict Management, and Communication Theory.

listening. This dynamic approach creates the opportunity to learn about what the person loves. It becomes a much more interesting and meaningful conversation.

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NAVIGATING FAILURE WITH A SPIRITUALLY & EMOTIONALLY HEALTHY PERSPECTIVE b y J o n at h a n H o b b s ’ 0 1 , M T S ’ 1 9 A PROVERB POPULAR IN CREATIVE CIRCLES states that for a person to

he chastises the third servant for allowing fear to hold him

have a single good idea, they must go through nine bad ones first. Good ideas

back from trying to make anything of his talents. It is his fear,

are apparently like diamonds in the rough, and digging them out takes time

not his failure, that ultimately defines this servant.

and perseverance.

We have each been given talents we can use to make this

A few years ago, I began to wonder why, if the “nine-out-of-ten-rule” is true,

world closer to what it should be. If we allow fear to hold us

do we only celebrate the tenth idea? Why do we not hear more about the

back, our impact will never multiply. Psalm 73 says “My flesh

other nine? If a director wins an award for a film, could we pay more attention

and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and

to his nine previous movies to see the process? When a musician’s album tops

my portion forever.” Our failures do not define us – our secure

the chart, could we shine more light on her earlier work?

footing as beloved children of God does. Grounded in this

Ignoring the “other nine” has led our culture to develop a massively unhealthy understanding of success and failure. When we ignore the process and only

perspective, we can see failure as a guide on our journey, not a defining part of our identity.

celebrate the final product, we are left with unrealistic expectations of what it

What if, then, we allowed our failures to teach us and help us as

takes to create something of quality.

we flex, pivot, and move forward? What if failures could actually

My friend and fellow alum John Chaffee ’06, MDiv ’11, once told me about how

be a blessing?

some cultures have a step in between success and failure. For lack of better

If we live in a world that does not celebrate the “good try,” then

translation, we would call it a “good try.” I think we need to bring this concept

we end up defining failure as anything short of success. When

into our ethos - and we need to celebrate it! Far too many people are throwing

we misunderstand failure, we will use all our creative energy to go

in the towel far too early.

backwards because moving forward seems far too risky.

I think this is where many of us found ourselves during the pandemic.

There is probably something you have been putting off, because you

We were required to flex and rethink everything from work meetings to

are not sure you will get it exactly right. Stop delaying. Do it. If you

friendships to classrooms – and even church services! We have been trying

nail it, then congratulations. If not, that’s okay. We miss the mark far

one idea after another, but in the end a lot of us felt like failures. And in times

more often than we hit it.

like these people are tempted to use their creative energy to justify going back to old ways instead of rethinking what the new reality needs to be. Perhaps we are insecure about whether our skills and talents will be needed in the new reality… so instead we push hard to return to the familiar.

Just make sure it’s a good try.

Jonathan Hobbs ’01, MTS ’19 is Director of Family Ministries at Church of the Good Samaritan in Paoli, PA, serves as the

In Matthew 25, Jesus tells the familiar Parable of the Talents. In the story, a

Philadelphia Area Director for the Center for Youth Ministry

property owner entrusts his servants with various amounts of money while he

Training, and is An adjunct professor at Eastern University.

goes away. Two of the servants invest their shares, but the third is afraid of losing the money, so he buries it in the ground. When the landowner returns,

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S P O T L I G H T

Though I’m still grieving... I’ve had to lean into Christ to find my identity instead – and I want the same for other athletes – to know that they are worthy, loved, seen, and enough apart from what they can offer athletically.”

