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News Archive 2013

  • Dec 18, 2013 3:49:53Dec 18, 2013 -

    Olivet football’s placekicker Andrew Muzljakovich — a senior, majoring in biology, from Vicksburg, Mich. — has capped off an outstanding season and career with his selection to the 25-man 2013 American Football Coaches Association (AFCA)-National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) All-America First Team, announced today by the selection committee. This is his first selection to the All-America team, and he is the first Tiger to be named to the distinction since Jeremy Robinson in 2007.

    The AFCA has selected an All-America team each year since 1945 and currently selects teams in all five of its divisions. What makes these teams so special is that they are the only ones chosen exclusively by the men who know the players the best — the coaches themselves.

    During the 2013 season, Andrew started all 11 games and finished second on the team in scoring with 58 points. He had 13 made field goals (13-17) with a career-long of 49 yards against St. Francis (Ill.) on Sept. 7. He converted all 19 PATs. He had 43 kickoffs for 2,674 yards (62.2 avg.) and 25 touchbacks. He finished with 59 punts for 2,443 yards (41.4 avg.) and a long of 64 yards.

    Andrew was named the Mid-States Football Association’s (MSFA) Midwest League Special Teams Player of the Week four times during the season, finishing with nine such honors in his college career. He finished first in the league in punting, second in kickoff coverage (39.9), second on field goal percentage (.765) and first in PATS (1.000).

    He was also a MSFA Midwest League First Team Offense selection as a placekicker and honorable mention selection as a punter. He finished his career fourth all-time for the Tigers in punting yards (4,924) and scoring (198).

    In addition to these honors, on Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013, Andrew helped the Red Nation team win the 4th Annual National Bowl Game 40-26. He was named the Overall Special Teams MVP, scoring eight points and making a 56-yard field goal, setting a new National Bowl record.

    He finished that game making 2-for-4 field goals and 2-of-3 PATs. He had eight kickoffs for an average of 59 yards and two touchbacks. He also punted three times for 145 yards, good for a 48.3 average.

    “Andrew really stepped up his game this year,” said Brian Fish, head football coach. “He’s always had a strong leg, and he became a lot more consistent this year. On his long-range field goals, he had exceptional percentages beyond 40 yards. We’re going to help make sure that his name is known in various professional leagues. He’s obviously the best placekicker in the NAIA.”
    Dec 09, 2013 11:3:7Dec 09, 2013 -

    Olivet Nazarene University recently honored Dr. David Elwood of Columbus, Ind., with the Harold W. Reed Leadership Award for a lifetime of ethical leadership and for his success through his family business, Elwood Staffing.

    “David represents all the qualities we celebrate as an Olivet community,” said Dr. John C. Bowling, University president, as he presented the award. “His life reminds us that success is not just about the bottom line, but about relationships and achieving a higher purpose.”

    David received his bachelor’s degree in psychology from Olivet in 1955, his master’s degree from Southern Illinois University, and his doctorate from Purdue University. Following a successful career in clinical psychology, he teamed with son, Mark, to found Elwood Staffing, a leading provider of talent-based solutions. His sons, Michael and John, later joined the business. David continues to serve as the chairman of the board for the company, and enjoys the shared leadership with his sons.

    Operating more than 220 service locations throughout the U.S. and parts of Canada, Elwood Staffing employs nearly 1,000 employees, serves more than 6,000 clients and puts more than 27,000 temporary associates to work daily. With a broad service portfolio and a seasoned staff, Elwood Staffing supports companies through the entire employment life cycle — from attraction to outplacement.

    “This award honors the lasting legacy of both David Elwood and Dr. Harold W. Reed,” said Dr. Bowling. The award and the Reed Institute for Advanced Study of Leadership were established by Dr. Reed, who was president of the University from 1949 to 1975.

    David’s wife of 57 years, Ella, who attended Olivet, has had a successful career as a real estate agent with Century 21. Together, they are proud grandparents to six grandchildren.

    Dec 06, 2013 1:25:5Dec 06, 2013 -

    In Germany during the 19th century, families began a tradition of physically counting down the days until Christmas. Each day, they used chalk to draw a line on the door, or they lit a new candle. This was the start of the now ongoing tradition of the Advent calendar. 

    At Olivet this year, the Advent calendar has reached a new level. Sophomore Joe Mantarian (Multimedia Production, Kankakee, Ill.) and Joey Ramirez, coordinator of chapel worship, began a project called “The 25 days of Christmas covers” - featuring Olivet students - on a variety of Christmas songs that are posted on YouTube.

    “We want to give students the opportunity to use their talents and do something fun that’s not school work,” Joe said. “And it’s not just for music students.”

    The songs include a variety of genres and many talented students who aren’t always involved in musical performances at Olivet.

    “We noticed a lack in the local music scene,” Joey said. “Our students had nowhere to play and/or be creative with their friends.” 

    To musically count down the days until Christmas, look for “The 25 Days of Christmas Covers” on their YouTube Channel “The Weekend Covers.” After Christmas, Joe and Joey will continue to post covers, creating an outlet for students to showcase their talents and to develop their newly created “online music venue.”

    “We hope that this goes further than just this month,” Joey says. “We want to continue our music venue into every weekend of next semester and maybe even longer.”
    Dec 02, 2013 3:15:31Dec 02, 2013 -

    “I love having the opportunity to rebuild this clinic and watch it grow,” says Rebecca (Reel) Carter, MSN, APN, FNP-BC. “We’re finding ways to serve an underserved population in the Kankakee community.”

    Rebecca is the first graduate to complete all of the requirements of Olivet’s new Master of Science in Nursing: Family Nurse Practitioner degree program, and she received that degree in 2013. She also received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree from Olivet in 2010.

    Today, she is a family nurse practitioner (FNP) at Riverside HealthCare’s East Court Community Health Center in Kankakee. This clinic — designated as a National Health Service Corps facility — provides care for many patients who have no health insurance or are underinsured. Rebecca divides her time between seeing patients and finding resources to help them get the full scope of care they need. 

    “God placed me here,” she says. “I know this is part of my intended journey.”

    Patient needs in the real world

    Although she works under a collaborative agreement with family physician Rashida Downing, M.D., which is required under Illinois law, Rebecca provides her patients with the full scope of care. She is licensed to diagnose illnesses and conditions, as well as to prescribe medications and courses of treatment.

    “My practice focuses on family medicine, pediatrics through geriatrics,” she says. “I enjoy spending time with my patients, educating them about their disease processes, medications and treatment plans. My goal is to empower them to make choices and get more involved in the decision-making process.”

    One of the greatest challenges for Rebecca is seeing the difficulties her patients are facing in finding resources for getting affordable medications, proper diagnostic testing and the recommended treatment. Many do not have a car for transportation or money to purchase medications.

    “This makes my job much more difficult,” she says. “I have to make adjustments to their treatment while staying clinically sound in my decision making and working within their limitations.”

    Keeping goals realistic

    Building on her 20 years of nursing experience, Rebecca was initially drawn to Olivet’s FNP program because it was close to home. It also allowed her to continue to network and work with the community of medical professionals she already knew and trusted.

    She had spent most of her career working in Riverside Medical Center’s intensive care unit. Her goal for advancing her nursing career was to work more on the preventative, rather than just the reactive, side of medicine. She wanted to have more autonomy in managing patient care and working directly with her patients.

    “I worked for a while in home health care,” she says. “I understand what happens when people come home from the hospital or go home after a doctor’s appointment. Often, they don’t understand what they’re supposed to do. That experience has helped me see my patients from a different perspective.”

    Prescription for success

    Rebecca credits the variety of her clinical experiences in Olivet’s program as excellent preparation for what to expect in day-to-day clinic operations. She also appreciates the focus on best practice in the classroom instruction. “As a health care provider, I always want to be working under those guidelines,” she says.

    She credits her cohort for providing her with accountability, as well as shoulders to cry on and brains to pick, throughout her time in the program.

    “This is a tough program,” she says. “I learned from collaborating with them, studying with them every week. They helped me when I got discouraged. We were in it together.”

    The strength of Rebecca’s education and preparation are already evident in her work with Riverside HealthCare.

    "Rebecca is doing an outstanding job in her new role as a family nurse practitioner,” Dr. Downing says. “She is competent, confident and compassionate. She has been integral in growing our underserved East Court clinic.

