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  • Jul 17, 2014 2:53:27Jul 17, 2014 -

    In response to the growth of the nursing program and the worldwide demand for quality professionals in all healthcare fields, Olivet has established the School of Nursing and Health Sciences, effective July 1, 2014.

    “With this new School in place, Olivet is well-positioned to expand the academic offerings for career preparation in more healthcare fields,” says Dr. Dennis Crocker, vice president for academic affairs. “This is a major goal realized for the University, and we look forward to serving more students while offering the same quality education with a Christian purpose in new areas of study.”

    Olivet’s nursing programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation. The traditional undergraduate nursing major results in a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.) degree. The School of Graduate and Continuing Studies’ program offers five tracks: Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (A.B.S.N.); Bachelor of Science in Nursing (R.N. to B.S.N.); Family Nurse Practitioner Certification (F.N.P.C); Master of Science in Nursing – Leadership or Education (M.S.N.); and Master of Science in Nursing: Family Nurse Practitioner (M.S.N.F). Currently, there are 1,460 students — undergraduate and graduate — majoring in nursing at Olivet.

    Dr. Linda Davison has been appointed dean of the School. She earned her doctorate degree from Nova Southeastern University, and her M.S.N. and B.S.N. degrees are from Governors State University. She also holds an M.B.A. from Olivet. Dr. Davison’s professional experience in nursing is primarily in the acute medical/surgical, orthopedic and long-term mental health areas. She has been part of Olivet’s nursing faculty since 1984, teaching courses in both the undergraduate and graduate programs, and has also served as chair of the Department of Nursing. She is developing Olivet’s nursing research thread while teaching research in the B.S.N., R.N.-B.S.N. and M.S.N. curriculum areas.

    With this academic expansion, a building expansion of about 10,000 square feet is planned for the current Wisner Hall of Nursing. This is part of the University's six-year plan for completing the footprint of the main campus.
    Jul 16, 2014 11:25:19Jul 16, 2014 -

    Olivet’s School of Music has just completed a successful inaugural year of iLearn@Olivet — the first distribution of the iPad in the University’s history and one of the first iPad deployments in the country designed specifically to empower students and faculty while transforming the education landscape. In fall 2014, Olivet's School of Education and the Department of Art & Digital Media will be joining the initiative.

    “We are proud to be at the forefront of technology in higher education,” says Dr. Dennis Crocker, vice president for academic affairs. “We are especially pleased with the opportunities and experiences this initiative brings to our students.”

    For the School of Education, this means the launching of an innovative method of course delivery through the use of technology. The initiative is designated to enhance Olivet’s Teacher Education Program in course delivery and equipping students for success, as well as preparing them for the edTPA (Teacher Performance Assessment), a national multiple-measure assessment required by the Illinois State Board of Education. Gaining this experience with iPad will also help prepare them for the expanded use of technology as a teaching and learning method.

    For the Department of Art and Digital Media, iPad use will be an excellent tool for students, especially in the studio courses, as they create electronic thumbnail drawings/concepts for their assignments. In many courses, they will use iMovies to describe and document the process of creating their artwork — which will also enhance their portfolios. When used for research, iPad will provide additional information about specific works of art and topics for class discussion, enriching courses with new content.

    For the School of Music, iPad content and usage is tailored for specific needs as iPad is now being used for all band, orchestra, choral and instrumental ensemble music scores, ebooks, note-taking and email. Right at the students’ fingertips are countless thoughtful and innovative applications of the technology, including field formation diagraming, vocal coaching, and recording apps and solutions. In some instances, students don’t even have to lift a finger as the department now has 50 AirTurn Bluetooth page turning devices for use with iPad, which allows instrumentalists to turn the pages of their music wirelessly with the use of a foot pedal.

    As the 2014–2015 academic year begins in August, in the next phase of this initiative, nearly 1,000 students, staff and faculty have received or will receive their devices. Students purchase their own devices at a discounted price through the University, as part of their tuition and fees.

    Setting a new pace for education

    Working with Olivet’s information technology staff to implement this initiative, faculty determined that iPad is the best technology available for transforming the teaching and learning experience. Getting iPad into the hands of the faculty, staff and students is fundamentally transforming the higher education experience for them.

    To enhance iPad usage, Larsen Fine Arts Center, home of the School of Music and the art and digital design department, now has more than twice as many WiFi access points throughout the building. The Weber Center, where the School of Education is based, will also have a vastly increased number of WiFi access points installed. Also, several of the smart classrooms will be upgraded to support both wired and wireless iPad connections. These improvements are scheduled to be completed in August 2014.

    Catching the excitement

    “For Olivet’s education majors, the iPad will be an instrumental tool in assisting teacher candidates as they prepare for edTPA, a new multi-measure teacher performance assessment required by the Illinois State Board of Education,” says Dr. Bob Hull, dean of the School of Education. “Students and faculty will also implement this new technology to improve teaching effectiveness and student learning. Professor Lance Kilpatrick and Professor Marianne Glenn are taking the lead in assisting them as they incorporate iPad into their daily routines.”

    “For art majors, the iPad is going to be a great asset, especially in terms of being able to show our work to people without having to carry around a whole studio's worth of tools,” says Paul Matthews (senior, graphic design major, Dubuque, Iowa). “They will also help with watching videos of how to technically create a piece of artwork, like how to throw a piece of clay on a pottery wheel or how to shade an area of a drawing.”

    Zach Kohlmeier, an adjunct professor in the School of Music and an employee in the information technology department, is especially enjoying the merging of iPad technology and music in this initiative. He began using his iPad during when he played piano at church and for musicals. “I just pushed a button once to turn a page of music, and I didn’t have to worry about pages getting blown by the wind,” he says.

    As Zach puts it so well: “Technology is moving forward, and Olivet is at the forefront.”


    Jul 14, 2014 3:4:6Jul 14, 2014 -

    “I believe that introversion is my greatest strength,” said Susan Cain, acclaimed author and today’s leading speaker on that topic. “I have such a strong inner life that I’m never bored and only occasionally lonely. No matter what mayhem is happening around me, I know I can always turn inward.”

    Cain is one of 14 featured speakers for Willow Creek Association’s 2014 Global Leadership Summit. Olivet Nazarene University is partnering with College Church of the Nazarene to host this premier leadership training event August 14 and 15, at College Church’s North Campus in Bourbonnais, Illinois.

    Cain’s extensive research into the leadership strengths of introverts became the basis for her award-winning New York Times best seller Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking. Sparking a conversation about management stereotypes, the book has been translated into 36 languages and became a TIME cover story.

    Her TED talk, “The Power of Introverts,” ranks among the most watched on — with more than 8 million views — and was named by Bill Gates as one of his all-time favorite talks. Fast Company magazine named her book as best book of the year in 2012 and also named her one of its Most Creative People in Business.

    The co-founder of Quiet Revolution LLC, Cain has partnered with office design company Steelcase to create “Susan Cain Quiet Spaces,” with a range of architecture, furniture, materials and technology to empower introverts at work.

    An honors graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Law School — and a self-described introvert — Cain's early career was spent on Wall Street as a corporate attorney and negotiations consultant. Her clients included JP Morgan and General Electric, and she trained all kinds of people, from hedge fund managers to TV producers to college students negotiating their first salaries.

    Other leadership experts presenting at this year’s event include: Bill Hybels, Jeffrey Immelt, Tyler Perry, Joseph Grenny, Wilfredo De Jesús, Patrick Lencioni, Carly Fiorina, Ivan Satyavrata, Bryan Loritts, Allen Catherine Kagina, Louie Giglio, Erica Ariel Fox and Don Flow. Find more information about each of them at

    The Summit is a two-day event that seeks to transform leaders around the world with an injection of vision, skill development and inspiration from a Christian perspective. This is a unique opportunity for business, church, government, nonprofit and education leaders — and their teams — to experience quality leadership training close to where they are. All are invited and encouraged to attend.

    To register you and your group for the live telecast of this event in Bourbonnais, go to or call 800-570-9812. Best registration price is available prior to the event. Walk-in registration on the event days is also available.

    For more local information about the event or the Bourbonnais live telecast site, contact Laura Warfel at 815-928-5403 or
    Jul 03, 2014 2:5:19Jul 03, 2014 -

    A former Olivet point guard has kept his passion for basketball and remains active with students even after getting his diploma.

    Antonio Marshall ’13 — now the graduate assistant for Olivet’s Tiger men’s basketball program — mentors basketball students in what he calls “man on fire training.”

    Many who know of it speculate about the origin of the name. “Since the day I was born, I’ve been struggling. I was born a sinner,” Antonio says. “I had a fire inside of myself for sin, and the Lord replaced that with a passion for the Holy Spirit. [Now,] I’m a man who is lighting myself on fire for the world.”

    The name also spawns, in part, from Antonio’s survival skills. He has survived three house fires. The most recent fire occurred in June 2012. He awoke that night to his mother yelling “fire,” upon which the family evacuated the house and watched it burn down.

    Antonio first got involved as a trainer after Coach Ralph Hodge, head coach for Tiger men’s basketball, set him up with two students to mentor in 2012. After that, news of his training got around via word-of-mouth.

    Antonio’s skills on the court and his sturdy knowledge in the sport of basketball were some of the reasons Coach Hodge chose him to train other students. “As a player and an athlete, he is one of the top players I’ve ever had in over 35 years in this position,” Coach Hodge says.

    Antonio doesn’t train with the mindset to teach only the ins and outs of basketball; he trains to build relationships. “I mentor to be a part of [other peoples’] lives,” he says. “I have a passion and a desire for basketball that [made] me want to give back.”

    Mainly, he trains in McHie Arena or Birchard Gymnasium. “I’m glad that I have a place and that ONU has made these spaces available to me,” he says.

    When school is not in session, Antonio likes to keep himself available to members of the local community — not just as a mentor and a trainer, but also as a friend.

    “There was one student who would have a couple of friends over, and he actually texted me to come [to his home]. We just hung out together and played basketball, and I really enjoy being able to do that,” Antonio says.

    So far, Coach Hodge has heard positive feedback about Marshall’s mentoring. “I was recruiting another player at one of the local high schools, and one dad of a player sought me out,” Coach Hodge explains. “He said, ‘I really appreciate you sending Antonio our way because it has worked out great.’

    “Not just from a basketball standpoint, but just the motivation, [we appreciate] the enthusiastic approach he has in working with kids and helping them build up their skills.”

    Coach Hodge, too, sees beyond the student-mentor roles Antonio has established. “I think this mission of Antonio’s goes beyond basketball,” he adds. “It’s there to help kids in all areas. Whether it’s home problems or whatever situation they may be in, he wants to help them with their basketball journey. But he also wants to help them with some life skills and some other more important things than just basketball.”

    Jul 03, 2014 8:33:12Jul 03, 2014 -

    BOURBONNAIS, Ill. – Olivet Nazarene University Head Track and Field Coach Mike McDowell is pleased to announce the addition of Nicole Farr to the coaching staff. Farr brings a multitude of coaching and competing experience to the Tiger staff. She comes to Olivet most recently from Xavier University, an NCAA Division I institution located in Cincinnati, Ohio.

    Farr was a four-year cross country and track athlete at Calvin College (Mich.) where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree in sports management in 2010. She completed her eligibility with Bowling Green State University (Ohio) where she competed in indoor track in 2011 while working on her Masters of Education in Sports Administration. She graduated from BGSU in 2012.

    In 2012, Farr became an Assistant Coach at Frostburg State University (Md.). She concentrated on distance runners, recruiting and academic monitoring. In 2013, Farr moved to Xavier University (Ohio) where she focused on sprints and distance, while being heavily involved in recruiting.

    "I'm excited about Nicole joining our staff and the new ideas and perspectives she'll bring. Her success as a former distance and steeplechase athlete should transfer well into her role as a coach,” said McDowell.  “The relationships she has developed with coaches in the Chicagoland area over the years should enhance her recruiting efforts and make it easier to connect with prospective athletes."

    Jul 02, 2014 3:53:55Jul 02, 2014 -

    Location:Kudjip Nazarene Hospital, Papua New Guinea (PNG)

    Dates: May 12 to June 3, 2014

    Dr. Mike Pyle, professor, Department of Biological Sciences
    Mrs. Nancy Pyle, professor, School of Nursing and Health Sciences
    Mary DeMent (senior, biology major, Quincy, Illinois)
    Jonathan Elliott (senior, biology major, Petersburg, Indiana)
    Katie Fitzgerald (senior, mathematics major, Duncanville, Texas)
    Allison Javorka ’14
    Rob Johnson (senior, nursing major, La Grange, Illinois)
    Teresa Kamper (senior, nursing major, Pickford, Michigan)
    Jonathan Kee (junior, nursing major, Yorkville, Illinois)
    Melody Long ’14
    Amanda Oden (senior, nursing major, South Elgin, Illinois)
    Lisa Rizzo (senior, biology major, Bartlett, Illinois)

    Following are excerpts from the team’s journal entries made during the trip.

    Monday, May 19

    Allison: I had an awesome day shadowing Dr. Pyle. I was part of the hospital rounds with two other doctors. The first patients we saw had been in a car accident the night before, and they were the ones who survived. One had pneumothorax, another was partially paralyzed and another had a possible ruptured spleen. In the afternoon, we saw a woman with an ectopic pregnancy.

    Wednesday, May 21

    Dr. Pyle: I got called about 11:30 a.m. for a stab wound. This gentleman’s two wives were fighting, and he tried to break it up. His reward was a single stab to the right lower chest, just above the rib margin and to the right of the sternum. Later that day, I operated on a five-year-old boy with extensive osteomyelitis (bone infection) and a woman with an advanced type of breast cancer. I repaired a left inguinal hernia and did another breast cancer surgery. I was exhausted by the end of the fourth case.

    Thursday, May 22

    Teresa: I was in the clinic today with Dr. Susan. I saw a variety of cases – abdominal tuberculosis, HPV, an infant with HIV and TB, an infant with malnutrition and a skin condition. The days are full and exhausting, but I love every bit of it.

    Jonathan K.: Yesterday I helped out with a C-section. After delivering the baby, there was a short scare because the newborn was unresponsive. I worked with the student nurses in helping bring the baby back. We applied oxygen, and I helped with a bag valve mask. I dried and swaddled her, and after a few suctions, she started crying. It was a cool experience to witness life coming into the world, and to assist with it was even more rewarding.

    Mrs. Pyle: I see more and more brand name “western” food items every time we come to PNG. I thought about making Rice Krispies treats, but nixed that when I saw the price of the Rice Krispies: $20 a box!

    Friday, May 23

    Melody: Today was my big day. I shadowed Dr. Pyle as he made rounds in the ward full of post-op patients, checking on and discharging them as necessary. He’s a super great teacher. I was also able to see my second C-section of this trip. This time I actually got to help!

    Sunday, May 25

    Dr. Pyle: Our team accompanied two of our young missionaries — ONU grads Jordan ’08 and Rachel (Baranow) Thompson ’07 — and their infant son on an hour-long climb to one of our bush churches (Kondu). We had worshiped there on our first visit in 2004. The service lasted about two hours. The sense of connection, in Christ, to a worldwide church and mission is always a highlight for our students.

    Jonathan E.: The beauty of the landscape here cannot be captured in a picture. The church was a small, one-room building with no benches. Everyone sat on the floor, with men on the right side and women on the left. They sang some songs to start the service, and it was the most beautiful thing I have ever heard! After church, they gave us a bunch of bananas and oranges, and climbed up a tree to pick some sugar fruit for us.

    Katie: I had an incredible opportunity to meet one of the few people in the Kudjip area who remember when my grandparents were here. Wi was a “doctor’s boy” for my grandpa back in the 1960s when my grandpa was serving here as the hospital’s first doctor. Wi was the first local to work in the hospital. When we went to Wi’s house, Dr. Pyle asked me to explain my connection. All I said was, “My grandpa was Dr. Dudley Powers,” before the man broke down in tears and immediately hugged me. That is unusual in the PNG culture. Through his tears, he explained how my grandpa was like a father to him. He didn’t receive any formal medical education, but my grandpa taught him everything he needed to know to work in the hospital.

    Dr. Pyle: As I was leaving the hospital after rounds today, I made a last pass through the ER. An elderly woman had just been brought in. She was the victim of an assault. “Chop-chop” is the term for injuries produced by machete. While on her way home after decorating her church with flowers, she came across some men who were attacking a relative. When she called out, they assaulted her. Your reflex when someone swings a machete at your head is to lift your arm in protection. In this case, it probably saved her life but resulted in a near amputation of her left arm at the wrist.

    Teresa: The Lord has been teaching and speaking to me in so many ways during my time in PNG so far; I can hardly find time to journal about it all. He has been teaching me so much about all of the different roles, experiences and sacrifices that come with working on the mission field.

    Dr. Pyle: There are three full-time chaplains who record their visits to patients, and Dr. Jim monitors this actively. Today, on medical ward, we found a man who had been hospitalized for five days without a chaplain visit. Dr. Jim summoned the head nurse. He suggested a review of all charts to find any patients who had not yet had a visit. The gospel takes center stage here.

    Melody: I saw the beheading of a chicken (which I later ate), stargazed, met a missionary family’s pet tree kangaroo named Wilson, tried a cream pastry, and had my first Coke in weeks.

    Thursday, May 28

    Mary: I made a friend with a little girl in the clinic. Her grandmother was sick. The little girl climbed into my lap, smiled at me and held my hands like we were old friends. She was so sweet! Tonight I ate my first banana spider. Whether it will be my last remains undecided; it wasn’t as bad as I thought! I know I will miss this place when I leave, and I am trying to soak up as many experiences as possible. God is good, and this trip has been simply amazing!

    Saturday, May 31

    Mrs. Pyle: After getting soaked by a wonderful rain as we walked back to the car, we headed home. Finishing leftovers and playing games ended the day for us. What a great birthday day. Thank you, Lord, for such wonderful people to spend it with! Thanks again, parents, for your sons and daughters who made it so special for me.

    Sunday, June 1

    Dr. Pyle: We had a wonderful closing time tonight, a time we call the Overflowing Heart. The students shared what the Lord had taught them over the past weeks together. Then we prayed for each of them, one by one.

    “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms” (1 Peter 4:10).

    Jul 02, 2014 9:34:22Jul 02, 2014 -

    You need not look far to see the impact Kenneth E. Hawkins has had on God’s kingdom and this world.

    Kenneth E. “Ken” Hawkins passed away on June 25, 2014, as a man who truly embodied the qualities of an Olivetian.

    As enthusiastic supporters of Olivet’s mission, Ken, and his wife Betty, have invested in the lives of countless students over the years. Out of their generous hearts, Olivet was able to construct the Centennial Chapel in 2010. Their lead gift provided students, faculty and staff a place to worship together, as well as Olivet’s world-class Ruffatti organ, and two Steinway pianos used for worship, concerts and teaching.

    In addition to leading the way on the Centennial Chapel, Ken provided financial assistance for the renovation of the Harlow Hopkins Alumni Center in 1995, and for the addition of the Larsen Fine Arts Center in 1981.

    “Ken Hawkins was one of the most generous men I’ve ever known,” says Dr. John C. Bowling, University president. “As God blessed him, he never hesitated to bless others. His commitment to serving the Lord was evident in his life, work and family. Serving alongside him in the mission of Olivet has always been a privilege and a pleasure.”

    Ken’s personal investment in God’s kingdom was equally matched by his distinguished career. He was the founder of Hawkins & Associates in Clearwater, Florida, and later became the chairman and CEO of Jones & Hawkins Insurance. For more than 25 years of his 40-year career, he rendered valuable professional service to his alma mater by directing and advising Olivet’s insurance program. His counsel helped ensure adequate coverage while saving several million dollars for the University.

    A native of Louisville, Kentucky, Ken was a veteran of the U.S. Navy, served on the board of the Florida Association of Insurance Agents, and was a past commodore of the Treasure Island Yacht Club.

    He is survived by his wife, Betty; daughter, Cheryl, and her husband, Mike McClain; son, Terry, and his wife, Jamie; stepdaughter, Gina Johnson; brother, Wilford; four granddaughters; and five great-grandchildren.

    Ken’s funeral service was held on July 1 with Dr. Bowling and Colonel Jeffrey Hawkins, U.S. Army chaplain, officiating. Ken will be remembered as a tireless advocate for Olivet Nazarene University and a model for all alumni, both personally and professionally.

    Jul 01, 2014 8:12:38Jul 01, 2014 -

    BOURBONNAIS, Ill. – Mike McDowell, head coach of the Olivet Nazarene University track and field team, is excited to announce the addition of Alexandra Acker to his staff. Acker, an NCAA Division I All-American, comes to Bourbonnais from the University of Oklahoma where she holds the program record in the pole vault.

    A native of Erie, Pennsylvania, Acker graduated from Oklahoma with an undergraduate degree in elementary education in August of 2011 after transferring from West Virginia University.  She received her masters of education from Oklahoma in December of 2013, graduating with a 4.0 GPA.                                               

    During her career, Acker broke the Sooner pole vault record five times. She currently holds both the indoor (13-6.00) and outdoor (14-3.25) marks. She earned her first NCAA All-America honor with a fifth-place finish at the NCAA Championship in 2012. She has also competed at the US Olympic Team Trials.

    "Alexandra is a great addition to our staff. She is obviously a great pole vaulter but has also mentored in the other jumping events under one of the best jumps coaches in the country,” said McDowell of the addition.  “The knowledge and experience she has attained in the jumping events will benefit our athletes. I also anticipate that Alexandra will be a leader away from the track as a missions and discipleship leader."

    Find Acker’s complete collegiate bio here.

    Jun 25, 2014 4:32:17Jun 25, 2014 -

    BOURBONNAIS, Ill. — Led by Head Coach Ralph Hodge and the coaching staff, the Olivet Nazarene University men’s basketball program hosted a month full of camps and high school shootouts in June. The Tigers held 15 days of activities — three weeks of individual skills camps and two weekends of high school shootouts — on campus using McHie Arena, Birchard Gymnasium, and the Perry Student Life and Recreation Center (SLRC).

    During three weeks of individual skills camps, the Tiger coaches had the opportunity of working with approximately 180 campers from ages six to college-age. In addition, all current and incoming ONU men’s basketball student-athletes were on campus participating and helping with the Overnight Skills Camp (June 22-25). Each camp included teaching through the explanation of terminology, warm-up, demonstration, drills, practice situations, individual instruction, 1-on-1 and 3-on-3. Throughout every camp, the ONU coaching staff took time each day to talk about the importance of sportsmanship, teamwork, sacrifice within a team concept and integrated faith. Campers also had the opportunity to stay in Chapman Hall, eat meals in Ludwig Center, and swim each night in the Perry SLRC's aquatic center.

    The men’s basketball team also held two round-robin style shootouts for high school players, featuring teams from central Illinois, Chicagoland and Indiana. This summer, 30 varsity and junior varsity teams — including more than 350 athletes and coaches — played at least five games in ONU’s Perry SLRC Fieldhouse and were given the opportunity to stay on campus. Many local teams took advantage of the shootout: Bishop McNamara, Bradley-Bourbonnais, Beecher, Dwight, Herscher, St. Anne and Watseka. Gardner-South Wilmington High School's team, coached by alumnus and former Tiger assistant coach Chris Gibson ’06, also made the trip.

    Information about the 2015 ONU Men’s Basketball Summer Camps will be released online in early spring 2014.

    Jun 24, 2014 10:17:52Jun 24, 2014 -

    CHICAGO --- Keyed by seven regular-season conference titles and another three league tournament championships, Olivet Nazarene University totaled an all-time best 141 points en route to winning its fifth straight Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference All-Sports Cup, it was announced on Monday morning. It was also the Tigers' sixth cup in seven years since the conference started the program in the 2007-2008 season.

    Second-place finisher Cardinal Stritch University made the biggest jump from the previous year going from 66.5 points to 110. The Wolves edged out third-place University of St. Francis by one point as the Saints totaled 109 points.

    Saint Xavier University also made for a close race between the Nos. 2-4 positions with its 104 points, while Trinity Christian College placed fifth for the second year in a row with 86.5 points.

    Olivet Nazarene's league-leading seven regular-season championships came in the sports of men's and women's cross country, women's golf, softball, men's tennis and men's and women's track & field. The Tigers also claimed postseason tournaments in softball and men's tennis, not to mention men's soccer. The Tigers, under the sixth-year leadership of director of athletics Gary Newsome, also posted regular-season runner-up finishes in men's and women's soccer and women's tennis. In all, 12 of 15 Olivet Nazarene teams placed among the top three in the league in CCAC championship sports during the 2013-14 academic year.

    Cardinal Stritch, meanwhile, produced three regular-season titles in men's basketball, men's soccer and its first-year women's tennis program. The latter also won the conference tournament. Two other Stritch teams placed second in conference play.

    As for St. Francis, it earned the most second-place league finishes, doubling its next closest competitor with six runner-up performances. The Saints also shared the regular-season baseball title with Judson University.

    The CCAC All-Sports Cup is awarded to the institution that earns the most total points in the 15 sports sponsored by the conference (men's & women's cross country, men's & women's soccer, volleyball, men's & women's basketball, men's & women's golf, men's and women's tennis, men's and women's track & field, baseball and softball) on an annual basis. Schools are awarded points based on their conference finish in each of those sports. An additional point is awarded to any school that claims a conference tournament title.

