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MAY 2020

THE FREEDOMS I NEVER KNEW Joanna Matlak: from oppression to freedom

Make the most of your summer and earn the college credits you need.

Messiah College

undergraduate courses Offering double the courses and new class sessions for 2020! We’re supporting our students by offering more choices this summer— nearly 60 courses in multiple course sessions—all at a discounted price (more than 60 percent per credit!). Whether you need specific courses for your degree, want to graduate early or create some space in your academic year, Messiah students receive the added benefit of: • Combining summer and fall course registration in one easy step • Eliminating the hassle of transferring credits from another institution

your summer

• And new this year— you can fulfill two course levels of the QuEST Spanish language requirement in one summer (levels 1 and 2 or levels 2 and 3).

New course sessions begin May 17, May 21, June 1 and July 5

NOW ENROLLING messiah.edu/online

see anew

Online | Flexible | Affordable

To view courses or to register, visit: messiah.edu/online.



Theologian What does it mean to be created in the image of God? Why does it matter? Navigating through scripture, context, and the plurality of past and present voices, Dr. Marc Cortez brings clarity to today’s important theological questions. Be inspired, challenged, and equipped by Dr. Cortez and our 27 other expert Bible and Theology faculty when you pursue the M.A. in Theology.

wheaton.edu/MA-Theology Dr. Marc Cortez Professor of Theology Author, ReSourcing Theological Anthropology






It's safe to say that this is not what I imagined for my final semester. The world and job market are far from what I thought I would graduate into, and that’s a little bit scary.

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I’ve tried my best not to let that fear get to me. By looking at my uncertain future as an adventure, I’ve noticed that I’m more open to the opportunities I’m given and the options I have. As someone who likes planning and certainty, that hasn’t been easy, but I’m trying. Thinking of my future during times like this has forced me to rely on God in a way that I haven’t in a long time. Ironically, the last time I was this uncertain about this was during my senior year of high school. I got through it then and I will get through it again. There’s even a part of me that’s excited about what I might see in my future.


A comfort I have is that Brian will do a great job with the magazine next year. I look forward to seeing it grow even more under his leadership.


Keep the pages turning,





Charmaine Lim















FUTURE EDITOR This semester has been absolutely crazy.









1 COLLEGE AVE SUITE 3058 MECHANICSBURG, PA 17055 (Downstairs South Wing of the Larsen Student Union) The Swinging Bridge Magazine is published through The Pulse: Messiah College Media Hub, run by students. The Pulse consists of Pulse Radio (90.7), The Clarion yearbook, and The Swinging Bridge Magazine. The Swinging Bridge staff strives to publish quality student writing, photography, and design.

From Pennsylvania weather to the COVID-19 pandemic, I do not know if there is a better way to describe 2020 so far. As online classes end the semester, I am ready for things to be back to normal. Hopefully that will happen after summer. At that point, I will be your new Editor-in-Chief of the Swinging Bridge! I am looking forward to this opportunity, moving from the Sports Editor to Editor-in-Chief. I have rarely expanded my writing to beyond the sports realm, so I am excited for the challenge. I move into this new position as the next step of life as a senior. The past three years have taught me to take advantage of and cherish the time I have left at school, be that in class, in practice or just socializing with friends. We often do not know what we have until it is taken from us. To the writers and readers of the magazine, thank you for your support. As Editor-in-Chief, I want to take what Charmaine did to involve you with the magazine and continue to expand it. I look forward to a great year with you. Soak it in,


To learn about job and volunteer opportunities, email thepulse@messiah.edu.

Brian Shermeyer Incoming Editor-In-Chief


































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Campus Closet Challenge:


Quarantine Edition STAY IN G ST YL ISH , AN D HA VIN G FU N IN QU AR AN TIN E BY CELICA COOK When you don’t have anywhere you need to be, alarm clocks are an unnecessary item, right along with pants — if staying in is what you plan on doing. Despite that, studies show that getting dressed in the morning even if you don’t plan on leaving the house can boost your productivity, and even help with mood and stress. The Pulse has set up a challenge for each day of the week as a way to help motivate you to get up, get dressed, and feel your best. If you want to participate in the challenge, take a picture of your outfit of the day, and post it with #c am p us c l o s e tch a l le nge . You might see yourself on our social media page!

Monday - Band-Tee


Show off your favorite band by wearing your favorite band tee. Mondays are a great day for t-shirts and comfy pants because everyone should start off their week feeling comfortable.

Tuesday - Athle tic

We ar Day

Athletic wear is not only super comfortable, but it can also be very stylish! Staying active during quarantine is a vital component to staying healthy. Maybe you can motivate yourself to move by wearing something that is easy to move in.

Wednesday - Favorite

Outfit Day

Everyone has that one outfit that they know they feel confident in. Put on your favorite dress, sweater, t-shirt or scarf, and feel good about looking good. Wear your favorite outfit just for the heck of it.

Thursday - Star

Wars Day

Since it’s May (the force be with you), it’s only appropriate to cater to the Star Wars fans and see what Star Wars wear people can break out of the closet.

Friday - Messiah

Spirit Day

Hopefully we will all see each other again next fall, but until then we can only keep up with each other at a distance. Throw on your favorite Messiah College attire and see who else feels like showing their Messiah spirit!

Saturday - Swe aters

and Socks Day

Saturday is a great day to put on your favorite sweater and get cozy in a pair of your favorite socks. These two items are good for lounging or moving around.

Sunday - Pajama


Ok, you’ve earned it. You have gotten dressed every day, congratulations. Today, just stay in your pjs, and take some time for yourself, your family and God. It’s always good to slow down and take some time to rest.









BY MAGGIE SHIVE From social sciences to the humanities, engineering to the arts, Messiah College alumni and members of the Class of 2020 have much to share with those just beginning their college journey. “I don’t want to sound cliché, but make the most out of your time at Messiah,” alumnus Justin Witters ‘19 said. “College puts a lot of people together in a small space and you can either complain about it, ignore it, or try and make the most out of it.” For social work major Eden Willis ‘20, making the most out of her time at Messiah included participating in activities and classes that helped broaden her horizons. Willis took a course on Islam that involved a visit to a mosque. As a student leader, she collaborated on events with the Multicultural Council. “For me coming from a very white, rural area, I feel like it broadened my perspective,” Willis said. Others recommend participating in service projects, study abroad experiences and other college-sponsored trips. “All of these serve to enlarge your worldview and understanding of others and their needs. These lessons are so important in all of life,” Amy Erb, a 1995 graduate said.


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The Class of 2020 also had some academic advice for their fellow students, including Cate Cutting, a communications major. “There’s this stigma that everyone has to know what they’re doing in their first year of college, but that’s not true,” Cutting said. Cutting changed her major several times as she learned more about what she enjoyed and did not enjoy through hands-on experience and internships. Studio art major Eli Ford said that one thing he wishes he had done differently during his time at Messiah was to explore the option of graduating early. “I am just floating in credits,” Ford said. “I could have graduated a while ago.” He added, however, that he’s glad he stuck around. “I have no regrets about that for sure!” Ford said. As for life after college, alumni had plenty of advice to give. “Be patient with yourself as you enter the workforce and begin to apply your college knowledge to work situations and relationships,” Erb said. Alumna Rachel Lowrie ‘18 added that it’s okay if you don’t immediately start your career after college.








