Special Edition Reissue Listed as the #4 Nonweekly Publication in the Midwest By The Associated Collegiate Press 2016 Best of Show: Four-year Less Than Weekly Newspaper Award Winner
Contributors Editor-In-Chief Gino Terrell Managing Editor Cloe Gray Layout Editor Gino Terrell Correspondents Isaac Fagerstrom Nick Lozinski Lindsey Matter Catherine Stolz Marissa Wandzel Travis Whitt Advisor Suda Ishida Photo courtesy of Viridiana Arevalo
About the Editor Gino Terrell is the Founder of Pipers In-Depth and is serving as the Editor-In-Chief this school year. The idea of this publication sparked in the spring of 2015 when he realized a need on campus for telling feature stories about members in the Hamline community. Also a 2015 Ridgway Forum Fellow, one of his m otivations behind this publication was to tell the story of each student recipient. His hope is the stories told through Pipers In-Depth will have an impact on the Hamline community as readers will learn the life story of a diverse group of people. He hopes readers will walk away inspired and introduced to other perspectives. His background includes being an award winning Sports Editor for The Oracle, an arts and news reporter for Twin Cities Daily Planet and freelance reporter for MinnPost. In the fall of 2015, Terrell interned at AdoptAClassroom.org, American Public Media Group, Hamline Midway Elders and Hubbard Broadcasting Inc. KSTP TV. He thanks the committed staff at Pipers In-Depth for turning the vision into a reality and taking it a step further.
Pipers In-Depth © 2015
Hello, my name is Gino Terrell and I’m the Founder and Editor-In-Chief of Pipers-In-Depth, a publication committed to telling the true life stories of members in the Hamline community. We aim to feature a diverse group in each issue for r eaders to recognize the unique interests and experiences of the people in their community. Hamline is a unique place where many exercise their genius quaintly, and as a publication devoted to in-depth reporting of H amline figures, it is our mission to make that e vident with our audience. In this issue, you’ll d iscover how an athlete used football to cope with changes in his life including the time his family relocated from New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina. You’ll get up-close and personal with a member at Hamline who once struggled with issues of bulimia and recently competed for the Miss Minnesota USA title to prove to people they don’t have to starve themselves to be beautiful and strived to use the title for a philanthropic organization. Readers will also learn about the struggle some went through such as a Chicagoan who uses traumatic experiences such as being held at gunpoint to bring heart to his music. The adventure of how a kid growing up with a single mom in the inner city of Thailand became a professor at Hamline and how a culture shock after moving into a new state had nearly discouraged a student at H amline if it wasn’t for his teammates; and now that student is producing a reality show featuring Hamline’s atmosphere to combat the negative stereotypes he sees in the media. This particular edition focuses on themes such as race, intercultural competency, giving back and advocacy. This dedicated and talented staff has brought together the first and what won’t be the last magazine devoted to telling the true life stories of Pipers In-Depth.
Gino Terrell, Founder and Editor-In-Chief
Table of Contents
Ridgway Forum Fellows:
The 2015 Ridgway Forum Fellows featuring Sophia Myerly, Nate Schumer and Breanna Simon.
Austin Duncan: 9 Kristi Rendahl:
Hamline University’s all-time rushing leader talks about how football impacted his life and opens up about his experience in New Orleans before and after Hurricane Katrina.
Rugby, North Dakota native shares her experience traveling around the globe to collaborate with others. She talks about her connection to Armenia and what she has learned from the culture.
In This Issue Suda
Austin Duncan: ‘Football is my life’
Collaboration is key for Kristi Rendahl
Dedication to diversity: Carlos Sneed’s impact at Hamline
Donyae Graham: Studying, acting and giving back
2015 Ridgway Forum Fellows
Advocating for change: The power of one student’s work
Putting passion in action: On and off the field
Evelyn Pechous: A philanthropist phenom
Fighting stereotypes by filming reality
Known as Covenant on stage, his experiences growing up in Chicago has given heart to his music. His motivation drives from his support s ystem at Hamline and fans of his music.
By Gino Terrell
Photograph Isaac Fagerstrom
Hamline professor Suda Ishida, also director of Hamline’s Certificate of International Journalism (CIJ) program, has overcome great odds to reach where she is today; because she came from an inner city of Bangkok, Thailand where she said she was more likely to become a “prostitute” rather than a “professor.” “I grew up with seeing a lot of those things – drugs and stuff in the fresh market,” Ishida said. “No parents or guidance because my mom was busy.” Ishida was one of four kids raised by her single mom in a shack in Bangkok. Every morning she would watch a woman clean an eel out of a water bucket, hook the eel and clean it. “That’s the room with the view for me,” Ishida said. At age 16, Ishida was active in the rural area of Bangkok. She spent a lot of time volunteering and helped build two schools. When Ishida was in high school, she enrolled in a vocational school where she was trained to be a hotel maid. Cleaning toilets, cooking food and cleaning beds is what she
had done for three years until she took her o pportunity to attend a post-secondary college, even without receiving a high school diploma. At the time in Bangkok, there were five state universities and to enroll in either one a prospective student would have needed to pass the National Interests Examination. Ishida passed it. “I was a genius,” Ishida said. After a student decided to leave one of the university’s up north, Ishida, originally waitlisted, took that spot. Ishida took advantage of her opportunity and earned her bachelor’s degree. While attending school she had two professors she really latched onto. One was a graduate from O xford and the other was an American journalist. Ishida graduated with a 3.7 G.P.A. majoring in English with a minor in journalism. “That was a pretty good deal for me, I would say,” Ishida said. “My English was pretty good compared to a lot of Thai people because Thai people don’t speak English very well.” After Ishida graduated, she
taught at an Indochinese refugee camp run by The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) for six months before she reported for the daily newspaper “The Nation.” She was a reporter back home c overing environmental and social news. In the early 1990s, Ishida covered the AIDS Epidemic interviewing sex workers in brothels. She also reported for Bangkok’s b ureau of the Associated Press. “English, plus international, plus environmental. I started from there,” she said. A few years later, she received a scholarship to pursue her M aster of Arts at Macquarie U niversity in Sydney, Australia. While living in Australia the Internet Chat Room began in 1994 and technology was something she started paying attention to after the Cellphone Revolution in 1992. In 1996, she graduated with her master’s. She continued her education up until the time she moved to the U.S. to pursue and graduate with her PhD in Mass Communication and
Suda Ishida assists senior Terry Pegues (left) and Sarah Sheven (class 2015) during class (photo courtesy of Suda Ishida).
Journalism from the University of Iowa before teaching at Hamline University. Ishida has taught at Hamline for over a decade and leads the C ommunication Studies department with the most student advisees. Pat Palmerton, the chair of the Communication Studies department, said Ishida teaches a topic she is very passionate about. “She’s just really dedicated to teaching,” Palmerton said, “cares a lot about how people understand the media.” As the director of the CIJ program, Ishida strongly encourages her students to study abroad to get her students to think globally. “If you are here and you’re close minded and don’t see outside, it’s going to be really, really, tough for [my students],” Ishida said. From her own personal experience traveling, she understands the importance of acknowledging different perspectives around the world and thinking globally. “I want [my students] to be successful because I see how difficult it is going to be. [They are] competing with the entire world. Global marketplace, [they are] not just competing with kids in Minnesota anymore,” she said. “[They are] competing with kids from China, from Brazil, India, Russia, Romania, anywhere, even people in
Seniors Mackenzie Bledsoe (left) and Kyle Kvamme (courtesy of Suda Ishida).
Thailand.” Hamline alum Melissa Hruza (2005-2009), said the CIJ program played a huge part of her college experience. She credits Ishida for uniting the students. “Suda is a very warm and inviting person,” she said. “We [students in the CIJ program] became a little family.” Hruza added how Ishida’s plan for getting her students to travel internationally is a testament to how dedicated she is to having her students support Hamline’s mission. Hruza also said she admired how Ishida tackled controversial issues and does not hold back when it comes to teaching her students about the media or politics. “She’s not afraid to say what students should know about the world,” she said. Ishida said she treats all of her students as if they were her own children as she wants them to succeed both in and outside of the classroom.
She holds high expectations for her students. She also puts an emphasis on getting her students to think critically and learn how to adapt that skill when they are analyzing media messages they see on a daily basis. “I want [my students] to do well, otherwise, what’s the point,” she said. “That’s why I push all of my students to try to achieve the best that they possibly could.” Ishida supports her students beyond graduation, and Hruza has attested to that. “The wonderful thing about Suda is she is committed to her students,” she said, “getting them graduated and connected after they leave.” Ishida says her students are the future leaders and she tries as best as she could to make them well-informed citizens. “I’m old now, all of my hope is on [my students],” she said.