    The final standings for 2013-14 follow:

    Olivet Nazarene (141 points)
    Cardinal Stritch (110)
    St. Francis (109)
    Saint Xavier (104)
    Trinity Christian (86.5)
    Judson (79.5)
    Robert Morris (77)
    Calumet St. Joseph (66)
    Roosevelt (58.5)
    Purdue Calumet (47)
    Holy Cross (45)
    Indiana South Bend (23.5)
    Trinity International (22.5)
    Purdue North Central (11.5)

    Previous All-Sports Trophy Recipients
    2007-08: Olivet Nazarene University
    2008-09: Saint Xavier University
    2009-10: Olivet Nazarene University
    2010-11: Olivet Nazarene University
    2011-12: Olivet Nazarene University
    2012-13: Olivet Nazarene University

    Jun 18, 2014 3:37:16Jun 18, 2014 -

    EASTLAKE, Ohio — Ben Heller (Whitewater, Wisconsin), former Olivet Nazarene University baseball standout, has been named the Kensington Advisory Group of UBS Financial Services, Inc. “Captains Player of the Week.”  He is a member of the Lake County Captains, the Class A Affiliate of the Cleveland Indians. He earned the honor on Monday, June 16, after throwing five scoreless innings in three appearances, striking out seven.

    During the 2014 season, Heller has thrown in 22 games (28 2/3 innings), allowing 10 runs off 14 hits. He has a 3.14 ERA, 3-1 overall record and 43 strikeouts. He is second on the team in appearances.

    ONU's head baseball coach, Todd Reid, had a chance to see Ben in action. “Ben looked great," Coach Reid said. "His fastball sat in mid 90s, and he touched 96 both innings. His new slider looked like his best pitch, and his command of all three pitches was very good. I am so proud of him. It has been really special watching his progress. And I am just as proud of how he is carrying himself on and off the field.”

    Even though the Captains sit at the bottom of Midwest League Eastern, Heller is maintaining a positive outlook on his time as a professional. "I have really enjoyed my pro career so far," he says. "I have been coming in as a back end reliever and helping slam the door shut at the end of the game. The biggest difference between pro and college baseball is the emphasis on development rather than winning, but I enjoy the opportunity to compete everyday while perfecting my craft at the same time."

    Heller was drafted by the Cleveland Indians in the 22nd round with the 651st pick on Saturday, June 8, 2013. He is the first former Tiger drafted in the MLB First-Year Player Draft since Ben Zobrist (184th pick) in 2004 by the Houston Astros.

    During his career with the Tigers, Heller was a CCAC Second Team All-Conference (2013), NCCAA All-American Honorable Mention (2013), and Daktronics-NAIA Scholar Athlete twice.

    Check out more information on Ben Heller and the Lake County Captains at

    Jun 18, 2014 10:31:45Jun 18, 2014 -

    When was the last time you worked with an Excel® spreadsheet that had 1 million rows? Or analyzed data from the past 50 years?

    Those were only two of the challenges that Justin Vander Ploeg (senior, Manteno, Illinois) dealt with in completing his final project for Olivet’s course in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Global Positioning System (GPS).

    When beginning his project for the spring 2014 semester, Justin asked the question: “What county in the United States’ lower 48 states has the worst winter?” Working with his professor, Dr. Kevin Brewer, he undertook what became the biggest research project he’d ever done. The result is “An Analysis of the Severity of Winter Throughout the United States,” showing that it is possible to quantitatively determine the severity of winter across a geographic area.

    Bring it on

    Hard work isn’t unusual for Justin, who is double majoring in environmental science and business administration. This summer, he is working at Deer Creek Organics, an organic produce farm in St. Anne, Illinois, and also doing an internship at the Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT) in Chicago.

    CNT is an award-winning innovations laboratory for urban sustainability. Justin is part of the transportation team, dedicated to improving efficiency and sustainability for the City of Chicago.

    “I’m glad I learned ArcGIS in my GIS/GPS course with Dr. Brewer,” Justin says. “I’m using it on the job in this internship.”

    Dedication and determination

    Learning ArcGIS was only one of the challenges that Justin faced in taking on and completing his GIS/GPS research project.

    After deciding on the project’s parameters — with Dr. Brewer’s guidance — he requested 50 years (1963 to 2013) of weather data from the National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration (NOAA). That resulted in 18 Excel spreadsheets with 1 million rows each — which he received from NOAA at no charge and within two weeks of his original request.

    Defining “worst” was the first challenge. Since “worst” is a subjective term, he had to define it as objectively and universally as possible.

    He also had to decide what data to include and exclude. He limited his analysis to snowfall, rainfall, temperature and wind speed for the months of December, January, February and March — for the past 50 years.

    Getting this data into a format he could use for analysis was one of the most challenging parts of the project. Working with Dr. Brewer, he separated columns, selected only winter months and eliminated false values. He used ArcGIS, the industry standard tool for spatial analysis, to format and analyze the data. 

    “As I was working on the project, I was learning ArcGIS,” Justin says. “I also learned to be thorough and detailed, and to keep records that I can refer back to.”

    Applying an equation to the data he gathered, Justin designed a map to show the severity of winter in every U.S. county.

    “Justin tackled a deceptively complex problem that challenged his abilities and skills in a number of areas,” Dr. Brewer says. “I was impressed with his perseverance, independence and eagerness to learn new skills." 

    “All his hard work paid off with an excellent and interesting report," Dr. Brewer adds. "But more importantly, Justin has new skills and practical experiences that he can use and build on in his future academic and career endeavors.”

    More than expected

    Getting to know and work with Dr. Brewer on this project was an unexpected benefit for Justin. “I tapped into Dr. Brewer’s expertise,” Justin says. “I was able to ask him questions whenever I needed help. Then we’d work through the issues together. He was willing to take the extra time with me, and we developed a friendship in the process.”

    Justin appreciates seeing Dr. Brewer’s thought processes on different topics. “I learned that he’s very technologically minded, even as a geology professor. He is knowledgeable about the new advances in technology, too.”

    “If I could have seen the finished project before I started, I would never have believed I could do it,” Justin adds. “I’ve learned that if I work hard and diligently, I can do what I want to do.”

    In case you’re wondering, the counties with the worst winters are: Lewis County, New York (first); Keweenaw County, Michigan (second); and Oswego County, New York (third). And the counties with the best winters? Monroe County, Florida (first); Imperial County, California (second); and Miami-Dade County Florida (third).


    Jun 17, 2014 11:26:21Jun 17, 2014 -

    “Start every change project with a clear and compelling statement of the goal you’re trying to achieve,” says Joseph Grenny, co-chairman and co-founder of VitalSmarts, an innovator in corporate training and leadership development. “Measure your progress. Measure the right thing, and measure it frequently.”

    Grenny is one of 14 featured speakers for Willow Creek Association’s 2014 Global Leadership Summit. Olivet is partnering with College Church of the Nazarene to host this premier leadership training event August 14 and 15, at College Church’s North Campus in Bourbonnais.

    His 2014 Summit presentation on “Mastering the Art of Crucial Conversations” further establishes him as a key influencer for leaders who want to get better. An acclaimed keynote speaker and business strategy expert, Grenny has designed and implemented major corporate change initiatives for more than 25 years. He has advised thousands of leaders on every major continent, from the board rooms of Fortune 500 companies to the slums of Nairobi, Kenya.

    Formerly president of California Computer Corporation and an executive for the Covey Leadership Center, he is co-author of the New York Times best sellers Change Anything, Crucial Conversations, Crucial Accountability and Influencer. He co-founded Unitus, a nonprofit organization that helps third-world citizens achieve economic self-reliance. He has appeared on “The Today Show,” CNN, Bloomberg and “Fox Business News.”

    Other leadership experts presenting at this year’s event include: Bill Hybels, Jeffrey Immelt, Tyler Perry, Susan Cain, Wilfredo De Jesús, Patrick Lencioni, Carly Fiorina, Ivan Satyavrata, Bryan Loritts, Allen Catherine Kagina, Louie Giglio, Erica Ariel Fox and Don Flow. Find more information about each of them here.

    The Summit is a two-day event that seeks to transform leaders around the world with an injection of vision, skill development and inspiration from a Christian perspective. This is a unique opportunity for business, church, government, nonprofit and education leaders — and their teams — to experience quality leadership training close to where they are. All are invited and encouraged to attend.

    To register you and your group for the live telecast of this event in Bourbonnais, click here or call 800-570-9812. Best registration price is available through June 24, 2014. Later registration and walk-in registration on the event days are also available.

    For more local information about the event or the Bourbonnais live telecast site, contact Laura Warfel at 815-928-5403 or
    Jun 11, 2014 2:22:48Jun 11, 2014 -

    The Olivet Nazarene University men's basketball team and Head Coach Ralph Hodge have signed their newest member to the 2014-15 recruiting class. Tiger basketball welcomes an athletic big man in Josiah Blan, a 6’8” forward from Minooka, Illinois. He played for Families of Faith Christian Academy (Channahon, Illinois) and finished his prep career in March 2014.

    During his senior season, the Eagles finished second in the South Shore Christian Conference. During an outstanding senior campaign, Blan scored a career-high 63 points, grabbed 26 rebounds, recorded nine assists and had a career-high eight blocks.

    Following the 2013-14 season, Blan was selected to the South Shore Christian All-Conference First Team and was honored as the Calumet Tournament MVP. He finished his career with 2,060 points (school record), as the leading rebounder in school history, and with the highest field goal percentage in FOFCA history. He also placed second in the conference dunk contest.

    In addition to his career at FOFCA, Blan played with Chicago Old Gold, Illinois Ambush and Illinois Elite as a member of the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU). He traveled with his team throughout the Midwest.

    While in high school, Blan also played baseball, batting .405 during his senior season.

    Blan joins fellow members of the 2014-15 recruiting class: Bennet Schimmelpfennig (Bourbonnais, Illinois); Chris Green (Bonfield, Illinois); Mitchell Schwarzkopf (Kankakee, Illinois); Xavier Parker (Richton Park, Illinois); Ethan Chitty (White Heath, Illinois);Aaron Sutton (Martinsville, Indiana), and Alec Goetz (St. Charles, Illinois). 

    Jun 10, 2014 4:33:51Jun 10, 2014 -

    Treavor Dodsworth graduated on May 10. The very next day, a photographer from Chicago arrived in Bourbonnais for a photo shoot with him on Olivet’s campus — his alma mater.

    In addition to securing a full-time position at a financial planning firm in Indianapolis, Treavor was chosen by InvestmentNews as one of five recent college graduates to be featured in its blog. Treavor’s first year in the financial planning industry, as well as the photos taken on campus, will be featured on InvestmentNews’ website.

    Onlookers might have assumed that Treavor was a celebrity. “He took pictures of me behind Chapman and by the clock tower. He was much more intense and professional than any other photographer I’ve seen,” says Treavor. “He was even hired to take pictures of the last four presidents. It was a really cool experience.”

    Honored Olivet grad

    Treavor graduated with degrees in accounting and finance/economics. While at Olivet, he served in several leadership positions including as sophomore class representative, vice president of finance and a resident assistant.

    Treavor handles pages as well as cash. He is an avid reader, with C.S. Lewis among his favorite authors and Lewis’ Screwtape Letters among his favorite books. He also loves to travel and, while a student at Olivet, Treavor went on mission trips to Argentina and Papua New Guinea.

    An Honors Program graduate, he completed his honors research project on the buying and selling of corn futures contracts in order to form a strategy for profitable trading. Since his family farms in Colorado, Treavor says that it was his dad who initially sparked his interest in corn futures and trading. “It’s like trying to solve a very complex and dynamic puzzle,” he says.

    Before the summer of 2013, NorthWest Financial requested interns from Olivet. Treavor headed to Indianapolis as the chosen candidate and at the end of his internship was offered a job.

    Treavor knows that the education he has received in the past four years — inside and outside of the classroom — has been invaluable. He credits business professor Ralph Goodwin for life lessons that are already influencing his career. “He taught me how business could be used in the workplace as a witnessing tool,” says Treavor.

    Personal future strategy

    Olivet equipped him spiritually as well as professionally for the next stage of his life. “I learned how to deal with people and how to relate with people from many different backgrounds. Communication is important, especially when dealing with money,” he says.

    In less than one month, Treavor will be working for NorthWest Financial full-time.

    A wedding is also in his near future. Treavor’s first home with Allison Wiseman (class of ’13) after their June 13 wedding will be in Richmond, Indiana. It’s far from Colorado, but Treavor is not worried about the Midwest setting. “I like Indianapolis a lot, so I know I’ll be happy working there.”

    “I’m really excited for what’s next,” says Treavor. “I’m graduating, getting married and moving to a new place. They’re big changes, but they’re good ones.”
    Jun 09, 2014 4:40:46Jun 09, 2014 -

    At its annual meeting in April, United Way of Kankakee and Iroquois Counties awarded Olivet Nazarene University for their long-standing partnership in the community. Olivet contributes to the mission of United Way through staff fundraising campaigns, providing students as interns, and sharing faculty and staff as volunteers.

    United Way seeks to provide for peoples’ health, education, and financial needs at a global level. United Way of Kankakee and Iroquois Counties funds 45 programs at 25 agencies in the community, and Olivet Nazarene University serves as a community employer for this local chapter.

    Mutual support

    “We’ve been really lucky to work with the students who have served here,” says the executive director of the local United Way, Nick Allen ’06. He describes the interns from Olivet as being necessary staff members. “Our interns are not around just to do little things. We have a small staff, so if we weren’t able to hire interns, we wouldn’t be able to accomplish what we do.”

    Ron Gamache ’14 interned with United Way during the spring 2014 semester. “Working for a nonprofit organization as a student was a unique opportunity for me,” he says.

    “There are similar values between United Way and Olivet, so there’s a lot of alignment between what I learned in the classroom and what I did for my internship,” says Ron. “The best thing was being able to see a direct impact on the community through partnerships like this one.”

    A recent Olivet graduate, Ron now works at the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. He says that working for a nonprofit that is similar to United Way has made the transition easier because they both operate independently and focus on outreach to the community. “The work is different, but the principles are the same,” he says.

    Benefits for both 

    Dr. Houston Thompson, dean of the School of Professional Studies, has served the United Way of Kankakee and Iroquois Counties for six years and is now the Endowment Chair. He was familiar with United Way, however, even before he came to Olivet in 2006.

    A shared resource between Olivet Nazarene University and United Way, he sees the benefits that each organization offers the other. “The partnership helps United Way save resources, and it gives Olivet students the experience they need,” he says.

    As interns like Ron go on to work for nonprofit organizations, and United Way continues to value Olivet’s’ services, Dr. Thompson has no doubt that the common thread is providing help that people need.

    “It’s about making sure that everyone has the best quality of life possible,” he says.

    Jun 05, 2014 5:32:14Jun 05, 2014 -

    YOUNG HARRIS, Ga. — The 2014 Capital One Academic All-America® College Division Men’s At-Large Team was selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). 
    Representing Olivet Nazarene University is Landon Williams (junior, business administration major, Erie, Pennsylvania), who had a 3.93 G.P.A. Williams finished the season with a 9-5 record in singles and 8-4 in doubles play. He helped the Tigers to a CCAC Regular Season and Tournament Championship. He led the Tigers to their 12th consecutive NAIA National Tournament appearance and helped gain a point in doubles; ONU was 12-8 (6-0) overall. 
    Following the season, Williams was named to the First All-CCAC Doubles Team. He also finished the year ranked fourth in the NAIA-ITA East Region rankings and 15th nationally. In addition, he was a Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athlete and a CCAC All-Academic Team selection. He was also named the NAIA-ITA East recipient for the Arthur Ashe, Jr. Sportsmanship & Leadership Award. Only four athletes in the entire NAIA are awarded this honor. 
    Williams was one of six tennis players to be honored among the 22-member men’s at-large team. He was the only tennis athlete to be named to the second team. 
    The Capital One College Division Academic All-America® men’s team is comprised of student-athletes from NAIA, Canadian and two-year institutions. To be eligible for Academic All-America® consideration, a student-athlete must be a varsity starter or key reserve, maintain a cumulative G.P.A. of 3.30 on a scale of 4.00, have reached sophomore athletic and academic standings at his/her current institution, and be nominated by his/her sports information director. 
    Voting for Capital One Academic All-District is done by current CoSIDA members. Those who obtain First Team All-District status move onto the national Capital One Academic All-America® ballot; these national awards are voted upon by Academic All-America® Committee members and current CoSIDA Board of Directors. 
    Jun 05, 2014 3:11:14Jun 05, 2014 -

    Delivering the keynote address wasn’t the only honor Dr. John C. Bowling, Olivet’s president, received during the recent annual meeting of the Kankakee Area YMCA. Later in the evening, he received the Ray Lindner Service to Youth award from Wes Walker, who was executive director of this YMCA from 1970 to 1994.

    Dr. Bowling has served as Olivet’s president since 1991, and University enrollment has grown to 4,600. “That’s a lot of youth,” Walker said as he presented the award.

    Along with Dr. Bowling’s many achievements as University president, he has served the local community in countless ways, including as vice chairman of the Riverside Health System Board. He has also been a board member for the United Way of Kankakee and Iroquois Counties and the Kankakee Valley Chamber of Commerce. His previous community awards include Samaritan of the Year and the Community Alliance Beacon Award.

    In his address to an audience of 100-plus at the Kankakee Country Club, Dr. Bowling said: “Our community has been strengthened by the work of The Y. Across the years, organizations have come and gone — but The Y has come and stayed. The Y is accessible, affordable and accountable. That’s a winning combination. I congratulate you on another year of outstanding service. As a member of this community, I thank you not only for what you do, but perhaps more importantly, for who you are. You are the 'why' of The Y.”

    Founded in 1894, the Kankakee Area YMCA is celebrating 120 years of serving the community. The current location at 1075 N. Kennedy Dr., Kankakee, is the fourth location. The Y’s daily programming meets the challenge of enhancing the quality of life for all persons within Kankakee County. In 2011, a member satisfaction survey ranked this Y in the top 10% across the country. The facility includes a gym, Kids’ Fit Zone, swimming pool, a preschool, a wellness center, an indoor track, an aerobics studio, a cycling room and more. The Y continues the commitment to help shape character and self-esteem while continuing to meet human needs and develop potential.
    Jun 05, 2014 2:25:39Jun 05, 2014 -

    Adapting to big city life. Being plucked out of large talent pools. Meeting and working with leaders in their chosen fields. Olivet students continue to make their mark with exciting and impressive internship placements.

    Making a difference in the nation’s capital

    Emily Davisson was not accustomed to city life, but seeking justice is no foreign task. The senior political science major and nonprofit management minor put her passions to work in an internship with the Center for Public Justice (CPJ) in Washington, D.C.

    CPJ is a non-partisan organization focused on leadership development, civic education and public policy research. Emily’s interest in faith-based nonprofits, as well as her leadership experience and academic background, made this placement a benefit for all involved.

    Although Washington D.C. is different in many ways from her hometown of New Castle, Indiana, Emily found this experience exciting. “Interning with CPJ was a great opportunity to work in a Christian environment that aims to make a difference in our country,” Emily said. “I’ve met new people and made connections.”

    As a result of her internship during spring 2014, she is working as an assistant editor with CPJ this summer — and supervising two interns as part of her job.

    Standing out from the crowd

    Each year, home services company Defender Direct attracts more than 100 applicants to its internship program. Defender is a leading dealer of ADT Home Security Systems and operates branches of heating, cooling and plumbing services in Central Indiana, Louisville and Cincinnati. In summer 2014, Defender’s internship class is being bolstered with the skills and expertise of two Olivet students.

    Robin Gerboth (senior, Crawfordsville, Indiana) and Hannah Reister (junior, Mason, Michigan) landed paid, full-time internships with Defender after weathering an extensive and competitive hiring process. Both heard about the openings through their business classes. Dr. Jeff Williamson '84, Olivet’s director of corporate and community engagement, helped them make the connections and led them through the process.

    After sending in their résumés, Hannah and Robin went through a phone interview. This was followed by a personal interview on campus during Defender’s campus interview day at Olivet in November 2013.

    “It was a little nerve-wracking,” Hannah says. “We were competing with other students from schools like Indiana University, Butler and Purdue for the few positions offered in each area.”

    Finally, in late November, they were invited to Defender’s main office in Indianapolis for a day of interviews. The pool for the final interview day included more than 30 students.

    “Defender’s values and location are extremely attractive to me,” Robin says. “I am excited to learn and gain valuable business experience from such a successful company. As a business major, I want to add an internship to my resume and gain necessary experience. Defender has a wonderful program to do just that.”

    “I think this internship will not only be great for personal growth, but also for connections for future jobs,” Hannah adds. “I'm excited to be on my own for the summer to start pursuing a career in marketing.”

    “It has been really exciting to see our corporate engagement efforts bearing fruit and opening doors for excellent ONU students,” Dr. Williamson says. “My belief is that this kind of opportunity will become the norm for our students as companies learn more and more that our students can compete with anyone.”

    Jun 05, 2014 10:1:49Jun 05, 2014 -

    Sophomore Sydney Harris (Fort Wayne, Ind.) was named a second team 2014 Capital One Academic All-America® College Division At-Large Team selection for his efforts in the classroom and in the pool.

    Each school’s Sports Information Director nominates athletes, who must have a class standing of sophomore or higher, have a cumulative GPA of 3.3  higher and either be a “varsity starter or key reserve.” Capital One sponsors the All-District and All-America teams. These teams are made up of athletes from across the range of different sports. There are All-District and All-American teams for Division II, Division III and the College Division (made up of NAIA, Canadian and two-year schools).

    Harris, a psychology major with a 3.63 GPA, helped the Tigers secure a 3rd place team finish at the NAIA National Championships with a gold medal performance in the 200-yard breaststroke. She also had All-American performances in the 200 Medley Relay, the 100-yard breaststroke and the 400 Medley Relay.

    A 2013 Capital One Academic All-America® second-team selection, Buchanan won the NAIA national championship in the 200 butterfly and was the national runner-up in the 200 individual medley. In all, he earned NAIA All-American honors in three events for Olivet Nazarene.

    The Capital One College Division Academic All-America® men’s and women’s at-large teams are comprised of student-athletes from NAIA, Canadian and two-year institutions.

    The at-large program for the Capital One Academic All-America® program includes the sports of fencing, golf, gymnastics, ice hockey, lacrosse, rifle, skiing, swimming and diving, tennis, water polo for both men and women; bowling, crew and field hockey for women; and volleyball and wrestling for men.

    Jun 05, 2014 9:54:18Jun 05, 2014 -

    Senior Aaron Buchanan (Beavercreek, Ohio) was named a first team 2014 Capital One Academic All-America® College Division At-Large Team selection for his efforts in the classroom and in the pool.

    Each school’s Sports Information Director nominates athletes, who must have a class standing of sophomore or higher, have a cumulative GPA of 3.3  higher and either be a “varsity starter or key reserve.” Capital One sponsors the All-District and All-America teams. These teams are made up of athletes from across the range of different sports. There are All-District and All-American teams for Division II, Division III and the College Division (made up of NAIA, Canadian and two-year schools).

    Buchanan, recorded a 3.60 G.P.A. while majoring in psychology. A 2013 Capital One Academic All-America® second-team selection, Buchanan won the NAIA national championship in the 200 butterfly and was the national runner-up in the 200 individual medley. In all, he earned NAIA All-American honors in three events for Olivet Nazarene.

    The Capital One College Division Academic All-America® men’s and women’s at-large teams are comprised of student-athletes from NAIA, Canadian and two-year institutions.

    The at-large program for the Capital One Academic All-America® program includes the sports of fencing, golf, gymnastics, ice hockey, lacrosse, rifle, skiing, swimming and diving, tennis, water polo for both men and women; bowling, crew and field hockey for women; and volleyball and wrestling for men.

    Jun 04, 2014 10:18:54Jun 04, 2014 -

    LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The National Fastpitch Coaches Association is pleased to announce the 2014 NFCA NAIA All-America teams.

    This year’s squad is comprised of 32 players representing 19 schools across the five NFCA geographic regions on each of two All-America teams.

    NAIA national champion Auburn Montgomery and Olivet Nazarene garnered the most selections, with four apiece, while six other institutions — including World Series runner-up William Carey — had two players each honored.

    Named to the 16-player 1st Team was senior Hannah Gardner (Frankfort, Ill.). Gardner was named NAIA Player of the Year and NAIA 1st Team All-American just a week ago, batted .531 for the Tigers with 86 hits. She finished with 19 doubles, two triples and a team leading 12 homers for 73 RBI and 74 runs scored. She had a .888 slugging percentage and a .570 on-base percentage.

    Seniors Justine Phillips (Metamora, Ill.) and Cheryl Sendzik (Mokena, Ill.), along with junior Erika Tatum (Bourbonnais, Ill.) all received 2 Team honors. Phillips, the Tiger’s short stop, was second on the team with a .459 batting average, including a team leading 21 doubles and seven triples. She also added four home runs and 56 RBIs. She also led the Tigers with 27 stolen bases in 32 attempts.

    Sendzik and Tatum finished 5-6 in batting average on the season, finishing at .427 and .404, respectively. Sendzik finished second on the team with a .747 slugging percentage with 18 doubles and 10 homers in her 64 hits. She also added 54 RBIs. Tatum finished with 65 hits, including 16 doubles, two triples and nine home runs. She also was second on the team with 17 hit-by-pitch free passes.

    On the season, the Tigers finished with a team batting average of .389 with 127 doubles, 17 triples and 56 home runs. They combined for a .615 slugging percentage and a .451 on-base percentage. Their opponents hit a mere .199 on the season with 57 extra base hits. Olivet finished ranked 9th in the final NAIA Coaches Poll.

