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My Manchester Story

  • Scotty Secrist
    by Lauren Hughes | Aug 07, 2019

    Scotty Secrist, director of first year experience and transitions, shares three keys to student success during their first year at Manchester University. HINT: If you attended New Student Orientation, you should be able to guess number three. 

    “What advice would you give to high school students on their way to college?”

    “First, this is a transition. And transitions, no matter what, have emotion tied to them. Sometimes that emotion is really happy or excited. But sometimes it’s scared or not sure if you can do it − and that’s OK! If you raise your hand and ask for help, the people here will jump through hoops to help you through that transition.

    The second thing is that there are steps to every transition. Some of them are really boring, like filling out your FAFSA or your physical form − so have a list and try to stay organized. Work with your admissions counselor to stay on top of everything. That will make that transition easier and set you up for success.

    The third thing – and what I always tell students on Orientation Days − your first year, especially those first few weeks, are going to be one of the only times in life when you can look around and everyone you see needs a friend, just like you. Some people are shy and some people are outgoing. My advice to the shy folks is to step outside of yourself, be brave, sit with somebody new at lunch and just introduce yourself. Your name, your hometown, your major − that’s enough to get a conversation started. To the outgoing folks, remember that there are shy folks. Introduce yourself to someone who is not as outgoing, because those are the ways to create relationships.”

    “That transition can be very daunting. Do you have any success stories you would like to share?”

    “Yes! I had one student who was struggling financially. Being far away from home, this student was having to work a lot of hours to send money back home. We worked with that student to figure out how many hours they could work and still be involved in other social activities. We looked at how they could manage their time and stay connected to family, but also be successful here. That student is returning to campus in the fall, is involved, and their grades are fantastic. So working through transitions like that is what makes me get up every single day! And that’s what I love about working at an institution of this size, because I can figure out what the individual struggle is and work to resolve it on an individual basis.”

    “Can you tell me a little bit more about Welcome Week, First Year Experience courses and the yearlong mentoring program?”

    “In everything I do, I try to make sure it’s giving first-year students these specific things: Students need to feel connected to Manchester and the community. They need to be able to do the academic part – that includes getting students connected to academic support resources. And students need to know how to navigate college. So, everything we do fits into one, or all, of those areas.

    Welcome Week is the week right before classes start. And the second that new students step onto campus, we want them to feel welcomed − and that includes having Student Orientation Leaders (SOLs) and other MU volunteers help move students into their dorms. Last year, it was pouring rain and it was a huge struggle, but everyone stepped up, and people felt that Manchester was a welcoming place and couldn’t believe that they could just sit in their cars while everyone else moved boxes. But that’s just

    what we do here at Manchester. After move in and all throughout that week, we have fun activities aimed at helping these new Spartans succeed, both inside and outside the classroom.

    Throughout fall semester, we have First Year Experience classes. And woven through that, 60 SOLs are available throughout that semester – as well as the whole year – giving advice, making sure students are prepared, and also saying, ’Midterms are coming up, and you might not feel as prepared as you think you should be, but here’s how you can manage your time, study wisely and get prepared.’ And the second a student says, ‘I’m struggling with something’ they will offer guidance or come to me to create an individualized action plan to get back on track. All you have to do is raise your hand and you will have ten people from Manchester asking how they can help.”

  • Julie Cogley-Pifko
    by Lauren Hughes | Jul 11, 2019

    Julie Cogley-Pifko, assistant director of admissions and enrollment management for pharmacy programs, shares her advice for students considering Manchester’s programs.

    “What is your role at Manchester?”

    “I serve as the assistant director of admissions and enrollment management for pharmacy programs. This means that I attend recruitment events and help prospective students through the admissions process for the Fort Wayne campus programs− Doctor of Pharmacy, Master of Science in Pharmacogenomics, and Dual Degree, which combines both. I also have the opportunity to work with current undergraduate students through the Pre-Pharmacy Club at the North Manchester campus and current graduate and professional students through the Student Ambassadors Club.”

    “What advice would you give to students considering pharmacy school?”

    “Shadow, shadow, shadow! There are so many more areas within the pharmacy profession than most people realize. There are hospitals, long-term care facilities, doctor offices, independent pharmacies, industry, community pharmacies and more! I encourage students to take advantage of as many shadowing experiences as possible. My other piece of advice is for students to volunteer! Service is a big component of the University’s mission and also the mission of the Pharmacy Program.”

    “What is your favorite part of your job?”

    “I can’t pick only one favorite part of my job. During graduate school, I wasn’t sure what area within higher education I wanted to work in. At Manchester University, I am able to do all of the things I love the most −traveling, event planning and working with current students. It’s all my favorite part of my job!” 

    “What is your favorite Manchester moment?”

    “My favorite Manchester moment would be anytime I have the opportunity to event plan. In November, we had a multi-institution health professions night at the Fort Wayne campus. In April, we collaborated with area high schools to have a Spring Health Careers Fair hosted at Career Academy, with about 300 in attendance. The goal of both events was for students to learn about the various careers within health care, and it’s great being able to watch young people become excited about the future of healthcare.”

    “What is a fun, interesting fact about yourself?”

    “I’m a big Pittsburgh Penguin fan and I actually camped outside their arena all night to get hockey tickets! My brother and some of our friends drove down at midnight and set up camp chairs to get student rush tickets for the game the following day. We totally didn’t need to go down that early but it sure makes for a fun story, and we had a great time!”

  • Dillon Bender
    by Lauren Hughes | Jun 19, 2019

    Dillon Bender, sports information director at Manchester University, discusses the NCAA Division III Men’s Basketball Final Four and his passion for DIII sports.

    “What drew you to Manchester University?”

    “When I got [into] this profession two years ago, I knew that I wanted to be a sports information director, preferably at the Division III level, and I feel like I’ve really found my niche here. I’ve seen athletics at all levels; I played college basketball at both a DII and DIII level and, in fact, my dad is the assistant basketball coach at Clemson University. Having seen it all, I really like the student-athletes at this level and the coaches because, although it’s not a slower pace, it’s more intimate at times. That win-at-all-cost mentality that you run across at some schools isn’t always the best because it devalues the college education. Our student-athletes are here because they’re incredibly terrific athletes but they are also focused on their education.”

    “What has been one of your favorite Manchester moments?”

    “Working and being a part of the hosting efforts for the NCAA Division III Men’s Basketball Final Four. Being from a basketball background, I was able to speak the language, I knew what coaches’ demands would be and, of course, I learned from being at former tournaments with my dad. The Division III Basketball committee was great to work with, Tami Hoagland and Ryan Hedstrom – I mean everyone worked so incredibly hard, and we had a lot of fun! The best thing was when it was over and people were telling us we did a great job. That was a real gratifying moment – even last week when I went to a convention, I had people coming up to me and saying they heard nothing but phenomenal things about the Final Four. It was a good vindication of all of our hard work and a really cool Manchester moment to be a part of.”

    “Speaking of the Division III Final Four, was there a lot of student work that went into the tournament?”

    “Yes! Student involvement was phenomenal! One thing about running these events is not every job is a glorious one, but they are all important. It could be as simple as running stat sheets to press row during media timeouts, film exchange between coaches, filming the game in the stands or post-game conference coverage, passing out merchandise or greeting people at the door – we even had game entertainment where students would throw out those squishy basketballs and shoot the T-shirt cannon! We had students involved in every facet of the tournament, and their enthusiasm was great.”

    “Are you working on any projects over the summer?”

    “Manchester is a proud Indiana Division III institution and we have a lot of great history. One project that I’m really enthusiastic about this summer, even though it can be frustrating, is complying archives from each of our sports. Before you came in here, I was working on game-by-game men’s basketball results. I dug through the archives and right now, I have every Manchester men’s basketball game I could find, dating back to 1921, and I’m compiling it into a PDF that will eventually go up on the website. I’ve also done that with football, baseball and softball, and we’ll do it for volleyball. I want to show our historical profile! It’s a big task but alumni really like it and it’s a way to keep them engaged.”

  • Maddy Minehart
    by Lauren Hughes | Jun 06, 2019

    Maddy Minehart, senior history and religious studies major from Auburn, Ind., discusses how her experience at Manchester was more than she ever imagined. 

    Why did you choose Manchester?”

    “I chose Manchester because a lot of the faculty and staff at my high school were Manchester alumni and said great things about the school. They always spoke about their great experiences here, especially with their professors. Relationships are so important to me, and I wanted to go to a university where I’d have the opportunity to build close relationships with people from all walks of life. I also wanted to play college basketball, and I really respected Coach Dzurick and his program. Manchester allowed me to play basketball in a small college, located in a rural area, which was ideal for me.”

    What made you choose to be a history and religious studies major?”

    “When I visited Manchester as a high school senior, I was interested in marketing. I was going to be a College of Business student, which is so different from what I am now! Then I decided to become a history major. I love learning and writing, and our history curriculum gives us a lot of great opportunities to develop writing and research skills. My First Year Seminar was taught by a religion professor, Kate Eisenbise Crell, and our class was about cults. I was fascinated by the subject matter. I was also drawn to Kate, because she was so effervescent and excited about the material and her students. I grew up going to church, but [outside of that setting] I wasn’t surrounded by very religious people, and I have always been interested in studying how influential religion is. When I realized that the religion faculty were so awesome, it made sense to add another major that complemented history so well, since those two subjects are often tied together.” 

    What was your experience like as a four-year student-athlete?” 

    “It was really fun. Our school does a good job of supporting athletes, regardless of our size, and our coach constantly reminds us that our mental health and our academics are the most important things. Our team has been nationally ranked in Division III for GPA, and that was an accomplishment that many people were proud of us for! Being a four-year student-athlete is really difficult, but I’m glad that I did it, because I met so many cool people and traveled to many places such as Dallas, Los Angeles, Atlanta and many more. I remember on my Senior Day seeing how many of my professors and friends came to support me, and that was the most [memorable] feeling during my four years. My career did not turn out the way I had envisioned − it was hard when I tore my ACL− but I had garnered so many supporters in my time.”

    What would you say to a student considering Manchester?” 

    “Make sure you’re coming here for the right reasons. Many people think they’re just coming here to play a sport or get a degree, but it’s hard to only go here and participate in just one side of something. [Manchester] is a holistic experience. You should try to join different extracurricular activities to get the most out of your time here. You have to become familiar with faculty, staff and your peers. Don’t be scared of people and don’t think that they’re faking how they’re acting. When I first got here, I thought, “Oh my gosh, these people can’t really be this nice or genuine!” but they literally are. I was kind of taken aback at that because I didn’t think that people here could be so different from people I knew back home. People here are so invested in your success and care about you so much, and it is truly a magical place.”

  • Tom Smith
    by Lauren Hughes | Jun 06, 2019

    Tom Smith, associate professor of pharmacy practice and pharmacogenomics, teaches real world concepts both in and outside the classroom. 

    What is one thing you hope students get out of your class?”

     “I try to focus on the idea that things aren’t always black and white, and that can be difficult when you’re introducing complex ideas. However, it’s important because I don’t want students to be surprised when they go into a [clinical] rotation. I want them to get real life experience, and say, ‘Oh, I guess things weren’t as easy as they seemed.’ I also want them to be able to walk out of my class and understand that there’s always something more to learn, evaluate, and to consider, because you really have to treat each person uniquely.” 

    Do you have an example of a time when a student realized this in practice?” 

    “It happens a lot during their fourth-year rotation. They take my course in their second year of pharmacy school, and I try to bring in stories of what I see with patients and try to present what a true patient looks like − and I think they get it, but it’s difficult to portray through lecture. It doesn’t truly hit them until they go out on rotation, see a patient, and then they come back and say, ‘Oh, you were right! You weren’t just making it up!’ That is why we have that last year of rotations where they can learn and see that firsthand.” 

    What is the most interesting part of pharmacogenomics (PGx) to you?” 

    “I think the most interesting part is that it’s not necessarily new, but it kind of is. You can go back years and years and find that we’ve known about genetics and how it relates to a drug response for a really long time. Most of what we want to do, in terms of applying it to people and getting it to where most people can access it, is still developing. It’s interesting to me that the majority of the articles we study came out this year or the previous year. There are not many textbooks that have everything we want all in one spot because there’s so much new information. What I find hopeful is that a lot of our graduates will be able to go be pioneers in this field.”

    I saw that you worked with psychiatric illness and substance abuse. How do you apply PGx to that area of interest?” 

    “One of the reasons I’m involved in the PGx program is my interest in psychiatry. It is probably one of the biggest fields in pharmacogenomics. We have many drugs that treat different psychiatric illnesses, but we don’t know when it’s best to use certain drugs. So, unfortunately, a lot of it is trial and error. We do our best to try to figure out which drug may be best for you, but it’s still a guessing game. Psychiatry is an area where we’re interested in starting to use this element of medicine. If we can drill down if there is something within your genetic makeup that tells us drug X is going to work over drug Y, it’ll be a breakthrough in the medical field.

    That applies to many different psychiatric illnesses – one of them could be addiction. There is a genetic link between developing certain addictions and one’s genes. If we can take that next step and observe the genetic link for treating these specific addictions, then that would be a huge game changer for millions of people who are struggling. We need to do something to treat these individuals better, and pharmacogenomics could play a role in that.”

     “How did you get interested in this field of work?” 

    “I’ve always been interested in psychiatry and neurology. After I completed my pharmacy curriculum, I completed a residency in those two areas, and pharmacogenomics wasn’t a large piece of it but it was always there. When I first saw individuals get the pharmacogenomics testing done, that’s when I realized something, it’s more than just theories and things done in a lab – this is something that can directly affect an individual. So I’ve always had it in the back of my mind, and we do a little bit of it at my practice site. Having a master’s program in pharmacogenomics was something that hasn’t been done anywhere and it was a great opportunity for me to get involved and do something unique.”

     “What advice would you give to people considering PGx?” 

    “If you’re someone who wants a challenge, is comfortable with not having a direct path, adaptable, enjoy taking on responsibilities, and want to be part of a change, I think the PGx program would be perfect for you. We have many individuals who have gone on to places where they didn’t have anyone with a similar program history since this program is so new. It’s kind of intimidating at first, and there is an element of the unknown with it. I think people, especially at Manchester, like that. It was the same thing with our first couple of pharmacy classes – they didn’t really know what to expect – it was a new school. they could go to somewhere that’s been established for 100 years, or they could come here where they would be the first one. We like those types of individuals, and those are the people I think we need in health care. We need people to do new things and break boundaries, and I think PGx offers that. If you’re someone who is really excited about that, you’re not going to match that in other programs.”

  • Jesse Langdon
    by Lauren Hughes | Jun 06, 2019

    Jesse Langdon, a junior peace studies and political science major, from Columbus, Ind., shares how life at Manchester has given him real world experience.  

    “What are you involved with on campus?”

    “I’m involved in a lot of things! I’m on the executive board for the Kenapocomoco Peace Coalition, which is the peace studies club. I am the president of the Campus Interfaith Board, which does interfaith work on campus and organizes trips off campus. I’m an interfaith programmer for the Office of Religious Life, I’m on the executive board for Amnesty International Manchester chapter, I’m on two different faculty committees, including the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee (UCC), which oversees all changes or additions to undergraduate course offerings. Finally, I’m on the Undergraduate Liberal Arts Curriculum Committee (LARCC). It’s a lot of work, but I’m really happy to be a part of these committees because they allow me to give a student voice to the core programs.”

    “It sounds like you’re involved in a lot of different areas around campus. What has been a really rewarding experience so far at Manchester?” 

    “I wrote a paper last semester about the persecution that Bahá'ís face in Iran, which has been a continuous problem. Through my research, I figured out that there isn’t really a good database for reporting the religious affiliation of migrants and refugees. Because of that, I am going to work on developing a database that the international community can use to track different religious groups. For instance, if there is a large group of Bahá'ís leaving Iran, that can be an indicator to international human rights groups, as well as the United Nations, that there is religious persecution happening in Iran. It can be used as a tool to stop human rights abuses across the world.” 

    “What made you decide to get involved in religious studies?”

    “Through peace studies, and my life experiences in general, I have noticed that religion has a great propensity for peace and for violence− which is something that has always interested me − how people from the same religious background can have very different interpretations of their text. So I wanted to work on the peacebuilding aspect of faith work, and I believe that interfaith work creates really strong coalitions between members of different faith backgrounds, because it highlights similarities between worldviews and celebrates the strength in differences as well.” 

    “Who is a professor that has really impacted your time at Manchester?”

    “Wow. There are so many, and they’re all influential in my life. I would probably say Professor Williams, who is a political science professor. I took his Political Concepts and Ideologies course my first year, and I was the only first-year in the class, so that was very intimidating− plus the fact that it was my first political science course. It really got me to realize different aspects of what political science is, and broadened my mind to the political realm. Another professor would be Professor Staudenmaier, the new history professor. I’m currently in his recent American History course, and it’s been really interesting. He’s opening our eyes to new aspects of history that I haven’t ever thought of before− and he has helped our class reframe the civil rights movement and rethink politics during the 70s and 80s, which has been super interesting to me too.”

  • Gabby Anglin
    by Lauren Hughes | Jun 06, 2019

    Gabby Anglin, a communication studies and political science double-major from Columbia City, Ind., discusses her role as Student Senate president and how she strives to represent her fellow Spartans.   

    “What are you involved with on campus?”

    “I have been involved with Student Senate since I was a first-year and I ran for vice president after only four months in the club. I was vice president for two years, and now I’m the president my senior year. I am also involved in Students Today, Alumni Tomorrow, which is the student group that works with the Advancement Office. I have chaired the Stewardship Committee, which oversees all of the donor events on campus. I’m overseeing the Senior Class Gift Committee, so I was able to decide what the senior class gift would be this year and will soon be unrolling the campaign to start getting donations. I’ve been involved with Residential Life for three years − I was a resident assistant in Oakwood for two years, and now I am the apartment coordinator in East Street Apartments.” 

    “Wow! That’s a ton of involvement! Can you tell me more about your role as Student Senate president?”

    “During my First-Year Orientation, I remember sitting in Cordier with my mom watching Opening Convocation. Jake Burns was Student Senate president at the time, and he stood behind the podium and said, ‘Hello, I’m the Student Senate president.’ And I said to myself, ‘I’m gonna do that.’ So when I got into Student Senate my first year, I watched Jake, I heard stories about past presidents and I realized that the position is different for everyone. For me, it is something that I take so seriously, knowing that I’m supposed to be the representative voice for the student body. Student Senate is a group that the Manchester administration go to when they need a student representative, which means the decisions that I make need to have the voices of all students behind me − not just mine, not just my friend group, not just the people I know, but all the different people on campus. This also means upholding Manchester’s values in everything I do, on and off campus. When I go different places and introduce myself as the Student Senate president, I know that by extension I am a representation of Manchester.” 

    “Why did you choose Manchester University?” 

    “I considered going to Purdue, but when I visited their campus it gave me a ton of anxiety because it was so big and there were so many people! Every email I received from Purdue was addressed to, ‘Applicant Number 40289,’ but when it came from Manchester, I was Gabby. Manchester even sent this little survey and one of the questions was, “What’s your favorite color?” I wrote down purple. After that, every letter I got from Manchester was handwritten in purple ink. Before I was even officially a Spartan, it was clear that they valued who I was as a person.”

