Meet the Class of 2013

Just four short years ago, the Class of 2014 began their journey at George Fox University. Today, they’re heading out into the world with diploma in hand, ready to make an impact in the boardroom, on the mission field or wherever else in life God calls them. Before they left campus, we asked some of our most outstanding graduating seniors to answer a few questions about their experiences at George Fox, how they’ve grown and what the next steps in their lives will be.

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Zach Schultz

Name: Zach Schultz
Hometown: Arroyo Grande, Calif.
Major: Biochemistry

Q: How would you describe your experience at George Fox? 
A: My experience at Fox has been one of eclectic learning both about the generation of people around me, and more specifically, about myself and who I am as an individual. Of all the things at Fox, the most valuable memories will be those I have of the people who surrounded me here. I have met people who have been foundational to my learning both academically and in the streets. My core of science folk have helped me through the good and the bad times that chemistry brings to those who choose to endure its trials. Many professors have been an influence and encouragement to me as I have gone through my education here. All of the professors in the chemistry department have been nothing but gracious to me even when I bug them with seemingly inane questions. They always make time to chat and allow me to bug them about the most recent online video game craze. I also had the good fortune to go on Juniors Abroad with one said professor from the chemistry department, Paul Chamberlain, who guided us through the streets of Ecuador, took us to the Amazon jungle, and led us into open waters sailing around the Galapagos. Overall, I have learned that the relationships that we make are just as important, if not more important, than material that our textbooks have to offer.

Q: How have you changed or grown since coming to George Fox? 
A: My time at college has been a wonderful time of exposure to new people and new challenges that I had not encountered previously. My high school experience was a breeze, and when it came to college, I was not prepared for the classes I took, the people I met, nor the professors who would teach me what they know best. I have since grown to become more confident in my abilities as a person, more spiritually aware of both myself and others, and even more socially aware of the different backgrounds of those around me. All three have helped me navigate the world as it is now and continue on the path that will be laid out before me.

Q: What's next? 
A: The next step in my path is taking a year off from intensive study and finding a job in the field. I want to eventually have a career in up here in Newberg. I plan on taking some light courses to further my education and in the meantime work in a medical setting, hopefully in the Newberg area. A friend from home and I have been planning to move to Oregon for some time and finally have the opportunity to do so next year. Eventually I plan to apply to various schools to complete my education to become a physician’s assistant and take care of people through medicine.

Jessica Rose Jocoy

Name: Jessica Rose Jocoy
Hometown: Myrtle Creek, Ore.
Major: Nursing

Q: How would you describe your experience at George Fox? 
A: I am so grateful to have had the experience to complete my nursing education at George Fox University. I originally was uninterested in attending Fox because I had lived in Oregon my whole life. However, in the fall after high school graduation, I found myself in Newberg and surrounded by Christian professors and students; I fell in love with the school. I had the privilege to meet students from many different locations and be part of a tight-knit group of friends. One of the things that I will remember the most is the beauty of the quad, whether it be the flowers in the summer, green grass in the winter, daffodils in the spring, or the melodious chimes of the clock tower. The professors at this school have also had a big impact on my life. They taught me how to think independently, be committed to a life of learning, and have shown me how to apply the knowledge that I have obtained. My nursing school experience is one that I will never forget. It tested me in every way possible but I feel that it has prepared me for my practice as a nurse, and it has made me continually reach to be a better person. I will never forget all of the memorable moments that I have made at George Fox University.

Q: How have you changed or grown since coming to George Fox? 
A: Comparing freshman year until now, I feel that I have grown into a much more mature, independent, confident and educated woman. When I first came to Fox, I was resistant to the change and found it hard to adapt to living on a dorm floor with more than 20 girls, living away from my family, and cramming my brain full of anything nursing related. Every year brought its new challenges, obstacles to overcome, and a search for who I really was and was becoming. My first two years I struggled with not knowing what to major in and I felt the absence of God’s directing voice. I was accepted into nursing school my sophomore year and since I didn’t feel that I was being called to another profession, I decided to dive right in. There had been times when I was so down and overwhelmed with nursing that I just wanted to weep (and I did occasionally). However, I wouldn’t give the experience up for anything else in the world because it has helped me find myself and God’s purpose for my life – to share his amazing love with my patients. It taught me how to persevere in difficult times and to have passion for what I do. I love nursing because it challenges me to think critically and work diligently caring for those around me. God, my wonderful professors, family and friends have helped guide and support me through all of my schooling and this year I have finally found the confidence that I was looking for. I have identified the areas that I still need to grow in and I will continue to practice God’s will through my calling as a registered nurse. I feel ready to take on the world and be a light wherever I am needed.

Q: What’s next?
A: In the very near future (hopefully in June) I plan on passing the National Council Licensure Examination to become a registered nurse – finally! I would then like to obtain a job at a hospital either in the Portland area or out of state. I would like to work on a medical-surgical floor to begin because that area of nursing lays the foundation for all other specialized nursing care. I enjoyed my labor and delivery rotation while in school and would like to transfer to this type of unit after a few years on the medical-surgical unit. In the future, I plan on applying to grad school to pursue a master’s degree in nursing and possibly obtain my certified nurse midwives license. Ever since I was young I have felt God’s calling to be a missionary abroad, and so some day I plan on doing so while also aiding people holistically with my nursing skills. My ultimate goal for my life is to help heal and direct those in need by caring for them with compassion and telling them about Jesus Christ.

Madelyn Larson

Name: Madelyn Larson
Hometown: Battle Ground, Wash.
Major: Theatre (concentration in acting/directing)

Q: How would you describe your experience at George Fox? 
A: Not to be cliché, but my experience at George Fox has been life changing. I've never felt more loved and known within a group of people than I have in the theatre department. I love that the faculty want to know me, and they encourage me. Rhett Luedtke and Bryan Boyd have probably impacted me more than anyone at Fox. They have been there to support me in my craft of theatre as I strive to be a servant storyteller.

Q: How have you changed or grown since coming to George Fox?
A: Since coming to Fox, I've learned a lot about what it means to be an example of Christ, especially in a secular art such as theatre. I look back at who I was my freshman year at Fox and can't help but appreciate God’s work in my life. He took an insecure girl with no guidance, turned her into a woman of confidence and instilled a passion for storytelling in her heart. He constantly shows himself through theatre, faculty, friends and the atmosphere at Fox. I remember my first time on the Wood-Mar stage, and finally feeling like I was home, that God had a purpose for me at Fox and in theatre.

Q: What's next? 
A: As of right now, I am not planning to attend grad school for a year or so. But once I do, I will be getting my master’s degree in applied theatre. Applied theatre is social justice theatre, and I feel like it wraps all my passions up into one thing – missions, people and theatre. In the meantime, I will be working with my high school drama teacher, working alongside her in the classroom, as well as leading some workshops with the students. My dream is to open an art and expressive studio. The studio will be a safe place for teens to come and express their lives in art, whether that be ceramics, music, painting, theatre or dance. I would also like to teach art in Thailand for a year or so, and continue to travel around the world, because God’s creation is beautiful.

Yixuan Pan

Name: Yixuan Pan
Hometown: Changsha, China
Major: Art (concentration in studio art)

Q: How would you describe your experience at George Fox?
A: Two years ago I transferred here as an exchange student from China. George Fox made Oregon become my second hometown. I thought it would just be an adventure – to taste and check out different things and go back home. However, my experience here has definitely been richer than that.

The first week of school, my professor Mark Terry says, “Artists are very special, there is a hand of God that has touched them.” … I guess that was the first time I felt the Holy Spirit. … At that point I decided to know him and learn about Christianity. Last semester, I accepted Jesus Christ with joyful tears.

Q: How have you changed or grown since coming to George Fox? 
A: I think I have had two turning points. The first one is I switched the concentration of my major from graphic design to studio art. I learned to follow my interests, to allow myself to explore. More important, I learned to appreciate my talents and became more confident. The second turning point is when I accepted Jesus. … I realized how much he loves me and how much I needed him. Becoming a Christian made me understand that God is there and that I can fully trust and rely on Him, and I can give all of my happiness and anxiety to him, because he will take care of them as always.

