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Merryfield’s Dreams Blossom at MoUnt olivE CollEgE

CONTENTS 2 | Spring 2012 Commencement Approximately 370 Graduates Turn Their Tassels President Philip P. Kerstetter, Ph.D.

4 | She’s Not Just Clowning Around Merryfield’s Dreams Blossom

Vice President for Institutional Advancement John Blackwell, Ph.D.

8 | MOC Happenings and Fall Events Schedule 12 | Inside the Mind of Dr. Patricia Prunty Professor of the Year

Editor Rhonda E. Jessup

14 | Students Visit Slovenia & Croatia Honors Group Travels Overseas

Art Director Matt Stevens

18 | Transforming Stories

Contributing Writers Gianea Bennett Sharon Mervin David Shulimson Contributing Designers Mandy Hensley Photographers Ruddy Coggins Mandy Hensley Rhonda Jessup Matt Stevens Jay Thomas

20 | Hawn Cup Awarded for Top Athletics Program 21 | Athletics News 24 | Alumni Updates 26 | Spring Alumni Weekend Alumni Reconnect Through Events 28 | Advancement News

Website To receive this publication electronically or to unsubscribe: or 919-658-2502 PRODUCTION This publication is produced three times per year by the Office of Institutional Advancement. GO GREEN! Please recycle this magazine or pass it on to a friend.

© 2012 Mount Olive College

Photo by Jay Thomas


“By all of us working together, we have the awesome opportunity to transform the lives of so many people in so many different ways.”

Dear Mount Olive College Alumni and Friends, We all live very busy lives: between obligations to our families, jobs, church, civic organizations, etc., it is easy to fall into the trap of not looking around and recognizing just how fortunate we are. I know that I am blessed to have an incredible family, and I often tell people that I have the greatest job that anyone could imagine: I have the opportunity to work at a wonderful college that has the best students, faculty, and staff, as well as being a denominational ministry of the Convention of Original Free Will Baptists. Further, by all of us working together, we have the awesome opportunity to transform the lives of so many people in so many different ways. Immediately following spring Commencement, Mary and I joined Dr. Alan Lamm, his wife, Laura, and Dr. Banke Olatosi on the 2012 MOC Honors trip to Croatia and Slovenia. It was a chance to return to an area of the world that I had visited when I was a college student (more years ago than I want to admit), and it was an opportunity for us to get to know these students and some faculty colleagues even better than before. As they say, you get to know a great deal about someone else when you travel together. It was a great trip, but it was made so great because of the people on the trip and the people that we met traveling. I hope you enjoy the pictures and understand just how meaningful that trip was to each and every one of us. The end of the traditional academic year celebrates significant accomplishments. I call your special attention to the parts of MOC Today which identify those students, faculty, and staff who received special recognition for their outstanding efforts. Also, note the success of our students in various competitions outside of Mount Olive College, including success at the Professional Business Leaders Convention and at the North Carolina Science Academy.

One of the things that makes me proudest of our students is when they give back to others. This spring, the Collegiate Future Farmers of America group planned and presented a banquet to honor the 10-year anniversary of the founding of the AgriBusiness Center. This is a rather unique center, and especially as it resides on the campus of a private college. It was a wonderful evening

The Trojan athletics program enjoyed huge success. Conference Carolinas has a trophy called the Hawn Cup. Originally, it recognized overall success in athletics through a combination of both men’s and women’s athletics. More recently, it was divided into three awards: one for the best overall men’s program, the best overall women’s program, and the best combined program. Although Mount Olive College has always done very well in its competition over the years, this year was the classic trifecta: we won all three awards. Way to go, Trojans! There is a great deal more to read in this issue, and I know that you will be impressed by all that is happening. The summer remains a busy time at Mount Olive College: our campus in Mount Olive is undergoing some renovations to be ready for the start of the fall semester, and all of our other locations remain exceptionally busy with the delivery of classes that truly go year-round.

Dr. and Mrs. Kerstetter recently traveled with honors students to Croatia and Slovenia.

of celebration of those who had the vision for the program and who worked so tirelessly to develop it. It was made even more meaningful because all of the attendees could see what an extraordinary group of students we have. Other examples of giving back to others were through the Psi Chi Club as it presented computers to the Mount Olive Middle School, and the Campus Ministries group that sponsored “Dance Your Shoes Off,” a program that collected over 250 pairs of shoes for children in need.

As busy as we all are these days, however, I hope that you will be able to stop by any or all of our locations and visit. I also hope that you will be able to attend some of the special events that are scheduled for the fall. Mary and I thank you for the opportunity to be part of this special academic community, and we extend our best wishes for your continued success.


Philip P. Kerstetter, Ph.D. President

1 | TODAY | SUMMER 2012

2 | TODAY | SUMMER 2012

Spring 2012

CommenCement Article by Rhonda Jessup Photograpy by Matt Stevens & Rhonda Jessup The May 2012 candidates for graduation at Mount Olive College took their ceremonial walk through the Alumni Crosswalk, just as the many graduating classes before them. But, one thing was different; this was the first graduating class to don green caps and gowns. President Philip P. Kerstetter noted that the change came about because students had requested it. “The idea of green academic regalia was a recommendation from the Student Government Association, and all of us were very happy to accept that recommendation,” he said. “Don’t they all look great?” Approximately 370 students turned their tassels at the spring commencement with North Carolina General Assembly Representative Efton M. Sager delivering the keynote address. Sager told graduates that they will encounter setbacks and weather many storms in their lifetimes. “Perhaps some of you today are already experiencing some of these challenges,” he said. “To you, I say this: You are not perfect, but you are forgiven! You may not be anything this world requires you to be, but you can always be what God requires of you!” He went on to tell graduates to always treat people with respect, especially when they make it difficult. He also encouraged them to, “Set your goals high and work hard to achieve them, even when people tell you it can’t be done. Always believe in yourself even when the road ahead isn’t looking so promising. And lastly, “Don’t give up….Don’t ever give up!” During graduation Richard Arlon Jones, Jr., of Clinton was presented with the prestigious 2012 Martin Award. Jones graduated Summa Cum Laude with a bachelor of science degree in business administration: accounting.

Richard Arlon Jones, Jr. is pictured with Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Ellen Jordan receiving the prestigious 2012 Martin Award. 3 | TODAY | SUMMER 2012

She's Not Just Clowning Around Article by Rhonda Jessup | Photography by Matt Stevens

Fine arts major Lindsey Merryfield graduated from Mount Olive College on May 5. The Goldsboro native now hopes to pursue her dream of becoming a Ringling Brothers circus clown. “My family laughed at me when I first told them,” Merryfield said of becoming a clown. “They were like, ‘you’ve gone to college for four years to try to join the circus?’ But seriously, they’ve really supported me.” Merryfield hopes to utilize her performing, painting and writing talents in the circus. “The possibilities are endless,” she said. “Art comes in very handy when sewing costumes, designing makeup, making props and writing gags. It all boils down to creativity.” Merryfield’s creative gene was stirred early in life. “I was notorious for getting into trouble for drawing all over the walls when I was little,” she confessed. Although she loved to draw and perform, having participated in the Spring Creek High School marching band, concert band, and jazz band, when it came time to choose an educational path for college, Merryfield did not follow the creative avenue. Instead, she started out majoring in agriculture with the goal of one day becoming an Ag-Ed teacher. She changed her major twice before finally settling into her true passion – fine arts. Sitting in the art studio in Laughinghouse Hall, it is evident that Merryfield has found her niche. Applying bright yellows, greens and reds to one of her many canvasses, she talks about her drawings, many of which are renderings of clowns that she knows personally. “When most people think of clowns, they think of animal balloons, big red noses, and crazy costumes. In my drawings, I want people to wonder about the person behind the makeup. I want them to wonder who it is and how they got there,” she said. Merryfield’s own interest in clowning came about unexpectedly. Her best friend from high school, Andrew Hicks—who is now himself a Ringling Brothers circus clown—introduced Merryfield to clowning. The pair has clowned at parties, festivals, fairs, churches, and schools. At first Merryfield looked at clowning as just a fun outlet; then she made the connection to something deeper: she realized that clowning could provide a creative outlet for her artistic expression. 5 | TODAY | SUMMER 2012

“I know the exact date it happened,” she said. “Andrew and I were writing gags for a performance, but it just wasn’t clicking for me. All of a sudden, he said, ‘This is not working; go get in the car.’” He took Merryfield to a deserted, wooded area and then started acting crazy. “He was dancing and spinning in circles; it was completely undignified. He stopped and looked at me and said, ‘Now I want see you do it.’ It took me a while to break my pride. Once I did, we were both just going crazy. After that day, I was a completely different person, and a completely different clown.” Merryfield is more comfortable with herself now. She has blossomed from the shy and reserved teenager to a confident young lady unafraid to express herself, not only in her clowning, but also in her everyday life.