    “What is something most people don’t know about you?”

    “I’m super into all the personality and typology tests! I know my Clifton’s Five Strengths; I know my enneagram type, which is a 4; I’m a rising Sagittarius with my moon in Virgo; my Myers-Briggs is an ISTJ −I am just obsessed! Self-awareness is one of my strengths and one of my downfalls, because it can be scary to know those things about yourself!”

  • Andy Vance
    by Lauren Hughes | Jun 06, 2019

    Andrea “Andy” Vance, from Portage, Ind., is working to create her own individualized major in performing arts administration. She strives to leave her footprint at Manchester University, one theater production at a time.

    “What made you choose Manchester University?”

    “At first it was the study abroad opportunities. My mom is from the Philippines and I always wanted the chance to travel there and all around the world. Now that I’m here, I’m realizing the opportunities inside the classroom and the footprint I can leave at MU. I was a business management major, but now I’m in the process of becoming a performing arts administration major – and the only performing arts administration major at MU. My heart has always been in the performing and visual arts, so that’s the path I wanted to follow. Along with my major, I’m starting to revamp a few clubs and organizations for fellow art enthusiasts, and I love the work each club has done so far! I’m only a first-year but I hope to leave my mark here.”

    “What organizations are you working on revamping?”

    “I’m president of Artist’s Anonymous, and we just had our first event in December! There were a lot of people there and I’m very happy with the turnout. It was called “Art by the Fire.” I also just got presidency of Theatre Society, so I can’t wait to start working on that!”

    “You said your heart has always been in performing and visual arts. How did you become interested in that?”

    “I’ve been singing since before I could walk and have been in dance since I was little. I began theater in elementary school and stayed all the way up to high school, and that was when I found where my heart belonged–not technically onstage, but backstage. Being able to see a production – something you helped create – come to life in a magical way is a feeling I could never forget, and it drives me.”

    “What do you hope to do with your performing arts administration degree?”

    “With my degree, I’m hoping to be able to pursue work in a theater or auditorium, planning events or productions, or even working as a director for performing arts events or visual art events.”

    “What advice would you give high school seniors?”

    “I would say, look around [at different colleges] and see what opportunities they have for you to make an impact. I came to Manchester and I was like, ‘I’ll just do business management.’ Then I realized that’s not what I wanted to do. I asked around and when they didn’t have what I wanted, I was told I could create what I wanted. I would get to say that I’m the only performing arts administration major out of Manchester. There are more opportunities and chances here to make myself into something more. At other colleges, it would be so much harder. Being in oh-so-many clubs, art organizations and productions – that would be hard at a bigger college. Here, I’m able to meet with professors and advisors who want to work with me to get on a career path I love and make the most out of my college experience. They’re on your side. Simply, Manchester offers possibilities for me to achieve goals, with more flexibility and one-on-one attention than most other schools.”

  • Jessica Montalvo
    by Mam Samba | Jun 06, 2019

    Jessica Montalvo, director of student services for the Pharmacy Program, discusses growing student organizations on our Fort Wayne campus and lets students know how they can get involved.

    “As director of student services, what is your role at Manchester?”

    “I do a little bit of everything! I work within the Office of Student Alumni and Community Engagement, so mostly my charges are to serve our student organizations and get some new organizations running, revitalize old ones, set policy and procedure – pretty much set foundational work into place, and it’s been a lot of work! But I love bringing students together and getting students involved.”

    “What kind of organizations are you working to get up and running?”

    “We just started AAHA [African-American Healthcare Alliance], PLS [Phi Lambda Sigma], which was a group that we just needed to reestablish and revitalize around campus, and SPMC [Student Personalized Medicine Coalition]. We’ve had a lot of student organizations and they really are self-run by hard-working students, which is great. What we needed to do, and continue to work on, is fine-tune and tweak some things, make sure everyone is on the same page and everyone is working with formal standards, like budgets and policy and procedures.”

    “What advice do you give to students who want to get involved?”

    “To just take the time. If they have some time to look at all of the organizations we have – it’s amazing how really diverse they are with the things they offer, and there’s something for everyone. Some organizations focus on mental health, some focus on health screenings. There is so much information about diabetes, blood pressure, blood glucose, so there’s really so many things that you can explore within the 10 or 11 organizations that we have. I guarantee there is something that a student would be interested in. The organizations are listed on our pharmacy website, and if any student wants more information, they can always contact me and let me know what questions they have. All of the officers for each club are amazing and very helpful, and they’re always willing to sit down with a student one-on-one and explain what their organization does.”

    “What is your favorite part of your job?”

    “The students. And that’s always been my thing. I’ve been in education my whole career, and it’s always been the students. I have never worked with graduate level students before, but they’re quite similar to other students I’ve served. The fun part is that they’re specialized within pharmacy, and I am learning so much about pharmacy and about them and how passionate they are about serving people within pharmacy. It’s been such a fun and interesting experience so far.”

    “What’s a fun, interesting fact about yourself?”

    “Actually, I am kind of a jack of all trades. I love doing so many things. I’m a liberal arts junkie. Right now, I’m doing my doctoral program, Ph.D. in philosophy and global leadership. I’m also in a theatre production; I’m a singer and an actor; I love photography, art and painting, writing and English; so I think people don’t know that I like to learn about all kinds of different things, I’m not just focused in on one thing.”

    To see the full list of student organizations, visit https://www.manchester.edu/academics/colleges/college-of-pharmacy-natural-health-sciences/academic-programs/pharmacy/student-life/student-organizations

     

  • Keiton Hall
    by Lauren Hughes | Jun 06, 2019

    Keiton Hall, a sport management, accounting and finance triple major, chats about how he’s able to balance life as a student-athlete and academics. 

    “I saw you’re studying in Manchester’s new Master of Accountancy Program. Can you tell me more about that?” 

    “I came [to MU] as a sport management major, but my sophomore year Professor Twomey encouraged me to pick up accounting as a second major. Then Manchester announced that they’re offering the Master of Accountancy Program, and I would be able to earn my bachelor’s and a master’s degree in four years! Since I was already planning to come back for a fifth year to complete my accounting degree, I decided that I wanted to pursue the master’s degree. I’ll be taking 18 credit hours each semester and then a four-credit-hour January session class. It’ll be hard work, but I know these professors and I know they’re going to help me succeed.” 

    “You don’t just study accounting – you’re a triple major! What kind of career do you want after graduation?” 

    “Hopefully, anything I want! This summer, I’ll be interning at RSM in Indianapolis and I’m hoping that experience will lead to an entry level position after college. I’d like to stay in public accounting for awhile; but down the road, I’d like to pair up my sport management knowledge with whatever career I choose to pursue. That could be working my way into a front office position for a sports organization or a sports clothing brand – both are definitely something I could see myself doing one day!”

    “What’s your dream sports organization?” 

    “­Something in the NBA because I’ve always been a big basketball fan. Something in Atlanta would be awesome because there are some big market teams down there. But really, just wherever the best opportunity presents itself. Being the Intramural Intern has given me fantastic experience with people and sport management, and has allowed me to bring new events and experiences to students- like the first ever Jan Term Games. Ultimately, I want to work some place where I can leave my mark. I don’t want to live and not be remembered for anything. I know it sounds kind of cliché, but it’s just something I want to do to make people’s lives around me better, and so that when I leave someplace they think, ‘oh yeah! He was here and it was great.’ It may sound like a cliché, but clichés actually turn out to be good if you go out and actually do them.”­­­­           

    “How do you juggle being a student-athlete with everything else you do?” 

    “Very carefully! A lot of it has to do with time management. Since my first year here, I’ve had to learn how to be disciplined with my time in terms of getting all my classwork done and still committing the amount of time that I want to basketball. Typically on Sundays, I look at everything I have coming up for the week and what assignments I have to get done. So doing four years of it has been a time for me to grow, which is awesome, but it’s been testing as well, because it is a lot, and there are only 24 hours in a day. It’s been a lot, and there are times where I wish I could sleep more! But everything great requires some sacrifice, so I can see this as something I’ll sacrifice now in order to set myself up for great things later.” 

    “What advice would you give to high school athletes on their way to Manchester?” 

    “Make sure you love your sport! There have been times when if I didn’t love [basketball] and didn’t have goals, I would have quit. It’s a grind completely different from high school because you’re on your own and you don’t have anyone to hold you accountable. So definitely make sure you love the sport you’re going into and set goals for yourself so you’re constantly being pushed and pulled toward an achievement, but also find time to get involved with other things on campus. There are a lot of great things on this campus; for example, this past year I was the vice president for the College of Business Club, so that really stretched me in terms of what I was involved in and who I got to interact with. I built so many great connections here through both basketball and being involved with the College of Business, as well. So be committed but don’t have blinders on. You’ll definitely want to put your education first, that’s why it’s called a student-athlete and not athlete-student. Just remember to plan your work, and then work your plan. If you do that, everything will take care of itself!”

  • Cheyenne Heath
    by Mam Samba | Jun 06, 2019

    Cheyenne Heath, from Liberty, Ind., is an educational studies major with a concentration in psychology and sociology. Cheyenne’s participation with Manchester’s Center for Service Opportunities helped her realize her dream of working with children with autism, bettering the future of education and fighting for social justice.

    How did you become interested in education?

    “When I was in high school, I attended vocational school and went for early childhood education. I wasn’t really focused on the young children; I was focused on the administration side of education – which helped me decide to be an elementary education major. However, I ended up changing [my major] over the summer to educational studies, because I found out that I actually want to work with kids who have disabilities and provide their families with effective resources on how to handle having a person in your family with a disability. I’ve been working primarily on the autism spectrum and, in the future, would like to work as a behavioral analyst, which involves testing kids to see if they have autism and providing families with resources to help them understand that your child isn’t broken, but actually your child is a wonderful, smart, gifted individual. I feel like providing the families with crucial information is so important.”

    How did you get involved in working with children who have autism?”

     “I actually got involved with the Pathways program through the Center for Service Opportunities [CSO] and spent a summer in Iowa working at Camp Courageous, a camp for people with disabilities - so that’s mental, physical, across the spectrum of disabilities. I spent plenty of my weeks being a camp counselor, but there was one week I enjoyed the most called “Just for You” week. I was told this would be the hardest week because you are given one camper with a severe disability that requires one-on-one care and attention. I had already been spending a lot of one-on-one time with my campers because many of my campers were in wheelchairs and required assistance to move around camp; so, I felt prepared. I ended up paired with Tim, who is a wonderful individual who loves to climb, play jokes and, if he could run away, he probably would. It was kind of a challenge the first day, trying to figure out how he works, because he runs on his own time and does his own thing. Then I realized by the second day that I knew who he was and how to handle him. Long story short, our week consisted of being on a train every day for three hours! We sat on this stationed caboose and he would just sit on it, hang from it, climb on it, and we’d sit there for hours. While sitting there, I just realized that working with those sorts of individuals that are on the spectrum is a wonderful thing and it takes people who have the patience and care and the proper love to do it. I think that was when I realized I could do this as a career. I could definitely work with kids like Tim.”

     “Can you tell me more about the Pathways program?”

     “Pathways is a 6 to 10-week-long summer program, at locations around the world, where you are given $800 to live off of and you spend your time volunteering for a cause you’re passionate about. There are opportunities in Texas, the United Kingdom, Iowa and a lot of other places around the world. I originally planned to go abroad but the other spot I would’ve worked at was a special needs school, and I would’ve worked with individuals that needed extra care and guidance in a boarding school setting; ultimately, I wanted a camp setting so I chose to work in Iowa.”

    “What other CSO opportunities have you taken advantage of?”

    “The volunteering. I really love working with the Manchester Early Learning Center! I love working with them and the people that are dedicated to providing a holistic experience to the children that go to the preschool there. I also volunteered at the community dinners over the summer, which were fun and I got to meet community members. I really love the animal shelter. It’s super fun and is perfect if you need a fun volunteering experience and want to make a difference. There’s a dog I love named Twinkie; if I could adopt her by the end of the year I would love to.

    Why did you choose Manchester?”

    “I chose Manchester because my grandpa said it was a tight knit community and I would be in a hometown similar to my hometown. I felt safe at Manchester knowing I wasn’t going to be on a huge campus where I was just a number. Manchester doesn’t make you just a number, it lets you have an individual experience. You’re a person. Throughout my time at Manchester, I’ve worked with CSO and in the education department, and I got to become such good friends with education professors. That’s why I chose Manchester, because those professors care about you and want your education to be valued, and for you to have value in your experience here.”

     

  • Jessica Beal
    by Mam Samba | Jun 06, 2019

    Jessica Beal, from Westfield, Ind., talks about life as an accounting major and what’s in store for her after graduation.

    How did you become interesting in accounting?”

    “In high school, I wanted to study pre-med to be an anesthesiologist, but then I took Chemistry and realized it was awful. I did what any college student does – I talked to my mom, and she mentioned accounting. I had a family member who was a CPA for a hospital, and he told me that I could still do everything that I wanted to do – help people – without all of the blood and guts. I took my first accounting course my senior year in high school, and I fell in love with it! My accounting teacher convinced me to go into accounting in college, and she gave me informational pamphlets about salaries and job possibilities, so I went into it and came into college as an accounting major and have excelled at it ever since.”

    “What made you choose the audit track over tax?”

    “I don’t know, honestly. It’s still up in the air a bit. I had my audit class and decided I want nothing to do with audit. I didn’t understand the class and I struggled with the material. I became really nervous because that summer I had an internship lined up with the Indiana State Board of Accountants and it revolved around audit! But I went into the internship with an open mind, got the experience and fell in love with audit. Then this past January, during the busy tax season, I went into my internship with KSM in Indianapolis – all audit – and loved it. But they needed help up in tax and I figured an accountant needs to know how to do their own taxes plus it would be great experience. I went up there and all of the Manchester alumni did their best to push me over to tax! So now I’m 50/50 on what I want to do. I really like audit because I like interacting with people and looking at the puzzle aspect of accounting; however, I like tax because it makes you think.”

    What are your plans after graduation?”

    “I will start studying for my CPA in the spring of this year, and I’ll sit for the CPA starting in May. Hopefully I will pass all of my tests before I start working for KSM in October. I’m super excited about that!”

    What makes Manchester’s accounting program unique”?

    “I came here, although I was originally planning to go to IUPUI because it was so close to home, but I wasn’t too thrilled about it. I came on a visit during a break when no one was on campus, and it was snowy and cold - but I looked at my mom and I told her I need to go here. My tour guide had told me that the CPA pass rate was 20 percent higher here than the national average, and knowing my test-taking skills, that just pushed me here more. Over the years, professors have showed how much they care about you and your success. I don’t think I would be where I am today if it weren’t for the professors pushing me to be my best self. This is a place where you prepare for your future and you’re surrounded by people who want to see you succeed.”

    What advice would you give to students considering an accounting major?”

    “It’s a lot of work! It helps to study with other accounting majors because some understand topics you don’t and vice versa. Intermediate accounting and tax are probably the toughest classes you’ll take, but you’ll get through it. Don’t be afraid to ask questions! The professors here care about you and will go the extra mile to see you succeed. Ultimately, all of the hard work you put into this major will payout in the end.

    What’s a fun fact about yourself?”

    “I broke my nose on my 18th birthday and had plastic surgery because of that. I shared that during orientation week with Professor Ogden. A few days later, I was in his Foundations of Business class when he was taking attendance and he didn’t call off my name. Of course, I got nervous and raised my hand to make sure he knew I was here and I was in the right class! He said he remembered my fun fact and he knew me! Who knew a broken nose would be so memorable?”

     

  • Carrie Hoefer
    by Mam Samba | Jun 06, 2019

    Dr. Carrie Hoefer, assistant professor of pharmaceutical sciences and pharmacogenomics, discusses Manchester’s growing Pharmacogenomics (PGx) Program and how she adapted to life in the Midwest.

     “What excites you about Manchester’s Pharmacogenomics Program?”

    “I’m most excited for the fact that we were the first in the country to have a master’s program in PGx. Now we’re starting to see a bunch of schools popping up with pharmacogenomics programs, which just increases the awareness of it. To add to that, I’m also excited that we’re offering a dual degree program. When I was doing my Ph.D. at the University of Buffalo, we had a dual degree with the pharmaceutical sciences and pharmacy, and one of my favorite dual degree students lost her brother to leukemia. She decided she wanted to go into cancer research, especially in pharmacogenomics, and now she works at the Cleveland Cancer Clinic. It’s nice to see that the dual degree is helping people further their careers and their passions.”

    “Can you tell me more about the Dual degree opportunity?”

    “Manchester’s dual degree program is one of the only programs I’ve ever seen that lets pharmacy students finish in four years, completely done, with both a pharmacy degree and a master’s in pharmacogenomics. It’s more challenging than the regular Pharmacy Program – you have more workload and more to balance, but the students we have are awesome and I know each one has the ability to succeed.”

    “Is there an area of PGx in which you have a special interest?”

    “PGx is already a very specialized science, but there are different aspects starting to sprout up like nutritionomics, which I’m reading about right now actually. It looks at how food interacts with your genes and how it can make you healthier, or which exercise habits will work best with this person. So that’s a piece of it, but my favorite aspect is epigenetics, which is a layer on top of pharmacogenomics. I think of pharmacogenomics as an instruction manual for your body, but epigenetics is a layer on top. Are you a smoker? Do you live in a high smog area? Do you live in a sunny area and have a lot of Vitamin D? Epigenetics looks at factors that can change throughout your lifetime based on different factors around you – it really looks at what makes you, you.”

    What is one thing you hope students will get out of your classroom?”

    “I try to teach my students the importance of communication in presentations. Everything is at your fingertips now, and you can study it until you can regurgitate it word for word, but that’s not going to help you in the real world. What’s going to help you is how you can present the information to somebody who doesn’t know it and can’t relate to it. I make my students do a lot of presentations, a lot of writing, and come up with spur of the moment ‘what do you think about this?’ conversations, because those are the real life situations you’re going to be put in. I do love teaching the science, but the most important thing to me is how students can interact once they get out of school.”

    What do you love about Manchester?”

    I’m an East Coast girl, so the Midwest was really hard for me to adapt to. We are go, go, go all the time, and it was really hard at first. Within my first year teaching here, my sister had passed away from complications with drug addiction. The craziest part to me is that I actually get to teach stuff like this – about drug addiction and how it changes your epigenetics. But no one else at MU taught in pharmacogenomics at the time. I told my colleagues what happened, and they just said, “Of course, go home, we’ll see you when you can come back.” It was the first time I had been in a job situation where it felt like people actually cared. That would never happen on the East Coast. When I got back, I had flowers on my desk, my students bought me this big care package, I had cards slipped under my door, and it was the first time I’d actually felt like MU was family. And ever since then it’s been this big family to me, and I couldn’t imagine not being here.”

    “I see you have a lamp from A Christmas Story on your desk – I’m guessing you’re a big fan?”