Volunteered Changed major Studied abroad Graduated

“If you can financially swing waiting a little bit after graduation, do it!” Lowrie said. Beyond attending classes and working towards academic goals, seniors said that living and working with others at Messiah has taught them a lot. “You’re not perfect, your professors aren’t perfect, and other students aren’t perfect,” Cutting said. “Understand that everyone is just doing the best they can to follow God, so give them grace.” Although the transition from college life may cause anxiety for some, having the right perspective is key to navigating this uncharted territory. “Everyone jokes about not having money because we’re college students, but I mean, in reality, we’re all extraordinarily blessed and rich,” Ford said. “Even just changing your perspective a little bit, we have a lot, so stop worrying about being perfect at everything when you get out of here.”


Wo r t h Ta k i n g



It’s one thing to travel halfway around the world to a new country. It’s another to go because you’re designing a wheelchair prototype for a hospital in Nepal.


n January 2020, members of the Messiah Collaboratory team went to Green Pastures Hospital in Pokhara, Nepal, to finalize designs of a sustainable wheelchair that could be mass-produced by hospital staff. Under normal conditions, ordering a wheelchair for the hospital could take eight or more months to arrive from India or the UK. Unable to wait this long, the hospital needed something that could be built on site with materials available to them. Leading the trip were Dereck Plante, the engineering projects manager of Collaboratory, and Dr. Timothy Van Dyke, an engineering professor and advisor of the Collaboratory. Plante met the director of International Nepal Fellowship (INF), Thomas Meir, at a conference previously. A conversation about Green Pastures Hospital and the work the Collaboratory could do resulted in Meir inviting Plante to Nepal. In January 2019, Plante and Van Dyke visited Nepal for a week and decided that building wheelchairs was the right project for both parties.





THE RIGHT TO MOBILITY Senior engineering major Cade Bender, left, kneels next to a patient's wheelchair. The chair isn't rugged enough to navigate the rough terrain of Armadi, the patient's Nepali village, meaning he is largely confined to his house. It has been years since the patient, paralyzed from the waist down, has managed the bumpy, hours-long trip to the nearest hospital.

"It was exactly God’s plan." 8

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The 2020 Nepal Collaboratory team included three sub-teams: prosthetics, electrical engineering and mechanical engineering. The prosthetics team delivered a presentation about 3-D printing and its uses to the hospital’s staff, including some of the head doctors. The small electrical engineering team was a bit of a surprise addition. “It was very surreal,” senior electrical and computer engineering major TJ Quintilian said. “It was my first time being in a developing country and I had never seen anything like that.” Quintilian found his way onto the trip after an email to the prosthetics team asked if any seniors wanted to go to Nepal. Even though he didn’t work with the 3-D printing of prosthetics or mechanical engineering, Quintilian knew he wanted to travel during J-Term and took the opportunity. Because of their training in electrical engineering, Quintilian and Plante worked on the hospital’s solar power system. Their goal was to make solar power more efficient, which required them to change the circuit system to work with a more powerful, 48-volt system.

“We were working with German engineers living in Nepal,” Quintilian said. “We’d have Germans speaking English to us, Nepali to other people and German with each other. It was cool to see all the different cultures and work in an environment you wouldn’t find here.” Responsible for the wheelchair, the mechanical engineering team was able to combine work with a little bit of play. “Since 50-60% of our work experience was shopping around for materials, I think we got a unique ‘tourist’ experience driving around in taxis and walking down streets that have no names,” Cade Bender, a junior mechanical engineering major, said. “Luckily, our advisor [Van Dyke] still spoke Nepali.” “I didn’t think the team was as ready as it could have been, going into the trip,” Harrison Crosley, a junior biomedical engineering major and student project manager of the Collaboratory, said. “But it turned out that it was exactly God’s plan. Everything that we wanted to go there for, we completed on the first day. Our questions were answered, we finalized the design right there and by the end of the two weeks, we were bringing home parts to make the wheelchair out of.” PHOTOGRAPHY BY CARLIE ADAIR

STUDENT LIFE One of the things that helped their design was a four-hour car ride that took them to the house of a man who broke his back after being thrown by a bull. “His options were to either get on the bumpy bus to get to the hospital or have someone carry him all the way to the hospital,” senior engineering major Carlie Adair said. “Lucky for him, his brother owned some property by the road, so they built him a whole new house by the road.” Bender, Crosley and Van Dyke fixed the man’s wheelchair, which allowed them to gather ideas for a parking brake in their wheelchair design. “By the time we left he was smiling…he also was like feeding himself and moving more than when we came,” Adair said. “That was only a small part of that day. It was so long and so crazy and something that I could never forget.” After returning from Nepal, the mechanical engineering team continued working on the wheelchair’s design. Before leaving campus for Spring Break, they were almost ready to begin building their first prototype. Unfortunately, COVID-19 derailed their plans to have the model done by the end of the spring semester. The project will continue in the fall of 2020, as Bender and Crosley return to campus and the Collaboratory. In the meantime, the team can focus on fine-tuning aspects of the design that might otherwise be rushed or overlooked. By slowing things down, they can address questions that were brought up during a project review with other engineers.

Beyond the progress of the wheelchair, it was their experiences in Nepal that left a lasting impression on the team. “Spiritually, it brought a new dimension to communicating with God,” Bender said. “Even sitting in church, I couldn’t understand a thing because it was all in Nepali. TJ was whispering in my ear because he had a translator. But it was still a church service I felt spiritually led in. I don’t think it mattered — the culture or communication between people.” “We’re Americans, we live in the land of abundance,” Crosley said. “After going to Nepal and seeing that people are happy with very little, it’s humbling. It put me in a state of thankfulness after coming back. Even taking a shower, I’m reminded of when I showered in Nepal with a bucket. I have a sense of gratitude for being part of that experience and to God for putting me there.” “In work, it was seeing what they had to go through,” Quintilian said. “A lot of times, we would come up with an idea and the head engineer there would say, ‘We don’t have that here, we can’t do that,’ because they don’t have materials or what we would be used to using in everyday life. They always have to come up with alternatives.” Quintilian also found a personal connection to the hospital through his grandmother, who visited it when she spent three months in Nepal around 20 years ago.

“When I found out I was going to a hospital in Nepal, we talked about it,” Quintilian said. “I told her I was going to Pokhara and that’s where she lived. I said ‘I’m going to Green Pastures’ and she said ‘I visited that hospital!’ It was very cool to see that even in this big world, sometimes it’s tiny.” With personal connections, practical experience and the chance to visit a new country, the journey to Nepal was worth it. Though they experienced the trip differently, there’s no doubt that it left an impact on each member of the team. “I don’t think there’s anything bad about getting an experience like that,” Bender said.

