Freshman flutist Elizabeth Kijowski in Christmas production at Olivet

When freshman flutist Elizabeth Kijowski plays in the 2017 “Sounds of the Season” band at Olivet Nazarene University, she will be looking for her parents in the audience.

Elizabeth Kijowski arrived on Olivet’s campus as a freshman for the fall 2017 semester. She left her parents — Dr. Michael Kijowski Sr., who is an optometrist, and her mother, Theresa, who is a nurse practitioner — behind in Romania.

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“Before I came to Olivet, I watched my parents go through the steps of becoming missionaries,” she says. “They are setting an example for me: to go wherever God calls you.”

In early 2017, the Kijowskis began serving in Romania at a training center for pastors, founded by Harvest Bible Chapel of Rolling Meadows, Illinois. Elizabeth joined them for the summer before entering Olivet.

During her transition to college life, Elizabeth and her family are able to stay in touch using Skype and WhatsApp. Her two older brothers and her older sister live in the Chicago area.

An art major with a minor in music, Elizabeth is finding the community she needs during this time of change in her family’s life. Before classes even began in August, she was part of Band Camp with the Marching Band. “Rehearsing was hard work,” she says. “But I connected with other flutists, and I had new friends before classes even started.”

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Her Freshman Connections group and her dorm floor continue to be places of community for her, too. “I love my resident assistant, Ruth Nicholson, and the small group we have on our floor,” she says.

She is also transitioning from the freer schedule of homeschooling to the more rigorous discipline of completing assignments with definite deadlines. “With the help of my professors, I’m learning to be an adult,” she says. “I’m especially enjoying Professor Gary Thomas and his class in the fundamentals of drawing.”

Recently, Elizabeth has devoted more than 10 hours to rehearsals for the School of Music’s presentation of “Sounds of the Season” — in addition to her academic studies and her private flute lessons with Professor Katherine Nielsen. Hours of practice are nothing new to her. She previously played flute in a chamber music group, orchestra and concert band with Merit School of Music in Chicago.

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Elizabeth’s parents are now back in the U.S. for the holidays, and they will see her perform on stage at Olivet’s Betty and Kenneth Hawkins Centennial Chapel. They may also see some growth and change in their youngest daughter.

To learn more about life at Olivet, contact the Office of Admissions at admissions@olivet.edu or 800-648-1463.