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The call to be countercultural

October 7th, 2013

David BrooksOn October 3, Messiah College proudly welcomed New York Times journalist and PBS NewsHour commentator David Brooks to address “The Importance of Humility and Civil Discourse in American Life.” Brooks currently acts as an op-ed columnist at the Times, a position which allows him to explore the various aspects of politics, culture and society. In addition to his success at the Times and on the air, the celebrated columnist has also gained widespread recognition as an author with the release of his books “The Social Animal: The Hidden Sources of Love, Character and Achievement,” “On Paradise Drive,” and New York Times best-seller “Bobos in Paradise.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Student pursues passion for the Civil War at summer internship

September 30th, 2013

Messiah College student Elizabeth MotichThis past summer, senior humanities/history major Elizabeth Motich had the opportunity to travel back in time to the year 1863 through an internship at the Gettysburg National Park. During this time, the nation found itself in the midst of perhaps the most violent and utterly tragic time in national history—the American Civil War. Through this internship, Motich encountered distant Civil War history brought back to life through the small, yet significant, town of Gettysburg. One hundred fifty years ago, this town marked the site for the most significant and tragic battle of the Civil War, resulting in a tremendous amount of soldier causalities and great civilian unease. In fact, on the solemn morning of July 4, 1863, civilians of this town awoke to find the bodies of thousands of soldiers, either dead or wounded scattered across the town acting as a somber token of the previous night’s events. Residents quickly assumed the roles of nurses and grave diggers as homes became hospitals and fields became cemeteries. Read the rest of this entry »

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Art professor’s photography garners international acclaim

September 24th, 2013

ChinquinquiraThroughout her career, Messiah College Professor of Art and Design Kathy Hettinga has traveled the globe to take photographs of churches and cemeteries, places that provide what she calls “a balm to grief.”

Documenting cemeteries is the latest chapter in a career-long project that began when she was widowed at 24 and designed her late husband’s gravestone. The experience prompted her to begin studying and photographing grave markers in the San Luis Valley of southern Colorado, where she grew up.

Over time, Hettinga’s photography has become well known and has been displayed in galleries across the country and even internationally. She is actively involved in design and handmade artist books. Read the rest of this entry »

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Bringing relationships, sports, clean water and hope to Uganda

September 12th, 2013

Messiah College student Victoria HeppAs we descended into Uganda after 24+ travel hours, a cloud of excitement hovered over our AROMA team, much like the clouds of unearthed red dirt that would soon linger over our missional feet. Our team of athletes, coaches, trainers, alum and Sawyer Representatives had been preparing for months leading up to this trip and we were finally here, a little nervous but filled with expectant hope of God’s working on our trip. We walked out into the parking lot and were immediately greeted by staff from the Sports Outreach Institute (SOI) group that we would be partnering with for the next 10 days. Hearing their laughter and welcoming words reassured us that this would be a great journey of relationship-building, sports-playing, water-filtering and hope-rising. Read the rest of this entry »

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Alum’s passion for serving aging adults shines through in career

August 6th, 2013

Emerson Lesher’s ’74 affinity for helping aging adults began when he was a Messiah College student interning at Messiah Home, a Brethren in Christ-sponsored ministry dedicated to serving older adults.

Eventually, Messiah Home moved from Paxton Street in Harrisburg, to Upper Allen Township and became Messiah Lifeways (formerly Messiah Village), and Lesher, following a successful career as a geropsychologist, moved from student intern to president of the organization.

Prior to his presidency at Messiah Lifeways, Lesher spent years studying counseling and psychology and gaining the skills needed to lead an organization. Read the rest of this entry »

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The integration of social media on campus @messiahcollege

July 29th, 2013

With sites such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram developing faster than ever, society can no longer ignore how social media saturates our daily lives. When considering this social media phenomenon on a college campus, the shift from face-to-face communication to screen-mediated communication is revolutionizing the way college administrators engage with students—from their first campus visit to graduation day.