Q: What’s next?
A: It is quite exciting that I got an offer from the graduate glass program at California College of the Arts, but I decided to take a year off. One of the reasons I decided not go to graduate school right away is I’m still not very satisfied with my portfolio – I know I can do better. So, this year I’ll be a teacher’s assistant in the George Fox Department of Art and Design to gain experience, develop my portfolio and share my knowledge. In addition, I’ll try to get in more exhibitions to stretch myself and broaden my horizons. I think I will never stop experiencing and learning wherever I am.

Rebecca Tegman

Name: Rebecca Tegman
Shoreline, Wash.
Major: Sociology & Spanish (double major)

Q: How would you describe your experience at George Fox?
A: I have had the most incredible experience at George Fox University. It has been a time full of new experiences, growth and friendships that I will cherish for years to come. In short, my experience was “full.” I was blessed to be a part of so many different aspects of this community, from residence life to spiritual life and being on the Chapel Band, to spending the spring semester of my junior year abroad in Seville, Spain. I am leaving this place feeling so blessed by the incredible opportunities that I was able to be a part of. George Fox has a very unique and special sense of community that I so appreciated during my time here as a student. The community is what made my experience as a student so rich and full.

Q: How have you changed or grown since coming to George Fox? 
A: Looking back on that first day of freshman year, full of excitement, nerves and the anxiety of simply trying to find my class, I had no idea what lied ahead of me in the four years to come. I know I have grown and changed so much as these years have flown by. I was continually supported and challenged by professors and the community of George Fox to pursue my passions and visions for my future. The biggest turning point for me in these four years occurred during my semester abroad in Spain. George Fox played a great role in supporting this dream of mine to study abroad. It was the most life-changing and incredible experience I have had. I saw the world in a new way, lived in a completely new culture, and ultimately learned that my identity above all else lies in being a believer of Christ. Through the challenges of those late nights writing a paper in the dorm rooms or struggling to not get lost using public transportation in a foreign country, God has remained consistent. I will definitely take that with me in my endeavors beyond school.

Q: What’s next?
A: With regard to life after George Fox, my “real-world” plan is to end up working for a nonprofit organization within the social justice sector. I desire to work for a nonprofit organization that is serving overseas to be God’s hands and feet extended. I have always had a passion for other cultures and a heart for impoverished nations. Through obtaining a degree in Spanish and sociology with a focus on global and cultural studies, I believe I can put God’s calling into practice.

Crystal Rose Colella

Name: Crystal Rose Colella
Hometown: Half Moon Bay, Calif.
Major: Social Work

Q: How would you describe your experience at George Fox?
A: My experience at George Fox has been a transformational journey. Painful at times, but necessary in order for me to begin to understand my vocation and calling, and where God is calling my heart. I came here as a stubborn independent woman (and still hold some of those traits) but quickly was blown away by a community that embraced me fully and relationships that challenged me greatly. I met my soon-to-be-husband, Jake Larson, my sophomore year, a life-changing experience in itself, as we both acted as catalysts in each others' lives for huge changes with God, including totally new life and career goals and different majors. I met two particular friends who have changed my heart and life forever: Megan Armentrout and Allison Meade. I was blessed to journey deeply side-by-side with Kayin Griffith. And I was given a heart for social work, social justice, and shown what passion for the Lord looks like by my professor Debra Penkin. I cannot thank these people enough, integral aspects of my community, for what they have shown me.

The greatest thing I have learned from my time here is that I am not sufficient in myself, and that community – authentic, ugly and raw community – is one of the most valuable aspects of life and the Christian journey that we may ever have. I have learned the importance of truthful relationships, the value of a listening ear, and the impact of a willing heart.

Q: How have you changed or grown since coming to George Fox?
A: As I mentioned before, a big turning point in my life was my sophomore year when I met Jake Larson. I was an extremely skeptical girl at this time in my life, struggling to understand why I should care about a God I felt so desperately distant from, trying to understand what purpose I had, and feeling in constant tension. When I met Jake at a floor game night, he spoke immediate truth into my life, words that no one else had known to say, but that he said because it was simply who he was. His character and heart revealed compassion, empathy and a faith in God that I could not help but admire, and this transformed me instantly. Journeying with him and my community over the next few months I found my calling to not be neuroscience, but instead to be social work. And over the past few years I have been blessed to see this calling grow and transform into something spectacular! My community and family helped me grow from an insecure and unsure young girl to a confident, competent, passionate young woman who feels ready to follow a God who calls.

Q: What's next? 
A: Well, two weeks after graduation I will be marrying my best friend Jake! We will be traveling to Kauai for a few weeks afterwards and heading back to the Northwest. We are currently in the process of moving to Portland and interviewing for many jobs. I hope to work with adolescents and young adults who are struggling with mental health issues in Portland for the next few years, and then I am planning to obtain my master’s degree in social work with a focus on community mental health within the next two years. Afterwards, I plan on becoming a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and working in the field of mental health for as long as possible, working on individual, family and community empowerment. I am blessed to get to start a family, strive after God with all my heart, and be in a career that gives me energy and life. I am excited to see where the next steps lead!

Trevor Fekkes

Name: Trevor Fekkes
Hometown: Camano Island, Wash.
Major: Accounting

Q: How would you describe your experience at George Fox?
A: George Fox has been instrumental in shaping my personal and career growth. My professors, specifically Seth Sikkema and Josh Sauerwein, have prepared me well for life after Fox. They have had the biggest impact on my education and knowledge in accounting, as well as being great mentors. I feel blessed and lucky to have had them as professors.

My favorite memories will come from hanging out with my friends and roommates, playing Thursday night Frisbee and watching my Seahawks go all the way. I’ve learned to have a curious mind and that success comes from doing ordinary things extraordinarily well.

Q: How have you changed or grown since coming to George Fox?
A: My time at George Fox has solidified my vocation, my passions and my skills, which amazingly all come together in accounting. I came in as a freshman having a vague idea of what accounting entailed and why I wanted to pursue it, but as I studied more it became clear that it was a perfect fit for reasons I hadn't even considered. George Fox has given me opportunities to explore and expand upon my interest in accounting with a leadership role in the Accounting Club and an internship at an accounting firm, along with many other experiences.

Q: What’s next?
A: : I am blessed to have a wonderful job lined up in Seattle with Moss Adams, a regional accounting firm. I will start full time there as a tax accountant in January of 2015. Until then, I will be taking the CPA exam and working toward my Masters of Taxation from Golden Gate University. I really believe Moss Adams is where I am supposed to be and I love the firm, so I hope to stay there for the entirety of my career.

Kimberlee Hoecker

Name: Kimberlee Hoecker
Hometown: Albany, Ore.
Major: Nursing

Q: How would you describe your experience at George Fox? 
A: I have been so blessed by my time at George Fox. These last four years have been very challenging in many ways, but through it all I have found a great love and support within the George Fox community. I have had the opportunity to meet and share life with amazing people who I am sure will be lifelong friends. My professors have been wonderful and have supported and encouraged me as I have sought to deepen my faith and followed my dream of becoming a nurse. I have been blessed to be part of the Ambassadors family for four years, which has created countless memories (love my Ambies!). Another highlight from my time at Fox was going to Swaziland with summer serve. It was an amazing opportunity to see God at work in Africa and to learn about another culture. My faith has also been strengthened as I have learned a greater trust in God and his calling for my life. Coming into college and George Fox I wasn't quite sure what to expect, but looking back on these four years I am so thankful for the opportunities and experiences I have had.

Q: How have you changed or grown since coming to George Fox? 
A: I have learned so much since being at Fox, it would be impossible to fit in a paragraph, so instead I'll talk about one of my most pivotal moments. One day I woke up early in the morning for clinical feeling really tired and with little confidence to face the day ahead. I couldn't shake my feelings of doubt as I got in the car, so I prayed as I drove to the hospital. I can't say I felt instantly better but I felt more at peace as I walked into the hospital. A few hours into my shift one of my patients pulled me aside and said she needed to tell me something. As she began to speak I couldn't help but feel like God was speaking to me through my patient. She spoke to almost everything I prayed that morning in the car. It was in this moment that I was reminded that God is right beside us through every aspect of our lives. Even on a day when I didn't feel like I had the strength or energy he was right there to remind me that his promises are true. This experience also made me more confident than ever that I had chosen the right career.