KERRY PHILLIPS

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Sideline Mission ATHLETIC CHAPLAIN KERRY PHILLIPS ’22 REFLECTS ON HER EXPERIENCE SERVING THE WOMEN’S SOCCER TEAM B y A l ly ( H o l m e s ) R o s a r i o ’ 4 , M E d ’ 2

WHILE ATHLETIC COMPETITION is often

“Athletics often comes with a lot of pride,

athletes – to know that they are worthy, loved,

seen as a platform for personal success,

security, and identity issues as players

seen, and enough apart from what they can

identity, and pride, nursing major and soccer

compete for the win, the coach’s attention, or a

offer athletically.”

goalkeeper Kerry Phillips ’22 sees things a little

spot on the field. However, when those things

differently. For Kerry, the excitement of her

are taken away for one reason or another and

sport is not only found in the adrenaline rush

it no longer satisfies, it leaves an empty hole in

of a win, but in the relationships and spiritual

the heart of an athlete.”

support she is able to provide her team as their

Flexibility is key to Kerry’s role as chaplain. “Flexibility in this role involves building relationships that can exist apart from the rigid structures and schedules that life as a student,

Kerry personally experienced this when several

athlete, family member, and friend can

concussions landed her a spot on the bench

constrain us to. Without practicing flexibility,

“Serving as chaplain for the women's soccer

instead of in goal. “Though I’m still grieving,

community cannot exist,” Kerry believes.

team has provided me a unique opportunity

I’ve learned that sitting on the bench has

“Making myself available and flexible has

to share about my faith and create an open

enabled me to see what is happening on the

given me the opportunity to be attuned to and

atmosphere for others to share about theirs,”

field, and just as importantly, on the sidelines.

respond to the unique needs of my team and

Kerry explains. “My primary role is to serve my

I’ve had to lean into Christ to find my identity

to encourage them as they navigate life in and

teammates and address their spiritual needs in

instead – and I want the same for other

out of their sport.”

Athletic Chaplain.

a variety of ways.”

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S P O T L I G H T

WHY MENTORING THE NEXT GENERATION MATTERS FEATURING GLORIA VÁZQUEZ MERRICK ’10 by daniel peirce The familiar movement of

becoming the Director of LDI. “Today, I’m

and social service needs of their community

walking through Harrisburg’s

the emboldened version of my ‘little self’ – I

such as creating bilingual programs which offer

Allison Hill neighborhood

graduated almost 300 women from the LDI over

educational and recreational events, as well

transports Gloria back to

the course of about 5 years. Here I was, a Latina,

as emergency relief for the Latino community.

childhood. Even as a child, it

the director. I never saw that coming, but it was a

“During Hurricane Maria, over 400 families came

was obvious that Gloria was

really good feeling!”

to our Latino Center after losing their homes,

“hard-wired to help others.” It began by walking Mrs. Coleman’s dog and doing odd-jobs for the seniors in her neighborhood. In time, Gloria’s lifework would be birthed in community as she found simple joy in loving others. Gloria’s irresistible draw to leadership began early. Inspired by her father’s courageous leadership while immigrating the family from Puerto Rico in 1951 and her strong connection with their local church, Gloria’s faith took root and motivated her to serve in her parish community.

In 2010, Gloria graduated with her bachelor's in Management Studies from Eastern University and realized that, after years in the public sector where she progressed from a secretary to a senior consultant, God was preparing her for a special new mission—back in her home neighborhood. “I’ve done a full circle back to my community where I grew up. Now I’ve taken everything that

jobs, and the ability to stay in Puerto Rico. One survivor shared, ‘…I was so lost when I arrived, my feelings and thoughts were trapped inside me. Now I am here to express my gratitude for the guidance and encouragement you provided!’” “These encounters are a constant reminder of how God plants seeds in us so we can sow seeds in others,” Gloria continues.