    “I have been very impressed by the quality of the training of our Olivet graduates. I precept many of them in my office and have found them to be very well-prepared for practice. Rebecca is no exception to that. She is a wonderful professional and will certainly be a superstar in the future."

    Nov 25, 2013 1:34:25Nov 25, 2013 -

    Just five years ago, Olivet students were playing the popular video game Rock Band®, when they came across a default band name, Black Penguins. They joked and said it would be a good name for their new Ultimate Frisbee team. But then, their joke became a reality. Today, the Black Penguins are experiencing success in their sport.

    The Black Penguins are a club team that travels throughout the Great Lakes region and plays at different colleges and universities. This year, the team consists of 30 men, 17 of whom are freshmen. There is also a team for women, the Lady Penguins.

    “Our freshmen are by far the best class we’ve ever had,” Zac Carlton (junior, Naperville, Ill.), team co-captain, says. “They’re already better than I was when I first started. They’re just really good, so I’m looking forward to seeing them get better and be a key role this year.”

    Recently, the team played a tournament and finished in 15th place out of 44 teams. Reece Storey (senior, Kankakee, Ill.), another co-captain, reported that it was a great weekend, and they all had a great time. Nick Schoon (sophomore, Lowell, Ind.) was named as the most improved player of the tournament by his teammates and was given the tournament jersey.

    On September 28, the Black Penguins hosted the first annual Black Penguins Classic tournament — their first tournament at Olivet. A total of 17 teams showed up in Bourbonnais from schools all over the Midwest. Central Michigan University, Eastern Illinois University, Northwestern University and Loyola University sent teams to compete in this tournament.

    A sport on the rise

    Co-captains of this rising team are Zac Carlton, Reece Storey and Nick Geever (senior, Bourbonnais, Ill.).

    “The Black Penguins are having great success competing in tournaments around the region, but also in engaging our campus in a popular and growing sport,” Matt Smith, director of recreation services, says.

    Ultimate Frisbee is becoming a more renowned sport among college students in America. Even ESPN is on board and, in 2012, partnered with USA Ultimate, the sport’s national league, for the first time and aired some games.

    “It’s different from any other college sport because it really has become more of a developed sport in the past four or five years,” Zac says.

    Hope for a successful future

    After four years of competing, the Black Penguins are ready to head to nationals.

    “The past three years, we fell a game short of nationals to the same team. That’s been really disappointing to us,” Zac says. “We have a really good core leadership this year, and our team is already looking a lot better. So I think we have a shot at going to nationals this year, and we’re really working toward that.”

    The team is gearing up for the spring 2014 season. With an attitude of winning and a being a group of brothers, they are hopeful.

    “Even outside of practice and tournaments, we’re always hanging out. Playing video games or helping each other with homework or throwing a disc or whatever. We’re really just like a brotherhood of guys,” Zac says. 
    Nov 25, 2013 11:40:26Nov 25, 2013 -

    Before Olivet senior Breanne Bambrick’s community in Washington, Ill. was severely damaged by a tornado on November 17, she was honored as a Student Laureate by the Lincoln Academy of Illinois. Bre was presented the award on Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013 alongside 52 other students in a ceremony at the Old State Capitol in Springfield, Ill.

    The Student Laureate distinction is meant to recognize outstanding seniors for overall excellence in curricular and extracurricular activities. As an honoree, Bre received the Lincoln Academy Student Laureate Medallion, an honorarium and a certificate of achievement.

    “It does not surprise me that Breanne would be selected to receive this prestigious award,” said Dr. Woody Webb, vice president for student development. “She embodies quality leadership, and exemplifies it with a strong work ethic and unwavering character.”

    Bre, a social work major, has established her reputation as a leader through activities inside and outside the classroom. This academic year, Bre serves as student body president, after two years of serving as student body vice president of student relations. She is a member of the National Collegiate Honors Council, University Honors Program, Olivet’s social work club, Diakonia, and Compassionate Ministries.

    In addition to her on-campus involvement, Bre and parents, Mike and Alecia, have helped plant Connect Church in Washington, Ill. Although her family home was not damaged in the tornado, Bre is standing in faith with her community that they will continue to remain strong through the relief and rebuilding efforts.

    Last October, Bre co-presented her Honors capstone project, “The Collaboration of Faith and Social Work in Creating a Gateway of Helping,” with Dr. Houston Thompson, dean of the School of Professional Studies, at the 2012 North American Association for Christians in Social Work Convention. The presentation covered how to better prepare clergy for responding to macro-crises.

    “Bre is an exceptional learner who demonstrates a passion for learning and a commitment to excellence,” Dr. Thompson said. “She is competent and capable of accomplishing anything to which she sets her heart and mind.”

    “I am excited to be associated with those who have received the award before me, and to know that my legacy will have a place as well,” Bre said. “The support I have received from my parents and faculty has been foundational in my personal and professional development.”
    Nov 22, 2013 2:33:42Nov 22, 2013 -

    Olivet’s Department of Music will present two special performances — featuring students and faculty — for the Christmas season at the Betty and Kenneth Hawkins Centennial Chapel in early December.

    On Friday, December 6, 2013, at 7 p.m., “Sounds of the Season” continues the celebration of Christmas in grand style with innovative performances of favorite holiday music.

    Musical interpretations presented by the Mass Choral Ensemble, Harp Ensemble, Flute Choir, Bronze Handbell Ensemble, Testament Men’s Choir, Chrysalis Women’s Choir, Orpheus Choir, Proclamation Gospel Choir, Concert Singers and others showcase the performers’ many talents. Dr. Jeffery Bell, music professor, will conduct the Orpheus Choir and read an original Christmas prose piece.

    Seating is not reserved for this concert. Centennial Chapel will open to concert attendees at 5:30 p.m., and the Chapel’s Crawford Auditorium will open for seating beginning at 6 p.m.

    On Sunday, December 8, 2013, at 6 p.m., the 78th annual production of Handel’s “Messiah” expresses the life of Jesus Christ in music. Composed in 1741 by George Frideric Handel in just 24 days, it is still one of the most popular works in Western choral literature. “Hallelujah” is undoubtedly its most well-known chorus.

    The University Orchestra and University String Ensemble, including the harpsichord and the Ruffatti pipe organ, will provide musical accompaniment. Dr. Neal Woodruff, music professor, will conduct with Dr. Bell as organist.

    Student soloists are Ashley Raffauf, soprano (senior, Homewood, Ill.); Seth Lowery, tenor (senior, Kankakee, Ill.); David Rice, baritone (senior, Traverse City, Mich.); Lillian Guenseth, alto (senior, Galesburg, Ill.); Ben Geeding, bass (senior, Manteno, Ill.); Emily Fernette, soprano (junior, Owosso, Mich.); Taihla Eddins, alto (junior, Bloomington, Ill.).

    There is no charge to attend either event, and seats are not reserved. For more information, call 815-939-5110 or email
    Nov 21, 2013 4:16:44Nov 21, 2013 -

    From Indiana farm boy to respected surgeon, medical missionary and professor. In each place where God called him to serve, Dr. Michael Pyle has responded with the love of Jesus Christ. The results of his commitment are obvious among the patients he has treated and the students he has taught.

    On November 16, Dr. Pyle was recognized by Hendricks Regional Health Foundation, Danville, Ind., and received the 2013 Treat People Better Award. Among the guests at the ceremony were his wife, Nancy, and his parents, Ken and Julie Pyle.

    Beginning a life of service

    “This honor has prodded me to look back over my life,” Dr. Pyle said when accepting the award. “I see God’s fingerprints all over my life. I’ve been imprinted by His love, a love channeled to me by many wonderful people all around the world.

    “I’m here, receiving this award, because I have witnessed how my parents ‘treat people better’ over their lifetimes. So how could I do otherwise?”

    Dr. Pyle credits his parents with providing him his first mission experience. Together, they provided food and toys for the families of migrant workers in their hometown. “They didn’t speak a word of English, and we didn’t speak a word of Spanish,” he recalls. “But for a few hours, we got by.”

    Continuing God’s work

    Among his many professional accomplishments in his 30-year medical career, Dr. Pyle has provided outstanding care for patients — not only in Indiana, but also in Papua New Guinea, Haiti, and Swaziland and Rwanda in Africa. He is respected and admired by the hundreds of students he has taught and mentored at both Hendricks Regional Health and Olivet.