Merryfield has experienced something else that not many do…the opportunity to use her clowning to break down barriers. While on mission trips to Nicaragua and Puerto Rico, Merryfield used her clowning to bring smiles to impoverished children. When she returned from the trip, she captured the experience on canvas.

“I don’t think you can learn to be funny; I really think that is a trait that is inside a person. Sometimes I look at a person and think, ‘that person’s got a little bit of clown in them.”

“The living conditions were horrible, but I didn’t want to portray that. I wanted to portray the colors. I wanted people to see how I felt about it. It was a beautiful place and the people were beautiful and full of life. They didn’t know that they were poor. They were laughing and having fun.” The ability to make people laugh and forget their problems, if even for a short while, is one of the things that makes clowning so attractive to Merryfield. “In my heart, I love clowning, and I want to join the circus to be a light for others.”

“Clowning is such an emotional art,” she After graduating with her bachelor’s said. “I’ve learned so much about myself by being a clown. As a performer you degree in May, Merryfield traveled to - Lindsey Merryfield have to make yourself vulnerable to the Texas to spend a week in clown school. audience. There is a creative process, She used the time to develop her clown but I think it’s more about getting out there and making people laugh. character and refine her skills. But she didn’t learn how to be funny. There’s nothing better than being in a group of kids and doing something completely silly that they wish they could do themselves. Everyone wishes “I don’t think you can learn to be funny; I really think that is a trait that is that they could get up and do something crazy. But that’s not normal. So, inside a person. Sometimes I look at a person and think, ‘that person’s got a little bit of clown in them,’” she smiled. • as clowns, we get the chance to do what’s not normal.” 6 | TODAY | SUMMER 2012

Pictured is a sample of one of the many works Merryfield created to depict her experience traveling abroad.

moC hAppeningS By Rhonda Jessup & Sharon Mervin

11th AnnuAl lit FeSt AnD poetry SlAm Authors Valerie Nieman and Marjorie Hudson were the featured presenters at the 11th annual Mount Olive College Literary Festival held in March. The event included a poetry slam with a cash prize which was jointly awarded to Wislande Maxy (pictured at right), a junior business management major and Tiffine Battle, a junior criminal justice major. • Photo by Mandy Hensley

StuDentS plACe FirSt At nC ACADemy oF SCienCeS AnnuAl meeting Biology majors Mariana V. Gattegno from Longwood, FL, Lindsey M. Stanley from Fayetteville, NC, and Jelena Y. Atkins from Leland, NC, presented at the Collegiate Academy of the North Carolina Academy of Sciences annual meeting this spring at Campbell University. The Mount Olive College seniors were awarded 1st place in the category for Zoology, Botany, and Ecology. • (L-R) Dr. David Dommer, Jelena Atkins, Mariana Gattegno, and Lindsey Stanley. • Photo Submitted

SigmA tAu DeltA

mount olive College


ConCert Choir ConCert

(L-R) Katie Jones of Goldsboro, Gianea Bennett of Goldsboro, Jessica Lozano of Goldsboro, Rebecca Moore of Goldsboro, Jeremy Heath Radford of Pikeville and Candace Williams of Goldsboro were recently inducted into the Alpha Epsilon Lambda chapter of Sigma Tau Delta at Mount Olive College. Sigma Tau Delta is the International English Honor Society that promotes cultural stimulation on the College campus and fosters the discipline of English in all aspects. • Photo Submitted

Free Spirit preSentS AnniverSAry ConCert The Mount Olive College contemporary gospel group, Free Spirit, marked its 15th anniversary with a “Celebration Concert” which featured works by famous Christian artists such as Bill Gaither, Michael W. Smith, Geron Davis, and others. Former members of the ensemble were invited on stage for the final selection “Amazing Grace/ My Chains Are Gone.” • Photo by Mandy Hensley 8 | TODAY | SUMMER 2012

Pictured is the Mount Olive College Concert Choir performing at their spring concert under the direction of Mr. Woody McDonell. • Photo Submitted

CollegeS oF DiStinCtion Mount Olive College was chosen as a member of the 2012 - 2013 Colleges of Distinction for its exemplary commitment to four key areas: engaged students, great teaching, vibrant communities and successful outcomes. This is the 2nd year the College has received this distinction.


2012 events

We invite you to join us this fall for any or all of our many events. From student performances to concerts, from art shows to athletic events, there is sure to be something for everyone to enjoy. We hope to see you soon!

Comedian John Felts

Pickle Classic + Homecoming

ts Join Us for FallFest Featuring Country Music Artis

Gloriana and Casey James

Nelson Reinhardt Exhibit



25th annual michael martin Golf Tournament August 16, 8:30 AM and 1:30 PM Shotgun Starts Southern Wayne Country Club | $80/player or $320/team

mount olive College symphonic Band Concert November 1, 7:30 PM | Mount Olive Assembly Hall


Comedian John felts November 10, 8:00 PM | Southern Bank Auditorium

nelson reinhardt exhibit September 3-October 31 | Teresa Pelt Grubbs Gallery

Campus Visitation day November 12, 8:30 AM | Lois K. Murphy Regional Center

music faculty recital September 11, 7:30 PM | Mount Olive Assembly Hall

founders day November 13, 11:00 AM | Rodgers Chapel

John Brown Jazz Quartet* September 18, 7:30 PM | Mount Olive Assembly Hall | $10 open house September 20, 5:00-7:00 PM | At the Following Locations: Mount Olive, Jacksonville, New Bern, Research Triangle Park, Washington, and Wilmington

OCTOBER music faculty recital October 11, 7:30 PM | Rodgers Chapel

FallFest: Gloriana and Casey James

October 12, 7:00 PM General Admission: $20 | George and Annie Dail Kornegay Arena Baroque arts Project October 18, 7:30 PM | Mount Olive Assembly Hall | $10

47th annual Pickle Classic Weekend and homecoming November 16-17 Christmas by Candlelight November 27, 5:00 PM | Mount Olive College Campus and Mount Olive Assembly Hall

Admissions Arts (Performing Arts & Fine Arts) Athletic College & Community All events are free and open to the public, unless otherwise noted. For More Info: 919-658-2502 |


STuDENTS RECOGNIzED AT STATE LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE (L-R) Martin Brekko of Norway, Jacob Morton of Beulaville, Jessica Pineda of Mount Olive, Kimberly Ramirez of Leland, Efrain Valencia of Louisburg, and Rubi Hernandez of Mount Olive brought back many awards from the 58th annual PBL State Leadership Conference held in Charlotte. The students were accompanied by their advisor Ms. Sonya O’Brien (far right) and Dr. Norm Crumpacker (center), TSB faculty and PBL Professional Division Member. First, second, and third place winners from the conference will advance to nationals in San Antonio in June. • Photo Submitted

ADMITTED STuDENT DAy AND SPRING FEST On April 14 Mount Olive College welcomed members of the incoming class of 2016 and their family members to the campus for the first of two Admitted Student Days. Admitted Student Day is the taking care of business portion or first phase of orientation for new students and their parents. Welcome Week – the second phase of orientation – takes place August 11-13 with all new students getting indoctrinated into the campus culture and community at Mount Olive College. The day was paired with Spring Fest, a day of fun-filled activities, fair rides and food aimed at celebrating being a Mount Olive College Trojan as a prospective student, current student or alumni. • Photo by Mandy Hensley

PSI CHI SPEARHEADS COMPuTER GIvE-AwAy Psi Chi, the international honor society for psychology, and the Psychology Club spearheaded a volunteer effort during the spring semester at Mount Olive Middle School dubbed Computer Give-A-Thon.  The event provided 56 students with free, refurbished computers through the Kramden Institute. • Photo by Rhonda Jessup

THEy DANCED THEIR SHOES OFF Campus and community members participated in the first ever Dance Your Shoes Off event this year on the Kemp Commons in front of Rodgers Chapel.  Participants wore brightly colored clothes and a pair of new or gently worn shoes that they donated to Helping Hands Ministry in Mount Olive after participating in a choreographed dance. There were 233 pairs of shoes collected. • Photos by Mandy Hensley

10 | TODAY | SUMMER 2012

MOC HAPPENINGS NEw COACHING MINOR TO bE OFFERED Beginning fall 2012 Mount Olive College will offer a new coaching minor consisting of 21 subject hours with 7 unique classes, offering theoretical and practical knowledge in the aspects of coaching. One such class is sport psychology, a course intended to introduce students to the mental component of sports performance including the relationship of stress, anxiety, goal setting, and concentration to athletic performance. Another class offered will be strength and conditioning techniques, which was designed to incorporate research-based knowledge and apply practical applications in order to improve athletic performance, fitness and quality of life for all populations. Dr. Burt Lewis, chair of the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies, said, “Our department hopes this minor will be attractive to students who are interested in teaching and coaching at the middle school and high school levels.”