Suda Ishida in Lisbon, Portugal (photos courtesy of Suda Ishida).
“It’s been a long, a long time coming but I know a change gon’ come, oh yes it will.”
Austin Duncan: ‘Football is my life’ By Travis Whitt Photographs Gino Terrell
“It’s been a long, a long time coming but I know a change gon’ come, oh yes it will.” On any given Saturday at Klas Field senior Austin Duncan can be seen pacing the sidelines singing Sam Cooke’s song “A Change is G onna Come.” “I been singing it since the first game of my freshman year,” Duncan said. “When I came here I said I wanted to change the program.” When the senior running back entered the Hamline football program, the team had not won a single game. In 2014, D uncan’s junior year, the team went 4-6. Reaching four wins was something the team had not achieved the previous five seasons. “Hopefully, by the end of my last game, when the clock strikes zero many things [will] have changed,” he said in the midst of his final season. Duncan grew up in New Orleans, Louisiana in what he proudly calls a football family. He recalls his brother and cousins being rough on him, an influence on his status as a power back. “They taught me how to take a beating,” Duncan said with a smile on his face. “My uncle would throw footballs to me twenty-four-seven and would make me do 24 push-ups if I dropped it.” There was always a football in the Duncan household. As a f amily oriented person, Duncan said he owes much of his love for the game to his family. At age five, he started playing pee wee football and immediately adopted the number 28, the number he wears for the Pipers. “It has just always been mine,” Duncan said of the number that blasts from the speakers at Klas field after he’s broken away for a big run. When Duncan was 12 is when things got rocky and he was forced out of his hometown. The year was
2005 and Hurricane Katrina, one of the five deadliest hurricanes in the history of the United States, hit.
“My mom told me to pack a bag of clothes and all I grabbed was stuff that was important to me; so I grabbed my pads, my cleats and my video games,” Duncan said.
The Duncan family relocated to Houston, Texas where Austin used football as a coping mechanism. Duncan admits the move made him depressed because he missed his final year of pee wee football. “I was on my parents’ non-stop to find me a team in Houston,” he said. With Duncan’s move to a whole new town he needed football to be there for him like it always had. Duncan returned to New Orleans a few months later, just in time to sign up for his school’s football team. “My high school team was a really close knit group of guys and we had a winning record every year,” he said. Duncan attributes his academic and social success to his high school teammates. “I knew somebody in every class,” he said. “When you’re on the f ootball team, you automatically have 100 friends.” In Duncan’s eyes every team should be a family, an ideal he brought with him on his journey to Hamline University. Although he was at first reluctant to play college football, Duncan says there was something different about Hamline.
“It was beautiful up here. I loved the atmosphere. I loved the stadium,” he said, “and then I saw the record and I was like, ‘I need to turn this program around.’”
Duncan came in with low expectations, something he said he had to do with a team coming off a season with a 0-10 record. It was also something he was not accustomed to. As he promised, Duncan brought change by helping the team with a one win improvement from the year before. As a first-year, he rushed for 868 yards with a total of eight touchdowns on the season. However, Duncan was not satisfied. “The MIAC lived up to my expectations,” Duncan said. One of his goals was to make his mark in one of the most powerful Division III conferences in the nation. Change once again surrounded Duncan when Hamline switched head coaches after his first year. Chad Rogosheske, Hamline alum and former running back for the Pipers playing four seasons (1994 97), became the head coach for the Pipers in 2013. Upon arrival, he knew he had a special talent at halfback. “Austin’s name came up as one of the young guys with talent that we could build on,” Rogosheske said. With the new coaching staff came a new offense that emphasized the run and turned Duncan from a good running back into a pure offensive weapon. During his sophomore season, Duncan almost doubled his rushing yard total with 1,460 yards. That year, the team improved by another win to finish off the year 2-8. Duncan also solidified his name in the record books with both the most yards rushing in a game with 298 yards against Carleton on Sept. 21, 2013, and the most rushing yards in a season. Coming into his senior year, Duncan made a name for himself as statistically the best running back in Hamline Football history. However, Duncan was more concerned with his original plan, making a change. At the start of the season, Duncan
Austin Duncan’s photo op with his parents Gina and Omar Duncan before playing his final game at Klas Field Nov. 7, 2015.
was voted by his peers to be named a team captain for the 2015 Hamline Pipers. Longtime teammate and roommate of Duncan, senior Deon Bishop, said Duncan brings a lot of energy to the Pipers. “Duncan’s always trying to make people smile. He brings a lot of energy on and off the field,” Bishop said. “When he does get on the field he’s pushing 100 percent.” As the team had found other weapons on the field during the 2015 season, Duncan saw fewer carries compared to previous seasons. With the change, he was still supportive of his teammates.
“He’s a great teammate and I believe that he really cares about the guys around him,” Rogosheske said. “It was always clear that Austin had a great enthusiasm for the game.”
In his final season, he became the
first Piper to run for 4,000 yards in a career. He finished his career with 4,068 rushing yards and helped the team reach a record of 4-6 for the second consecutive season. Throughout all of the a dversity Duncan has faced, he attributes football as his main s upport s ystem. Football has been the source of Duncan’s friends as well as a connection to his family.
“I am really blessed to have my family come to all of my games,” Duncan said.
When he is not with his family Duncan says football is the only thing that keeps his mind off of how far away they are. Football has always been Duncan’s constant in a world that is always changing around him. “Football is my life,” Duncan said.
Austin Duncan’s Team Records
Career Rushing Yards: 4, 068 (2012-15) Single Season Rushing Yards: 1,460 (2013) Rushing Yards in a Game: 298 yards (2013) Career Touchdowns: 34 (2012-15)
Austin Duncan walking along the sideline of Klas Field Sept. 21, 2013.
Austin Duncan’s Career Highlights
-Sept. 1, 2012: Second career carry led to a 73-yard touchdown. Recorded 8 carries for 98 rushing yards and two touchdowns in his debut against UM-Morris at Klas Field. Helped team win 37-31. -Sept. 21, 2013: Set the school record for most rushing yards in a game with 298 (pictured above). -Nov. 16, 2013: Concluded sophomore season with a single season rushing record with 1,460 yards. -Oct. 4, 2014: In Collegeville against St. John’s, Duncan surpassed the team’s career rushing mark. -Nov. 1, 2014: Duncan set the mark for most career rushing touchdowns home at Klas Field. -Nov. 7, 2015: In Duncan’s final home game, he ran for 4 touchdowns and 154 yards against Augsburg, a season high in both categories. -Nov. 14, 2015: Ran for 111 yards in his final game against Carleton to finish with 4,068 career rushing yards. Helped the Pipers finish 4-6.
“Nothing interesting can be done completely alone.” —Kristi Rendahl
Collaboration is key for Kristi Rendahl By Gino Terrell Photographs Gino Terrell
*ACP Award Winning Story
Kristi Rendahl received her doctorate in Public A dministration last spring at Hamline University and one professor praised her for taking her learning to greater depths than the curriculum requires. “I think Kristi exemplifies the best qualities as a Hamline graduate,” Reid Zimmerman said. “She’s an excellent student. Thoughtful, articulate…digging deeper than her curriculum would require her.” Currently working at the Center for Victims of Torture (CVT) based in St. Paul, Minnesota, Rendahl is the Organizational Development Advisor. Working on the international side, she provides on-site assistance to 10 torture centers around the world for capacity building and strategic planning. Her supervisor Pam Santoso, project manager of partners in trauma healing, said Rendahl “finds the connection” with CVT’s partners. “When she enters a room there’s just this positive but also thoughtful and strategic person who goes into the room,” Santoso said. “She just makes things happen.” An example is how Rendahl c ultivated a relationship with Management S ciences for Health, a company p erforming some of the same works as CVT on a larger scale. Rendahl now manages CVT’s strategic partnership with them.