I’ve learned to serve the Latino Hispanic American

“Even today, I try to find the hidden talents and

community just three blocks from where I was

needs in others to help them find their purpose

born.” As the Executive Director of the Latino

in life. Sometimes that means turning down ideas

Her leadership gifts flourished in the workplace as

Hispanic American Community Center in Allison

of what you think your life should look like in

well. Later in her career, Gloria accepted a unique

Hill, Gloria is fulfilling her life-long calling. Her

order to fulfill a bigger and more rewarding need

opportunity to work in the Commonwealth's

mission is “to help a vulnerable community in

in caring for your own community. Today, I work

premier Leadership Development Institute (LDI)

Allison Hill meet their basic human needs and to

hard to raise funds, to help our community rise

for Women in State Government. She admits,

guide them on their pathway to self-sufficiency.”

out of poverty, and to help the next generation

“When I started my government career, I was naive but very tenacious.” Gloria continued to stretch herself by powering through the LDI, continuing to attend college, and eventually

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For over a decade, Gloria and her team have helped countless people and families gain courage and successfully launch out in their lives. The center works hard to meet the basic

find their runway to success!”

To learn more about the Latino Hispanic American Community Center where Gloria serves as the Executive Director, visit: lhacc.org


Today, I work hard to raise funds, to help our community rise out of poverty, and to help the next generation find their runway to success!” GLORIA MER ICK

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S P O T L I G H T

PHILAMEDIA B y K e l ly G o d d a r d

Twin brothers Beau & Clint Rosario ’14 are shaping culture through their dynamic Philadelphia-based film production company PHILADELPHIA MAY BE KNOWN AS the City of Brotherly Love,

universities (including Eastern!), as well as short fflms, travel

but for twin brothers Beau and Clint Rosario ’14, Philadelphia has

pieces, and videos (including artist J. Balvin). They even plan to

also been the city of brotherly collaboration, entrepreneurship,

release their ffrst feature-length documentary, “The Elephants and

and creativity.

the Grass,” a geopolitical piece about the South Sudanese civil war

This dynamic duo has teamed up to create an innovative fflm

and refugee crisis in East Africa.

production company known as Philamedia that continues to

With such a diverse scope of projects, flexibility has been key

expand and positively impact its community. The company’s vast

for Philamedia as they adapt to meet the needs of each unique

portfolio includes videos for commercial work (with brands like

project. Eastern alumnus Clint serves as Executive Producer and

Footlocker, UBS, and Planet Fitness), non-profft agencies, and

Temple grad Beau works as Creative Director.

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“ If I can keep the crew and clients energized, confident, and happy, then I’ve done the most important part of my job.” I reached out to Clint to learn more about Philamedia’s

community, and church to meet urgent needs whenever

work as well as how his time at Eastern shaped him for

they arise. And deep in an urban environment, these

his work.

types of needs can come at any moment.”

Similar to other traditional companies in the industry,

Clint reflects on the way his time at Eastern helped

Philamedia’s core team is small but utilizes a wide variety

to develop the flexibility and passion he now uses on

of specialized subcontractors and friends depending on

a daily basis. “While at EU, I studied Youth Ministry, a

the project needs. As they lead these creative teams,

more agile career path than others. But it was probably

Clint is passionate about ensuring a positive and healthy

my involvement and leadership in other extracurricular

culture among the crew during each project, flexing to

groups and activities such as Wednesday Night Worship

meet the needs of each unique team.

where I developed my affinity for change and the

“At the end of the day, I’ve always seen culture maintenance as my most valuable responsibility; if I can keep the crew and clients energized, confident, and

need for flexibility. Just like youth ministry, those roles consistently involved addressing changing needs and mission, which is something I lean into daily.”

happy, then I’ve done the most important part of my

For Clint, it’s the perfect fit. “I love working at Philamedia

job. Every project and every crew requires something

for a lot of reasons: I get to balance creative work with

different from me.”

entrepreneurship, which means my job is never boring.

In addition to making a positive impact while on set, the flexibility of self-employment also allows Clint to make an impact in his West Philadelphia neighborhood and surrounding community. “My work doesn’t just require flexibility, it allows for it. I have the ability to flex my

That one’s really important for me — I love change. And being self-employed brings all the change and flexibility I could want in a career.”