RENOwNED POET GIbbONS RuARk vISITS In celebration of National Poetry Month Mount Olive College School of Arts and Sciences presented a reading by renowned poet Gibbons Ruark. Known for his deeply personal, often elegiac lyrics about his native North Carolina and beloved Ireland, the distinguished American poet is published in The New Yorker, The New Republic, and Poetry. His collections include Rescue the Perishing, Small Rain, Keeping Company, Reeds, A Program for Survival, Passing Through Customs: New and Selected Poems and, most recently, Staying Blue.

INTERNATIONAL SHOwFEST The International Club hosted the International Showfest in the Alumni Dining room on April 17. This annual event provided students, faculty, and staff the opportunity to view cultural displays and taste a variety of dishes prepared by some of our very own international students. The countries of Norway, Mexico, Honduras, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Liberia, Africa, and Brazil were represented at this year’s event that promoted diversity, education, understanding, and unity.

ANDERSSON ACCEPTED INTO PRESTIGIOuS RESEARCH PROGRAM Emelie Andersson has been accepted into the Summer Program for Undergraduate Research (SPUR) at the Medical College of Wisconsin. The SPUR program offers practical experience to undergraduates in the field of science, allowing them to work with fellow students and staff on important current scientific research problems.  Born in Bromma, Stockholm, Andersson originally picked Mount Olive College for its personable size and women’s golf program. Now a junior biology major, Andersson believes Mount Olive College has transformed her life forever. “I have gained a solid base of knowledge in the area of science from my professors in the science department. At MOC I have been inspired and motivated to develop my knowledge and learn more. I have grown as an individual and become more independent.” When she graduates from Mount Olive College next year, Andersson intends to go to medical school. • Photo by Mandy Hensley

MOuNT OLIvE COLLEGE PRESENTS HONORARy COLLEGIATE FFA DEGREES The Lois G. Britt Agribusiness Center recently celebrated its 10 year anniversary with a banquet and awards ceremony. During the event, current students in the agriculture education and agribusiness programs talked about the accomplishments of the Center during the past 10 years including outreach efforts, curriculum advancement, internship development, activities accomplished by student organizations, and community service projects. They also discussed the future opportunities and projections for the Center. A highlight of the evening was the presentation of Honorary Collegiate FFA Degrees given to individuals who have provided life-changing experiences for students and members of the Mount Olive College Collegiate FFA program. The awards were presented to: Dr. J. William Byrd, the Scott Family, the Lois G. Britt Family, Dr. Barbara Kornegay, Dr. Curtis Rains, Dorothy Whitley, Benjie Forrest, Bill Bryan and Lynn Williams from Mt Olive Pickle Company, Audrey Brown, and Stan Dixon. • Photo by Rhonda Jessup

SENIOR STuDENT ART SHOw The Mount Olive College Art and Visual Communication Senior Portfolio Exhibit is now open to the public. The event is titled “Push Pin 2012 Student Art Show.” The art on display includes drawings, paintings, digital illustrations, and graphic design pieces. The show will remain up through the summer. The Teresa Pelt Grubbs Art Gallery is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM until 4:00 PM For more information, contact Bob Murray at 919-658-7183. • Photo by Matt Stevens

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the MIND

of Dr.


Prunty Professor of the Year Article by Rhonda Jessup Photography by Matt Stevens


Prunty resides in Pikeville, NC


University of Missouri at St. Louis

Bachelor of Science in Psychology (1999)

University of Arkansas at Little Rock Master of Applied Psychology (2001)

University of Massachusetts at Amherst Ph.D. in Neuroscience and Behavior (2006)


John R. Prunty - married 7 years


Emma – age 3, Joey age 1, and baby number three is due at the end of October 2012


2010 Teacher of the Year award for the School of Professional Studies 2012 Professor of the Year Mount Olive College


Spending time with my family, traveling, scrapbooking, and gardening

Dr. Patricia Prunty, associate professor of psychology, is the 2012 recipient of the Mount Olive College Professor of the Year Award. Surprisingly, Prunty didn’t always want to be a professor. “When I entered graduate school, I had no intentions of teaching; I was determined to become a comparative research psychologist.” All of that changed when she had to teach two chapters of introductory psychology while taking her master’s degree. “I agonized for weeks. I had everything painstakingly written out, as I had a terrible fear of speaking in public. The first lecture was horrible. By the end of two chapters, I felt at home. I was surprised to learn that I connected with the students. That moment was when I realized my career path was going to take a drastic turn. I wanted to be a professor!” Recently Rhonda Jessup, director of public relations, asked Prunty to answer a few questions about herself and her career in the classroom.

What are your greatest strengths as an educator? I believe that my greatest strengths are my enthusiasm for the subject matter and my organization. I have always felt that it was my responsibility to make the material come to life as much as possible. An example that comes to mind is learning and memory. I had the dullest, most monotone professor teach human memory as an undergraduate. When I was assigned the course, I was determined for that not to be what my students experience. As a result, I spent a great deal of time devising activities, discussion points, and demonstrations to make the material real and important for my students. The second strength is my organizational skills. If I can be clear in my expectations, the students do not have to worry about misunderstandings regarding assignments or due dates. Instead of wondering if they are on track, they can focus on really learning the material. After all, that’s the most important piece of the puzzle.

What do you enjoy most about teaching? I enjoy making a difference for students. Some of my favorite moments in teaching have come when students thank me for my guidance in the classroom. Often they go to graduate school and suddenly find that they are well versed in APA writing or really know their stuff when it comes to neuroscience or development as compared to their peers. I also enjoy making a difference for students personally. I have had many heart-to-heart talks with students, whether about personal problems or career goals. I also love getting students excited about topics that I’m passionate about. My physiological psychology class is all about passing my love of neuroscience on to them. Not all of them jump on board, but many of them do end up finding the brain fascinating. When that happens, it is mission accomplished.

Describe what you consider to be your greatest contributions and accomplishments in education. With regard to my time at Mount Olive College, I am proud of my involvement in development of our Research Internship program. My first semester here, I took on mentoring our first research intern and it was a very rewarding experience. With the development of this program, I have been involved with over 15 different student-led research projects. Having this program allows students to explore research in an area that is of interest to them, rather than being slave to the interests of the research advisor. The program prepares them for graduate level research and also allows for the opportunity to be a research assistant. I love that we have created this level of opportunity for our students.

How would your students describe you in the classroom and your enthusiasm for your subject matter? I believe that most students would describe me as energetic and involved. I get excited about the material and the students’ reactions to the material. I make a conscious effort not to get too wrapped up in what I am talking about, but to also monitor the students. I tell them early in the class that I will be looking for telltale signs of confusion, such as the blank stare when I ask a question or confused looks. I tell them if they are too scared to ask a question, simply make a face and I’ll catch it. I want them to understand and not get lost especially in courses like physiological psychology where new principles build on the old all the way back to Chapter 1.

What do you consider to be the biggest challenge in higher education today? I believe that the biggest challenge in higher education is overcoming the sense of entitlement. My goal is to mold students into critical, independent thinkers. Entitlement can interfere with intellectual growth.

What advice would you give to new educators? Love what you do. If you put yourself into your classes, you will never dread a day that you have to come into the classroom. Your love of the material will also pass on to the students (at least most of them), and it will become a more enjoyable experience for the group.

13 | TODAY | SUMMER 2012


Photography submitted by Bankole Olatosi, Josiah King, and Philip P. Kerstetter

TRAVEL LOG Monday, May 07, 2012

Ten honors students accompanied by President and Mrs. Philip Kerstetter, Dr. and Mrs. Alan Lamm, and Dr. Bankie Olatosi departed from Raleigh-Durham airport headed for Dubrovnik, Croatia.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

After arriving in Dubrovnik, the group went through customs and exchanged their US Dollars for Croatian Kuna. They met their tour guide Maja, who showed them how to purchase tickets and take the bus. Several students visited the old town of Dubrovnik where they walked the cobblestone streets taking in the sites.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

In the morning the group toured “Old Dubrovnik” on foot. They viewed the Franciscan Monastery, the Bell Tower Clock, St. Laurence Fortress and the Sponza and Rector’s Palace. In the afternoon they departed from Dubrovnik and traveled along the beautiful coast of the Adriatic Sea to Split.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The group enjoyed a city orientation tour of Split before driving north along the coast to Trogir, home to artists and scholars from around the world. Next the participants journeyed inland towards the beautiful Plitvice Lakes National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site where they discovered the breathtaking scenery of the natural wonder which includes 16 terraced lakes surrounded by thickly wooded mountains and lush vegetation.