SMALL WORLD TJ Quintilian, a member of the Collaboratory trip, discovered his grandmother (left) visited the same hospital as the team — two decades earlier!






 ithout a doubt, the recent pandemic has certainly paved the way for much-needed blessings in disguise. From time to work on passion projects to water clearing up in Italy, it’s amazing what can happen when we step back. How fitting it is that as the world retreats to the backyard, we also celebrate a day that brings attention to an important fundamental resource: our soil. National Composting Day takes place each year on May 29. It is a day set aside that brings attention to the act of composting, and the environmental benefits that come from composting. Compost is not only an environmentally safe fertilizer, but it can also help us save a plethora of valuable resources, such as water, energy, fuel and money. Composting also prevents toxins from entering our groundwater and run-off. Because compost is a natural fertilizer, compost is an environmentally

friendly way to grow a garden, which is in turn beneficial to wildlife. According to Brandon Hoover, Director of Sustainability, Composting Day is also a great way to bring awareness to something as simple as the ground we walk on and the impact we have on the Earth when we choose not to take care of it. “As with any ‘day,’ the goal is awareness of the topic at hand,” Hoover said. “Compost Day is a way to bring awareness to a special resource which sustains life—our soil.” According to Hoover, Messiah remains one of the top institutions in the Mid-Atlantic region when it comes to composting. From properly disposing of food scraps in Lottie Nelson Dining Hall to giving away free compost buckets, the Sustainability Department offers many convenient and efficient opportunities for Messiah students to give back to the earth.



PHOTO CAPTION Pick an arrow to point in the direction of whichever photo you're captioning. Feel free to change the color of the arrow to match

“All of the compost on campus gets collected by two hardworking student collection workers and is brought to the Back 40, where our campus grounds team mixes it with leaves and turns the pile occasionally,” Hoover said. “After that, it takes about 12 months to turn into rich and healthy soil, which the campus grounds workers can use to grow more food and flowers.

Hoover recognizes that there is always room for improvement when it comes to sustainability practices. Both Admissions and the Career and Professional Development Center have switched to compostable K-Cups for their Keurig systems, and the Office of Sustainability hopes that other departments will follow their lead with similar practices.

the just make sure too light. Notspread just -anything canit'sbenottossed into

Though we will not be on campus for National Composting Day, the Sustainability Department urges students to keep composting in mind as they break out their gardening gloves at home.

“We often forget that in the creation story, we were formed from the Earth and have a special relationship in service to that resource,” Hoover said. “My hope is that a day devoted to composting can help us connect to our food waste and the resource [created by] composting that waste: soil!”

“It’s not hard to start a compost pile in your backyard. You don’t need a lot of space, and it makes a big impact on a family’s waste,” Hoover said. His own family decreased their waste by a full garbage bag when they began composting.

the ground, however. According to National Today, compost consists of organic matter that can be decomposed naturally. Compost can be made from kitchen scraps, lawn clippings, newspapers, leaves, wood chips, coffee grinds and almost any other kind of non-processed food.

CAPTION If there's more than one photo, split

You can learn more about Compost Day here: up the caption and use another arrow.

www.nationaltoday.com/ learn-about-composting-day/.

"COMPOST DAY is a way to bring awareness to a special resource which sustains life—OUR SOIL." THE SWINGING BRIDGE





he realm of higher education is exciting territory. There are endless things to learn, mounds of information to discover and research yet to uncover. Many students move on to pursue higher education in hopes to feed their passion for learning so they can have the freedom to pursue knowledge and to learn more about what fascinates them. Other students graduate from college and start a new job or take a gap year before joining the workforce. For senior communication major Jennifer Woolley, a PhD at Ohio University was the path she chose. The best part is that she gets to move straight from her B.A. to her four-year PhD program without the hassle of two years of graduate school work. “I’ll be one of two students with just their B.A.,” Woolley said. “They thought I was a quality candidate, and they didn’t want to pass me up.” Woolley will be working toward her doctorate with an emphasis on rhetoric and public culture. She is considering pursuing a career as a college professor after she completes the program.


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In the first year of her four year program, Woolley will be starting a G.T.A., a Graduate Teaching Assistant, where she will be teaching two sections of Intro to Public Speaking. The rest of her time will be spent on regular course work until she starts working on her dissertation about two and a half years into the program. Woolley didn’t always dream of being a college professor. There were other subjects of interest to her, and while going to graduate school was something that had crossed her mind before, she didn’t expect to pursue her doctorate in the communications field. Gender studies is her favorite topic to study, and being able to teach what she is passionate about is one of her goals. “I came into college thinking that maybe I’d be a clinical psychologist. I thought maybe I’d study media, and the psychological effects on the brain,” Woolley said. But clinical psychology was not what Woolley decided to pursue. She enrolled at Messiah as a communications major, and found that communications was a good match for her particular interests. “I took Marxism, Modernism, and Postmodernism as my First Year Seminar,” Woolley said. “I realized that communications, which was already my major, was really paired well with that.” Dr. Kate Oswald-Wilkins, Assistant Dean of General Education and Common Learning and professor of communication, worked with Woolley when Woolley was her T.A.. She also had Woolley in class as a student and remembers recognizing her as a student with a lot to offer. “I remember the first time she really participated in class,” Wilkins said. “I called on her because she didn’t often speak in class. It was this very well thought out statement about Foucault. She is so good at taking independent

” We’re so proud that Jenny is a graduate of our department, and I’m really excited to see where her scholarly career goes.”

work and is able to fill in for professors that need someone to substitute and all over the department she was able to help through the T.A. role.” Wilkins described Woolley as curious and poised, with a natural intellect that makes it easy and interesting to be in conversation with her. When it came time for Woolley to start her applications, Wilkins was there to guide her, although she admits that Woolley didn’t need much help. She did almost everything on her own, and according to Wilkins, got offers from every program she applied to. “Speaking on behalf of the department, we’re so proud that Jenny is a graduate of our department, and I’m really excited to see where her scholarly career goes,” Wilkins said. The future looks exciting for Woolley, and Messiah College is proud to send her off to continue her studies. If we’re lucky, we might see her in Boyer Hall one day, only as a professor rather than a student. “I’m really excited to just continue studying, and I’m really excited to see where my research and studies take me,” Woolley said.



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Healthy  Habits to a


NORMALIZING CONVERSATIONS AROUND WOMEN'S HEALTH BY ROSEMARY JONES Beginning on Mother’s Day every year, the Office on Women’s Health celebrates National Women’s Health Week. This week is devoted to encouraging women to prioritize their own health and consider positive health habits they could insert into their lifestyles. This year, the Office on Women’s Health is commemorating more as May 10-16, 2020 will be the 20th anniversary of National Women’s Health Week. The Office on Women’s Health intends to empower women to get recommended screenings, look into preventative care, get daily exercise, enjoy a nutritious diet, create good mental health habits and practice healthy behaviors. These healthy habits can take different forms for different women, such as quitting smoking, learning stress management, getting tested for sexually transmitted infections or practicing safe sex. Looking only at the terms “health” and “wellness,” it is hard to find a clear definition. In many contexts, these words are used to describe physical appearance. However, it is important for one’s health journey to recognize that health is not just about physique. This assumed connection between health and physical appearance has many negative repercussions on both men’s and women’s health and their minds, many of which have been affected from a young age.