    Following the completion of his residency program in 1983, Dr. Pyle joined the practice of Dr. Tom Hibblen in Danville, Ind. Three years later, he and his family began the first of two two-year terms of service at RFM Hospital in Swaziland. Upon completion of the second term, Dr. Pyle resumed practice at Hendricks, eventually serving as vice chief and then chief of staff for Hendricks Regional Health. During those years, he also served as an associate pastor for Avon Community Church of the Nazarene.

    In 2008, after serving 25 years with Hendricks, Dr. Pyle accepted his next challenge from the Lord when he joined Olivet’s faculty. In addition to teaching several courses, he especially enjoys the medical mission trips that he shares with Nancy — a nursing professor at Olivet — and his students. They work together for a month during summer breaks at Kudjip Nazarene Hospital in Papua New Guinea.

    And to no one’s surprise, Dr. Pyle continues to serve on a part-time basis at Hendricks Regional Health, taking weekend “on call” assignments and filling in for colleagues over the summer months.

    Always mindful of blessings

    Dr. and Mrs. Pyle are the parents of three children, and they have two grandchildren.

    “Nancy and I have been extraordinarily blessed,” he adds. “We often feel like singing David’s song: ‘Lord, you have assigned me my portion and my cup; you have made my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places. … I will praise the Lord who counsels me.’”

    Nov 21, 2013 2:42:22Nov 21, 2013 -

    “Long ago, there were periodicals called newspapers, and these newspapers were printed on paper, and people used to read them and perhaps even share them.”

    Because of the way newspapers were folded, if someone took one page out, three other pages would leave as well. The challenge: “When one numbered page is taken from the newspaper, the question is what other pages disappear.”

    That was the beginning of a problem computer science students were challenged to solve at the 2013 Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) international programming contest. In fact, this question was “actually one of the easier problems,” Dr. Larry Vail, computer science professor, says.

    Olivet received 15th place among the 138 teams — including University of Chicago, Northwestern University and Vanderbilt University — competing in the contest.

    Olivet’s team consisted of Hannah Miller (senior, Marseille, France); Joe Melsha (freshman, Cedar Rapids, Iowa); and Will Meitzler (junior , Elk Grove Village, Ill.). They competed by solving problems that included at least 25 percent higher math. The programming contest was sponsored by IBM and ACM.

    "There is something about coding for five high-pressure hours with two other people that is irreplaceable,” Hannah says. “By the end, you can’t help but trust and appreciate your teammates’ abilities on some level.”

    As a part of the 25th anniversary celebration, the Department of Computer Science will be hosting a contest at Olivet on February 22, 2014.
    Nov 18, 2013 11:21:46Nov 18, 2013 -

    “I'm really looking forward to growing as a well-rounded, well-informed individual, a stronger Christian ready and willing to interact with the world,” says Michael Whalen (Sierra Vista, Ariz.), a freshman majoring in zoology and a member of Olivet’s newest cohort of Honors Program students.

    Students selected to the Honors Program are undeniably academically talented. This year’s cohort of 30 freshmen entered with an average 31.5 ACT score. But these students have already impressed their professors with their oral discussion and critical thinking abilities.

    “I have found this group to be bright,” says Dr. Timothy Stidham, one of this cohort’s professors. “These students bring energy to discussions and are writing very thoughtful reflection papers.”

    Expanding horizons

    Olivet’s Honors Program provides students with a curriculum designed for their distinct learning abilities. This semester, the group is taking “Faith in Humanity,” which Dr. Stidham teaches alongside Dr. Bill Dean, chair of the Department of History and Political Science. This course requires the students to watch preselected movies and relate them to specific lines from the Apostle’s Creed.

    Carrie Leato (Flanagan, Ill.), an English education major, enjoys the theological and cultural value of this class. “I am learning how to really interpret a movie instead of letting everything wash over me,” she says.

    Students committed to the program take four Honors courses together over their freshman and sophomore years, participate in service organizations and attend cultural events. Finally, each of them completes a substantial faculty-mentored research project during the junior and senior years.

    “We hope that, in addition to graduating with University Honors, our students will have experiences from the Honors Program to enrich their lives,” says Dr. Charles Carrigan, professor of geoscience and director of the Honors Program. “We want to help them see themselves as servant-leaders, both here at Olivet and after they leave and move into the world.”

    Growing together

    Michael and Carrie, along with others in the cohort, credit the uniqueness of the Honors Program as part of what drew them to Olivet. The students in Cohort Seven come from 10 states across the country, with 19 from Illinois, and the remaining 11 from New York, Iowa, California, Oklahoma, Michigan, Virginia, Ohio and Arizona. Their majors represent all four undergraduate schools and 12 departments at Olivet.

    “We are a very diverse and colorful group, filled with many different stories and histories,” Michael says. “But everyone is open to listening and learning from one another. I look forward to growing closer to these people in the next few years.”

    Other members of the cohort and their majors are:

    • Nicole Abraham (Poplar Grove, Ill.), Spanish Education
    • Sarah Allison (Carthage, N.Y.), Psychology
    • Jenna Ayers (Colfax, Ill.), Intercultural Studies
    • Madylin Barker (Plainfield, Ill.), Music Performance — Instrumental
    • Rachel Blunier (East Peoria, Ill.), Marketing — Commercial Graphics
    • Cara Butler (Cedar Rapids, Iowa), Biology
    • Chase Fierro (Goleta, Calif.), Computer Engineering
    • Shealeigh Funni (Island Lake, Ill.) Accounting
    • Hannah Gorecki (Mokena, Ill.), Spanish Education
    • Abigail Hancock (Indianapolis, Ind.), Intercultural Studies
    • Holly Harlow (Joliet, Ill.), Math Education
    • Lisa Hartman (Aurora, Ill.), Social Science Education
    • Cassandra Hendrix (Oklahoma City, Okla.), English
    • Victoria Hess (Chrisman, Ill.), Biology
    • Ethan Hiles (Wheelersburg, Ohio), Chemistry — Biochemistry
    • Grace Hohn (Grand Blanc, Mich.), Chemistry
    • Heather Johnson (Elgin, Ill.), Music Education
    • Caleb Lankford (Midlothian, Va.), Biology
    • Emily Lohr (Middleburg Heights, Ohio), Intercultural Studies
    • Ryan Marcotte (Herscher, Ill.), Information Systems
    • Macy Murray (Keokuk, Iowa), Chemistry — Biochemistry
    • Maggie Risher (Channahon, Ill.), Zoology
    • Luke Salomone (Bridgeview, Ill.), Biology
    • Brittany Sherwood (Pekin, Ill.)
    • Emily Spychalla (Normal, Ill.), Dietetics
    • Cody Stuart (Oak Forest, Ill.), History
    • Matthew Wheeler (Gurnee, Ill.), Social Science Education
    • Andrea Wojciechowski (Roselle, Ill.), Chemistry — Biochemistry
    Nov 15, 2013 10:57:37Nov 15, 2013 -

    Olivet’s Alumni Association recently honored two outstanding alumni by presenting them with the 2013 “O” Awards. Robert Sloan ’68 received the Lay “O” Award. Dr. Mark Hostetler ’72/’04 MCM/’04 DDIV received the Ministerial “O” Award. Begun in 1957, this is the highest honor that the University gives to its alumni. These awards were presented as part of the Homecoming & Family Weekend activities.

    Robert Sloan (center in photo) served as president and CEO of Sibley Memorial Hospital — part of the prestigious Johns Hopkins Health System and the hospital of distinction in Washington, D.C. — for 27 years. Recently retired, he continues to be active as a senior advisor to the Johns Hopkins Health System, and with the Sibley Memorial Hospital Foundation and the new Jane Bancroft Robinson Foundation. He is also a member of the CareFirst Blue Cross Blue Shield Board of Directors.

    From 1968 to 1972, he served with distinction as a captain in the U.S. Army. His career in health care began in 1973 with his position as an assistant administrator at Prince George’s Hospital and Medical Center. In 1978, he joined Columbia Hospital for Women and Medical Center, Inc. as executive vice president.

    He and his wife, Janet, are the parents of three children and have five grandchildren. Their daughter, Sherri (Sloan) Bohinc, graduated from Olivet in 1996.

    Dr. Mark Hostetler (right in photo) became senior pastor of Grace Church of the Nazarene, Portage, Ind., in 1973 and still pastors that congregation today. In his more than 40 years at Grace, he has given leadership to a growing and healthy congregation that has a global reach.