Friday, May 11, 2012

The Honors participants returned to the coast and the beautiful Bay of Kvarner and its popular seaside resort, Opatija. The group headed north to Postojna, the site of one of the largest caves in Europe. Next they toured the subterranean world via train. Afterwards, they continued towards the Julian Alps to Bled.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

The group traveled to Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia, for a visit to the open-air market, City Hall, Robba’s Fountain, and the Three Bridges. After returning to Bled the group went sightseeing at Bled Castle, located on a cliff high above the lake.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

On the long flight home the group rested and recounted the wonderful sights seen and memories made on this year’s Honor Trip.

14 | TODAY | SUMMER 2012


"This trip showed me that the true beauty of traveling overseas is the transformation of one's perspective of the world around them as well as themselves. What I received from traveling to Eastern Europe was the knowledge that while we, as a global community communicate and practice certain customs differently, we all have similar traits. The experience also showed me that life is far too short to remain unaware of the beautiful world God has created for us. One's understanding of world geography is nothing in comparison to actually traveling overseas and experiencing firsthand the beauty of our world." - Aisha Atkinson 15 | TODAY | SUMMER 2012

"This trip has inspired me to continue to travel overseas and discover the beauty of other countries. I would never have had the chance to visit not one, but three European countries if not for the Honors Program at Mount Olive College. I am grateful for this opportunity." - Jelena Atkins

"I was born in Landstuhl, Germany, and shortly after my birth my family went back to the United States. This was the first time I traveled outside of the country. In traveling to Europe there have been so many different things that I have seen. Most interestingly this trip has been transformational in that I now see that, as a country, the United States is still growing and developing: in culture, in the arts and in thought. I am reminded that through this stage of our existence, still so young and still growing, we can still make revolutionary decisions about water conservation and nature preservation. We can still make diplomatic decisions based upon the historical events of Europe, who is like our mother continent, to promote peace. It may be a naive perception and thought, but naivete and tenacity is the basis of all greatness and innovation." - Brianka Morgan

"As we traveled, we met many different people from all over the world which really helped me to see that the world is more diverse than I could ever imagine. This was my first time ever traveling outside of the country and it allowed me to appreciate everything I have here in America. Also, it gave me motivation to learn other cultures and languages." - Crawford Bolton

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"Before this trip, I had never been out of the country or ridden on an airplane. This experience has transformed my perception on life outside of the United States. I enjoyed visiting the historical sites such as Bled Castle in Slovenia, the many ornate churches, the bell tower in Trogir and the old town of Dubrovnik. But the most memorable moment for me was looking out my airplane window and seeing Dubrovnik, Croatia for the first time - it was absolutely breathtaking and is something I will never forget for the rest of my life." - Marah Radford

"Croatia and Slovenia were breathtakingly beautiful and the people were warm and hospitable. But the best part of the trip was not the scenery - it was getting to know our MOC students better and enjoying the camaraderie of traveling with Dr. and Mrs. Lamm and Dr. Olatosi. I hope we can tag along on each Honors class trip. Our students are wonderful ambassadors for us to the world - we are very proud of them." - Phil and Mary Kerstetter

"This trip has been life changing. In the past, I figured that going to another country would be something otherworldly, something totally different and difficult. This trip has shown me that travel can be quite an easy thing to do. I am really encouraged to see the world, to see different cultures, and to do what I previously thought was difficult. I also enjoyed the food. Trying new things and getting a little bit out of my comfort zone was actually a very fun and rewarding thing to do!" - Josiah King

17 | TODAY | SUMMER 2012


FORMER MARINES COMPLETE THE CHALLENGE OF HIGHER EDuCATION Article by Sharon Mervin | Photography by Rhonda Jessup Jesse Martinez and Victorio Basbas argue about everything. Basbas describes Martinez as, “grouchy and set in his ways.” Martinez describes Basbas as, “disciplined, strong minded, and loyal.” They both laugh, and then admit to being best friends… the admiration and respect between the pair is obvious. Martinez and Basbas are both former Marines. Both are currently employed as Marine Corps Police Officers with the Camp Lejeune Provost Marshalls Office and both are recent graduates of Mount Olive College at Jacksonville. Victorio Basbas and Jesse Martinez

“Returning to school was the most important step in reaching my second career goal. It has given me more confidence in everything I do: work or home...Between work and family, it became very challenging. However, I remained focused and dedicated to my studies, because I knew in the end it would pay off.” - Victorio Basbas

Always an element of healthy competition between them, the friends promised each other, while still serving in the military, that they would go to college if they ever had the chance. In May, 46-year-old Basbas and 50-yearold Martinez earned their degrees in criminal justice and criminology from Mount Olive College. Martinez served in the Marine Corps for 25 years. He lives in Jacksonville with his wife, Barbara. Together, they have four children: Corina-32, Juanita-30, Jesse, Jr.-28, and Brenda-21. “My wife has been my biggest inspiration and support while at Mount Olive College.” Martinez plans to use his degree to work within the probation system. “I want to work with young people and families, especially troubled youth. My education at Mount Olive College has opened the door to a different view on life.” Basbas, who was born in Guam and raised in Illinois, was in the Marine Corps for 23 years. He lives in Jacksonville and is engaged to be married to his fiancée, Erica. Basbas has two children: Joanna-23, and Andrew-20. Though Basbas admits that Martinez inspired him to continue his education, he says that his children motivated him. “They kept me on my toes. They gave me the drive I needed to continue,” he admits. “I wanted them to understand that it’s never too late to continue your education.” His efforts did not go unnoticed. “My son is currently enrolled in Grayslake College in Illinois earning his associate’s degree in criminal justice, and my daughter plans to enroll at Mount Olive College in Jacksonville next semester.” Basbas believes that his travel to different countries helped him appreciate obtaining an education. “I’ve been in places where education holds no priority. I believe that getting a higher education gives a person a big advantage.” Basbas says that Mount Olive College transformed his life in many ways. “Returning to school was the most important step in reaching my second career goal. It has given me more confidence in everything I do: work or home.” Like Martinez, Basbas worked full-time while attending college. “Between work and family, it became very challenging. However, I remained focused and dedicated to my studies, because I knew in the end it would pay off.” Basbas’ future goals include applying for a higher position within the Department of Defense. “I would also like to continue working with Marines either in the educational field or law enforcement,” he said. In the end, their bitter-sweet relationship, their families, and the promise that these two former Marines made years ago gave them the drive they needed to fulfill their educational mission.

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MOTHER AND DAuGHTER GRADuATE TOGETHER Article and Photography by Rhonda Jessup Kathy Atchison and her oldest daughter, Jessica (Atchison) Roberts, celebrated Mother’s Day early this year. The pair graduated on May 5 with their bachelor’s degrees in Early Childhood Education from Mount Olive College. They attended the College’s Jacksonville, North Carolina location. According to Atchison, “This was no easy feat.” Atchison, the wife of Major James Atchison, Jr., and Roberts, the wife of Corporal Adam Roberts, know what it means to adapt and overcome. Jessica Roberts and Kathy Atchison

Atchison opened a child care center in Jacksonville two years ago and is planning to open a developmental day program for children with special needs. Her degree in Early Childhood Education will become the foundation for the developmental day program.

The idea for the program came after planning for the arrival of the Atchison’s sixth child, Jeremy, who had an unusual chromosomal disorder, Trisomy 18. Atchison, a pediatric registered nurse, realized that there were minimal resources available for children with special needs and none that could manage medically fragile children like Jeremy. Sadly, Jeremy was stillborn but his memory lives on through the work that his mother and sister are doing with the children in Onslow County. In May both mother and daugther proudly walked across the stage to receive their degrees in Early Childhood Education. These degrees will provide the education to make their dreams become realities. Graduation has different meanings for each of them. However, both are thankful for the opportunity that Mount Olive College provided through classes that accommodated their busy schedules. “Jessica and I want to thank everyone that has helped us along the way,” Atchison said. “We are excited about what the future has in store. Neither one of us knew exactly how much our degrees would further us in the field of early childhood education. However, with degrees in hand and a broader vision given to us by the Early Childhood Education program at Mount Olive College, a brighter future is just around the corner!”