“It was really due to her personality and her kind of cultivating that relationship that we were able to take advantage of this free, awesome opportunity,” Santoso said. Santoso said she believes Rendahl’s upbringing is what attributes to her personality which makes her great at what she does. “She just has this faith and trust in the goodness of humanity,” Santoso said. “I like it because it kind of inspires me and others in this work.” Rendahl’s Upbringing in Rugby Rendahl grew up on a farm in Rugby, North Dakota. Since her brother was nine years older than her, Rendahl said she felt like an only child. She learned responsibility at a young age with chores on the farm that included bee keeping and extracting honey. She also started driving at a young age since her family’s farm was 25 miles south of town and North Dakota has an early driving age. “I got my license at 14 or 15, so I was able to come and go on my own,” she said. “Once I got that license, I [had] the freedom to get involved with whatever; so my parents didn’t have to drop me off and pick me up.” Music and musical theatre were two things she latched onto. As a high school sophomore, she took piano lessons at
Minot State University even though it was 85 miles away from her farm. “It’s hard, I think, for a lot of urbanites to imagine, now. A kid driving by themselves 175 miles every week to take piano lessons,” Rendahl said. “My parents thought it was a good investment to be working with a professor there.” She enrolled into Concordia College as a music major taking piano performance, aspiring to be a professional accompanist working with musicians to perform. “I love to collaborate. I love the back and forth, sort of the conversation that happens in the music,” she said. She shifted her focus from solely dedicating herself to music and decided to double major with Communication after realizing how much individual time was needed to practice. She fi gured she was too extraverted to spend four to six hours a day practicing alone. In college, she was also involved with speech and volunteering. She served on the board of her campus’ chapter of Habitat for Humanity and volunteered at a homeless shelter for three years. Learning the Lingo in Armenia Before her senior year of college, she applied to the Peace Core. This was an endeavor she envisioned as a child. “When I was a kid, I remember seeing a commercial for the Peace Core,” Rendahl said. “The slogan was ‘the toughest job you’ll ever love.’” She was accepted to the Peace Core but was reassigned from Albania (since the country was under conflict at the time) to Armenia. Instructing five piano students, teaching English and leading a choir of students to sing English songs is what she had done for a year teaching at a village Arts School. After a year of teaching in the Peace Core, she decided to stay in Armenia because she didn’t want to lose the linguistic skills she had built in Armenia. “I also kept learning and learning and learning, that’s the reason why I continue to do anything,” she said.
She stayed in Armenia and f acilitated a grassroots endeavor, the creation of the first Armenian affiliate of Habitat for H umanity International (HFHI). “It was really a gratifying e xperience,” she said. “It’s that collaboration piece, to collaborate with people to make something happen.” She spent three years serving as the Resident Representative for Armenia’s HFHI before working with an Armenian American woman from Boston, Massachusetts who worked to find and create markets for Armenian crafts. After spending five years in Armenia, she decided to return home in 2002.
up and say ‘not only can we do that, but we can do it better,’” she said. “It’s not going to solve all the economic problems but it is an opportunity.” Sharing Ideas and Experiences through Writing and Speech
For her work in Armenia, back home she was frequently invited to p ublicly speak at events to share her experiences and they were well attended. Rendahl also wrote columns for the A rmenian Weekly where she would write about her personal interactions and experiences traveling, those c olumns helped The Hamline Experience her reflect on what she learned. She also produced narratives for When Rendahl returned to Rugby she Minnesota Public Radio (MPR). later moved to the Twin Cities to live To give back to her hometown, she with her aunt. While picking up work decided to create a series where experience in the U.S., she d ecided speakers would share their stories. to pursue her Master’s of Nonprofit “I feel my hometown has Management at Hamline University. gave me a lot and I’d like to Rendahl not only graduated with her connect the dots,” Rendahl said. MNM degree but also as a recipient Her friend Madge Duffie came of the John Wesley Leadership and up with the name “Prairie Talks.” Service Award in 2007 and the Danielle Skjelver, longtime friend of Vincent L. Hawkinson Scholarship Rendahl from North Dakota, worked for Peace and Justice in 2005. with Rendahl from the start on Prairie She later went back for her doctorate Talks. Skjelver credits Rendahl’s way in 2009 and in 2010 received a of thinking for putting these events Holt Fellowship, a scholarship together and organizing them in that provides financial support to a way where the people of Rugby students committed to deepening are able to engage in conversations their understanding of globalthey wouldn’t have heard otherwise. citizenry generously funded by Ann “Thinking outside the box [is] Holt. She used the fellowship to fund something Kristi is remarkable an independent study in Armenia. for,” S kjelver said. “She thinks “The Holt Fellowship was an the impossible is possible.” opportunity to go back and take some The two have also co-wrote a of my experience from graduate school book together titled “Voices from and work experience back to a place the Prairie: A literature Anthology.” that gave me so much,” Rendahl said. With Prairie Talks, they have She introduced an idea called found help from others and “agritourism” to farming f amilies support for marketing around in Armenia and wrote an article town as they are able to reach an about it in the Armenian Weekly. attendance of about 120 people per “Introducing these ideas to farming event in the small town of Rugby. families for example, to show them “So again, collaboration is a theme these are the sorts of things that people because nothing interesting can be can do…and to see their faces light done completely alone,” Rendahl said.
Discovering a Passion in Teaching A new passion Rendahl has found to e njoy is teaching, which is something she started in January as she co-taught two classes with Z immerman earlier this year, one at Hamline and St. Thomas. “I love the energy of the students, the creativity because they’re probably there for the same reason I am, which is being in some kind of learning c ommunity,” Rendahl said, “and hearing how people approach problems and what ideas they have, it’s really exciting.” Zimmerman was content with Rendahl’s assistance. “I found her insight very helpful and she relates to students,” Zimmerman said. Rendahl is in the process of exploring the possibility of teaching next summer in Guadalajara, a city in western Mexico. She said she has a “great deal” now and is appreciative with maintaining what she has. As Rendahl has been able to travel throughout her life whether it was for piano lessons, the Peace Core, HFHI, an independent study or working for CVT, she said she loves the experience. “I like to be in motion, I like to meet new people. I like building relationships. I like seeing how people live and t rying to understand their realities. I like being a guest,” Rendahl said. “The A rmenians taught me a lot about hospitality, providing it and accepting it.”
Rendahl’s Family Tree
Rendahl said one thing she has learned from Armenians is how learning her heritage builds internal strength. Through her own family tree, she’s learned quite a bit. On her mother’s side, her great grandmother lived in New Hampshire. Her great grandmother was a suffragette and the longest serving legislature in the country serving 19 terms in New Hampshire. On her father’s side, her great grandmother came from Norway at age 19 to homestay. Spent 6 years in Minnesota and homestayed atthe farm in Rugby where Rendahl grew up. She also wrote journals about her experiences. She wrote it in her second language, English. “I’m so grateful to her to having written that so I know that piece of where I came from, that’s a great gift,” Rendahl said. “To have someone be able to tell you that your great-great uncle used to repel down cliffs to save sheep that had gotten caught, this is in Norway, so that the animal wouldn’t fall to its death and that’s awesome…and maybe that’s the reason I went skydiving recently, that little piece of gene came through, of not being concerned with personal safety.”
Dedication to diversity: Carlos Sneed’s impact at Hamline By Cloe Gray
*SPJ Award Winning Story
Carlos Sneed, director of the Hedgeman Center for Student Diversity Initiatives and Programs, has d edicated his educational and professional career to helping create a stronger, more inclusive environment for students and the community. Learning and Growing
Sneed grew up in Clarksville, Tennessee. He described his high school as “racially diverse” with a “sizeable black population.” While Clarksville High School was not segregated, students lived in neighborhoods segregated by race and socioeconomic class. “The issue of race was always there,” Sneed said. Acting as the “bridge builder,” Sneed made friends with students from other races and socioeconomic statuses.
Sneed’s grandmother told him he was going to “break the mold” and be the first in his family to attend college. Sneed attended Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri for his undergraduate degree. He remembers his track coach paying his college application fee. There were other schools Sneed applied to but they were not the right fit. One school offered him a “minority scholarship,” which Sneed found bothersome. He felt he was “more deserving than receiving a minority scholarship” with the high marks he received in school. Sneed said he was “so much of a first generation college student” he did not tour Washington University before orientation. He planned to major in journalism but did not know beforehand Washington University did not offer a journalism program.