Q: What’s next?
A: After graduation I will be working at Twin Rocks Friends Camp for the summer while I wait for my official RN licensure and look for job opportunities. I am currently searching for opportunities to provide pediatric nursing care in the hospital setting. My greatest interest is working in a neonatal intensive care unit, but I also really enjoyed my senior practicum in the emergency department, so I am also open to pursuing emergency medicine. When it comes down to it, though, I will be excited to pursue any opportunity that allows me to put all the hard work of nursing school into action and care for people. After gaining some nursing experience in the United States, I am hoping to go abroad to provide nursing care. I have a heart for Africa, but I am still open to where God might lead me.

Courtney Bennett

Name: Courtney Bennett
Hometown: Oregon City, Ore.
Major: Social Work

Q: How would you describe your experience at George Fox? 
A: I cannot believe I am weeks away from graduating. This school, along with the people I have built relationships with, have inspired and challenged me in ways I did not expect at all. I will remember late nights with the girls on my dorm floor (Penn 2!), adventures at the beach with friends, new experiences on the San Francisco serve trip, lunches and bonding with my beautiful cohort. My years here were so incredible! My social work professors have had a significant impact on my life. They poured their hearts and minds into my personal and professional development, and I will never forget the things they have taught me. The girls in my cohort have been a great source of encouragement and support, and I feel so blessed to have spent this long with them. I have learned how to walk with people in times of difficulty and help them in the long process toward healing and restoration. Most importantly, I have learned how to be a faithful follower of Jesus in any circumstance.

Q: How have you changed or grown since coming to George Fox?
A: I have grown exponentially since coming to George Fox as a little freshman. Reflecting back I am overwhelmed by the changes. I don’t think I have a specific turning point, but rather a gradual process. I was blessed to become involved in a church community that encouraged, challenged and supported me in my faith. I have a better understanding of my Creator, the story of humanity, and the role I am called to play in it. My relationships with peers, professors and mentors have given me a completely new perspective on being intentional and compassionate in relationships. I feel much more confident in my identity in Christ, and I can honestly say Fox has played a huge role in this.

Q: What's next?
A: After graduation my plan is to find a job within the social work field. I am open to where God is leading me and am trying to prayerfully discern the next step in that journey. My heart is for children and families who are overwhelmed and experiencing a range of difficulties, focusing on child maltreatment. I hope to spend several years working with this population, and then go back to grad school to get my masters in social work. While this plan could change quite a bit over the next few years, I would love to be a child and family counselor (and become a registered play therapist) working with children experiencing trauma and abuse.

Benjamin Holtrop

Name: Benjamin Holtrop
Hometown: Independence, Ore.
Major: Art (concentration in studio art)

Q: How would you describe your experience at George Fox?
A: My experience at George Fox has been one that has deeply influenced my life. I have learned so much about community, trust and faith through faculty and friends. I can remember freshman year being so excited to be part of this community and thinking to myself, “I have four years of this!” and being super excited. I have grown so much in my decision-making; and through mistakes, papers and tests, I have found that life is short so just go for it. The grace that is shown at Fox has allowed me to really learn about myself and to honestly ask questions about life. I can't believe that those four years are rapidly coming to a close. I will truly miss this place.

Q: How have you changed or grown since coming to George Fox?
A: I think one way I have changed since being here is definitely the way I interact with people. I have always been a social person, but Fox has really taught me to be intentional with those around me. I have learned to listen more and to really love people for who they are regardless of where they have come from. I have also learned that doing what you love is so important. Passion and hard work will go far, people are meant to be loved, and don't sit on the canyon benches unless you really have to. Those are some of the lessons that I have learned while walking the paths of George Fox.

Q: What's next?
A: What’s next? Well, that’s the question I keep asking myself. I will take one or two years off of school and during that time will continue to run my own photography business and pursue freelance art direction and editorial photography for some lifestyle quarterly publications. At some point, the plan is to attend graduate school and get my MFA. I know for now I want to be creative no matter what form that might look like, and that to me is pretty exciting.

UPDATE: I was recently hired as a curator for Visual Supply Co. (VSCO). I am really excited about this new opportunity! According to their website, "VSCO is an art and technology company building an ecosystem of digital tools, services and community for modern creatives.”

I will be located in their Colorado Springs office working full time on the VSCO team. I will be curating images for the curated VSCO Grid, which is a photo-sharing platform, consistent with the artistic perspective of VSCO. I will also be discovering talent from the VSCO creative community to be featured in the VSCO Journal and will be rating images in relation to others to be featured on the VSCO Grid and VSCO Journal. I will also be helping the team with developing some new photo projects coming up.

Miranda DeVore

Name: Miranda DeVore
Hometown: Canby, Ore.
Major: Art (concentration in studio art)

Q: How would you describe your experience at George Fox? 
A: My experience here at Fox has been the most shaping part of my life thus far. The input that the community has put into me in what growth, care and intentionality is supposed be has set my heart on track for a path that is diligent and humbled. Of the time that I have had here I will forever remember December my freshman year. My floor, fellow students, faculty and staff came around my family and I as we struggled through the loss of my father Russ DeVore, who was previously the director of academic computing for the IT department. Since that point in time, those who were part of the struggle, and even those who weren’t, have supported me and my every endeavor, pushing me to be the best and to not allow me to let this moment in time break my very being. For me to single out one person for recognition wouldn't be true to how much impact so many have had on me here. So what I will say is that those who read this who know me, you know who you are. No matter how big or small the part you have played in my time here I thank you for your honest kindness and dependability.

Q: How have you changed or grown since coming to George Fox? 
A: Fox has grown me into being a person who has open eyes to the differences between one another, but at the very same time seeing how that binds each of us together. I never knew how community was supposed to function like the body, given its various talents and skills, until I came to this place where family took on meaning – the true meaning that we are all brothers and sisters in Christ. No matter how cliché of a line that can be, it rings true here.

Q: What's next? 
A: Upon leaving Fox with a bachelor’s degree in May I will be starting Lewis & Clark's MAT middle/high school art education program in June 2014. This program is to help me in my pursuit of educating the future. I want to be a part of young minds, to teach them the very things I have learned here, to give them a taste of truth so that they might want to seek it out for themselves, whether it be through art or some other skill. I strongly believe in the importance of my liberal arts education here, and I want to teach students to see how everything overlaps and works together to complete a whole society. I don’t know if this additional degree will lead me into a public- or private-school setting; it could even mean working with students in various environments. I just know that I have been called to hang out and teach the most trying changing time in a person’s life.

McKenzie Wolfe

Name: McKenzie Wolfe
Hometown: Newberg, Ore.
Major: Accounting
 
Q: How would you describe your experience at George Fox?
A: My experience at George Fox is one that I will always treasure and look back on. While at Fox I have been pushed and pulled in all areas of my life, shaping me into the person I am today. This was an amazing place for me to grow as a student, an athlete, as a follower of Christ and as a friend. I don’t think there is one person from Fox that I could attribute these to or who has had a distinct impact on my life. Rather, several professors, coaches, teammates and friends have all had a hand in influencing my life. That is one of the things that I learned during my time here; no matter how long your relationship may be with someone at Fox, they could have a huge impact on your life.

Not only was I able to focus on my studies at Fox, I was also able to participate on the women’s basketball team all four years and travel to Europe for Juniors Abroad. One of my favorite memories was definitely having the opportunity to participate in the championship game of the Division III National Tournament. It was an amazing experience – to reach your goal and see the fruits of all the hard work we put into the season. Every year I’ve participated on the basketball team has pushed me and shaped me into becoming a better leader, friend and woman of God.