AMANDA ROPP IS HARvESTING DREAMS Article by Gianea Bennett | Photography by Matt Stevens Twenty-year-old Amanda Ropp of Newton Grove is no stranger to adversity. She suffered painful injuries in a car accident as a senior in high school, and just five days later dealt with the heartbreaking loss of her father. In the midst of these misfortunes, Ropp made a life changing choice that would lead her on the path to Mount Olive College. “It was in the wake of tragedy that I decided I would make a positive change in myself, to make a positive change in the world. I decided to be a teacher.” Ropp chose Mount Olive College because of its outstanding Agriculture Education curriculum. “Mount Olive College’s Agriculture Education program is so unique in that students leave the program as well-rounded, prepared individuals.” Determined to achieve her goals, Ropp straddled school work with her duties as a state officer of CFFA. Ropp’s disciplined demeanor came in handy. “My friends call me a robot. I don’t sleep! Well, that’s not entirely true…I have a planner, and I wouldn’t be able to function without it!”

Amanda Ropp

On May 5, 2012, Ropp graduated a year early from Mount Olive College, as student body president, head resident assistant, founder of the Society of Crown and Martlet, and treasurer of the Young Farmers and Ranchers, all while maintaining a 3.5 GPA. “My experiences here have left me with impeccable leadership skills, the ability to communicate efficiently and effectively, and a network of support in my own personal endeavors.” Ropp credits Mount Olive College with changing her life forever. “How has Mount Olive College NOT transformed my life? Mount Olive College became a fresh start for me. After the ordeal that was my senior year of high school, I needed a place where I could start anew. I was able to do that here.” No matter where life takes her, Ropp will always cherish her time spent as a Trojan at Mount Olive College. “Mount Olive College has been a habitat for my dreams and goals, and this place—a home and a school—will always hold a dear place in my heart.” Ropp plans on using her bachelor’s degree in agriculture education to ultimately earn her doctorate—another goal she will surely accomplish.

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Mount Olive College compiled 144 points out of a possible 167 for a rating of .844, far outdistancing last year’s winner, Queens, which finished second with a .767 rating. Firstyear conference member King was third at .662, narrowly finishing ahead of Limestone with a .656 rating. None of the other 12 schools achieved a rating above .600. In men’s sports, Mount Olive College collected 64 out of a possible 78 points for an .827 rating. King was second with .769. In women’s sports, the Trojans earned 76.5 out of a possible 89 points for a rating of .860. Queens finished second with an .823 rating. For veteran Trojan athletics staff members Bill Clingan and Carl Lancaster, winning the Hawn Cup was a long time coming.

MOuNT OLIvE wINS HAwN CuP Article by David Shulimson | Photography by Matt Stevens Mount Olive College is the recipient of the 2011-12 Conference Carolinas Joby Hawn Cup Award, awarded to the top athletics program in conference-sponsored sports. In addition to the overall award, Mount Olive also captured the Men’s Sports Hawn Cup and the Women’s Sports Hawn Cup. This year’s title marks the first time in school history Mount Olive has won the Hawn Cup. “Every academic year, one of our goals is to win the Hawn Cup, symbolic of the best athletic program in the conference,” said Mount Olive Director of Athletics Jeff Eisen. “To have achieved this goal is a great accomplishment by our entire department, especially our studentathletes and coaches.” Hawn Cup standings are compiled through a points system based on teams’ regular season finishes in each conference-sponsored sport, along with bonus points awarded for each sport’s conference tournament champion and runner-up. Since not all schools sponsor all conference sport, a final rating for each school is determined by the total points accumulated during the academic year divided by the maximum amount of points possible for each year. Mount Olive College sponsors 16 of 18 Conference Carolinas sports and, including bonus points, the Trojans finished in the top four in 13 different sports in the Hawn Cup rankings. Mount Olive finished first and won conference championships in baseball, men’s tennis, men’s track and field, and women’s track and field. The Trojans earned second-place Hawn Cup finishes in men’s basketball, women’s cross country, women’s golf, softball and men’s volleyball. The college placed third in men’s cross country and women’s tennis, and fourth in women’s basketball and women’s soccer.

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“The Hawn Cup is always a coveted award. We’ve come close, but fallen short through the years,” said Clingan, executive director of the Trojan Club. Clingan spent 19 years as the Trojans’ head men’s basketball coach before retiring in 2008 to teach and head up the Trojan Club. “This year’s award is a reflection of the caliber of our student-athletes and coaches. As an athletics staff member and as a fan, I am very proud of each and every one of them.” “This is something we’ve wanted for a long time and our entire department is to be commended,” said Lancaster, who is in his 25th year as Mount Olive College’s head baseball coach. “It speaks highly of our coaches and studentathletes. It’s a good day for Mount Olive College. I hope we can make this a regular occurrence.” The Hawn Cup dates all the way back to the 1975-76 academic year. The award is named for former conference commissioner H.C. “Joby” Hawn for his many years of service to the conference. Eisen says the Hawn Cup is the embodiment of a true team effort. “One of the great things about the Hawn Cup is that it takes a total department effort to win the cup,” said Eisen. “Each of our teams played an important role in this achievement.”



Article by David Shulimson | Photography Submitted

Baseball student-athlete Antonio Callaway and men’s volleyball studentathlete John Nunns were both named to the 2012 Capital One Division II Academic All-America First Team in the spring, as voted on by members of the College Sports Information Directors of America. Callaway became the fourth Trojan baseball player to earn Academic All-America honors, while Nunns became the second two-time Academic All-American in school history.

Antonio Callaway

Callaway, a senior centerfielder from Lawrenceville, Ga., has compiled a 3.64 cumulative grade point average majoring in business management with a minor in human resource management. He was named the 2012 Conference Carolinas Baseball Scholar Athlete of the Year.

On the field, Callaway earned All-Southeast Region Second Team honors and All-Conference Carolinas First Team honors. He finished third in the nation in runs scored and tied for fifth in the nation in stolen bases. Callaway tied a school record with 40 stolen bases in 42 attempts.

Nunns, a 6-5 middle hitter from Fayetteville, N.C., graduated in May with a 3.91 cumulative grade point average majoring in business administration. He’s a two-time Conference Carolinas All-Academic selection and earned a 2010-11 Athletics Directors Association Academic Achievement Award. On the court, Nunns was named to the 2012 All-Conference Carolinas Men’s John Nunns Volleyball Second Team, despite missing a month of the season with an injury. He was named Most Valuable Player of the 2011 Conference Carolinas Men’s Volleyball Championship after helping lead the Trojans to their second straight conference title. Nunns joins Jenny Jackson as Mount Olive’s only two-time Academic All-Americans. Jackson was named to the Academic All-America Softball Second Team in 2008 and earned Academic All-America First Team honors in 2009.

SHAE GARNER IS wOMAN OF THE yEAR NOMINEE Mount Olive College women’s track and field student-athlete Shae Garner is one of two Conference Carolinas nominees for the 2012 NCAA Woman of the Year Award. Garner’s selection marks the seventh consecutive year a Mount Olive College student-athlete has been a Conference Carolinas nominee for the award since the NCAA began selecting conference nominees in 2006. The NCAA Woman of the Year Award recognizes excellence in leadership, athletics, academics and service. Seniors who completed their final year of athletic eligibility are eligible for the award. A senior thrower from Pink Hill, NC, Garner helped lead Mount Olive College to its second consecutive Conference Carolinas Women’s Track and Field Championship. She competed in three throwing events at the championship, earning a third-place finish in the hammer throw. Earlier in the season, Garner set a school record with a distance of 38.88 meters in the hammer throw at the Raleigh Relays. Garner graduated in May with a 3.046 cumulative grade point average majoring in physical education. She was named to the Conference Carolinas Presidential Honor Roll in both semesters during her senior year. Outside of the field and the classroom, Garner spent two years as a nurse’s aide in the College nurse’s office. She also helped recruit donors for an oncampus American Red Cross blood drive. Garner performed her senior internship with the Mount Olive College athletics department, assisting in multiple areas, including promotions and game management. She also provided assistance to the athletics department during the school’s compliance officer’s maternity leave this past spring.