    Denominationally, he has been a member of Olivet’s Board of Trustees since 1983, secretary of the Board of Trustees since 1993, and a member of the Board’s Executive Committee for two decades. He has served as a delegate to the Church of the Nazarene’s General Assembly eight times. He has also served as the secretary of the Northwest Indiana District of the Church of the Nazarene since 1982.

    He and his wife, Sharon (Koji), have a daughter, Jennifer, who is a 1997 Olivet graduate. Jennifer and her husband, Jason Hamilton, have two daughters.
    Nov 11, 2013 10:48:50Nov 11, 2013 -

    Olivet’s Department of Athletics announces the addition of Mark Hollis '07 to its Athletics Hall of Fame during the 2013 Homecoming & Family Weekend.

    While at Olivet, Mark was the 2006 and 2007 National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Outdoor Track and Field Pole Vault National Champion. He also placed second at the 2005 national outdoor meet and second in the 2007 indoor meet. He holds both the indoor and outdoor school records for pole vault at Olivet.

    Following his outstanding career with the Olivet Tigers, Mark turned professional. His first championship came at the 2010 Millrose Games. He went on to become the USA Track and Field Outdoor National Champion in 2010 and Indoor National Champion in 2011.

    Also in 2011, he placed fourth in the outdoor USA national championships, and was a member of the USA World Championship team in Daegu, placing 11th. He placed third at the 2012 indoor USA national championship meet.

    Mark has been ranked as high as third in the USA and 10th in the world. His personal best is 18 feet, 10 ¼ inches. One of his greatest accomplishments was competing in two USA Olympic Trials, placing ninth in 2008 and fifth in 2012.

    According to Mike McDowell '10 MOL, head coach for Olivet’s track and field program, “Mark has been an ambassador for pole vaulting around the USA. He has set a standard for younger athletes regarding what it means to be a student of your sport. Mark’s impact on our program is still felt today.”

    Nov 08, 2013 5:16:55Nov 08, 2013 -

    Olivet presented its third annual Young Alumni Award to Ryan '06 and Emily (Schmidt) '06 Walker during the morning chapel service on Friday, November 8, as part of the 2013 Homecoming & Family Weekend activities.

    Each year, during Homecoming celebration, Olivet honors one outstanding female and one outstanding male recipient with this award. Recipients are chosen by vote of the Alumni Board, and must have graduated from Olivet within the last 10 years. These awards are underwritten by alumni Mel '73 and Judith (Tucker) '73 Sayes of Little Rock, Ark.

    Ryan earned a bachelor’s degree in business management, and Emily earned a bachelor’s degree in biology. They joined the ministry of SEND International in 2007. SEND’s mission is to reach Native Americans and plant churches in rural Alaska and northern Canada. Teachers and pilots are important for these efforts.

    In the fall of 2008, Emily began teaching middle school science at the public school in Chevak, Alaska, and Ryan was working as a pilot for SEND. When the math teacher left the school, Ryan began teaching there also. Together, they built relationships with the students and their families — and the community.

    The following year, Ryan became the aviation teacher at the high school. He was able to give the students experience in a field that is important to their way of life. The next year, he and his students built a Rans S-6S airplane together. Many of Ryan’s students have professed faith in Christ and continue to be part of a local Bible study.

    Today, the Walkers live in Colorado and are the parents of two children. Ryan is part of the third generation of his family to work for Walker Manufacturing, their family-owned business. When speaking with Olivet students during a business seminar this week, he reminded them that God calls people to serve both in mission work and in business.

    Also honored during the chapel service were two current Olivet juniors: Ashley Sarver (journalism major, Urbana, Ohio) and Blane Mowry (biology major, Woodbridge, Va.). They received financial scholarships underwritten by the Sayes family. Ashley and Blane were selected by a committee of faculty and administrators, and approved by the executive committee of Olivet’s Alumni Board of Directors, to receive these scholarships.
    Nov 07, 2013 11:14:13Nov 07, 2013 -

    Katharyn Schrader became Olivet's 59th Homecoming Queen during the coronation ceremony on Wednesday, November 6, 2013. Chosen by her peers for this honor, she is a senior and a leader among the student body. She is from Monmouth, Ill., and the daughter of Marshall and Julie (Buhrow) Schrader.

    An English major, Katharyn served as a resident assistant in Williams Hall for two years. While at Olivet, she has been a part of Evangels, a student ministry to local nursing homes; Social Justice Club; the Aurora yearbook staff; and Sigma Tau Delta, the international English honor society. Her goal is to travel overseas as a missionary by teaching English as a second language.

    Adrian Calhoun of New Paris, Penn., escorted the Queen. A senior and a religious studies major, he is the son of Rev. H. Doyle '60 and Carolyn (Moorhead) Calhoun.

    Other members of the 2013 Homecoming Court, all seniors and also chosen by their peers for this honor, are: Christine Caven (Boise, Idaho), escorted by Benjamin Geeding (Manteno, Ill); Lillian Guenseth (Galesburg, Ill.), escorted by Matthew Jones (Eureka, Ill.); Hannah Taylor (Fenton, Mich.), escorted by Kyle Miller (Sesser, Ill.); and Hillary Vaughn (Kankakee, Ill.), escorted by Caleb Carr (Afolkey, Ill.).

    “These young women in our Homecoming Court have committed to let Christ’s love shine through their lives and are leading many to righteousness,” said Jessica Palm (senior, Winnebago, Ill.), vice president for women’s residential life, as the ceremony began.

    Spencer '10 and Ashley (Williams) '10 Cook served as masters of ceremonies for the evening. Special music was provided by Ben Cherney (senior, Norway, Mich.), piano; Chantalle Falconer (senior, Byron, Ill.), violin; Elisabeth Holaway (senior, Wheaton, Ill.), cello; Amber Leffel (senior, Flint, Mich.), vocals; Wes Reece (junior, Fort Wayne, Ind.), acoustic; Kari Sunnarborg (sophomore, Rochester, Minn.), harp.

    Olivet’s Homecoming Queen and members of her Court have been honored each year since 1955. The Queen is a senior woman chosen by the student body. She is a person of integrity; gives glory to God in her life; helps others feel loved and accepted; and expresses Olivet’s academic, social, and spiritual ideals.

    Click here to watch the ceremony at Olivet Live! on demand.


    Nov 06, 2013 3:34:10Nov 06, 2013 -

    “God has called every one of us into a role of leadership to make a difference,” Dr. Louie E. Bustle said during his message in Olivet's chapel on November 6, when he accepted the 2013 Reed Leadership Award presented to him by Dr. John C. Bowling, University president.

    “Louie Bustle is an individual of exceptional ability whose work has had an international impact,” Dr. Bowling said. “This award honors the lasting legacy of both Dr. Bustle and Dr. Harold W. Reed.” The award and the Reed Institute for Advanced Study of Leadership were established by Dr. Reed, who was president of the University from 1949 to 1975.

    A man with a passion for serving Christ through missions, Dr. Bustle was the global mission director for the Church of the Nazarene and the first district superintendent for the Dominican Republic. Currently, he gives leadership to Holiness Legacy, a ministry that digitally publishes out-of-print holiness books and makes them available on its website at no charge. He is also a popular speaker for revivals and faith promise services.

    While still a student at Nazarene Theological Seminary, Dr. Bustle served his first term as a missionary in the Virgin Islands. He sees the work that he and his wife, Ellen, accomplished as a team effort. They started churches and worked for the Lord in the island country of Antigua. In 1975, they started work in the Dominican Republic, then transferred to Peru in 1982, where he served as mission director. The next year, they moved to Quito, Ecuador, and started the first regional office for the Church of the Nazarene’s South American Region.

    Then in the 1994 General Board Session in Kansas City, Missouri, he was elected as global mission director and served in that position for 18 years. During these years, he traveled to 113 countries and was instrumental in the life-changing “JESUS” film project. Under his leadership, Nazarene global mission areas grew from 1.1 million members in 1994 to 2.1 million members in 2011.

    Dr. and Mrs. Bustle are the parents of two children, Beth and John, and have four grandchildren.

    During his message, Dr. Bustle also encouraged students, faculty, staff and guests to allow God to work through them. He emphasized that everyone can be a leader, no matter what their current or future occupation.

    A believer in the goals and dreams that God has for each person, he spoke of the unbelievable work people have accomplished in the Church of the Nazarene by allowing God to work through them.