    “Yes! I love A Christmas Story! When I was little, I use to wake up early Christmas morning and I’d go into my big sister’s room and try to get her excited and wake up to open presents! She’d always tell me to go away and leave her alone. Since she had a TV in her room, she’d turn it on for me and, of course, A Christmas Story was always playing. So ever since then I’ve loved it and have continued the tradition with my little sister. To this day, we get the biggest kick out of singing, “Fa-ra-ra-ra-ra-ra-ra-ra-ra.” Every Halloween I’m the pink nightmare bunny from the movie; I’ve been to the Christmas Story house – everything. I love it.

     

  • Patrick Hallis
    by Mam Samba | Jun 06, 2019

    Patrick Hallis, first-year pharmacy student from Redfore, Mich., originally from Beirut, Lebanon, shares his love of helping others through volunteering and reflects on how Manchester’s Pharmacy Program gives him the tools to impact his community.

    “How did you become interested in Pharmacy?”

    “Throughout my undergrad, I always wanted to be an MD, but in my journey I decided that wasn’t for me, and I found another calling. I got a job at CVS Pharmacy and while working there, it just clicked, ‘why not pharmacy?’ I really thought that I could do something, make a change, and have an impact on the field. My district managers [at CVS] and everyone around me that I spoke to was like, ’Manchester, Manchester, Manchester, it’s a great school!’ so I applied! It was my first choice, and I got in! It’s been really good; I love it.”

    “What do you enjoy most about pharmacy?”

    “What I love about pharmacy is that any person who needs help or health care attention can just go to a pharmacy and speak to a pharmacist, someone who can help them and advise them and tell them what to expect. It’s an alternative to waiting and paying for a doctor’s appointment. And a lot of people aren’t educated on what to expect from a medication. I’ve met people who are baffled by what a prescription is – simple things like that – and I want to change that because I love people and want to help them.”

    “Do you know what area of pharmacy you’d like to work in?”

    “Not really. I would work in retail just because I like that direct patient contact, but I could have an impact in hospitals or in ambulatory care as well. The field may change, and what I want may change through my experiences, so for now. I’m just experiencing everything. During my undergrad, I really didn’t get the chance to be involved or go out and see what things I could do in the community. I was working 62 hours a week with a full load of classes. Coming here, I’m setting myself up and taking every opportunity to be a part of the community or do service because it opens up so many doors! You learn so much about your community and about people, and that plays a big factor in being able to help people in the health care field. Just knowing who people are, how they function and the way they think helps. I love it.”

    “You mentioned you’re taking advantage of a lot of opportunities, what are some of those opportunities?”

    “I love that this school is all about the humanistic approach, pro-community and volunteering, helping and caring, because we’re missing a big part of that in the world. We have to care for each other. Day one of orientation, we were required to go volunteer. Most people were like, ‘why do we have to do this?’ but after we did it, I found the majority agreed that it was an awesome experience. We went to a food pantry to help out there, and it was just amazing. They had a pharmacy where people could donate over the counter meds, and people would have a voucher and be able to pick up things like Tylenol, bandages, diapers – anything that one would need. I was asking them so many questions about what they need and how we can help. Not everyone can afford that stuff, and it’s sad to see. I saw how people had to come wait in line for canned goods and simple stuff that many people take for granted. From there I thought ‘I have to keep doing stuff like this.’ I did a flu vaccine at a hospital, where we vaccinated many people who came in. My classmates and I set up teams in our class to be a part of the #UCanCrushHunger campaign at MU and helped promote it. We even created a group where we walked around blocks to collect canned goods to donate. There was also a Day of Service, and I think that was awesome. So a lot of opportunities! People had to make a portfolio about what they’ve done so far and then present it to the other students and faculty members, which was so important. I think it was great because you could highlight what you’ve learned and why it’s important, and seeing you do that is going to spark some inspiration in someone else’s brain.”

    “What are you looking forward to in the next three years?”

    “I take it day by day, but I always aim to make progress and build upon what I’ve done so far. I feel this first semester was a learning curve, a rough patch while trying to adapt, but I feel like next semester I’ll be able to go for what I really want and focus on the side of community service. Now I have the hang of things and know what’s expected, and it will be better and I’ll be able to do more.”

    “Anything else you’d like to add?”

    “To be honest, I’ve always had this feeling that I want to make a change, and I don’t know why, but for some reason it feels like this is it, and Manchester is where I can do it. I’ve spoken with my mom and all that, and I told her ‘I don’t know what it is about this place, but I feel like something great is coming, and it’s going to happen.’”

     

  • Delaney Ray
    by Mam Samba | Jun 06, 2019

    Delaney Ray, a double-major in psychology and sociology, shares stories from her life-changing study abroad experience in Ireland.  

    “When did you study abroad?”

    “I studied abroad the fall semester of 2017 in Ireland. It was stellar. I had never left the country before. In fact I had never even flown before, so it was all of these new experiences at once. I had never been away from home for that long or been that far away, so it was kind of weird and crazy but fun and exciting.” 

    “What advice would you give to students who want to study abroad?” 

    “Do it. I know some students come into college thinking ‘I want to study abroad,’ but that was not me. I came in as a first-year thinking, ‘No way! I am not doing that.’ I started thinking about it my sophomore year, but I thought I didn’t have enough time. But Thelma Rohrer, the director for the office of study abroad, who’s the greatest person ever, just jumped into it with me. It was completely worth it. It’s literally the greatest time. Plus, everyone back home becomes kind of obsessed with you, checking in on you and asking you to post photos. I felt like I was famous!”

    “What life lessons did you learn in Ireland?

    “I learned how to be independent. I learned how to do things on my own like cooking – of course I still can’t cook whatsoever. I ate scrambled eggs for every meal, every day. I learned not to limit myself, because there were so many times I told myself ‘I can’t do this; I don’t know if I can go; I’ve never done anything like this before,’ but I did it and it was great. 

     “Above all, learning about a new culture. It was an adjustment to the weird driving and the strange scenery. It was a good culture shock though, and there were only a few times when someone would say a phrase that I didn’t understand. The first time I went grocery shopping, I was looking at some sausage, because I really like to eat sausages, and I was looking for a breakfast sausage. One said black pudding and one said white pudding … so I had to ask somebody what the difference was. One guy walked up, and he could tell that I wanted to ask a question, and he clearly did not want to talk to me, so I bothered him anyway. He told me to get the white pudding; the black pudding has oatmeal and weird stuff in it. Also, I got pizza quite a bit, and frequently they put corn on pizza! And I’m like, I’m from Indiana! The corn state! That’s not a thing! But it was actually good!” 

    “What is your favorite memory from Ireland?”

    One weekend, a group of friends and I decided to go to London. Flights in Europe are super cheap, so it’s easy to travel. We bought tickets for a futball game and I had never been to a big futball game before, so I was excited! I felt all big and bad, so I bought a hat and scarf for one of the teams, and even though I have absolutely no idea what’s happening in the futball world, I still am a huge fan and support that team. It was so much fun and a great experience! We also did those very stereotypical touristy things – we saw Platform 9 ¾ from Harry Potter, visited 221B Baker St. from Sherlock Holmes, ate fish and chips, saw Buckingham Palace – I kept waiting for one of the princes to come out and propose to me, but neither did – we saw Big Ben and a lot of cool other stuff! London is unbelievably beautiful and I’m so lucky that I was able to study abroad in a country that allowed me to travel to other places and see and experience so much more.”

  • McKenzie Grubb
    by Mam Samba | Jun 06, 2019

    McKenzie Grubb, admissions counselor for Manchester University Pharmacy Programs, discusses why she loves MU and her advice for students considering pharmacy school.

    “What is your favorite part of being an admissions counselor?”

    “My favorite thing about my job is helping people. I just love the student interaction every day – from the inquiry stage, the advocate stage, to becoming a student. I just think it’s so awesome to be there through every step of the way and helping these students achieve their goals.”

    “What kind of experience would you recommend to our Pharmacy Program applicants?”

    “Manchester is all about service, so we look for applicants that have service components behind them. We also look at [job] shadowing, leadership experience, and we really look for the holistic admission of a person. We look at your GPA, but we also look at who you are as a whole person, and I think that’s really neat.”

    “What advice would you give to students thinking about pharmacy school?”

    “I would recommend that you have a plan. Study hard in all of your classes, even those not directly related to pharmacy, volunteer and always reach out for advice. I have students that text me, call me and email me for help on an application. They can reach out and I’ll give them advice and help students through the entire admissions process. You don’t have to go in blindsided, you can always ask for help and have support the entire way through.”

    “What would you recommend at the high school level?”

    It’s the same thing in high school. College, let alone graduate school, may seem far away, but it’s always best to work toward your goals even at a young age. Get involved in your community – United Way, American Red Cross, National Honor Society – any programs that you can volunteer in will look great on an application. And, as always, work hard and get good grades. Hard work will always pay off.”

    “What’s one thing people might not know about you?”

    “My life is like a reality show! I am getting married in June, and I have two children, a 9-year-old and a 1 ½-year-old. Life is absolutely crazy at the moment and it’s constantly one thing after the next. But, life moves fast and I wouldn’t change my life for anything.”

     

  • Emma Voelker
    by Mam Samba | Jun 06, 2019

    Emma Voelker, from Cincinnati, Ohio, is a senior majoring in elementary education with a focus in high ability and minoring in psychology. Emma has big plans for the future of education and it all started with a song.

     “How did you know that you wanted to teach?”

    “In third grade, I was struggling with multiplication and our math teacher taught us these multiplication songs. They were like basic nursery rhymes from two all the way up to nine, and I loved the songs. I would go home and I would sing the songs for my parents.

     Eventually, my teachers started to use me as a student aid, and would tell me to go help other students with math and other subjects. I think I’ve always had that teacher instinct. I love kids, and I knew I wanted to work with them. When I was in high school, I took a teaching prep course and I absolutely loved it. It made me realize that this is what I want to do.”

     “What does the role of a teacher mean to you?”

               “The role of a teacher means being there for kids and showing them that it’s okay to struggle, because everyone struggles. But we have to work on getting better. I want my students to know that I’m there for them if they don’t have support at home or with friends – that no matter what, I’m there for them, so they can feel comfortable coming and talking to me about anything and everything.

     The role of a teacher means being an advocate for education because there are so many things wrong with policies surrounding education. I want to show people that there are good teachers – teachers that care and want their students to succeed.”

     “What opportunities have you had within the Education Department here at Manchester?”

               “Inside the classroom, starting freshman and sophomore years, you do observation hours, and then junior year, you start with a program called Response to Intervention. You go into a classroom and you have a group of students to work with. But, we did something completely new last spring semester. Half of the junior class went to the intermediate school and we got a group of fifth-graders. It was a whole new experience for us. We were used to working with the young kids, and then we get placed in the intermediate school, and I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, these kids talk back to me!’ So there were many times I would go to Professor Stacy Stetzel and be like, ‘I don’t know what to do here – help me!’ That experience gave me an insight into every student.

     Fall semester of senior year, we have two classrooms we visit. One is in Fort Wayne at Lindley Elementary and the other classroom is our student teaching placement, which we visit quite frequently. For me, my student teaching placement is Madison Elementary in Warsaw. Throughout the fall, working with my students at Madison Elementary will really help me build relationships with them.”

    Outside of the classroom, we do a lot of volunteering. Last year, I volunteered with the Undergrad Lit Council, and helped with a reading night. There are all kinds of great volunteer opportunities with kids, like tutoring in the elementary school and after school programs.

     “What is some advice you have for fellow college students?”

               “I would advise all students, especially education students, to get involved, whether it’s with SEA [Student Education Association] or the Undergrad Lit Council or anything in the Education Department. It really does help. You don’t have to be a part of education; I would say this to any person of any major. It looks really good on a resume, and if you get to your senior year and look back and you haven’t been involved, I think you will regret it. Once you do get involved, you realize how much it offers.”

     

  • Lucas Dargo
    by Mam Samba | Jun 06, 2019

    Lucas Dargo, assistant professor of exercise science and athletic training, discusses Manchester’s Master of Athletic Training Program and his advice for current students.

    “How did you become interested in athletic training?”

    I was a manager for the basketball team when I was a junior in high school, and I sat right next to the athletic trainer all the time. We had a collision of three athletes where they were diving for a ball and all three of them lost teeth. I remember it being very bloody, and I told the athletic trainer, ‘I am so glad I’m never going to be an athletic trainer. Your job sounds terrible.’ Fast forward a couple years, and he actually ended up working for Ball State and preparing me to be an athletic trainer, ironically enough.

    In my senior year [of high school] I had a new athletic trainer, and she was the one that just kept saying ‘Hey, I know you want to teach but have you thought about athletic training?’ and she kept pushing. I met Manchester’s head athletic trainer at Ball State, and I decided my senior year that this is what I want to do. All along, I thought I was learning a lot of reasons why I didn’t want to be an athletic trainer, but it turned out that I was always meant to do this. I still can’t believe I have been certified for over five years and have been a practicing athletic trainer. It goes by so fast.”

     “What are you most looking forward to as our MAT program grows?”

               “I am most looking forward to growing our cohorts, building our program, increasing our enrollment and developing new clinical partnerships. There’s a lot of growth [in the athletic training field] that’s going to happen in the next year, and I want that growth to reflect at Manchester because that’s what I’m here for.”

     “What would you want prospective students to know about our master’s program?”

               “Our master’s program is being taught by top notch individuals, and I don’t just say that because of myself. Between Jeff Beer, Dr. Huntington (our dean) and Erin Foreman, who is our head athletic trainer – between the four of us, we have a great deal of experience as practicing clinicians and so we can really bring that experience from the field into the classroom.”

     “What advice would you give to the current master’s students?”

               “My current advice is hang in there! I promise that it’s all going to pay off. Everything that we have you doing right now, there is a purpose behind it. We’re so thankful you chose Manchester and allowed us to give you this education.”

     

  • Joe Swartz
    by Mam Samba | Jun 06, 2019

    Joe Swartz, from Waterloo, Ind. is a senior majoring in mathematics and software engineering.  He shares his knowledge of software engineering and the projects he’s been able to work on.

    “How did you become interested in software engineering?”

    “I took a math elective my first year called Scientific Computing, and in the class we used some basic programming skills such as loops and ‘if statements,’ and I became fascinated with problem solving using computers. As a result, I took the Foundations of Computer Science courses and fell in love with software engineering.”

    “What are loops and ‘if statements?’”

    “A loop is basically a way to run a certain set of commands until a given condition is satisfied. An ‘if statement’ is kind of like a trap door –  if a certain condition is met, the commands inside will run or the program skips over the commands.”

    Is there an area of software engineering in which you have a special interest?”

    “I really like backend development because that is the meat of any program – it’s really everything that controls the buttons you click and what not.”

    “What kind of projects have you been able to do with your major?”

    “As of now, I have been a part of two projects that are actually going to be used outside of receiving a grade. One was for a Facebook Messenger bot that may be used by the Manchester marketing department to assist in handling questions that people send in via [Facebook] Messenger. For that project, I was a part of the development team and was able to learn a lot. The other is a grading system that will be used by Robin Mitchell, assistant professor of computer sciences, to assist him in grading projects from his foundations courses. I was the ‘scrum master’ for this one, and had many enjoyable, long nights trying to get our program to work.”

    “What is a ‘scrum master’?”

    “A scrum master is the leader in ‘agile scrum,’ and they are in charge of running the meetings, keeping the team on track and communicating with the customer or who we’re creating the product for.”

    “Why did you choose MU?”

    “One of my best friends from high school had applied here and talked me into doing the same. Long story short, I ended up coming on a football visit and fell in love with the campus.  I grew up in a small town, so North Manchester felt like home, and the population here is small enough that it felt like I’d be able to find my place among the MU family.”

    “What is your favorite Manchester memory?”

    “Hands down the Otho Winger Experience. I love seeing a different, rock ‘n roll side of my professors.”

     

  • Adrian “Robbie” Johnson
    by Mam Samba | Jun 06, 2019

    Adrian "Robbie" Johnson, from Indianapolis, Ind., is majoring in exercise science and minoring in coaching. He shares how he is able to excel on and off the basketball court.

    “Tell me about your internship.”

    “My internship is with Champions Academy, which is run by Joey Burton. The gym that we work out of is in Zionsville, Ind., and we call it ‘The Trenches.’ My job is to assist with the workouts by either playing defense or offense, rebounding, passing and giving advice to players who are working out.”

    “What would an average day at your internship look like?”

    “At 8 a.m., GR3 [Glenn Robinson III] is usually our first workout and I play defense, rebound and passAt 9 a.m., either a college or professional player works out, and I do the same. At 10 a.m., other college or professional players come in for skill work and I compete in these games most days. From 1 to 8 p.m. there are one hour sessions of individual workouts with high school, middle school and elementary school kids, and I play with them.”

    “You said that you got to play with Glen Robinson III – what is it like to be working with pro athletes?”

    “When I first met him, I was nervous because I wanted to make a good first impression. But, there was no need to be nervous because he’s one of the nicest people you’ll meet. You might have seen the video of him dunking over me on my Instagram. I think that shows you how much I trust him. Working with professionals is something that I’ve dreamed of since I was a little kid. A lot of the guys that work out with Joey, I’ve watched them in AAU tournaments, high school games or college games since I was younger. Working with them honestly motivates me going into my senior season year. I definitely watch every move because I plan on stealing them and using them for myself.”

    “Besides GR3, what other pros, if any, have you had the opportunity to meet with?”

    Yogi Ferrell, Edmond Sumner, Alex Poythress, Trevon Bluiett, Kelan Martin, PJ Thompson, Tyler Wideman, Dakota Mathias and a ton more.

    “This seems like an awesome opportunity. How did you discover this internship?”

    “It was easier than one would think. I was scrolling through Instagram before class one morning and came across one of Joey’s videos. I thought to myself, ‘That would be an awesome way to spend my summer!’ After class, I messaged him on Instagram and he replied very fast – the rest kind of fell into place from there.”

    “How do you think this internship experience will benefit you in the future?”

    “After graduation, I would love to get into coaching basketball at the college or high school level and help kids get better at basketball. One day, I want to become a head coach at the college level. If I have the opportunity to have a professional career, I would definitely explore it. I think the internship experience helps me in multiple ways. I’m learning first hand from a person who genuinely cares about improving his clients. It’s also great to learn from someone that sees the little things or the small details in the game of basketball. Like myself, he actually studies the game and watches everything. Throughout the summer, I’ve seen how much work Joey puts into his company. We call it ‘The Grind’ because he’s at the gym from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. almost every day. I really think I could go on for days about what I learned this summer.”

     

  • Engy Kheir
    by Mam Samba | Jun 06, 2019

    Engy Kheir,a P4 student from Orlando, Fla., shares how she uses pharmacy to connect and improve the lives of her patients.

    “Is there an area of pharmacy in which you have a special interest?”

    “When I first started out I really wanted to do retail, working as a pharmacist for a CVS or Walgreens, but I just started my rotations last month and my first rotation was in ambulatory care and I absolutely fell in love with it! So, now my mind is going back and forth between retail and ambulatory care.”

    “Can you tell me more about what ambulatory care is?”