Article by David Shulimson | Photography by Matt Stevens

In 2008, Mount Olive women’s volleyball/women’s track and field student-athlete Sam Mitchell was among three Division II finalists and nine finalists overall for the NCAA Woman of the Year Award. Mitchell was also the Conference Carolinas Female Athlete of the Year and Murphy Osborne Award winner that year. Mount Olive women’s golf studentathlete Lindsey Snyder captured the inaugural Conference Carolinas NCAA Shae Garner Woman of the Year nomination in 2006 and fellow golfer Kate Somek earned the nomination in 2007. Trojan women’s basketball student-athlete Tomeka Pritchard earned a nomination in 2009 and MOC women’s tennis student-athletes won nominations the following two years. Jessica Souza in 2010 and Camila Kurebayashi in 2011. Garner is one of two Conference Carolinas nominees for 2012 NCAA Woman of the Year. Limestone women’s soccer student-athlete Ashley Alderin-Fleagle also earned a nomination. Ten semifinalists from each of the three divisions will be selected later this summer, followed by the selection of three finalists from each division. The 2012 NCAA Woman of the Year will be announced during the awards ceremony in Indianapolis in October. 21 | TODAY | SUMMER 2012



Article by David Shulimson | Photography Submitted

The months of March, April and May saw no shortage of trophies for Mount Olive College, not only for individual student-athletes, but also for coaches and teams.  Below is a list of other major awards that went to Mount Olive College this past spring.    ConferenCe Carolinas Women’s TraCk and field aThleTe of The Year alaytra Carswell of Waynesboro, Ga became only the second Mount Olive student-athlete to earn player of the year honors in back-to-back years and the first to do it in their freshman and sophomore years as she was named the 2012 Conference Carolinas Women’s Track and Field (Field Events) Athlete of the Year. Carswell, who also the 2011 Freshman of the Year, finished first in the 200 meters and the 400 meters at the 2012 Conference Carolinas Women’s Track and Field Championship. MOC all-time men’s basketball scoring leader Kendrick Easley of Norfolk, VA was the first Trojan to win back-toback player of the year honors.   ConferenCe Carolinas BaseBall PiTCher of The Year matt dillon of Trinity, nC became the fourth Trojan to win Conference Carolinas Baseball Pitcher of the Year since a separate award for pitchers was introduced in 2007. Dillon won each of his first nine decisions and finished the season with a 2.81 earned run average. He threw two complete games and also recorded a save in relief. His most noteworthy effort came in the first round of the NCAA II Southeast Regional when he pitched 8 2/3 innings and threw what’s believed to be a school record 178 pitches. ConferenCe Carolinas men’s BaskeTBall PlaYer of The Year After missing all of 2010-11 with an injury, Craig hayes of Woodbridge, Va came back with the best year of his career and was named the 2011-12 Conference Carolinas Men’s Basketball Player of the Year. Hayes averaged more than 19 points per game Matt Dillon and was among the nation’s leaders in field goal percentage. His selection marked the fourth time in the past five years a Trojan won men’s basketball player of the year honors, joining Brandon Streeter of Jacksonville, NC and two-time winner Kendrick Easley.  Hayes also earned Division II Bulletin All-America Honorable Mention. In addition to his awards and accomplishments on the court, Hayes graduated with a 3.08 cumulative grade point average with a double major in computer information systems and business management.   ConferenCe Carolinas BaseBall PlaYer of The Year Jacob rogers of Clearwater, fl, who led the nation in runs scored and was ranked among the top 20 in seven Craig Hayes different statistical categories, was named 2012 Conference Carolinas Baseball Player of the Year. The first baseman batted .392 with 86 runs scored and 17 home runs. Rogers became the first player in Trojan baseball history to hit two home runs in a game in three consecutive games. Rogers was selected by the Chicago Cubs in the 40th round of the 2012 Major League Baseball Draft in June. Rogers shared the 2012 NCBWA Division II Baseball Southeast Region Player of the Year award, as voted on by members of the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association. This year marked the second year in a row two Trojans earned Region Player of the Year honors in the same sport in the year. Last year, Carter Capps of Kinston, NC was Southeast Region Baseball Pitcher of the Year and Michael Knox of Apex, NC won Southeast Region Baseball Player of the Year honors.   ConferenCe Carolinas Women’s Golfer of The Year Valentina Urquiola of santone, Venezuela became Mount Olive’s first-ever Conference Carolinas Women’s Golfer of the Year. Urquiola posted four top 10 finishes in 2011-12, including a win in the CenturyLink Invitational and a second place finish in the MOC Spring Invite. Urquiola went on to become the first women’s golfer in school history to earn a bid to the NCAA Division II Women’s Golf Championship. She finished 19th out of 48 golfers at the NCAA II South Super Regional in Pace, FL. She had to miss Commencement due to the NCAA Tournament, but she did take part in a graduation ceremony – complete with cap and gown, official proclamation, and Mount Olive College President Philip P. Kerstetter, Ph.D., Valentina Urquiola and Vice-President for Academic Affairs Dr. Ellen Jordan dressed in full regalia – on campus the day before leaving for the championship. ConferenCe Carolinas men’s TraCk and field freshman of The Year T.J. Wilson of Princeton, nC was selected as the 2012 Conference Carolinas Men’s Track and Field Freshman of the Year, becoming the second Trojan men’s track and field student-athlete to win athlete of the year and freshman of the year in the same year. Dalton Souza captured both awards in 2011.  Wilson won the 110 meter hurdles and the 400 meter hurdles. He also captured a pair of top two finishes in field events, winning the triple jump and placing second (behind teammate Devonte Jenkins) in the long jump. 22 | TODAY | SUMMER 2012

ATHLETICS NEwS  ConferenCe Carolinas sCholar aThleTe of The Year

Conference Carolinas Scholar Athlete of the Year emelie andersson of Bromma, sweden, who earned All-Conference Carolinas Women’s Golf honors for the third year in a row, has a 3.89 grade point average majoring in biology. She tied for first at the Dana Rader Intercollegiate this year, carding a school record 149 in the 36-hole tournament.


all-ConferenCe Carolinas Women’s Tennis honors Patricia Guedes of sao Paulo, Brazil achieved the rare honor of earning All-Conference Carolinas Women’s Tennis honors while playing at the No. 6 singles position. Guedes has a 3.74 grade point average majoring in environmental science with a minor in chemistry. She posted a 6-1 singles record and a 9-2 record at No. 2 doubles in conference play. ConferenCe Carolinas freshman of The Year and ToUrnamenT mVP Conference Carolinas Tournament Most Valuable Player and Freshman of the Year edgar Bub of kedl, Germany became the first student-athlete in school history in any sport to be named Conference Carolinas Freshman of the Year and Conference Carolinas Tournament MVP in the same year. Bub went unbeaten in singles and doubles in the conference tournament, including a singles win over the 2012 Conference Carolinas Men’s Tennis Player of the Year in the championship match. Patricia Guedes   ConferenCe Carolinas Women’s Golf ChamPion Tegan skirpstas of medina, oh saved the best for last, winning the 2012 Conference Carolinas Women’s Golf Championship for her first victory in any collegiate tournament. As tournament champion, Skirpstas was named Most Valuable Player of the Women’s Golf Championship. Mount Olive College finished second as a team, the Trojans’ best finish in school history.   ConferenCe Carolinas CoaCh of The Year matt van lierop was named 2012 Conference Carolinas Men’s Track and Field and Women’s Track and Field Coach of the Year, becoming the first coach in school history to win coach of the year honors in two different sports in back-to-back years. Chip Spiron was named Conference Carolinas Women’s Golf Coach for the second year in a row, while Jaime Kylis-Higginbotham earned her second Conference Carolinas Softball Coach of the Year award. In just his second year, Kevin Coghill was named Conference Carolinas Men’s Tennis Coach of the Year. And Carl Lancaster won his school record 10th Conference Carolinas Baseball Coach of the Year award.   soUTheasT reGion PlaYer of The Year Catcher Geno escalante of fairfield, Ca was named the 2012 Daktronics Division II Baseball Southeast Region Player of the Year, as voted on by members of the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). Escalante finished the season with a 46-game hitting streak, tied for the fourth longest hitting streak in NCAA Division II Baseball history. He led the nation with 98 hits and also ranked in the top 10 with a .436 batting average, 67 runs scored and 70 runs batted in.   all-ameriCa Three Trojan baseball student-athletes earned All-America honors in 2012. Geno escalante was a consensus First Team All-American in 2012, earning All-America First Team honors by all three organizations: ABCA, CoSIDA and NCBWA. Jacob rogers was selected to the ABCA and NCBWA All-America Second Team. Shortstop mike mercurio of Brewster, nY was named to the NCBWA All-America Third Team. Geno Escalante

CHEERLEADING CHAMPS The Mount Olive College cheerleading squad finished second in the Co-Ed Division at the first annual Clash of the Carolinas in May at Gaffney, SC. The event, hosted by Limestone College, marked the first time in school history a Trojan squad has participated in a cheerleading competition. Mount Olive College compiled 183 points to finish 15 points ahead of third-place Belmont Abbey. Limestone won the Co-Ed Division, while Lenoir-Rhyne finished first in the All-Girl Division and was the overall grand champion. • Photo Submitted

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Article by David Shulimson

WinsTon ChUrChill sTroUd ’59 died May 16, 2012. He was a resident of Pink Hill, NC.