Photography Cloe Gray At first, Sneed said he felt “out of sync” as a first generation college student. He made friends with students from similar backgrounds, which included Christian students from a lower socioeconomic class. There were mentors at W ashington University Sneed found helpful during his transition to college. Many of them were staff members. After taking a psychology course taught by Dr. Robert L. Williams, Sneed decided to major in psychology. He also majored in African and Afro-American Studies. Sneed said he was “fascinated” by Williams. Williams was the first African American male professor Sneed had. He described Williams as “very encouraging and supportive.” “I wanted to be like him,” Sneed said. The original plan after graduation was to work for Teach for America.
owever, a few months before moving H to Texas for a teaching job, Sneed decided to attend g raduate school at Bowling Green State University in Ohio. He received his master’s degree in Higher Education and Student Affairs. At Bowling Green State University, Sneed had an assistantship working in Multicultural Affairs where he was advising students and teaching an introductory college course. After graduation, Sneed worked at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls and Washington University. Committed to Strengthening Hamline’s Diversity Initiatives On August 17, 1998, Sneed began working at Hamline. As the Director of the Hedgeman Center, Sneed’s role includes developing co-curricular diversity education and training programs, mentoring s tudents, advising student organizations and serving on committees. His role has allowed him to work with many populations at Hamline, including students of color, first generation students, international students and students in the LGBT community. Through his leadership and direction, there have been changes and expansions to diversity initiatives and education on campus. Sneed said these changes are “central to who we are and who we are becoming.” Ka Vang, former assistant d irector of the Multicultural International Student Affairs Center (now known as the Hedgeman Center), said Sneed was a good mentor to her. Vang went on to become the Diversity Programs Director of Minnesota State Colleges and Universities.
“He is very passionate about the things that matter to him,” Vang said. “His vision is really
to have students of color, at Hamline, be successful.”
As a person of the Hmong culture, Vang understood the importance of Sneed’s vision for creating a safe place for students of color to talk about their college experience. “We [people of color] don’t have a safe place to talk about these issues because you’re afraid to talk because of repercussions,” Vang said. “What he was able to do was create a c ommunity and a safe place for people to come together.” Sneed has helped implement the Multicultural Mosaic Pathway, which is a pre-orientation program. He has also started Hamline’s Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration and Day of Service, student-worker diversity training, helped expand the Social Justice Symposium to become a w eek-long event on campus and created Hamline’s first inner dialogue course on race. “[It’s an] intentional dialogue experience around the issue of race with members of the community,” Sneed said. “This course offers an opportunity for increased awareness and knowledge of ‘cross-cultural communication.’” The course helps students to be “more intentional and supportive of the racial justice initiative,” according to Sneed. Sneed is also working to strengthen relationships with alumni students of color so they can network with current students. He said being a part of the lives of alums is “very gratifying.” Sneed’s Reach to Hamline Students Tommy Redd, Hamline graduate in the spring of 2014, described Carlos as “passionate and driven.” “There were a lot of obstacles riding against me while trying to complete my degree at Hamline. Carlos, at that time, became a very stern leader in making sure I completed my goals as a Hamline student,” Redd said.
Sneed helped Redd graduate from Hamline after a suspension for not doing well in school. Bao Thao, Hamline’s former associate director of multicultural programs (2008-2015), and Sneed helped Redd write a petition so he could return to H amline. Redd, to this day, thanks Sneed for helping him graduate. “The first impressions I got from Carlos were impressions of him wanting me to succeed. To make sure I was on the right track and that I was pushing toward the right track,” Redd said. Redd said retreats and gatherings such as the “black men’s circle” and pride meetings helped make him feel comfortable at Hamline.
“Carlos helped in multiple ways to f acilitate learning communities at Hamline that strengthen it. I was lucky to be one of the people that were part of that,” Redd said.
Redd and Vang both attest Sneed has made an impact on the Hamline community. In return, Sneed said the Hamline community has made an impact on him. “My work has made me more patient, more observant,” Sneed said. While working at Hamline he has fulfilled his regret of not studying abroad as Sneed has been able to go to Ghana twice through working at Hamline. Even with his impact, Sneed feels there is more work to be done at Hamline and has his future goals set on expanding the student diversity training and continuing to strengthen relationships with alumni of color. He wishes “every student has a multicultural experience outside of the classroom” as he wants students to graduate from Hamline with a “deep sense of who they are.” “I hope that students leave with confidence and curiosity,” Sneed said.
Donyae Graham: Studying, acting and giving back By Lindsey Matter
Three years ago, Twin Cities native Donyae Graham was a high school senior with dreams of enrolling in college, acting and giving back to the community; fast forward three years later, and Graham is pursuing an undergraduate degree in Theatre with a minor in Digital Media Arts, acted in last month’s play The Seagull
Photography Gino Terrell
and volunteering his time in Jennifer Williams first grade class at Hamline Elementary. “I’m really grateful I got this opportunity,” Graham said. Graham grew up on the east side of St. Paul and has lived there his e ntire life. It was during his junior year at Johnson Senior High School where
he considered pursuing both a c ollege degree and a career in acting. Every year he and his two b rothers volunteered at his church First Covenant Church of St. Paul and put on musicals. Although he enjoyed acting, he did not think of pursuing it until his junior year of high school when he and a friend took Intro. to
Theatre and Acting Two. From there, he found his passion for acting and joined the school’s drama club. He acted in every play he could and by the time he was a senior he was the theatre officer. “It was like I just found my p assion,” Graham said. “I really fell in love [with] it. I even took Acting Two twice because I enjoyed it so much.” When Graham enrolled at Hamline University, he immediately joined Hamline’s Theatre program. As a first-year, he helped with the major production Rimers of Eldrich along with being a p articipant in the directing scenes that are directed by upperclassmen theatre students. During his sophomore year, he acted in a short one act play for TheatreUnbound. Now as a junior, he is taking the Stage Direction course where theatre students direct scenes.
“He really gets lost in his work ethic,” Hamline sophomore Marissa Wandzel said of Graham.
Wandzel is a Communication Studies major who was acquainted with G raham through Making Waves, a social justice theatre troupe at Hamline. The group performs informational skits covering social justice topics such as race, social class and gender. Every summer the group attends the Pedagogy and Theatre of the Oppressed conference. The conference offers workshops covering social issues through theatre and Making Waves puts on its own w orkshop at the conference every year. “When we were in Chicago for the conference, there were 12 hours’ worth of conferences to go to. They were optional but he went to every single one,” Wandzel said. “He had a lot of energy and a lot of dedication.”
During high school Graham was a part of a program called C ollege Possible, an organization that helps promising young people from low- income families prepare and apply to college to pursue their dreams. “They did prep for applying to college and standardized testing, as well as helping me apply for different colleges, including Hamline,” Graham said. “My College Possible coach was the reason I applied for the Page Scholarship.” The Page Scholarship is awarded to selected students of color whom graduated high school in Minnesota, attends a Minnesota post-secondary school and agree to complete an annual 50-hour service project with young children. Graham has done service projects with Hamline Elementary since fall 2013, when he enrolled at Hamline. “I enjoy it a lot. The students are amazing,” Graham said. “Getting to know them and interact with them, and seeing how creative kids can be has been a great experience.” For the past two school years he has been giving back to the community by assisting Jennifer Williams’ first grade class at Hamline Elementary.
“Donyae does quite a bit,” Williams said. “He works with students one-on-one and checks for understanding. He will touch base with students with special needs, first, just in case they need a little extra help.”
Graham routinely helps students with science, mathematics and English. Williams also gives Graham
a lot of credit for taking initiative. “He sees a need and does it,” Williams said. “He communicates and if he sees a need I missed, he will tell me.” Williams also said Graham has a special connection with the students. “In his own quiet way, he connects with them,” Williams said. This fall, Graham performed in the play titled The Seagull and is planning on auditioning for more plays afterwards. The Seagull ran in November for four shows.
“I really like the theatre program here [at Hamline],” Graham said. “The professors are amazing, really energetic and passionate about their jobs.”
He said he has a great connection with Carolyn Levy, the director of Making Waves and his advisor, who really helped him “learn by showing that passion.” Graham offered a piece of advice for anyone who wanted to pursue acting. “Be really dedicated and don’t give up on yourself, and if you don’t get a role in a play you wanted to be in, don’t be discouraged and keep pushing,” he said. “People always get turned down but don’t let it stop you from pursuing your dreams.” After graduation, Graham plans to move to either New York or Los Angeles to better his career in acting. Eventually, he wants to return to his home in Minnesota.
“Minnesota is my home,” Graham said. “I want to come back and give back to the community.”