    “Ambulatory care focuses a lot on the one-on-one with the patient. You’re able to see them more often and work alongside them to make their medication therapy as optimal as possible. So, if someone is on 10 medications, I would evaluate their therapy to see if this is the best we can do for them and potentially make changes. So it’s going back and forth, problem-solving, and it’s a much slower pace than you would see in a retail setting. In the long run, you really get to see the changes you make in someone’s life and, ultimately, that’s why I’m doing this.”

    “What drew you to pharmacy?”

    “When I was younger, I’d hear tales that pharmacists just put pills in a box, but then I learned that there’s much more. You’re making a change in someone’s life, and pharmacists have always been the go-to for patients – whereas for a physician’s office you have such a limited time with them that you’re not getting that interaction. With this career, I’m potentially making a bigger difference overall. Patients come in and we have a 45 minute session to talk to them and ask questions, like, ‘Hey, what’s your diet look like? Do you smoke? Have you thought about quitting smoking? Are you exercising?’ Just the different factors in their life that make them who they are and not just looking at a list of medications and making recommendations off that. We can customize their therapy based on their habits and what would really work for them.”

    “What recommendations do you have for talking to people about medication?”

    “Definitely have empathy toward the patient because most of them don’t understand the extent of their condition. A couple weeks ago, I was talking to a patient with diabetes and we had a conversation about diabetes, how his condition affects his body, and what his medications can potentially do for him. When we finished he said, ‘Wow, nobody has ever sat down and talked to me about all this.’”

    “How long had the patient been diabetic?”

    “About 15 years! And he said it was the most helpful session he ever had. So my biggest recommendation is to definitely take it slow. Also, try to involve them in the process by asking them what they think they’re capable of doing. If they’re smoking a pack of cigarettes a day, ask if they can cut that down. How many a day can we cut it down to until they completely quit?”

    “What drew you to the Manchester Pharmacy Program?”

    “I grew up in Florida and when I started applying to pharmacy school, I had several interviews, but when I came to Manchester, I absolutely loved it. It was such a great environment and I felt like everyone cared. They were just so nice and always trying to make conversation. I felt very welcomed, which was huge for someone like me, who was moving out of her parents’ house for the first time. And then the class sizes, because they’re so small, you get that one-on-one interaction with the professors. When you walk down the hall, people know who you are and it is much more intimate. You don’t walk into a lecture hall of 500 people, which is what I had for my undergrad, and it was never personable for me, but here they know your story and why you’re here, and they tailor to you. That’s why I think I’ve learned so much more here compared to a class size of 500 in an auditorium style seating.”

  • Nick Rush
    by Mam Samba | Jun 06, 2019

    Nick Rush, from Terre Haute, Ind., is a junior majoring in sport management and marketing. He shares his advice for balancing work, school and athletics.

    “What are you involved with on campus?”

    “I’m a first baseman on the baseball team and I’m in four clubs: College of Business club, where I’m the program committee director, STAT (Students Today, Alumni Tomorrow), Student Senate and then as a side of Student Senate, I’m on the Student Senate Student Relations Committee. And then I also have three jobs on campus: sports information student assistant,a Student Orientation Leader, Spartan ambassador and I’m also a social media ambassador.”

    “Why do you take part in so many activities on campus?”

    “I like having more memories – more experiences – and I feel like everything I do is something that will help me later in life. College of Business, for example, helps me with networking. STAT helps me with connecting and networking, but also having the opportunity to talk with people from other generations and not just people my age. And baseball has allowed me to challenge myself and play the game I love along the way. Each club or activity I’m involved with helps me develop more as a person and learn, which is exactly what college is all about!”

    “What is one of your favorite memories from playing baseball?”

    We went down to Myrtle Beach as a baseball spring trip. Basically, we went down there and we played six games against teams from New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia. I really enjoyed going down there, and that was one of my favorite trips from baseball because we got to play right next to the beach with palm trees in the background. We ended up 3-3, which is a better start than we had last year. The improvement shows the kind of practice effort we had and the talent that we have this year. Plus, I hit my first college grand slam! Overall, it was a great trip.”

    “What is one lesson that baseball has taught you?”

    “Time management! That’s for sure. You don’t know how busy you are until you get into the season. You have to figure out when you can work, when you can eat, when you can do your homework and when you can relax. Once you get in the flow of things, it gets easier, but you have to find that flow. But above all, I absolutely love the sport. I’ve found a group of guys that have made my college experience better than I could have ever imagined. We do everything together and I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

     

  • Eva Escobedo
    by Mam Samba | Jun 06, 2019

    Eva Escobedo, second-year pharmacy (P2) student, discusses what it means to be a first-generation college student and how she strives to represent Latina women in pharmacy.

    “What interested you in our pharmacy program?”

    “While I was studying at the University of California Davis, I took a course in pharmaceutical chemistry. It was a brand new field of interest for me that changed my perception of pharmacy. Up to that point, when I thought of pharmacy, I thought of someone standing behind a counter dispensing pills all day. But it is so much more than that! And [here] I’m able to learn about pharmacy while also learning about different cultures and growing.”

    “How has surrounding yourself with different cultures affected you?”

    “I think Manchester is its own little cultural hub. We just had our international fair and we were able to see and learn about cultures from all over the world in one small building. And I think that’s so important to share and learn about cultures outside of your own.  

    “Is there an area of pharmacy that interests you most?”

    “I knew I always wanted to end up in the healthcare field, and this program has really helped guide me to where I’m supposed to me. I have a special interest in helping Latinos, being that Spanish is my first language. I want to target that population and be a part of its growth. There’s this huge barrier in [understanding] medical terminology with a lot of people, and it’s even harder for people who don’t speak English as their first language. And being a first-generation college student, I’m able to gain a different perspective.”

    “What does it mean to you to be a first-generation college student?”

    My parents were born in Mexico and they immigrated to the United States. My dad works in construction and he works really grueling hours, sometimes overnight, in temperatures over 100 degrees. And he never, ever complains. When [my brothers, sisters and I] see him come home super tired, he’d always just say, ‘I’m making sure you build a better future for yourselves. Stay in school!’ And now I strive to be an example that anything is possible. I’m the oldest of six, I’m a Chicana [a Mexican-American woman] and I like to bring awareness to our culture. I’m almost halfway done through the [pharmacy] program and I want to be an example to future generations.”

     

  • Rebecca Ullom-Minnich
    by Lauren Hughes | Jun 06, 2019

    Rebecca Ullom-Minnich, Junior Bio-Chem and Spanish Major from Moundridge, Kansas

    “What did you decide to come to Manchester?”
    “I’m Church of the Brethren, so I had been presented to about it many times growing up. I knew I wanted to go out of state somewhere, so I started looking at different colleges out here, and I decided to come visit and I really liked the science program that they had, and I talked to some of the professors, and I kind of got a little bit of the feel for the community.”

    “Why did you decide to major in bio-chem and Spanish?”
    “Well I’ve always wanted to be a veterinarian; I knew that since kindergarten. In high school I had a really good Spanish teacher who was really passionate about it, and she got me interested in how Spanish language affects the culture of a people and how the language influences the way people think. So I started really getting interested in Spanish and I learned more about it and then we had an exchange student from Ecuador come and live with us for a year. That kind of pushed me over the edge and I figured, I want to study abroad while I’m in college, and if I study abroad I can do it in Ecuador or Spain or somewhere and that gets me a Spanish major pretty easily. I’m working on my application to study abroad in Ecuador right now, hopefully next spring and fall.”

    “Do you know what you want to do after graduation?”
    “I’m still thinking veterinarian, I’m kind of starting to focus on wildlife rehabilitation, so I’ve been in contact with a couple rehab centers, trying to figure out if I could maybe go get some experience there. That’s still my plan.”

    “What’s been your favorite class at Manchester so far?”
    “My Jan Term this year, because we went to France with my social psychology class and that was really cool, just kind of immersing ourselves in the culture, learning a little bit of a new language, and kind of how social psychology influences people all around the world in different cultures. My favorite memory from that trip would be in the evenings we’d all go out to dinner together most of the time, and kind of the sense of community that we developed was really cool, all the laughing and bonding that happened.”

    “Are there any classes you’re looking forward to taking?”
    “I’m really looking forward to being able to take classes outside my major when I’m abroad, I was really into art in high school and I haven’t had time to take art classes while I’ve been getting my bio-chem requirements done before I go to Ecuador. I’m kind of looking forward to taking art classes or something like that.”

    “What are you involved in on campus?”
    “I play trombone in the Symphonic Band and Jazz Band. I did some volunteering with 85 Hope, which is a low cost clinic for uninsured people and we did some educational presentations on diabetes and how to cope with that. I am captain of the Frisbee Club, and some other random clubs. I got really involved with Frisbee my freshman year. It kind of depends who shows up, on nice days we’ll have maybe teams of 7 or more playing, but when it gets cold and it’s snowy, we might have teams of 3 or something. We just hang out, we might do practice drills or something, if we have people interested in that. We go to tournaments sometimes, so usually there will be 3 or 4 tournaments per semester, and we’ll take whoever wants to go. We’ll put our own team out there or combine with other Universities. Grace is one that we play with a lot and they’re a really cool group of people. It’s just a really fun way to interact with different people. It’s a special type of people that play Frisbee, they’re very quirky and I enjoy that.”

    “What’s your favorite memory from your time at Manchester?”
    “I remember a time freshman year, me and a bunch of friends decided to go play sardines in the Science Center at 1 am. We all just went over there and had a meeting place, set some boundaries and we all just dispersed and we played for probably 4 hours. Hiding in little cabinets, and hiding in the elevator and taking it down to the basement. It was a good time.”

    “What’s something most people don’t know about you?”
    “I have two adopted sisters from Ethiopia, and we’ve gone to Ethiopia a couple times to visit with the family members they have left, like aunts and uncles and such. Experiencing the huge difference in lifestyles between the United States and Ethiopia has kind of impacted the way that I see what I have here. So, I guess that’s been a big mold into how I see the world.”

  • Kathrine Dwyer
    by Lauren Hughes | Jun 06, 2019

    Kathrine Dwyer, Administrative Assistant to the Vice President for Academic Affairs

    “What brought you to Manchester?”
    “I didn’t really know much about Manchester even though I was from Warsaw, but I was looking at jobs close to home (Silver Lake) and found several openings.  I actually interviewed for two different positions on the same day, one over the phone and one in person. And I got this position!”

    “What is your favorite thing about Manchester?”
    “I would say how helpful people are. When I first started I was really overwhelmed, with so much to learn about the position.  But no matter who I talked to they seemed eager to help and to answer my questions.”

    “What is your favorite thing about working in the Administration Building?”
    “I worked on a project collecting information about the building to share with the Indiana Landmark Association. I researched the archives and took a spooky tour of the second and third floors with Tim [McElwee]. Thinking about the history of the building is pretty amazing, in fact this office was once a science classroom.”

    “What are your hobbies and interests?”
    “I grew up around Tippe and Wawasee and currently live on Silver Lake so boating has always been a favorite hobby.  I also enjoy spending time with my dog and reading, especially books by Stephen King.”

  • Cat Wrzesien
    by Lauren Hughes | Jun 06, 2019

    Cat Wrzesien, Senior Pre-Physical Therapy Major from Warsaw, Indiana

    “Why did you decide to attend Manchester?”
    “Initially the reason I visited was because it was close to where I live and I didn’t want to go very far away. But then I came to Manchester, I actually came three times because two of my best friends wanted to visit, but they all came at different times, so we all came three times. Everybody was just so nice, and each time that I came the people in this office remembered me, and I was like ‘Dang, this is crazy.’ I was just so shocked that people remembered me. I was also really excited about the triple guarantee where they help you get into grad school or the career of your choice, and knowing that I have to go to grad school and that help was available was really nice.”

    “Why did you decide to study exercise science/pre-physical therapy?”
    “It’s kind of like a forever thing that I wanted to do. I’ve known since middle school that I wanted to be a physical therapist. Personally, I was delayed in mobility in sixth grade because I had a lot of knee problems and it just progressed from there. I know what it’s like to be impacted physically to where you can’t do daily activities, and I also know what it is to then recover and be able to do it again, and it’s just a wonderful feeling and I want other people to feel that way, too.”

    “Do you have any idea of what type of physical therapist you want to be?”
    “It’s been an abstract idea in my brain to be a traveling physical therapist. When I was in physical therapy, a couple of my therapists were travelers, and they would basically give their name and information to this overarching company, and they would be like, ‘This place in Arizona needs somebody to fill in for six months,’ so you go there. And then, ‘Oh this place in Cali,’ so you go there for six months.”

    “What has been your favorite class at Manchester?”
    “’Anatomy’ with Dr. Huntington. Every time I say that people are like, ‘You liked that class?’ and I really did. I loved Dr. Huntington and just learning the things in the anatomy was really fascinating. It was more than just learning where each part of the body is, connects, what’s it called, and all that, but the way he lectures, he made it important. It wasn’t just, ‘Here’s the facts. Know them for the test.’ I took it last year, fall semester, and I still remember all of it. It stuck with me, so it was really fun to take his class.”

    “What are you involved in on campus?”
    “I have three jobs on campus. I work in Haist Commons, here in the Admissions Office, and I’m also the head photographer for Aurora Yearbook, which is really fun. I really like working for the yearbook. I’m also in STAT, which is Students Today Alumni Tomorrow, and I’m looking into joining the Swim Club. We’ll see about that. STAT is really fun; it’s a lot of fun to work with alumni and hear their stories of Manchester.”

    “What are you hobbies and interests?”
    “Just anything being outside, really. I really like to read even though I don’t have much time to do it. I also really like to get my friends to go on bike rides or runs or walks with me, because I really like being physically active, but I also want to spend time with them.”

    “What is something that most people don’t know about you?”
    “I kind of want to say my natural hair color.”

  • Brandi Chauncey
    by Lauren Hughes | Jun 06, 2019

    Brandi Chauncey ’01, Director of Admissions

    “What brought you to Manchester?”
    “I have an older brother who attended Manchester so I became familiar with the university through him. He was on the football team, and was very connected and became an RA. He was very successful, [and] he was in the accounting program. I think when he moved in as a freshman football player, the coaching staff treated us like we were already a part of the family, and I think that was a huge part. I remember walking into a room and meeting the coach at one point who stopped in to say hi to us. He knew my mom by name and it was great to feel like we were part of something. He’s three years older than I am, so by the time I decided to go to college he was a senior, was well-established at Manchester, and had done many things, so that was a big part of why I chose to come here as a student.”

    “Why did you decide to major in Psychology?”
    “I started as Political Science, because I thought I wanted to be a lawyer, or just something with law. Then I started taking classes and I was a little bored, so I took a psychology class and I realized I loved that class. Even though it was ‘Intro to Pysch’ and sometimes that’s not people’s favorite Psych class. I remember all of the different avenues that we learned about. It wasn’t even necessarily what I learned in that class, it was hearing what I would learn if I continued in Psychology. And then you start relating things to Psychology, so then my interests starting changing, where I realized I’m more of a helping-people, interacting with people, engaging with people, and there’s so many different avenues that you can do that with a Psychology degree. I was also attracted to the Criminal Justice side; I took a lot of Criminal Justice courses here. Ultimately, when I left Manchester to get my graduate degree, I was actually going to get my Master’s in Criminal Justice, but that did not work out. So I didn’t know what I wanted to do, so I ended up doing organizational leadership, which is very much tied into Psychology, like all of the courses I took, it wasn’t that I had taken them as Psychology, but it was very relatable to something I did with my Psychology degree.”

    “What is your favorite memory from your time as a student?”
    “If I think about it from a student perspective, being in the classroom, I remember being in ‘Research Methods’ with Rusty Coulter-Kern and doing his sucker licking research project. I remember at the time thinking, ‘I don’t understand.’ I just thought it was goofy, but now I look back at it and I remember it was something we talked about. We had to do it every day, he’d bring in suckers and we would do it. Not everybody participated, but it was just like this little, common thing that you drew your class in, it was another way to relate to other students. I don’t think that was his intention; he was probably doing some social research project. I just spent the weekend with two of my girlfriends that I met at Manchester and we were talking about going to Walmart in the middle of the night or having dance parties, or the people we encountered here and all the things we were involved with. All the little things add up. So when I think of my favorite things as a student, I don’t know if I have just one, but it’s all of them added together.”

    “What are your hobbies and interests?”
    “I teach fitness classes. I’ve always been into fitness, so when I decided to get certified and actually teach Zumba and do some other classes that’s driven my passion for fitness more. Outside of that, I read a lot. That’s probably my go-to whenever I have time, I like to read. Spending time with family.”

    “What is something most people don’t know about you?”
    “Most people wouldn’t know that I grew up in rural Indiana as a farmer, and ten-year 4H member, and that’s very much about who I am. When I think about community, fellowship, and work ethic, it all comes back to that experience.”

    “What did you do in 4H?”
    “I showed pigs and cattle, so that’s probably something people would be shocked to know. And I sew, so I did ten years of sewing projects, and baking. I was part of Junior Leaders, the leadership component of 4H, and I participated in the 4H pageant. I was Miss Congeniality.”

    “What is your favorite memory from your time working here?”
    “I think when I’m working to recruit a student to Manchester and I’m working with different departments to get that student here. So it’s either a music student or an athlete, maybe sometimes it’s somebody who wants to study abroad, but collaborating and working with other offices to come and see that student enroll at Manchester, and then ultimately seeing the students graduate. That’s my favorite new thing is to go to graduation and actually see these students walk across the stage that I helped enroll and help them find Manchester, so I think a combination of all that, just seeing the student from the beginning to the end.”

    “I don’t know if they still do this, but when I was an RA we took students to Les Hively’s farm, he was my co-RA, and they got to learn how to milk cows, and pet calves and learn about the farming. I’m pretty sure we were the first ones to ever do that, so I’m pretty proud of that. We did it another year when I was a hall director, we went to a different [farm], but I don’t know if anybody’s ever done it since. But I thought it was great, people loved it, people who are from the city and have never been on a farm.”

  • Chelsea Jasper
    by Lauren Hughes | Jun 06, 2019

    Chelsea Jasper, Junior Exercise Science Major from Attica, Indiana

    “Why’d you decide to come to Manchester?”
    “I came to Manchester actually as transfer student from Purdue University, but what drew me to Manchester is the small community and how everybody’s so nice here, and genuine. Unlike how Purdue is so big—it’s big enough to have its own fire department and police department—you were just an ID number there, but here you have a name and all your professors know you, everybody knows you here, and you know everybody.”

    “Why did you decide to study exercise science?”
    “I actually started as wanting to be international business management, and then I decided the business life, or being at a desk all the time, just wasn’t for me, so I looked into speech therapy because my younger brother goes to an autism school where he deals with a lot of therapists. I was researching that and came across occupational therapy, and took a lot of interest in that because of how it’s a constantly changing environment, and how you’re always learning. To be able to do that, you have to be an exercise science major here at Manchester University, which then prepares you for a graduate program in occupational therapy.”

    “What has been your favorite class so far?”
    “My favorite class was probably ‘Therapeutic Exercise,’ mainly because it was very hands-on and exactly in my area, but also because I learned a lot about therapy in different settings, including the clinical setting, even therapy in a pool. We actually went to the Aquatic Center here in town and we participated in our own set of therapy. We had to get up really early, 6 o’clock in the morning, to do that. That’s unlike any other class I’ve ever had, so it’s very hands-on and I was really experiencing what it’s going to be like in the occupational therapy field.”