“The interaction between Messiah College and its students that takes place on social media is extremely important to the life of the institution. Students are able to have a voice because of the transparency and two-way communication that is created by social media and feel like a valued part of the life at the college,” says Ethan Eshbach ’14.

The admissions office has noticed a trend in high school students that visit Messiah’s campus. “Social media is popular and pervasive with high school students. With social media and mobile devices, they are always ‘on,’” says John Chopka, vice president for enrollment management. “While it has become a preferred way to communicate with friends, organizations like ours need permission to enter that world.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Alums stand at the forefront of Harrisburg’s revival

July 16th, 2013

For a core of Messiah graduates—each with varying backgrounds and ambitions—Harrisburg represents a home for innovation. The once-struggling city has welcomed a push for restoration, with several graduates working as pioneers of the revival. Alumni Liz Laribee ’07, Adam Brackbill ’12 and Rebecca Porterfield ’09 stand committed to change.

A neighborhood of urban artists

Laribee, a graduate of English and master of creative design, left her first mark on the city during the summer of 2006, when she co-created the Sycamore House intentional community. Focused on service and outreach, the home immediately caught on with Messiah students, enabling graduates to understand their future vocation while developing a spirit of service. For Laribee, the Sycamore House served as the beginning of an extensive journey.

“Right away, I was in contact with the sort of individuals whose lives are committed to their neighbors, their cities and the work to make things brighter,” she said. “The experience helped me carve a niche for the sort of work I had an interest in carrying out.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Alumna receives prestigious Fulbright to study medieval history

July 8th, 2013

Messiah College alumna“The Chronicles of Narnia” and the King Arthur series provide timeless stories of the medieval worlds, captivating readers with their enchanting tales. For Lucy Barnhouse ’08, these books mean much more than a magical closet and fearless nobles; these stories rooted her love for medieval history. Today, she has pursued in-depth studies of this field and recently won a Fulbright Research Fellowship, the most prestigious award for aspiring scholars, to study in Germany.

As a prospective student, Barnhouse sat underneath a poster of a Cologne, Germany Gothic cathedral in Distinguished Professor of European History Joseph Huffman’s office. This served as a confirmation for Barnhouse to create an individualized major in medieval and renaissance studies. Becoming fluent in Latin, German and French, Barnhouse deepened her knowledge and appreciation for European history.

“Lucy is a person of deep integrity, coupled with a deep joy for living and learning,” says Huffman. “She brought an energy and enthusiasm to everything she did, and thereby was a joy to work with.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Nepal-bound student chooses year of service over Fulbright

May 28th, 2013

In early March, just three months from graduation, Malcolm McDermond ’13 found himself in an honorable position. With several opportunities to apply his international experience—and his desire to empower others—McDermond felt torn between prestige and a passion for service.

Like many students, McDermond entered his senior year without a firm plan for the future. His desire to work overseas brought opportunities to teach English, though his passion for agriculture seemed to overshadow this possibility. In November, McDermond received an email from Distinguished Professor of Politics John Harles, who presented McDermond with an intriguing recommendation. Harles urged McDermond to apply for a Fulbright U.S. Student Award to teach English in Malaysia.

“I saw teaching English as a means of empowering people, providing them with the opportunity to enter the global market,” McDermond said.“I remember thinking, ‘I could still do good by doing this.’” Read the rest of this entry »

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Messiah College celebrates Commencement with 700 graduates

May 20th, 2013

On May 18, 49 graduate students and 651 undergraduate students received their degrees during Messiah College’s 104th Commencement. Graduates were greeted at Shoemaker Field by the community of educators and thousands of cheering family members and friends. The total Commencement crowd was estimated at 6,000.

“This is a glorious moment,” said President Kim S. Phipps. “Years of diligent work have led to this milestone; you have reason to celebrate your significant accomplishment. As graduates of Messiah College may you continue to fulfill God’s calling in your lives as you represent the ideals and aspirations of the College’s Christian educational mission.” Read the rest of this entry »

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