Alexa Glatfelter, a senior applied health science major, said she wishes she knew “the normalcy of [women’s health] in the fact that it’s normal to want to pursue health and [also normal to] struggle with it.” She said the problem with understanding and promoting wellness for women is “we just look at people in magazines or ads that are advertising health, and no one really knows what that is. Like in my [senior seminar] class right now, we actually have to write an essay defining ‘what is health and wellness,’ which is a lot harder than I thought.” While definitions across the internet and even among professionals differ, six aspects of personal health emerge on nearly every source. The University of Central Arkansas calls these aspects spiritual, emotional, occupational, intellectual, socio-cultural and physical. “[Something] I really wish I knew that I’ve come to love, and that I guess is just common knowledge to me now, is the many dimensions of health that there are,” Glatfelter said. “We like to look at health as strictly physical, like what you eat or when you exercise — there’s so much more to health. There’s mental and physical health, but also spiritual, sexual and emotional health. There are so many pieces that we just overlook or try to throw into the category of ‘health is physical.’ But there is so much more to taking care of yourself and being healthy...I think I would’ve liked to be more educated on that.”


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Irene Lee, a sophomore nursing major, outlines a few common factors that can influence our choices regarding health, especially in this university setting. “We take on a lot,” Lee said. “We’re trying to navigate this new chapter — new community, new environment, new people and a new level of academic rigor. We have to take that all in and learn how to balance that and sometimes, a lot of the time, it can be very stressful and overwhelming.” Lee said that the way we manage stress has a direct impact on every aspect of our health. Especially in college, we are constantly offered opportunities to decide how we want to live — when we want to study, what to eat, who we want to spend our time around and so on. Lee encouraged every woman on campus to take time to examine their own healthy and unhealthy habits. “Schoolwork is the utmost important thing because we are here at college to obtain a degree,” Lee said. “But it’s not the most urgent because you have to take care of yourself so that you will be able to study and do well on exams and papers and classwork and stuff like that.” Mindy Smith, senior lecturer in applied health science and Director of Student Wellness, recommends applying a faith-central model of health to one’s life in order to achieve a healthier and more balanced lifestyle.

“What that means is that my faith and my relationship with God isn’t just one component or part of my to-do list, but that it is actually the centering piece,” Smith said. “The way in which I interact in my relationships, the decisions I make to care for my body with exercise, rest, nutrition and stress management, the way in which I care for the environment from a sustainability perspective — all of that actually ties back to a faith basis. So instead of [spiritual health] just being one component, it’s actually the lens from which...these other components all tie back to.” Overall, women’s health can seem complicated; but it’s crucial to understand what it is and how to go about creating a healthy lifestyle that can lead to an overall more balanced life. As National Women’s Health Week draws near, the Office on Women’s Health encourages women to share their health tips for all ages, to use social media to promote awareness, to organize events within the community and to use their online tool (womenshealth. gov/nwhw/find-your-health) for customized tips to improve healthier habits. As we normalize conversations around women’s health, we create better resources and futures for ourselves and the women in our lives.

FOR MORE FOLLOW: @womenshealth #NWHW #FindYourHealth




he picture was buried in a box, found among her parents’ things. She never saw it before, but decided that one long look was enough. Digging into the past, she resolved, was more painful than she thought it would be.

It brought a certain darkness to the photo, a shadow over her mother’s radiant smile. There at the tram stop was what remained of a multi-story building. The wall of the building was dotted with void windows, shattered from bullet holes.

Behind them stood a background she did not remember, nor did she want to believe.

Well-used and well-loved, this prayer journal belonged to Joanna's father. “Under the totalitarian Communist dictatorship, you had to

It was the ruins of Warsaw. It was a tram stop. Cars were going by, some of them older than others. Her mother, Zofia, posed in a flowing flowery dress, white blouse and sunglasses. Standing in front of her were two young children — Joanna Matlak, three or four years old, and her brother in a little hat.


hide your faith for fear of negative consequences," Joanna says.

Joanna Matlak leans back in her chair on the upper floor of Murray Library. Her short hair rests in silver waves on top of her head and her dark eyes are full of memory. Her hands are folded in her lap. “I do not want to call it Poland,” she said. “We were Polish…but this was a Soviet Colony.” She lived in the People’s Republic.

This is the story of her family. THE SWINGING BRIDGE


CULTURE On September 1, 1939, Nazi forces under Adolf Hitler invaded the Polish border, the horrific action which immediately provoked a second World War. Hitler believed in the existence of a perfect German ‘Aryan’ race, believing that his people should dominate the entirety of Europe and beyond. He intertwined his radical nationalist policies with wild dreams of antisemitic expansion. One of the major expansionist policies of the Hitler regime was to create ‘Lebensraum,’ or living space, for the German people. He decided upon the most effective plan to achieve this policy — by force. “Germany bulldozed Poland from the west and the Soviets bulldozed Poland from the east,” Matlak said.

1943 — PRAYER POEM A prayer in the handwriting of Joanna's mother. "Modlitwa," at the top, means "Prayer 3." Part of the text reads "Mother of God interceed for us to Your Son..."

Sixteen days after Nazi Germany invaded Poland, the Soviet Union — Germany’s thenally — conquered the country from the other side. Poland, who fought hard for their freedom nearly 20 years earlier in the PolishBolshevik War, was once again divided and fully conquered. Matlak remembers her father, Roman, telling her a story as she visited Poland one year, shortly before his death. He told of himself as a ten-year-old boy standing with his mother on a bright Sunday morning, holding her hand on their way to church. The day was September 17, and Polish officers were posted on every street corner. Just then, as a cry rang out that the Soviets were attacking the Polish border from the east, the young boy watched as one of the officers pulled a pistol out from his uniform, raised it to his head and took his own life.

One month after the siege, Poland surrendered to Hitler’s Germany and Soviet Moscow. It was around this time that Matlak’s grandfather, Stanislaw Matlak, fled Poland for Latvia, a country in the northeast that lay far from Nazi terror. In the city of Bialystok, Stanislaw worked for the city council, which made him an enemy to both Germany and the Soviet Union. Around September 17, 1939, her grandfather was captured and sent to Gulag, a Soviet concentration camp. It was within the walls of Gulag when yet another curse fell upon Stanislaw, an illness. The difference? This curse became his saving grace. “He was sick,” Matlak said. “He got a hernia and he went to the hospital, and it saved his life. There were about 22,000 prisoners who were executed by gunfire in April and May of 1941. Less than 200 were not shot, and he was one of them.” After Stanislaw Matlak was released from the hospital, he joined other Poles gathering in the Soviet Union to form a Polish army against Germany. In the Battle of Monte Cassino and Tobruk, he fought in the Polish 2nd Corps in the British army. By this time, the Soviet Union had switched sides, no longer allying itself with Germany. In Poland, roundups became the most effective way of seizing victims. Officers would swoop in unexpectedly, close off the streets and collect its citizens, often with no strategy. Sometimes, they had lists of names; other times, they would take whoever happened to be there. With no form of defense, the people of Poland became well aware that the Germans could seize them at any time, changing the course of their lives forever. “There is a roundup!” the officers would shout. “Everyone over here…now!”

