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With grateful hearts: Reader reflections

Posted: Apr 09, 2013

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We asked our readers to share: Has a particular Olivet professor or campus experience had an impact on your life? These are a few of the responses we received. 


“I am grateful to Olivet for preparing me to be a great psychiatric nurse. One person I give special thanks to is Mrs. Keck, my med-surg. nursing instructor. … She frequently encouraged us to "sit down at the bedside and talk to your patient!" This stuck with me. … Olivet adequately prepared me for graduate school. I have been working as a psychiatric nurse practitioner with the homeless, mentally ill in Tampa, Fla., for the past 11 years. It is the job God prepared me for, starting at Olivet. [It is] my dream job, my mission field. I am grateful God provided for me to attend Olivet.” - Becky (Harner) Dunn 

“Professor Barry Lee is my favorite professor to this day! He deeply cares about each of his social workers and invests all he can into our future careers as well as our lives!” - Jessica Harper

“I have always struggled academically, but I am always doing my best. The grace that has been given to me by my professors is astounding, and I could not survive if it wasn't for their Christ-like manner. Thank you to all the professors on this beautiful campus for teaching me how to be more Christ-like every day.” - Sierra Leah Navarro

“Dr. George Dunbar is the most godly man I know. His example still resonates in my being!” - Donna Pierce Mikhail

“Dr. VanHeemst always believed in me and cared deeply for my well-being. Olivet is a better place because he is there as a teacher.” - Audra Fink

“Dr. Harlow Hopkins is not only a wonderfully talented professor and musician, he is a tremendous example of a godly man. He will always hold a special place in my heart.” - Kris Strehlow

“The Business Department has been such a blessing!” - Nicole Reinsma

“Every professor had an influence in my life one way or another. But, there are two that immediately come to mind as having made a great impact on my life. Those two would be Prof. Harvey Collins and Prof. Vicki Trylong.” - James Donald Stonestreet

“Judy Whitis and Rebecca Belcher-Rankin both kicked my bottom all the way through my English degree. The bottom-kicking was done in a loving, Christ-like manner, of course. Sue Williams was usually cheering them along. I love all three of those ladies!” - Christine Becker Case

“I had awesome professors while at Olivet from 2005-2009. However Dr. Bartling in the education department was a favorite. He was an awesome teacher and very approachable.” - Jason Roberts

“Our kids loved Kent Olney's teaching style. But he particularly touched our family in 1996 when our daughter was injured in an auto accident and had to miss three weeks of class. Dr. Olney said she didn't need to make up the work. On her first day back in class, he prayed specifically for her. What a guy!” - Vicky J. McBurnie

“The past soccer coach, Larry Cary, had a huge positive influence in my life. I never attend an Olivet Homecoming without setting the time aside to talk and reflect on the outstanding Christian leaders at ONU.” - Barbi J. Ballard-Aumiller

“Dr. Mark Quanstrom (Theology), Dr. Leon Blanchette (Christian Education), Dr. Carl Leth (Theology), Dr. Lisa Gassin (Psychology), and Dr. Dave Claborn (Political Science) were not only incredible teachers, but also mentors and now friends.” - Rebekah Scott

“The professors/deans who had an impact on my life were my parents, Wayne and Wanda Donson. They were professors and deans back in the late 40s and early 50s.” -Wanda Donson Hall

“I met the love of my life on campus. A young Canadian full of humor and wit. He's been my best friend for 34 years now! Thank you Olivet for giving me the opportunity to meet Dale Taylor.” - Kathy Oney Taylor

“Brock Schroeder: Never thought I would fall in love with astronomy. Mark Bishop taught me so much about TV news and got me started in my career, Sue Williams and Connie Walker always believed in me when I would do interviews with celebrities and write for the Glimmerglass, Beth Patrick-Trippel put up with me throughout speech class. Thank you all so much! I miss it there!” - Ryan Cummings

“Jay Martinson had a big impact on my life through communications and just being a man. I had the chance to see him as a dad in my four years at ONU and how he impacted his children and was a Godly husband at the same time. ONU is blessed to have him as comm. prof.” - Adam Ledyard

“David Atkinson, Dale Hathaway, Daniel Green, and Steve Brown .... The math department. They were also patient and happy to help. I still look up to them as my mentors.” - Nicole Enzinger

“Dr. Reams is an awesome prof., and we always loved his devotions. Dr. Billie Matheny was an inspiration to me when I had her for Reading for Elementary Education. It was right before she had her surgery for a brain tumor. She knew she might not ever go back to teaching, so she was determined to pass on her passion for teaching to the students in her classes that semester. Also, Prof. Noble was the leader of Treble Cleff choir and is the epitome of the word ‘JOY!’ He was always joyous and patient, even when we switched his suitcase contents with a girl in the choir.” - Sharon Aumiller Hiatt

“Dr. Williams' passion and enthusiasm led me to double major in accounting and encouraged me to obtain a CPA designation.” - Brady Oring

“The comm. profs were all great, even though Patrick kicked everyone's butts! But hands down, Dr. Dale Dale Oswalt is BY FAR the BEST educator out there. Wow! What a man of God and teacher and friend. Seriously, I'd give that man a raise! Do NOT let him move from ONU or retire. The world needs him teaching our teachers!” - Anna Welsh

“I was very confused about sanctification. Dr. Barrett assigned collateral reading, and the book I read explained sanctification in a way I could understand. I went back to Williams dorm to the prayer room, and I finally realized that I couldn't sanctify myself. It had to be God that did the work. I've never forgotten that experience.” - Ruth Lafevor

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Olivet's School of Education is among the top six largest producers of teachers among all Illinois colleges and universities