Learn more about Philamedia at phila.media and check out their documentary at elephantsandgrass.com.

schedule to be present for my family, neighborhood,

Brothers Beau & Clint monitoring the camera feed in the "Video Village."

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S P O T L I G H T

The One About Faith B y S a n o v i a G a r r e t t, M A ’ 1 8

E A S T E R N

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S P O T L I G H T


Faith Nowell's inspiring journey of adaptability includes graduating from Palmer Seminary at age 73. HEBREWS 11 reassures the reader that “Faith

how we as a people are called to shift our

is the substance of things hoped for and the

perspective from the “patterns of this world” in

evidence of things not seen,” or as The Message

order to “test and approve what God’s will is—

version explicitly declares:

his good, pleasing, and perfect will.” The will of

“The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see. The act of faith is what distinguished our ancestors; set them above the crowd.” At 73 years old, Faith Nowell MTS ’21, a graduate of Palmer Theological Seminary with her Master of Theological Studies (Openseminary), is the hope, evidence, and inspiration of many to adapt, endure, and see the assignment through to the end. Faith’s journey was not an easy one, however. “My journey back to school was challenging, but necessary to complete my assignment. The major motivating factor was the call of God to pursue and complete my journey. If there was no difficulty in the process I would have done this years ago. However, I am sure that I am where the Lord would have me to be at this present time in my life.” When many may be stopped with shortsighted vision, Faith pressed on in a technologically advanced society while in the middle of a pandemic to pursue a degree. In the challenging space of overcoming her “fear of failure,” she was challenged to shift her imagination and

God in Faith’s case was to finish no matter the cost, be it financially, mentally, or emotionally. Call it a Faith manifesto—a chance to believe in the capability of Palmer to prepare her for further ministry. “Palmer helped to prepare me for innovative ways to minister, to think outside the box, and not to rely solely on the traditional methods I was taught.” Faith further believes that Isaiah 43:19 sums up the impact Palmer had on her vocation: “Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?” Our perception of what we can and cannot do is a matter of our belief and faith in God’s plan and promises for us. I find it largely appropriate that Faith’s name is interconnected with how we should plan to live our lives—expecting to experience our hopes of the unseen, yet simple, miracles of life. Faith is grateful that Palmer’s online Openseminary program was diverse, from the program’s guest speakers to the ability to

Palmer Seminary helped to prepare me for innovative ways to minister, to think outside the box, and not to rely solely on the traditional methods I was taught.”

converse with classmates from all over the world and varying cultures. “The step by step approach in ministry allowed for my inward reflection and helped further my outreach to others,” Faith shares.

vision from simply being “the oldest person in

To learn more about Palmer’s online Openseminary

the program with an outdated approach to life

programs, visit palmerseminary.edu

and ministry” — to envisioning herself as this God-inspired evidence of the things she had yet to see. The non-conformity and renewal of Faith’s mind

Sanovia Garrett MA ’18 is the social media and communications manager for Palmer Theological Seminary.

reminds me of Romans 12:2, which describes

25


P L M S A P O T LE IR G H T

AN AWARD-WINNING DOCUMENTARY FEATURing BARBIE'S depicting THE current FOOD CRISIS in america.

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ESPERANZA ALUMNA BARBIE IZQUIERDO ’15 ADVOCATES TO END THE CYCLE OF GENERATIONAL FOOD INSECURITY AND POVERTY by Stephanie Brown, Edd

BARBIE IZQUIERDO ’ 1 5 started advocating

watch the documentary to this day reach out

Barbie says, “I was that person who thought

against food insecurity and fighting for food

to me on Instagram, Facebook, or LinkedIn.

I couldn’t be successful, and couldn’t go to

justice issues thirteen years ago. Now a

They send me the most incredible messages.”

college, but I did it. I was a part of the Honor’s

recognized and respected voice in the fight against hunger, she works passionately to end the cycle of generational food insecurity and poverty.