WARSAW, POLAND Portrait of Joanna and her family in their one-bedroom apartment, taken by her father, Roman Matlak. He was a photographer, among many things.


bring her sons back home


The most frightening thing of all was that there were no boundaries to what could be done in the course of a roundup. Most Polish people would be put on trains and shipped to concentration camps like Auschwitz, Dachau and Chelmno, where they would be sentenced to arduous slave labor. But other cases, like the Wola Massacre on Górczewska Street in Warsaw, hundreds and thousands of civilians would be publicly executed on street corners. “They would say, ‘Put your face to the wall!’ and line you up side by side,” Matlak said. The number of casualties was irrelevant to the Nazi officials. In most cases, the massacres took place just to reign terror, so Poles knew they could be killed at any time. Today, memorials dress the streets of Warsaw, commemorating those who were shot and killed on each corner. Matlak’s father and uncle would scare their mother every time they left the house. “They left home in the morning, and they were not coming back,” Matlak said. “And their mother, my grandmother, told me that for as old as time, she would kneel on the floor and pray for God to bring her sons back home.” And He did. “My father and his older brother — they were rounded up just on the steps of the church, after the Holy Mass,” Matlak said. “They both went to church — they were altar boys. They didn’t know if they were ever coming back.” Half of the people of this roundup were transported to Germany for slave labor — the other half was sent home. It was ultimately humanity, a connection to the human race which grants one access to basic human rights, that Hitler strived to strip from his victims. Once he took away their

1946 — NICE, FRANCE Stanislaw Matlak, Joanna's grandfather.

humanity, there were no boundaries as to what he could do to eliminate them. Polish citizens would be subject to harsh science and military experiments to gain scientific knowledge, such as the injection of viruses and observing how long it takes for a human to drown. Even more grim was the fact that there was no guilt involved in the process.

Matlak’s father, Roman, did not attend school. Roman and many other Poles wanted to attend school, but Polish citizens could not attend public schools, nor were they permitted to speak in the Polish language. His mother taught in an underground school, knowing that she and her students would be killed or sent to Auschwitz if the authorities were to find out.

To the Nazi party, Poland was simply in the way. Hitler’s order was to “kill every Polish man, woman and child.” The Poles stood firm as a nation, keeping true to their culture, their history and their Roman Catholic faith.

“Until the end of his life he didn’t have higher education, and he was so brilliant,” Matlak said.

Even though Germany surrendered in 1945, Stanislaw Matlak was afraid to return his family to Poland because of the communist regime. Finally, in 1949, he returned to find his little boys were now grown men.

In 1948, when Poland was occupied by the communist regime, her father applied to Warsaw University of Technology and passed his entry-level exams with the highest marks. He was called to the office to be accepted, but was told that first he had to become a member of the communist youth organization, ZMP (later called ‘Progressive Youth’).




SOUVENIRS Jars from each of Joanna's visits to Poland, where her mother would give her homemade preserves. Surrounding the jars are her mother's recipes.

BEFORE THE WAR Joanna's mother, Zofia, just before the war, around 15-16 years old. Her beloved dog, "Black" (translated from Polish), was shot by German soldiers when they came to her family's yard. Her dog ran and

She vividly remembers her first day on the job at Messiah College. “Coming to work here was one of the most moving moments in my life,” she said.

made it to her feet before dying there.

When she first began as the library circulation supervisor in Murray Library, she remembers signing an acceptance form, where the Apostles’ Creed caught her eye in fine black letters.

“As a Catholic Christian, he believed in God, not in Marxism. So he said ‘no.’ He was not accepted to the University. This also meant that he will not be accepted to any other university,” Matlak said.

“We went to church every Sunday. My father would go to work, my mother did odd jobs so she could stay home with us. There was always dinner ready for us all. They were wonderful parents. When my brother was born, there were still political death sentences. So for me, my parents are heroes,” Matlak said.

In 1981, there were anti-socialist strikes. These strikes had Roman rethinking his decision.

When Matlak was leaving Poland, she did not plan to emigrate.

“I was in my junior year. We were sitting at a table — his workplace and my university were shut down,” Matlak said. “He said, ‘Maybe I regret that I didn’t sign that thing. Maybe you would have been better off if I had an education.’

“The situation in Poland was rather heated,” she said. “I thought that there would be another violent state of war, like in 1981. When I married my husband, Poland was not yet free, and my husband knew that he would be leaving forever.”

“We said, ‘Father, no…we are so proud of you!’”

She was lucky to get a passport and receive a half-year United States visa. She became a permanent resident in 1995, and a U.S. citizen in 2000.

Joanna Matlak came to the United States in the early spring of 1989. She left behind a rich and happy childhood, filled with memories of spending vacations with her brother and parents while camping at a lake, swimming, hiking, picking mushrooms and blueberries and making campfires.


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When Matlak came to the United States, she didn’t recognize the atmosphere of a free country. She was born and raised in Warsaw, and was never given the chance to know what it was like to be guaranteed the liberty to believe what she believed.

“Under the totalitarian Communist dictatorship, you had to hide your faith for fear of negative consequences,” she said. “And here I was, signing the Apostles’ Creed without fear of reprisal. This represented the most precious thing I had been denied under the Communist dictatorship.” And just like that, Matlak stepped from a world of control, secrets, anguish and hate, and came to know a freedom she never knew existed. Today, Matlak is proud to be an American. She treasures the freedoms she has come to know in her daily life — the freedom to pray, to work and to speak out without fear. It is a kind of appreciation you can only experience after leaving behind a broken history. Perhaps in the future, she will dig up that photo and look once more at the devastation that marked her family’s past. But for now, Joanna Matlak is enjoying the freedoms she never knew.

PREPARE FOR MINISTRY IN THE WAY OF JESUS Students at Pittsburgh Seminary welcome neighbors. We share meals, differences, and experiences. We expand our minds. And we are challenged and enriched as we explore the broad range of beliefs we bring to the table. Our graduates go on to serve God as pastors, counselors, and chaplains, and as mission workers, social workers, community organizers, church educators, professors, and as lawyers.

Academic Programs • • • •

Master of Divinity Master of Divinity with joint degrees (including law, social work, and public policy) Master of Arts Graduate Certificates

Financial aid is available for full- and half-time students. Join us!

1-800-451-4194 www.pts.edu/Messiah




he world is unpredictable. The world is uncertain. And the world, now more than ever, seems to hold an unforeseeable future that feels impossible to comprehend at times. While we can often feel helpless and disheartened by the constant stream of adverse news, it is important to remember that we can impact the outcomes if we all continue to work together in solidarity with each other.

"We can impact the outcomes if we all continue to

work together in solidarity with each other."

As the world closes and lockdowns are implemented, mass social isolation ultimately is going to impact individuals in ways humanity has not previously experienced. According to Psychiatric Times, “Social isolation [was implemented], first as part of preventive health care advice, and then, as a critical component of shelter in place or total lockdown decrees.” As social creatures, our lack of physical nteraction, exacerbated by the anxiety of the world, “[social isolation] can operate as a triggering . . . agent of loneliness, more so if the latter is already an established personality trait,” or coupled with preexisting mental health illnesses. The future appears grim, especially when mandatory social distancing is being practiced


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worldwide. And the impacts are nondiscriminatory, each group of people fighting different battles: “non-essential” workers losing their jobs, elderly folks in retirement and medical homes forced into confinement, the class of 2020 losing the last part of their senior year and graduation, all schools and universities shutdowns, fear for those that lack health insurance and more. The impact of forced social isolation is being referred to as, “a social recession to match any economic downturn also caused by the growing pandemic and it can have profound physical and psychological effects.” This information is not meant to cause or increase anxieties, but rather shed light on the real impacts this global pandemic will have on countries around the world. With this awareness, we can actively work together to combat furthering negative consequences. Dr. John Harles, professor of politics, said, “One thing that we could do, and I hope this happens on the other side of this, is [to] begin to think carefully about how to diminish the kind of anxiety that strikes people when they have these episodes . . . [of] extraordinary situations.”