Ted Deming, Ridgwayâ€™s Husband
Tony Grundhauser, Vice President of Development Eleanna Mathioudis, Gino Terrell, Alumni Relations 2014 Ridgway Fellow 2015 Ridgway Fellow President Linda Hanson Breanna Simon, (2005-15) 2015 Ridgway Fellow
Ridgway Forum Fellows are students who represent Hamline’s core v alues, are acknowledged for academic achievement and undeniable potential and possess personal qualities reflecting positively on Hamline University. Hamline 1957 graduate Ambassador Rozanne Ridgway is the donor for this fellowship. Anderson Center’s Ridgway Central Forum is named in her honor. Ambassador Rozanne Ridgway Rachael Mills, 2014 Ridgway Fellow
Provost Eric Jensen Sophia Myerly, 2015 Ridgway Fellow
*Captions list titles of members when pictured in spring 2015.
Photo courtesy of Micah Terpstra 17
While most soon-to-graduate seniors dream of financial and professional success, senior Sophia Myerly wants to help others find their voice. “I believe everyone has a light inside of them and I just want to help others r ealize that. If I can do that, I will be happy,” the 22-year-old said. Myerly received the Ridgway Forum Fellowship the spring of 2015 for her academic accomplishments, her indisputable potential and her personification of Hamline’s core values. After the day she was honored with the fellowship, she met donor Ambassador Rozanne Ridgway during a special luncheon with the other Ridgway Forum Fellows. “Ambassador Ridgway is such a g racious and talented woman,” she said. “It was such an honor.” Only three to four Ridgway Fellows are chosen each year. They are nominated by faculty members to receive the award honoring Ridgway, a 1957 H amline graduate who went on to serve as the American ambassador to Finland and the German Democratic Republic. She has dedicated her life to creating peaceful relationships and meaningful communication, just as Myerly hopes to do. Myerly is heavily involved in the c reative writing program at Hamline. She spends her free time writing creative nonfiction and works with Hamline’s Runestone Literary Journal, a national publication. Before she began writing, Myerly was an Irish Dancer who competed at n ational and international levels starting at the age of 10. Myerly’s small h ometown S pirit Lake, located in northwest Iowa, did not have a dance school. Ambitious to dance, she and her family made a weekly three-hour commute to the Twin Cities where she took her dance lessons. Unfortunately for Myerly, she suffered a foot injury at the age of 16 and had to go through surgery. The injury took dancing away from her, however, this did give her more time to focus on writing. “I was able to channel that creative
e nergy into my writing,” she said. “It was a lovely transition.” Writing has long been a passion of hers that started out as a love for reading. Myerly was home schooled her entire life, and once she finished her school work for the week, she could read as a reward. She said the library in her home instilled in her a passion for the art of writing. To this day, one of her favorite books remains The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien. “I remember getting angry at a book at the age of 11,” Myerly said, because the book was a work of fiction and the story was untrue. She enjoys reading and writing stories that are true, and her own writing focuses heavily on pilgrimage, travel and sharing other people’s stories. Myerly is thankful for her time as a dancer, not only for the experience, but also because dance is what brought her to Hamline. On her way to dance school, her family would drive past Hamline’s campus. When looking at schools her senior year of high school, Myerly looked into Hamline and its creative writing program. “It was really a no-brainer,” she said. In all of her years at Hamline, Myerly enjoyed every class. “I haven’t taken a bad class,” she said. Along with her courses, she has enjoyed getting acquainted with her professors and fellow students, as well as building off of their ideas. Her professors have enjoyed getting to know her as well.
“She’s a p henomenon,” Matt Olson, Myerly’s psychology professor, said. “She’s such a joy to have in class.”
Professor Olson sees her as a leader amongst her peers, as she is always prepared for class and sets an example for her fellow students. Olson hopes Myerly will be able to use psychology in
the future, and knows she will be successful in whatever she chooses to do. “I don’t see her wasting time,” Olson said. “And I can’t imagine she’s going to back down from [a] challenge.” Conquering challenges is something she has also done with writing as she helped publish the inaugural issue for Hamline’s national Runestone Literary Journal in the summer of 2015. For that issue, she was on the editorial board for creative nonfiction and this school year she will be the assistant editor for creative nonfiction. Senior Paul Patane, a fellow creative writing classmate of Myerly, worked in the fiction s ection for the journal. Although they worked in d ifferent sections, Patane noticed her impact with the publication.
“She’s very smart, confident and articulate,” Patane said. “She always seems to know the right thing to say, she’s always smiling, always in a positive mood and she’s very helpful… she is a good ambassador.”
A Ridgway role model
By Catherine Stolz
Photography Gino Terrell
Myerly receives much support from her family as well. Her mother and father have e ncouraged her to do what she loves. Her parents have been an inspiration to her and she has grown very close to them. She was able to spend her childhood traveling with her parents and learning from them. “We have all had hard times,” she said, “but we have supported each other continuously.” Myerly plans on graduating in the spring of 2016 and continuing her education at g raduate school. While she is still not sure of her career goals, her interests lie in speech therapy and higher e ducation. She plans to use the Ridgway Fellowship along with her experience at Hamline and in graduate school to wherever life takes her next.
“If I could be happy and fulfilled I would be content with that, no matter what I do,” Myerly said.
Nate Schumer is Hamline’s seal: ‘Religio, literae, libertas’ By Isaac Fagerstrom
Photography Isaac Fagerstrom
Senior Nate Schumer was nominated by two professors for the Ridgway Forum Fellows h onor and one nominator pointed out how Schumer embodies what is written on Hamline University’s seal: “ Religio, Literae, Libertas.”
“Nate is Hamline’s seal. He personifies, he exemplifies those qualities and makes its mark. He’s a person of good faith, intense intellectual energy and deep moral principle,” Earl Schwartz, assistant professor and director of social justice program, cited what he wrote in his nomination letter. “Nate doesn’t simply reflect Hamline’s core values, he embodies them.”
Career Ambition Schumer is currently majoring in History and Religion, along with a minor in Middle East Studies. With these degrees, one may expect he would be going for a job as a professor, or maybe a high school teacher. Instead, Schumer has chosen a slightly different path than what his academics may indicate. “I started out thinking I would be doing something in history or religion, and then going on to grad school or seminary,” Schumer said. “However, I have been w orking with an audio production company, and plan on continuing with that after graduation.” Schumer mixes audio for a number of businesses as well as doing some freelance work on his own. Although it may seem unrelated–going from history and religion to music–religion is what connected Schumer to music. Religion aspects of his studies tied in with his love for music. He also works for a number of churches where he
mixes music for a variety of cultural events. “Surprisingly, this is just where my work has taken me,” Schumer said. While he may not participate in any Hamline ensembles, he works at Hamline’s Sundin Music Hall mixing sound for events held there. Schumer’s interests in history and religion ties back to his junior year in high school with one of his favorite teachers, Roxann Lewis. “I remember going into her world history class in my junior year and getting the concept that there’s a lot more to history than just what’s in your textbooks,” he said. “She really exposed me to different religions and how that can impact their different viewpoints.” This drove him to discover more about the world’s history and religions, as well as how it can make their views differ from others around the globe. Schumer said Lewis gave him one piece of advice before he left for college. “Get a Quran or any holy book in
your hands and get that exposure,” he said, citing his teacher’s advice. Early Life Schumer was born in Vietnam and moved to the United States when he was adopted into a family living in the town of 400 people in U psala, Minnesota. The town’s population was mostly white as he was the .25 percent of the town’s Asian American population. As an adolescent Schumer, like others his age, tried to “fit in” with the crowd. There’s one instance he remembers to this day and u ltimately the lesson he had taken away from it has stuck with him. In the sixth grade he finished a pottery project for his final in an arts class. His classmates talked about how they would wreck their project once the school year was over. To fit in, Schumer mouthed off saying the project was not worth keeping. It turns out his teacher Linda Tarbuck overheard the c onversation and talked to Schumer after class. “Don’t dumb yourself down to fit in. You are capable of so much more than that,” Schumer cited Tarbuck’s message to him. At the time, Schumer was b othered by the fact she singled him out. In hindsight, Schumer revealed he understands she did it because she realized he was the most likely to listen to the fact he was not being true to himself. It took him until high school, when he gave up basketball, to apply what he learned from T arbuck. He began pursuing what he found passion in, even if wasn’t the most popular thing to do. His attitude led him to join student council, K nowledge Bowl, the National Honor S ociety and theatre, which he called a “huge” part of his life. His love for music also ignited when he joined the school’s band p laying the trombone, piano and guitar.