    “What has been your favorite memory from your time here?”
    “I’d probably say Lil Sibs’ Weekend was my favorite, because I got to bring up my sister who was 16 at the time, so a little old for Lil Sibs’ Weekend, but she really enjoyed it. Plus, being two hours from home, even though it’s not a long distance it’s long enough to not go home all the time, so it’s nice to bring in, even if it’s just my sister to see her for the weekend, that was really fun. They put on a lot of really fun events for us, so that was probably my favorite.”

    “What’s something most people don’t know about you?”
    “I’m recently a vegetarian. September 2016 is when I decided to be a vegetarian. I feel like whenever I go to dinner and I just order salad or soup, everybody’s like ‘Why didn’t you just get a chicken sandwich or a hamburger?’ Well, I’m a vegetarian, so I guess that’s something people don’t know about me.”

     

  • Jenny Pudlo
    by Lauren Hughes | Jun 06, 2019

    Jenny Pudlo, Junior Bio-Chem Major from Crown Point, Indiana

    “Why did you decide to study Bio-chem?”
    “I wanted to go to medical school. I knew Manchester had a really good bio-chem program because of the pharmacy school, so I would be prepared for the challenges of grad school and I knew my professors would support me and be there to help if I had questions.”

    “Do you have an idea of what you want to do in med school?”
    “I wanted to go to med school initially because I wanted to go into Sports Medicine, but after going on the Medical Practicum, I’m not sure about medical school anymore. I’m kind of thinking of getting my Master’s in prosthetics.”

    “Could you talk a little bit about the Medical Practicum?”
    “It was absolutely amazing. We traveled all over Nicaragua and had the chance to offer healthcare to three different villages with a pharmacy, dentistry, and veterinary area.  It was such a unique experience because we got to work hands-on with the patients, and were able to do and see things that we normally wouldn’t see here shadowing as a student. Also, we made great connections with the professionals that went with because we spent almost every minute together and could ask unlimited questions and hear great stores! I absolutely loved how everyone was always so eager to help or share and make the most of every opportunity.”

    “What interests you in prosthetics?”
    “I like the prosthetics area because you get to work with healthcare and also be creative. As a practitioner, I would get to fit, help create, and then modify the prosthesis to help people do things that they did not think they’d ever be able to do, so you get to open that opportunity up for them. It is a really hands on field, which I absolutely love because you get to make casts, modify prosthetics, and the technology is always changing!”

    “What has been your favorite class?”
    “I really liked the ‘Digital Photography’ class. I took that last year, and it was really fun because you got to walk around campus and do more outside stuff rather than just sit in a classroom. It was nice to see how all of our pictures changed from the start of the semester to the end after learning Photoshop and how we could identify what made a good picture rather than saying, ‘I liked the colors or subject.’”

    “What has been your favorite memory from your time here?”
    “Last year, I spent a lot of time at the study tables for ‘Organic Chemistry,’ and I met some of my best friends there. It was like every single night, we went there and had two hours of doing homework, and it just made it way more fun.”

    “What are your hobbies and interests?”
    “I really like to be active. I play soccer and I also ran track this year at Manchester. When I am away from school I enjoy spending time with my family and friends. During the summer my family has a lake house, so I’m always outside, paddle boarding, wakeboarding, water-skiing, swimming, hanging out on the boat.”

    “What is something most people don’t know about you?”
    “Probably that I’ve never skipped breakfast at the [JYSC], even on weekends. There’s no one there, but I’m like, ‘I have to have three meals a day! Gotta make it to breakfast!’”

  • Katie Peden
    by Lauren Hughes | Jun 06, 2019

    Katie Peden, Senior Environmental Studies Major and Communication Studies Minor from North Manchester, Indiana                                                 

    “Why did you decide to come to Manchester?”
    “It was nice that it was close to home. At first it was like ‘Oh, that’s way too close to home,’ but the Environmental Studies’ program opportunities and even local farmers recommending it to me said a lot, and I was also able to continue playing Tennis. Also, financially it fit best as well, and the professors seemed really nice.”

    “Why did you decide to study Environmental Studies?”
    “I’ve grown up in agriculture and different things like that, and nowadays with the new conservation practices that are coming out that farmers have to apply to their fields, I wanted to see how I could take part in that [by] understanding how it’s affecting my family and the community. What can I do to be a middleman in helping people with that? That was as close of a fit as I could get to agriculture.”

    “Have you had the opportunity to do any research or work on any projects?”
    “After my freshman year I was able to work with Dr. Sweeten in the 319 Project, so I was able to do water chemistry and also biological surveys in the tributaries that feed into the Eel River and the Eel River itself. Then, throughout last summer and this year periodically, I’ve been working with the Natural Resources Conservation Service, which is a part of the Department of Agriculture, and I was able to see how to make conservation maps. I got to meet with some of the farmers in the Northeast area counties, seeing their point of views on what they think of different payment programs, and other things of the like, and realizing, ‘Oh, is this the right fit for me?’ So far, it’s been a good fit and I really like the people I work with.”

    “What has been your favorite class so far at Manchester?”
    “’Experiencing the Arts,’ even though I was told to avoid it like the plague (and we learned about the plague in that class). I enjoyed it a lot because Dr. Planer is just awesome, he was very passionate about what he did, and he cared about all of us in the class. I learned that Mozart sounds different from Beethoven, just because. This past summer for A Capella Choir we went to New Orleans, Mississippi, and Alabama, and we went to two basilicas there, and I was able to point out Christian iconography things—and I’m Catholic already—but it just helped. [I could point out] how the vaulting is, so realizing, ‘I could use this class, tell other people what’s going on!’ It makes traveling or looking at different things more fun or going to orchestras knowing what instruments sound like what. I enjoyed the class.”

    “What is your favorite memory from your time at Manchester so far?”
    “I guess a really funny memory was my freshman year, during Jan term, my friends and I went to the racquetball room, and I didn’t have any racquetball equipment, so I just brought my chemistry goggles and my tennis racket with me. I felt goofy but it was a lot of fun, and we switched around so I got to use the actual racquetball stuff. It was even funnier that we were in the glass one, so people were looking at us, but that was really fun. And my tennis teammates, of all the years I’ve played, have been really great, and just helping me with school stuff or anything that happens. We’re pretty close-knit.”

    “What are you most looking forward to before you graduate?”
    “Right now I’m taking ‘Environmental Science,’ ‘Physical Geology,’ and ‘Conservation Biology’ and they really play in to what I want to do, so it’s fun to actually have classes that will apply to what my career might be. Dr. Beyeler for Environmental Science is really applying what’s happening currently and how there’s different steps that we have to take to assess them, and how to appeal to the public or educate people on the issues, because you have to look before you leap on how to go about environmental issues and all the different factors that play into it, because it’s not just anthropocentric, there’s bio-centric and eco-centric, different type of things to look at. Some people are like ‘What do those words mean?’ and this is the stuff we’re passionate about, for us Environmental Studies majors. So it’s taking those passions into action, and that’s really neat.”

    “What are your hobbies and interests?”
    “I like to go fishing, and I like to watch or listen to basketball and volleyball games from around the area. My family and I usually go to tractor and car shows, or toy tractor shows and things like that. I also participate in the church choir here at St. Roberts. Growing up, the county fair was always the highlight of my summer, so that kind of still is, but it’s hard when I work and now I can only go at 5 o’clock, so everything’s almost done. I still get my Rich Valley tenderloin and ice cream and stuff like that, so that’s fun. My family is pretty close, and I’m still here so I’m able to see them pretty often.”

    “What is like being a commuter?”
    “It’s kind of hard your first year here, because people meet their friends within their dorms or down the hallway. For me, sports made it easier, and also being from here, there are quite a few North Manchester residents that go here. It is a little hard to transition into at first, but people should know that that shouldn’t hold them back from being active in things. I understand if you’re on the line of 40 miles because that would make it harder, but don’t let that hold you back from meeting new people or participating in new activities. And fun fact, I can hear the football games from my house, if it’s a clear day. I thought, ‘I could just set my chair out here and listen to the game!’

    “What is something that most people don’t know about you?”
    “I am a big history buff. I like watching PBS, either documentaries, British comedies, even like Lawrence Welk or old TV shows. There’s some shows that talk about Dragnet or different things like that and people have no idea what I’m talking about, but I’m like ‘No, it’s so good, it was produced in the 60s!’ It’s kind of because my parents are older and I’m the youngest of five, and there’s a 17-year difference from the oldest to me. But I guess I’m an old soul in a 21-year-old’s capacity.”

    “Is there anything else you’d like to share about you or your time at Manchester?”
    “For advice for first-years, would be to not be afraid to ask questions of your professors, because typically they either become your mentors or someone that will help you find people who will then lead you to a career. So raise your hands, don’t be afraid to ask questions, and we have an open-door policy, so utilize that.”

  • Marissa Deetz
    by Lauren Hughes | Jun 06, 2019

    Marissa Deetz, Sophomore Accounting Major from Kendallville, Indiana

    “Why did you choose Manchester?”
    “The first time I checked out campus, I actually had no intentions of coming here. It was the middle of winter—I think I came during Jan Term—so no one was here, and I was like ‘Eh, I don’t know how I feel about it.’ Then I came back for the LEAD Luncheon and I just got to talk to more people, I got shown around campus again, and I decided that I actually really loved it here and ended up deciding to come here. Now I honestly can’t imagine being anywhere else!”

    “Why did you decide to major in accounting?”
    “Again, that was one of those ‘never ever’ circumstances in my life. My dad thought I’d like it and I said ‘No way,’ so I came into Manchester as a Marketing and Sales double major. I took ‘Principles of Accounting’ because it was a major requirement, and I absolutely loved it. I took it during Jan Term so I was doing three hours of class a day, and I took 5-6 hours a night on homework, by the time I played around on my phone and stuff. I really, really loved it. I started talking to some friends and professors and I switched over at the end of my first year here.”

    “What has been your favorite class so far?”
    “I took ‘Business Law’ with Ogden this Jan Term, and I really loved that … I thought it was cool to run through all the different scenarios we ran through and I have just always found law to be interesting. I think I decided I might take ‘Business Law II’ just because I liked it so much.”

    “Have there been any classes outside the College of Business that you’ve enjoyed?"
    “I took ‘Ceramics’ because I dropped ‘Intermediate French’ and I didn’t have 12 credit hours. They had a half-semester class, and I was like ‘There we go, that’s what I’m going to take.’ I thought I’d like it, but I just forgot how much I liked doing art stuff, so that was a lot of fun. I had Professor Oke, and I spent the last half of last semester just doing ceramics projects.”

    “Out of everything you’re involved in, what has been your favorite event or meeting?”
    “MAC would probably be my favorite overall.  Out of MAC events, I really love May Day. It’s great to see the campus come together for a weekend of fun. It is a lot of work but everyone in MAC does a great job at keeping the work entertaining. Honestly, MAC is more of a family than it is a club, so it’s really cool hanging out with everyone.”

    “What has been your favorite memory from your time at MU so far?”
    “I was an Orientation Leader this year, so we have that week we’re here without anybody else on campus, other than athletes. So we all had our training during the day and we hung out at night. We spent a lot of time on the sand volleyball court, which was a lot of fun. I had more mosquito bites on my legs than I could ever count because I was anti-bug spray that week. Overall, it was just a lot of fun.”

    “What are your hobbies and interests?”
    “I really love playing volleyball. I played for 8 or 9 years before I came to Manchester and I didn’t play on the team here, so I like that I can play with friends and that we do have intramurals here. I also like doing art projects, I’ve really gotten back into that after I took ‘Ceramics.’ Other than that I do like reading, but I don’t really have much free time outside of clubs and school.”

    “What is something most people don’t know about you?”
    “I guess I’m a really spontaneous person. My senior year I took figure skating lessons just on a whim. I’ve gone on road trips and I’ll see a place off the road that seems cool so I’ll just stop and check that out instead of staying on schedule. I almost took square dancing lessons on a whim one time. I just like being random and keeping life interesting.”

    “Do you have any advice for other students?”
    “I would just recommend getting involved. Manchester is one of those places that’s really what you make it. If you’re not involved, we are a small college so you’re going to be bored. But if you’re involved this is one the best colleges you could ever be at.”

  • Tim McKenna-Buchanan and Carly Kwiecien
    by Lauren Hughes | Jun 06, 2019

    Tim McKenna-Buchanan, Assistant Professor of Communication Studies and Carly Kwiecien ’19 

    Tim: “We are interviewing MU pharmacy students about their socialization experiences, especially professionalism, and communication so how they learn how to communicate as a professional.”

    “How long have you been working on this?”

    Carly: “It’s been a long process. We started in the spring semester, February or March. We had to do a lot of stuff before we started the research: we had to get the proposal approved by IRB, so that’s just to start research, we had to make a consent form, we had to do our interview questions and start those from scratch, and we had to contact people at the pharmacy school. We had a main contact person to figure out how we wanted to go about this and get people’s attention to participate.”

    Tim: “We started narrowing down topics on what we wanted to do, and then everything Carly said. Then we launched full-force in the summer. The first week after graduation we did our first interview, and since then we’ve been…”

    Carly: “On the go.”

    “Why did you decide on the topic of professionalism?”

    Carly: “Well, Tim has some background in socialization, so I got some help in learning about that. Then, we just thought it would be interesting to learn more about the Pharmacy Program because I don’t know much about it, so it’s kind of an exciting learning experience for us, too.”

    “What results have you found?”

    Carly: “We had to interview 20 people, and I had to transcribe all those interviews. Then we downloaded this qualitative data analysis program on my computer called NVivo, so what I did was put the transcriptions into this program, and then I did what’s called initial coding, where I highlight words that I think are interesting or themes that I think are going to pop up a lot in the interviews. So that’s where you get your results from. Then we had to do focus coding, so that’s when we get rid of the stuff that we realize, ‘Oh, only one person said this,’ so we can get rid of that and focus more on the bigger themes or details. I guess right now we’re still in that process, so we don’t know the results exactly. The Manchester Pharmacy Program is a professional program, and we’re learning that a lot of the students say they’re learning about professionalism but there’s not a written definition, so some of it is kind of unwritten rules. And a lot of them learn in their ‘Introduction to Pharmacy’ class or communications class, about how to be professional, how to act, dress, all kinds of stuff, and a lot of them say, ‘I don’t think I need to take this’ but a lot of the other people do. So a lot of them are saying ‘Oh, it’s for them but not for me.’ We’re just picking up on themes along the professionalism line and how its complicated, but then we’re also learning about the professor-student relationships and how that impacts the socialization process.”

    Tim: “There are some unwritten rules about professionalism, so we need to figure out what are those unwritten or informal rules are that students really need to know about? A lot of what we found is that they learn a lot about professionalism in the beginning when they’re first starting the program, and then it’s brought up continuously but it’s like this thing you should already know. Then they learn about it when someone makes a mistake, when someone’s called out for not being professional and they get talked to about it. So, to some extent it’s formalized, but through the years it’s lost in translation almost.”

    Carly: “Also, sometimes those rules are only applied in certain circumstances and not applied to everyone. So that’s kind of what we’re focusing on, so maybe eventually we could use this data to help the Pharmacy Program improve teaching professionalism.”

    Tim: “The main goal is to go to a conference, but depending on what we find, it could be published. We could pursue that, but that’s kind of like a next-on-the-list thing depending on what we get through this summer.”

    Carly: “It should be about 25-30 pages when we’re done, so for now we’re just focusing on one section at a time.”

  • Sandra Granda
    by Lauren Hughes | Jun 06, 2019

    Sandra Granda, Senior Accounting Major from Warsaw, Indiana

    “What brought you to Manchester?”
    “I wasn’t going to come here in the beginning. I came with my high school first and visited and didn’t like it. I thought it was too small. In the process of actually applying for schools, I decided ‘why not just go ahead and apply?’ My story’s a bit more different than most people, because I wasn’t eligible for FAFSA at the time, so I had to find either a place with low cost or a place with high aid. Manchester offered me their financial aid package and I thought it was a pretty good deal, and I came back again. One of the tour guides, Sara, I talked to her one-to-one on the day that I came to visit and she was just very pleasant, so Sara and I basically became friends on that day. She just recently graduated, so since then she’s been my role model. I’ve been looking up to how she’s been doing, and she also graduated with accountancy. It was eye-opening, and I haven’t regretted my decision so far. I love it here.”

    “Why did you decide to study accounting?”
    “I actually hated math when I was in elementary school. I hated numbers. Then, thanks to two of my fifth and sixth grade teachers, they pushed me and told me I could do it. I remember just crying, I hated it. I couldn’t do my homework, it was awful. Then something just clicked. When I went to middle school, I took algebra one and my teacher there just knew I had a bright future—that’s what she told me. She challenged me more and more, and from then on I started taking honors courses in math. By the time I got to high school I met a business teacher, and she taught ‘Intro to Accounting’ and I took it my junior year. I loved it. It wasn’t just math; it was application, it was numbers, it was analyzing, and I liked it. There’s no wrong answer. You have to come up with an actual thing, it’s so structured. Since then I’ve just said ‘accountancy’ and I’ve been sticking with it. I don’t think I’m going to change my major any time soon.”

    “What has been your favorite class you’ve taken so far?”
    “It’s not that it’s my favorite, but I just feel so proud of being able to make it through ‘Intermediate Accounting,’ just knowing how difficult it was. My biggest fear of being an accountant was having to make it to college and take ‘Intermediate Accounting.’ But just knowing I made it through already is great.”

    “Outside of school, what are your hobbies and interests?”
    “Actually, this year I’ve been freer than I have in the first two years. My freshman and sophomore years I was working two part-time jobs while coming to school, so that was rough. This year I’ve just been working at Teachers’ Credit Union, just a part-time job there, so it allows a lot more free time. When I can, I love spending time with my family. Besides that, my biggest hobby is soccer. I love playing soccer whenever I have a chance. I like to go out with my brothers and friends.”

    “What is something that most people don’t know about you?”
    “It’s big right now, I know it can be politically a huge topic, but I was an undocumented immigrant. A lot of people don’t know that, but I usually don’t let it bring me down. As of May this year, I became a permanent resident, so it’s great. Another thing that’s not political –I don’t know how to swim. I just recently learned how to tread water, but it still freaks me out. I think I’m going to sink to the bottom of the pool. The only thing I can do is float and swim backwards.”

    “What has been your favorite memory so far at Manchester?”
    “My best memories were when DaiJah Asumang and Sara Cruz were still here and we got to take trips with the Intercultural Center, the OMA office. We went laser tagging once –those kinds of trips were the best. One of my friends that used to be here, too, Rod, it was the best time when the four of us got to hang out and we got to go do crazy things. The Intercultural Center is amazing here. The opportunities that they provided us at the time were amazing.”

    “Do you have any advice for students?”
    “I would say never give up. If you have the desire to come to college don’t let anything stop you from coming. Financial aid is just numbers. Just choose a good career and it’ll take care of itself. I will say, too, if there’s any undocumented students out there who think there’s no way, talk to someone. You’ll find a way. It’s there.”