    He ended his message with the same challenge he gave at the beginning of it: “If you knew you could not fail as a leader, what would you attempt to do for Christ?”
    Nov 05, 2013 4:5:32Nov 05, 2013 -

    Write what you know — that’s one guideline that each of these Olivet authors has followed. Combining their education, research, faith and life experience, they explore a variety of topics. We share some of their most recent and requested books with you here. All books are available through Hammes Bookstore in Ludwig Center on campus, as well as online.

    John C. Bowling, University president

    ReVision: Thirteen Strategies to Renew Your Work, Your Organization, and Your Life
    As president of Olivet for more than 20 years, Dr. Bowling gives his perspective on the challenges and opportunities that come with long-term leadership. This book addresses how to keep one’s leadership fresh and how to re-vision an organization, as needed, from time to time. It is also available as an ebook.

    Making the Climb: What a Novice Climber Learned About Life on Mount Kilimanjaro
    Making the Climb: Lessons for Faith Communities (DVD + book)
    This riveting first-person account documents one man’s attempt to climb to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Dr. Bowling describes the challenges and difficulties he encountered during those nine days.

    Above All Else: 20 Years of Baccalaureate Sermons
    Dr. Bowling shares the often-requested text from messages he prepared and delivered to Olivet’s graduating classes.

    Frank Moore, professor, School of Theology and Christian Ministry

    Jesus Is Lord: The Cry of a Kingdom Citizen
    In 2011, Dr. Frank Moore and his wife, Dr. Susan Moore, lost their three-year-old granddaughter, Marley, to cancer. He invited their son, Dr. Brent Moore and Marley’s father, to join him in sharing with others how the focus of their family priorities had changed. Designed for individual learning and as a resource for Christian congregations, this is Dr. Moore’s 13th book. Related resources include: downloadable audiobook, video presentations on DVD, posters, sermons resources, a youth study guide and a children’s study guide.

    Susan Moore, professor, School of Education

    Dr. Susan Moore is the author of the Facilitator’s Guide which is part of the small group study related to Jesus Is Lord: The Cry of a Kingdom Citizen.

    Max Reams, chair, Department of Chemistry and Geosciences

    Geology of Illinois State Parks: A guide to the physical side of 28 must-see wonders of Illinois
    This book by Dr. Max Reams is a fascinating introduction to the geological background of 28 Illinois park areas and other sites. Unlike other publications, it focuses on providing the necessary background to understand the origins of the natural features in parks and on interstate highways leading to them. Highlighting geologically significant details, it is an excellent resource to keep handy in a vehicle as an enhancement for travels across the Prairie State.
    Nov 04, 2013 12:22:25Nov 04, 2013 -

     “Engineering, at its core, seeks to leverage a deeper understanding of God’s physical creation for some useful purpose.” Penned by Dr. Kenneth Johnson, these words reflect the unwavering commitment of a man whose life was dedicated to serving Christ and bringing hope to those in need.

    Today, Olivet Nazarene University mourns the loss of Dr. Kenneth Johnson, chair of the Department of Engineering. Since joining the Olivet faculty in 2012, he quickly established himself as valuable leader, mentor, teacher and friend.

    “We are heartbroken this morning as we process the loss of a dear friend,” said Dr. John C. Bowling, University president. “Ken was deeply faith-driven and a tremendous professor who inspired greatness from his students and everyone around him. He was respected and loved by all who knew him.”

    Dr. Johnson, a 1993 graduate of Olivet, passed away following an apparent heart attack, while competing in a bicycle race in northern Michigan. He was husband to Jennifer (Alberts) ’93, and father of four children: Sydney, Erick, Luke and Bethany.

    Under Dr. Johnson’s leadership, Olivet’s engineering department experienced an unparalleled spike in student enrollment. The number of students majoring in engineering went from 105 in 2011 to 150 this fall — 71 of whom are first-time freshmen or transfers. He also successfully led the department through an intensive scheduled review for accreditation with the Engineering Commission for ABET, ensuring Olivet's engineering program meets or exceeds all the standards for full accreditation until the next comprehensive review in 2017-2018.

    Dr. Johnson taught his students that their gifts and talents could be leveraged for a greater purpose, often referring to them as “missioneers.” In a recent interview, he summarized a belief he regularly stated in his classes: “Christian engineers have tremendous potential to transform the world for Christ. Whether they go on to work for Boeing, Caterpillar, serve on the mission field or wherever, our students can be a powerful force for achieving Christ’s mandate to help those in need and spread the hope of the Gospel around the world.”

    To that end, Dr. Johnson led multiple engineering service projects, including taking a team of students to Swaziland in spring 2013, where they installed a water irrigation system they had designed to help improve crop production and provide food to a community ravaged by HIV/AIDS. He was also excited about a project he and his students were working on together, making use of a new lightweight metal alloy for missionary bicycles in world areas where transportation is difficult. As project manager, he led Olivet’s work in additive manufacturing and 3D printing projects with Nexus LCM, a leading developer of advanced 3D printing solutions.

    Dr. Johnson came to Olivet at the peak of his career in engineering. As the senior researcher and president of Solidica, Inc., he led a $20 million product development expansion, culminating in new product launches in both advanced intermetallic materials and next generation vehicle telematics. During his tenure, the company significantly expanded its customer base to a wide variety of Fortune 500 companies.

    Prior to his work with Solidica, he served as commercialization executive for Delphi Corporation, Troy, Mich. During his outstanding professional career, he was also executive director for Technology Research Corporation, Ann Arbor, Mich.; advanced technology program manager for the National Center for Manufacturing Sciences; and a principal investigator for several research and development programs sponsored through federal and state government agencies, including the National Science Foundation, Department of Energy and Department of Transportation.

    Dr. Johnson held two patents, was the recipient of numerous industry awards, regularly presented at international conferences and expositions, and published articles in multiple scholarly and industry journals.

    “By the world’s standards, I had achieved success in every sense of the word,” Dr. Johnson said in an interview, shortly after joining Olivet’s faculty, “but I knew in my heart there had to be more. I want to help unlock the potential of technology, engineering and innovation for a greater, Christian purpose.”

    To everyone who knew him, it was clear he did just that. The impact of Dr. Johnson’s life on his students, family, colleagues and friends will only be measured in eternity.
    Nov 01, 2013 4:16:24Nov 01, 2013 -

    Beginning this year, Olivet is establishing a new, annual tradition. Parents and families of current students are invited to join in the fun around campus from November 6 through 10, 2013, during Homecoming & Family Weekend. Special activities for families to enjoy together with their students are included in the packed schedule of events.

    Parent-Student Breakfast is the newest event and one of the highlights for Saturday, November 9. Dr. John C. Bowling, University president, is the featured speaker. His message of encouragement and inspiration is sure to be meaningful for all. This will also be an opportunity for students and parents to spend time with one another in a relaxed setting.

    Before the breakfast, families will enjoy participating together in the 29th Annual Wendy Parsons 5K Run. Registration begins at 7 a.m. in the lobby of McHie Arena, and the race starts at 8 a.m. Wendy Parsons ‘56, who retired in 2000 from a long sports and coaching career at Olivet, is the founder of the race.

    Saturday evening’s concert certainly has something for everyone. Gaither Vocal Band tenor David Phelps, one of gospel music’s most beloved and recognized singers, and comedian David Pendleton appear together in Bourbonnais for one night only. Open to the public, this concert will be in the Betty and Kenneth Hawkins Centennial Chapel, beginning at 7 p.m.

    Sports enthusiasts will enjoy the excitement of Tiger intercollegiate athletic competitions. On Friday, November 8, in McHie Arena, the Tigerball women’s basketball team faces off with No. 4 University of St. Francis (Ind.) at 5 p.m. Men’s basketball brings the Tigers against Cincinnati Christian University (Ohio) at 7:30 p.m. On Saturday, men’s football takes over Ward Field when the team meets Waldorf College (Iowa) at noon.

    For those who want to be part of the action, teams will compete in the Corn Hole Tournament on Saturday, 3:30 p.m., at the Perry Center. There will be prizes for the winning team and free T-shirts for all those participating.

    Olivet students take the stage in the fall theatre presentation, “Almost, Maine,” on Friday at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday at 2 p.m. This romantic comedy, described by The New York Times as a “whimsical approach to the joys and perils of romance,” will be presented in Kresge Auditorium at Larsen Fine Arts Center.