Even the rationale behind social distancing is in part due to the impact we as individuals can have on an entire nation. A diagram from The Washington Post demonstrates how “extensive distancing” can lead to not only isolating those that are infected by COVID-19, but also decreasing the uptake of those that continue retracting the virus. The pink area in the figure is considered the “confirmed cases” and the orange area is those that remain “virus free.”

Click here to read the article and view the simulations yourself! If all individuals remain vigilant during this time, the outbreak can remain more contained and be more effectively assisted. Alternatively, if social distancing is not maintained, there is no telling how much harder and longer it will take to stay in control of this pandemic. The direction of our country’s fate lies within the consolidated efforts of the 327 million individuals in the United States. It can be hard to remember our larger impact when social isolation perpetuates feelings of loneliness, on top of the already overwhelming sense of anxiety surrounding the situation.

With all the consequences that technology brings, it may also be humanity’s only avenue to remain sane during these times. Technology has truly changed the way the world operates, communicates and conducts daily affairs. And humanity relies even more heavily on technology as it remains our main form of communication, as well as the businesses conducting work from home and schools continuing class online. It is important that we utilize this tool to remain connected to one another, supporting one another, and maintain relationships. In an interview with The Guardian, Julianne Holt-Lunstad, professor of psychology and neuroscience at Brigham University said, “One of the reasons people can suffer in social isolation is because personal relationships can help us cope with stress.” Preserving these relationships have psychological benefits and can help humanize these peculiar times. Dr. Harles continued by addressing what he hopes humanity, and namely the United States, learns from this crisis. He understands

"With all the consequences that technology brings, it may also be

that comprehensive universal healthcare may not necessarily eliminate directly the spread of a virus like COVID-19, “but what it would do [is alleviate some of the frightening aspects of it; the anxiety of not knowing what the future is going to hold,” especially when 49% of Americans receive their health insurance from their employers. What is to be done when exponential amounts of workers are forced into unemployment due to “uncontrollable,” or at the very least, unexpected circumstances? “At one level, we’re all subject to this terrible thing,” Dr Harles continues, “But at another level, people like me . . . are far less victimized by this, than people of modest means . . . for me the fundamental thing is it is a time when we really have to express a sense of social solidarity with one another and we have to make the connection between that and reorganizing our public policies to reflect that sort of solidarity as opposed to this ‘everyone for themselves' [mentality].” The best possible outcomes will be achieved by remembering the power of our communities and our actions. Encourage your sphere of influence to maintain social distancing, continue practicing healthy practices and remain engaged in personal relationships. Most of all, we must ensure that we learn and grow. Whether that’s through public discourse, holding leaders accountable for decisions, voting or community organizing, the future is ours so as long as we learn from our experiences and confront the realities and vulnerabilities exposed.

humanity's only avenue to remain sane during these times."





"I get to have the best of

BY LEANNE TAN “[Being Asian American] is a beautiful experience because you get to have your Asian roots and you get to also live in America,” Asian Student Association President and junior social work major Fatimah Jan said. “I get to have the best of many worlds, and, at the same time, I get to make my own identity.” May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (APAHM), a celebration of the history, culture, contributions and achievements of Asian Pacific Americans. Broadly speaking, “Asian Pacific American” encompasses all U.S. citizens who trace their origins to the Asian continent and the Pacific islands of Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia (Congress). First designated as Asian Pacific American Heritage Week in 1978, APAHM came into existence in 1990. The month of May was chosen for two reasons. First, to commemorate the arrival of the first Japanese immigrant to the U.S. on May 7, 1843. Secondly, to honor the completion of the transcontinental railroad, which used predominantly Chinese workers in its construction (Congress), on May 10, 1869.

many worlds, and, at the same time, I get to make my own Born in Pakistan, Jan, who has both Pakistani and Filipino heritage, spent her early childhood years in the Philippines before relocating to the U.S. in 2006. Though the Asian American experience is intricate, Jan realizes that multiculturalism comes with its own set of unique challenges. “You aren’t just Asian anymore, but you are also fully Asian as much as you are fully American,” Jan said. “It gets to be hard because there are people from back home who come here and see us and we’re just so different.” Like Jan, many Asian Americans struggle with some form of cultural alienation. Since they live in two or more cultures, they identify to an extent with both Asian and American cultures but identify fully with neither.

"I no longer need to figure out myself.

I just am." 24

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To cope with this challenge, Jan surrounds herself with friends who support and accept her for who she is, which has led to her learning to appreciate herself and the many cultures she comes from. “There’s no need for me to fight between these two or many sides of me,” she said. “I no longer need to figure out myself. I just am.” Similarly, Professor of History Bernardo Michael is completely accepting of his multicultural identity and views it as “the ebb and flow of life.” He likens multiculturalism to a carpet comprising of multiple strands and patterns. “It is not the carpet’s task to be reconciled with its design. Why would it?” he said. “There are multiple strands of histories and cultures and powerful influences shaping and moving our lives.”

CULTURE Besides cultural alienation, Asian Americans also face challenges associated with Asian stereotypes. For example, the model minority myth characterizes all Asian Americans as having emerged as more successful than other minority groups. As a result, Asian Americans are generally viewed as well-educated and prosperous, ofteneliminating diversity within the group and disregarding those who are not as successful. Not only does this create tension between Asian Americans and other ethnic minority groups, it also renders itself problematic within the Asian American community.

"We are more than Asian Americans… and our identity is so multifaceted."

“It’s pretty terrible to say ‘hmm . . . I thought you were smarter than this.’ I had a math teacher who said that to me,” Assistant Professor of Politics Jason Renn said. “I have a lot of friends growing up who didn’t perform well in school, so they thought that their value as a human being was less.”

Jan has also had her fair share of struggles with stereotypes. Growing up looking more traditionally Pakistani, she was sometimes called a terrorist and as a result, was physically bullied at school because of her skin color. “It was really bad, and I hated that side of me,” Jan said. “I hated it because I looked more Pakistani than Filipina.” While being Asian American can come with distinct hardships, it also presents unique experiences and opportunities.

For Renn, he feels his multicultural identity has given him an advantage when it comes to interacting with international students despite not growing up overseas. “It’s just easy to relate [to each other] as there’s some shared culture,” he said. “That has a lot of benefits, especially in an educational setting.” When asked if there was anything people should know about Asian Americans, Renn said he wished people knew that the group is not monolithic. “Chinese Americans are very different from Korean Americans. The whole Pacific Island region has so much diversity in it,” he said. “Maybe if we paid more attention to the divisions within Asian American, then we won’t have so many broad overarching stereotypes like ‘they’re all good at math.’” Jan said she wished people did not limit their perception of Asian Americans to their ethnicity. “We are more than Asian Americans . . . and our identity is so multifaceted,” she said. “We’re human beings and we’re singers, scientists, writers, daughters, future businesswomen — we’re not all STEM majors. We are anything we want to be.”

A couple of years ago, sophomore English major Clara Yu worked as an English tutor to Chinese students on SnapLingo, a mobile learning platform. “It was a good fit for somebody like me who had intermediate levels of Chinese and still spoke fluent English,” Yu said.