Q: How have you changed or grown since coming to George Fox?
A: The biggest challenge that caused me to grow was deciding on my major. This was an extremely hard process for me, trying to find my calling and tying it to a dependable career. It caused me to put a lot of trust in Christ, that he would show me his path for me. Choosing a major also made me focus on what I wanted and not what my parents or others wanted from me. This was solely my decision and caused me to depend on myself and make a decision that was for me. Even after choosing my major of accounting I was still hesitant to claim this as my future career, but Christ opened many doors for me that would have remained closed if this wasn’t in his plan.

Q: What's next?
A: After graduating from Fox I will be working at an accounting firm in downtown Portland called Moss Adams, starting in mid-October. There, I will be working as a staff accountant in either the tax or audit department. Before starting work I will be studying to pass the CPA exams this summer and hopefully travel. Through this opportunity at Moss Adams, I hope it will prepare me for any changes that may occur in my career and future goals.

Annie Stewart

Name: Annie Stewart
Hometown: Chatham, Mass.
Major: Sociology, concentrating in Global and Cultural Studies and minor in Women’s Studies

Q: How would you describe your experience at George Fox? 
A: I will remember the people here more than anything – people who have encouraged me in my gifts and walked alongside me in my weaknesses. Without a doubt, Melanie Hulbert has made the biggest impression on me, both academically and personally. Coming into Fox, she was one of my first professors, and in the past year or two she has also become my mentor, friend, my biggest cheerleader, and TRULY, one of the most inspirational individuals I have ever met. I know my friendship with her will only continue as the years roll on. Her work ethic, her drive, her words of encouragement and support, her door that is always wide open (both literally and metaphorically) to her students, and our shared passion for equality of all persons is inspirational. Every single class (Race and Ethnicity stands out as the class that had the largest impact on me; it was out of this class that I was a member of a focus group) I have taken with her has shaped me in very specific ways. I leave her classes feeling even more convinced of why sociology is the perfect fit for me. She has inspired me to use my sociological background to make this world a better place, to take a stand, take part in ending injustice, to be a voice for the voiceless. In addition to Melanie, Clint and Sarah Baldwin, Kathy Heininge and Abigail Rine greatly influenced me, and I count each of them as someone I have enormous respect for. There is so much I could say about each of these wonderful people. What I will say is that they have each played a part in my development. They have each –in different ways – contributed to my chosen vocation.

It has been at Fox where I have become absolutely convinced of what I want to pursue in the future. This has been due to the classes I have taken, attending Center for Peace and Justice events (and having the privilege to be a CPJ intern this semester), being a member of our IJM chapter and studying abroad. Wherever I go, I know my purpose is to walk alongside other women as they learn to lead lives of dignity and empowerment. This is my call, this is my passion, this is my purpose – this is what God has put on my heart to do.

Q: How have you changed or grown since coming to George Fox? 
My turning point of change was in Thailand, where I studied abroad in spring semester 2013. In fall semester 2013, I started a support group for those struggling with eating disorders and disordered eating, called Redeeming Life. Additionally, I also coordinated and planned George Fox events during National Eating Disorder Awareness Week (Feb. 25-March 1), where I hosted a discussion panel and a documentary night, all for the purpose of educating my community about the stark reality of eating disorders and disordered eating. As part of my internship with the Center for Peace and Justice, I also hosted an on-campus showing and discussion of the film Half the Sky (Turning Oppression Into Opportunity For Women Worldwide). These were turning points for me, as I stepped into something I had not done before (planning entire events and also hosting said events). This gave me immense confidence in my abilities, which I know will serve me well in the future. I have learned that I am an idealist by nature; I am a visionary. It has also been a wonderful experience to learn how to translate my vision into reality.

That was a quite large change for me, but there have been smaller changes along the way. The most significant “small” change (although it’s really not that small!) has been the merging of what I once believed were divergent identities: Christian and feminist. Before coming to Fox, I struggled with how these two identities can exist together. I used to say, “Well, I am a feminist BUT ...” I would feel the need to defend myself, because the word "feminist" is sadly a loaded word. Now, I KNOW that these two aspects of my identity actually walk hand-in-hand and one cannot exist with the other. My feminism is directly correlated to my faith (thank you, Sarah Baldwin!). I now say with pride and confidence that I am a feminist. I hope that in the future people won’t feel the need to defend that word, that the myths and stereotypes that have existed for centuries can slowly be dismantled, as we come to realize (as I have) that a feminist is anyone who believes in the equality of all persons. Along those same lines of equality, it has also been here where my passion for peace and justice was brought to an entire new level. My passion for peace and justice, particularly as this pertains to the status of women, is what I will pursue in whatever community I find myself in.

Q: What’s next?
A: I went to Argentina with Summer Serve in May and then will go back to the East Coast to work for the rest of the summer. I applied to several internships for next year. Ideally, I would love to spend a year with Sojourners in Washington D.C. or IJM U.K. (International Justice Mission) in England. I had an interview with IJM UK, and they are making their final decision in the next week or so. I hope to intern with a not-for-profit organization for a year, as my goal is to one day work (or start my own) for an organization that works to walk alongside women as they break free of their bondages, whether that “bondage” may be a life of sex slavery, an eating disorder or other addictions. It blows my mind that I even was given an interview with IJM, as I have been supporting their work since I was 16, which is when I first became passionate about ending modern-day slavery. I would love to intern with IJM and to one day work there full time, if God would open that door.

I have thought about going on to graduate school in the future, but I want to take a year off first. As far as grad school goes, I want to invest in a program that combines my two greatest passions: my interest in international development and my passion for the empowerment of women.

UPDATE:

In September I'm moving to England for a year, where I'll be a communications intern at (International Justice Mission) IJM UK!
Kris Trindle

Name: Kris Trindle
Hometown: Portland, Ore.
Major: Spanish

Q: How would you describe your experience at George Fox?
A: I am who I am today because of my time here at George Fox. As someone who wasn't “raised in the church,” as they say, I came to Fox shortly after deciding to take the whole faith thing seriously. The result of this timely decision was four years of growth and a strong foundation – a foundation in which I found my worth, identity, and hope in a loving father who never ceases to be at my side, despite my doubts and fears.

I had the unique opportunity to study abroad twice during my time at Fox. In the fall of my junior year I went to Sevilla, Spain and in the fall of my senior year I went to Portobelo, Panama. God used both experiences to mold me and challenge me in different ways. When I left for Spain I was carrying a lot of personal burdens, and God used that time to remind me of my freedom and to give me the space to experience new places, people and cultures. God used my time in Panama to teach me how to walk confidently no matter where I’m at and to slow down enough to see his people/creation. The foundation I built at Fox made it possible for me to go to these different places and still feel rooted. And I always had a family to come back to upon returning.

Q: How have you changed or grown since coming to George Fox?
A: Since I first started at Fox, I feel like a completely different person with a whole new perspective. After graduating high school I thought I had everything all figured out and that I was the person I would be for the rest of my life. I was wrong. I used to try to go at life alone and never saw the importance of community. People at Fox continually show me just how wrong that assumption is. I am more relational than I have ever been and value the chance to live in a community of believers like the one here at Fox. As God has used others to show me the value of living relationally, I have come to see him in a new light as well. Now that I somewhat grasp how my earthy relationships should function, I can now see my relationship with God on a more personal level.

Q: What’s next?
A: I am currently in the interview process at the Luis Palau Association. It is going well so far, but I don't have a definitive answer yet. As a Spanish major and writing minor, a nonprofit organization like Luis Palau would be a perfect starting point. Over the past four years I’ve met a lot of people working for some worthy causes all over the world. Through discussion and observation of these people, I too want to find a cause I believe in, and pour myself into it. Though there is still a lot of unknown, I’m not stressing about it. I trust that an opportunity will arise and that my identity is not based on whether or not I get this job. It's exciting to think about what's next. I look forward to being able to contribute to the world around me, and to bring the person that this place has made me, into whatever comes next.