The College Experience Coming from a small town S chumer was used to living in a close, tight knit community. Naturally, Hamline was a top choice in his college search. “I was nervous to go to a big school where I wouldn’t know anybody in any of my classes, and for the culture shock,” he said. “I came to Hamline and I got to know professors right away, even from touring the campus.” His advisor at Hamline, also nominator for the Ridgway Forum Fellows honor, history Middle East professor Nurith Z mora said she admired how Schumer focused on having a “well-rounded education” rather than worrying about his grades. “He’s the person who pushes to do extra,” Zmora said. Learning Hebrew when he d ecided to major in religion was one of those things. When Schumer enrolled in Schwartz’s “The World of Jesus” course, he learned about first century Israel and the influence it had on the world today. With his interest in religion he decided to double major. “Nate is devoted to learning in a way that goes far beyond the success that comes from any particular class or assignment,” Schwartz said. “When I saw Nate in class he was genuinely excited by the possibility that learning could make a difference in his life and that’s inspiring for an instructor.” Schumer is also a recipient of Hamline’s Monroe Bell Prize in Biblical Studies. Zmora said Schumer is very modest in her classroom and has a genuine interest in what his classmates share. When it comes to Schumer sharing his thoughts, Zmora says he does it in a concise way to add to the class without dominating class discussion. Classmate of Schumer, senior R achel Schmidt, said he is an inspiration to her.
“Anytime anyone is down he’s there to talk. He’s that type of p erson you can talk to about anything,” Schmidt said. After meeting through mutual friends as underclassmen, they have continued to support each other through their years at Hamline by helping each other with class papers and going to social events. “[Schumer is] extremely genuine, hardworking and kind,” Schmidt said. “[He] inspires me to be a b etter person.” What now? Schumer is a teaching assistant for his religion advisor Deanna Thompson. He is also doing an honors project, something he decided to stay his fourth year at Hamline for even though he had enough credits to graduate last school year. Zmora said it is a testament to Schumer’s drive to make the most of his education. That is why Schwartz said S chumer is a brave student. “He’s a brave student,” Schwartz said. “Eager to engage the difficult and to learn and to follow where learning takes him even when it’s challenging.” His senior seminar honors project is on the Yom Kippur War of 1973, a conflict between the coalition of Arab states led by Syria and Egypt against Israel from October 5-25, 1973. “A lot of people focus on when Israel was founded or various others parts of its history,” Schumer said. “This war, in particular, had a lot to do with shaping how the Middle East came to be in the state that it is in today, along with the peace treaty with Egypt. It completely changed the paradigm of the region.” This winter and spring, he will be gathering primary research and sources and putting it all together to present his project.
Breanna Simon: Hamlineâ€™s health, Âsustainability and entrepreneurial gem By Nick Lozinski Photography Cloe Gray
Spring 2015 Ridgway Forum Fellow Breanna Simon, senior, was given the honor for her work in health and sustainability and she also owns and operates an ice cream truck to help pay for her tuition.
“She’s always been a self-starter,” professor Jean Strait said of Simon. “If she gets an idea for it, she will run [with] it.”
When Strait received an email from the provost office about how they were accepting nominations for the Ridgway Forum Fellows honor, she read the description and one student came to mind. “Oh my Gosh, this is Breanna,” Strait said. “She had it to a tee... she was the perfect fit. It was a real no-brainer.” Majoring in biology, Simon has become interested in educating others about sustainability. “I have witnessed and learned about the effects that humans can have on the environment,” Simon said. Her plan after graduation is to open up a small farm to use as a platform to educate people about sustainable agricultural practices. “People care about organic food and sustainability,” Simon said. One of the goals she hopes to accomplish with this farm is to help people see sustainable living and organic food is not just a “fad.” At the farm there would be various programs to help educate people, such as afterschool programs and a community garden. She hopes to have a strong community presence at the farm. She also plans on having a market at the farm for people to get different kinds of produce. Educating others on food is something Simon became interested
in while tutoring at Hamline Elementary. During a class play about a carrot, she noticed there was something some students did not know about the vegetable. “I was amazed that some of the students had no idea that a carrot grows from a seed,” Simon said. “Most of them thought that you just go to the store and the carrots are there.” Simon grew up in a rural town in Wisconsin with a family of farmers growing their own food in the summer. She hopes to help others learn about growing their own food and living a healthy and sustainable lifestyle. To help pay for her college tuition, Simon owns and operates an ice cream truck. She started her business, “Bee’s Ice Cream,” when she was still in high school. She brought a used FedEx truck and converted it into an ice cream truck. Since it was her own business, she was able to make her schedule work with school and hockey. She has been operating her business for four years. In the past six to eight months her business has q uadrupled, according to Simon. The Bee’s Ice Cream Facebook page has well over 1,000 likes. Junior Kasey Marquardt, one of Simon’s friends and past hockey teammates, describes her as being “driven, outgoing and personable.” Marquardt has followed Simon’s ice cream business and said she e njoyed watching it grow and b ecome a success. Marquardt a ttributes the success to Simon’s natural entrepreneurial skills.
“She’s a smart business person,” Marquardt said.
Marquardt said Simon being honored with the Ridgway Forum Fellows will “lead her to do bigger
things.” One of the reasons Strait admired Simon was how devoted she was in class and how she took “learning to heart.”
“It’s like having this gem that wants to learn,” Strait said. “It’s a gift.”
The two even worked together on a service learning project, which is where Strait mentored Simon on writing grants. Strait commends Simon for taking advantage of the services Hamline has to offer such as the school’s focus in social justice and the close relationships students can build with professors. After Simon graduates in D ecember, she plans to attend graduate school and continue her work within the community. Her plan is to open an educational farm and start “community days” to p romote health and fitness. “Heal from the inside out,” Simon said. According to Strait, Simon has a relationship with her town’s mayor. One of Simon’s strengths is fi nding problems and offering solutions to address those issues, according to Strait. Strait added Simon is persistent in seeking solutions. “She doesn’t take ‘no’ for an answer. Especially, when she’s helping others,” Strait said. Strait said she is excited to see what Simon will do years from now.
“I have no doubt that 20 years down the road she’ll be a state senator,” Strait said.
Advocating for change: The power of one student’s work By Cloe Gray
*SPJ Award Winning Story *SPJ Award Winning Photograph
Honors student and social justice advocate Kayla Farhang said she owes her outlook on life and her ambition to her parents. Double majoring in political science and social justice with a concentration in Middle East Studies, Farhang is expected to graduate in the spring of 2017. The first generation college s tudent plans to make a difference in the world. At Hamline, she chose the Middle East Studies concentration for her social justice major because of her
Photography Cloe Gray
heritage. Farhang’s Family Ties Her father is from Iran and his journey to America has influenced Farhang’s passion for helping those in need. He came to the United States in his 20’s during the Iranian R evolution. “It was a dangerous time to live in Iran, if you weren’t part of the Islamic Party,” Farhang said. She said her father was not recognized as an asylum seeker at the time. Her father did not speak English
when he came to America. He took classes but primarily learned E nglish through direct communication. When he first moved to America, he experienced discrimination for being Iranian. There were even signs in restaurants and store windows that read “No Iranians.” Farhang would like to do humanitarian work in the Middle East because she feels connected to the people there. “I’ve always had a commitment to making the world a better place,” Farhang said.
Commitment on Campus Farhang holds leadership positions in the Minnesota Public Interest Group (MPIRG). She holds a state-wide position on the Special Delegate of the Board of Directors and she is also a Social Justice Task Force leader for Hamline’s chapter of MPIRG. She has helped organize and host social justice events such as a body love photo shoot, a cultural appropriation week and advocacy events for Hamline adjunct professors. In her second year with MPIRG, Farhang says it’s “a like-minded group of people.” “They are very active in how they’d like to make campus and the community a better place,” Farhang said. Senior Lizy Busta, co-chair of MPIRG, said Farhang is an “awesome core member.” “Farhang never fails to make people feel good about themselves,” Busta said. “There’s not a lot of people like that.” Busta said Farhang is really passionate and when she gets excited about things “it rubs off on people.” She added how Farhang has brought a positive energy to MPIRG they did not have before.