  • Karen Kanyike
    by Lauren Hughes | Jun 06, 2019

    Karen Kanyike, Senior Communication Studies Major from Atlanta, Georgia

    “Why did you choose to study communication studies?”
    “I had always wanted to do COMM, since the beginning of high school. Originally, I wanted to do mass communications, because that’s what was offered at home (Uganda). So when I came here, I realized I could do communication studies at Manchester, which was a very broad program. So that’s why I decided to do COMM, but I didn’t really know what it entailed. I was just like, ‘Okay, it sounds like a cool thing to do so I’ll do it.’ As I got deeper into COMM, I realized that it helped me to have a better understanding of how people behave and communicate, and that’s what kept me interested.”

    “What are your goals after graduation?”
    “I’m doing COMM and I’m minoring in journalism and English, so with those three things I’m hoping to get into journalism or marketing or public relations. Now I’m thinking of getting into event planning, because of the internship I’m doing this summer with the Office of Strategic Communications, and part of my job was to organize the Fourth of July celebration. I enjoyed the process of putting things together, contacting people to donate items for the event, and delegating tasks, meeting new people and coordinating with various parties within and outside Manchester to make this event a success. I enjoyed the process and it made me consider event planning.”

    “Tell me about your internship.” 
    “A big part of it was organizing [the Fourth of July Celebration], and I’m also supposed to write press releases, so for the press releases we did at the beginning of the summer, we had to send news to people’s hometowns. We did graduation lists in the beginning, and we had to send press releases to people’s hometowns to tell them that a certain number of people graduated from Manchester and we put the names of the people from that particular hometown into the press release. We’re also writing other kinds of press releases. For example, for people who won awards, we sent press releases to their hometowns. The part of the internship involved writing profiles for the Alumni Newsletter or the Manchester Magazine. I’m a PR Intern, but I’ve been working for the office since September, and I’m one of the Communications Assistants.”

    “What has been your favorite class?”
    “’Media Literacy’ with Judd Case, because I had a chance to create a website, and I had never done that before. I didn’t think I’d be able to create one. For the website, we were supposed to have podcasts and edit a video, and add movie reviews. I was able to gain experience with editing videos, making podcasts, and editing images from the movies. I was able to explore a different writing style with the reviews. I was so used to academic writing, but with the reviews, the writing is more relaxed and not so serious. And Judd Case really guided me through the process; we would meet up every week for an hour and he helped me every step of the way.”

    “What are your hobbies and interests?”
    “I love to watch movies in my free time. I also enjoy having long, deep conversations with my friends about life. Also I enjoy traveling. I’ve been to London a few times, I have family there, so that’s the main thing that pulls me. I have two older brothers and cousins there, so I go whenever I can.”

    “What’s your favorite place you’ve been to?”
    “London. It’s definitely my favorite city and I love everything about it. I had actually wanted to live there, but my plans changed eventually. Also, before I came to live in the US, I had been here once or twice when I was still really young. I haven’t been to many places, it’s just been the UK, the US, and Nairobi, Kenya. It’s right next to Uganda, and I was there for maybe about a week. I’ve only been to two states, but every state is like a country on its own.”

    “What is your favorite memory from your time at Manchester so far?”
    “I think maybe my favorite memory is volunteering for the International Fair, because the whole experience was just incredible. I had never cooked for that many people, about 800, and also just being there and seeing and tasting food from other countries. I was experiencing different cultures at once. It’s like I traveled around the world during four hours, because we saw performances from different parts of the world, the food, the people, it was just an incredible experience.”“What is something most people don’t know about you?”
    “Most people don’t know that I love watching horror movies. I scare so easily, so you’d think that I’d want to stay away from things like horror movies, but I love them so much. Only people who are really close to me know that.” 

    “Do you have any advice you’d give to other students?”
    “I think the biggest thing is to have an open mind. When you come to college, you experience new things and you’re exposed to so many things, and there are just many possibilities. Some people have set goals already, but I think being open to exploring other things is huge. Also, using your time well. Time management, as soon as you have that down then everything falls into place. That’s something I have failed to do, because it’s so difficult sometimes. You plan, but things don’t go according to the plan all the time.”

  • Travis Steele
    by Lauren Hughes | Jun 06, 2019

    Travis Steele, Director of IT Operations

    “What brought you to Manchester?”
    “[My wife] Jenny graduated from here in 2005 and started working here shortly after, and a Help Desk position became available. I wasn’t exactly enjoying my job where I was, so I applied, and the rest is history.”

    “What did you study in college?”
    “I was a Criminal Justice major, and realized that wasn’t exactly what I wanted to do. I fell upon a job in IT and just learned on the fly. I learned from doing.”

    “What are you involved in on campus?”
    “I’m a member of the Technology Committee, I’ve participated in SOC, the Staff Organizational Committee, and I play in the Faculty/Staff-Student softball game every year.”

    “What are your hobbies and interests outside of work?”
    “I love sports. My children are involved in things now so we’re always into something. So it’s generally what their hobbies are and what their interests are. But I like electronics and sports, and just spending time with family.”

    “What is your favorite memory from your time at Manchester?”
    “Probably just walking around when Jenny was a student. We started dating when she was a junior, so I’ve seen both sides. 12 or 13 years ago, if you told me I’d be doing what I’m doing now, I would’ve said no way. But I am so, so glad I am. I never would’ve thought, but I’m glad it worked out this way.”

  • Travis Adkins
    by Lauren Hughes | Jun 06, 2019

    Travis Adkins ’14, Senior Admissions Counselor from Mexico, IN

    “What brought you to Manchester?”
    “During the college process, I was between two schools, Manchester and Purdue. I had my heart set on Purdue, and I actually took some classes there when I was younger, like in middle school, they had some for younger kids and I was set on that. It sounds really corny, but I came and met with Admissions here at Manchester because I felt like Purdue was just a little too big and I just felt like a number. So I came and met with Brandi, which is surreal now because she’s my boss. I took the campus tour and just fell in love with it. I met Marci [Coulter-Kern] my very first time here and she sold me on the Psych department, and the rest is history.”

    “What did you do after graduation?”
    “I actually went and managed a Kroger for a while. I worked at Kroger in different roles during my time at Manchester, then went a little farther into it afterwards for 2-3 years after graduation, then came back in January for Admissions. I always feel like it’s coming back home, because I liked it here, and it’s a good place to work.”

    “What was your favorite class?”
    “My favorite professor was Rusty Coulter-Kern. He was never my advisor, but he always had the fatherly feel and always seems to look out for me and give me advice on which paths to take, and really made me feel invested in my growth and potential. My favorite class was probably ‘Introduction to European History’ with Mark Angelos. It was super intense, I remember really cramming for it, but for some reason it was just so much fun. He made me want to go to those places in Europe that we learned about.”

    “What kinds of things are you involved in on campus?”
    “This year, I will be the lead of the Spartan Ambassadors, so I’m super excited about that. It’s kind of part of my job, but it’s a special little spot. I just recently realized we’re going to be working on the Walk Into My Future event, which is just crazy to me, so that’s pretty exciting. We’re going to have a thousand extra students than we did last year, so that’s pretty fun to work on. I’m working on my Master’s in Organizational Leadership so that takes a lot of time too.”

    “What are your hobbies and interests?”
    “I like to travel, I’m a Netflix binger, and I have a seven-month-old puppy—a chocolate lab named Cooper—so he takes up a lot of my time. It’s lame to say the Master’s stuff, but that really does take up a lot of my time. I’m also really into farmers’ markets. When I was in high school I worked at an apple orchard, so I like that kind of stuff. I like making people laugh, not really like, ‘Do you have any jokes?’ … no, but just how I present my life makes people laugh.”

    “Do you have a favorite place you’ve traveled to?”
    “As far as at Manchester, I did go to Disney with the Coulter-Kerns in the Industrial-Organizational class. I sat with Marci on a plane for two hours, and I dumped her tea all over the floor within the first ten minutes. This was before take-off, and I was like, ‘I think I just kicked this over,’ because she had it on the ground, and I’m like ‘Oh… no. That sucks.’ As far as outside, last year I actually had the opportunity to go to Hawaii twice, which was kind of nuts, and I went with myself, which people think is crazy, because it’s like 5,000 miles away, and just did some sight-seeing.  I didn’t have a plan going so it was neat to just explore, and what things came up, I did, so that’s probably my favorite trip. It’s super cool and I highly recommend it.”

    “Do you have a favorite memory from your time at Manchester?” 
    “This is one that I kind of relate to people and Admissions. A lot of people get worked up if they don’t get into the [residence] halls they like. I always like to say to my prospective students, ‘I lived in Oakwood, I was fortunate enough to start off there. But I would go to Schwalm, and that’s where I was at almost all the time, because that’s where my friends were.’ So I think just the late nights, not really doing anything, just talking and hanging out. As far as a cool opportunity, I was actually able to present my psychology [research] at a national conference, and I got a scholarship grant from Psi Chi to go on the travel grant, so it was free. So we went to Chicago and presented at the Midwestern Psychological Association meeting, so that was exciting with schools around the country that were able to present their work.”

    “What is something most people don’t know about you?”
    “When I was growing up, like in elementary school, I used to write horror stories. When I was little, they were kind of gruesome. I remember in first grade, I wrote a story named ‘Jeremiah and the Bear’ and my best friend was named Jeremiah, and I had him eaten by a bear! We had to make books with construction paper, and you had to do drawings of it. I was in first-grade!”

  • Paula Finton
    by Lauren Hughes | Jun 06, 2019

    Paula Finton, Facilities Coordinator for Conference Services from Huntington, IN

    “What is your favorite memory from your time at Manchester?”
    “Probably the small chats I would have with Dave Friermood before he retired. His stories and his dedication to campus just were astounding, and made me want to devote myself in a similar manner.”

    “What other things are you involved in on campus?”
    “I help with the President’s Celebration; I’m on the committee for that. I mostly manage the decorations, and of course attending the event, so that’s fun, seeing the graduating students come in the night before Commencement for one last party with staff, faculty and other students is joyous. I also help the Alumni Office with the Homecoming events, assisting them with event locations and details. I assist most departments with their events and helping them determine what works and what doesn’t in some of the facilities, although posing some challenges, it’s always fun.”

    “What are your hobbies and interests?” 
    “I love gardening, and getting together with family. Those are two of the things that are most endearing to my heart. As I was growing up, my grandmother gardened, and I had the privilege of helping her every chance I could and that dedication has just transpired into my flower gardens. And of course gathering with family, you never know how much time you’re going to have with them. It’s a precious commodity.”

    “What is something most people don’t know about you?” 
    “I actually went to Vincennes University out of high school to become a computer programmer. I didn’t get to finish, so that’s why most people don’t know about it. I had to finish early because my brother became very ill, so my funds were kind of diminished, and I didn’t have time to go with student loans because I was halfway through a semester. I use to love computers and creating new programs, so that’s why I went for computer programming.”

  • Justin Lasser
    by Lauren Hughes | Jun 06, 2019

    Humans of Manchester University: Justin Lasser, Associate Professor of Religious Studies

    “What brought you to Manchester?”

    “Well, when you get ready to finish your doctoral studies  you begin to have an anxiety attack about finding a job. And teaching as an adjunct professor is not fun because it doesn’t really pay and there are a lot of things that are expected of you. So, in any case, you start applying. I had an interview here and in my field there are not many jobs — so when you get one you go! But that’s not the only reason I came. I had a choice of maybe teaching at my alma mater, but I wanted to come here. The people that were in my department were probably one of the most prominent reasons. So, I went from living in New York City on Broadway for seven years to the huge metropolis of North Manchester.”

    “What got you interested in your field of study?”

    “For me it was questions of meaning. My parents were going through a divorce; I felt like I was losing an anchor in life. I found refuge in the church and in the sense of meaning it provides. While I challenge many of those innocent notions today, that’s what got me interested in the question. So I’ve always had it – I never lacked it.”

    “Are you working on any research or special projects?”

    “Yes I am. One is on the composition of the earliest Christian texts – proto-Christian. Q, for example, is a hypothetical gospel behind Matthew and Luke. I’ve also named one of my cats after it (and Que also happens to be a Star Trek character and a God-like character). Another relates to the question of psychoanalysis and Christian faith.“

    “What is your favorite class to teach?”

    “I’d probably say ‘Rethinking God.’ I like that a lot. I also really enjoy ‘Jesus and the Gospels.’”

    “What is something that most people don’t know about you?”

    “I have my pilot’s license which most people don’t know. I also grew up in tights. My mom’s a ballet teacher so I took ballet – I had to. It was a very awkward stage in life – you’re in eighth grade and you’re wearing tights in The Nutcracker. I was once the Snow King. Sounds masculine, right? Well it’s not. I wore white tights with a white shirt that had a “V” all the way down. You know, ballet stuff with pirate-like sleeves.”

    “What are your hobbies and interests?”

    “I love nothing more than waking up on a Saturday morning, getting a cup of coffee and reading for hours. That doesn’t sound very exciting to you, right? I also look silly because I like to walk and read a book at the same time. And people honk at me because they think I’m going to walk into the road or something but I do it on long farm roads. I like to kayak on the ocean and rivers, but traveling is probably my best passion – my favorite passion.”

    “What is your favorite thing about Northeast Indiana?”

    “I think my favorite thing is probably the discussions you can have. Here, I’m in a college town and I hang out with people who are not always in my discipline and we learn from each other. You don’t get that all the time in big cities, and you don’t even get that in small towns – there is something unique about this environment. And I try to take advantage of that. We meet at the Main View on Tuesday nights and we have some awesome discussions – that’s probably my favorite. Also it’s got a beautiful fall, but a very weak spring.”

    “What organizations and projects are you involved in around the community?”

    “What I do most is [with] Timbercrest – I teach there … that’s probably my primary town thing. I lead a Bible Study every Monday night at the Main View with them. Every other Friday I do a talk on religious themes. I occasionally do something called “News Talk” which is at the Shepherd’s Center.”

  • Nicole Weaver
    by Lauren Hughes | Jun 06, 2019

    Nicole Weaver, Sophomore Biology-Chemistry Major and Spanish Minor from Fort Wayne

    “Why did you decide to attend Manchester?”
    “There are several reasons. I play basketball here, so I joined the basketball team and I really love them. It’s close to where I live – that’s really nice. And also the academics here. I met with a professor and [I] really loved interacting with them.

    “Why did you decide to study Bio-Chem?”
    “I decided to study Bio-Chem because I really like to help people and I always knew that I had a passion for the science field and so I planned on taking my bio-chemistry major and going pre-med with it – I’m really excited for that.”

    “What has been your favorite class you’ve taken so far?”
    “My favorite class is probably ‘Principles of Biology’ because I’m a really outdoorsy person and a lot of the labs are outdoors and we worked with small animals last semester and that was really cool – we went down to the river for our first lab.”

    “What are you involved in on campus?”
    “I’m involved in basketball, I’m a part of the Student 300 club, and I’m looking to get involved in the art club. And then I also want to become a peer tutor.”

    “What has been your favorite memory you’ve made so far?”
    “My favorite memory is the day classes got cancelled from the power going out. It was such a beautiful day. It seemed like everyone on campus was outside. We were able to take a frisbee and a hammock out and just relax. It was even better that we didn’t have class the next day either so we could sleep in!”

    “Could you talk a little bit about playing basketball and what it’s like being a student athlete?”
    “Yeah, it’s a lot of balancing – it’s a juggling act. But the coaches and the professors, and even at the Success Center, everybody is here to help you so it made it really easy and it helped me to be successful. With the study tables, too, you have a designated time to put forth toward your studies and then you have your designated time to put forth toward basketball and so that’s made it really easy and really easy to plan.”

    “Do you have a favorite memory from this basketball season?”
    “I have a lot from this basketball season. One of them would probably be going to Peabody [and] we watched a movie with all the elderlies. It was so much fun and they loved it and we loved it so that was awesome.”

    “What are your hobbies and interests?”
    “I like to fish, I like sports, and I like to read, watch movies, and hang out with friends.”

    “What is something most people don’t know about you?”
    “I would say most people don’t know how passionate I am about animals. That’s not something I talk about a lot [while] going into the medical field, but I had always wanted to be a veterinarian when I was younger. Part of me still kind of wants to do that, but I just think that I would be a lot happier helping kids than having to deal with sick animals because I get really emotionally attached to them.”

  • Kurt Kurtzhals
    by Lauren Hughes | Jun 06, 2019

    Professor Kurt Kurtzhals – Assistant Professor in the Education Department

     

    "What brought you to Manchester?"

    “Well I’m originally from North Manchester, and so I’m actually – it’s more of coming back to Manchester as far as a community member is concerned. Um, when I came down – or returned to the area – I thought that if I’m lucky someday [then] perhaps I would get the chance to teach at Manchester and be able to work in the community where I live(d) and one thing led to another and here I am. The biggest thing was meeting Heather Schilling who’s the department chair here. I remember meeting her at a conference and introducing myself, and luckily she remembered me and when there was an opening for a visiting instructor a couple of years ago she thought of me and one thing led to another and here I am. I’m very happy to be here and to be back home, so to speak.”

    "What got you interested in education?"

    “Well, I was a student that received a lot of special education services when I was a young learner. I was pretty much a non-reader until fifth grade and received speech and language and learning support. [I] probably didn’t realize until later in life that I had dyslexia and I’m still working through that, actually. But I had teachers who changed my life… um, the first one was a second grade teacher and then I had a fifth grade teacher that really impacted me – one at the beginning of their career and one at the end of their career. And I knew in about sixth grade that I wanted to teach. I did my undergraduate work at Purdue, taught in early childhood classrooms and early elementary classrooms for about eighteen years before coming here. My reason for coming to higher education was to make an impact on the future of education. To hopefully be a positive influence on the next generation of teachers, and therefore have an impact on all of the students that they’ll have if I am a positive influence on them.”

    "Are you working on any research or special projects?"

    “No, I’m not working on any specific research currently. But, I do keep updated on the research so I can use that in the coursework and keep updated – especially on special education law and such. However, I am very much interested in teacher identity and there’s a lot of theory behind that. I have a lot of interest in that, and specifically when I think about students coming in here to our program – at what point in their development do they start to identify themselves as a potential teacher? Or even having that kind of role in others’ lives? And so, I’m very much interested in that and I have done a little research.”

    "Do you plan on taking part in any research in the future?"

    “Absolutely, I would love to be a part of that. I am working on pursuing a certification in high-ability or gifted and talented education. I am going to start that in January through Purdue University. I’m assuming that some research will come out of that.”

    "What is your favorite class to teach?"

    “Oh, all of them. I really do love teaching all of them. I really, really love teaching at the higher education level and I often am asked ‘what was it like transitioning from teaching second graders – seven and eight year olds – to eighteen and beyond?’ and there are some similarities, but I do love teaching no matter what. I’m always asked about my favorite class or grade, and it’s usually what you’re teaching at the time. I’m lucky to teach a lot of different classes. If I had to pick one, it’s probably creativity in the classroom, which I’ve taught a couple of times and I’ll teach again in the spring semester. Um, I really loved that one simply because I’m able to pull in a lot of personal things.”