UPDATE: Something exciting has transpired in the last couple days that was completely unexpected. On Tuesday I got a call from YD Adventures (Youth Dynamics) offering me a position this summer. It is at Stonewater Ranch near Leavenworth, Wash. ... YD is an outdoor ministry and I am very much into outdoor activities, so of course I said yes and am now rushing around trying to pack and say my goodbyes. I will be trained in rock climbing, rafting, backpacking, wilderness first aid, and other things as well. I am beyond excited but also a little overwhelmed/terrified! On Monday I had nothing planned and all of the sudden I am committed to 4 months of volunteering.

It is one of those opportunities that literally fell right into my lap and I knew it was one of those things I couldn't in good conscience turn down. Even though it is a little scary because it isn't paid, I'm taking a leap of faith and trusting that this is something good, and something that God will use during this crazy transition stage of my life.

Kacee Woods

Name: Kacee Woods
Hometown: Federal Way, Wash.

Major: Art (concentration in fashion merchandising)

Q: How would you describe your experience at George Fox? 
A: My experience at George Fox has been both enriching and fulfilling. I have learned a lot about myself and what I can contribute to the world around me. I have grown spiritually and love the atmosphere and the ability to “Be Known” on campus. I have met some people whom I consider to be lifelong friends and am grateful for the space Fox provides to grow relationally. Above all, I will remember the people and the impact they’ve had on my life – my roommates especially. Whether it’s holding each other accountable, laughing for no reason at the crack of dawn, or having intimate conversations at 3 in the morning, I have been extremely blessed by the relationships I have built with my roommates. I am truly grateful for the opportunity Fox has afforded me to be surrounded by some amazing people.

Q: How have you changed or grown since coming to George Fox? 
A: Since coming to George Fox I have changed the way that I think about things. I used to be someone who didn't really embrace change, and through my interactions with others I have learned to have more grace and just go with the flow. A lot of unexpected things happen in life, and you have to be able to let God lead and not try to take the lead yourself. Our help comes from the Lord, not our own might. A specific experience that had a significant impact on me while at Fox was experiencing Walkabout as an RA (resident assistant). As part of our journey hiking the South Sister, we summitted the mountain! Eight years ago I was told I’d never walk again and even hiking part of the mountain seemed impossible. As we stood atop the mountain I was reminded of God's faithfulness and just how AWESOME he is! Before I left, it looked like a scary thing that was impossible to do, but after the fact my mind-set changed. God was with me the whole way and will continue to walk with me throughout life. It was definitely a moment I'll never forget!

Q: What’s next?
A: The age-old question: what's next? As a fashion merchandising major, I'll be working in retail gaining more experience that will prepare me for a career in retail management. I’m currently anticipating a summer internship with Nordstrom in their Retail Management Internship program, which will provide me with a paid internship over the summer, followed by a job offer in sales or management. I’ll be traveling to Texas for the internship. Later on down the road I am interested in grad school, either for organizational leadership or seminary.

Elena De Jesus Hernandez

Name: Elena De Jesus Hernandez
Hometown: Hillsboro, Ore.
Major: Social Work

Q: How would you describe your experience at George Fox? 
A: My experience at George Fox was incredibly life changing. I met wonderful people who are committed to love God and love people. I thank God for all the amazing people he placed in my life as an undergraduate student. I am so grateful for my wonderful three friends – Jodi Van Gorkom, Francisca Machic and Anna Thomas. They truly impacted my life and shaped me as an individual. We faced challenges and difficulties, but we supported each other every step of the way. I am also thankful for my friends and professors from the social work department. I felt a true sense of community and belonging as a member of the social work program.

My most significant and valuable experience at George Fox was developing and practicing my professionalism through internship experiences. I learned to think critically, engage in evidence-based practices, conduct research, apply theory into practice, and respond resourcefully and proactively. Through rigorous internship experiences, I am confident that I am a competent professional. I am thankful to the social work department for preparing me with essential competencies to enter into the workforce.

Q: How have you changed or grown since coming to George Fox? 
A: George Fox University prepared me with a greater vision to serve God through my social work profession. A turning point for me was when I studied abroad in South Africa. God open my eyes to learning and understanding myself, my family, my community, and my role as a global citizen. My time in South Africa was transformative as I developed a deeper understanding of God’s calling in my life, both in my local community and the international community. I returned to George Fox with a greater motivation to learn and live according to God’s will.

Q: What's next?
A: This fall I will attend the MAT program at George Fox. My passion is to make a difference in the education system. I hope to return to my community to serve as an educator and empower the next generation of change-agents. As I continue to develop my professionalism, my ultimate goal is to become a university professor and researcher.

Kailee Athena Marie Willard

Name: Kailee Athena Marie Willard
Hometown: Walla Walla, Wash.
Major: Accounting

Q: How would you describe your experience at George Fox? 
A: My experience at George Fox has been nothing but great. I can’t describe how meaningful it was to have professors who cared about me, faculty that were always willing to help out, and friends that I know will last a lifetime. A few of my professors – Seth Sikkema, Josh Sauerwein and Lauri Smith – played an especially big role in my experience here. They were always pushing me to do my best, encouraging me to pursue my dreams, and challenging me in my walk with Christ. Without them, my college experience would definitely not be the same!

Q: How have you changed or grown since coming to George Fox?
A: I believe I have changed immensely since coming to Fox. Starting out as a freshman, I was very insecure with who I was and what I wanted to accomplish, too timid to speak up or ask questions in classes, and reluctant to step outside of my comfort zone. However, over the course of the last four years, all of that has changed. I am more confident in myself and what I know I can accomplish, have learned the value of asking questions, and am secure in who I believe God has created me to be.

Q: What's next? 
A: After graduation, I will be starting my job as an accountant for the Walla Walla District U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. I was so honored to be offered the position at the end of my internship last summer and can’t wait to start my career there!

Lindsay Denluck

Name: Lindsay Denluck
Hometown: Corvallis, Ore.
Major: Biochemistry

Q: How would you describe your experience at George Fox?
A: My experience at Fox has fundamentally impacted the way I will live my life. I really learned to love learning here, not only about science, but about everything that surrounds me. My professors fostered an environment where students are encouraged to ask questions and seek out truths in all areas of their lives. I really thrived in this, and I transformed from a timid, insecure student to a scholar over these past four years. My faith has grown exponentially as I have seen God work on and through this campus in so many different ways. I have also been so blessed in the community I have found here. That “Be Known” slogan is no joke.

Q: How have you changed or grown since coming to George Fox? 
A: I look back at the person I was when I moved into my dorm room in August 2010 and I can't believe it was me. I started out that year so terrified of the challenge of college and I truly believed I couldn't do it. I have gained so much confidence and so much security in myself as an image-bearer of God, as a scientist, and as a member of a community. I have been so blessed by the support of the faculty members in my department. I learned to challenge myself, to take risks, and to grow from every experience.

Q: What's next? 
A: I have been accepted to Oregon State University’s Environmental and Molecular Toxicology PhD program, so my husband and I are headed home to Corvallis! I've been preparing for this program since my freshman year and I am beyond thrilled that I get to live this dream.

Casey Siuniak

Name: Casey Siuniak
Hometown: Santa Paula, Calif.
Major: Engineering (concentration in electrical)

Q: How would you describe your experience at George Fox? 
A: I will remember my engineering professors, and how they all were great role models of how to be a Christian in a secular-dominated field. I think that there are many people who believe that Christianity and science do not go together; you can either be a believer of science or a Christian. However, my professors have shown me that is not true – you can be a great physicist, scientist or engineer and still be a strong Christian.

My freshman-year roommate, Jessica Spivey, has had a big impact on my life. We have lived together three out of four years during our time here, and I could not have asked for a better friend and roommate. I am so thankful that we were placed together as roommates – otherwise I don’t think we would have ever even become friends. She has been a great example to me of what it is to be a Christian. She is truly one of the most honest, hardworking, Christ-loving, loyal people I have ever met. She has really served as an inspiration to me during my time here, and I believe that she will be a lifelong friend, long after Fox.