Making Hamline Her Home Farhang decided to enroll at Hamline University after taking PSEO credits at Hamline during high school. Her original plan was to transfer to the University of Minnesota but quickly decided Hamline was the right school for her. She said Hamline’s “commitment to social justice” and “commitment to making the world a better place” were reasons she decided to stay at Hamline. After all, those initiatives aligned with Farhang’s. When it came to Hamline’s professors, Farhang
appreciates their dedication. “Students don’t fall through the cracks,” Farhang said. “Being able to work with professors who have done their own research has opened my eyes to what I can do.” Farhang has made an impact on her professors in return. Professor Earl Schwartz met Farhang when she enrolled in his Intro to Social Justice course. Schwartz called Farhang an “excellent student.” “I remember her quite v ividly in the class,” Schwartz said. “In particular, her engagement with issues of personal identity and the effects of immigration.” Farhang completed an internship at Lutheran Social Services through Hamline’s Social Justice Program, working in the Immigration and Refugee Services department. In the refugee department, she helped with tasks such as filling out paperwork for clients, driving clients to ESL classes and doctor’s appointments and entering case notes from case workers. In the immigration department, she helped with tasks such as filling out Green Card and citizenship applications. Originally, Farhang didn’t want to major in political science until she took a world politics class. A fter taking the class she realized something. “This is what I need to do,” she said. She explained the combination of majoring in political science and social justice has helped “turn service into a degree.” “[It’s] important not to look at everything from a diplomatic standpoint,” she said. “Social justice and politics both affect change.”
Farhang’s Future Her future plans include attending graduate school for i nternational human rights and working for an NGO. She would one day like to work
for the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) to help better the lives of children. “Kids deserve the best,” Farhang said. Working with children is s omething she enjoys. She c urrently works with children at Hamline Elementary. Her love for children is one of the reasons the Syrian refugee crisis is a “point of passion” for her. Out of the 12 million Syrian refugees, six million are children. She sees how that specifically affects children as they are susceptible to malnutrition and diseases, some are involved in child labor and over two million of those refugees are pulled out of school. Outside of career goals, Farhang wants to get in touch with her heritage and homeland. She had only lived in Iran for one year when she was four years old. “It’s a beautiful country,” Farhang said. “My mom made it a point for us to see the whole country.” Farhang hopes to learn the F arsi language and to visit Iran this summer. The only thing more important than her heritage is making her family proud, something she did last spring. In the spring of 2015, Farhang received the Scott D. Johnston Scholarship during the honors program ceremony. This scholarship is awarded for high academic e xcellence and students committed to improving communities through public service or careers in international relations. Although Farhang was suffering from a concussion she sustained in a car incident, she was able to attend the ceremony along with her family. Farhang said being a first generation college student is “a very big deal” to her family.
“A lot of what I do is to make my parents proud,” Farhang said. “I’m leaving a legacy that they’d like me to leave.”
Covenant, Ars Nova
Cody Vaughn, Hamline Football
Putting passion in action: On and off the field By Marissa Wandzel Photographs Gino Terrell
When Junior Cody Vaughn is not practicing football nine plus hours a week, or studying here at Hamline University, he is busy working on his music under the name Covenant for rap group Ars Nova. Having toured over 20 times, even going overseas, Vaughn works to create music that holds a deeper meaning. Being born and raised in Chicago, Vaughn moved to Minnesota the summer before eighth grade. His hometown holds a lot of meaning to him and influences his music. “Chicago is very business oriented and fast-paced,” Vaughn explained, “it’s a very violent, passionate, loud city,” and those are adjectives that
explains his music perfectly. Vaughn uses his experiences in Chicago as a building block. He said living there has given him p erspective on life – with both good and bad things happening to him while he lived there. When it comes to the dark experiences he has seen dead b odies in the street with body bags covering them, witnessed a drive-by s hooting at a gas station and on one of his birthday’s he was even held at gunpoint. However, he has learned how to take the bad and turn it into a learning experience. “If none of those bad things h appened to me, I wouldn’t be able to see the way I do,” Vaughn said. “I feel like wisdom
comes from life fucking you over, you know? You’ll never be wise until you experience bad things.” Being able to talk about those things is what brings passion into his art. “It’s kind of hard to put passion into something you’ve never experienced, or something you don’t like,” he said. “If it’s not coming from a personal place, it’s kind of hard to make it.” One specific experience that fuels Vaughn to grow was the passing of his mother. Vaughn was only 12 years old when she passed. Even though he was very young, he could still remember how hard of a worker his mother was and that is something that helps Vaughn get up and keep moving.
Covenant and Darrian Smith on stage.
Fans photo op with Ars Nova after a concert at Mill City Nights.
“When I look back at how hard she “Music changed all of our lives for that’s really raw and he’s talking about tried and how hard she fought, who the better,” Vaughn said. some real stuff. It’s very raw, very real, am I to give up?” Vaughn said. “She One person Vaughn has made something you can vibe to,” Miller tried too hard for me to give up.” music with is Hamline alum Robb said. Vaughn talked about how it is easy Miller, who graduated spring 2013 as By creating such personal music, to give up as the challenge is to keep a fifth-year senior due to redshirting Vaughn can connect on an intimate going. When life does not go his way, for baseball. Musically, Miller goes level with listeners. Along with the Vaughn tries to use it to process, grow under the name True Concept and connection, Vaughn said the support as a person and fuel his music. specializes in rapping and mixing he has received is far beyond what he “If there wasn’t anything I had to music. imagined and motivates him to work process or see, there would be no He and Vaughn met each other harder. struggle and nothing to my music. It through Hamline’s recording studio “It’s honestly the greatest feeling would just be sound,” Vaughn said. and eventually they collaborated on a in the world. When people feel like Along with struggles and track titled “Tinted.” someone else knows what they were experiences in his life, Vaughn also When it comes to Vaughn’s music going through,” he said. “I literally grows inspiration from the support of talent, Miller admires it. just started making music. I didn’t his friends and family. Senior Darrian “He’s got some anger in his voice expect anyone to listen or like it.” Smith, Vaughn’s r oommate and teammate, helps Vaughn musically by reaching out to producers, getting him noticed and inspiring Vaughn’s writing. Smith explained how Vaughn has changed since they have been working together. “He knew he wanted to rap but, in my personal opinion, didn’t know how to get there. I tried to see how far I could push Cody. I told him ‘I’m not here for your fame, I’m here for you.’” Along with Smith, Vaughn’s other football teammates strongly support his work. Whether it’s throwing ideas around, shooting a music v ideo or just seeing what they can make together, they all bounce energy off of each On the field, Cody Vaughn (33) alongside teammate Darrian Smith (6) in practice. other to support Vaughn.
Evelyn Pechous is a very busy, and very accomplished, Hamline student. A junior with a triple major in political science, legal studies and history, along with a minor in social justice and getting her paralegal certificate, it’s a wonder Pechous can even breathe, let alone find time to give back to the community. However, Pechous does just that as the philanthropy chair for the Delta Tau sorority for the past three years. Pechous was drawn to Hamline b ecause of its focus on diversity. For the first three years of high school in C hicago, Pechous attended a very diverse school in the city, however, her last year of high school she moved in with her father and ended up going to a new school that was very different. “I never realized how diverse my school was before I moved and how used to it I was,” she said. “My new school was not diverse and was racist, and being Latino I was like ‘I can’t really do this.’” When Pechous looked for universities to apply to, she made sure she found a place where diversity was important. “I was looking for [a] school that was really diverse and welcoming,” she said. “A place that had a good liberal arts core.” Pechous’ deciding factor however, was the Delta Tau sorority. “I was told about their strong v olunteering, and I couldn’t find a school with volunteering that was as strong,” she said. Soon after joining the sorority, Pechous became the philanthropy chair. Junior Cloe Gray, the co-chair for p hilanthropy with Delta Tau, has become good friends with Pechous. “We really connected,” Gray said. “We have similar values, and we both have a passion for making the community a better place.” Pechous’ personality and her volunteering had a large impact on Gray. “She’s one of the most caring and passionate people I’ve ever met,” Gray said. “She has so much going on in her own life but she puts everyone else
Evelyn Pechous: A philanthropist phenom By Lindsey Matter
Photo courtesy of Future Productions.