Few rivalries in college sports are as intense as the Mount Olive College-Barton College rivalry. But this past spring, both schools came together to help an individual and family with ties to both schools. The April 17 game at Scarborough Field between Mount Olive and Barton was dedicated to Jake May, a 17-year-old senior at Eastern Wayne High School and a member of the baseball team. Jake was diagnosed with leukemia in January and has been undergoing chemotherapy treatments. His leukemia is currently in remission.



Jake May throws out the first pitch on April 17 at the Mount Olive-Barton game. Photo Submitted

Jake is the son of Roger May, who was a student at Mount Olive College and a member of the baseball team in the early 80’s. Roger May returned to MOC to serve as an assistant baseball coach under Carl Lancaster from 1987-95. He then went on to serve as Barton’s head baseball coach from 1995-99. Ticket sales were donated to Jake and his family, as well as sales from the newly renamed Highway 55 Burgers, Shakes & Fries (formerly Andy’s), which set up a stand at the game. Along with other donations, a total of $1,909 was raised. Trojan head baseball coach Carl Lancaster says that the significance of the contributions goes well beyond the actual monetary amount.

marY Corinne PaTe BriTT ’76 died February 15, 2012 at Kitty Askins Hospice Center. Britt received her associate’s degree from Mount Olive College and bachelor of science degree in business administration from Atlantic Christian College. She earned a master of science in public administration from Central Michigan University in 1985. Corinne worked at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base for 45 years in various areas of personnel administration, budget and finance, retiring February 28, 2011. She was honored by the 916th Air Refueling Wing as Civilian of the Quarter, April through June 2009. She was a charter member of St. Luke United Methodist Church. Britt was a member of Goldsboro− Wayne County League of Women Voters, and the DAR. She served as board member of the Wayne County Historical Association and the Wayne County Museum. Britt was a member of historical societies of Mount Olive, Fremont, Beaufort, Lenoir, Duplin, Sampson and Johnston counties. larrY PiTTman ’74 won the Republican Primary on May 8, 2012, for NC House of Representatives representing the 82nd District in Cabarrus County. With no Democrat opponent in November, he will continue to serve a term through 2014. Pittman is from Concord, NC.


“The amount raised is a fraction of the expenses,” said Lancaster. “But the May family was very touched by how the two schools and the entire community rallied around them. They are very grateful for the support.”

CYnThia PiGford WallaCe ’80 has been chosen as “Duplin County Teacher of the Year” for academic year 2011-2012. Wallace teaches at North Duplin Elementary School.

Roger May was an assistant for Lancaster when Jake was born.

naomi daVis ’82 died April 25, 2012. She was a resident of Oxford, NC, and was employed by the Granville County School System.

“Jake is a strong young man who has had the misfortune of being afflicted with a terrible disease,” said Lancaster. “He is a fighter and we are so happy for the progress that he has made.” Jake May threw out the ceremonial first pitch prior to the game. Lancaster accompanied Jake to the mound. “I shook Jake’s hand and gave him the ball,” said Lancaster. “He was so excited to be on the mound. His face lit up with the biggest smile I’ve ever seen. That’s a memory that will stay with me forever.” To make the night complete, the Trojans defeated Barton 13-2.

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1990s ronald “Wells” GUlledGe ’97 Kinston High School basketball coach came in second in voting for the Associated Press prep basketball coach of the year award. This year he led the Kinston Vikings to their third state title in the last five seasons. Gulledge previously won the award in 2008.


miChael “kenT” farriss ’91 was married to Bonita Bender of Wilmington, NC, on October 29, 2011. Farriss has been the owner of Farriss Carpet and Air Duct Cleaners in Wilmington for 20 years. The couple resides in Wilmington.

heBer aldridGe ’08 was married to Jenna Leigh Whitehurst on February 4, 2012. Aldridge is a postmaster with the United States Postal Service in Winterville, NC. The couple have made their home in Greenville, NC.

TraCY ChesTnUTT ’98 has been hired as finance director for the town of Wallace, NC. She received a degree in business management from Mount Olive College and is pursuing a 2-year degree from Lenoir Community College in preparing to sit for the CPA exam. She has previously worked for Duplin, Sampson and Lenoir County Social Services.

aliCe daVis ’01 was ordained in the United Methodist Conference on June 16, 2012, at the Raleigh Convention Center at the closing session of the Annual Conference. Reverend Davis resides in Goldsboro, NC.

BrYan TUTen ’93 has been named director of Dowdy Student Stores at East Carolina University. He has been with Dowdy Student Stores since December 2000. Tuten and his wife, Jennifer, live in Greenville with their son Rylan and daughter Katie. reGina GiBBs ’95 was a featured speaker on the civil rights movement at the Pamlico Heritage Center on February 27 for Black History Month. Gibbs resides in Bayboro, NC.

2000s Janae JoYner ’02 was the guest speaker at the 20th annual Lorell F. Martin Science Lecture at Mount Olive College. The theme for the lecture was “Treating Cardiovascular Disease through Basic and Translational Science.” Dr. Joyner has a Ph.D. in molecular medicine from Wake Forest University and is a research fellow for the Consortium for Southeastern Hypertension Control and Wake Forest University Baptist Health. donald edWards ’06 is a police detective in Clinton, NC. He has been named Clinton Police Officer of the Year. Edwards is a Sampson County native and lives in Clinton with his wife, Barbara, and two daughters. Jeanne hUsseY ’06 is engaged to marry Shawn Hopkins of Havelock, NC. The wedding is planned for September 18, 2012. Hussey is employed by Carr’s Academy and Mount Olive College at Wilmington. miChael Varnell ’03 is assistant fire chief in Rocky Mount, NC. He delivered the commencement address at Nash Community College’s graduation ceremonies on Friday, May 11, 2012. Tharesa lee ’01 graduated from Liberty University on May 12, 2012, with a master’s degree in Human Services: Marriage and Family. In February Lee was honored with the 2012 NC Governor’s Volunteer Service award in a ceremony at the Governor’s Mansion. She recieved a lifetime achievement award along with only 18 other statewide volunteers. Lee has been coordinator of the Greater New Bern Chamber of Commerce Nonprofit Council for 8 years. Under her guidance, the chamber has gained the distinction of being one of the most proactive in the state for volunteerism. Lee resides in New Bern, NC. TerrY Jones ’03 was the featured speaker at Wayne County’s celebration of the National Day of Prayer on May 3, 2012 at the Paramount Theater in Goldsboro, NC. This year’s theme was “One Nation Under God.” Jones is Athletic Director at Wayne Country Day School and Associate Pastor at Place of Refuge Ministry.

2010s amanda hoPe BarTleTT ’11 is engaged to marry Matthew Charles Parker of Bladenboro, NC. Bartlett has completed an internship at Cape Fear Valley Hospital in the Children’s Center. Charise Clark ’12 has been accepted to the University of North Carolina at Charlotte for the special education adapted curriculum graduate program.  She plans to earn initial teaching credentials in special education with the Special Education Adapted Curriculum Graduate Certificate and a second graduate certificate in Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).  She will also earn her MA in teaching special education adapted curriculum K-12. She is a single parent of a child with special needs. miChael CiamPa ’10 is engaged to marry Vittoria Longiotti of Chapel Hill, NC. The couple plans to marry in August. saVannah miChelle fann ’10 was married to Stephen Anders on February 18, 2012. She is a Pre-K Teacher at Union Elementary School. The couple resides in Clinton, NC. deBorah Johnson ’11 was elected to the board of directors for Girl Scouts – North Carolina Coastal Pines. A sales representative for the North Carolina Education Lottery, she will serve a two-year term. She cofounded the East Carolina Storm girl’s AAU basketball organization and has been their executive director for the past 12 years. adrian m. daniels ’10 graduated from basic military training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, TX. He earned distinction as an honor graduate. JoshUa PhilliPs ’11 has become recreation and parks director for the Town of Mount Olive. He will be responsible for centralizing all of the town’s recreation programs and facilities at the old Carver School site. Phillips will also work to set up a soccer program. He resides in Goldsboro, NC.

wHAT’S NEw wITH yOu? Turn yourself in and give us the most up-to-date news about you - including change of address information! Visit or call the Alumni Office at 919-658-7822 and an Alumni Update form will be mailed to you.