    Jun 04, 2014 1:53:45Jun 04, 2014 -

    On a Thursday night, thirteen pairs of outstretched arms balanced framed or free artwork against the west wall of Common Grounds. A final person stood back to approve the lineup.

    HeArt Ministry was preparing for their “HeArt Show,” a spring 2014 art exhibition event which would take place the next week. This moment of prep perfectly revealed the club’s goal: to create a masterpiece by standing shoulder to shoulder and reaching out.

    “Our art can get trapped down in the lower level of Larsen,” says Art Education major Tatiana Diaz (Plainfield, Illinois). “But HeArt gives us a chance to share it with the campus and reach out to people in the community.”

    Shoulder to shoulder they stand

    The new ministry is focused on outreach. “When we volunteer, our intentions are to do art and share the love of Christ,” says Alina Ellis '14, co-leader with Taylor Cole (Peoria, Illinois).

    There are no limitations; club members encourage anyone to get involved, whether they are art majors or not. HeArt also welcomes artists of every kind, from painters to graphic designers and anyone else who creates.

    “I wasn’t sure how to serve,” said Monica Stamper (Plainfield, Illinois) in Common Grounds at the art show in April. “I had seen the ads for the club, but I just never went to the meetings.” The art major glanced at her piece of work on the wall while explaining that she finally joined HeArt when God — and other students — pushed her.

    As she already felt devoted to helping the community, a push is exactly what Monica needed. “Artists find encouragement from one another,” she smiled.

    HeArt Show

    “This year we were specifically dedicated to serving other ministries on campus,” Alina explains, which included Evangels, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Best Buddies, Urban Children's Ministry and Compassionate Ministries.

    Some of HeArt’s services included visiting a local nursing home, painting with children, and building the set of Olivet’s fall musical. When they went to the nursing home with the ministry Evangels, residents participated in various ways: “We allowed them to paint whatever they liked, but some just liked to watch and told us to paint something for them,” laughs Alina.

    Students involved in HeArt are able to do ministry through an outlet which they are collectively passionate about. “I’ve seen so many great relationships develop,” says Alina. “We were able to get to know one another really well and share our lives with each other inside and outside of our meetings.” She adds that HeArt has “come together as a group that loves God and loves other people.”
    Jun 02, 2014 11:55:31Jun 02, 2014 -

    Computation has become essential to the practice of contemporary biology. Storytelling and concept maps, with the right tools, can quickly turn ideas in biology into dynamic, visual models.

    “Computational Biology for Biology Educators” — a workshop for biology, general science, math, and computer science professors and pre-college teachers — will take place at Olivet on July 21–23, 2014. With funding provided by the National Science Foundation (NSF) through the XSEDE program and with additional funds from the National Computational Science Institute (NCSI), there is no registration fee to attend this workshop. Online registration is required, however. Click here to register.

    This workshop will benefit those who teach biology in college or high school. Math and computer science faculty who want to use modeling in biology as an application area will also benefit.

    “Training provided in this workshop aims to provide educators with an introductory overview of computational resources and methods for the classroom,” said Dr. Cathy Bareiss, chair of Olivet’s Department of Computer Science. “These can be used with students who are interested in biology or the biological applications of math at the secondary or introductory college level.”

    Beginning Monday morning and continuing through Wednesday afternoon, participants will develop lesson plans and materials for use in their own classrooms. Thursday is optional as a project work day or getting individual help from instructors.

    Faculty and teachers will work with nationally known experts in computational science to explore, modify, and build interactive, dynamic, and visual models across the topics of the typical introductory college or high school biology curriculum, including population dynamics, spread of disease, bioinformatics, cellular function, and pharmakinetics.

    A limited number of scholarships for housing and travel are available. For more information or to apply for scholarships, click here.
    Jun 02, 2014 10:45:42Jun 02, 2014 -

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) has announced the 2014 Rawlings-NAIA Baseball Gold Glove Team, as selected by the NAIA-Baseball Coaches Association All-America Selection Committee. For the eighth year, a total of nine players were chosen based upon their defensive success. 

    Olivet Nazarene University baseball had its first representative in the program’s history named to the team. Senior righthander Jonathan Fightmaster (Bourbonnais, Illinois) earned Gold Glove honors as the only pitcher selected in the NAIA. In 15 appearances, he had a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage, including 25 assists, 11 putouts and four double plays. He was the only Tiger starter to finish the season without an error.

    In 2014, Fightmaster appeared in 15 games, starting 14. He had a team-best 9-4 record with a 2.86 ERA (team best). He threw seven complete games with three shutouts (team highs). He pitched a total of 97 2/3 innings, allowing 118 hits, 46 runs (31 earned), 20 walks and had 61 strikeouts (second on team). Also, he was named to the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference First Team and Gold Glove Team following the 2014 season.

    Ian Josh of Sterling (Kan.), Tyler Akins of Belhaven (Miss.), Zach Close of AIB (Iowa) and Danny Carroll of Culver-Stockton (Mo.) are also receiving their respective program’s first-ever Gold Glove honoree.

    2014 Rawlings-NAIA Baseball Gold Glove Team 








    Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) 




    Sterling (Kan.) 




    Belhaven (Miss.) 




    The Master's (Calif.) 




    College of Idaho 




    Cumberland (Tenn.) 




    Webber International (Fla.) 




    AIB (Iowa) 




    Culver-Stockton (Mo.) 

    Rawlings is a leading marketer and manufacturer of baseball equipment and other sports goods in the United States. Rawlings is the exclusive official baseball for the NAIA, and many other organizations as well as the official football and basketball of the NAIA. For more information, please visit

    May 30, 2014 11:27:3May 30, 2014 -

    Every fall since 1989, a group of students gathers for the first time under a common mission: to change the world. By spring, the students have transitioned to skilled and refined leaders whose influence is felt as far away as Africa and as nearby as Olivet’s campus.

    This group of students is an offshoot in a worldwide movement known as Enactus (formerly SIFE, Students in Free Enterprise), which stretches across 36 countries and includes over 1,600 universities. At its core, Enactus is simple — students use creativity and innovation to develop and implement community projects that will empower others.

    “Enactus is what you make it,” says Allison Walsh '14, who served as co-president of Olivet’s Enactus for the 2013-2014 academic year. “You have as much opportunity as the work you put in.”


    Each spring, Enactus teams from across the country gather for regional and national competitions. This year, Olivet's Enactus placed in the top 50 teams at U.S. Nationals.

    Competition is an energizing environment that provides teams with accountability and motivation. “When we compete to improve lives, we all win,” the Enactus website says.

    Teams prepare oral and visual presentations on their work from the year and are evaluated by executives on strength of their projects. A national champion is named at the end of the event to represent the country at the Enactus World Cup in the fall.

    “Competition really opened my eyes to how much work is being done through Enactus,” says Brandon Juodikis '14, co-president with Allison and 2014 competition presenter.

    Community living

    This year, Olivet's Enactus focused on sparking chain reactions of positive change in its community. The team began with its backyard — Olivet’s campus — by providing students with a personal finance seminar for the third consecutive year, and launching its second year of Suit Up, a mock interview event. Suit Up was also expanded to include résumé building guidance, LinkedIn training and interview skills coaching.

    The Enactus team also reached into its neighborhood. Team members helped local entrepreneurs advance their small businesses and taught computer and personal finance classes to inmates in the Jerome Combs Correctional Facility. And this spring, five Enactus members “ventured across town” as part of Olivet’s Missions In Action trip to Swaziland, Africa, where they launched a sewing project to create a source of income for women in the country.

    “Each year, I am blessed to watch students develop meaningful projects in our community,” Dr. Lynda Allen '82/'88 MBA, business professor and Enactus faculty sponsor, says. “Enactus provides a unique opportunity for students to use their passions to change lives through entrepreneurship.”

    Building for the future

    Continuing its 25-year history, Olivet's Enactus is still growing. The team recently named two new co-presidents for fall 2014: juniors Alex Blakeley (Warren, Pennsylvania) and Rebecca Crane (Danville, Indiana). They are ambitious about taking the team to the next level.

    “We want to see Enactus expand,” Rebecca adds. “We hope to strengthen the team with people from more majors and reach more people beyond our student body.”
    May 30, 2014 7:51:47May 30, 2014 -

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) has announced the 2014 Softball All-America teams, selected by the NAIA All-America committee. Senior second baseman Hannah Gardner of Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) is recognized as the NAIA Player of the Year and sophomore Nicole Nonnemacher of Saint Xavier (Ill.) is honored as the NAIA Pitcher of the Year.

    Gardner finished her season ranked first in the NAIA in RBIs per game (1.33), second in total RBIs (73), third in runs scored (74), sixth in total hits (90) and sixth in batting average (.533). On the season, Gardner started in 55 games and tallied 20 doubles, a team-high 12 home runs and only struck out six times in 169 at-bats. The Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) Player of the Year hit safely in 47 contests and had a season-long 13-game hitting streak. She was part of a team to win the CCAC regular-season and tournament titles, advance to the NAIA Softball World Series and hold a No. 4 ranking in the final Coaches’ Poll.

    Nonnemacher, the younger sister and teammate of Megan, was the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Pitcher of the Year. The native of Bloomington, Ill., led the NAIA in ERA (0.67), ranked third in batters struck out per game (10.68) and was 16th in total wins (21). On the year, she went 21-6 overall, starting 24 games and compiled 16 shutouts. She tossed 189 1/3 innings and had an opponent batting average of .153, which was good for third in the NAIA. Nonnemacher led the Cougars to a No. 8 ranking in the final Coaches’ Top 25 Poll (May 6) and a trip to the National Championship Opening Round.

    Since the Player of the Year award inception in 1998, Gardner earns Olivet Nazarene University’s first such honor. Nonnemacher is the first Cougar to become Pitcher of the Year since it began in 1999.

    May 30, 2014 7:48:17May 30, 2014 -

    COLUMBUS, Ga. – Seniors Hannah Gardner and Justine Phillips repeated as NAIA All-Americans and were joined by seniors Caitlin Santefort and Cheryl Sendzik when the NAIA announced the teams on Friday, May 30. The foursome helped lead the Tigers to a 49-5-1 record, including winning the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Regular Season and Tournament, the Davenport Bracket of the NAIA Opening Round and a trip the NAIA World Series.

    Gardner , Phillips and Santefort all earned 1st Team All-American honors. Gardner, the NAIA Player of the Year, finished the season with a scorching .531 batting average, including 12 home runs, two triples and 19 doubles. She drove in 73 RBIs on 86 hits. Phillips was not far behind with a .471 season batting average. She amassed 21 doubles, seven triples and four home runs, scoring 77 times with 56 RBIs. Santefort finished with a near perfect record in the circle at 21-1. She had a season ERA of 1.06 and a strike out to walk ratio of 120:17. She held opponents to a mere .199 batting average.

    Sendzik received Honorable Mention All-American honors. She finished the season with a .444 batting average with included 10 home runs and 18 doubles. She added 54 RBIs and 45 runs scored.

    A complete list of NAIA All-Americans can be found here.

    May 29, 2014 1:34:4May 29, 2014 -

    Reed Hall of Science won’t be void of study — or laughter — this summer. Cell lab 119 will be especially jovial while biology professor Dr. Gregory Long and student researcher Curtis Groover work together to solve complex scientific riddles.

    “Curtis is known around here as a goofball, but you wouldn’t know it by the way he researches,” says Dr. Long.

    Curtis is a biology major from Avon, Indiana, and one of three Olivet students chosen for the 2014 Elbert Pence and Fanny Boyce Undergraduate Summer Research Experience Grant. Funded by alumni and friends of Olivet, the summer research program honors two former faculty members, physics professor Elbert Pence and mathematics professor Fanny Boyce.

    Students chosen for research are paired with faculty members in order to pose a question that, according to Dr. Long, can “actually be solved.” Curtis, for example, will be studying hamster cells and what effects metals have on their ability to live and function. He thought of this project after Dr. Long set parameters and helped him brainstorm.

    At the end of 10 weeks, students are required to write a paper, present what they discovered, and create a poster which will be displayed during Homecoming week in the fall.

    The recipients and their projects for the summer of 2014 include:

    • Curtis and Dr. Long: “Concentrations of heavy metals inducing apoptosis and necrosis in baby hamster kidney cells”

    Amy Brenner (Lansing, Michigan) and biology professor Dr. Aggie Veld: “Connections between the effects of various chemicals on the development of Drosophila melanogaster and Homo sapiens

    Brian Pickering (Chebanse, Illinois) and biology professor Dr. Dan Sharda: “Toll-like receptor 4 activation of non-canonical signaling pathways modulates mitochondrial respiration”

    Visiting Dr. Long and Curtis Groover in Reed clarifies two things. One, they work with collections of cells instead of with furry, fully-developed hamsters. Two, according to Curtis, research is not just about sitting in a lab. He describes the hours of intellectual discussion required for this type of research, which means a significant amount of time is spent in Dr. Long’s office.

    “It requires a lot of this,” adds Dr. Long, tapping his temple with both index fingers.

    “I always thought that the student would just help the professor out,” says Curtis, “but I actually get to do it on my own, which is cool.”
    May 28, 2014 11:23:37May 28, 2014 -

    GULF SHORES, Ala. – The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) has announced Saturday that 337 women’s track and field student-athletes have been named 2014 Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athletes. A total of 10 members of the Olivet Nazarene University women’s track and field team were among them.

    Three seniors were recognized for the second straight year: Annie Brandes (Waukegan, Ill.), Rachel Carman (Keokuk, Iowa) and Christy Trank (Winnegago, Ill.). Making the list for the first time were sophomore Amy Blucker (Galesburg, Ill.) and juniors Jacqueline Fayne (Chicago, Ill.), Kylie Lippencott (Crawfordsville, Ind.), Madison Moyer (Burlington, Iowa), Natalie Puent (Eureka, Ill.) and Anna Stiker (Waterman, Ill.)

    In order to be nominated by an institution’s head coach or sports information director, a student-athlete must maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale and must have achieved a junior academic status.

    2014 Daktronics-NAIA Women’s Track and Field Scholar-Athletes - PDF

    May 28, 2014 11:13:49May 28, 2014 -

    COLUMBUS, Ga. – The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) has announced Wednesday that 297 softball student-athletes have been named 2014 Daktronics-NAIA Softball Scholar-Athletes. The No. 4 Olivet Nazarene University softball team was represented by three: seniors Cheryl Sendzik and Justine Phillips and junior Jordy Truelock.

    Sendzik, a native of Mokena, Illinois, graduated earlier in May with a degree in multimedia studies. Sendizik is a two-time honoree.

    A Metamora, Illinois native, Phillips will graduate in December 2014 with a degree in Elementary Education. She will spend the fall of 2014 student teaching. Truelock, a native of Princeton, Indiana, is also majoring in elementary education.

    In order to be nominated by an institution’s head coach or sports information director, a student-athlete must maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale and must have achieved a junior academic status.

    2014 Daktronics-NAIA Softball Scholar-Athletes - PDF

    May 28, 2014 1:39:4May 28, 2014 -

    BOURBONNAIS, Illinois — Coming off their second consecutive CCAC Tournament Championship and NAIA National Tournament appearance, Coach Blahnik and the Tiger men's soccer team is gearing up for the 2014 season.  

    “With five senior starters graduating, there will be some great competition for some starting spots that are up for grabs. Our guys worked really hard this spring, and we are looking forward to adding our new players in August. I will greatly miss our graduating seniors, as both players and young men, but am extremely excited for the group of incoming players that are coming this fall. All of the incoming recruits are great soccer players. They are also great young men who will work very hard in the classroom and contribute to the mission of ONU.” — Coach Blahnik 

    2014 Recruiting Class 

    Austin Miller — Transfer from Eastern Illinois University

    Hometown: Manteno, Illinois

    High School: Manteno HS

    Club: Chicago Magic/South Suburban Academy

    Position: GK

    Intended Major: Mathematics

    As a Player:

    Manteno HS

    - All-Conference (2011, 2012)

    - All-Area (2011, 2012)

    - Columbus Cup All-Tournament Team (2011)

    - Defensive MVP (2012)

    Chicago Magic

                    - US Youth Soccer National Qualifier (2013)

    South Suburban Academy

                    - State Cup Champions (2011, 2012)

                    - US Youth Soccer National Qualifier (2011, 2012)

    Adam Schaeffer 

    Hometown: Manteno, Illinois

    High School: Manteno HS

    Club: Chicago Fire

    Position: FWD, MID

    Intended Major: Engineering

    As a Player:

    Manteno HS

    - All-Conference (2011, 2012, 2013)

    - All-Area (2012, 2013)

    - All-Sectional (2013)

    - Manteno Athlete of the Year (2013)

    - 18 Goals, 25 Assists (2013)

    - Conference Champions (2012, 2013)

    Chicago Fire

                    - Columbus Cup Tournament MVP (2013)

    Christian Henock-Berhanu 

    Hometown: Bourbonnais, Illinois

    High School: Bradley Bourbonnais Community HS

    Club: Chicago Magic Academy

    Position: MID/FWD

    Intended Major: Sports Management

    As a Player:


    - All–Conference (2010, 2013)

    - All-Area (2010, 2013)

    - 22 Goals, 13 Assists (2013)

    - 21 Goals, 20 Assists (2010)

    Chicago Fire Juniors

                    - US Youth Soccer National Champions (2011)

                    - US Youth Soccer National Tournament Golden Boot Winner (2011)

    - US Youth Soccer National Tournament MVP (2011)

    Chicago Fire Academy

                    - USSDA National Championship 3rd Place (2012)

    Chicago Magic Academy

                    - USSDA Playoffs Qualifier (2013, 2014)

    Chris Taborn 

    Hometown: Matteson, Illinois

    High School: Marian Catholic HS

    Club: Chicago Fire

    Position: GK

    Intended Major: Education

    As a Player:

    Marian Catholic HS

                    - Windy City Classic Champions (2013)

    - Windy City Classic Golden Gloves Award (2013)

                    - All-Conference (2013)

                    - All-Area (2013)

    Chicago Fire

                    - State Cup Runner-Up (2012)

                    - US Youth Soccer Regional Champions (2012)

                    - Disney Showcase Champions (2012)

    - MRL Champions (2013)

    Clay Selby 

    Hometown: Fenton, Michigan

    High School: Genesee Christian HS

    Club: CSA Wolves Academy

    Position: FWD

    Intended Majors: Spanish, Intercultural Studies, International Business

    As a Player:

    Genesee Christian HS

    - All-State HM (2010)

    - All-State 3rd Team (2011)

    - All-State 1st Team (2012)

    - 48 Goals, 20 Assists (2012)

    CSA Wolves Academy (2013)

    Zach Homco 

    Hometown: Canton, Michigan

    High School: Canton HS

    Club: Canton Celtic

    Position: DEF

    Intended Major: Engineering

    As a Player:

    Canton HS

    - Division Champions (2012, 2013)

    - State Champions (2011)

    Canton Celtic

    - State Cup Semi-finals (2013)

    Florian Cors 

    Hometown: Frankfurt, Germany

    High School: Bertha-von-Suttner-Schule

    Club: Kickers Offenbach II

    Position: DEF

    Intended Major: Business Administration

    As a Player:

    Kickers Offenbach II

                    - Plays in the top amateur division in Germany

    Nathan East 

    Hometown: Fraser, Michigan

    High School: Fraser HS

    Club: Legacy

    Position: DEF

    Intended Major: Undecided

    As a Player:

    Fraser HS

    - All-State HM (2013)

    - Defensive Team MVP (2013)

    - Undefeated Regular Season (2013)

    - 17 shutouts

    Collin Hewett 

    Hometown: Canton, Michigan

    High School: Salem High School 

    Club: Canton Celtic

    Position: GK

    Intended Major: Business/Marketing

    As a Player:

    Salem HS

    - State Semi-finals (2013)

    - 1st Team All-State (2013)

    - 1st Team All-Region (2012, 2013)

    - 1st Team All-Conference (2011, 2012, 2013)

    Canton Celtic

    - State Cup Semi-finals (2013)

    Paul Miller 

    Hometown: New Lenox, Illinois

    High School: Lincoln-Way West High School

    Club: Legacy Soccer Club

    Position: MID

    Intended Major: Mathematics

    As a Player:

    Lincoln-Way West HS

    - Regional champs (2010, 2012, 2013)

    - Lincoln-Way Invite champs (2013)

    - All-Sectional HM (2013)

    - All-Area HM (2013)

    - New Lenox patriot player of the week (2013)

    - 9 Assists, 1 Goal (2013)

    Jaime Flores 

    Hometown: Matteson, IL

    High School: Rich South High School

    Club Team: Chicago Fire Juniors South

    Position: DEF/MID

    Intended Major: Mechanical Engineering

    As a Player:

    Rich South HS

                    - Team MVP (2011)

                    - All-Tournament Team (2011, 2012, 2013)

                    - All-Conference (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013)

    Chicago Fire

                    - Premiership B2 Champions (2013)

                    - Mid-America College Showcase Champions (2012)

                    - Nike Academy Showcase Champions (2012)

    May 28, 2014 1:29:2May 28, 2014 -

    LEWISTON, Idaho – The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) has announced that 257 baseball student-athletes have been named 2014 Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athletes. Hastings (Neb.) leads all institutions with 11 individuals on the list.

    In order to be nominated by an institution’s head coach or sports information director, a student-athlete must maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale and must have achieved a junior academic status.

    Olivet Nazarene University had five honored this year: senior pitcher Steven Beckham (Mt. Vernon, Illinois), senior pitcher Jonathan Fightmaster (Bourbonnais, Illinois), junior pitcher Ryan Archer (Moline, Illinois), junior outfielder Aaron King (Pekin, Illinois), and junior catcher Stefan Sauder (Morton, Illinois).  Beckham and Fightmaster were named to the list for the second time.

    Complete List:

    May 28, 2014 11:16:35May 28, 2014 -

    Conflict happens in every area of our lives. And one of the worst ways to deal with conflict is to ignore it.

    In his new book Conflict Management for Faith Leaders, Dr. Houston Thompson provides guidance and encouragement for dealing with conflict. Dr. Thompson currently serves at Olivet as dean of the School of Professional Studies, dean of academic affairs for the School of Graduate and Continuing Studies, and director of the Doctor of Education in Ethical Leadership degree program.

    “One of my goals in writing this book was to provide a framework for understanding and assessing conflict, and then knowing how to manage it in a way that preserves the dignity and respect of all involved,” Dr. Thompson says.

    With a wealth of experience in nonprofit management and social work, Dr. Thompson draws on real life situations and biblical truths for the practical insights included in this book. He offers several techniques for managing conflict, as well as guidelines for choosing which technique to use in a particular situation.

    “Houston Thompson has provided a field manual for ‘faith leaders’ that clearly and pragmatically guides the leader through the key steps of assessing, engaging and navigating conflict toward resolution,“ said Dr. Jeren Rowell, district superintendent of the Church of the Nazarene’s Kansas City District.

    Dr. Thompson’s academic and professional interests include leadership; positive youth development using a strengths-based approach to working with youth and their communities; and not-for-profit and organizational management. Currently, he serves on the board of directors for United Way of Kankakee and Iroquois Counties.

    Before taking on his current administrative positions, Dr. Thompson was chair of Olivet’s Department of Social Work and Criminal Justice. A licensed social worker in the state of Indiana and an ordained elder in the Church of the Nazarene, he has served as a pastor in Nazarene churches in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Indiana; a school social worker; and executive director of a faith-based community ministry.

    After earning his associate’s degree from Nazarene Bible College, he went on to receive his bachelor’s degree from MidAmerica Nazarene University. He holds a master’s degree in church management from Olivet and a Master’s in Social Work degree from Spalding University. In 2007, he received his doctorate degree from Trevecca Nazarene University.

    Conflict Management for Faith Leaders is available online at and Nazarene Publishing House, and at Hammes Bookstore on Olivet’s campus.
    May 27, 2014 3:25:47May 27, 2014 -

    “I'm responsible for this company. I stand behind the results. I know the details, and I think the CEO has to be the moral leader of the company,” said Jeffrey Immelt about his role as CEO of General Electric since 2001. “I think high standards are good, but let's not anybody be confused, it's about performance with integrity. That's what you have to do.”

    Immelt is one of 14 featured speakers for the live telecast of the 2014 Global Leadership Summit, August 14 and 15, at College Church, North Campus in Bourbonnais, Illinois. Olivet Nazarene University is partnering with College Church to host this premier leadership training event.

    Named one of the “World’s Best CEOs” three times by Barrons, he holds a B.S. degree from Dartmouth College and a M.B.A. from Harvard University. Under his leadership, General Electric has been named “America’s Most Admired Company” in polls conducted by Barrons and Financial Times. He has also served as chair of the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.

    Other leadership experts presenting at this year’s event include: Bill Hybels, Tyler Perry, Susan Cain, Wilfredo De Jesús, Patrick Lencioni, Carly Fiorina, Ivan Satyavrata, Bryan Loritts, Joseph Grenny, Allen Catherine Kagina, Louie Giglio, Erica Ariel Fox and Don Flow. Find more information about each of them here.

    The Summit is a two-day event that seeks to transform leaders around the world with an injection of vision, skill development and inspiration from a Christian perspective. This is a unique opportunity for business, church, government, nonprofit and education leaders — and their teams — to experience quality leadership training close to where they are. All are invited and encouraged to attend.

