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Olivet honors faculty and staff members for integrity and service

Posted: Aug 25, 2017


Jeremy Alderson, Olivet Nazarene University's 2017 Staff Member of the Year


Dr. Mike Pyle, Olivet Nazarene University's 2017 Faculty Member of the Year

At the annual President’s Dinner on Aug. 24, 2017, Olivet Nazarene University honored two of its own for their integrity and service throughout their careers. Dr. John C. Bowling, University president, presented awards to Dr. Mike Pyle as Faculty Member of the Year and Jeremy Alderson ’98/’05 M.B.A. as Staff Member of the Year.

Jeremy Alderson
Associate vice president, ONU Global
2017 Staff Member of the Year

“Riding the waves of higher education is challenging, especially in the adult education market,” says Jeremy Alderson. “It’s a very competitive environment. And it’s very exciting!” Competition has never deterred Jeremy from pursuing his career and serving his Lord.

After receiving his bachelor’s degree from Olivet, Jeremy moved to California and worked for Countrywide Financial. He returned to Olivet in 2002 to pursue his master’s degree. As a graduate student working in the Office of Alumni and University Relations, he was on board for the first year of the Chicago Bears Training Camp on Olivet’s campus.

Today, Jeremy works closely with Dr. Ryan Spittal, vice president for strategic development and one of his mentors. Each year, as he participates in the SGCS Commencement ceremony, Jeremy appreciates the opportunity to meet the graduates in person and celebrate with them. “When I see them walking across the stage, happy, crying tears of joy,” he says, “that’s the culmination of why we are doing what we’re doing.”

Jeremy’s Olivet roots run deep. His parents, Tim ’75 and Kathy (Stark) ’75 Alderson, met at Olivet. Jeremy met his wife, Kari (Hoffman) ’98, at Olivet. They are the parents of three children: Jae, 14; Blair, 12; and Ty, 10.

“I found my professional home at Olivet,” Jeremy says. “Olivet’s priorities align with my priorities. I don’t take a day for granted.”

Dr. Mike Pyle
Chair, Department of Biological Sciences
2017 Faculty Member of the Year

“My kids beat me to Olivet!” says Dr. Mike Pyle. “Before I came here as a biology professor in 2008, I loved what I saw through my children’s eyes. The collective experiences of Matt ’05, Katie (Pyle) Smith ’06 and Nathan ’06 paved the way for an effortless ‘yes’ when the invitation came for me to teach.”

Today, Dr. Pyle is continuing Olivet’s long, strong history of preparing students incredibly well for medical and healthcare careers. In fact, about 80 percent of Olivet students who take the MCAT and apply to medical school are accepted.

“Young men and women come to us with diverse interests, and we want to see all our students succeed,” he says. “We broaden their vision of what doors a biology degree can open. Then we help them explore options that interest them. This is what professional readiness means at Olivet: students prepared and equipped to pursue careers of excellence and lives of significance.”

Under his leadership, the department recently adjusted the curriculum to require every biology major to do a significant research project. The department’s recent purchase of an inverted, fluorescent capable microscope is another step in equipping students with current, relevant knowledge and skills.

He helped establish a partnership with Riverside Healthcare for job shadowing. Known as the Silhouette Program, it has received a national excellence award from the American Hospital Association.

Dr. Pyle and his wife, Nancy ’11 M.S.N. — a nursing professor at Olivet — continue to encourage and enrich the lives of Olivet students through a variety of mentoring opportunities. They often lead medical mission teams to Papua New Guinea and Uganda. A practicing physician and surgeon, Mike also invites students to join him in the clinic or operating room. “I treasure the relationships I’ve built with students,” he says. “I count former students among my best friends.”

U.S. states represented among Olivet's student body, as well as 17 countries