    Strickler Planetarium presents Undiscovered Worlds: The Search Beyond Our Sun,” a visual, auditory and science drama for viewers of all ages. Times for this 30-minute show are Friday at 3 p.m. and 5 to 6 p.m.; and Saturday from 3 to 5 p.m. Each showing also includes an interactive star talk about the night sky in the Kankakee area, a short tour of the universe with a view of our solar system, and a question-and-answer session.

    All are ticketed events. For tickets or for more information about these events, call 815-928-5791.
    Nov 01, 2013 2:55:31Nov 01, 2013 -

    Olivet recently hosted the 2013 Christian Business Faculty Association (CBFA) conference on campus. The three-day conference provided a time for encouragement and academic, professional and personal growth.

    Dr. Don Daake, professor in Olivet’s Department of Business, served as the conference director. Attending were 175 participants and 30 guests, representing more than 30 universities or organizations. During the conference, more than 70 academic papers and presentations were made. Special speakers for the event were: Dr. John C. Bowling, president of Olivet; Ray Hilbert, CEO and co-founder of Truth@Work; and Martin Ozinga III, owner of the largest privately-owned, family-owned concrete company in the U.S.

    Nearly 80 people attended the pre-conference workshop, which focused on “Management as a Liberal Art: Insights from Peter Drucker, Our Christian Faith and the Practice of Management.” Dr. Joseph Maciariello — the world’s foremost expert on the life and work of Peter Drucker — was a featured speaker. Other speakers included:
    • Gloria Nelund, former CEO of Duetsche Bank and considered one of Wall Street’s most successful and visible executives in international management industry
    • Dr. Al Erisman, executive in residence at Seattle Pacific University’s School of Business and Economics
    • Shundrawn Thomas, managing director and global head of the Exchange-Traded Funds Group for Northern Trust Global Investments
    • Steve Tourek, senior vice president and general counsel for The Marvin Companies

    Insights from Christians in business

    “As a woman in financial services, I was usually the only woman in the room,” Gloria Nelund said during her presentation. Yet, she knew that business was her calling and realized that “it’s not about money.” Her priorities shifted toward her understanding what she was to do in her life. That’s when she founded TriLinc Global, a private investment company serving stable, emerging markets.

    Steve Tourek spoke about his journey through business and seeing the purpose in his own work. He recalled the ultimate “elevator speech” in his life: when a young woman told him that Jesus loved him. That was when he began to figure out his place and purpose.

    “Business and law are part of God’s redemptive work in the world. Our purpose is to make the invisible kingdom of God visible,” he said.

    He spoke of the adversity his company went through during the recession. In order to provide jobs, they abandoned profitability, yet still paid bills in full and on time. He sees work as “a spiritual event,” noting that a spiritual and economic crisis can occur during layoffs.

    Affirmation of efforts

    Dr. Daake received one of the four major awards presented by the CBFA at the conference. He is the 2013 recipient of the Barnabas Award for outstanding service to the organization.

    “I want to acknowledge the entire Olivet community for its support to make this conference a success,” Dr. Daake said. “The cheerful, dedicated hard work of Tammy Galvan-Barnett made this conference a model and example for future CBFA conferences. We did and continue to receive many commendations from the members.”
    Oct 31, 2013 3:7:11Oct 31, 2013 -

    With new technology on the rise, more opportunities are opening for ambitious creators. Smartphones and tablets have the capabilities for education, business and entertainment applications. Brock Taylor ’08 and Austen Couchenour ’08 are on board with the rapidly changing technology of our time.

    These Olivet alumni — and former roommates at Chapman Hall — created “The Voice Studio” app, which is available in Apple’s App Store.

    When their app launched on May 23, 2013, Brock and Austen saw six months of hard work pay off. Within the first 12 days, there were more than 6,000 downloads. And since then, that number has exceeded 80,000. Their app is now being used in more than 85 countries.

    Inspiration ignites ideas

    Brock and Austen first met as freshmen at Olivet and quickly became friends. After leaving Olivet, they kept in touch and visited each other. When they realized the potential they had for working together, they laid the foundation to create their first app.

    After reading the book App Empire, they were inspired to create an app and began the brainstorming process.

    “We had to come up with a way to pool our resources and create an engaging, fun, entertaining, cost effective app that would help us get on the map early on,” Brock says.

    Their goal was to find something that was seeing success, but improve on it to make it better for the user. They took a business approach and spent hours analyzing what was available. When they found one they could improve on, they made it their own and had a lot of fun with it. “The Voice Studio” was the result.

    Their endeavor soon grew into a company, Third Floor Studios, in which they are partners seeking to make a profit on their creativity. In fact, their company name came from the fact that they both lived on the third floor of Chapman their freshman year.

    Unexpected success

    “The Voice Studio” is a fun way to hear yourself or to hear what you would sound like with a special effect. A few effects are to slow down or speed up your voice, reverse the audio, or even sound like a cyborg or chipmunk. After making the recording, you can send it through email or text, or post it on Facebook or Twitter.

    “Watching something that you’ve created from an idea develop into something that’s being used worldwide is the most enjoyable part,” Brock says. “I didn’t even think about it when we went into this.”

    He attributes a lot of the success to a class he took at Olivet with Dr. Don Daake, professor in the Department of Business. In that entrepreneurship class, each student had to create his or her own business plan and do a case study on a current successful business.

    “Developing that business plan was really helpful in teaching me how to think through this process, how to look at developing an app as a business,” he says. “It motivated me to take on this project and take the risk.”

    Entrepreneurs and partners

    Though they live in different states, the partners are still committed to working together. Brock also works with his father, Dan Taylor '79 — vice president of Olivet’s Alumni Board — in the family business in northern Virginia, just outside of Washington D.C. Austen lives in the Detroit area and also works for Arhaus Furniture.

    “It’s the beauty of being an entrepreneur and one reason why we are attracted to this business. We have the ability to run it from anywhere,” Brock says.

    Brock and Austen also see this project as a way to create a lifestyle with more freedom and flexibility.

    “We have more flexibility with where we live, time we spend with our wives, how we use our time and how we serve others,” Brock says.
    Oct 30, 2013 4:24:6Oct 30, 2013 -

    Dr. Don Daake, business professor at Olivet, is the 2013 recipient of the Barnabas Award for outstanding service from the Christian Business Faculty Association (CBFA). This award recognizes not only his work for CBFA, but also his demonstration of the qualities necessary for keeping Christian organizations strong and vibrant: encouragement, servant leadership, harmonizing, innovation and competency, and dedication.

    “Barnabas was a follower of Christ, as well as a business person, and used his God-given gifts to build God’s kingdom. Dr. Daake exemplifies that model,” said Glen Rewerts, chair of Olivet’s Department of Business. “Over the years, Dr. Daake has worked tirelessly for the advancement of the CBFA. He has also been a great advocate for scholarship in the area of business and the integration of our faith into business concepts.”

    A faculty member at Olivet since 1995, Dr. Daake is also the director of the University's Donald H. Weber Entrepreneurship and Leadership Center. He has been actively involved with the International Business Institute. Locally, he has served as vice chairman of the Kankakee Chapter of SCORE, and on the board of directors for the Kankakee River Valley Chamber of Commerce. He makes regular presentations to community groups including Rotary Club, Kiwanis and Chamber of Commerce organizations. As a consultant, he has worked with a variety of clients in the areas of marketing research and strategic planning.

    For the recent CBFA national conference, held on Olivet’s campus for the first time ever, Dr. Daake served as the conference director. Olivet welcomed 175 participants and 30 guests, representing more than 30 universities or organizations, for the event. More than 70 academic papers and presentations were made. Nearly 80 people attended the pre-conference workshop, “Management as a Liberal Art: Insights from Peter Drucker, Our Christian Faith and the Practice of Management.”
    Oct 29, 2013 1:19:6Oct 29, 2013 -

    Olivet is among the nation’s top colleges for student-professor ratio, according to The College Database. With a current ratio of 17 to 1, Olivet is ranked within the top 25 in Illinois, out of the state’s 179 accredited colleges and universities considered.

    “For Olivet students, the learning experience is highly-individualized,” said Dr. Dennis Crocker, vice president for academic affairs. “Our professors get to know their students by name and circumstance, mentoring and coaching them along the way. Even as we’ve achieved record enrollments, we’ve strived to maintain small class sizes because that direct student-professor interaction is so core to the Olivet experience.”