    To register you and your group for the live telecast of this event in Bourbonnais, click here or call 800-570-9812. Best registration price is available through June 24, 2014. Later registration and walk-in registration on the event days are also available.

    For more local information about the event or the Bourbonnais live telecast site, contact Laura Warfel at 815-928-5403 or
    May 26, 2014 3:11:31May 26, 2014 -

    GULF SHORES, Alabama — For the second consecutive season, the Olivet Nazarene University men’s track and field team finished 13th at the NAIA Outdoor National Championships. Seven different Tigers contributed to the Tigers' top 20 placing (18 points) among 72 teams. Two earned all-American status, including a runner-up finish by sophomore Jacob Armbrust (Metamora, Illinois) in the discus throw with a mark of 52.59 meters — good for a new school record. He also finished fourth in the shot put, throwing it a finals best 16.95 meters and making him a two-time all-American in 2014.

    Freshman Zach Gordon (Harvey, Illinois) continued an excellent rookie season and placed fourth in the long jump with a mark of 7.24 meters, good for all-American status. 

    On the track, the 4x100 meter relay team of senior Ty’rel Fields (Harvey, Alabama), Zach Gordon, junior Rey Keys (Matteson, Illinois) and junior Jared Carl (Galesburg, Illinois) finished 15th with a time of 41.60, outpacing 13 other teams.

    Junior Lucas Limberg (Rockford, Illinois) competed in the high jump, but did not have a qualifying height in the finals to place. Junior Brian Michell (Reed City, Michigan) placed 10th in the pole vault, defeating six other athletes with a mark of 4.75 meters in the finals.

    Finally, senior Marcus Reynolds (Green Bay, Wisconsin) capped off a great senior campaign by placing 10th in the javelin throw with a finals mark of 56.50 meters and defeating eight other throwers.

    ONU finishes their 2014 season at the NAIA Outdoor National Meet.


    May 26, 2014 2:33:1May 26, 2014 -

    GULF SHORES, Ala. – The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) has announced Saturday that 233 men’s track and field student-athletes have been named 2014 Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athletes. Concordia (Neb.) leads all institutions with 18 individuals on the list. Nebraska Wesleyan and Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) are tied for the second most with 10 each.

    In order to be nominated by an institution’s head coach or sports information director, a student-athlete must maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale and must have achieved a junior academic status.

    Representing the Olivet Nazarene University men's track and field team are 10 individuals, two more than in 2013. Selected for a second straight year are James Fisher (Wales, Michigan)Brian Willoughby (Elkhart, Indiana), Jesse Stanford (Bolingbrook, Illinois), and Daniel Wells (Danville, Illinois). Named to the list for the first time are senior Matthew Logan (Dixon, Illinois) and juniors: Jared Carl (Galesburg, Illinois), Dylan Creger (Almont, Michigan),Marshall Hawn (Goshen, Indiana), Joel Lynn (Naperville, Illinois), and David Powers (Security, Colo.). 

    Complete List: 

    May 24, 2014 10:19:12May 24, 2014 -

    GULF SHORES, Ala. – The Olivet Nazarene University women’s track and field team return home from NAIA Outdoor Track and Field Nationals with two All-American relay performances and five individual. Sophomore Amy Blucker (Galesburg, Ill.) added two more in the final two days to lead the Tigers.  

    Top performances from days two and three of competition:

    The 4x400m relay team of sophomore Takena Lawson, junior Kamaria Goedhart, freshman Laura D’Angelo and sophomore Peyton Kirkland crossed the finish line in 3:49.65 to finish sixth overall.

    Senior Christy Trank, freshman Angelica Lafemina, junior Kyie Lippencott and freshman Karley Brown placed eighth in the 4x800m relay with a time of 9:41.28.

    Blucker placed second in the shot put, posting a 15.10m (49-06.50) and third in the discus throw with a 46.05m (151-07).

    The Tigers finished with 12th overall with 23 points out of the 51 scoring teams at the event. The National Championship was claimed by Indiana Tech who finished with 102 points.

    May 24, 2014 9:15:57May 24, 2014 -

    COLUMBUS, Ga. – Not since May of 2012 had the Olivet Nazarene University softball team been held scoreless, 112 consecutive games. But the Tigers found themselves unable to push a run across the plate at the NAIA World Series…not once, but twice. The No. 3 seeded Tigers were on the losing end of a 2-0 opening game with No. 6 seeded William Carey University on Friday, May 23 and couldn’t snap back in game two the next day, falling 3-0 to College of Idaho.

    Olivet (49-5-1) outhit the William Carey nine to six, leaving runners in scoring position three times. In the first, junior Jordy Truelock (Princeton, Ind.) reached on a single and advanced to third on a double by senior Hannah Gardner (Frankfort, Ill.), but both were stranded with back-to-back ground outs.

    In the third, the Tigers loaded the bases with two outs on a single by Gardner, double off the bat of junior Erika Tatum (Bourbonnais, Ill.) and a walk by senior Cheryl Sendzik (Mokena, Ill.) but failed to score. The final missed scoring opportunity happened in the fourth when freshman Megan Semro doubled and reached third on a single by senior Justine Phillips (Metamora, Ill.).

    Senior Caitlin Santefort (Mokena, Ill.) suffered the loss, going 5.2 innings before being relieved by sophomore Lindsay Stotler (Bloomington, Ill.). Santefort allowed four hits and one run, earned. She also walked three while striking out none. Stotler threw 1.1 innings, allowing two hits and one earned run. She struck out one and walked one.

    Day two saw the Tigers struggle with plating a run and hitting as they were held to four hits against the Coyote.  Truelock continued to be hot in the post season, going 2-for-3 with a double, but no one could push her around to put the Tigers on the board. Gardner and Krippel each added a single.

    Stotler picked up the loss, going the distance. She allowed five hits, while striking out three and walking one.

    Olivet finished a highly successful season which saw them go on a 43-game winning streak after suffering back-to-back losses to start the season. The streak is the second longest in NAIA history. They went 45-games without a loss, having ended the winning streak with a tie to Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference rival St. Xavier University (Ill.). The 112-games without a shut-out is also second in NAIA history. The Tigers captured the CCAC Regular Season Title with a 19-0-1 record and went on to win the CCAC Tournament. They also went 3-0 in the Davenport Bracket of the NAIA Opening Round to earn their trip to Columbus. Olivet had seven 1st Team CCAC All-Conference honorees and Gardner repeated as Player of the Year.

    Off the field, the Tigers have two CoSIDA Capital One Academic All-Americans (Sendzik and Phillips), three NAIA Scholar Athletes (Sendzik, Phillips and Truelock) and nine CCAC All-Academic team honorees.

    May 23, 2014 10:46:3May 23, 2014 -

    LINCOLN, Neb. – The Olivet Nazarene University women’s golf team saw their season come to an end on Wednesday, May 21 after the second round of competition at the NAIA National Championships at the Wilderness Ridge Golf Course in Lincoln, Nebraska. The Tigers finished tied for 17th overall in the field of 27 teams with a two round score of 663 (+87).

    After having three players shoot opening rounds of +8 or better, the Tigers struggled to find consistency on day two. Senior Ashley Miller (Springhill, Kan.) finished her career with an 83 (+11). Her two-day of 183 (+19) tied her for 57th place in the 140 player field.

    Freshman Sydney Tyler (Bloomington, Ill.) finished the event tied for 64th overall after an opening day 77 (+5) and a day two 88 (+16) to finish with a 165 (+21). Junior Lydia Bilyeu (Fulton, Ill.) placed tied for 68th with a 166 (+22) with rounds of 77 (+5) and 89 (+17).

    Sophomore Bridget Wolff (East Peoria, Ill.) had the second best day two round, shooting an 84 (+12). She opened play with an 87 (+15) to finish at 171 (+27) and tied for 104th. Sophomore Kelsey Fisk (Greeenfield, Ind.) finished tied for 117th place with a two-round total of 178 (+34) after rounds of 91 (+19) and 87 (+15).

    The Tigers finished up another successful season and will hit the links again in the fall.


    May 23, 2014 10:44:8May 23, 2014 -

    Olivet’s fourth cohort of Honors Program students graduated as part of the Class of 2014 during the 101st Commencement Convocation on Saturday, May 10, 2014.

    As their time at Olivet came to a close, these fourteen graduates presented their required honors research projects during Scholar Week 2014, April 22 to 26. Now, they are beginning the next chapter in their personal and professional lives.

    Lacey Austin (Glenmont, Ohio), B.S., English education
    Project: “Rationales for the Use and Pairing of Young Adult Literature and Classic Novels in the Secondary English Classroom”
    She is pursuing plans for a teaching career in Ohio.

    Breanne Bambrick (Washington, Illinois), B.S.W., social work
    Project: “The Collaboration of Faith and Social Work in Creating a Gateway of Helping”
    She will be pursuing her master’s degree in social work (M.S.W.) at Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri.

    Emily Borger (South Elgin, Illinois), B.S.. dietetics
    Project: “The Effect of Direct Human Service on Volunteers' Self-Perceived Generosity and Expected Appreciation, Satisfaction, and Value of Work”
    She has been accepted into an internship and master’s degree program in dietetics at Northern Illinois University.

    Rebecca Busler (Maryville, Illinois), B.S.N., nursing
    Project: “Effectiveness of Wellness and Life Skills Education for Adolescent Females of Inner-City East St. Louis”
    She is pursuing plans for a nursing career in women’s health.

    Kaitlin Carlson (Washington, Illinois), B.S., education
    Project: “Writing a Reading and Language Arts Unit Designed to Motivate Elementary School English Language Learner (ELL) Students of Poverty”
    She has accepted a position as a language arts and social studies teacher for sixth grade students in Morton, Illinois.

    Treavor Dodsworth (Vernon, Colorado), B.S., accounting/economics/finance
    Project: “Trading Intraday Volatility: Basic Futures Trading Strategy”
    He has accepted a position with Northwest Financial, Indianapolis, Indiana. Investment News, a financial planning magazine, will be blogging about him as he begins his career in the financial planning industry.

    Brian Ginn (Bourbonnais, Illinois), B.S., biology
    Project: “Genetic Determination of ABO Genotype from Buccal Cells: Incorporating PCR, Gel Electrophoresis, and ABO Genotyping into Undergraduate Study”
    He is the recipient of Olivet’s Robert M. Milner Award as the outstanding male graduate in the Class of 2014. Currently, he is considering acceptances from medical schools and will be entering medical school this fall.

    John Hall (Tinley Park, Illinois), B.S., mathematics education
    “Implementing Common Core State Standards for Mathematics”
    Selected as the Department of Mathematics’ outstanding graduate, he is currently applying for a teaching position.

    Ryan Kee (Bourbonnais, Illinois), B.S.E., engineering
    Project: “Detection Systems for Airbag Deployment”
    He has accepted a position as an electrical engineer with DRS Technologies in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

    Molly Koleczek (Tinley Park, Illinois), B.S., zoology
    “A Survey of the Ratio of Melanistic to Gray Squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis) on five Midwestern College Campuses”
    She has accepted an internship in the Department of Stranding Investigations at Mote Marine Laboratory, Sarasota, Florida.

    Lorisha Riley (Kankakee, Illinois), B.S., mathematics
    Project: “Relationships Between Elements of Leslie Matrices and Future Growth of the Population”
    She has been accepted into a doctorate degree program at the University of Florida.

    Logan Smith (Ridge Farm, Illinois), B.S., chemistry
    Project: “Exploring Cycloaddition Reactions for the Synthesis of Novel Organic Compounds, Including Microwave Promotion”
    He has accepted a laboratory research position with Bunge North America in Bradley, Illinois.

    Kelsey Steines (Mount Vernon, Iowa), B.S., business administration
    Project: “An evaluation of Youth In(VOL)ved: Impact on participants' attitudes toward volunteerism”
    She is pursuing plans for a career in nonprofit development.

    Jessica Sturgeon (Chillicothe, Illinois), B.S.N., nursing
    Project: “An Exploration of the Relationship Between Religiousness and Treatment Seeking Trends Among College Students”
    She has accepted a nursing residency at Carle in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois.

    The mission of Olivet's Honors Program is to encourage and nurture academically gifted students, helping them to believe in their possibilities, preparing them to become the Christian scholars and servant leaders they were meant to be. Dr. Charles Carrigan, geoscience professor in Olivet’s Department of Chemistry and Geosciences, is the program’s director.

    To enter the program, a student must have a composite ACT score of at least 30 or a Math and Critical Reading combined SAT score of at least 1330, and be interviewed by the program committee.

    In addition to fulfilling the requirements for their respective majors, Honors Program students take four interdisciplinary, team-taught classes covering an intriguing topic. Then, they complete a substantial, faculty-mentored research project during their last two years, doing one-on-one mentored research with a professor of their choice with funding provided. They may also choose to study abroad during junior year.
    May 23, 2014 9:39:47May 23, 2014 -

    GULF SHORES, Ala. – Opening day of the 34th Annual NAIA Women’s Outdoor Track and Field National Championships proved to be quite successful for the Olivet Nazarene University women’s track and field team. Among the first All-Americans recognized at the meet on Thursday, May 22 were two Tigers, sophomore Amy Blucker and freshman Ambria Tisdell.

    Blucker and Tisdell finished sixth and seventh in the hammer throw to get things started for the Tigers. Blucker (Galesburg, Ill.) posted a 53.48m (175-05) to capture sixth place, while Tisdell tossed 53.06m (174-01) and broke her own freshman record.

    The 4x800m relay team of senior Christy Trank (Winnebago, Ill.), freshman Angelica Lafemina, junior Kylie Lippencott (Crawfordsville, Ind.) and freshman Karley Brown (Lees Summit, Mo.) entered the meet as the 13th seeded team, but crossed the finish line in 9:15.96 to qualify for the finals in eighth place. The foursome will compete in the finals on Friday.

    Also competing on opening day was junior Emily Reader (Mason, Mich.) in the pole vault, senior Rachel Carman (Keokuk, Iowa) in the long jump and junior Madison Moyer (Burlington, Iowa) in the 3000m Steeplechase. Reader cleared 3.40m (11-01.75) to finish 16th.  Moyer crossed the line in 11:26.44 to finish 19th and Carman jumped 5.32m (17-05.50) to place 14th.

    Competing on day two will be Blucker in the shot put, the 4x800m relay team in the finals, and the 4x400m relay team of Laura D’Angelo, Kamaria Goedhart, Peyton Kirkland and Taneka Lawson in the preliminaries.

    May 22, 2014 3:3:59May 22, 2014 -

    “For God So Loved the World,” a work by sculptor Scott Stearman of Colorado Springs, Colorado, was dedicated at Olivet as part of the 101st Commencement weekend activities. It is installed near the east entrance of the Betty and Kenneth Hawkins Centennial Chapel.

    “This sculpture and other public works of art installed on Olivet’s campus provide an avenue through which the University makes a symbolic statement about who we are, both to ourselves and to those who visit the campus,” said Dr. John C. Bowling, University president. “They also represent the growing commitment to add significant works of art to our University landscape in order to portray our values in a very tangible and public way.”

    The Stearman sculpture is a gift from alumni Dr. Ed '66 and Mrs. Judy (Goodman) '66 Nash, who met while they were students at Olivet. Dr. Nash grew up on the Olivet campus while his father, the late Dr. Forrest Nash, was the pastor of College Church of the Nazarene.

    Dr. and Mrs. Nash have devoted their lives in service to Christ and His kingdom. Currently, Dr. Nash serves as the district superintendent of the Church of the Nazarene’s Kansas District. Mrs. Nash is a member of the Olivet Nazarene University Foundation Board of Directors.

    With the gift of this sculpture, Dr. and Mrs. Nash hope to remind all who see it of God’s redeeming love for the world.

    Inspired by the well-known passage of scripture from John 3, “For God So Loved the World” is an image of Christ and the world. The bronze globe represents the world, and the figure of Christ stands behind. He touches it tenderly with His hands, and His expression is kindness, care, concern and prayer.

    Scott Stearman began sculpting in the early 1980s. His works, centering primarily on the themes of the military and faith, grace the buildings and/or grounds of Knox Rescue Mission, Knoxville, Tenn.; Celestial Seasonings, Boulder, Colo.; Church of the Nazarene International Headquarters, Kansas City; City of San Marino, California; Word Entertainment, Nashville, Tenn.; and a host of other locations across the country.

    He has also created works to honor award recipients, war veterans, deceased loved ones, distinguished alumni and others. One of his favorite pieces to create is the challenge coin, which he presents in a handshake to express gratitude to a member of the military.
    May 22, 2014 2:14:1May 22, 2014 -

    Dr. James Miles is the 2014 recipient of The Willis E. Snowbarger Award for Teaching Excellence, as announced during Olivet’s 2014 School of Graduate and Continuing Studies (SGCS) Commencement ceremony.

    Dr. Miles has served as an adjunct professor with Olivet since 2010 and is also an active consultant in community formation and sustainability. Described as a thought leader in his content area of economics and sustainability, he displays an obvious passion for how these two forces can impact an organization and, ultimately, the community.

    He holds two degrees from Virginia Union University: Doctor of Ministries in Faith-Based Economic Development and Finance, and Master of Divinity in Community Formation. His Bachelor of Science in Management Information Systems degree is from Park University.

    “Dr. Miles cares about his students, often going out of the way to assist them with challenges they are facing,” said Dr. Jonathan Bartling, SGCS associate dean. “He continues to model the importance of lifelong learning and community engagement. Students praise his understanding of the content he teaches and also his ability to utilize his past experiences to make real life applications. He is passionate about engaging his students in learning.”

    The Snowbarger Award honors the legacy of Dr. Willis Snowbarger, as well as honoring the outstanding service of an adjunct faculty member. Dr. Snowbarger served Olivet as a professor, dean and vice president for academic affairs. He was instrumental in the development of Olivet’s expanded liberal arts and professional curriculum, the building of a strong faculty and the achievement of numerous accreditation initiatives.
    May 21, 2014 11:33:43May 21, 2014 -

    During the 101st Commencement ceremony, Olivet conferred honorary doctorate degrees upon Rev. Lindell Browning, Mrs. Kay Browning and Dr. Gustavo Crocker for their outstanding professional achievements and Christian service.

    Rev. Lindell Browning received the Doctor of Divinity (D.D.) degree for his many years of service as a missionary in the Middle East and, most recently, as the Eastern Mediterranean field strategy coordinator for the Church of the Nazarene. Prior to his missionary service, he was associate pastor at First Church of the Nazarene, Anderson, Indiana. He is a 1972 graduate of Olivet and holds a Master of Divinity degree from Nazarene Theological Seminary.

    Kay (Embick) Browning received the Doctor of Letters (D.Litt.) degree for her many years of service as a missionary in the Middle East. She is certified as an English as a second language instructor and has taught ESL classes. In the Church of the Nazarene’s Eastern Mediterranean field office, she has served as administrative assistant and financial officer. She is a 1972 graduate of Olivet and holds a Master of Arts degree from Bethany Nazarene College (now Southern Nazarene University).

    “The Brownings are scheduled to retire in early 2015. They leave a lasting legacy through a growing number of churches and pastors who have been nurtured by them,” said Dr. Dennis Crocker, Olivet’s vice president for academic affairs.

    Dr. Gustavo Crocker — who also delivered the Commencement address to the Class of 2014's traditional undergraduates — received the Doctor of Divinity (D.D.) for his outstanding Christian leadership in a variety of administrative roles. Born in Guatemala and fluent in four languages, he has authored several books and articles in Spanish and English. His writings have been translated into more than 20 languages. In 2013, he was elected as the 41st general superintendent of the Church of the Nazarene.

    Dr. Crocker holds a master’s degree in community planning from the University of Cincinnati, where he attended as a Fulbright Scholar, and is a licensed architect. As a Latin American Leadership Scholar, he earned a Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership in Business at Regent University. He has also completed further post-doctoral studies at the prestigious Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He has taught in the areas of global missions, evangelism and church planting, cross-cultural ministry, international development, international business, and social development at various universities in Latin America, Europe and the United States.

    “Architecture and urban planning were not to become Gustavo Crocker’s life’s work,” said University President John C. Bowling during the ceremony. “Responding to the needs of others and a sense of spiritual calling on his life, he entered the Christian ministry. He has had a distinguished career of leadership and service around the world.”
    May 21, 2014 11:15:53May 21, 2014 -

    OTTER LAKE, Mich. – North Branch High School standout Rachel Losey has signed a letter of intent to continue her basketball playing career and education at Olivet Nazarene University.

    Losey, a 5-4 guard, is a native of Otter Lake, Michigan. As a senior, she averaged 12.0 points per game, while shooting .410 from behind the arc. She also averaged 2.5 assists and 3.1rebounds per game.  The local sportswriters voted her the top female player in Lapeer County. She led the Tri Valley-East Conference in three-point percentage and three-pointers made.

    While at Olivet, Losey intends to major in psychology. In the classroom, she was a two-time scholar-athlete and member of National Honor Society.

    “I chose to come to ONU because they run one of the most exciting offenses in college basketball,” said Losey. “Also, I loved the coaches, the campus is beautiful, and it's the perfect place for my faith to grow.”

    Losey is the daughter of Ken and Charlotte. 

    May 21, 2014 10:37:59May 21, 2014 -

    DEARBORN, Mich. – Head Coach Lauren Stamatis and the Olivet Nazarene University women’s basketball team are pleased to announce the addition of Amelia Denison for the upcoming season. Denison recently signed a letter of intent to continue her education and playing career at Olivet.

    Denison is a 5-8 guard from Southfield Christian High School in Dearborn, Michigan. Her senior season, she averaged 13.8 points per game, while pulling down 3.8 rebounds and 2.1 steals. She was named All-State Honorable Mention by the Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan and 2nd Team All-Michigan Independent Athletic Conference. She served as team captain for two seasons.

    Off the court, Denison is a member of National Honor Society and a four year member of the Honor Roll. She will graduate Summa Cum Laude with the top GPA in the Class of 2014. She was also honored as the top student in Organic Chemistry and Math.

    While at Olivet, Denison plans to study nursing. She is the daughter of Andy and Colleen Denison and sister to Ryan and Seth.

    “I wanted to attend a Christian university with a strong nursing program,” said Denison of her decision. “I also wanted to have the opportunity to play collegiate basketball and I’m excited about Olivet’s up-tempo style of basketball.”

    May 21, 2014 9:54:57May 21, 2014 -

    TOWSON, Md. – Seniors Cheryl Sendzik (Mokena, Ill.) and Justine Phillips (Metamora, Ill.) are among 22 players in the country to be named to the 2014 Capital One Academic All-America® College Division Softball Team. The duo has led the No. 4 Olivet Nazarene University softball team to a 49-3-1 record and their ninth appearance at the NAIA World Series.

    Sendzik is a multimedia major with a 3.87 GPA. A first team All-CCAC pick, Sendzik has played in 49 games this season and ranks third on the team with a .444 batting average. She also ranks second on the team with 10 home runs while driving in 54 runs, which is tied for fourth on the team.

    Phillips is an elementary education major with a 3.58 GPA. She led the Tigers in runs scored 77), hits (89), triples (7) and doubles (21). She was second on the team in batting average (.471) and total bases (136).

    Capital One Academic All-America® College Division softball team is comprised of student-athletes from NAIA, Canadian and two-year institutions. To be nominated, a student-athlete must be a starter or important reserve player on a university college team, who maintains at least a 3.3 cumulative GPA. Voting takes place at the district level by members of CoSIDA and at the national level by a committee.

    May 21, 2014 9:28:53May 21, 2014 -

    LINCOLN, Neb. – Junior Lydia Bilyeu (Fulton, Ill.) and freshman Sydney Tyler (Bloomington, Ill.) shot matching opening round 77s to lead the Olivet Nazarene University women’s golf team at the NAIA National Championships on Tuesday, May 20 at the Wilderness Ridge Golf Club. The Tigers sit in 13th place overall in the 27 team field after round one.

    Bilyeu and Tyler are tied for 25th place individually out of the 143 participants. Senior Ashley Miller (Springhill, Kan.) finished the day at +8 (80) and sits tied for 47th.  Sophomore Bridget Wolff (East Peoria, Ill.) shot an 87 (+15) to finish the day tied at 112th, while sophomore Kelsey Fisk (Greenfield, Ill.) shot a 91 (+19) and sits tied in 130th place.

    The Tigers will take the early tee times for Round Two on Wednesday, hitting the links at 8:20 a.m. (MST). 

    May 20, 2014 1:33:15May 20, 2014 -

    Dr. Ray Bower received Olivet's 2014 Samuel L. Mayhugh Award for Scholarly Excellence during the 101st Commencement Convocation on Saturday, May 10, 2014.

    Having joined the faculty in 1987, Dr. Bower will soon be retiring from his position as professor and chair of the Department of Behavioral Sciences. His areas of special interest for teaching and research are human learning, memory and cognition.

    In 2011, he received the Bill M. Sullivan Founder's Award from the Association of Nazarene Sociologists and Researchers (ANSR). The award is the highest honor given by ANSR, and Dr. Bower was chosen unanimously by his peers for his work in developing a new generation of social researchers to serve the Church of the Nazarene.

    For the past 11 years, ANSR has also sponsored the Harold Young Research Award (HYRA) as a way of engaging students from the 11 U.S. and Canadian colleges and universities in researching issues that pertain to the Church of the Nazarene. Over the past decade, Dr. Bower has mentored Olivet students in their research for this prestigious award and has enjoyed working with five winners and four runners-up.

