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Learning across generations at recent Olivet events

Posted: Apr 05, 2017


When Olivet Nazarene University students and experienced professionals share together, the result is new ideas and new relationships. (Photo by Jessie Kilbride)

When students at Olivet Nazarene University and experienced professionals share together, the result is new ideas and new relationships. During March 2017, three of those opportunities helped students make valuable connections.

Business After Hours Networking Event, co-hosted by Olivet’s Inspired Strategies Agency and Kankakee County Chamber of Commerce

Local business leaders came to Olivet’s campus to meet students in person. Many commented how much they enjoyed the conversation and connection — and seeing the inside of Reed Hall of Science. Hayden Keifer, a junior majoring in public relations and strategic communication, led the student team in planning this event.

One of the event highlights was a presentation on leadership by a panel diverse in age, experience and expertise:
• Blake Bradley, student at Bradley-Bourbonnais (Illinois) Community High School
• Sarai Guerrero, president of Olivet’s sophomore class and a communications major
• Jake Lee, auditor, Kankakee County, Illinois
• Jeff Hammes, president, Peoples Bank of Kankakee County
• Kaleb Miller, Olivet’s student body president and a senior majoring in marketing
• Professor Elizabeth Kerns, Department of Communication, served as moderator.

“I learned that being an event planner is not an easy task,” Hayden said. “But watching our event come together was one of the most rewarding things that I have ever experienced.”

Panel discussion on civic discourse, hosted by The Center for Faith and Culture at Olivet

Students, faculty and staff had the opportunity to engage with a distinguished panel of experts from different disciplines to learn more about the state of civil discourse in today’s world. Together, they examined the escalation of rhetoric and the dominance of adversarial public discourse. Panel members’ presentations explored how we got here and the dynamics currently in motion. Finally, the group addressed the question of how Olivet as an institution and a community can help bring a redemptive and peace-making presence to the University, the Church and our society.

Panel members were:
• Dr. John C. Bowling, University president
• Dr. Beth Patrick-Trippel, professor, Department of Communication
• Dr. Charles Perabeau ’94, professor, Department of Behavioral Sciences
• Dr. Carl Leth, director of The Center for Faith and Culture, served as moderator.

“We increasingly know people for what they do instead of for who they are,” Dr. Perabeau said. “We once learned and practiced civil discourse around our dining room tables each evening, but in today’s society we have many faceless relations with others through social media.”

“Philanthropy Speaks,” a panel discussion hosted by Olivet’s Student Philanthropy Council

How does servant leadership change the world? That was the question addressed from a variety of angles during a presentation for Olivet students, staff and faculty. Discussion began with definitions of philanthropy and concluded with a question-and-answer session. Those attending heard the experiences and insights of panel members with differing levels of experience in the nonprofit sector:
• Tracey (Noe) Slach ’06/’13 E.M.B.A., executive director of the Kankakee County Center Against Sexual Assault (KC-CASA)
• Nick Allen ’06/’13 M.B.A., a business development representative for Applied Systems and owner of The Allen Group, a political consulting business
• Kyndall Singeltary, a senior majoring in marketing and a concentration in communications with minors in nonprofit management and intercultural studies
• Emilie Walder, Council president and a senior majoring in interior design, served as moderator.

“My dad is my role model for working and serving in a nonprofit organization,” Tracey said. “In the work that I do, I’m surrounded by servant leaders every day. I’ve learned to lead with others in mind.”

For more information about Olivet and the variety of learning opportunities available to students, contact the Office of Admissions at or 800-648-1463.