Food insecurity, the lack of access to nutritious and affordable food, affects families worldwide every single day. According to a report by

Society, Phi Beta Kappa, and graduated with excellent grades. I think a lot of people can relate to my story.”

Hunger Free America, between 2015-2017,

Today, Barbie continues her fight against

“I speak out and share my experiences of

302,685 residents of Philadelphia lived in food-

food insecurity as Community Empowerment

trying to raise two kids while earning less than

insecure households, which translates to one

Manager at Hunger Free America, a position

minimum wage, having a job, then losing a

out of five people of the total population.

that benefits greatly from her lived expertise.

job, and trying to go to school all at the same time,” Barbie shares. “I am lobbying for food assistance programs and to bring awareness to what would happen if budget cuts are made to them. I know true change cannot happen if no one talks about it.” Barbie has been featured in an award-winning documentary called, “A Place At The Table,” where her day-to-day struggle with food insecurity was filmed for two years. LA Times says the documentary “may rank among the most moving, in that it tackles a seemingly

Experts predict that food insecurity will continue to spread because of COVID-19. Nonetheless, there are “heroes of hope and impact” on the front lines everyday fighting against food insecurity. Barbie Izquierdo is one of them. Barbie has been a keynote speaker at the White House alongside President Joe Biden and has testified before Congress and at Capitol

Her pivot from a person experiencing food insecurity herself to an advocate for others is a powerful example of flexibility and strength. She is truly a “hero of esperanza (hope) and impact.” Watch "A Place at the Table," an award-winning film featuring Barbie’s story, on Amazon, Youtube, Google Play, and more! Learn more about Barbie at barbie-izquierdo.com.

Hill. She travels nationally speaking on food insecurity, childhood obesity, and nutrition.

straightforward, solvable problem: hunger in

In 2015, Barbie graduated from Esperanza

the United States.” The documentary has made

College of Eastern University with an associate

a lasting impression. Barbie says, “People that

degree in Criminal Justice.

Dr. Stephanie Brown is Director of Student Success and Director of English at Esperanza College of Eastern University.

A FACT WORTH PONDERING:

Food insecurity, the lack of access to nutritious and affordable food, affects families worldwide every single day. 27


A L U M N I

Alumni Class Notes

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Eastern and Palmer Alumni Class Notes

1950 S Jim Meek ’56, MDiv ’59 and his wife, Beverly, are involved with a meals program at church, The Rescue Mission, support for pastors in Cambodia, and two teaching missions.

Paul Bolster's ’66 recent environmental

goal in writing the book was not only to help

politics book, Saving the Georgia Coast, has

people remember the Holocaust, but also

received the Reed Award from the Southern

to convey how easily a democratic nation

Environmental Law Center. The award honors

can slip into a similar dystopia.” Jeff credits

the best environmental writing for 2021.

former sociology professor, Tony Campolo

The book has also been nominated for the

’56, BD ’60, THM ’61, HD ’06, and philosophy

Georgia Writer of the Year award in History.

professor, Peter Genco, for influencing this

Maynard Hatch ’57, BD ’60 is celebrating 60

Dr. John Ruth ’56, HD '02, who taught Paul's

work as far back as the early 1970s. “They are

years of ordination and lives in Indianapolis with

freshman English composition class, was very

two of the most important people in my life,

his wife, Ruth.

pleased with the book and Paul suspect's that

and I am fortunate to have maintained contact

Dr. Ruth liked it better than Paul's freshman

with them to this day.”

As of March, 2021, Hays Wiltshire, BD ’58 was still preaching and had recently celebrated his

composition.

Rev. Evelyn Stupp ’76, MDiv ’79 is enjoying

90th birthday (in January). Hays passed away in

Donald Forden, MA ’69 and his wife, Donna,

retirement, traveling, and helping churches

July of 2021.

reside in Laguna Woods, CA (Southern CA)

develop bereavement ministries.

and feel like they live in Mayberry/Paradise.