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n the fall of 2019, Messiah College announced the addition of another varsity sports team. Students now have the opportunity to try out and compete in the growing sport of competitive video gaming, also known as E-sports. Theresa Gaffney was appointed as the head coach of the program which competes against other colleges and universities in the National Association of Collegiate E-sports. Although E-sports has been added as a five year pilot program, Messiah’s teams have already experienced success in a short period of time. On February 15th, the League of Legends team got the chance to compete in the semi-finals of the PA Cup hosted by the Harrisburg University of Science and Technology. Though they didn’t make the finals, they finished as one of the best teams in the state. According to Coach Gaffney, this is only the beginning for E-sports at Messiah.

This, along with the fact that E-sports is listed on Messiah’s athletics website, opens the door for tension and hostility between them and traditional sports teams. “There is a perceived tension overall between athletics and E-sports at some schools,” Gaffney said. “Because I’ve been doing it a long time, I’ve seen it. I don’t feel it much here at Messiah.” Instead of seeing a tension between the two groups, sophomore computer science major Joseph Tonnies has seen people on campus take interest in the E-sports program.

Both Gaffney and Tonnies viewed E-sports as a great social activity and a way of bringing people together on campus. While plans to grow the program’s teams are still in effect, Messiah’s E-sports program also has an outreach side to it. “The first Saturday in May, E-sports is organizing an event that will include a Super Smash Bros tournament and information panels to answer any questions the public has about the E-sports program,” Tonnies said. “It's our way of reaching out to the community.” This event was canceled when the campus moved online because of the COVID-19 pandemic. E-sports is unlike any other group on campus because they are used to practicing and meeting without being in the same room. Even with social distancing and self-quarantining, the E-sports team can continue to practice and compete just like before.


“I expect within the next year that we have a stronger foundation for a truly competitive team,” Gaffney said. “We have very competitive players, but we’re going to have even stronger players and perhaps more players in other games we don’t yet have.” The school currently offers teams for a variety of games such as Overwatch, League of Legends, Hearthstone and Rocket League. According to Gaffney, other games are in the process of being added. One way that Gaffney hopes to advance the E-sports teams at Messiah is through scholarships. “We are not currently a scholarship-offering program but we look to see a future [when] it will be,” Gaffney said. “It is likely in the future that we will offer some aid packages, at least for E-sports players. We want to get the best of the best at some point.” E-sports is not under the guidance of the NCAA, so they are not bound by the same rules as other sports teams regarding scholarships.

“There’s just a lot of curiosity,” Tonnies said. “I haven’t really experienced any spite or anger towards the E-sports team. There’s a lot of inquiry like ‘what games do you guys play’ or ‘can I join?’” Even though the physical requirements differ greatly, the same competitive nature motivates athletes in both sports. “We are competitive, we are a varsity team,” Gaffney said. “We represent Messiah College and it requires a certain amount of skills that are different from others like track and field, basketball or soccer. It might not be what you consider a traditional athletic [sport], but it is a specialized competitively oriented experience for these players.” Tonnies joined the Overwatch team after stumbling across an informational email about the tryouts. He played Overwatch in his free time, so he decided to give it a try.

In the upcoming years, Coach Gaffney sees her E-sports team as the standard-bearers for connecting students together on campus through shared interests such as video games. “E-sports opens up socialization [opportunities] for students didn’t really exist before at Messiah and at other universities,” Gaffney said. “So that’s an opportunity to build community based on shared interest in these sort of competitive titles that we offer.” Tonnies and Gaffney both pointed out that the gaming lounge, located next to the E-sports varsity room, is open for all students during non-quiet hours. Students can make use of two Nintendo Switches in this room to play against members of the team or to meet new friends — because after all, that’s what gaming is all about.

“I came down here on the tryout day and just happened to make the team, and now I’m on the team with five other really cool guys,” Tonnies said.




DAILY WORKOUT BY BRIAN SHERMEYER During the spring, there is almost always an influx of people at the gym. Whether that be training for their sport, for leisure or to get their summer body, many take advantage of gym time. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, gyms across the country have already closed and will not be opening in the foreseeable future. Being quarantined does not lend well to exercising, especially for those without workout equipment in their house. With so much change happening, exercise is one thing that should stay constant. Kevin Ogden, the director of the fitness center, created an at-home exercise program for students without the use of equipment. The workout spans three days and can be modified as needed.

Day 3 Warm Up (3-5 minutes of heart rate raising activity) Repeat circuit 1-3 times - 30 seconds each:



2. Mountain Climbers 3. Ice skaters 4. Line hops 5. Speed step ups 6. Jumping Jacks Repeat 1-3 times - 30 seconds each:


Plank alt. leg March

2. Toe Touch Crunch 3. Penguins – side to side bend 4. Russian twist

Day 1

Day 2

Warm Up (3-5 minutes of heart rate raising activity)

Warm Up (3-5 minutes of heart rate raising activity)

Repeat circut 1-3 times, 30 seconds each exercise:

Repeat circuit 1-3 times (AMRAP = As Many Reps As Possible):



Flutter Kick

Bodyweight Squat (15x)

2. Windshield Wipers

2. Push Ups (15x or AMRAP)

3. Plank to Push

3. Bodyweight Reverse Lunges

4. Slow Bicycle 5. Reverse Sit Ups 6. Side Crunch (each side) 7. Dead Bugs

(10x each side)

4. Pull Ups (10x or AMRAP) 5. Lateral Squat (10x each side) 6. Single Leg Hip Bridge – elevated on bench

Repeat above workout 1-2 times Ladder finisher. Pick a number to start. This example is using 8:

• 8 push ups then 8 squats • 7 push ups then 7 squats • All the way down to 1 and 1. “The goal of this workout is variety. Starting with the HIIT (high intensity interval training) to get the heart rate up and the calories burning,” Ogden said. “I also really like to finish workouts like these with a challenge. The ladder is ‘fun’ and can be as hard as you want to make it.”

8. V-up

7. Push Up hold (30 seconds)

9. Side Plank (each side)

8. 90 degree Squat hold (30 seconds)

With everything that is going on with COVID-19, going to the gym is out of the question. It is still extremely important to workout.

“Our goal here was to target as many muscle groups as we can in a way that overloads them, triggering the body to build up during your rest days,” Ogden said.

“A single bout of exercise can increase focus, energy levels and self confidence, decrease anxiety, improve sleep and more,” Ogden said. “One workout won’t change how you look, but it almost always will change the way you feel.”

or chair (hold 3 seconds, 10x each side)

10. Swimmers “The core is so much more important than just the six pack ab look,” Ogden said. “This workout works all aspects of the core to help with everything from posture to total body strength.”


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s the spring flowers blossom, many students may start looking forward to the warm months of summer. Others may be anxious about the way they look and are rushing to get into shape. This is the idea of the “summer body.”

and faculty of Messiah College at the Falcon Fitness Center as a trainer all year. She has often heard “getting my summer body” used as a goal of those that she works with. Glatfelter is attempting to get away from the use of this language.

A summer body is a popular fitness trend that usually takes over the mind of young people from the turn of the New Year to the summer months. People tend to hit the gym in an attempt to get into perfect shape before they go out and show off their work at the beach. While this may seem rather harmless, there may be some issues with using the term “summer body”.