    “Dr. Bower is highly respected by his colleagues and students — steady, dependable, passionate and a model of Christ,” said Dr. Kent Olney, ONU sociology professor.

    A graduate of Miami University of Ohio, Dr. Bower earned his B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in psychology.

    He is a member of two national honor societies, Phi Kappa Phi and Phi Beta Kappa; a charter member of the Association for Psychological Science; a member of the Midwestern Psychological Association; and a member of ANSR.

    “Dr. Bower’s focus on challenging his students in their academic pursuits is one of the many ways he helps Olivet provide ‘Education with a Christian Purpose,’” said Dr. Dennis Crocker, vice president of academic affairs. “Sharing his own passion for learning, he encourages his students to stretch into new discoveries and observations. He is a man of service, on our campus and in our world.”
    May 20, 2014 12:34:27May 20, 2014 -

    MAHOMET, Ill. – Mahomet-Seymour High School standout, Maggie Schmidt, has signed a letter of intent to continue her education and playing career at Olivet Nazarene University. Schmidt will join the women’s basketball team in the fall of 2014.

    Schmidt, a 5-10 forward, was named Honorable Mention All-IHSA as a senior. She was also named Cornbelt Conference 1st Team and 1st Team All-Area. The team captain averaged 15.2 points per game, while pulling down 7.8 rebounds. She also averaged 4.0 assists per game and 2.5 steals.

    “It’s a great Christian campus with very welcoming people,” said Schmidt of her decision to attend Olivet. “The location is great and the scholarships were a nice bonus. I love the coaches and can’t wit to get to know the team better.”

    Schmidt plans to major in architectural engineering while at Olivet. She is the daughter of John and Jacki Schmidt and sister to Olivia and Carter.

    May 20, 2014 12:22:8May 20, 2014 -

    BRILLION, Wis. – Head Coach Lauren Stamatis and the Olivet Nazarene University women’s basketball team is pleased to announce the addition of Brillion High School standout, Tori Lemke to the team for the fall of 2014. Lemke signed her letter of intent to continue her playing career as a TigerBall member.

    Lemke, a 5-10 forward led the Lions to a 14-3 record and a second place finish in the Olympian Conference. As a senior, she averaged 13.4 points per game, while dishing out 1.5 assists and pulling down 5.8 rebounds.

    “The school and atmosphere were great,” said Lemke of her decision. “I loved it and the basketball girls, coaches and program.”

    When off the basketball court, Lemke is also a member of the BHS volleyball and softball teams. She is also member of the National Honor Society.

    Lemke intends to major in Engineering while at Olivet. She is the daughter of James and Tracy Lemke.

    May 20, 2014 10:11:59May 20, 2014 -

    Dr. Rosalie Tuttle, nursing professor, received Olivet's 2014 Richard M. Jones Faculty Award for Teaching Excellence during the 101st Commencement Convocation on Saturday, May 10, 2014. Also that day, 38 of her students in the Class of 2014 received the Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree.

    Dr. Tuttle’s work in the field of maternal child health has spanned more than 35 years. As a member of Olivet’s faculty, she teaches courses in childbearing family health and serves as an advisor in the ethical leadership doctoral program.

    Known by her students as a kind and dedicated professor, she often holds special study sessions outside of her regular teaching and supervisory responsibilities. Her goal is to make sure that her students understand course content and pass all exams necessary for them to advance in their careers.

    Recently, she served as student honors preceptor for Rebecca Busler, a 2014 Olivet graduate, in the completion of Rebecca’s honors research project on “Effectiveness of Wellness and Life Skills Education for Adolescent Females of Inner-City East St. Louis.”

    In 2011, she co-led a team of nine students — including six nursing students — on a mission trip to Argentina. The group traveled a total of 27,000 miles to assist the Argentine Church by conducting medical clinics; providing dental hygiene training; distributing clothing; evangelizing children; and helping the Toba people to have clean drinking water. During five days of six-hour clinics, they saw more than 900 patients.

    She is a member of the National League for Nursing, an organization dedicated to excellence in nursing education; Sigma Theta Tau, the international nursing honor society; and Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses. In the local community, Dr. Tuttle serves on the Kankakee County (Illinois) Breast Feeding Coalition.

    She holds a bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Texas, a master’s degree in nursing from Texas Women’s University and a Ph.D. from Capella University. Her dissertation topic was “The Impact of Simulation in Nursing Education on the Self-Efficacy and Learner Satisfaction of Nursing Students.” She was instrumental in the launch and recent expansion of the Virtual Learning Center for Olivet’s Department of Nursing.

    “Dr. Tuttle approaches all that she does with a Christ-like attitude that encourages others,” said Dr. Dennis Crocker, vice president for academic affairs. “She devotes countless hours and great energy to preparing our nursing students to become knowledgeable and caring professionals. Her dedication and commitment are inspiring to all who know and work with her. She remains passionate about the nursing profession and nursing education.”
    May 18, 2014 9:45:29May 18, 2014 -

    MOBILE, Ala. – Senior Lindsey Peterson, a senior on the No. 23 Olivet Nazarene University team was among 101 women’s tennis student-athletes to be recognized by the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) as a 2014 Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athlete.

    Peterson, a native of New Castle, Pennsylvania, graduated in May with a degree in art. She is a two-time honoree.

    In order to be nominated by an institution’s head coach or sports information director, a student-athlete must maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale and must have achieved junior academic status.

    May 16, 2014 4:52:19May 16, 2014 -

    MOBILE, Ala. – The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) announced Friday that 94 men’s tennis student-athletes have been named 2014 Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athletes. Belhaven (Miss.) led all institutions with six individuals on the list.

    In order to be nominated by an institution’s head coach or sports information director, a student-athlete must maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale and must have achieved junior academic status.

    Olivet Nazarene University had two athletes honored this year: senior Landon Williams (Erie, Pennsylvania) and junior Peter Jensen (Yuba City, California). Williams is a second time recipient and Jensen was awarded for the first time. 

    Complete List:

    May 16, 2014 1:24:16May 16, 2014 -

    CHICAGO --- A total of 299 student-athletes from Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference member schools have been named to their respective spring sport all-academic teams, it was announced by the league office on Friday morning.  The total is an increase of 37 student-athletes from the previous year when 262 individuals were recognized in the eight spring sports – baseball, men's and women's golf, softball, men's and women's tennis and men's and women's outdoor track & field.

    Olivet Nazarene University claimed the most representatives with 71 Tiger student-athletes being awarded, bolstered by league-best numbers in the sports of men's golf (four), women's golf (five), women's outdoor track & field (19) and men's outdoor track & field (21).  The 21 awardees in the latter sport also represented the most for any spring sport.

    Placing second behind Olivet Nazarene was University of St. Francis with 61 honorees.  Saint teams topped the charts in the sports of baseball (10), men's tennis (four) and women's tennis (eight). 

    Also finishing among the top five were Cardinal Stritch University (27 recipients), Robert Morris University (25) and Saint Xavier University (24).  Cardinal Stritch boasted the most softball recipients among conference members with 10. 

    Other schools with as many as 10 honorees across the eight sports were Trinity Christian College (21), Judson University (17), Calumet College of St. Joseph (16) and Roosevelt University (15). 

    Rounding out the list were Holy Cross College, Purdue University Calumet and Trinity International University with six recipients each and Purdue University North Central with four.   

    Of the eight sports, both baseball and women's outdoor track & field had the most selections with 60 each.  Softball had the biggest increase in recipients from the previous year, going from 39 to 56. 

    Seven of the 299 awardees maintained a perfect 4.00 cumulative grade point average with 68 selections being repeat choices and another 49 earning the designation for the third year in a row. 

    To be nominated for the award, a student-athlete must have been enrolled at his/her respective CCAC school for a minimum of one academic year, have completed at least 30 semester hours and boast no less than a 3.25 cumulative grade point average.

    May 16, 2014 11:55:9May 16, 2014 -

    Registration for the ONU Alumni & Fans Golf Scramble has been extended until June 7th. The event will take place on Saturday June 28th, at the Kankakee Elks Country Club. Sign in for the event begins at 7:30 a.m. You can use the online registration or print out the PDF version and send to: ONU Football - One University Ave. Bourbonnais, IL 60914.  It will be a great time to reconnect & connect with the Tiger football family!

    FIGHT ON!” 

    May 16, 2014 10:32:50May 16, 2014 -

    CHICAGO --- Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference tournament champion Olivet Nazarene University claimed three of seven spots on the all-league team, while Saint Xavier University registered the top two individual accolades when the league office announced its 2014 CCAC women's golf award winners late Thursday May 15.

    Lydia Bilyeu (Fulton, Ill.), Ashley Miller (Springhill, Kan.) and Bridget Wolff (East Peoria, Ill.) headlined the seven-member all-conference team for the Tigers. Saint Xavier's Taylor Thompson (East Galesburg, Ill.) was named the CCAC Player of the Year.

    The Tigers are in final preparation for their return to the NAIA National Championships. The CCAC title game Olivet an automatic bid to the 20th Annual Women’s Golf National Championship. This year’s even is at the Wilderness Ridge Golf Club, Lincoln, Nebraska and runs from May 20-23, 2014. The Tigers first and second round opponents will be William Woods University (Mo.) and Rocky Mountain University (Mont.). Tee times are set for 1:20 p.m. (MST) on Tuesday, May 20 and 8:20 a.m. on Wednesday.

    May 16, 2014 10:25:50May 16, 2014 -

    CHICAGO --- Olivet Nazarene University and Cardinal Stritch University (Wis.) combined to earn all but two honors when the 2014 Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference women's tennis awards were announced by the league office on Friday May, 9.

    Olivet Nazarene's Priscila Nunez (Montreal, Canada) made a big first impression gaining CCAC Player of the Year honors in her inaugural collegiate campaign.  She went 12-1 in singles play and 13-2 in doubles action during the regular season.  Among Nunez's big wins on the season were both singles and doubles victories against opponents from NCAA II Winona State, NAIA No. 20 Marian (Ind.) and No. 19 Cardinal Stritch.

    Teammates Seraphine Buchmann (Illnau, Switzerland) and Aziza Butoyi (Burundi, Bujumbura), last year's CCAC Player of the Year, were also named to the singles team.  Cardinal Stritch was represented by Alexi Loomis (Cedarburg, Wis.) and Amanda Timm (Milwaukee, Wis.).  St. Francis' Princess Clemente (Tinley Park, Ill.) rounded out the list.

    Of the six, Butoyi, Buchmann and Clemente were repeat selections.

    The names were much the same on the doubles side, where the teams of Nunez and Buchmann and Loomis and Timm were honored.  Also making it as a doubles pair were Cardinal Stritch's Katuiska Adarmes (San Cristobal, TA, Venezuela) and Emily Kaftan (West Bend, Wis.)

    Among that grouping, Buchmann was the only repeat choice.

    May 15, 2014 4:55:42May 15, 2014 -

    DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) has announced Thursday that 114 men’s golf student-athletes have been named 2014 Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athletes. Clarke (Iowa) and Madonna (Mich.) lead all institutions with five individuals each on the list.

    In order to be nominated by an institution’s head coach or sports information director, a student-athlete must maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale and must have achieved a junior academic status.

    ONU had one golfer honored for his work in the classroom; junior Michael Bork (Rapid City, Michigan). He received the award for the first time.

    Complete List:

    May 15, 2014 4:20:22May 15, 2014 -

    Gary Newsome, Olivet's athletic director, is the new commissioner of the Mid-States Football Association (MSFA), effective May 5, 2014. He will oversee the operations of the 13-team Association, filling the position left vacant by the retirement of James D. Houdeshell, who helped National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) schools in three states form the MSFA in 1993.

    “I am very honored and humbled to be chosen by the MSFA coaches to sit in the commissioner’s chair,” Newsome said. “History shows us that the MSFA has been the strongest NAIA football conference in America over the past 20 years. Knowing that I cannot replace someone like Dr. Houdeshell, I just hope to serve the coaches and universities in the MSFA with never tiring energy and to be their biggest cheerleader. And I can’t wait to get to Daytona [NAIA championship] and cheer on the next MSFA/NAIA football champion.”

    As he continues in his role as Olivet’s athletic director, a position he has held for six years, Newsome will also continue to serve on the NAIA National Administrative Council’s Awards and Statistics committee.

    During 2012–13, the Tigers won their fourth consecutive CCAC All-Sports Cup and fifth in six years; finished sixth in the NAIA Learfield Sports Directors' Cup standings; had six of nine teams finish first or second during the regular season; and had seven teams win their respective tournament championships. ONU also sent 13 teams to NAIA National Tournaments.

    As the Tigers’ head football coach for nine years, he was named MSFA Coach of the Year twice, guided his team to the NAIA playoffs, had a league championship and two runner-up finishes, as well as two NCCAA Victory Bowl titles. His teams won 46 games, 15 more than any coach in Olivet history.

    A 1974 Olivet graduate, Newsome earned a master’s degree from Chicago State University in 1982. While an Olivet student, he was a four-year starter in baseball, as well as being the team’s MVP his senior year and leading hitter his junior year. He later returned to Olivet to serve as head baseball coach and the football team’s defensive coordinator from 1980 to 1981. His 1981 team won a then-school record 21 baseball games and advanced to the NAIA District 20 playoffs.

    Newsome also has a wealth of administrative experience during his 25 years of service in the Ohio public school system, where he served 14 years as a public school administrator. As a high school football coach at Paint Valley and Chillicothe, he took his teams to 110 victories, two undefeated seasons, and four playoff appearances. He won eight honors as Coach of the Year. He also coached in the Ohio North-South All-Star game twice and was inducted into the Paint Valley Hall of Fame. In addition to football, he also coached men’s and women’s basketball, baseball, wrestling, swimming, tennis and track.

    May 15, 2014 2:17:56May 15, 2014 -

    Brian Ginn (biology major, Bourbonnais, Illinois) was honored during Olivet’s 101st annual traditional undergraduate Commencement ceremony Saturday, May 10, 2014. He received the Robert M. Milner Award as the outstanding male graduate. He is the son of Dr. Dwight and Denise Ginn.

    An Honors Program graduate, Brian was named to the dean’s list every semester and graduated summa cum laude with Olivet’s Class of 2014. During Scholar Week 2014 at Olivet in April, he presented the results of his capstone research project, “Genetic Determination of ABO Genotype from Buccal Cells: Incorporating PCR, Gel Electrophoresis, and ABO Genotyping into Undergraduate Study.” Earlier this year, he was recognized by the Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities & Colleges® program as one of Olivet’s outstanding graduating seniors.

    While a student at Olivet, he was a teaching assistant for biology and chemistry labs. He also served as the student representative to the Honors Council and was a member of the Academic Affairs Committee. 

    Outside the classroom, Brian was president of Biophilic biology club, a member of Heart 4 Missions and a part of the LifeSong worship ministry team. His volunteer experiences include medical missionary work at Kudjip Nazarene Hospital, Papua New Guinea, and locally with the Kankakee River Cleanup.

    “Brian always brings a contagious, joyful energy to everything he does,” said Dr. Randy Johnson, professor in the Department of Biological Sciences. “For example, in the ecology course — not his ultimate career direction — he still came with a genuine passion for learning and exploring this new knowledge. He then was committed to making a practical difference by volunteering multiple times in our local community.”

    Each year, the Robert M. Milner Award –– named after a Nazarene minister who is father and grandfather to several Olivet alumni –– is given to a male student who exemplifies the highest standard of excellence in character, scholarship achievement and contribution to extracurricular activities.
    May 15, 2014 1:59:41May 15, 2014 -

    Andrea Richardson (double major in math education and information systems, Bloomington, Illinois) was honored during Olivet’s 101st annual traditional undergraduate Commencement ceremony Saturday, May 10, 2014. She received the Maggie Sloan Crawford Award as the outstanding female graduate. She is the daughter of Mike and Kathy Richardson.

    Graduating summa cum laude with Olivet’s Class of 2014, Andrea was named to the dean’s list each semester. Earlier this year, she was recognized by the Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities & Colleges® program as one of the outstanding graduating seniors.

    She is a member of Pi Mu Epsilon, the mathematics honor society. While at Olivet, she was a teaching assistant in the mathematics and computer science departments.

    A music minor, vocalist and pianist, Andrea was a member of Orpheus Choir and Chrysalis women’s choir. She also serves as an accompanist for the Department of Music. She was the two-time runner-up in Olivet’s Nielson/Young piano competition.

    Outside of the classroom, Andrea was a Sister-to-Sister mentor to incoming students. She also served on mission trips to Kenya; Swaziland; the Democratic Republic of Congo; and Washington, Illinois, in the aftermath of last spring’s devastating tornadoes.

    While an Olivet student, Andrea completed two summer internships at State Farm’s headquarters in Bloomington. As a technical analyst one summer, she enjoyed the manipulation of data, as well as the ways math and information systems worked together. As a data analyst the other summer, she worked on some of the company’s top projects and learned the back-end structure of new smartphone apps that were in development.

    “Andrea is a wonderful young lady, who has excelled academically and has been active both on campus and beyond,” said Dr. Dale Hathaway, chair of Olivet’s Department of Mathematics. “Her service to others has literally extended around the world.”

    Each year, the Maggie Sloan Crawford Award –– named after Olivet’s first graduate –– is given to a female student who exemplifies the highest standard of excellence in character, scholarship achievement and contribution to extracurricular activities.

    May 14, 2014 1:22:13May 14, 2014 -

    GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Junior Erika Tatum (Bourbonnais, Ill.) put the No. 4 Olivet Nazarene University softball team on the board early in the Davenport Bracket of the NAIA Opening Round tournament. Tatum hit her third home run in as many games in the top of the first to score junior Jordy Truelock (Princeton, Ind.) and help propel the Tigers to an 11-2, five-inning victory over Davenport University (Mich.) and earn a bid to the 34th Annual NAIA World Series in Columbus, Georgia.

    The Tigers (49-3-1) added six runs in the top of the sixth inning to put the game out of reach for the host Panthers. Truelock started things off with her second homer of the tournament, a shot over the right center field wall. Then, with two outs Tatum and senior Cheryl Sendzik drew walks and scored on a double to left field by sophomore Katie Megyesi (Washington, Ill.). A Megan Butler (Frankfort, Ill.) walk and a single by Megan Semro loaded the bases for the Tigers. Sophomore Lindsey Krippel (Fairbury, Ill.) then doubled to left center to add two more runs. Senior Justine Phillips (Metamora, Ill.) singled to left center to score the final run and put the Tigers up 8-1.

    Olivet would add three more in the top of the fifth on just one hit, a double by Tatum. The Panthers would add one run in the bottom of the fifth inning, but it was too little too late to stop the mercy rule from going into effect.

    Junior Lindsay Stotler (Bloomington, Ill.) got the win for the Tigers in the circle, throwing four-innings. She allowed just two hits and one earned run. Senior Virginia McAndrews (Wheaton, Ill.) entered for the final inning in relief. She saw four batters, allowing just one hit and one run.

    Tatum and Truelock both finished the game a perfect 2-for-2 at the plate. Tatum added four RBIs.

    Olivet will head make its ninth appearance at the NAIA World Series. The 10-team tournament runs from May 23-29 at the South Commons Softball Complex in Columbus, Georgia.

    May 14, 2014 11:35:3May 14, 2014 -

    The following is a reflection by Nate Ferris ’14, who delivered this testimony during Olivet’s Baccalaureate service on Friday, May 9.

    Thank you for this incredible opportunity to share briefly how God has used my time at Olivet to shape and mold me into the man I am today. This is an honor, and I am humbled as I stand here.

    What makes my testimony so beautiful is the opportunity to reflect and share on how faithful God has been throughout my life. It is my prayer that as I share my testimony, each one of you will be encouraged to dwell intentionally on how faithful the Lord has been in your lives, as well.

    If I had to sum up my entering Olivet as a freshman, I would use the following phrase: “Excited, but slightly lost and confused.”

    Up to that point in my life, I had accepted Christ and understood logically how that was the most important decision I could have ever made. However, at the same time, I don’t know if I always felt or believed that was the most important decision. I found myself putting my confidence in the things of life that I could control, such as my own talents and abilities.

    When sophomore year came around, for the first time in my life, I had been completely stripped of all my confidence. There were many days I lived in confusion and sadness. I eventually found myself in Kelley Prayer Chapel, on my knees, broken and crying. I finally learned to forgive certain people in my life for how they had wronged me. More importantly, I learned to forgive myself. The Lord showed up in my brokenness. I experienced Him, and I knew without a doubt He was the one true God, the only way to live life. My confidence from then on was placed in Him and Him alone.

    I am forever changed. My heart longs to care, to show compassion, to love, to forgive, to pray, to read my Bible, to worship. My focus every day is no longer to live a life for myself, but to live a life for Christ — and because of that, to live a life for others, as well. I want walk hand in hand with the people around me, sharing in their struggles, being vulnerable before them, and providing a caring heart in the time of need. It is my desire that my days be intentional as I continue to learn what it means to love and live a life for Christ. I want to be a better witness to those around me.

    To close, I share a reminder from Paul from 1 Corinthians 13:12-13 (The Message): “We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us! But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.”

    May 14, 2014 9:9:22May 14, 2014 -

    MOBILE, Alabama — In his first NAIA National Tournament as a head coach, Chris Tudor led the No. 23-ranked Olivet Nazarene University men’s tennis team into their 12th consecutive nationals appearance. The Tigers were matched up with No. 16 College of Coastal Georgia in first round action on Tuesday, May 13. Both teams came into Tuesday’s action with 12-7 records and would get an opportunity to play No. 1 Embry-Riddle University (Florida) with a win. ONU fell 5-4 to the Mariners after leading 3-0 after doubles action.

    The top 25-ranked Tigers' (12-8) 10th straight win was in reach following three solid doubles matches and three victories. Landon Williams (Erie, Pennsylvania) and Rodolfo Sanchez (Morelia, Mexico) defeated Louis Volclair and Jose Zaatini 9-8. In the No. 2 doubles match, Caio Barros (Belo Horizonte, Brazil) and Juan Morales (Madrid, Spain) beat Rhan Burton and Alejandro Aquilino 8-4. Navarro Veys (Mortsel, Belgium) and Oscar Cornella (Lleida, Spain) defeated Robin Lucas and Erick Bermudez 8-4.

    In singles play, the Tigers claimed only one point, one short necessary to move on to the second round. No. 1 Veys fell to Louis Volclair (6-2, 4-6, 6-3). No. 2 Cornella lost to No. 2 Jose Zaatini (6-3, 6-2). No. 3 Rodolfo Sanchez lost a point to Erick Bermudez (6-3, 6-0).

    No. 5 Juan Morales lost to Rhan Burton (7-5, 6-2), and No. 6 Barros gained the Tigers' lone singles point (6-0, 6-1) against Leif Shuman (6-0, 6-1). No. 4 Williams lost to Malhar Mali (6-2, 1-6, 6-4) in the deciding match.

    The Tigers' loss ends the career of Landon Williams. He will forego his fourth year of eligibility.


    May 13, 2014 3:53:47May 13, 2014 -

    During the 101st Commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 10, 2014, Olivet conferred degrees upon the largest graduating class in history: a total of 1,537 graduates. From the 15 graduates in the Class of 1913 to today’s record-setting number, the University remains committed to providing “Education with a Christian Purpose.”

    The Class of 2014 includes: 541 traditional undergraduate bachelor’s, 244 adult studies bachelor’s, 15 associate, 718 master’s and 16 doctorate degrees. Fourteen undergraduate students had the additional distinction of being Honors Program graduates.

    A Guatemalan by birth, a licensed architect and a Fulbright Scholar, Dr. Gustavo A. Crocker delivered the keynote address at the traditional undergraduate Commencement ceremony. In June 2013, he was elected as the 41st general superintendent of the Church of the Nazarene at the 28th General Assembly in Indianapolis, Ind. Fluent in four languages, he has authored several books and articles in Spanish and English, and his writings have been translated into more than 20 languages.

    “You have been given the unique opportunity to be the generation of change,” Dr. Crocker said in addressing the graduates. “As you commence your professional life, take time to celebrate. Keep your head in the right place. Embrace your call to be a change agent.”

    Honorary doctorate degrees were conferred upon Mrs. Kay (Embick) Browning '72, Doctor of Letters (D.Litt.); Rev. Lindell Browning '72, Doctor of Divinity (D.D.); and Dr. Gustavo Crocker, Doctor of Divinity (D.D.).

    Bringing greetings from the Class of 1964 was Dr. Willie Dishon, who was class president and student body president during his years at Olivet. Now a pastor and professor, he has also served on Olivet’s Board of Trustees and on the Alumni Board. “My charge to you today is to go confidently and joyfully to become all that God has in mind for you to be,” he said. “Do that in the power of His Spirit and to the praise and glory of God.”

    Additional highlights of the traditional undergraduate Commencement ceremony included:
    Maggie Sloan Crawford Award for outstanding female graduate to Andrea Richardson (double major in information systems and mathematics education, Bloomington, Illinois)
    Robert M. Milner Award for outstanding male graduate to Brian Ginn (biology major, Bourbonnais, Illinois)
    Samuel L. Mayhugh Award for Scholarly Excellence to Dr. Ray Bower, chair, Department of Behavioral Sciences. Dr. Bower will be retiring at the end of this academic year.
    Richard M. Jones Award for Teaching Excellence Award to Dr. Rosalie Tuttle, professor, Department of Nursing

    The Commencement ceremony for the School of Graduate and Continuing Studies was held at 2:30 p.m. in Centennial Chapel. Dr. John C. Bowling '71/'72 M.A./'06 D.Div., Ed.D., D.Min., president of the University, gave the address.