    "What are you involved in on campus?"

    “I am one of the co-advisors for the student education association (SEA) here within our department - I’m co-advisor with Heather Schilling. Um, I’m also on the advisory council for our Indiana State Education Association, which is ISEA. So, I’m very much involved in SEA – I’ve been involved in SEA since I was a student leader at Purdue. I’m also a women’s assistant basketball coach. I’m part of the Title IX team but that’s just recent. That is something I will become more and more involved in.”

    "What is something most people don’t know about you?"

    “I’m a pretty – believe it or not, in class I tell a lot of stories but I’m not the kind of person to just throw everything out there. Um, one thing that I spend a lot of time in my creativity course is speaking about music and talking about the influence of music and that is an art form – I have absolutely zero musical talent. I wish I would’ve pursued some things when I was younger. My sisters took piano lessons but I didn’t But one thing that a lot of people don’t know about me is, previous to coming here, and even while I was teaching, I worked – I had a pretty unique and interesting position in the music industry. And so, I worked with a small record label out of Chicago and what I got to do is do some promotion and work with artists that were on their way up – working their way and building their fan bases (all prior to the influence of internet and social media). So, it was a lot of person-to-person, place-to-place, knocking on doors, and handing out handbills and such. But, um, I got to have a pretty neat role in the development of some artists that had some pretty neat success. There are some up there in my office such as John Mayer and Train, that I had a hand in helping develop some of their career – kind of the foundation of their career. But in that course, students find out about the multitude of artists that I had a chance to work with. But no, I can’t go through my day without listening to music. I have a variety of different interests, so I guess the biggest thing is – those who know me really well know what kind of influence music has, but I would say that students may not know that very well until they take that class. I’ve had a lot of really neat experiences related to music and musical artists and such.”

    "At what point did you decide you wanted a career in music as well as a career in education?"

    “Um, I taught and pursued music simultaneously so they weren’t different jobs. And I share this with students all the time – being a teacher and being in that position of being a responsible position (hopefully), really opens your doors to a lot of opportunities. I got interested in – I’ve been interested in music from a very young age. I grew up on a multitude of genres and music, but when I was an undergraduate student I became a little bit more ‘aware’, and I say ‘aware’ in quotes because that’s the record label I worked with – it was called ‘Aware Records’. Um, but I became a little bit more aware of different artists and kind of their backgrounds when I was an undergraduate student, and then I wanted – I moved to the Chicago area. ‘Aware Records’ is right there in Chicago and so I started by attending shows and getting to know people. I was a part of an ‘Aware Rep Program’ where I got to have some really great and memorable experiences. For about 10-12 years, it was a pretty neat time in my life and I still try to involve music into my teaching now.”

    "What are your hobbies/interests?"

    “Music, definitely. I listen to music all the time. Um, Fridays are one of my favorite days because new music comes out on Fridays. So, I’m always interested in what new music is coming out. I do a lot of reading, I like wood-working as well, and I do quite a bit of woodworking at the farm. But I would say those are probably my two biggest hobbies that I have. And again, when I mention to people that I really love music, they often as ‘what do you play?’ And at this point, I know it’s never too late to learn, but I have this feeling that if I really try to play something and it got me frustrated, then I might not enjoy music as much. I have deep respect for musician of any kind, and I’m a deep admirer of music.”

    "What is your favorite thing about Northeast Indiana/Fort Wayne?"

    “Well, to be honest with you, I don’t extend myself beyond North Manchester too much. Um, some people would think that I’m a little bit crazy because I’ve only been to Fort Wayne a handful of times since I moved back. What I like about this area is I like the small town feel. I like that just about every community you go to, you have this really neat historic downtown area and I think North Manchester is doing a really incredible job with that. Wabash is doing a really incredible job by embracing their history while also looking to the future and making sure that they’re meeting the needs of members of the community. I think the Manchester Early Learning Center is a perfect example of looking for ways to embrace the history but also look to the future to make sure that the community continues to grow. Plus, there’s farms everywhere. I was born here, moved to southern Indiana but we kept our farm here, my earliest memories are here, but the rural feel of it drew me back. I lived in the Chicago area, I’ve lived in the suburbs, I’ve even lived in the city when I lived in Boston, so I’ve had a lot of different living experiences but there’s just something really special about this area and as I tell people a lot, it feels like home.”

    "What organizations and projects are you involved in throughout the community?"

    “One of the things I’m most proud of is I’m one of the board members of the Manchester Early Learning Center. We just opened our new facility over on Market Street and I’m a newer member – I’m just completing my first year – but I got to be a part of that transition. So, I’m very much involved in the early education scene here in the Manchester Community. Um, not in any kind of formal way, but I also take care of a farm so I’m very much involved in farming and such too, but no actual “titles” with that other than tinkering around and keeping myself pretty busy.”

     

    Thank you for sharing your story with us!

  • David Good
    by Lauren Hughes | Jun 06, 2019

    David Good, Grounds Coordinator

    "What brought you to Manchester?"

    “My wife. This is home for her. I mean, it’s a crazy long story. We met each other growing up as missionary kids in Nigeria.  My family is actually from southeastern Pennsylvania, and this is home territory for her. Her mom taught here at the college for years. One time when we were visiting out here for Christmas break, I just decided to check out opportunities here at the college.  I was sort of in transition and got lucky. I landed in a position where I was able to do two things that I really enjoy doing - coaching the soccer team and working with the grounds crew.”

    "Did you start here as a coach, groundskeeper, or both?"

    “Both. I was doing both things since 1981, until I retired from the coaching position in the spring of 2016, after 36 years with the team.  When I started in 1980, I came knowing both positions were going to be open within a year. The first year I helped as an assistant coach on the soccer team and worked on a special projects crew in Maintenance. I became head coach in 1981 and transitioned into the grounds position that year, too.”

    "What is your favorite thing about Manchester?"

    “I think what drew me here and what has kept me here is the general philosophy that Manchester has. I can identify with the mission statement. I like our international connections, I like our service-minded orientation, and I like our peace and justice philosophies. What has kept me here is that we hold true to most of that. Many of my co-workers, both faculty and staff, have been fun to work with over the years and I enjoy being around college students.”

    "What is your favorite thing about the students, faculty and staff you work with?"

    “In my role on the grounds crew, I get to work with individual students who are a part of our crew and over the years that’s been a whole lot of fun. The different characters you meet and the relationships you can develop with students is pretty special. The same with the soccer team. Being involved with the soccer team for so many years, I had the chance to get to know guys really well. You spend a whole lot of time together, both on the team as well as working on the grounds crew, and just getting to know people personally and getting to hear people’s stories… you have a lot of fun together.”

    "What is your favorite memory from your time at Manchester?"

    “Oh man… that is just too crazy to think about. For me, some of my most vivid memories are the January session trips that I took with the guys on the soccer teams over the years. We always combined some kind of a work camp along with the January Session class and those trips have been special memories.”

    "What is your favorite thing about your job?"

    “Well, I have said this more than once. In fact, I used to tell soccer recruits this – I hope people can be as lucky as I am at this age, to have been able to do two things you really enjoyed as a three year old. I’ve had a chance to play or be involved with soccer my whole life. I’ve [also] had the chance to play in the dirt my whole life. Those are two things I enjoyed as a three-year old and I’m still doing them. I thoroughly enjoy the grounds work.  I like – well, I just enjoy gardening in general and I like being able to look over my shoulder and see what I’ve done at the end of the day. I like the fact that – I think what we do makes a difference around here [by] keeping the place clean and attractive.  I hope it contributes to people feeling good about being on campus. I enjoy planting things, I enjoy watching things grow, and I enjoy all the work we put in down on the athletic fields.”

    "What is the most challenging thing about your job?"

    “There’s just so much to do. I mean, on the grounds crew there are only two of us who are full time employees and then we supplement that help with about 40 hours of student labor during the school year and then about 4-5 full time students in the summer when there’s more to do. There’s always more to do than what there’s time. We try to hide what we can’t do and highlight the really obvious areas. So that’s our biggest challenge. We just keep plugging away day by day and do what we can and try to keep things as neat and attractive as possible.”

    "Are you involved with anything on campus?"

    “Yeah, I’m not doing any coaching anymore. I just enjoy being a spectator now. For years, I was a part of the staff organizing committee on campus and I still try to participate in those activities. I try to support campus programs in music and art.  Within the community I’m heavily involved in coordinating the spring youth soccer program. I’ve been doing that for 30+ years. And I try to be involved in other ways in the community with some of the service projects that are available. And [I’m] also very involved with my local church congregation. I have an interest in the international students on campus partly because of my upbringing, growing up in Nigeria the way I did. Interestingly enough, I’ve made sort of a cool connection with a student from Nigeria (Susu Lassa) who went to the same school that my wife and I went to when we were growing up as missionary kids. She graduated from the school there three years ago.  To be at the same place now, when we were in the same place she was 50 years ago, is sort of a crazy connection…all connected through Manchester’s affiliation with the Church of the Brethren.”

    "How long did you grow up in Nigeria?"

    “About twelve years, until I was in eighth grade. With the program we were involved in, we went out to Nigeria for four years, then would come back for about six months to a year. So, coming and going the way that we did we were able to do some traveling around Europe and other places as well. I’ve always appreciated that growing up background. It’s given me a different perspective on things by being able to see how so many other people live around the world, especially in that particular part of Africa. That’s one of the reasons I started the January session trips with the guys [on the soccer team], to go to a place completely different than what we’re used to – to just expose them to a completely different culture.”

    "What are your hobbies and interests?"

    “My hobbies are my work. I enjoy gardening at home, I enjoy sports of all kinds, and I’m an avid reader – mostly magazines, periodicals, and newspapers.  I leave the novel reading to my wife, but yeah, those kind of things. I enjoy helping out in service projects whenever I can. Those are fun activities that I enjoy doing.”

    "What is something most people don’t know about you?"

    “Something most people don’t know about me? Wow… that’s a good question. Those who know me well know this, of course, but most people wouldn’t know that I’m married to the first woman I ever held hands with besides my sister or my mom. I’m married to a woman that I knew before I even remember knowing her. We grew up together as kids, and it’s just interesting that we ended up together because along the way I was within 16 hours of marrying another person. And that other person called it off, so here I am. It’s a long story, but it’s a cool story and I’m glad it all happened the way it did because I wouldn’t be here if it didn’t. My wife dared me to hold her hand at a movie night one time when we were in third grade and that’s where it all started."

  • Destiny Howard
    by Lauren Hughes | Jun 06, 2019


    Destiny Howard, Freshman Elementary Education Major from North Webster, Indiana

    Why did you decide to attend Manchester University?

    “Um, both [of] my parents came here and when I got here for the campus tour I just fell in love with the campus.”

    Why did you decide to study elementary education?

    “I’ve had a couple of really good teachers in my life and they’ve made a really big impact on me and so I think that if I can do that for my students then I would be making a difference.”

    What are your future goals/plans?

    “Uh, to graduate and get a job and be debt free!”

    What is your favorite class?

    “Right now I think it would be my FYS – Cults and Controversies – for sure. It’s just really interesting to learn a different perspective on cults than what you would typically learn in everyday life.”

    What are your hobbies and interests?

    “Um, I like to draw. I like writing stories. I guess as far as interests, I like to hang out with my friends and stuff.”

    What is your favorite memory from your time here?

    “That’s hard… I guess having movie night with my friends because that’s just really fun.”

    What is something most people don’t know about you?

    “I would say most people don’t know that my middle name is Sauchel.”

    Thank you for sharing your story with us!

  • Debra Lynn
    by Lauren Hughes | Jun 04, 2019

    What brought you to Manchester?

    “A job. Uh, well, I really like the peace emphasis here and the mission of the university. I [also] like the size. I went to a small liberal arts college near Kansas City, Missouri and – so, this is very similar to the size [of] school I went to. I like to really get to know my students personally instead of just having a class full of 40-80 people and they’re just a number. That’s a huge thing for me. Here, some of my music major classes have four people in it and it’s really cool.”

    What got you interested in music?“My parents were musical. My mother was a piano teacher and my dad was, not a professional singer, but a very fine singer and my older brother was a composer so it was just kind of in our family." 

    Are you working on any research or special projects?

    "Yeah, ‘The Family Portrait’ is a piece that I composed. It took me about two years to write it and it’s about a fifty-minute oratorio – which means it’s for a full orchestra and chorus and soloists. And, so, that was huge. A lot of the lyrics are letters from [a family] during the civil-war era, who are all related to one of our soloists, which is super cool. So, that’s one big project. And I just finished writing/composing a thirty-minute song-cycle for our other soloist, Danny Belcher. So I have lots of composing going on, which was not what I was hired to do, so I do it on the side." 

    Do you have any projects in mind for the future?

    "Yes, I do. Right now I am getting ready – after this week I am going to start composing a piece in memory of Katherine Tinsley, who was a history professor here and died last year. It’s a setting of one of her favorite poems by Robert Frost called ‘After Apple Picking’. It’ll be for piano, violin, cello, clarinet, and mezzo-soprano.”

    What is your favorite class to teach?

    “Oh, I like them all. I teach a lot of voice lessons, I direct all of the choral ensembles on campus, and I love to teach conducting – that’s something I enjoy. I’m not teaching it right now, but that’s something that I love to teach." 

    What are you involved in on campus?

    "Well, my job, mostly. I am the faculty advisor for the handbell choir, which is a campus organization. And I am also technically the faculty organizer for acapella choir because that’s a campus organization as well.”

    What are your hobbies/interests?

    “I’m a huge cat lover – I have four cats. And, um, I have four daughters and I’m very passionate about autism research. One of my daughters is autistic and she still lives with us, but she’s 30. So that’s kind of a big thing for me. And composing is really a hobby because I don’t get paid to do it – it’s not part of my job here." 

    How did you become interested in composing?

    "My brother was a composer, and so I just kind of jumped on that wagon, I think. Usually that comes out of just a need for something, like, ‘Oh, there should be a piece that fills this purpose’. Then, when you can’t find something that you want, you just write something and that’s how it all started for me.”

    What is your favorite thing about Northeast Indiana/Fort Wayne?

    “I really love the art scene in Fort Wayne a lot. It’s kind of just that downtown area with lots of dance and music going on. I’m a huge modern and ballet dance fan. I have a daughter who’s a dancer. I love the weather here. I love that it’s different and you kind of have to keep everything in your closet. Some people hate it, but I actually really love it." 

    What organizations and projects are you involved in in the community?

    "One thing I do is I am a member of the Manchester Church of the Brethren so I do things and help out there quite a bit. I am in the choir at that church and I’ve [also] done some collaborations with the Mikautadze Dance Theater in Fort Wayne and that’s been really fun. I love working with dancers, they’re just cool people.”

    What is something most people don’t know about you?

    “Um, probably that I play racquetball. Does it look like I’m athletic? But I actually used to be very athletic when I was young. I haven’t played racquetball in a few years but I loved to play, I’m pretty competitive and like to throw myself up against the wall. So, that’s definitely something most people don’t know about me.” 

  • Jeff Beer
    by Mam Samba | May 28, 2019

    Associate Professor of Exercise Science and Athletic Training
    Undergraduate Director of Athletic Training Education

    “What do you want students to know about the Exercise Science and Athletic Training program?”

    “I want students to know how dynamic our program is. We house four different majors [Athletic Training, Exercise Science with two different concentrations and Physical Education] so we have a great mix of students, faculty and staff that make for a healthy [learning] environment. I want students to know that when you’re in my department, you’re going to be treated like you’re the #1 person on this campus. You’re going to get the attention that you deserve and need to be successful.”

    “What kinds of opportunities are available to students after graduation?”

    We advise each student individually to look at their personal goals to lead them in the right direction. Physical Education concentrates on teaching children. And students have the opportunity to work with kids [out in the field] while still in undergrad. Athletic Training prepares students to take the Board of Certification exam when they graduate. Our goal is to push those students clinically and academically, so they can pass the first time. Exercise Science, students have two tracks. The Fitness and Recreation track is for students who are interested in becoming strength and conditioning specialists, certified personal trainers, YMCA directors, etc. That program is heavy on strength conditioning, and we have worked with the NSCA [National Strength and Conditioning Association] to make sure our students are prepared. Students who take the second track have the option to go on to receive their master’s degree in areas such as physical therapy. That major is built to house the prerequisites for the master’s degree.”

    “You mention striving for student success on campus. Are you a part of fitness programs off campus?”

    “I’m a huge not-for-profit guy and I believe in a lot of service learning and service work. I run two different not-for-profits. I’m the executive director of One Community in South Whitley. It’s a small town, but we do things like summer feeding programs for families to come out to get lunch, free to the community. We do things like Lunch of Camaraderie, which is a program for seniors at least twice a month. Our volunteers prepare meals to feed these individuals. I also run a not-for-profit called South Whitley Youth League, and we apply for grants all the time for youth programming and to get kids to stay fit, get active and be energetic and involved. If we don’t continue these kinds of programs that encourage kids to get active, I think that does a lot of damage to their future.

    So my big thing that I want people to know about me is that my arms don’t only reach in one direction. I’ve got arms everywhere trying to stay in everything, but my biggest thing is giving back to the people in the communities I’ve lived in, and that anywhere I embed myself to work, I work 1,000%.”

    “You do so much on and off campus- how do you find the energy to do it?”

    “I am always high energy and moving around, but most people probably don’t know that I am a two-time cancer survivor. I’ve been struggling with this from 1979 when I was 2 years old until recently when I was 34. That has been one of the biggest trials of my life, but for people who do know about that, it shows them that I fight, I battle, and my most important goal right now is that the students on this campus will be successful.”

     

  • Barb Burdge
    by Mam Samba | Mar 26, 2019

    Director of Social Work, Chair of Sociology and Criminal Justice

    What brought you to Manchester?

    “I had been teaching social work at a different college for a couple years before coming to Manchester and when the position opened up at Manchester there were two things that brought me here. One is the mission of the school, the people who were here, and the very authentic way in which everybody I met here was working very hard to carry out that mission. The values of our institution permeated throughout the day I interviewed here. The staff and the friends that I had here – just to hear them talk about Manchester… I could tell there was just something very different about Manchester. And, the values here align perfectly with my personal values in a way that I had not experienced at previous employers. So, I wanted to be a part of that. I wanted to – I felt like I was going to be a better person by working here. The other thing that brought me to Manchester is the fact that my family has an old homestead in Wabash County and it had always been my dream to purchase that, live there, and fix it up and renovate it. So getting – joining the faculty at Manchester made that very possible. Two years after joining the faculty here, my partner and I moved to the homestead, fixed it up, got it listed on the national register of historic places—we brought it back to life and live there.”

    What got you interested in social work?

    “It’s mission as well as its alignment with my own personal values. Specifically, its emphasis on social justice. Working to end all types of oppression and challenge discrimination and work toward equality – that’s something that’s explicitly part of social work’s mission that is not necessarily part of the mission that other helping professions have. So that’s why I chose social work as opposed to some other helping professions.”

    Are you working on any research or special projects?