1960 S

John Zehring ’69, MDiv ’89 has a new publication: Geography of Hymn Writers:

1980 S

Evelyn (Evy) Andrus Hanks Stewart, MRE ’60

Where to Visit Their Creative Spark.

Lee Axtell, MDiv ’89 and wife, Paula, are

married Bruce Stewart in 2013; they are living

“Geography of Hymn Writers” takes the stories

excited to connect with our Eastern and

at Hillside Senior Community in McMinnville,

of hymn writers and organizes them according

Palmer family here at the Biennial. We are

OR. Evy has served as a CE director, language

to the geography of the authors.

stationed with the Marine Corps at Camp

teacher in the community college, and doing prison ministry including ESL courses. Evy believes her time in prison ministry was the most rewarding service.

Lejeune, NC. God bless.

1970 S Glen Kennedy, MDiv ’74 is developing a small-

After many years of ministry (48 years) as an

scale Christian retreat center on his property

Associate Minister of Christian Education,

in Lockwood, NY.

Wallace Cromwell, MRE ’62 retired in 2010 and has since served as an Interim Pastor in more ABC churches than Wallace can keep track of! Serving as an Interim Pastor was a joy and blessing! Wallace is now "retired" and lives in Tuscon, AZ.

1990 S Caroline Welty ’95, MBA ’00 is engaged to fellow alumnus, Leon Coleman ’89! Caroline

Dr. Jeff Leonards ’75, released a historical

and Leon met in 1986, have been friends for

novel entitled Fräulein: Struggle for Identity,

more than 3 decades, and have been through

which centers around a young, female

so many ups and downs together. They feel so

psychiatrist in Berlin who pays a price for

blessed to have found unconditional love

resisting the Nazis during the Holocaust. Of

in each other!

his book, Jeff states: “Even at age 69, I remain

Ann Thomas, MAR ’65 is, at 80 years of age,

haunted by the atrocities perpetrated by the

serving as Parish Deacon at Emanuel Lutheran

Nazis and have spent much of my adult life

Church in Marion, Ohio and recently preached

trying to better understand man’s penchant

her first sermon.

for cruelty, discrimination and oppression,

Dan Schaefer ’99 graduated May 2021 with a Master of Science in Emergency Management from Millersville University. Dan is currently serving as a Police Sergeant in Cheltenham Twp., PA.

regardless of race, religion or ethnicity. My

29


E A S T E R N U N I V E R S I T Y A N D PA L M E R S E M I N A R Y IN MEMORY BY CLASS YEAR:

2000 S Leona Baker ’05 truly enjoyed her educational experience with Eastern University. Leona graduated October 7,

1940s

1970s

Herbert Brownlee, BD ’42 / April 11, 2020

R. Lee Delp ’72 / February 28, 2021

Samuel Faircloth, BD ’45 / November 23, 2020

Margaret Jeffers ’78 / May 30, 2021

2005 having earned the Special Recognition Award. Currently, she is the CEO of Plans

Jeanette Wilfong ’78 1950s Louisa Young, BSM ’51 / March 14, 2021

1980s

Dr. Frederick Boehlke, BD ’52 / April 10, 2021

Wendy McCleary, ’80 / April 12, 2021

Vergie Spiker, MRE ’53 / August 15, 2018

looking forward to reconnecting and sharing

Doug Whittle, MDiv ’80, DMin ’89 / February 28,

Dr. William Zulker ’53, DMin ’78 /

2021

many of the interviews she has conducted.