    Each of the top colleges is a four-year, non-profit college with an average ratio less than 20 students per instructor.

    "In the smaller classrooms, it is possible to stop, ask questions and create classroom discussion to facilitate true learning,” said Mary DeMent of Quincy, Ill., a junior majoring in biology. “Additionally, Olivet’s student-professor ratio allows the professors to individually help students and develop friendships with them. All my professors keep an open-door policy, and I am absolutely comfortable dropping by their office to simply say hello."

    For the fall 2013 semester, Olivet has an enrollment of 4,600 students, of which 2,793 are traditional undergraduates. strives to provide helpful information about colleges, universities, community colleges and vocational schools at the local city and state level. Accuracy of data is of paramount importance with hundreds of person hours devoted to ensuring that the highest quality data at the city and state level was used in the education and career sectors. Federal and state government data sources used include the Bureau of Labor Statistics, US Census and the American Fact Finder. The highly talented and experienced staff at the Masters and Doctorate level are critical in the creation of
    Oct 25, 2013 4:10:6Oct 25, 2013 -

    What happens when 131 people set a common goal and then race toward it? If we’re talking about Team Olivet, they enjoy the journey and reach the goal!

    What was Team Olivet’s goal? To provide clean water for Africa’s people. This year, runners raised $75,000. As a result, 1,500 people in Africa will have clean water for life.

    As the first organized university team to run with Team World Vision (TWV), Team Olivet had 131 team members run and complete either or both recent Chicago races: the 2013 Chicago Half Marathon on September 8 and the Bank of America Chicago Marathon on October 13. TWV continues to be the charity with the largest representation in these races. Olivet alumnus Mike Chitwood ’93 is the founder and national director of TWV, and Rusty Funk ’07 is TWV’s Chicago area director.

    New challenge for Tiger athlete

    Robert Wagner (sophomore, mathematics major, Bethel, Ohio) was one of the Team Olivet runners in the Chicago Marathon. Although he’s an athlete on the Tiger men’s golf team, he never considered himself a runner.

    “I didn’t run at all in high school,” Robert says. “This was my first race, first marathon and first time running with Team World Vision.”

    Robert’s training began in summer 2013. While working at Chick-Fil-A and as an indoor/outdoor painter, he followed TWV’s training program.

    “Training for the marathon is completely different than training for golf. With running, the training is following the program and performing at the race. With golf, there is much more technique involved, and it is more mentally challenging.”

    Once the academic year began and he was back on campus, Robert had to work harder to keep up the training pace. “The number of miles to run each day continues to increase until mid-September. Then it declines so that you can rest your body before the marathon.”

    Just two weeks before the race, the unexpected happened. Robert injured his hip flexor muscle. Although this didn’t dramatically affect his training, it did make a difference on race day.

    Focus on the goal

    When race weekend arrived, Robert was ready. He and his friends, Micah Plank (sophomore, actuarial science major, Sullivan, Ill.) and Zach Schinzing (sophomore, nursing major, Commerce Township, Mich.), had already planned to share the experience by running together.

    When the race started at 8 a.m., Robert was in the second starting group and started a little slower because of his previous injury. Soon, he began passing other runners. “I’d been training for so long, and then I was actually there. It didn’t feel real to me.”

    The crowd of spectators — estimated at 1.7 million along the 26.2-mile route — included several of his Olivet friends there to cheer him on. At mile 8, Robert was running at a steady pace to conserve his energy. At mile 13, he thought, This isn’t so bad. So he began to run a little faster, passing people and weaving in and out.

    Mile 25 was the most significant point for him. “I was feeling tired. The cheering was getting louder. I heard the announcer’s voice. I thought about the lives I was impacting by raising this money. Then, I got a huge adrenaline rush and ran even faster.”

    Robert ran the entire race in three hours and 24 minutes — without walking at all. One of the 39,115 runners who crossed the finish line in Grant Park that day, he met another test of his endurance. “As long as I was moving, I didn’t feel the pain. Once I stopped running, all the pain set in.”

    Looking to the future

    “This was like nothing I’ve ever experienced before,” Robert says. “I’d do the race again. I like the challenge of being able to do something extreme. And I like helping people in Africa. I call myself a runner now, and I’m looking for another marathon opportunity.”

    “For 2014, we want to double our results,” says Wesley Sproul (junior, business management major, Kankakee, Ill.), one of the team captains for Team Olivet. “That means $150,000 to provide clean water for 3,000 of Africa’s people for life.”

    Oct 25, 2013 10:29:45Oct 25, 2013 -

    Achieving a goal is a rewarding experience, and Dr. Max Reams, chair of Olivet's Department of Chemistry and Geosciences, recently accomplished one of his goals. “Geology of Illinois State Parks: A guide to the physical side of 28 must-see wonders of Illinois” is the new book by Dr. Reams.

    “This book began as an idea about six years ago,” he said. “Then, through help from an ONU faculty grant, I began working on it in earnest three years ago.”

    The result is a fascinating introduction to the geological background of 28 Illinois park areas and other sites. Unlike other publications, this book focuses on providing the necessary background to understand the origins of the natural features in parks and on interstate highways leading to them.

    This is an excellent resource — highlighting geologically significant details — to keep handy in a vehicle as an enhancement for travels across the Prairie State.

    “Most books are meant to be read beginning to end. This is not one of those books,” said Christopher Stohr, Ph.D., R.G., C.E.G. of the Illinois State Geological Survey, Prairie Research Institute, at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. “Dr. Reams's narrative is a geologist explaining the landforms and features in detail, but with sparing jargon and use of special terms. He has a talent for distilling the complex and excites the reader about rocks and rivers — science!"

    Dr. Reams has taught geology in Illinois for more than four decades and is currently a geology professor at Olivet. His passion is to help others understand the natural world and our responsibility to be proper stewards of the only planet most of us will likely ever occupy. His specializations include the study of caves and sedimentary rocks, as well as geological education. He has numerous professional presentations and publications.

    His bachelor’s degrees in zoology and geology, and master’s degree in geology, are all from the University of Kansas at Lawrence. His Ph.D. in geology is from Washington University, St. Louis, Mo.

    He and his wife, Carol, believe that the best geologists are those who have seen the most rocks. They have traveled widely in the United States and abroad to do just that. They also volunteer at retirement centers and do premarital counseling together.
    Oct 23, 2013 3:36:39Oct 23, 2013 -

    Olivet will host Paige Comstock Cunningham, J.D., executive director for The Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity (CBHD), as guest speaker on Thursday, November 21, 2013. Her presentation, which is open to the public, will begin at 7 p.m. in the auditorium of Wisner Hall of Nursing on Olivet’s campus.

    Cunningham’s presentation is “Outsourcing Our Bodies: Dignity, Desire and Human Flourishing.” Advances in medicine, science and technology tempt people to view human bodies as resources that can be bought or sold, or as machines that can be endlessly repaired and upgraded. Christians endure these same temptations and may move away from their rich theological views of human persons. Cunningham will address an alternative vision, rooted in human dignity and human flourishing.

    This event is sponsored by Olivet’s Phi Alpha Theta (history honor society), Pi Sigma Alpha (political science honor society), Law & Politics Society, Capitol Hill Gang, University Honors Program, and The Center for Law and Culture.

    Cunningham — a graduate of Taylor University, Northwestern University Law School and Trinity International University — lectures regularly and is widely published in the areas of law, bioethics and public policy . She provides Christian moral perspectives on vital bioethical issues, such as reproductive technologies, genetic intervention and neuroethics. She has testified before congressional committees at the state and national levels and is a regular commentator for the “Everyday Bioethics” program on Moody Radio.

    She has also been a contributor for the nationally syndicated “BreakPoint” radio program, as well as for Her Dignity Network, AC Nation Radio, Family Research Council, and “Her.Meneutics” magazine, among others.

    Cunningham is regularly quoted and included as an expert in a variety of publications, including “The Right to Patent a Human Being: Fact, Fiction, or Future Possibility?”; “Parenthood Denied”; The Reproduction Revolution: A Christian Appraisal of Sexuality, Reproductive Technologies, and the Family; and Why the Church Needs Bioethics: A Guide to Wise Engagement with Life’s Challenges.