    “I’m still hoping to publish an article or two out of my dissertation which was on the lived experiences of transgender adults living in the Midwest. I’ve published one article from that but I’d still like to publish some more in the next couple of years. But I’m working on some other projects with Katy Gray Brown and Andrew Duffy, who has been an adjunct here off-and-on in the last few years. The project is on conflict transformation curriculum for Parkview health systems, so Parkview can train all their people on what’s basically a Manchester model of conflict resolution.”

    What is your favorite class to teach?

    “I like teaching all the classes I teach. I teach both social work classes and gender studies courses, and I like them both a lot for different reasons. In gender studies, I teach a first-year seminar on LGBT issues, I teach intro to gender studies, and I teach introduction to queer studies. I love teaching all of those because they – the content in those courses can just sometimes blow people’s minds – like the idea that sex and gender aren’t the same thing. So, I love teaching the gender studies courses. Another reason I really love teaching the FYS on LGBT issues and introduction to queer studies is because when I was in college and coming out and struggling with my own identity and my own internalized homophobia, um, I needed classes like that. Having classes like that at the time would have made my life so much easier and saved me a lot of heartache and pain. And, so, I want to be the gay professor that I needed when I was in college that I didn’t have.”

    What are you involved in on campus?

    “I am one of two faculty advisors for United Sexualities and Genders, I’m faculty advisor of the Social Service Club, and I do the Celebrating Diversity Workshops that are offered at least once a semester. I’m also on faculty’s Executive Committee, I’m on Academic Governance Council, I’m on the Diversity Inclusion Council, Gender Studies Council, the Title IX team – I have a lot of committee assignments.”

    Are you involved in anything off campus?

    “In the community I’m on three boards of directors – the Bowen Center, the Roann Public Library (the library that my great-great-grandmother founded), and I’m on the board of an organization called Roann’s Community Heritage, which is a historic preservation group.”

    What is your favorite thing about Northeast Indiana/Fort Wayne?

    “I love that my name is on the big building downtown. If you’re at The Mainview, look across the street to the building with the steeple-shaped tower on top and you’ll see “Burdge”. I’m sure I’m related to that person, but I’ve never been able to connect the dots. I like living close to my family. I like living in the country and having the freedom that comes with rural living but also being in close enough proximity to urban areas and “vacationing” to Indy, Fort Wayne, Chicago – places like that. But I like living where I can see the sunset and the stars and where my dogs can run around freely in the yard.”

    What are your hobbies and interests?

    “Well dogs. We have two dogs: a border collie and an Australian shepherd mix. They’re like our kids and we love them like crazy. We also have two horses. And my partner Marsha and I like movies, we like camping in the summer, we like to travel – we’ve traveled pretty extensively in the U.S. and globally. One of my favorite places is Ireland. I’ve been there twice – once in the north and once in the epublic. I also love Amsterdam – I’ve been there twice. My whole family took a big trip to Alaska two years ago and that was amazing.”

    What is something most people don’t know about you?

    “Most people don’t know that I started college as a saxophone major. The summer before my junior year I changed my major to psychology, and so I got my bachelor’s degree in psychology. After that, I got my masters and doctorate in social work. But yeah – I started at IU with a major in saxophone.”

     

  • Zander Willoughby
    by Mam Samba | Mar 26, 2019

    Zander Willoughby, from Wyoming, Mich., is a senior majoring in Political Science and French. When the opportunity came for him to move into “off-campus” housing, Zander was charmed by the iconic “little pink house,” just steps away from the campus border.  The house is owned by MU Groundskeeping Supervisor Dave Good and wife Lois, and comes with a rich history.

     

    How did you get the opportunity to live in the little pink house?

    Dave and Lois Good own it, and Dave emailed me saying, “Hey! The pink house is open and we heard you wanna live there.” At the time, I actually had plans to live farther in town, so I ended up saying no. Then, luckily, my other housing option fell through, so I emailed him the second I found out that I had no place to live and said, “Hey Dave, I know somebody is living there and it’s gotta be full, but is it per chance open?” And he said, “Actually, somebody dropped out yesterday. You can have it.” And that is the roller coaster of how I got to live in the little pink house.  

    How did you manage to fit everything you own into this tiny house?

    Moving into the tiny house, even though it’s small, it’s still twice as big as the dorm. So, believe it or not, I keep buying things because there’s so much space, to be honest. So I’m buying things because now I have my own kitchen and stuff like that. It’s really, really nice. So while it is tiny it’s still the perfect amount of space for me.

    Now that you’re used to tiny living, can you ever picture yourself living in a big house?

    No! In the pink house there’s room for everything you need but then there’s no room for things you don’t need. It’s been really nice in that way. If I want to clean up, it takes five minutes. If you want to clean the whole house, it takes 10 minutes! Now that I live here, I’ve also found myself watching tiny house videos and I feel like after this it would be weird to live in a big house. And also kind of wasteful.

    Do you get a lot of people asking you about your house?

    All. The. Time. Not quite every day, but at least twice a week. So I joke about it. Because the front door and the back door are in line with each other, I’ve joked about just having an open house with some cheese, or whatever, and people can come in, take a piece of cheese, look at it all, take it in, and walk in a straight line in and out! That way it will go quickly because so many people are interested. Plus, ya know, a tour of the little pink house and some cheese, what could be better?

     

  • Kyler Mills
    by Mam Samba | Mar 26, 2019

    Manchester University Alumnus

    Senior Accountant at Baden Gage & Schroeder, LLC in Fort Wayne, Ind.

    “What drew you to Manchester?”

    “I was drawn to Manchester University because of the size, the Accounting Program and the location. Coming from a small-town high school, I knew the transition to Manchester’s size was going to be smooth. It was not just the campus size, but more importantly the classroom size and students-to-professor ratio. Just like a majority of high school seniors, I was ready to venture out, but it was convenient to only be 50 minutes from home.”

     “How did Manchester prepare you for the ‘real world?’”

    “The Accounting Program at Manchester University was the greatest challenge I had endured in my academic career. Students are not only tested academically, but challenged to grow and develop professionally. The reward is beyond a degree. It is an exhilarating sense of achievement that empowers young professionals to go beyond expectations and prove their abilities and worth in the professional field.”

     “What do you love about your job?”

    “Wow, there [are] so many things about my job that I love! People count on us to provide guidance, support and assurance. It’s a rewarding feeling. My coworkers are amazing. There are people here with decades of experience. Call me a nerd, but I could honestly sit down and listen for hours to some of their conversations. Especially in public accounting, there are endless opportunities to learn and gain valuable experience. It’s unbelievable how many different areas I have been exposed to. Just like my Manchester education, it has molded me into a well-rounded, knowledgeable professional.  The work environment is also welcoming and supportive. We have an open door policy from top to bottom. I have no fear [of] waltzing into a director’s office and asking him or her a question or even just to chat. But importantly, we work hard and play hard. We’ve done TinCaps outings, golf outings, softball league and various parties.”

     “What advice would you offer for current MU students?”

    “I encourage students to take advantage of the opportunities and resources that Manchester provides. I struggled to maintain that GPA just like any other student, and taking advantage of those resources is a huge help! But it’s important to gain experiences [in college]. Unfortunately, your time [at Manchester] will come to an end one day, so live it up because one day you will address an email to Professor Ogden as ‘Professor Ogden’, and he will ask that you call him ’Tim.’ Be adventurous and unafraid to fail. If you’re over 21, take advantage of the free fries at The Inn on Thursday nights and, for the love of God, try their tenderloin.”

     

  • Joe Messer
    by Mam Samba | Mar 26, 2019

    Joe Messer, associate professor of entrepreneurial studies and director of the Professional Sales Program, discusses the growing program and the opportunities available to students.

    “What was it like launching the sales program in 2014?”

    “Our first step was to reach out to companies to see what they were looking for in employees. They all said, ‘You bring us someone who is trained in professional sales and we’ll hire them!’ And with that in mind, we developed this Professional Sales Program and have been growing that program: number one, by informing students what opportunities were out there and, number two, working with companies to come here and talk to our students. Several of our courses include guest speakers who discuss the different opportunities within their companies. We’ve also gotten several companies to do internships with us which has helped the program grow even more. Once students started seeing their peers getting jobs right out of college, more students started to get involved.”

    “As this program grows, what is one upcoming project that you’re really excited about?”

    “One of the classes I teach is Sales and Entrepreneurship. In this class, students have to come up with their idea and their own product to sell. To take that one step further, I am trying to get students to work with the local vocational school in Wabash and have the vocational school manufacture the products. So we come up with the idea, they prototype the idea, and then we’ll learn how they manufacture the product while the students at the vocational school will learn how to put a business plan together. This will be a great way for us to get into the community. It’s a way for university students to see how product is made and it’s a way for high school [students] to see what life is like at Manchester University.”

    “Do you think students realize the vastness of all they can do with this major or minor?”

    “No, I don’t think they do. But students spread the word and then other students begin to see the opportunities available, including dual majors. On my January session trip to New Zealand, I talked to a young student who had an interest in orthopedics, but she knew she did not want to become a doctor. She loved the field of study and I told her about being an orthopedic sales person. With that position, you have to understand the anatomy and speak the language – you’d even get to go into live surgeries; however, you don’t do the work but you get to sell the product. Those conversations help enlighten students to think about a different career or area of work.”

    “You mentioned your January session trip to New Zealand. Can you talk about that a little more?”

    “We were gone for 14 days and the trip focused on the adventure industry. So we did some adventurous things: we climbed the outside of a bridge, [went] bungee jumping, skydiving and white water rafting, swam with dolphins, zip lined and [experienced] a lot of adventure sports! After each adventure, we would talk to the owner and discuss how they sell their product and attract people to these touristy adventures. Prior to each adventure, each student had to complete a write up about the company, and each day, a different student was responsible for that day and would act as our tour guide. [He or she] would have the schedule, location, contact and plan where we stop, where we eat, and absolutely everything; and a different student would be the videographer for the day. We have a videographer because when you’re talking to your boss, you don’t have four hours to explain everything you did on this trip; therefore, the video is chopped down to three minutes for each day and then we combine them all into one big video.”

    “And do you also take part in the adventurous activities?”

    “Absolutely! I love doing all of those things! Except there were a few I wasn’t supposed to do. My wife told me before I left, ‘You’re an old man and you can’t do these things!’ so I was going to follow orders to not do the bungee jumping or the skydiving. And the students gave me a really hard time! So, I told the students that if the bungee jumping company gives a great presentation, I’ll jump. And what do you know, he gives a great presentation! So, I’m getting ready to go and one of the students sends a picture to my wife! In about two seconds flat I got a text saying ‘no way!’ But, I already had all of the gear on … so I jumped!”

    “Was she mad?”

    No, she knows I’m a knucklehead! My wife, Robin, a lovely lady, was a Manchester graduate 30 years ago before she moved to Colorado to marry me. And today, we have three lovely kids. Two have graduated from college, one from MU, and the other is a senior in college who desperately needs a haircut. And those are the four reasons why reason I couldn’t go skydiving.”

     

  • Tim McKenna-Buchanan
    by Mam Samba | Mar 26, 2019

    Director of Honors Program and Assistant Professor of Communication Studies

    “What brought you to Manchester?”

    “Um, I came to Manchester [for] a couple of different reasons. I went to a similar school like Manchester - Wayne State College in Nebraska – and it had 2,500 students and the focus was on students and the professors teaching. So, when I was looking for schools… I kind of, throughout my education – getting my PhD and stuff – I always wanted to end up at a school where teaching was the focus and students. I like doing research and I still like doing research, but I wanted to provide students opportunities like I was provided.”

    “What interests you about Communication Studies?”

    “It all interests me. I think what interests me the most is just how important communication is to everyday life, and [how it] kind of challenges people’s concept of what communication is. I think it’s often taken for granted and we don’t often think about how we can improve it. We know how important communication is for the work place, for relationships, but it’s hard to think about strategies for how to improve our listening and how to improve our communication. So, I like that it’s a part of our everyday life - whether it’s work, relationships, anything. It’s also [important] to think about it with a critical lens because I don’t think we do that – I don’t even do that. In a lot of my classes I learn from a lot of my students in thinking ‘I had never thought about it that way’ or 'Why do I do that that way?’ I learn a lot from students and from past professors in kind of challenging my own perceptions.”

    “Are you working on any special projects at the moment?”

    “Well, there’s a lot of stuff in the works. One thing is – I’ll give you three examples – I’m working on a piece from my dissertation. My dissertation looked at how gay and lesbian individuals come out in the work place or really navigate the workplace. And so, there’s a piece on navigating invisibility – a lot of the research has talked about diversity and some of that stuff is on the surface level, but what happens when your diverse characteristic is invisible and how do you navigate that? And so, we’ve talked about doing some research comparing experiences and what invisibility looks like in the workplace. Another thing is I worked with Carly Kwicien this summer. We interviewed pharmacy students at Manchester and looked at how they’re socialized in the pharmacy program to become professionals and [looking at] professionalism in the workplace and how it’s different for pharmacy students compared to medical students. And the last thing is a teaching activity for the Emotion in the Workplace classes. I do an emotion work audit and that’s where students find a job and interview someone and do an analysis – and so I want to use that activity and get that activity published in a journal called Communication Teacher, which is a place where we can share teaching ideas with other people so people can use our ideas.”

    “Why do you love teaching?”

    “I love teaching because… I really love it for the students. The relationships I build with students and getting to know students and having fun in the classroom. I love students being engaged in the classroom, which doesn’t always happen. Also, just kind of building those relationships that are in the classroom and engaging or challenging them with ideas. But also outside of the classroom – when students that aren’t even this major come and talk to me about life or just come to talk about a tv show or something – those aspects of teaching. I like building relationships with students and doing stuff out of the classroom, whether it’s activities or starting a club or something like that that gets them applying what they need to know to be successful in the workplace.”

    “What is something most people don’t know about you?”

    “I have two kids – we’re in the adoption process for our two boys. Troy is six and Alex is four, and we’ve had them for a little less than a year. They’re crazy and energetic. Also, I’m speech and debate captain, I’m from Colorado, I’ve been married for almost five years to Josh, I have a dog named Pepper, but my life has changed a lot since adopting kids. We got them last April and it’s been like a whirlwind –not in a bad way, just a change.”

    “What are you looking forward to as the new director of the honors program?”

    “I’m looking forward to just having more of an administrative role with students and being kind of a go-to person for the honors program. [Recently] students were often left on their own to navigate it, so I want to be the kind of person to show them the way. We’ve actually done a lot in the past semester or so in making sure everyone knows where they’re at in the honors program and making sure they’re on track and know if they need to improve their GPA. And also, to make it more manageable for students – for high achieving students for creating a kind of excellence at the university.”

    “What kind of shared experiences have stood out to you?“

    I think – I have a couple. The first one [was] my first year [where] we did advanced public relations. My students took on creating their own VIA and I think what stood out to me was how the students took ownership of the project, which is kind of the goal of that class, but we really had a successful event. One of the really large VIA’s had filled up the upper JYSC, like it was to capacity, and so it was just an exciting experience. The VIA was called 'Small School, Big World’ and it was about what you can do with your degree after your time at Manchester. We brought back three alumni to talk about their experiences: what they learned while they were at Manchester and then how that’s shaped them in their careers today. But the students – I can’t take ownership for it, I was just the proud bystander watching my students pull it all together.”

    “How has your time at Manchester shaped you?”

    I think in many ways… I don’t know. I have a really good group of support here and friends that are kind of like a second family. Like, when we adopted the boys, there were a lot of people that helped us out because it was quick when we got the boys. And I would say a really good social support network here that’s shaped me and I [think] that speaks to the community that’s created here at Manchester between faculty, staff, and students. And one of the things I love about the students is when they’re interested –when we were adopting the boys they were interested and that doesn’t happen at a lot of other universities. So, I think it shaped me around a community that’s inclusive and I also - something I study is LGBT issues and coming out in the workplace and I always worried about where I would end up and if I would be accepted where I was at and that’s never even been a question here. So, I think it’s shaped me about being open to other ideas as well and also being open to a community and being there for other people.“

     

  • Greg Hetrick
    by Mam Samba | Mar 26, 2019

    Director of Student Services, Pharmacy Program, Fort Wayne Campus

    “What aspects of Manchester not only drew you here but have kept you here?” 

    “I’ve been with Manchester a long time. First as a student, then came back after teaching a year and starting graduate school to work here.  What drew me here… initially was the community – I had first looked at larger institutions, but realized I felt more comfortable in a smaller environment where I could make connections and build relationships more easily. [When I came to Manchester]  I found that when I arrived, I made lifelong friends, connected with faculty members with whom I stayed in touch after graduation, and felt I could participate more easily in a variety of things with a smaller number of students here. 

    "I came back to work in undergraduate admissions here because I thought it would be rewarding and fun to tell my story and help high school students and families see if [Manchester] could be a great option for them. I’ve been able to work with just about every office and group on campus during my time here, and everyone has the same goal. They want students to be successful. It’s the same on the Fort Wayne campus now with my work with the pharmacy programs. ”

    “Tell me what you love about your job.”

    "It’s fun to come to work every day because I believe I’m making a difference in at least one person’s life each day. It could be from a call with a student who’s trying to navigate through the admissions process, or from an interaction with one of our students who just needs to talk after a rough exam. Our office gets to deal with all parts of the student experience outside of academics, so each day is different and I really don’t know what to expect when I walk in the door each day. That is exciting to me and keeps me motivated.”

    “Are you working on any special projects right now?” 

    “We are getting ready to launch an Early Assurance program, which provides an opportunity for high school students interested in pharmacy to have a seat “reserved” for them as long as they meet certain criteria.  It’s exciting for me because it brings the two worlds I’ve experienced in my professional career at Manchester together – undergraduate admissions, working with high school students and families, and professional program admissions for pharmacy.”

    “What are some similarities you have seen in student life on both the Fort Wayne and North Manchester campuses?“ 

    "I think the common thread is community. The campuses are 40 miles apart and the students are at much different stages in their academic careers, but that sense of community is the same at both locations. Faculty and staff here want our pharmacy and pharmacogenomics students to succeed academically and go on to have successful careers. They provide resources to help [students] grow professionally and [build] connections with those in the profession that assist with their future success. I found the same thing as a student and employees on the North Manchester campus, and I’m glad we can continue that sense of community and support here in Fort Wayne.”

    “What is your favorite MU memory?”

    “As a student, I loved playing racquetball. I won an intramural racquetball tournament one year as a student and played with a buddy from my Garver Hall floor almost every day – which got pretty intense at times.  I started playing again with other staff members when I started working at Manchester too, which was a great way to spend my lunch hour! May Day mud volleyball was a favorite memory, too. As a staff member in North Manchester, it always took me back…when I would see students on move-in days too. That feeling I had as a student each year I’d move back in and start a new year came back each August when I’d walk around campus.”

    “What are your hobbies and interests outside of work?”

    “Doing things with my family is how most time outside of work is spent.  My wife, who is also a Manchester graduate, and I have a soon-to-be six-year old and one and a half-year old, so they keep us plenty busy.  We like to travel when we can, go to movies, and spend time with the grandparents as well.  I am a sports fan, and follow the Cubs and Bears.  I make two visits to Wrigley Field each year – once with my brother and one with my former roommate at Manchester.”