Q: How have you changed or grown since coming to George Fox? 
A: Through my four years of engineering here at Fox, I gained confidence in my abilities. My first semester of freshman year, I had to build an air engine. I had absolutely no confidence that I was going to be able to do it. Each year I was given more projects, and each year I was less and less apprehensive. I think the biggest turning point for me was my spring semester of junior year. It is well known among the electrical engineering students that this semester is the most demanding. We had two different and demanding projects for two engineering classes, and I remember being worried that I wasn’t going to be able to complete either of them. However, just like with all the other projects, they worked in the end. Now, when I am given a project, although I still do not know exactly how they will get done, I am confident that they will be.

Q: What's next? 
A: I start work July 1 at Lattice Semiconductor in Hillsboro, Ore. I will be working in the Reliability Group. Reliability focuses primarily on ensuring that the parts can perform reliably under extreme circumstances. For example, one of the tests performed is called the HTOL test, which stands for High Temperature Operating Life. The parts are put into an oven that gets really hot and are tested to make sure they can operate at high temperatures. Specifically, I will be working on pattern development, which means I will be writing code that is programmed onto an FPGA (a type of integrated circuit) to test if it is still functioning once it is put under stressful conditions.

Jahnathon Lee Larson

Name: Jahnathon Lee Larson
Hometown: Antioch, Calif.
Major: Biblical Studies

Q: How would you describe your experience at George Fox? 
A: I came to George Fox after spending six years in the military and an additional five years working construction. Being an older student with some life experience, the first word that I would use to describe George Fox would be “hopeful.” One of my professors, Brian Doak, often explains that personal growth occurs through a process of orientation, disorientation and then finding new orientation. I have had the privilege of watching this loss of naiveté and the resultant struggle for meaning, first in a world without the ever-present light of Christ, then here at George Fox where Christ is proclaimed. To see how people find new orientation in these different settings has illuminated the universality of the human condition, the power of hope in God, the hope that I have lost, and what it means to trust in God again.

Q: How have you changed or grown since coming to George Fox? 
A: I have grown quite a bit, and in many ways, since coming to George Fox. Like most students, I recognize the knowledge that I have acquired, my improved ability to process through this information, and my newfound effectiveness in articulating my thoughts. These last three years have helped refine my ability to think.

This brings me to the greatest change that I have seen in myself since I came to George Fox. When I arrived, I was a construction worker who doubted his place in a classroom. However, this self-image was challenged by one professor after another. Rather than seeing myself as an impostor in the academic world, I was told that I belong here. In fact, one professor, Tim Tsohantaridis, pulled me aside and said that if I stopped after George Fox, it would be a waste. With enthusiastic encouragement from many of my professors, I decided to go to grad school.

Q: What’s next?
A: So, as I said, grad school is in my future. I was recently accepted at Yale Divinity School to continue studying the Bible in their masters of religion program. It’s a two-year program designed to prepare for doctoral work, and I am both scared and excited to be moving to Connecticut this August. I have no idea, at this point, what doors this will open, or where God will lead me from there, but I have learned to accept the inevitability of uncertainty. The fact that the future is a blank slate where God has endless possibilities to move and guide me has become my reality. This is my new orientation.

Rachel Rudeen

Name: Rachel Rudeen
Hometown: Osage City, Kan.
Major: Art (concentration in studio art)

Q: How would you describe your experience at George Fox?
A: My experience at George Fox was influenced greatly by one major component: community. This is one of Fox’s greatest focuses, and it honestly characterizes every aspect of my college experience. I found community within my freshman residence hall from which I still have close friendships; I found community within the art department as I learned and became close with the extremely talented art students and faculty; I found community within George Fox University as a whole as I pursued a liberal arts education; and I found community overseas as I studied abroad for a semester in Thailand. Many aspects of my life experienced incredible formation – spiritually, emotionally, mentally. So many relationships became dear to me; I found new family while at Fox. It truly became a home away from home as I ventured out to Oregon from Kansas!

Some of my most fond memories include gathering with fellow art majors and friends at Mark and Missy Terry’s house just to hang out and drink tea and eat cookies (they are incredibly delicious) every Tuesday night. It is a lovely tradition that was always a welcome escape from the stresses of homework and deadlines! Furthermore, Oregon is a land that never ceases to provide a beautifully epic adventure, and my friends and I went on many of those whenever we could spare a weekend. George Fox was also the place where I was introduced to Gungor, Josh Garrels and many guest speakers who imparted much of their great wisdom upon me and fellow students. And I cannot leave out the many life-giving retreats that George Fox would put on, whether they were all-campus retreats, art retreats, or women’s retreats. It can’t get much better than only paying $15 for a weekend of music, friends, free food, the coast ... Need I say more?

Q: How have you changed or grown since coming to George Fox?
A: It is hard to pinpoint specific moments in which I grew or changed at George Fox. The entire three and a half years was a formational journey, and I could feel myself being molded throughout it all. I definitely grew in my artistic abilities. It is at George Fox that I learned and pursued ceramics, which became my main medium for my senior art exhibition and is something I would like to continue pursuing in the future. I was also able to explore my interest in nursing, and that interest was fostered as I learned under the fantastic teachings of the science professors.

Apart from academic growth, I experienced much relational and spiritual growth as well. Being the fourth of five children, I oftentimes felt I did not know my true identity growing up. Moving to a place where I knew no one, and entering into a university that valued being “known,” I finally had an opportunity to discover who I was as I allowed myself to be vulnerable and open in meeting an entirely new community. Being somewhat of an introvert, meeting new people was never a comfortable phenomenon for me, but those I met at George Fox made that easy and enjoyable. Furthermore, I experienced God in ways I never had before, despite growing up as a pastor’s kid. The opportunity to study abroad stretched me in ways I could have never imagined, especially spiritually, and that trip would not have been possible if I did not go to Fox.

Q: What's next?
A: The summer before completing my final semester, I got married, which has greatly influenced future plans! In August, we will be moving back to Kansas where my husband will be going to graduate school for his PhD in chemistry. Meanwhile, my plan will be to find a studio where I can continue doing ceramics, and hopefully next fall I will attend an accelerated nursing school. I would love to someday work as a nurse in a birthing center.

It is hard to predict what will happen beyond the four to five years of my husband’s PhD program, but I would love to return to the Pacific Northwest if God leads us back here. We both would love to travel as well, and hope to do a post-doctoral program somewhere overseas. Until that new journey begins, though, my plan is to enjoy Oregon to the fullest this summer. Many hikes, backpacking trips and berry-picking excursions are in the works!

Alex Inzhirov

Name: Alex Inzhirov
Hometown: Woodburn, Ore. (born in Izyum, Ukraine)
Major: Accounting & Finance (double major)

Q: How would you describe your experience at George Fox?
A: George Fox provided me with great experiences and opportunities for learning. These four years have gone by fast but they were filled with memories and growth both spiritually and academically. I have been prepared for life after Fox thanks to my professors, who were effective in teaching and taking time out of their busy schedules to sit down and talk about things beyond education and career. I appreciate the time spent here, and a special thanks to Josh Sauerwein and Seth Sikkema for making accounting fun while still teaching me what I will need to know for my career.

I will remember the Christ-like environment and community that I have really enjoyed at Fox, as it will be different in the business world. I’m thankful for all of my friends and family who supported me and were there in the difficult times. Being at Fox has taught me to continue learning and growing, always.

Q: How have you changed or grown since coming to George Fox?
A: Coming in as a freshman I didn’t really know what I wanted to do or which field to go into, and I stayed undeclared until my sophomore year. All I knew is that I liked working with numbers and that’s what I wanted to do after graduation. It came together after taking my first accounting class and a finance class the following semester – at that point I knew the field I wanted to go into and whom I was called to be. I have grown in my knowledge of accounting and finance as well as learning about other areas of business.

I have also grown spiritually since coming to Fox thanks to the opportunity to take a few Bible classes and learning more about Christ and how to live out life for him. I grew up in a church and have been a Christian my whole life, but it’s one thing to grow up in the church as compared to going deeper and growing in my personal faith and relationship with Christ.