“I don’t like this term because it emphasizes the importance of what our body looks like when that’s not at all what it’s about,” Glatfelter said.

Alexa Glatfelter, a senior applied health science major, has been working with students

Our concept of a healthy body has become twisted. This is due to the constant over-exposure from the media to maintain the American concept of health. What does a healthy body and healthy lifestyle look like according to Glatfelter?




“Health is not about what we look like, but rather what we feel like,” Glatfelter said. “If what we look like is affecting how we feel, then we have a somewhat skewed concept of our body to begin with.” What Glatfelter is saying here is that the term “summer body” reinforces the concept that we need to improve our looks. Rather, she wants everyone to know that this should not be what we focus on, but instead we should focus on how we can best use our bodies to serve Christ. “The biggest thing to remember when viewing our bodies as Christian men and women is that we are made in the image of God, which means we are beautiful,” Glatfelter said. “No matter what size, shape, color, diameter or length, our bodies were made in the image of God. Therefore, we are to treat them as such.” The problem with the “summer body mentality” is that it completely goes against this notion. Rather than loving ourselves and our bodies no matter the state it is in, we are instead attempting to obtain this image of a “fit body” that we get from society. But, that doesn’t mean being careless with our bodies either.


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SPORTS & REC “The Bible says that our bodies are like temples,” Glatfelter said. “This reflects the fact that we should steward our bodies well and treat them as the holy minds, bodies and souls they are. Because God dwells in us, we should be these vessels, these temples for God and not for ourselves.”

It may be hard to encourage others or ourselves toward health and wellness when society presents us with “perfect” bodies. Going to a public gym as a beginner can be intimidating and shopping for healthy groceries can be daunting. It’s not always easy to find a starting point.

There’s an importance to treating our bodies with respect. In a world where a perfect body is often idealized, it’s hard not to let that message affect us. It’s easy to disrespect a body that doesn’t look like something on a giant advertisement.

“There are ways to stay physically healthy at home,” Glatfelter said. “This doesn’t have to be anything crazy. Look up YouTube videos of yoga, Pilates, kickboxing and bodyweight exercises. You could also simply get up and move during commercial breaks.”

“We can fight against this by encouraging others, Christians and non-Christians alike, to positively view who they are and how they were created and know that they are more than what they see,” Glatfelter said. “The ‘summer body’ is not a fully functioning body; it’s an ideal we will never reach.”

While it is important to try and stay physically fit, mental and spiritual health are just as important.

It is also very important, Glatfelter said, to remember that we were all created differently. “Everyone’s state of health is very different, in mind, body and soul; and it’s our goal as humans who value God’s creation and His beauty within us, to encourage one another toward health and wellness.”

“Mentally, do some decompressing,” Glatfelter said “There’s a lot of anxiety out there. Do deep breathing exercises, a few deep breaths in and out. Or you can journal all the things that are running through your mind. Call a friend and talk to them about what you’re experiencing and ask them how they are doing.” As summer starts, don’t be afraid to go out and rock the body you have. Focus on feeling comfortable in your body, keeping it strong and healthy. After all, a true summer body is just a body enjoying summer.


pring is in the air. With winter officially behind us and summer at our fingertips, we’re beginning to imagine shorelines, time spent with friends and relief from the rigor of college. Seniors aren’t the only ones itching to get out of school.


Couple that with the unknowns and the prevalence of a pandemic, the sight of our goals can easily be blinded. However, it is important to not let this anticipation and worry distract you from the work yet to be done. “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we don’t give up” (Galatians 6:9, ESV).

In the same way that we take our academics seriously, let us approach our Christian walk with fervor. Our toil is ultimately for God, and in His kingdom we will receive the truest reward. Let us finish this semester likewise and encourage one another in Christ so that we each may do our best work and achieve the most we can. As the Apostle Paul wrote to Saint Timothy, finish the race and keep the faith (2 Timothy 4:7). May we keep our faith and trust in the God that holds everything in the palm of His hand. And may we continue our dedication endlessly and fix our eyes on finishing what we have started. THE SWINGING BRIDGE







he word “influence” can be defined as the capacity to have an effect on the character, development or behavior of someone or something, or the effect itself. We often think of it when talking about how a leader impacts someone younger than themselves, giving the younger person someone to emulate. Influence is prominent within sports in the different types of leadership that exist on a team, whether that is from a coach or a player. The leaders of the team hold influence on the rest of the program, and depending on how much influence they hold, it can certainly carry on even if they aren’t on the team anymore.


M AY 2 0 2 0

For the men’s lacrosse team, the influence of the senior class means a great deal. With the sudden panic that surfaced from COVID-19, NCAA seasons were entirely canceled. This ended the Falcons’ short-lived 2020 season as well as the 13 graduating seniors’ careers. Preparation for the 2021 season is starting earlier than the team anticipated. With the overarching challenge of trying to replace 13 players who contributed greatly to the program over the last four years, the future of the Messiah men’s lacrosse program now turns to returning upper and underclassmen, as well as incoming recruits. Two of the 13 seniors on the team include midfielder Brandon Witmer and goal-

keeper Evan Stoker. Both players have noticed a particular impact of the 2020 class on their team. “Although we have had some guys leave and some guys come in, we’ve had the core group of 13 guys the entire time,” Stoker said. “The senior class this year has been a great example for the rising seniors, juniors and sophomores in how to lead the team. The leadership over the past four years has been very different each year. This year we took what worked and what didn’t work in the past under consideration.” “The current graduating class was always a big influence on how the leadership of the team changes each year,” Witmer said.


in the rest of the team’s ability to step up and fulfill their roles on and off the turf. With such a large senior class, it will certainly be difficult to recover from losing valuable pieces of the program. Junior midfielder Owen Joyce expanded on a few specific players who have made a lasting impact on the entire program. “I’m forever grateful for the amazing leadership of the captains on this team,” Joyce said. “Guys like Hunter Bellows, Quentin Johnson and Liam Lilienthal are people who have been foundational to this program because without them this program would not be where it is today.”

“It’s definitely gonna be a massive learning curve for the young guys [on] this team,” Joyce said. “It’s a huge hit to our future that the underclassman this year didn’t get the game opportunity they were owed, which is super important in player development. I have good confidence in our returning defensive pieces in guys like Kyle Anderson and Reed Bond, who have been starting for two years, and we look strong at the X with Scott Simpson.”

said. “RJ Mellor is going to have to step up in a big way his sophomore year. Owen Joyce and Sam Stone are returning after having much bigger roles as sophomores than they did as freshmen, but both of them are going to need to find the ability to lead and run the offense next year in order to replace Lilienthal, Garrett Amsbaugh, Cory Hurst, Bellows and Witmer.” Amidst all of the chaos that the men’s lacrosse program has experienced this season, one question regarding the future of Coach Atsen Bulus’ team is not how the 2020 class’s production on the field can be replaced, but how the class’ influence on the program will be carried on.

“We have some great young players who are going to have to step up in big ways,” Stoker

Although replacing an entire class of leadership and influence will be no small task, Stoker, Witmer and Joyce are all confident

e h t r o f l u f e t a r “I’m forever g DERSHIP A E L G N I Z A M A .” m a e t s i h t n o s n i a t p a c e h t f o THE SWINGING BRIDGE


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Swinging Bridge Magazine: May 2020  


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