September 4, 2021

Ezekiel Bey, MDiv ’81 / July 26, 2021

Eugene Gregory, BD ’55 / April 26, 2020

Jean Munro, MDiv ’81 / December 1, 2020

Victor Tupitza ’55, AB/BD ’58 / February 15, 2021

Duane Smith, DMin ’84 / April 22, 2021

Philip S. Brown ’56, BD ’59, THM ’59 / June 18, 2021

Phyllis Cassidy ’87 / February 12, 2021

Joseph Feiler, BD ’56 / November 20, 2017

James E. Johnson, DMin ’87 / July 23, 2021

of Action Houston, Leona's small business established in Houston, Texas. Leona is

2010 S Jordyn Rystrom Emmert ’11, Esq. (Templeton

William Stahl, BD ’56, DMin ’76 / November 14, 2018

Honors College Cohort of 2007) graduated

Alden Long, BD ’57 / October 5, 2020

with her LLM (Master of Laws) in International

Virginia Swetnam, MRE ’57 / May 21, 2020

Law from the University of Houston in May, 2021. She has also been asked to join the law

David Fountain, BD ’58, MDiv ’58 / March 12, 2021 Edward Gaul, MDiv ’58 / September 13, 2020 Gordon Wilson, BD ’59, MDiv ’73 / April, 2019

firm Schneider Wallace Cottrell Brayton. Christopher Holland, MDiv ’12 was recently

1960s Jerry Anderson, MDiv ’60 / December 15, 2020

named the Executive Director of The Common

Carl Baskin, BD ’60 / January, 2021

Place in southwest Philadelphia. Chris is an

Joyce Hackenyos ’60, MEd / February 24, 2021

ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church U.S.A and serves at Salt and Light as the

Archibold Leyasmeyer, MRE ’60 / October 22, 2016 Christian Matthews, BD ’60, MRE ’60 /

1990s Carol McFarland ’93 / August 13, 2021 2000s Daniel Pulley, MDiv ’03 / June 17, 2021 Victoria Parker-Corley, MEd ’05 / March 21, 2021 2010s Keith Keppley, PhD ’12 / August 4, 2021 Jose Antonio Altamirano, MTS ’18 / March 19, 2021 FA C U LT Y / S TA F F

March 6, 2020

J. Grant McCabe / December 14, 2011

Gilbert Ward, THM ’62 / July 1, 2020

John Sundquist / February 21, 2021

E. Craig Adams, BD ’66 / February 10, 2021

Robert Hessenauer ’13, MA ’18 and Rebecca

William Scatchard, Jr. / April 9, 2005

Susan Bauers ’67 / November 9, 2020

Eric Zee / July 2, 2021

(Coppola) Hessenauer ’10 began working

Ralph Malin ’67 / June 20, 2017

Convening Pastor.

with Mennonite Central Committee as Representatives in Ukraine in February 2020. They have been living in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine with their daughter (Juliette, 2) and are expecting a son in May 2021. Vivian Lawrence ’15 married Tristan Carr on April 22, 2021. Andrew Check ’16 and Kayla Rush announced their engagement and upcoming wedding in November, 2021. Pursing a Doctorate in Physical Therapy degree at DeSales University, they are both active on the worship team at their church, Living Hope (Dublin, PA) and in the Young Adults ministry. They look forward

E A S T E R N

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Gail Taylor, MRE ’67 / May 20, 2021 Glen Van Dyke ’67 / July 6, 2021


to their futures treating patients, honoring

Fay Warner, MDiv ’18 published a Christian

God and being a light in their community.

book and CD of poetry titled: The Word

Bridgette Brawner, MDiv ’17 was offered a position as the Richard and Marianne Kreider Endowed Professor in Nursing for Vulnerable Populations, in the M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing at Villanova University. Jennifer Carpenter, MDiv ’17 celebrates her recent engagement and ordination in the Federation of Christian Ministries. Jennifer serves as a chaplain in Florida.

Straight...No Chaser. Fay also started a creative evangelism ministry—hosting an Open Mic (for all ages) at a local library (including writing, reading, fun & biblical activities). Fay is also working on two more books of poetry.

2020 S Karen Bartkowski, MDiv ’21 and Tiffany S. Murphy, MDiv ’10, DMin ’16 celebrate their May 2021 commissioning as Provisional Elder in the United Methodist Church.