Q: What's next?
A: Last summer I was blessed to have an internship with Moss Adams LLP, the biggest accounting firm on the West Coast, which resulted in a job offer. I’m thankful for the opportunity to work for Moss Adams. I learned many new things, but what I liked most was the culture and that the little things clicked and I felt like I belonged there. I am looking forward to starting there full time in June and working on my CPA exams between graduation and during the summer (I’m hoping to pass them all ASAP!). I am hoping to do some traveling in the years to come and to live my life for Christ – to lead by example and be a light to this world.

Jordan Keagle

Name: Jordan Keagle
Hometown: Salem, Ore.
Major: History & Biblical Studies (double major)

Q: How would you describe your experience at George Fox?
A: My experience at Fox has been more rewarding than I ever could have hoped. I have been blessed to be a part of two amazing and supportive academic communities: the departments of history and religious studies. Professors in both fields consistently pushed me to become a better scholar and prodded me into taking advantage of opportunities, including adding a second major, participating in the Richter Scholars program, applying to graduate school and getting my work published. Although I was often reluctant, they have yet to steer me wrong. As I move forward to pursue history professionally, two of George Fox’s historians stand out, exemplifying for me what I want to be as a researcher and as a teacher. Early in my time at Fox, Paul Otto appointed himself my mentor and never let go of me. Under his guidance, I took my first steps toward becoming a real historian. I’ve never met another scholar with as much enthusiasm for his subject than Paul. In the classroom, none can surpass Kerry Irish. He is a performer as much as a lecturer, with his booming voice and a penchant for theatricality, and it’s effective. Kerry never fails to make the history the star of the show. The guiding principle for my own lectures will be, “Would Kerry give this?”

Q: How have you changed or grown since coming to George Fox?
A: One of the greatest gifts that I am taking with me as I leave Fox is an understanding of how to engage with my faith both spiritually and intellectually. Approaching the Bible academically connected with me in a way that other types of study never did. The professors with whom I had Bible courses – Brian Doak, Tim Tsohantaridis and Steve Sherwood in particular – made it clear to me that I could ask questions, challenge assumptions, and dig deeper into the Bible without leaving behind my faith or my convictions.

Q: What's next?
A: In August, I’m moving to the Los Angeles area to attend the University of Southern California. I have been awarded a Dornsife Doctoral Fellowship to pursue a PhD in American history with a focus on the 19th-century American West. Although I am loath to leave my native Oregon, I am excited for the opportunities ahead of me in California. Upon completion of my doctoral program, I would like to become a university professor so I can engage in research as well as teach.

Jamie Neavill

Name: Jamie Neavill
Hometown: Oregon City, Ore.
Major: Spanish & International Studies (double major)

Q: How would you describe your experience at George Fox?
A: It has been beautiful. I think once I leave Newberg, I will remember the community, the security of the town and the campus, the exciting pace of life that was organized by classes and activities, meals with friends and weekend adventures. I will remember much laughter, and many heartfelt, searching conversations with peers and professors.

I’ve learned so many ideas and been influenced strongly by the literature of Wendell Berry, Lisa McMinn, Saint Augustine and Samantha Powers. I’ve learned about simple living, healthy cooking, friendship, faith, cultural challenges, the plight of the Latin American immigrant, fresh food, farming, the beauty and necessity of daily interaction with nature to center myself, the joy of children, the freedom in dance, the governmental system, intercultural relationships, isolation and belonging, individualism and collectivism, Christian and human responsibility, and the list goes on.

Q: How have you changed or grown since coming to George Fox?
A: Before Fox, I had rough ideas of how the world should be and how I felt. Coming here I had some of those ideas affirmed and others I left behind as I understood better ideas/opinions. Now I have a framework of how the world is and how it ought to be – or how the kingdom of God looks – and I have educated ideas for how things could realistically change. I have much hope for the world.

I’ve really just learned a lot about myself through enduring and transitory friendships. I've grown deeper into recognizing purpose and meaning in life and been able to step back from my childhood black and white “Christian faith” to see much gray and much room for love and grace. I've questioned foundational pieces of faith in a safe and open space. I've been challenged by friends and professors, and felt undeserved steadfast love from them as well.

I think I’ve also become more aware of some of the harsh realities of violence and exploitation in the world, and so approach my loves of pacifism and idealism with that grain of gravity.

Q: What’s next?
A: This summer I’ll be staying in the intentional living community house of 603, working at Ray’s (the local fruit market), hopefully doing a good amount of gardening and participating in the local church, and spending time with my family in the Portland area. After this summer, I may be heading south to work on farms and experience more of Latin America through World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms, or working with a nonprofit organization that works to make the world a little brighter and a little more collective for the marginalized. I just want to live well and do meaningful work in community.

Andrew Janzen

Name: Andrew Janzen
Hometown: Portland, Ore.
Major: Engineering (concentration in electrical)

Q: How would you describe your experience at George Fox? 
A: My Fox experience has been an amazing growing process. It went by very quickly. Much of my time was spent in the lab or working on homework; I loved it. Being at Fox has equipped me with the knowledge and skills to do effective engineering design and has given me a structured framework to learn new information.

There are a few people who have made a significant impact on my life while at Fox. Dr. John Natzke, George Kirkwood, Dr. Ed Godshalk and Joe Stupak have been amazing mentors who have gone out of their way to make me not just a better engineer, but a better person. They have worked with me on building circuits, gaining a deeper understanding of the engineering I was doing, and challenging me to do my best. I will forever be grateful for their support.

My engineering training at George Fox has taught me to think like an engineer, to believe that there is a solution before I even start solving the problem, and motivated me to strive for excellence. I have learned to be encouraging, to understand the importance of working with classmates and finding mentors who are doing what I want to do, and to choose to enjoy whatever I am working on. I do my best to go the extra mile when working on projects, always asking, “How can I challenge myself on this problem? How can I take this project from being neat to being awesome?” Personally, I have learned to schedule time to do the things that are important to me – such as spending time with friends and family. If I don't, it doesn’t happen.

Q: How have you changed or grown since coming to George Fox? 
A: During the last four years I have had many experiences that have changed and matured me. As a senior in high school, I never would have planned on being where I am today. I have seen many times where, in retrospect, the hand of God has guided my decisions. Even some of my engineering mistakes have turned out to teach me valuable life lessons. For example, the summer of my junior year I was given the opportunity to research magnetic battery designs with Dr. John Natzke. Come to find out, the physics behind the device operation never would have worked – and I proved that in the lab – but the experience taught me the importance of really doing my homework and not believing everything I read, no matter how many patents the concept is based on. Throughout my time at Fox I have gained confidence that I can solve problems, even if I begin not even knowing where to start. There are many amazing students at George Fox, and meeting many of them gave me an opportunity to make and cultivate deep friendships. Going through the rigorous engineering program at Fox highlighted that life is much like running a marathon – living a balanced life and pacing yourself gets you further in the long run than sprinting.

Q: What's next? 
A: This summer I will be working developing magnetic instrumentation at Oersted Technology, and I will be studying electrical engineering at Caltech this fall. In the next few years I plan on getting a masters and PhD in electrical engineering, and then I am considering starting a business in the electrical engineering field. My long-term goal is to use my life and my engineering training to serve God, help others, and be a blessing.

Zach Hegelmeyer

Name:  Zach Hegelmeyer
Hometown: Crescent City, Calif.
Major: Organizational Communication

Q: How would you describe your experience at George Fox? 
A: When I look back at my time here, I see a multitude of amazing people I got to know and countless memories I will always cherish. However, many of these moments began as challenges. I came to Fox to play baseball for a highly respected program. Although my classes have been awesome in preparing me to succeed in the future, my four years as a player on the George Fox University baseball team have forced me to come face-to-face with adversity and prevail over it. One of my assistant coaches, Randy Rutschman, taught me how to embrace these challenges with a confident and positive mentality in order to conquer them. Life has a way of throwing curveballs, and after bouncing back from two severe injuries that I was told would end my athletic career, I had to find a way to win. That seemed to be the theme while I was here. Not that winning was most important – it was more about the character I built along the way. On the baseball team here we call each other family, but I have also felt this same characteristic extend to the university as a whole. With the support of some amazing professors, loyal friends and very special mentors, I can enter into a new chapter of my life with the confidence to excel at whatever I choose to do.