Evelyn Pechous in a group photo with contestants for the 2016 Miss Minnesota USA title. (Photo courtesy of Future Productions)
before her.” Last month, Pechous competed in the 2016 Miss Minnesota USA & Miss Teen USA pageant held in Burnsville, Minnesota from Nov. 28 and 29. The pageant was something she thought she would never be a part of until she discovered the connection with philanthropy. “What you do with your title year is volunteer with philanthropic organizations and that’s something I’d really like to do,” Pechous said. Last month’s pageant was the first time Pechous had competed for the Miss Minnesota USA title. It’s a competitive process to compete in the contest as only 80 of the 1200 applicants between Miss Minnesota and Miss Teen are chosen to compete, according to Pechous. On day one, each contestant had a private interview with the judges and capped the night off with a swimsuit and gown competition in front of a crowd. “Being able to walk on a stage in front of hundreds of people was such a confidence booster,” Pechous described the moment. “Ever since I walked off that stage, I’ve felt like the entire world is my runway.” Through the pageant she became acquainted with the other contestants she thought were inspiring. Coming in not knowing what to expect and
without a pageant coach, Pechous explained this pageant was a great learning experience for her. Although she did not place as a semi-finalists, she views it as a positive experience and a confidence builder for when she competes next year. As that was the first time she was involved in a pageant, modeling is something she has done for years on the side. “When I was in Chicago it was designers, but now it’s just to build my portfolio,” she said, “for me it’s artistic, and I think you can spread a lot of good messages through modeling. She suffered from an eating disorder for six years, and wanted to model and compete in pageants to prove one point in particular. “You don’t have to starve y ourself or have an eating disorder to be considered pretty,” she said. Pechous volunteers with various groups through her work with the Delta Tau sorority as philanthropy chair for the last three years. She also volunteers with a woman’s shelter every month and does a blood drive every month, and works with Feed My Starving Children and the Alzheimer’s Association. She has always wanted to give back to the community. “I haven’t had the easiest life and being able to contribute a lot is important to me, so I try to do as much good as I
can today,” she said. She is also a Catalyst site leader, heading the Chicago trip that will focus on immigration and refugees. Catalyst is an alternative spring break trip and the site leaders are chosen the year before. There are six trips to six different locations centered on different social justice initiatives. The initiatives are homelessness, LGBTQ rights, disaster relief and community development, food and justice and immigration and refugees. Pechous and the other site leaders chose which applicants go on which trips, and they spend an entire week volunteering with that cause. Margot Howard, coordinator of social justice initiatives at Hamline University, organizes the Catalyst trips and has worked closely with Pechous. “She’s great,” she said, “she’s very proactive, when she commits herself to something she goes all in, and she tries to go above and beyond every time.” After graduation, Pechous would like to pursue a career as a lawyer. “I’d like to be a judge and an immigration lawyer,” she said, “or a lawyer for a nonprofit organization.” She also plans to continue volunteering after graduation as well. “I think I will probably always volunteer, I really love giving back to the community.”
Fighting stereotypes by filming reality By Marissa Wandzel
Photographs Gino Terrell
Senior Deon Bishop despises stereotypes and to combat stereotypes he is creating and producing his own reality show. “I hate certain things because of stereotypes. I hate Kool-Aid and chicken,” Bishop said. Bishop grew up in California and talked about the difference he experienced when moving from the west coast to Minnesota. “I grew up in South Central, in where I guess you would call the ‘ghetto,’” Bishop said, “and then I moved to a more ‘white area.’ When I came to Minnesota, it was less of my color and more of white color and I didn’t feel as accepted.” While being recruited for football, Bishop decided to enroll at Hamline University for football and because of its business program. “At the time, that’s all I wanted was the degree,” Bishop said. He wanted to avoid going to a junior college and after his campus visit he 30
did not sense a culture shock and felt he “was close to home.” When he made the move, it all changed. “I went to a store with two friends of mine, a boy and girl, both were black. In front of the store was a bum who was black asking a white man for money. The white man told him, ‘I don’t have anything for you.’ Then he turned to me and my friends and said, ‘and I definitely don’t have anything for you.’” Another racial incident Bishop talked about was at a party. “A drunk white girl called me the ‘n’ word,” Bishop said. Bishop said he wanted to leave Minnesota and return to the west coast to be closer to home. “What really kept me here was my teammates…my teammates are like my brothers,” Bishop said. “[We] bring a chemistry and trust to where we like each other outside of football.” After developing a close bond with
his teammates, he met other students through them. He came to the point where he wanted to do more than football and has really learned how his time at Hamline is preparing him for the work world. “You need these extra four years,” Bishop said. “HU, our college, has taught me how to be in a working environment. I know how to act, how to social act and perform in that environment.” Even though he has grown to tolerate the culture shock in Minnesota, he still experiences prejudice on a daily basis and has to deal with the stereotypes black people are associated with through the media. “What I see on TV as black people is we’re killing and we’re like being the aggressor…we’re dying at the age of 18, 25,” Bishop said. “The media doesn’t show us how I see us.” He mentioned how he and his football roommates are dedicated to changing Hamline on and off the field.
On the field, they wanted to improve the team’s record and competitiveness to build the school spirit. Before he got there the team had a winless season, 0-10, and the past two years they finished 4-6 and even set a crowd record in attendance in 2014. Off the field, he has gone to support other students. This semester he and senior Charlie Metcalf, his roommate and teammate, went to Hamline’s play The Seagull.
“[The show] is mainly about black athletes and black people doing something with their lives other than going to jail or being dead,” Bishop said, “but I don’t want to just show it being about black people, I want to show Hamline and its atmosphere.”
Bishop also explained he did not want it to focus on the Black Lives Matter movement. “[The movement] is important, of course, but I want multiple people to relate to it, too,” he said. One of Hamline’s professors in the School of Business program who has helped Bishop feel more c omfortable is Tom Burns. In a round table discussion with his academic advisor at Hamline, Bishop said he felt more comfortable with Burns because he didn’t judge him on his tattoos or make assumptions of him because of his tattoos or race. Because of that, Bishop explained he felt a close, “mentor and guidance” relationship with the professor. “I’ll take that as my praise, and I’ll do my very best to guide [Deon],” Burns said, “because I want to see [him] succeed.”
Burns explained he doesn’t judge people by the color of their skin and cited Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream Speech,” that people should be “judged by the content of their character, not the color of their skin.” In attempt to understand what Bishop goes through on a daily b asis, Burns told Bishop about two i ncidents in his life where he experienced bigotry. In the 1960s, when he was c oming home from boot camp, he was at a train station in North Carolina. He saw there was a water fountain marked “colored only” and “white only” near the station’s restroom. “I was dumb founded and again, I considered myself pretty sophisticated as a kid growing up in New York City but I had never seen that in New York City. I’ve never experienced that kind of separation, that kind of racism,” Burns said. “I’ve seen that image many years before you were even born and I can see that image today as clearly as the day I saw it.” Another instance was when he was sitting in the back of a bus in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, something he said all “smart-ass New Yorkers” did. Two big “rednecks” told him “you don’t belong back here boy.” He later realized only blacks were supposed to sit in the back of the bus in North Carolina. Still to this day, Burns said he wishes he had stood up for himself even though he was outnumbered and outsized. “Obviously, I can’t ever experience what you experienced but that’s the closest I’ve come to being able to see the world through your eyes and it has bothered and sat in my memory,” Burns said. “Both of those incidents are as vivid today as when it happened back in 1963…that was my exposure to bigotry, to racism in a reverse way and it bugs the hell out of me.” Burns explained to Bishop how he sees him, which is what Bishop wants the world of viewers to see, the reality.
“I see you for who you are,” Burns said. “A nice young man, a college kid that has some athletic talent, has some intellectual talent, has some creativity to go forward and do things. That’s what is going to make you a success.” Bishop works alongside his teammates on the football team to help with the show. His roommate and friend, senior Austin Duncan, helps Bishop by appearing in the show.
“Me and him became close sophomore year and were roommate’s junior year,” Duncan said of Bishop. “He is a cool guy, to be around. He’s funny and just a good person.”
With the help of his teammates being their natural selves, Bishop is able to work on a reality show based on his own life experiences with his friends. Bishop has a crew of v ideographers following him and his teammates both on and off the field. Next football season the cameras will continue to roll for when he plays out his final season of college eligibility and finishes his minor in digital media arts.
“I just want the v iewers to see the Hamline atmosphere and a couple of black dudes going to a majority white school and doing something with our life,” Bishop said, “we’re fitting in and we’re not just stereotypes. We’re not in jail.”
‘Stuck in the Sota’
A Reality Show on Black Students in the Hamline Community, Starring Deon “Ocho” “Tats” Bishop. Coming in 2016 Follow on Twitter @StuckintheSota
Photography Gino Terrell
A reissue of the debut edition of the Pipers In-Depth magazine released in December 2015. Pipers In-Depth is celebrating an ACP honor as the...
Published on Jan 31, 2016
A reissue of the debut edition of the Pipers In-Depth magazine released in December 2015. Pipers In-Depth is celebrating an ACP honor as the...