    “We live in a world that wants to set our identity for us,” Dr. Bowling said. “Are you you, or are you the other guy?”

    Included among the graduates were:
    • The first cohort to complete the requirements for the accelerated degree program and receive the Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree
    • The first cohort to complete the first fully online Reading Specialist degree program (READ-O.1)
    • The conferring of the first Master of Divinity (MDIV) degree in pastoral ministry upon Jacob Crowley '10 (Auburn, Illinois)

    Several student and faculty awards were presented, including:
    • Willis E. Snowbarger Award for Teaching Excellence presented in absentia to Dr. James Miles, adjunct professor in the School of Graduate and Continuing Studies. This award honors the legacy of Dr. Willis Snowbarger and recognizes the excellence in teaching throughout his time as part of Olivet’s School of Graduate and Continuing Studies.
    • Ralph E. Perry Student Award of Excellence presented to Jeffrey Vizueta (Chicago). This award honors the legacy of Dr. Perry’s long career with Olivet and the outstanding work of a student.

    Other Commencement weekend activities included:
    Baccalaureate service in Centennial Chapel, including the sermon on “Where Will You Be Living?” and charge to the Class of 2014 from Dr. Bowling. Allison Hill (music ministry major, Quincy, Illinois) and Nate Ferris (engineering major, Bourbonnais, Illinois) gave the student testimonies.
    • Dedication of the Douglas E. Perry Student Life and Recreation Center
    Installation of “For God So Loved the World,” a bronze sculpture by sculptor Scott Stearman, near Centennial Chapel
    • Social work pinning ceremony (26 graduates), with the Spirit of Social Work Award presented to Rachel Devine (Elgin, Illinois) and Cristina Gómez (Chicago).
    • Nursing pinning ceremony (38 traditional graduates), with the Sigma Theta Tau, Kappa Sigma chapter, Senior Nursing Excellence Award presented to Brena Glendenning (Stillman Valley, Illinois). During the Sigma Theta Tau installation ceremony on Thursday, May 8, 150 inductees were welcomed into the chapter.
    • School of Theology and Christian Ministry graduation chapel service (47 graduates)
    • Phi Delta Lambda, Gamma Chapter, induction of 71 new members and Dr. Janna McLean, dean of Olivet’s College of Arts and Sciences, as an honorary member. The Mary Ada Dillinger Service Award was presented to Carol Reams '86/'94/'00 M.P.C., assistant to the registrar at Olivet. Shanna Rull (junior, education major, Maryville, Illinois) received the chapter’s Enduring Hope Scholarship. Retiring Olivet faculty members Dr. Stan Tuttle, Dr. Gerald and Mrs. Mary Anderson '87 M.Ed. were also honored. Guest speaker was alumna Tiffanie (Mason) West '91/'07 M.B.A. of Bungee Foods.
    • Military/ROTC commissioning ceremony, commissioning nine cadets as new second lieutenants in the U.S. Army. Guest speaker was Olivet alumnus Gerald Smith '75, Lt. Col., USA (Ret.), Esq., M.A., Ph.D. Sam Pimpo (engineering major, Antioch, Illinois) was honored as a distinguished military graduate.
    May 13, 2014 2:24:54May 13, 2014 -

    GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Despite a slightly sluggish start to the morning, the No. 4 Olivet Nazarene University softball team exploded into the championship game of the NAIA Opening Round - Davenport Bracket with a huge 15-2, five-inning win over the host Panthers on Tuesday, May 13. The Tigers managed just one base runner through the opening two innings, but produced 12 in the final three innings, including three home runs and four doubles.

    The 1-2 batting combo of senior Justine Phillips (Metamora, Ill.) and junior Jordy Truelock (Princeton, (Ind.) went a matching 3-for-4 at the plate with three runs scored each. Truelock’s day included a double and a homerun to produce a team-leading six RBIs.

    Juniors Erika Tatum (Bourbonnais, Ill.) and Megan Butler (Frankfort, Ill.) each added home runs on the day, Butler’s first of the season. Tatum also added a double and finished with five RBIs.

    Olivet’s biggest inning came in the top of the fifth where the Tigers put the game out of reach, plating eight runs while batting around the lineup. Senior Cheryl Sendzik (Mokena, Ill.) led things off with a walk and scored on Butler’s home run over the left field fence. Freshman Megan Semro then reached on a walk and advanced to third on sophomore Lindsey Krippel’s (Fairbury, Ill.) doubled to left. Phillips then reached first on the fielder's choice, scoring Semro and advancing Krippel to third. Truelock doubled to deep left-center, to score both Krippel and Phillips. Tatum took a 2-1 pitch over the centerfield wall to score Truelock. Back at the beginning, Sendzik was then hit by pitch. Megyesi followed that with a walk before Butler picked up her second hit of the inning, a single to shallow right-center to score Sendzik.

    Senior Caitlin Santefort (Mokena, Ill.) picked up with win in the circle for the Tigers, allowing just six hits and two runs, both unearned. She struck out five Panthers and allowed no free passes.

    The Tigers will play tomorrow at noon, local time in the championship game. The winner of the Davenport Bracket will advance to the NAIA World Series in Columbus, Georgia. Olivet will sit and wait to see who the will face. Huntington University (Ind.) is taking on William Woods University (Iowa), the winner will face Davenport at 5:00 today with the winner of that game taking on the Tigers. Should Olivet lose at noon tomorrow, there will be an “if necessary” game to follow.

    May 13, 2014 1:17:41May 13, 2014 -

    The following is a reflection by Allison Hill ’14, who delivered this testimony during Olivet’s Baccalaureate service on Friday, May 9.

    Four years ago this spring, like every 18-year-old, I was faced with the decision of where to spend the next season of my life. It’s kind of a big deal. For me, I didn’t need too much. I was only looking for a small, Christian school that felt kind of like a bigger school; where you didn’t know everyone, but could know a lot of people; class sizes small enough so I could have a personal relationship with the professor; not too close to home, but no more than four hours away; and with a good music program.

    My parents were very involved in this decision-making process. In order to find this school that met my every desire, my dad Googled “small, Christian colleges within four hours of Quincy, Illinois.” And what do you know? Olivet Nazarene University popped up. So after an immediate interest, visiting the school twice and getting accepted, Olivet was going to be my home-away-from-home.

    Now, four years later, I’ve been doing a lot of reflection over my time at Olivet. One way I’ve done that is through my Facebook page. And I want to share some of the posts I wrote within my first month as a freshman:

    “Well, Olivet, I guess you are my new home.”

    “How does everyone here already have best friends??? When did this all happen?”


    “Officially the most stressful situation of my entire life: Laundry for the first time by myself!!!!!”

    “I am craving a set schedule and routine ... but am somehow at peace and thrilled with the way God is working!”

    I want to focus on the first and last posts I shared, this idea of Olivet’s being my “home.” “Honey, I’m home,” has been a common phrase when any of my roommates walks in.

    So I decided to look up the definition of home: The place where one lives, especially as a member of a family or household. That’s it exactly. These last four years I have been a resident at Olivet, but I have also been a member of an incredible family.

    Sitting right behind me is a group of 60 individuals in beautiful purple robes. Through them, God has blessed me with more than I can describe. For me, it was through this family that God showed me the power and importance of prayer; what it truly means to rest in Him; and how to live with an attitude of thankfulness, no matter the circumstances.

    A key part of this family is our Orpheus “dad,” Dr. Jeff Bell. He keeps us together, seeking the same purpose of excellence so that we can share the gospel of Jesus most efficiently. Orpheus is only a glimpse of what makes Olivet home for me. And it’s truly because of the people I’ve lived life alongside, in and outside of choir, why I will miss this place so much.

    Four years ago, I stepped out of my comfort zone and into a world that was new and unknown. Tomorrow, that step will repeat once again. Not just for me, but for everyone here in a cap and gown. Today, I can confidently say, just like I said on Facebook my freshman year, that I am somehow at peace and thrilled with the way God is working.

    As seniors, we are approaching a season of change. Yet, really our time here has been full of change. Change is hard. Yet, through times of transition and uncertainty, I have found that only God can provide a peace which surpasses all understanding. I feel most at home when I have peace from the Lord.

    So where will home be for each graduate? It will be different for each of us. But wherever we end up for this next season of life, be encouraged with what the Lord used to encourage me.

    In John 14:19, Jesus said to his disciples: "Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home within them."

    May 13, 2014 9:42:32May 13, 2014 -

    When he came to the United States from the South American country of Ecuador in 1991, Jeffrey Vizueta didn’t speak English. He didn’t have a high school diploma. On Saturday, May 10, 2014, Olivet conferred upon him the Doctor of Education in Ethical Leadership (Ed.D.) degree, and he received the Ralph E. Perry Student Award of Excellence.

    What happened in between was even better than his childhood dream.

    Crossing many borders

    In the early 1970s, Jeffrey’s mother emigrated from Ecuador to the U.S. to help provide for her family. He and his younger brother remained in their country with his grandmother. “She provided my education and helped me a lot,” he recalls. Although they attended church together, he really didn’t understand the meaning of faith and the difference God could make in his life.

    Desperate to provide more for his family, Jeffrey dropped out of school and went to work. Soon, he was following a path that took him further from God. Rebellion, crime and violence became part of his life.

    Daytime and nighttime. At work and on the streets. Serving in the Ecuadorian military. Jeffrey never gave up on his dream of coming to the U.S. Then in 1991, when he was 22 years old, his mother invited him to join her in Chicago.

    Right away, he began working at a factory on the south side of the city. “I knew I wanted to go to college and succeed in the U.S.,” he says.

    His first step was to go through GED® (General Educational Development). He passed the GED Test in December 1991 and earned the equivalent of a high school diploma.

    Learning English was the next important step, but that didn’t come as easily for him. He took several English as a second language (ESL) classes. But he often felt frustrated when people didn’t understand him because of his accent.

    “I was going through greater challenges than I’d ever gone through before,” he says. “I began going to church more often, but I still felt detached from God.”

    Lessons in servanthood

    After earning his associate’s degree, Jeffrey was hired by Ameritech (now AT&T). In 1999, he received his bachelor’s degree and was promoted into management.

    As his career was moving forward, his personal life was, too. On a visit to Ecuador in 1999, he met Haydee, who later became his wife and joined him in the U.S. “She is my pillar,” Jeffrey says.

    In 2011, he received his Master of Business Administration degree. At the invitation of his friend, Jim Kanichirayil ’14 Ed.D., he applied to Olivet’s Doctorate of Ethical Leadership program right away.

    While studying at Olivet, he received an unexpected benefit. “My faith has been renovated,” he says. “I began to understand that we are here to serve and help others, not ourselves.”

    “I’m not the same person spiritually now,” he explains. “Now, it’s all about servant leadership for me. I want to teach my children about this.”

    Redefining success

    Today, Jeffrey is the ecommerce business manager with AT&T in Chicago. He manages companies that provide call center resources to his company. He has great benefits and financial stability. He speaks English well and communicates easily with all types of people from a variety of places. Some would define that as success.

    But Jeffrey will be the first to say that his greatest success is being able to help his relatives. Most of their extended family lives in Ecuador, and they visit there for several weeks each year. And soon, he and Haydee will welcome an adopted son and daughter from Ecuador into their family here.

    His advice to others who are thinking about coming to the U.S. and pursuing their dreams: “You have to be prepared to go over many hurdles. If you’re willing to work hard, you will find rewards here. Don’t forget where you came from. And don’t forget to help others.”

    May 12, 2014 9:39:4May 12, 2014 -


    GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The No. 4 Olivet Nazarene University softball team had a one of those days. Sometimes it appeared that nothing could go wrong…and sometimes they definitely felt like nothing could go right. In the end, the Tigers pulled out a 15-10 win over Huntington University (Ind.) in their opening game of the Davenport Bracket of the NAIA Opening Round. Olivet will face the host Panthers of Davenport University (Mich.) at 11:00 a.m. tomorrow. The winner of the 3-day, 4-team opening round tournament will advance to the NAIA World Series.

    Olivet (47-3-1) jumped out to a quick, early lead when senior Justine Phillips (Metamora, Ill.) led the game off with a double over the centerfielder’s head. She advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by junior Jordy Truelock (Princeton, Ind.) and scored on a single by senior Hannah Gardner (Frankfort, Ill.).

    The Foresters (31-22) fought right back, tying it at 1-1 in the bottom half of the inning. Things remained deadlocked until the top of the third when sophomore Lindsey Krippel (Fairbury, Ill.) scored on a sacrifice fly by Truelock.  Huntington came back with a fury, scoring six runs on five hits before the Tigers could stop the bleeding.

    The Tigers went on their own scoring frenzy in the top of the fifth, plating seven runs on five hits with two Forester errors to take a 9-7 lead. Truelock started the inning off with a double to deep left-center field. A single by junior Erika Tatum (Bourbonnais, Ill.) and a walk by senior Cheryl Sendzik (Mokena, Ill.) load the bases. Tatum scored on a wild pitch, with everyone else advancing. The two Huntington errors results in two more Tiger runs. Phillips doubled to score junior Megan Bulter (Frankfort, Ill.) and Truelock picked up her second hit of the inning to score Krippel and Phillips.

    Huntington wasn’t down and out yet, scoring three runs on three hits in the bottom half of the inning to retake the lead, 10-9. Tatum homered on a 2-2 count over the wall in center field to tie things back up in the top of the sixth.  Sendzik followed it up with a double to left field and advanced to third an infield single by sophomore Katie Megyesi (Washington, Ill.). Sendzik scored on a single by freshman Megan Semro before a two-run double by Phillips plated the final runs of the inning, putting the Tigers up 13-10.

    Senior Caitlin Santefort (Mokena, Ill.) came in to close things out for the Tigers in the bottom of the sixth.  She recorded three outs in less than 10 pitches, allowing just one hit in the inning. The lone base runner was then called out for failing to commit to a base after the ball returned to the pitching circle.

    Olivet added two more insurance runs in the top of the seventh off of another Forester error, a double by Sendzik and singles by Megyesi and Semro. Santefort allowed just one more hit by Huntington to close out the game.

    Senior Virginia McAndrews (Wheaton, Ill.) got the start for the Tigers, going two innings while allowing four runs on three hits. She struck out one and walked two. Junior Lindsay Stotler (Bloomington, Ill.) came on in relieve to pick up the win and improved to 14-1 on the season. She went three innings, allowing six runs on six hits.

    No. 1 seed Olivet will take on No. 3 seeded Davenport at 11:00 a.m., weather permitting. If the Tigers win that game, they would advance to the championship game on Wednesday. Should the Tigers lose, they would play again at 5:00p.m. (EST).

    May 12, 2014 9:44:11May 12, 2014 -

    NAPERVILLE, Ill. — Following a great outcome at the CCAC Championships and with only a couple of weeks prior to the NAIA National Championships, the Olivet Nazarene University men’s track and field team competed at the Dr. Keeler Invite at North Central College (Illinois).

    The Tigers were great on the track starting with freshman Zach Gordon (Carol Stream, Illinois), who came in third in the 100 meter dash (10.89) and beat 45 other runners. Junior Jared Carl (Galesburg, Illinois) was eighth in the 200 meter dash with a finals finish of 21.89 and beat 59 other sprinters. Senior Ty’rel Fields (Huntsville, Alabama) finished third in the 400 meter dash with a time of 48.71 and beat 32 other sprinters.

    Sophomore Isaiah Fink (Ypsilanti, Michigan) came in 32nd in the 800 meter run with a time of 1:56.63. Sophomore Ron Milbocker (Whitmore Lake, Michigan) came in 33rd in the 3000 meter run with a time of 15:51.45. Senior Andrew Cowen (Carmel , Indiana) finished 15th in the 10000 meter run with a time of 34.49.55. Junior Ian Lofgren (Rockford, Illinois) came in 18th in the 3000 meter steeplechase with a time of 9:32.14. The 4x100 meter relay finished fifth with a time of 41.62.

    On the field, Brian Michell (Reed City, Michigan) won the pole vault with a finals mark of 5.01 meters. In addition, junior Lucas Limberg (Rockford, Illinois) finished fourth in the high jump (1.97 meters), and sophomore Conner Stroud (Manteno, Illinois) came in eighth with a mark of 1.92 meters.

    Sophomore Jacob Armbrust (Metamora, Illinois) finished third in the shot put (15.77 meters) and won the discus throw (51.92 meters). Chris Aschemann (Carterville, Illinois) came in seventh in the shot put (14.68 meters) and fourth in the discus (46.80 meters). Senior Seth Wonch (Olathe, Kansas) finished sixth in the hammer throw with a mark of 48.61. Senior Marcus Reynolds (Green Bay, Wisconsin) competed in the javelin throw with a mark of 50.67 meters, finishing fourth.

    ONU will be back in action Friday, May 16, at the Augie Twilight hosted by Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois, starting at 4 p.m.


    May 12, 2014 9:19:16May 12, 2014 -

    BOURBONNAIS, Ill. — Recently the 2014 NCCAA North Central All-Region team was selected among seven coaches. Olivet claimed two of the 16 spots, and both were first-time selections. In addition to earning all-region honors, these players will be available for national honors next week at the NCCAA World Series in Mason, Ohio.

    The two members of the All-NCCAA North Central Region team representing ONU, voted on by the schools' head coaches, are: senior Jonathan Fightmaster (Bourbonnais, Illinois) and sophomore Josh Altmann (Homer Glen, Illinois). The region awards four starting pitchers, one relief pitcher, four outfielders, five infielders, one catcher, one utility, a player of the year and coach of the year.

    Senior right-hander Jonathan Fightmaster appeared in 15 games, starting 14. He had a team-best 9-4 record with a 2.86 ERA (team best). He threw seven complete games with three shutouts (team highs). He pitched a total of 97 2/3 innings, allowing 118 hits, 46 runs (31 earned), 20 walks and had 61 strikeouts (second on team).

    Sophomore shortstop Josh Altmann was the only shortstop selected. He started all 44 of the 44 games he played. He batted .350 (led team) (143 at-bats) with 50 hits (second on team) and seven doubles. He also had 16 walks, 11 HBP (led team), 27 runs, 57 total bases, 24 RBIs (second on team) and 27 stolen bases (led team). He finished with a .399 slugging percentage and .450 OBP (led team), and had 99 assists (led team) with a .927 fielding percentage. 

    May 12, 2014 8:57:12May 12, 2014 -

    CHICAGO, Ill. — The 2014 Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference men’s golf postseason awards (voted on by the schools' head coaches) were announced by the league office Friday, May 9. One Olivet Nazarene University Tiger was selected to the all-conference team. The conference named a total of seven players to the first team and 22 to the All-Academic Team.

    Junior Michael Bork (Rapid City, Michigan) was named to the CCAC all-conference team for the first time and All-Academic Team for the second straight year. Sophomores Ethan Drooger (Holland, Michigan), Ryan Muzjlakovich (Vicksburg, Michigan) and Robert Wagner (Bethel, Ohio) were all named to the All-Academic Team for the first time. In order to be nominated for this award, an athlete must have a cumulative GPA of 3.25 or higher, have 30 semester hours completed, and be enrolled in the university for at least one academic year. 

    Bork played 17 rounds in 11 different tournaments between the fall and spring seasons. He averaged an 18-hole score of 77.9 to lead the Tigers. At the CCAC Championships, he finished tied for ninth with a 36-hole score of 158 (+14), shooting a 75 in round one. His best round of the year was at the Troll Classic (Trinity Christian College), where he shot a 68 (-3) to finish as the individual medalist by three strokes. He also won the ONU Spring Invite at Balmoral Woods Country Club with a 75 (+3), winning by three strokes. He helped the Tigers to win their most successful spring seasons, winning the Purdue University-North Central Spring Shootout out of six teams and ONU Spring Invite. They also finished second out of 10 teams at the University of St. Francis (Illinois) Spring Invite. 

    May 09, 2014 10:0:53May 09, 2014 -

    Kelly Services® has selected Julie Bright-Allott, RN, BSN — a student in Olivet's School of Graduate and Continuing Studies — as National Nurse of the Year in conjunction with National Nurses Week, May 6–12, 2014. She is receiving this award for her professionalism, competence and strong work ethic.

    This award is given to recognize the significant contribution, hard work and dedication of our nation's 2.7 million registered nurses. Based on performance feedback from Kelly customers, this award was developed to recognize Kelly nurses for their outstanding work in the healthcare industry.

    “We congratulate Julie on receiving this honor,” says Dr. Linda Davison, dean of Olivet’s School of Nursing and Health Sciences. “She is an outstanding example of what it takes to be successful in the field of nursing and of the many quality nurses that our University is graduating each year.”

    A nurse for 20 years, Julie has worked for Kelly for the past six months in an occupational health setting. Her new role complements previous experiences as a labor and delivery, venous access and ostomy educational nurse. She is currently enrolled in Olivet’s family nurse practitioner program.

    “Working for Kelly has allowed me the flexibility to pursue a rigorous graduate academic nursing program while honing my nursing skills,” Julie says. “I have the best of both worlds.”

    “Julie clearly possesses commitment to the field of nursing," says Grace Paranzino, chief clinical officer of Kelly’s Healthcare Product Group. "She is a dedicated student and has consistently provided excellent care to her patients. Choosing to continue her education in nursing as a family nurse practitioner will provide her with clinical autonomy to provide high-quality, cost-effective, and individualized care for patients, their families, and their communities. She is a dedicated nurse and will make a significant contribution to the field. We are excited to have her as a member of the Kelly team and to honor her as our Nurse of the Year.”
    May 09, 2014 9:55:44May 09, 2014 -

    CHICAGO --- Plenty of familiar names dot the 2014 Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Softball postseason honor roll with the most familiar – Olivet Nazarene senior second baseman Hannah Gardner (Frankfort, Ill.) – again headlining the list.  For the second time in a row, Gardner was named the CCAC Player of the Year, culminating a run of four straight years in which she was selected to the all-conference first team.  That stretch began with her freshman campaign in 2011 when she also claimed CCAC Freshman of the Year accolades.

    Gardner topped a list of seven Tiger players to be named to the 18-member first team after ONU went unbeaten (19-0-1) in conference play.  She was joined by teammate Erika Tatum (Bourbonnais, Ill.) for the third year in a row, while Tigers' Justine Phillips (Metamora, Ill.) and Caitlin Santefort (Mokena, Ill.) were repeat selections. Making their first appearances were seniors Cheryl Sendzik (Mokena, Ill.) and Virginia McAndrews (Wheaton, Ill.) and junior Jordy Truelock (Princeton, Ind.). McAndrews is not entirely new to the list, having been named Freshman Pitcher of the Year when she played for Judson University. 

    Gardner closed out her final collegiate regular season with an unprecedented nine No. 1 offensive rankings in the league among ten categories.  In terms of averages, she boasted a .576 batting mark, a .957 slugging percentage and a .606 on-base reading.  She also totaled 69 runs, 80 hits and 68 runs batted in.  Among her 80 hits, 19 went for doubles and 10 more for home runs leading to 133 total bases.

    The only category Gardner did not lead the conference in was triples, which she had two.

    After Olivet Nazarene's seven all-conference selections, Saint Xavier was next in line with six, split evenly between the first and second teams.  St. Francis was next with five (two, three) followed by Cardinal Stritch (two, two) and Roosevelt (one, three) with four each.

    Olivet Nazarene's Ritchie Richardson was named the CCAC Coach of the Year for leading the Tigers to a 43-win regular season and current 44-game unbeaten streak.  ONU, which claimed the regular-season league title and is the top seed in the CCAC Tournament, is 43-2-1 on the year.

    For a complete listing of all the award winners, go to Awards.  

    May 08, 2014 2:43:21May 08, 2014 -

    Matthew Jones, Class of 2014
    Hometown: Eureka, Illinois
    Major: Pastoral ministry

    What’s next for you after you graduate?

    I plan to stay at Olivet for graduate school, where I will study pastoral ministry. We have an awesome program here. We take classes in residence for the first year. For the second year, we are placed as a full-time pastor while taking week-long module courses. Ultimately, I hope to become a senior pastor at a church.

    When did you know that you wanted to go into the ministry, and how did you come to that decision?

    When I was three or four years old, I told my mom that I wanted to be a pastor when I grew up. I have felt God’s leading ever since, but He has changed and shaped my plan. I have considered going into children’s and youth ministry, but my classes at Olivet have shown me that I’m called to be a senior pastor.

    You’ve been involved in a number of groups and activities during your time at Olivet. What are some of your favorites?

    My top two are Spoons4Forks, the improve comedy troupe, and Orpheus Choir. Spoons4Forks has really shaped my sense of humor. What we do is a gift to the student body, and it’s a privilege to perform for our classmates. We give them a chance to rest and laugh for an hour or two. We’re also like a family.

    With Orpheus, I enjoy the music and the chance to worship. Our director, Dr. Jeff Bell, is not just a choir director. He’s an example of what a life devoted to Christ looks like.

    What are some of your favorite memories of your time here at Olivet?

    All of the times spent with friends, laughing, talking and playing games. It’s such a blessing to be able to talk about the Lord and life with friends. I live in Hills Hall, where I have lived since I transferred to Olivet. Hills Hall is a wonderful community; the guys from Hills will be lifelong friends of mine. I’ll continue to be a resident assistant there while I’m in grad school.