Chera Wertz, MDiv ’19 celebrates her ordination, April 2021, in the Federation of Christian Ministries. Chera serves as a chaplain at Reading Hospital, Reading, PA.

MEET YOUR ALUMNI ADVISORY BOARD

Jean (Sargent) McPheeters ’83 MAJOR: Double major in Psychology and Elementary Education. CURRENT EMPLOYER: I literally JUST retired, effective this month. After earning my Master’s, I worked for the past 32 years as an Elementary School Counselor for the Rose Tree Media School District, in Media, PA. This perfectly combined both of my majors from Eastern. WHY DO YOU SERVE ON THE BOARD? After being asked MANY times by fellow Board Member, Sherri Bwint, I finally agreed (a.k.a. gave in!). Seriously though, I love Eastern and

1983

think smaller schools like Eastern are "hidden gems" and so worth it. The advantage of being in a place where people actually know you, for me, is and was priceless. Joining the Alumni Board is my way of giving back to a place that gave me so much! FONDEST STUDENT MEMORY: I'll share two! ·

On Day One of orientation freshman year we were divided into groups for various

activities. We were seated in a circle and given something to discuss and told to break up into pairs. I turned to the person sitting next to me and said "do you want to break up??" After we laughed we did break up together and Sherri Bwint and I have been friends ever since. ·

In addition to making LIFELONG friends at Eastern, I especially enjoyed my time as the

"checker." I had the enviable task of hand checking in every single person that came to dinner at the dining hall each night. I started this job as a freshman and got to continue this job throughout all my years at Eastern. This meant that I got to meet everyone and knew all their names. This was especially fun when I celebrated my birthday in September of my freshman year. I thought it was going to be the worst birthday EVER since we had only been in school

PRESENT

for less than a month. However, I received many special "greetings" that night at dinner.

31


Word Search • • • • • • • • • •

EU's new MBA in Organizational __________ (p.6) Esperanza's Barbie Izquierdo ’15 was featured in a documentary called “A Place at the _____.” (p.26) What was formerly known as North Campus Hall is now ________ Hall One of EU's choral ensemble: Angels of _______ What big, Eastern community event happens in the middle of October every year? One of the new sports EU is launching in Fall 2022? (p.4) Dr. ______ Matthews is Eastern's 10th president The name of the film production company started by alumnus Clint Rosario ’14 and his twin brother. (p.22) Eastern University was formerly named Eastern _______ College Palmer's motto: “The Whole ______ for the Whole World through Whole Persons.”

• • • • • • • • • •

The president's creative pun in his opening letter introducing our theme. (p.1) Kerry Phillips ’22, our featured Athletic Chaplain, played what position on the field? (p.18) Which building is attached to Kea Hall? Flexibility is the ability to bend without ________. (p.8) St. Davids shares a zip code with this town The pond outside Walton is officially known as ______ Lake Besides St. Davids and Philadelphia, Eastern also has a campus in this Pennsylvania city Eastern's mascot is what animal? Mental flexibility is foundational to the _______ process (p.12) Our Library is named HHC: The Harold ______ Center

F M K H Z P Q B X A F H R R B S H I S E P A A L N A R X O A R M L K T R O T A B O N F B H

G H L R B H O F G U R H A O U J R E L O A Y I A K J K T S L M W I K B L E M N I E E D W G

W O W G R F F I N O U M L G N W E L O A T Z O S L E B W P D I E A E A U N P L J D R G E L

W Y T X A K F L E X D B W D B H O M E C Y M E A G M A N A G

P L J I L P E C T A H T E H O O M I N G L E A S W E M E N T

R D G F R T I O N S W A R D F K S C Y K A Y N E H P Y B D V

E A S T E R N

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A L U M N I

The words appear ACROSS, DOWN, and DIAGONALLY. Find and circle each word.

Answers at

Eastern.edu/wordsearch


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