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The Recreation and Leisure Studies Golf Tournament was held during Spring Alumni Weekend at Southern Wayne Country Club. Proceeds from the super ball tournament were added to the Dr. Sharon Carter Recreation and Leisure Studies Student Scholarship Fund.

Pictured are members of the Mount Olive College Alumni Association Board.

Members of the 25th and 50th reunion classes, along with the MOC Alumni Association Board, enjoyed reminiscences over a luncheon at the home of President and Mrs. Philip P. Kerstetter.

On Sunday of Spring Alumni Weekend, alumni participated in a worship service in Rodgers Chapel.

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During the Mount Olive College spring Alumni Weekend awards ceremony, several alumni and friends were honored for their service and dedication to Mount Olive College. Pictured (L-R): Mount Olive College President Philip P. Kerstetter; Mount Olive College Alumni Business Associate of the Year recipient Mike Davis; Mount Olive College Excellence in Teaching Award recipient Irene Patten; Mount Olive College Alumni Hall of Fame recipient Julie Beck; Mount Olive College Honorary Alumnus recipient Brenda Edwards; and Mount Olive College Distinguished Service Award recipient Dianne Riley.

Pictured are the 2012-2013 Mount Olive College Alumni Association Officers (L-R): Gregg Paul, immediate past president; Tom Patterson, president; Francine Cooke, president elect; Deborah King, vice president; Trish Cahoon, secretary.

The Religion Department hosted a coffee, tea and theology event during Alumni Weekend to give current students and alumni the opportunity to connect, receive updated resources and network.

Alumni enjoyed a reception prior to the Free Spirit 15th Anniversary Concert.

The Art and Visual Communication Student Art Show and Reception opening was held during Spring Alumni Weekend to give alumni a chance to socialize with friends and Mount Olive College visual communication professors.

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advancement newS

Blackwell to head advancement team Dr. John Blackwell has joined Mount Olive College as vice president for Institutional Advancement. His responsibilities will include providing leadership and direction in all the advancement efforts of the College, including development, alumni relations, church relations, capital campaigns, planned giving and public relations. Blackwell, who has relocated to Mount Olive, comes to the College after serving seven years as Dean of the Chapel at Kansas Wesleyan University and four years as Dean of the San Diego School of Christian Studies and Minister of Discipleship at First United Methodist Church in San Diego. Blackwell and his wife, Nancy, have two adult children, Jaime and David, a daughter-in-law, Chynnene, along with three bulldogs. Blackwell’s interests include reading, writing (he is the author of seven books, plus journal articles), piano and travel. “In 2009, I had the honor of giving the Commencement Address at Mount Olive College,” says Blackwell. “There were many things that impressed me about Mount Olive College, not the least of which is that you recognize that education involves transformation. Then when I arrived this past April to join President Kerstetter’s team, I discovered that Mount Olive College is a place where students build community in which they practice creativity. It’s a school where students explore the meaning of life, where they link their education to service in the community, and where they can actively develop practical wisdom. Most important, MOC is a place where students can actually develop their faith in Christ. That is a treasure, and I am honored to be a member of this community.” • Photo by Matt Stevens

Barfield tranSformed By mount olive college The Mount Olive College tagline “Transforming Education. Transforming Lives.” is more than a fancy marketing message. It exemplifies what truly happens in the lives of our students each and every day. Josh is just one of those examples. He came to Mount Olive College as a freshman unsure of what the future had in store, but leaves as a confident and determined graduate ready to enter Duke Divinity School.

Watch his transfOrMatiOnal stOrY Online and see how you can be a part of making other students’ dreams become reality.

On the Web: transformation-series

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On YOur MObile Device

ADvANCEMENT NEwS HANDy MART INvITATIONAL bRINGS IN OvER $105,000 FOR STuDENT SCHOLARSHIPS Approximately $105,000 was raised this year from the 26th Annual Handy Mart – Mount Olive College Invitational Golf Tournament held at Southern Wayne Country Club. This year’s proceeds bring the total amount raised since the event began in 1987 to over $2.2 million. To date, 550 scholarships have been provided to Mount Olive College students from the annual Handy Mart golf tournaments. Mount Olive College alumnus Clark Rose (second from left) and Bradley Jones (center) emerged the champions of this year’s tournament. Jones-Rose shot a phenomenal two-day score of 27-under par 115. Standing with Rose and Jones are Dr. Philip Kerstetter, president of Mount Olive College (far left); Judson Pope, president of EJ Pope Inc. in Goldsboro (third from right); and volunteers Margaux Pope (second from right) and Abbey Pope (far right). The two-day event, which has more than 100 sponsors and patrons combined, helps fuel the MOC scholarship fund. • Photo by Ruddy Coggins

vOLuNTEERS NEEDED Summer is in the air, but planning is already underway for winter... Winter Glitz that is! Winter Glitz is the  annual student scholarship fundraiser hosted by the Mount Olive College Alumni Association.  The 2013 event is planned for Saturday, February 23. Carolyn Hill, Winter Glitz chairperson, and the committee are  seeking volunteers for  event planning, organizing auction items, decorating, and so much more.  By contributing your skills, you’re sure to enjoy fellowship, fun, and the feeling of satisfaction from helping our students. Please contact anne hamm at or 919-658-7822 for more information on how you can volunteer.

MOC FOuNDATION bOARD DOubLE yOuR GIFT APPOINTS NEw LEADERS Alexander F. “Sandy” Thompson of Charlotte, NC, and Kenneth Douglas Wilkins of Virginia Beach, VA, were recently elected to the Mount Olive College Foundation Board. The purpose of the MOC Foundation is to find alternate sources of funding and equipment for a variety of programs and projects addressing the needs of a growing Mount Olive College. The Board of Directors are expected to play a critical role in providing Mount Olive College access to key philanthropic, corporate, civic and governmental decision-makers, while serving as ambassadors to further the mission of the College. • Photo by Matt Stevens

With matching gifts you can sometimes double or even triple your gift!! Many employers sponsor matching gift programs and will match charitable contributions made by their employees, retirees or spouses of employees. To find out if your company has a matching gift policy, please check with your company’s human resources department.

RINGING IN SuPPORT The spring 2012 Mount Olive College phone-a-thon raised over $5,000. The event, which was held for 16 nights, ran from March to May. Thirteen students made over 5,000 calls. The phone-a-thon is part of an annual fundraiser that calls alumni, parents and friends of Mount Olive College. The Mount Olive College Annual Fund is used to support the College in a variety of ways and is meant to meet the College’s most pressing needs. The MOC Annual Fund supports student scholarships, student development, athletic events, alumni events, and much more. A strong and growing Annual Fund ensures that Mount Olive College will continue to offer the best in all areas to students. If you are interested in supporting the Mount Olive College Annual Fund please contact Melinda Holland, director of the Annual Fund, at 919-658-7702 or by e-mail at You may also visit the Mount Olive College website and donate online at • Photo Submitted

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634 Henderson street Mount olive, nC 28365 CHange serviCe requested

Pickle Classic and Homecoming are right around the corner. Please mark your calendars and make plans to join us. Some of the exciting events that you can look forward to attending are: 16th Annual Alumni Golf Tournament Friday, November 16, 2012 Southern Wayne County Club 12:00 Noon shotgun start Contact: Tim Woodard at 919-658-7793 Athletics Hall of Fame Induction Saturday, November 17, 2012 Lois K. Murphy Regional Center 3:00 PM Contact: Tina Parks at 919-658-7759 47th Annual Pickle Classic Tournament and Homecoming Friday and Saturday November 16-17, 2012 George and Annie Dail Kornegay Arena Game times: 5:00 PM and 7:30 PM both nights Cost: advance tickets $15 for both days or $10 per day on game day Contact: Tina Parks at 919-658-7759 This year’s Pickle Classic Basketball Tournament will feature Fayetteville State, Lenoir Rhyne, West Virginia State and our Mount Olive College Trojans! Also, our women’s basketball team will host Converse on Saturday, November 17, at 12:00 noon. The Alumni hospitality suite will be open both nights during the games. More details regarding Pickle Classic and Homecoming events will be available via our website at We hope to see you on November 16 and 17!

Mount Olive College Today Magazine