    One of my favorite lessons from Olivet was on the Doctrine of Holiness in Dr. Mark Quanstrom’s class. As we were discussing John Wesley’s sermons, Dr. Quanstrom told us that the last thing that Wesley said was “best of all, God is with us.” That quote was sort of the culmination of my undergraduate studies. I just appreciate Wesley’s sincere awe of the beauty of the gospel and the realization that God has come close to us.

    Which Olivet professor has impacted you most?

    Dr. Bell, even though he’s not a professor in my major. He’s so attentive to what God would have us do in every moment. He is constantly seeking the Lord’s will. He’s a man of prayer, and he teaches us to do the same.

    There’s this one prayer that he often prays which has particularly impacted me: “Lord, let us do what we do for the right reasons.” Whenever I need something, he’s there, and he’s willing to open his home to students. His wisdom and kindness are evident in the way he presses us to be better.

    You recently received the Sylvanus Carter Homiletics Award. What did that mean to you?

    It was so humbling just to be part of the process. I know all other students who applied, and it’s an honor to be part of that group. At first, I thought it was intimidating to preach for the professors, but then I realized that the professors are our biggest cheerleaders — they’re on our side!
    May 07, 2014 2:9:20May 07, 2014 -

    She worked at ESPN last summer, but she doesn’t like sports.

    And that is what made Cecilia Pivarunas the perfect intern.

    “I was up front about wanting to know the ins and outs of the broadcasting industry,” she says. “I wasn’t distracted by the glamour.”

    In a few days, Cecilia (Oak Lawn, Illinois) will graduate in Olivet’s Class of 2014 with a degree in business administration and a minor in communications. Interning in summer 2013 for “The Worldwide Leader in Sports” prepared her well to join the corporate world.

    On set

    A family friend from Virginia who once worked for ESPN suggested that Cecilia apply for the internship position. She was accepted to work in a program which educated her on six different sections of the sports media industry: breaking news, makeup, green screens, business, scripting and assistant directing.

    While at ESPN, Cecilia worked closely on the set of “Pardon the Interruption,” a sports television show that she says is similar to a halftime show. “PTI” is produced by Erik Rydholm and hosted by commentators Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon. In 2009, it won a Sports Emmy Award for being the Best Outstanding Studio Show.

    Her lack of interest in sports kept her from getting distracted by the fame of the show’s hosts, as well as the athletes interviewed on “PTI.”

    Cecilia says that Mike and Tony always recognized her and would even compliment the outfits she wore. “They’re not what most people think celebrities are,” she said of the two sports-renowned hosts. “Sometimes I would hear them say, ‘I don’t want to go to this meeting. I just want to wear my PJs today.’ They’re really down to earth, and they’re just real people.”

    Unexpected blessings

    Her ESPN internship confirmed to Cecilia that she is ready to join the corporate world. “One of my bosses wanted me to feel confident. So he gave me a gift card to get Michael Kors shoes,” she says.

    But she attributes much of her confidence to her alma mater. “At Olivet, I’ve learned how to truly be successful. I’ve learned about the importance of soft skills and developing personal relationships.” After graduation, she will be joining a Bourbonnais recruiting company as an executive recruiter.

    Cecilia values her internship experience according to the relationships she formed there. She counts going out to lunch with her directors and getting to know them as some of the best perks.

    One of her greatest blessings was forming a friendship with Erik Rydholm, the show’s producer. “I felt really blessed because it’s not something I sought out,” she says. “God put him in my path. Having someone so well-known invest in my life was humbling and really cool.”

    “I have a creative mind and I like to think outside of the box,” she adds. “I have a lot of respect for ESPN. This internship helped confirm that I want to work with people and that I want to do something different every day.”


    May 06, 2014 10:35:29May 06, 2014 -

    CHICAGO, Ill. — The 2014 Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference baseball postseason awards (voted on by the school's head coaches) were announced by the league office Monday morning, May 5. Two Olivet Nazarene University Tigers were selected to the all-conference first team. The conference named 17 to the first team, 18 to the second team and nine to the Gold Glove team (one for each position on the field).

    Two members of the Tiger baseball team were named to the CCAC all-conference first team for the first time: sophomore Josh Altmann (Homer Glen, Illinois) and senior Jonathan Fightmaster (Bourbonnais, Illinois). Altmann was a second team selection a year ago. Fightmaster was also named to the nine-member Gold Glove team for the first time in his career.

    Sophomore shortstop Josh Altmann is among only four infielders. He started all 43 of the 43 games he played in the regular season. He batted .353 (led team) (139 at-bats) with 49 hits (second on team) and seven doubles. He also had 15 walks, 11 HBP (led team), 27 runs, 56 total bases, 24 RBIs (second on team) and 27 stolen bases (led team). He finished with a .403 slugging percentage and .452 OBP (led team), and had 99 assists (led team) with a .932 fielding percentage. He finished the season in the top 10 in five statistical categories, including batting average, on-base percentage and stolen bases (second) among CCAC leaders.

    In CCAC action, Altmann started 23 of the 23 games he played. He batted .338 (77 at-bats) with 26 hits and four doubles. He also had 11 walks and five HBP, 13 runs, 30 total bases, 17 RBIs and 12 stolen bases. He finished with a .390 slugging percentage and .447 on-base percentage, and had 60 assists with a.932 fielding percentage.

    Senior righthander Jonathan Fightmaster has appeared in 14 regular season games, starting 13. He has a team-best 9-3 record (second in CCAC) with a 2.72 ERA (team best). He threw six complete games with three shutouts (team highs). He pitched a total of 89 1/3 innings (4th in CCAC), allowing 105 hits, 40 runs (27 earned), 18 walks and had 59 strikeouts (second on team, 8th in CCAC). Overall, he finished the season in the top 10 in eight statistical categories among CCAC leaders.

    In conference play, Fightmaster went 5-1 with a 2.24 ERA in eight appearances. He started seven games, pitching a total of 52 1/3 innings. He pitched three complete games and two shutouts with 38 strikeouts, allowing a .287 opponents’ average.

    Fightmaster earned Gold Glove honors as the only pitcher selected. In CCAC action, he had a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage in eight appearances including 12 assists, four putouts and three double plays. He was one of two Tiger starters to finish the CCAC season without an error. Consequently, he went the entire season without an error, assisting on 21 plays and seven putouts.

    The CCAC also awards a Player of the Year, Pitcher of the Year, Freshman of the Year, Coach of the Year and Champions of Character Team Award.

    May 06, 2014 10:25:19May 06, 2014 -

    ELGIN, Illinois — On Monday, May 5, the season was on the line for the Olivet Nazarene University baseball team as they faced elimination in the CCAC postseason tournament. The Tigers matched up with Holy Cross College (Ind.) as both teams had lost their first game in the tournament. Olivet had their most consistent arm on the mound in senior Jonathan Figthmaster (Bourbonnais, Illinois), but it wasn’t enough as the Tigers fell 6-5.

    Fightmaster (9-4) started his 14th game of the season and finished his seventh complete game, but failed to tally his 10th win, allowing six runs — four unearned — off 13 hits. He walked two and struck out two in 8 1/3 innings.  

    Sophomore Jordan Gard started for Holy Cross (22-32), going six innings and allowing four runs — three earned — off six hits. Freshman Nick Munger pitched the seventh inning, walking one. Junior Darwing Ereu (2-2) went the last two innings and earned the win, allowing one run off three hits.

    The Saints took an early lead in the bottom of the first when Stephen Clancy scored on a passed ball by catcher Codey Houts (Spring Lake, Michigan). The Tigers didn’t trail for long as Madison Foster (Indianapolis, Indiana) put two runs on the board in the top of third with his third home run of the year. He hit a two-run shot following a Jordan Wanner (Morton, Illinois) RBI single to make it 3-1. Holy Cross tied the game in the fourth inning on a Jackson Hallahan double. The Saints scored two more in the fifth on singles by Pizutto and Woodruff. In the top of the sixth inning, the Tigers made it a 5-4 game on Jordan Hayes's (St. Charles, Illinois) sacrifice fly scoring Bryan Klendworth (Crystal Lake, Illinois). In the seventh and eighth innings, neither team recorded a hit. However, in the ninth inning, Wanner brought home Tyler Crater (Hampshire, Illinois) on a sacrifice fly to tie the game. ONU only needed three outs to force extra innings, but a Pizutto single with two runners on ended the game when Ereu scored.

    At the plate for the Tigers (20-28), Foster was 2-for-5 with two RBIs and one run. Tyler Crater was 2-for-4 with two runs. Jordan Wanner went 1-for-2 with two RBIs and one run.

    For the Saints, Jackson Hallahan went 3-for-5 with two RBIs. Mike Pizutto was 2-for-4 with two runs and RBIs. Ereu went 1-for-5 with two runs scored (winning run), and leadoff batter Stephen Clancy scored a run.

    ONU is eliminated from the postseason with today’s loss. The careers of seniors Steven Beckham (Mt. Vernon, Illinois) and Jonathan Fightmaster concluded with today’s game.

    Beckham ended his career fourth all-time in Tiger history in appearances (58) and fifth in innings pitched (261.0). Fightmaster is third in wins (25), tied for fifth in complete games (16), fourth in innings pitched (293.1), and is now fifth in a season in innings pitched with 97.2 this season.


    May 06, 2014 10:11:41May 06, 2014 -


    NORMAL, Ill. – Bill Bahr, head coach of the Olivet Nazarene University women’s soccer team is excited to announce that Tess Marcordes has signed a letter of intent to continue her education and playing career as a Tiger. Marcordes comes to Olivet from Normal Community West High School.

    Marcordes, a 5-8 center back, has helped lead the Wildcats to an undefeated season thus far. The Wildcat’s captain has led the defense to eight shutouts so far this season. 

    As a junior, Marcordes received the Sportsmanship Award and was named Big 12 Academic Award, All-Conference, All-Area, All-Sectional and served as team captain.

    When asked about her decision, Marcordes said, “I was looking for a school with an atmosphere that would help me grow as a Christian, athlete and student.”

    Outside of soccer, Marcordes is a member of National Honors Society, Rho Kappa Honors Society, Mu Alpha Theta Honors Society and Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

    “Tess anchors their team and we have high hopes that she will come and make an immediate impact with us this coming fall,” said Bahr of the addition.

    Marcordes is the daughter of Bill and Dawn and has five siblings. She is undecided to on her major at Olivet.

    May 06, 2014 9:44:27May 06, 2014 -

    Although he is an upperclassman, senior Carlson Triebold of Grant Park, Illinois, is the youngest Olivet student to participate in the 2013 William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition — one of the most prestigious university-level mathematics exams in the world. Graduating from Olivet in May at the age of 18, he is also Olivet’s highest scorer ever in the annual competition.

    Carlson’s math skills were recognized at a young age, and he attributes his success to his parents and his professors.

    His parents homeschooled their five children and emphasized the importance of each child studying his or her best subjects. “My mother was quite good at math in college,” Carlson says. “They noticed that I was pretty talented at math, so that’s what they focused on with me.”

    When he was 14, Carlson began attending a community college and, at the age of 16, he transferred to Olivet with 66 credit hours.

    “I really just want to do math for a living,” he says.

    Solution to a three-hour problem

    Proctored at Olivet by Dr. Justin Brown, mathematics professor, the Putnam Competition is an annual exam offered to undergraduate college students from the United States and Canada. Offered annually since 1938, it is administered by the Mathematical Association of America.

    On a Saturday morning in December 2013, Carlson and eight other Olivet math majors spent three hours taking the exam. After a break for lunch and chess, they tested for three more hours in the afternoon.

    “In the end, this is a fun day,” says Dr. Brown, who helped initiate the test at Olivet four years ago when a student suggested it. “And it’s a chance for students to practice their skills while seeing how many points they can get on the exam.”

    The test is extensive with only 12 questions — six in the morning session and six in the afternoon. “Dr. Brown advised us to focus on the one problem we thought we could complete in three hours,” says Carlson, who spent his time answering only two questions.

    On March 31, 2014, Carlson was notified that he placed 597 out of 4,113 total students, making him the highest-scoring Olivet student ever to compete.

    Résumé and research

    Carlson spends time outside of numbers, as well. He has a minor in chemistry and is an avid reader. “I also love baseball, but I wasn’t any good at playing it,” he laughs.

    After graduation, he plans to pursue a career as a math professor. “My professors are always encouraging me to keep going,” he says. “It would be great to do what they do. Because of them, I feel well prepared to pursue a career in this field.”

    His next step is to apply for graduate programs. “Hopefully, I’ll be able to get into some research programs to build my résumé. I’d also love to tutor,” he says. A Ph.D. is his goal.

    “People who get a Ph.D. in math usually teach while they do research,” he adds. “Not many people are blessed to be able to do research for a living. That’s the dream.” And for Carlson, that may also be the reality.
    May 06, 2014 9:11:29May 06, 2014 -

    CHICAGO, Illinois — The No. 23-ranked NAIA National Tournament-bound Olivet Nazarene University men's tennis team headlined the All-Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference team selections for the third straight season. Sophomore Navarro Veys (Mortsel, Belgium) was named the CCAC Player of the Year and was named to the All-CCAC Singles Team, both for the first time. Head coach Chris Tudor was named the Coach of the Year in his first season. In addition, junior Landon Williams (Erie, Pennsylvania) was named the NAIA-ITA East recipient for the Arthur Ashe, Jr. Sportsmanship & Leadership Award. Only four in the entire NAIA are awarded this honor.

    Two of the six selections to the All-CCAC Singles Team were Tigers, including Veys and freshman Oscar Cornella (Lleida, Spain). Two of the three All-CCAC Doubles teams were from ONU: junior Landon Williams and sophomore Rodolfo Sanchez (Morelia, Mexico) were honored along with freshman Juan Morales (Madrid, Spain) and freshman Caio Barros (Belo Horizonte, Brazil). 

    Sophomore Navarro Veys was named to the All-CCAC Singles Team for the first time. He is 9-5 in singles play this season at the No. 1 position for the Tigers. During conference play, he did not lose a match in singles, going 4-0 and 1-0 in the postseason with a default in the title match. Veys also defeated No. 19 Warner University (Florida) in early March.

    Freshman Oscar Cornella was named an All-CCAC Singles selection in his first year as a Tiger. He is 16-3 in singles play. During conference play, he was 5-0 and 2-0 in tournament play. He was also named the CCAC Player of the Week on March 18, 2014.

    Junior Landon Williams and sophomore Rodolfo Sanchez were named to the first All-CCAC Doubles team. This is Landon’s second selection (2012-13) and Rodolfo’s first. They are 8-3 as a team overall. In CCAC play, they went 4-0 with two wins in the postseason tournament.

    Freshmen Juan Morales and Caio Barros were both named to the first All-CCAC Doubles team in their seasons of competition. They are 10-10 in doubles play, went 4-0 in conference play and 1-1 in tournament action, losing in the title match 9-7 to St. Francis (Ill.).

    The Tigers are 12-7 overall after winning the CCAC Tournament title and will take their nine-match win streak with them to their 12th consecutive trip to the NAIA National Championships beginning on May 13.

    May 05, 2014 12:28:55May 05, 2014 -

    NOTE: Application deadline has been extended through June.

    High school students entering their senior year are invited to attend Olivet's second annual Summer Leadership Institute (SLI) on July 10, 2014. Students must apply by no later than June 1.

    The program consists of an intensive, two-day training course on Olivet's campus followed by a three-week online course. The coursework focuses on six key aspects of leadership, including communication, conflict management and goal setting. Completion of the course offers students not only the benefit of leadership training, but also three hours of college credit applicable to either a leadership minor or an elective credit.

    “Whether in public or private schools or homeschooled, many young people want to be positive influences on culture rather than being passively influenced by culture,” said Dr. Jay Martinson, chair of Olivet’s communication department and program director. “The SLI includes an inward focus challenging students to take inventory of their individual strengths.”

    To apply, interested students should first complete the application found on Olivet’s website. Each student also needs to submit a letter of recommendation from a teacher, coach or pastor plus a 400-word essay describing a past situation in which he/she exhibited leadership qualities. All documents need to be submitted by June 1, 2014.

    The first 50 applicants accepted will receive a full-tuition scholarship to the Institute — a $1,230 value. They will still be required to pay the $179 fee for room and board during the on-campus portion of the Institute.

    Applications, recommendations and essays should be submitted to:

    Olivet Nazarene University
    Attn: Director of Admissions
    One University Avenue #6005
    Bourbonnais, IL 60914

    For more information, call the Office of Admissions at 800-648-1463 or email

    May 05, 2014 10:27:47May 05, 2014 -

    BOURBONNAIS, Ill. – The Olivet Nazarene University women’s track and field team easily captured the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Championship held at Ward Field on May 2-3. The Tigers tallied a total of 281 points, more than 100 more than their closest competitor. Olivet was led by sophomore Amy Blucker (Galesburg, Ill.) who tallied 28 points in three events to be named CCAC Field Athlete of the Meet.

    Blucker set new CCAC and Ward Field records in the shot put (14.85m) and the hammer throw (55.13m), shattering the previous marks to take the title. She also finished second in the discus (43.49m) behind teammate Ambira Tisdell who set her own CCAC record at 44.09m. Tisdell, a freshman, also finished second in the hammer (47.60m) and Emily Thompson third (46.30m). Kylie Bradley (Portland, Tenn.) took first in the javelin throw (34.81). Tisdell also qualified for the NAIA National Championships in the hammer throw.

    Senior Rachel Carman (Keokuk, Iowa) won both the long jump (5.54m) and the high jump (1.55m), while Anna Stiker (Waterman, Ill.), Emily Reader (Mason, Mich.) and Kristin Beatty  went 1-2-3 in the pole vault. Stiker tied the CCAC record and set a new Ward Field record at 3.66m, while Reader and Beatty jumped 3.36m and 3.20m, respectively. Stiker’s jump sends her to the NAIA Nationals later this month.

    Kamaria Goedhart (Rochester, Minn.) took first place in the 200m dash (26.58) and set a new CCAC record in the 400m dash (57.70). Peyton Kirkland (Lindenhurst, Ill.) was right behind in both events, finishing at 27.13 and 58.62.

    Also on the track, the 4x800m relay team of Christy Trank (Winnebago, Ill.), Angelica Lafemina, Kylie Lippencott (Crawfordsville, Ind.) and Karley Brown (Lees Summit, Mo.) crossed the finish line at 9:24.69 to take first place and qualify for NAIA Nationals. The 4x100m relay team of Diamond Williams (Evergreen Park, Ill.), Jacqueline Fayne (Chicago, Ill.), Olivia Casey (Bloomington, Ill.) and Carmen took first in 50.51 seconds.

    The University of St. Francis (Ill.) took home second place with 176. Rounding out the top five were Judson University (Ill.) with 92, Trinity Christian College (Ill.) with 88 and Cardinal Stritch University (Wis.) with 49.

    Olivet will return to action on Friday, May 9 at the Dr. Keeler Invite hosted by North Central College.

    May 04, 2014 10:46:44May 04, 2014 -

    CHICAGO – It wasn’t quite the way that the No. 4 Olivet Nazarene University softball team intended the day to go, but it worked. Facing No. 8 Saint Xavier University for the fourth time in 10 days, the Tigers had hoped to capture the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament title in one game…but sluggish bats and not to par defense gave game one to the Cougars 5-2 forcing the “if necessary” game in the double elimination tournament.  The Tigers found themselves behind late in game two, but rallied to claim the title with a 7-4 victory.

    Olivet (46-3-1) entered the day with an unbelievable team batting average of .398 and ranked fourth in the NAIA in hits per game (10.5), but the Tigers were held to just four total hits in the opener, two of which were home runs. Facing the CCAC Pitcher of the Year, the Tiger’s struggled to get things going offensively having just one bloop base hit by junior Erika Tatum (Bourbonnais, Ill.) until the bottom of the sixth when junior Jordy Truelock (Princeton, Ind.) launched a ball over the right centerfield fence.  Three batters later, senior Cheryl Sendzik (Mokena, Ill.) connected on her tenth homer of the season to briefly tie the game at 2-2. Senior Hannah Gardner (Frankfort, Ill.) also connected for a hit.

    St. Xavier’s ace, Nicole Nonnamacher, threw a complete game to pick up her 20th win of the season. She struck out seven Tigers and walked just one. For the Tigers, senior Virginia McAndrews (Wheaton, Ill.) suffered her first loss of the season, allowing six hits, while striking out three and walking three.

    The Tigers doubled their hit output in game two, still below their season average. Gardner connected for home run numbers 11 and 12 on the season for three RBIs in the game. Senior Justine Phillips finished the game a perfect 3-for-3, including a double and three RBIs.

    Senior Caitlin Santefort (Mokena, Ill.) improved to 20-1 on the season, throwing a complete game. She allowed just six hits, while striking out three and walking none.

    Phillips was named the CCAC Tournament Most Valuable Player. Selected for the All-Tournament team were Gardner, Truelock, Tatum, Sendzik and junior Lindsay Stotler (Bloomington, Ill.).

    The Tigers will now wait to hear where they will be sent for the NAIA Softball National Championship Opening Round. There are 10 host locations around the county. The brackets will be officially announced with a free video selection show. The pairings for the 40-team softball national championship opening round tournament will be announced at 7 p.m. CDT on May 6. For more information, check out: 


    May 04, 2014 12:18:36May 04, 2014 -

    ELGIN, Ill. — With six wins in their last eight games and a little help from a few teams in the conference, the Olivet Nazarene University baseball team earned the sixth seed in the postseason tournament played at Judson University (Illinois) over four days, May 3-7. The Tigers played number-one seed University of St. Francis (Illinois) on Saturday, falling 7-3 and giving up four late runs.

    Senior Steven Beckham (Mt. Vernon, Illinois) (2-9) started his 13th game of the season and went 5 2/3 innings, allowing three runs off seven hits, but earned the loss. Freshman Jordan Wanner (Morton, Illinois) pitched an inning of relief, giving up three runs off three hits. Ken DeCook (Kankakee, Illinois) pitched 2/3 of an inning, allowing a run off one hit. Dave Cericola (Villa Park, Illinois) went 2/3 of an inning and walked two, striking out one. Parker Shelton (Columbus, Indiana) finished the ninth inning, walking one.

    Beckham is currently fourth in appearances (58) and fifth in innings pitched (261.0).

    The CCAC regular season champion, St. Francis (35-18), started Jake Evans who went four innings, allowing two runs off seven hits. Chris Blatti (6-2) finished the final five innings and earned the win, allowing only one unearned run off five hits.

    In the top of the first, the Saints benefited from a double and scored during a double play by the Tigers (20-27). ONU came back in the bottom of the second with two runs of their home starting with a Jordan Hayes (St. Charles, Illinois) solo home run and a Madison Foster (Indianapolis, Indiana) double that scored Gabriel Sevigny (Terre Haute, Indiana). The Saints tied the game in the third at 2-2 and eventually took the lead in the fourth on consecutive hit batters with the bases loaded. Before the Saints scored three in the seventh, the Tigers threatened with two base runners in the sixth, but Sevigny was picked off. St. Francis used two singles ending in three runs that made it 6-2. ONU scored a third run in the seventh off a Aaron King (Pekin, Illinois) RBI, but it wouldn’t be enough as they only managed two hits their final two at-bats.

    At the plate for the Tigers, Foster was 2-for-5 with one RBI. J.P. Batts (Spring Lake, Michigan) was 2-for-4 with one run. Jordan Hayes had two hits, and Bryan Klendworth (Crystal Lake, Illinois) had two hits.

    For the Saints, David Kuhne went 2-for-4 with two runs and one RBI in the lead-off spot. Matt Scott was 3-for-5 with two RBIs at third base, and Brad Porter went 2-for-4 with one run and RBI out of right field.

    ONU will play to stay alive in the CCAC Tournament on Monday, May 5, against Holy Cross College (Ind.) at 12 p.m.


    May 04, 2014 11:28:51May 04, 2014 -

    BOURBONNAIS, Ill. — For the fifth time in CCAC history, an outdoor track and field championship meet was held at Olivet. And for the fifth straight season, the Olivet Nazarene University men’s track and field team won the title. At Ward Field on Saturday, May 3, the Tigers were crowned champions, scoring 287 points — 135 more than second place University of St. Francis (Illinois). Eleven different Tigers contributed to the victory by being earning all-conference honors and winning their respective event(s). Also, Head Coach Mike McDowell was named CCAC Coach of the Year for the fifth straight season.

    The University of St. Francis (Illinois) placed second (152), St. Xavier University (Illinois) came in third (106), Trinity Christian College (Illinois) finished fourth (61), and Calumet College of St. Joseph (Indiana) (45) was fifth.

    ONU was represented well with 11 champions led by freshman Zach Gordon (Carol Stream, Illinois), who won the 100 meter dash (11.19) and long jump with a 7.35 meter mark, besting six and eight athletes, respectively. Senior Ty’rel Fields (Huntsville, Alabama) won the 400 meter dash with a time of 49.34, beating 13 other sprinters. Sophomore Caleb Parsons (Watseka, Illinois) won the 400 meter hurdles with a time of 57.85. The 4x800 meter relay team of Brian Willoughby (Elkhart, Indiana); Isaiah Fink (Ypsilanti, Michigan); Matthew Chupp (Mahomet, Illinois); and Nicholas Mizeur (Moline, Illinois) defeated five others teams with a time of 7:53.76. Junior Ian Lofgren (Rockford, Illinois) won the 3000 meter steeplechase with a time of 9:38.42.