    There is no admission charge for this event. For more information, call 815-928-5552 or email Tammy Galvan-Barnett at
    Oct 23, 2013 2:0:27Oct 23, 2013 -

    It’s the cry of her heart: to go wherever God takes her next. When freshman Kara Anne Evans (Valparaiso, Ind.) came to Olivet, she was making one of the hardest decisions of her life.

    The daughter of Pastor Shawn and Ashley Evans of the Valparaiso Nazarene Church, she grew up as a pastor’s kid. And with certain expectations that her parents had for her.

    Going to Olivet was one expectation she wasn’t sure she wanted to fulfill. She just wasn’t convinced that this was the right place for her. But through a series of events, she found out that Olivet was where she belonged, and it all had to do with music.

    Ministry teams at Olivet have always flourished in churches and at youth camps. They travel around the Olivet region, leading worship and singing for churches. Kara Anne knew about these ministry teams and knew that she wanted to use her talents in this ministry.

    But this still wasn’t enough to convince her to come to Olivet. So she visited another university — and soon found out what wasn’t for her.

    At home with the unexpected

    After seeing other universities and considering the opportunities at Olivet, she knew that she needed to be at Olivet. She is now a part of the All Things New ministry team.

    “I had no idea what I was getting myself into,” Kara Anne says as she talks about her first days with the team.

    She uses her talent of singing to lead worship at youth camps and churches. Traveling life consists of long bus rides and little sleep, but she loves the experience.

    Now that she is on campus as a freshman student, she realizes that being a member of a band is more than just music and practice. Now she considers the members of All Things New as her best friends and a ministry family. Every Thursday night, they get together for “band dinner.”

    “We hang out and talk about our weeks and what God is doing in our lives. We pray, laugh and sometimes cry together,” Kara Anne says.

    “Kara Anne is a talented individual. She has had great opportunities to showcase her talent that not many folks her age have. Her warm spirit and friendly personality are contagious, and her love for the Lord is evident,” Jonathan Burkey, the ministry team coordinator, says.

    Made new in song and in faith

    Being part of this group has also led her to incredible new opportunities, including leading worship for the student body in the first chapel of the new school year.

    “It’s been awesome having Kara Anne in our band this year,” says Joel Deckard, bass player in All Things New. “I was thinking about that during the first chapel. I could tell she was nervous, but she did an awesome job. We know from Twitter that everybody wants her to come back and sing again.”

    In Kara Anne’s Olivet adventure, each day is filled with the new. In fact, she has been made new.

    “I’ve always had a relationship with God, and I’ve always known what He wanted me to do in certain situations,” she says. “But that’s not always what I did. I’ve started surrendering everything that I have and everything that I am to Him. I think that’s the newer aspect of me in college. I’ve come to this total surrender point.” 
    Oct 18, 2013 10:50:34Oct 18, 2013 -

    Olivet students take the stage this November in the fall theatre presentation, “Almost, Maine.” This romantic comedy, described by The New York Times as a “whimsical approach to the joys and perils of romance,” will be presented in Kresge Auditorium at Larsen Fine Arts Center on Olivet’s campus.

    Show times are: Friday, Nov. 8, 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, Nov. 9, 2 p.m.; Friday, Nov. 15, 7 p.m.; Saturday, Nov. 16, 7 p.m.

    Written by John Cariani, the play is comprised of nine short vignettes and stars:  

    • Jamison Burchfield (senior, St. Joseph, Mich.) as Pete
    • Mary Hall (junior, St. Louis, Mo.) as Ginette
    • Kolby Meador (junior, Oreana, Ill.) as East
    • Jordan Hirl (sophomore, Clinton, Iowa) as Glory
    • Colin Keppner (freshman, Manhattan, Ill.) as Jimmy
    • Emmaline Brown (sophomore, Osseo, Mich.) as Sandrine
    • Lindsey Shoemaker (junior, Frankfort, Ill.) as Waitress
    • Jessa Hendricker (freshman, Clinton, Ill.) as Marvalyn
    • Samuel Cullado (junior, Stow, Ohio) as Steve
    • Ron Gamache (senior, Flint, Mich.) as Lendall
    • Michaela Maris (sophomore, Altanta, Ill.) as Gayle
    • Hannah Williams (senior, Beavercreek, Ohio) as Ally
    • Nick Allen (junior, Bourbonnais, Ill.) as Chad
    • Tatiana Diaz (junior, Plainfield, Ill.) as Marci
    • Justin Kollar (freshman, Muskegon, Mich.) as Phil
    • Ashley Sarver (junior, Springfield, Ohio) as Hope
    • Alexander Osborne (freshman, Westwego, La.) as Man
    • Jennifer Taylor (freshman, Vincennes, Ind.) as Rhonda
    • Cody Keppner (freshman, Manhattan, Ill.) as Dave

    Almost is a remote, mythical town in northern Maine. Although it cannot be found on a map, “if you look up, you might catch a glimpse of it … almost,” said Jerry Cohagan, director and theatre arts professor. Set on a cold, clear, slightly surreal Friday night in the middle of winter, the play explores the loves and losses of its residents.

    Tickets are $12 for adults, and $6 for students and senior adults over 65. For more information or to reserve tickets for the Nov. 8 and 9 shows, call 815-928-5791. For more information or to reserve tickets for the Nov. 15 and 16 shows, call 815-928-5543.

    Oct 17, 2013 3:6:3Oct 17, 2013 -

    Olivet's Missions In Action (M.I.A.) program has been fully reviewed and accredited by The U.S. Standards of Excellence in Short-Term Mission (SOE), a division of the Alliance for Excellence in Short-Term Mission (AESTM). In all areas evaluated, Olivet’s program met or exceeded the highest best practice standards for quality and excellence established for short-term mission (STM), and demonstrated the highest Christian and moral purpose.

    The seven standards of excellence on which Olivet’s program was evaluated are:
    1. God-centeredness — Seeking first God’s glory and His kingdom
    2. Empowering partnerships — Establishing healthy, interdependent, ongoing relationships between sending and receiving partners
    3. Mutual design — Collaboratively planning each specific outreach
    4. Comprehensive administration — Exhibiting integrity through reliable set-up and thorough administration for all participants
    5. Qualified leadership — Screening, training and developing leadership for all participants
    6. Appropriate training — Preparing and equipping all participants for a mutually designed outreach
    7. Thorough follow-up — Assuring debriefing and appropriate follow-up for all participants

    Over a two-year period, the review and evaluation process included the completion of a rigorous peer review assessment. The culmination was an intensive, two-day interview with Jennifer McClellan '91, Olivet’s director of missions and student ministries, who answered additional questions about the program. At the conclusion of the review, she was asked to serve as a member of the SOE steering committee that plans and speaks at mission conferences and reviews other programs for SOE accreditation .

    "The accreditation process was a time-consuming challenge but very worth it in the end,” Jennifer says. “We can now say with confidence to our students, families and partners that we are doing everything in our power to make each of our mission trips the best experience possible."

    Olivet is only the fifth college or university to apply and be accepted as a full member of SOE. As a member, the University regularly provides documentation and submits to program evaluation by STM experts.

    Bill Bahr '96/'02 MBA, now head coach of Olivet’s Tiger women’s soccer, began the M.I.A. program in 1996 with the first University-sponsored mission trip to San Francisco, Calif. The first overseas mission trip was to Israel in 1998.

    In the past eight years, a total of 91 M.I.A. trips have given more than 1,300 students the opportunity to serve others. During the 2012-2013 academic year, M.I.A. sponsored 14 mission trips to U.S. areas and overseas locations, including the very first trip to Cuba. More than 200 students and faculty/staff leaders from Olivet served on these trips.

    When doors opened in Cuba, Olivet sent the first college mission team. Olivet also sent the first ever college team on a Team World Vision mission trip to Rwanda, which included running a half marathon there. Olivet is the only university in the country with an organized team running with Team World Vision to provide clean water for Africa’s people. Locally, more than 100 Olivet students visit Illinois prisons each week to witness for Christ.

    Funding for these trips comes from a variety of sources, including churches, friends and families of those who volunteer to serve, volunteers’ savings and fundraising events, and supporters of Olivet’s ministries.

    “Olivet is a sending place, and M.I.A. helps give definition to what it means to go as a person of God’s kingdom,” says Mark Holcomb '81/85 MRE, University chaplain. “I believe in M.I.A., not only for what it does in places we serve, or for the sacrifices of those who go and serve, but in the way it shapes our Olivet community and our world.”