    On the field, Brian Michell (Reed City, Michigan) won the pole vault with a finals mark of 4.57 meters. Senior Seth Wonch (Olathe, Kansas) defeated eight others with a throw of 50.59 in the hammer throw. Senior Marcus Reynolds (Green Bay, Wisconsin) won the javelin throw with a mark of 56.76 meters.

    Other great performances included Ty’rel Fields finishing second in the 200 meter dash (23.06) and Rey Keys (Matteson, Illinois) coming in third (23.42). Nicholas Mizeur finished second in the 800 meter run with a time of 1:59.42. Mitchell Dale (Rochester Hills, Michigan) came in second in the 5000 meter run (15:27.60) and third in the 1500 meter run (4:03.80). Caleb Parsons finished second in the 110 meter hurdles with a time of 16.84. The 4x400 meter relay finished second with a time of 3:28.05; Rey Keys, Matthew Chupp, Ty’rel Fields and Alex Hunt (Eureka, Illinois) ran the race.

    In addition, Conner Stroud (Manteno, Illinois) came in second in the high jump with a mark of 1.95 meters, and Lucas Limberg (Rockford, Illinois) finished third (1.90 meters). Elisha DeRamus (Harvey, Illinois) came in second in the long jump (7.05 meters). Sophomore Jacob Armbrust (Metamora, Illinois) finished second in the shot put (15.83 meters), second in the discus throw (52.36 meters) and fifth in the hammer throw (45.37 meters). Chris Aschemann (Carterville, Illinois) came in fourth in the shot put (14.82 meters), fourth in the discus (47.13 meters) and third in the hammer throw (48.30 meters).

    ONU will be back in action on Friday, May 9, for the Dr. Keeler Invite hosted by North Central College (Ill.), starting at 9 a.m.


    May 04, 2014 7:41:23May 04, 2014 -

    CHICAGO - With two-out in the bottom of the seventh inning, the No. 4 ranked Olivet Nazarene University softball team found themselves down 2-1 to No. 8 Saint Xavier University in the battle of the unbeaten teams at the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament on Saturday, May 3. But, a walk-off two-run single off the bat of sophomore Katie Megyesi (Washington, Ill.) put Olivet up 3-2 and advanced the Tigers to the championship game and kept their unbeaten streak alive, now at 46 games.

    Junior Lindsay Stotler (Bloomington, Ill.) won the pitching duel with CCAC Pitcher of the Year Nicole Nonnamacher, going the distance to improve to 13-1 on the season. She allowed six hits, while striking out five and walking just one. Nonnamacher, who shut the Tigers out in their earlier meeting allowed nine hits with two walks and four strike outs.

    Olivet (45-2-1) was led by senior Justine Phillips (Metamora, Ill.) and junior Jordy Truelock (Princeton, Ind.), both finishing 2-for-3 at the plate. Senior Cheryl Sendzik (Mokena, Ill.) also added a double.

    The Tigers won their opening game of the Tournament fairly easily over Trinity Christian College, 13-5 in six innings on Friday, May 2 despite a five-run second inning by the Trolls. Olivet’s offense was powered by home runs off the bats of Phillips and Sendzik. Sendzik, Megyesi and junior Rachel Holaway (Wheaton, Ill.)  all went 2-for-4 at the plate.

    In the circle, senior Caitlin Santefort (Mokena, Ill.) struggled a little, allowing eight hits and five runs, all earned. She struck out two and walked one in four innings. Senior Virginia McAndrews (Wheaton, Ill.) threw the final two innings, shutting the Trolls down.

    Olivet will play for the CCAC Tournament title on Sunday, May 4 at 2:00 p.m. at St. Xavier. The Tigers and the Cougars will face-off again. Should St. Xavier win, a second game will follow.

    May 02, 2014 2:33:37May 02, 2014 -

    Hannah Taylor always knew she wanted to be a teacher.

    But until this year — her senior year — the elementary education major from Fenton, Mich., had no idea she wanted to be a missionary.

    “I’ve always wanted to make a difference in someone’s life,” she says. Now, Hannah is going to have the opportunity to do both. She has accepted a two-year position as a fourth grade teacher at West Nairobi School, an American curriculum international school in the Karen area of Nairobi, Kenya.

    Hannah’s students will be a diverse group, both culturally and nationally. Besides native Kenyans, her class will also include American and Asian children whose parents reside in the country as missionaries or business people.

    An unexpected place

    During her senior year at Olivet, Hannah shared an apartment with three women who were raised in Kenya. One of those roommates, Katie Reed, approached Hannah one day and mentioned that the school she had attended while living in Kenya was seeking a music teacher.

    Hannah, who also has a minor in music, decided to apply for the position. Numerous interviews later, she was offered a position — not as a music teacher, but rather as a fourth grade teacher.

    She has never traveled to Kenya before. Her only opportunity to see her school and classroom has been through photos on the school’s website. “The school has modern amenities, including whiteboards, desks and American curricula,” she says.

    Other features, however, are distinctly African. “We eat outside in little huts,” Hannah adds with a smile. “I forget what they’re called, but that’s the cafeteria.”

    Response to a change of plans

    Hannah’s friends and family have mixed emotions on her decision to teach in Africa. “No one is neutral,” she says. “They’re either very excited or a little nervous.”

    Initially, Hannah’s father was the most vocal voice against her decision to teach in Kenya. “My dad said no right away,” she recalls. "I'm his baby girl, and the thought of my moving to a foreign country is scary for him." Hannah’s father eventually agreed to let his daughter teach in Africa and has joined the rest of the family in being supportive of her choice. They are continually laying their fears before the Lord and are reminded of His faithfulness.

    Her friends are also supportive. “They think it’s cool,” she says.

    Dr. Roxanne Forgrave, professor in Olivet's School of Education and one of Hannah’s mentors, is excited about this opportunity for Hannah. She is not the first of Dr. Forgrave’s students to teach abroad, however. Cassidy Lancaster ’13 is currently teaching third grade in Paraguay, and Katrina Holm ‘13 teaches in South Africa.

    Ready, set, go

    Hannah credits Olivet’s education program as preparation for this experience. “I cannot say enough positive things about our program,” she says. “All of our professors have been teachers in an actual classroom. And they aren’t just professors in the classroom. They are always there to help, and they are always up to date.”

    Dr. Forgrave and Hannah agree that Olivet’s Christian focus strengthens the program. “I once described our program as ‘mission-based’ to a colleague outside of Olivet,” she says. “Everything has a ministry aspect. Education is a mission.” Dr. Forgrave cited examples of student ministry on campus, including tutoring and Kappa Delta Pi’s book drive.

    Hannah affirms that Olivet’s program also prepared her spiritually for ministering in Kenya. “It’s very ministry-based,” she says.

    “This is the time for Hannah to go,” Dr. Forgrave adds. “This is a wonderful opportunity for her to see the world and experience another culture.”

    May 01, 2014 12:55:6May 01, 2014 -

    The Olivet Nazarene University men's basketball team and Head Coach Ralph Hodge have signed their newest member to the 2014-15 recruiting class. Tiger basketball welcomes an exceptionally talented guard in Alec Goetz, a 6’1” guard from St. Charles, Illinois. He played for St. Charles North High School and finished his prep career in March.

    During his senior season, Goetz averaged a team-high 17.2 points, 4.0 assists and two steals per game for the 16-9 North Stars. During an outstanding senior campaign, he scored 36 points in a triple overtime loss to Chicago Simeon in the Pontiac Holiday Tournament, making eight three-pointers (new tournament record). He also scored 30 points against West Chicago and East Aurora.

    Recently, Goetz was selected as an Upstate Eight First Team All-Conference selection and First Team All-Area. He was named to both teams following his junior season. Prior to the 2013-14 season, he was named Upstate Eight Preseason All-Conference.

    During his career, Goetz was named to the St. Charles East All-Tournament Team twice (2012 and 2013), Pontiac All-Tournament First Team (2013), and was an IHSA 4A Country Companies Three-Point Shootout finalist (2013 and 2014).

    He was also a three-time Daily Herald Player of the Week, Kane County Toyota Athlete of the Month (2013), team Most Valuable Player and voted team captain.

    In addition to his career at St. Charles North, Goetz played with Illinois Old School as a member of the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU). He traveled with his team throughout the Midwest and to Florida.

    He and his family attend Christ Community Church in St. Charles. He will study sports management while at Olivet.

    Goetz joins fellow members of the 2014-15 recruiting class: Bennet Schimmelpfennig (Bourbonnais, Illinois); Chris Green (Bonfield, Illinois); Mitchell Schwarzkopf (Kankakee, Illinois); Xavier Parker (Richton Park, Illinois); Ethan Chitty (White Heath, Illinois); and Aaron Sutton (Martinsville, Indiana).

    Apr 30, 2014 1:34:32Apr 30, 2014 -


    CHICAGO – The No. 4 Olivet Nazarene University softball teams heads in the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament as the top seed after claiming the Regular Season title on Thursday, April 24.  This year’s tournament will be hosted by Saint Xavier University.

    Find all the tournament information here: 

    Live stats and streaming is available here: 

    Apr 30, 2014 12:19:27Apr 30, 2014 -

    CHICAGO --- Leading his team to last week's Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Men's Tennis Tournament Championship, Olivet Nazarene University's Landon Williams (Erie, Pa.) has claimed the final CCAC Men's Tennis Player of the Week honor for 2014, it was announced by the league office on Wednesday morning.

    Williams, a junior, went 3-0 between singles and doubles play at the tournament during the week of April 21-27, where the Tigers defeated both Judson University and University of St. Francis.  In doubles play, Williams teamed up for 8-2 and 8-4 wins in the No. 1 spot.  His singles victory – a 6-2, 6-3 decision – came in the No. 4 spot against St. Francis.  He was also leading, 6-4, 1-1, at No. 4 singles against Judson when that match was halted.

    Williams bumped his singles record up to 10-4 and his doubles mark to 12-6 on the season with the victories.

    Olivet Nazarene is ranked No. 23 in the latest NAIA Coaches' Poll.  The Tigers are 12-7 overall and also won the CCAC regular-season title with a perfect 6-0 mark.  

    Apr 30, 2014 11:56:25Apr 30, 2014 -

    The formal dedication ceremony for the Douglas E. Perry Student Life and Recreation Center will take place on Friday, May 9, 2014, 11 a.m. The public is invited to attend.

    The Perry Center officially opened to students, staff and faculty on December 12, 2012. In October 2013, Olivet’s Board of Trustees voted to name the building in honor of Douglas E. Perry, the University’s current vice president of finance.

    “It is not an overstatement to say that we would not have the Student Life and Recreation Center without Doug’s leadership,” said Dr. John C. Bowling, University president. “He was the first to catch the vision, and he did the initial research. It was Doug who identified and enlisted the architectural firm for the project and, perhaps most importantly, Doug created the financial plan to make it a reality.”

    Measuring approximately 168,000 square feet — roughly two-and-a-half times the size of Ludwig Student Center — the Perry Center includes: an eight-lane, 200-meter running track with Mondo surface; two pools, including a 10-lane competition pool; a four-story rock climbing wall; a 72,000-square-foot field house with running track and four basketball courts; workout facilities; large game area; spacious central lounge; and several classrooms and offices.

    Dr. Douglas Perry grew up on the Olivet campus because his father, Dr. Ralph Perry, was a professor for many years. His grandfather, A.L. Parrott, and his uncle, Leslie Parrott, both served as Olivet presidents. His father, Ralph, was also instrumental in beginning Olivet’s School of Graduate and Continuing Studies.

    Doug’s first job, at age 15, was with the buildings and grounds department, mowing grass and cleaning buildings. He attended Olivet and, after graduation, began a career as a mathematics teacher in the local school system.

    Just a few years later, Olivet’s business manager offered Doug a position in the finance department working with student accounts. Doug accepted the position and began what has now become a 40-year career with Olivet. He became a certified public accountant and then earned the executive MBA degree from the University of Illinois. He has been Olivet's chief financial officer for the past 30 years.

    “Doug is a quiet but very effective and efficient administrator whose service has contributed greatly to the growth and stability of the University,” said Dr. Bowling. “He has an entrepreneurial spirit and a deep, personal faith.”

    Doug’s wife, Sheila (Oswalt), and their two children, John and Lauren (Perry) McClymonds, are all Olivet graduates.
    Apr 30, 2014 11:42:58Apr 30, 2014 -

    CRESTWOOD, Ill. — The Olivet Nazarene University baseball team finished the regular season with two much needed wins over CCAC opponent Roosevelt University (Ill.) on Tuesday, April 29. Olivet won in extra innings 8-6 in game one, and Jonathan Fightmaster (Bourbonnais, Ill.) finished a 3-0 complete game shutout in the last regular season start of his career. The Tigers will now wait to see if their 19th and 20th wins are enough to get them into the CCAC Tournament.

    Sophomore Madison Foster (Indianapolis, Ind.) started game one, his sixth of the season. He pitched four innings allowing six runs — three earned — off 10 hits, striking out three. Ken DeCook (Kankakee, Ill.) pitched 2/3 of an inning, walking one. Dave Cericola (Villa Park, Ill.) (5-7) finished the final 3 1/3 innings and gained his third straight win, striking out three and not allowing a hit.

    Roosevelt (13-29, 7-20) started Alex Miramontes who went five innings, allowing six runs — five earned — off 10 hits. Mike Marrera (3-2) lost the game in the eighth inning, allowing one run off two hits. Cameron Simak finished the game, allowing one run off two hits.

    Roosevelt took a commanding 6-1 lead following the bottom of the second, collecting four hits in the process. The Lakers held onto the lead until the top of the fifth inning when the Tigers (20-26, 14-13) tied the game, scoring five runs. Seth Gorman (Newburgh, Ind.) singled with the bases loaded to bring home two runs, and Aaron King (Pekin, Ill.) tripled, scoring two more runs. The Tigers eventually tied the game with a groundout RBI by Tyler Crater (Hampshire, Ill.).  In the next inning, the Tigers loaded the bases but failed to score, leaving the game tied. Meanwhile, neither team would have a hit until the top of the eighth when Madison Foster singled to make it 7-6, and Josh Altmann (Homer Glen, Ill.) doubled to make it 8-6 with two outs. Cericola put Roosevelt down in order to end the game.

    At the plate for the Tigers, Foster was 2-for-5 with one run and RBI. Josh Altmann went 3-for-4 with one run and RBI. Seth Gorman was 1-for-2 with two RBIs and two runs. Tyler Crater went 2-for-4 with one RBI.

    For the Lakers, Danny Grzyway went 2-for-3 with two runs, Nathan Greene was 2-for-5 with one run, and Dylan Grabowski was 1-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs scored.

    In game two, senior Jonathan Fightmaster (9-3) won his ninth game of the season in his 13th start of the year. He threw a complete game five hitter, striking out four and walking three.

    Fightmaster is currently third in wins (25) and fourth in innings pitched (285.0).

    The Lakers put Sam Cook (3-4) on the mound for game two. He went seven innings, allowing three runs off six hits while striking out six.

    Neither team was able to strike first until the Tigers did so in the top of the third, scoring two runs. Madison Foster and Jordan Wanner (Morton, Ill.) scored when J.P. Batts (Spring Lake, Mich.) doubled. Neither put together more than one hit in an inning, including the seventh inning when the Tigers scored a third inning when Jordan Hayes (St. Charles, Ill.) made it home on a Caleb Gulledge (Spring Arbor, Mich.) steal.

    At the plate for the Tigers, Foster and Batts each had two hits, and Batts had two RBIs.

    Roosevelt managed only five hits: Grabowski went 2-for-3, and Ale Neufeld, Lally and Richman each had a hit.

    ONU will now wait to see if they have earned a bid to the CCAC Tournament this weekend.


    Apr 30, 2014 11:26:30Apr 30, 2014 -

    BOURBONNAIS, Ill. – As the spring season comes to an end, the Olivet Nazarene University volleyball team gathered one final time to recognized players for their achievements on and off the court. The whole Tiger volleyball family from coaches to players and their parents gathered on Sunday, April 27 for their annual end-of-the-year banquet.

    The Tigers finished up their traditional season with an overall record of 21-21, finishing fifth in the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference with a record of 13-5. They advanced to the National Christian College Athletic Association North Central Regional before being eliminated by Bethel College (Ind.).

    For the second year in a row, junior Haley Hatalla (Manteno, Ill.) was selected by her teammates as the Most Valuable Player. She served as co-captain and was named CCAC First Team All-Conference and NCCAA North Central All-Region Team. She is a two-time CCAC All-Academic Team honoree and a 2013 NAIA Scholar Athlete.

    “Her teammates and coaches always know what they are going to get from Haley,” said Coach Brenda Williams. “At every practice and every game, she will give the best she has to give.”

    Freshman Macie Riegel (Hudsonville, Mich.) was selected by the Tigers the team’s Most Improved Player, while freshman Katie Tabisz (Lockport, Ill.) was named Outstanding Newcomer.

    Annually, the Tiger volleyball program presents the Nicole Garde Award to an athlete who displays Christian Character, Servant Leadership and Perseverance on and off the court. This year, sophomore Renee Enz (Wilmington, Ill.) received the honor.

    The Tigers also recognized their seniors, four-year honorees, Rachel Raynor (DeKalb, Ill.), and Katelyn Miller (Avon, Ind.) and two-year honoree Kenzie Thompson (Plano, Texas). Miller also served as co-captain.

    “Even after a disappointing season in the win/loss column there was a lot to be positive about at the end of year volleyball social. I look for even greater things from all these young ladies in the future, they are all well deserving,” concluded Coach Williams.


    Apr 29, 2014 3:22:30Apr 29, 2014 -

    Olivet will honor the extraordinary life and service of Col. James Helms Kasler during a special memorial service, May 4, 2014, at 4 p.m., in the Betty and Kenneth Hawkins Centennial Chapel. One of the U.S. military’s most decorated soldiers, Kasler passed away on Thursday, April 24, at the age of 87.

    The public is welcome and encouraged to attend this memorial service.

    Col. Kasler was a combat veteran of World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. He was a three-time recipient of the Air Force Cross, the second highest U.S. decoration for bravery behind the Medal of Honor. No other U.S. warrior has ever received that distinction.

    An August 1966 article in Time Magazine labeled Kasler “the hottest pilot” in Vietnam and said his wing mates called him “a one-man Air Force.” That same week, on his 91st bombing mission in South Vietnam, he was shot down near Hanoi while providing cover for his wingman. His right leg shattered. He was subsequently captured and spent August 1966 to March 1973 at the infamous Hanoi Hilton, where he suffered unimaginable torture.

    Col. Kasler flew a combined total of 198 combat missions. With a total of 76 awards for valor and service, Kasler received the aforementioned three awards of the Air Force Cross, was decorated twice with the Silver Star, a Legion of Merit, nine awards of the Distinguished Flying Cross, two Bronze Star Medals, two Purple Hearts and eleven awards of the Air Medal.

    After Col. Kasler’s retirement from the Air Force, he bought and redeveloped the South Shore Golf Course in Momence, Illinois. He and his wife, Martha, became valued members of the Kankakee community, including as longtime friends and financial supporters of Olivet Nazarene University. A bronze statue was dedicated to Kasler by the people of Momence and Kankakee County on September 15, 2007, at the Kasler-Momence Veteran’s Park.

    For additional information about Sunday’s memorial service, contact Olivet’s Office of Alumni and University Relations at 815-939-5258.
    Apr 29, 2014 10:48:45Apr 29, 2014 -

    Her first name may be a phonetic combination of both of her parents’ names, but Lamica Simmons credits her tenacious spirit to the influence of a single mom.

    “I learned about independence and autonomy at a young age,” says Lamica, who spent her childhood in Kalamazoo, Mich. “My mom didn’t have a lot of time to dote on us because she was busy providing for us.” Lamica has six siblings total and attributes their closeness to her mom’s hard work to keep the kids together.

    Mirroring her mom’s never-give-up attitude, Lamica will cross the stage next year as a member of the Class of 2015 — the first in her family to graduate from college.

    Discovering life at the lake

    In the sixth grade, Lamica moved down the road from Indian Lake Nazarene Camp. “That’s where I first heard about Nazarenes,” she says.

    And it was there that she accepted Christ into her life in the seventh grade. Working at the camp every summer since the age of 14, she says she can show anyone the exact spot on the “big stony altar” where she surrendered her life.

    “A lot of my tears have been shed on that altar,” she says.

    Maintaining her faith hasn’t always been easy, however; Lamica is the only Christian in her home.

    “It’s hard to talk to my family about struggles, because they have such a different view on things,” she says. “But I love my family, and as I have been growing in my faith, it has been a ministry to them.”

    The journey to Olivet

    Everyone at camp wanted her to go to Olivet when the time for college approached, but Lamica resisted due to faith struggles she experienced during her senior year of high school. When her youth pastor and his wife took her to Purple and Gold Days, however, they were on the road home for less than an hour before she announced, “Guys, I’m going to go to Olivet.”

    Lamica is now a junior and a double major in psychology and business. She hopes to attend grad school and eventually work within the field of medical administration or sustainable studies.

    A different story

    Since coming to Olivet, she has been inspired by psychology professor Dr. Kristian Veit. “In every class, he makes sure to glorify God in every way,” she says. She benefits from the specific prayers he offers in class and says that they always speak right to her heart, leaving her nothing else to say but, “Alright God, I hear you.”

    Lamica has learned from Dr. Veit that it is important to hold on to Christian principles in a secular world.

    “It is a dangerous world, and we need good people like Lamica out there to say, ‘Let me tell you what happened to me,’” says Dr. Veit.

    “Everyone has a different story,” says Lamica. “The good thing is that God meets us where we are.”

    Dr. Veit recognizes the value of Lamica’s story and says that she is an “absolute joy.”

    “She works hard, and she wants to ‘get it’. She wants to succeed. Lamica is going to do the work and take responsibility.”
    Apr 29, 2014 10:1:56Apr 29, 2014 -


    LISLE, Ill. – One night, three more NAIA National Qualifiers for the Olivet Nazarene University women’s Track and Field team as they capture second place overall at the 2014 Twilight Invitational hosted by Benedictine University on Friday, April 25.

    All three qualifiers come from the field side of things. Junior Emily Reader (Mason, Mich.) finished second overall in the pole vault, posting a 3.53m (11’ 7”) for a new personal best. Senior Rachel Carman (Keokuk, Iowa) finished with a 5.68m (18’ 7.75”) long jump performance, also a personal best, to claim first place in the event.  Freshman Ambria Tisdell posted a second place overall finish in the discus, shattering her own personal best with a toss of 44.69m (146’ 7”).

    Other noteworthy performances came from junior Jacqueline Fayne (Chicago) who finished first in the triple jump with a 10.95m (35’ 11.25”) performance. Sophomore Amy Blucker (Galesburg, Ill.) continued to fine tune things in her three events, finishing first in the shot put at 14.50m (47’ 7”), first in the hammer throw at 53.92m (176’ 11”) and third in the discus throw at 41.26m (135’ 4”). The Tigers completed the 2-3-4 finish in the discus with freshman Hannah Gee throwing a new personal best 40.80m (133’ 10”) to take fourth.  Freshman Kylie Bradley (Portland, Tenn.) set a new personal best in the javelin throw, taking first at 35.49m (116’ 5”).

    On the trick side, the sophomore trio of Jordyn Nettleton (Foosland, Ill.), Alissa Weatherford (Kuna, Idaho) and Brianna Price (Fremont, Neb.) proved they are something to keep an eye on, finishing 2-3-5 in the 400m hurdles. Nettelton crossed the line at 1:06.68, while Weatherford and Price crossed at 1:07.03 and 1:08.27, respectively for new personal bests.

    Olivet finished second overall with 123.5 points behind North Central College with 170. Rounding out the top five were the University of Illinois-Chicago, Wheaton College and Marquette University.

    The Tigers will host the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Championships at Ward Field beginning at 4:00 p.m. on Friday, May 2. Competition will resume on Saturday at 11:00 a.m.

    Apr 28, 2014 1:37:21Apr 28, 2014 -

    A fusion of the best in business practice and management, the new Master of Engineering Management (MEM) degree program at Olivet launches its first cohort on June 23, 2014. This is an ideal choice for recent graduates, as well as experienced engineers, who want to advance their careers within an engineering- or technology-based organization.

    The MEM program provides a technical alternative to the traditional Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree. Designed to prepare graduates for leadership in their fields, it emphasizes managing systems, processes, procedures, organizations and business.

    “As a practicing engineering manager and founding faculty member in this program, I know this program has been built to help technical professionals develop the skills they need to advance in the workplace and succeed in all facets of their life,” said Wes Gerbig, adjunct professor.

    “Experiences in this program will stretch engineers in their leadership abilities and faith while applying their technical skills,” Gerbig adds. “All of this will happen while they are deliberately building a professional network among fellow students and accomplished faculty. I don't believe there is anything else like this in Christian higher education.”

    This 24-month program offers two concentrations: Technical Entrepreneurship (12 credit hours required) and Project and Program Management (12 credit hours required). The focus is on planning, organizing, controlling and leading primarily technical projects.

    Students complete one course at a time in a completely online format, earning a total of 36 credit hours. They must complete the curriculum with a grade point average of 3.0 or better. Sample required courses include: professional communications, patents and intellectual property law, sustainable economics, technology and enterprise integration and engineering project management.

    This degree is especially for engineering professionals who already hold a bachelor’s degree from an ABET-accredited (or equivalent) college or university engineering program and a grade point average of 3.0 or better. It is also open to professionals who have an undergraduate degree in an engineering-related field, such as physics, mathematics or computer science.

    For more information, call 877-9-OLIVET or go to
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