Q: How have you changed or grown since coming to George Fox?
A: My experience here at George Fox started out with me feeling somewhat like a foreigner. I had no family or friends in the Northwest, and my surfer/skater persona stuck out like a sore thumb. This turned out to be a vital trait that led me to the internship that opened a huge door for my future. Charles Choi, one of the professors in the Department of Communication Arts, ended up teaching several of the classes I had to take. Right off the bat, I connected with his passion for surfing and his Southern California roots. Coming into my senior year, I needed an internship for a semester in order to graduate, but I had not come across anything that really sparked my interest. I asked Charles to keep an eye out for any opportunity associated with action sports, particularly surfing. Somehow he met the event director of the only Oregon stop on the Big Wave World Tour and persuaded him to give me a shot at being his assistant. This required an ample amount of trust on Charles’ part, and I was determined not to let him down. The opportunity challenged me with tasks I knew nothing about and responsibilities that required me to think outside the box. My hard work during the fall and part of spring semester resulted in the first-ever sanctioned women’s big wave surfing event as a part of the men’s event. The Dive N’ Surf Oregon Pro featured 24 men and eight women and was broadcasted live globally through a webcast and nationally on the Universal Sports Network. It was a huge success and a lifetime dream come true.

Q: What's next? 
A: The plan after I graduate is a little up in the air, but with the connections I’ve made through my internship I hope to be working for Body Glove International in the fall. I had the pleasure of working alongside Robbie Meistrell, the CEO of Body Glove, and have the opportunity to pursue my dream of a career in the surfing industry. However, one of the things I love most about the company is that it extends beyond just surfing. They are also involved in the wakeboarding and diving industries, which could open up new and exciting opportunities. What draws me to this industry is the chance to travel the world and experience a variety of diverse cultures. Also, I look forward to transitioning from my George Fox baseball family to a company that considers its employees family and shares the mentality of wanting to help others.

Lacey McNay

Name: Lacey McNay
Hometown: Quincy, Wash.
Major: Elementary education

Q: How would you describe your experience at George Fox? 
A: Looking back, my experience at George Fox has formed a colorful and unique tapestry with relationships, fun and learning patched together with the red thread of Jesus weaved throughout it all. There are so many great memories that l will remember from my time here, including going on Walkabout; being the RA of Pennington 2; hiking up to Multnomah Falls at 11:30 p.m. with friends the Thursday before finals week; traveling through Europe on Juniors Abroad with some of my best friends; and getting to spend my senior year here with my sister Libby, who is a freshman!

Some of the people who have had the biggest impact on me would definitely be my professors. I admire the ways they have challenged me and offered me their support as I have learned about and tried my wings at teaching. They never hesitated to remind me to think critically and to try something new, whether it was a new way to teach a concept or to integrate technology into the classroom. There were times I would try something and it would completely flop, and yet they would be right there asking me how I could tweak it to make it work. They never gave up on me, and that is a gift I will always cherish!

Q: How have you changed or grown since coming to George Fox?
A: Each year, each month, each week, even each day, has held points of growth for me in my time at Fox. But I would say that a powerful turning point was after I returned home from Juniors Abroad. I had the privilege of traveling from Paris to Rome with 27 other wonderful people and seeing some of the most beautiful places in the world. I came away from the trip enriched not only by the culture I was able to experience, but also by the new friendships I made. But the biggest place of growth I saw was in myself. After my trip, I had a new perspective of the world and my life, and that brought with it a confidence that I have been able to take with me into to my teaching, friendships, faith, career goals and the new experiences that lie ahead of me after graduation.

Q: What’s next?
A: First, I will be heading home to Quincy, Wash., for the summer. Here I will be able to relax and gear up for my first job as a sixth-grade math and science teacher at East Elementary School. This job opportunity will mean moving to Tillamook, Ore., in mid-August, and I could not be more thrilled for this adventure! I am excited to live in such a beautiful location, and from what I have heard, a wonderful community. I will miss George Fox University, but the impact of my time here will go with me as I begin to teach the next generation of possible Bruins!

Annie Labunsky

Name: Annie Labunsky
Hometown:  Woodburn, Ore.
Major: Nursing

Q: How would you describe your experience at George Fox? 
A: When I reflect on my time at Fox I remember many rich experiences. Attending a Christ-centered university brought about blessings and unique lessons. It was interesting to learn about diverse faiths as well as see the different aspects of Christianity reflected in fellow students. As a nursing major who held multiple part-time jobs outside of school it was difficult to be a part of the Fox culture as much as I would’ve liked, but I enjoyed experiences like Serve Day and Juniors Abroad. I will never forget my experience abroad in Italy, Austria, France and Germany. The chance to immerse into the culture of these countries was the opportunity of a lifetime.

All the relationships I’ve gained while at Fox have had the biggest impact on my life. I’ve learned the value of friendship and strong relationships as well as the importance of giving support to others. I am thankful to the nursing staff, especially Lisa Bingham for always supporting my nursing class and making us feel like we were capable of achieving anything. She taught me that as long as I put in the work I will always have good results no matter how big or scary my goal may seem.

Q: How have you changed or grown since coming to George Fox?
A: During my time at Fox I was exposed to knowledge and new ideas that broadened my perspective of the real world. More specifically, my nursing major has affirmed how much suffering and lack of compassion exists in our individualistic society. I’ve had countless turning points causing me to grow with each exposure to different clinical settings within the healthcare system. My biggest takeaway from these experiences is that you really can’t judge a book by its cover. Every individual deserves respect regardless of what they look like to the outside world because each and every one of us has a story that brought us to our present state.

Q: What's next?
A: Graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, I plan to attain state licensure as an RN in the upcoming months. After this I hope to gain a nursing position at a hospital between the Salem and Portland areas. My main goal is to make a difference in people’s lives and be the nurse who understands and really cares about the well-being of her patients by showing compassion. Ultimately, I desire the most genuine experiences with all my future patients.

Jacinda Thomas

Name: Jacinda Thomas
Hometown: Tillamook, Ore.
Major: Psychology & English (double major)

Q: How would you describe your experience at George Fox?
A: Three words that would describe my Fox experience are nurturing, insightful and stretching. I have been graced with mentors, dear friends and opportunities that helped me become the woman I am today. I could write a hefty book about the things I was impacted by while I was here, but experiences that truly stand out include my two years in residence life; journeying to Swaziland as a learner during last May; Dr. Abigail Rine’s Gender Theory class; the friendships I’ve made with students and faculty; this past year with the SpIL team; and every occasion to dance.

I learned that the church is bigger, brighter and more colorful than I realized – and that those in poverty are not here to be petted or to grace our profile pictures as nameless “poor-nography”; that leading others tends to shine light on one’s deepest insecurities and that grace is hard to accept but it's still given; that my identity as a woman does not preclude me from having a voice or a place at the table or the pulpit; that language shapes our reality; and that my story matters. I learned that God doesn't waste anything, including my doubts, anger and delight. I learned that the right questions can open up dialogue and rich relationships crossing previously barricaded divides.

Q: How have you changed or grown since coming to George Fox?
A: I'm more frank and daring than I used to be – and I like it! I've grown in my ability to engage tensions that are part of life and to participate in conversations that are hard. I’ve grown in my understanding that people are complex, that listening to understand can make a huge difference in interpersonal interactions, and that honesty results in the best comedy and relationships.

Q: What’s next?
A: Work is in the nearest future. I will be working as the public affairs intern with the Lake County Resources Initiative (a truly incredible organization that has impacted my ideas of sustainability, stewardship and community for the past six years that I have been with working with them as a botany specialist) and the Forest Service down in southern Oregon for the summer. After that, there are a few different opportunities I’m exploring for the year, ranging from as far away as Bolivia and as nearby as Portland and the Oregon Coast. Eventually, I want to pursue more education; as of yet, I haven't decided in which discipline.

Amanda Nystrom

Name: Amanda Nystrom
Hometown: White Salmon, Wash.
Major: Communication Arts

Q: How would you describe your experience at George Fox?
A: I would describe my experience at Fox as entertaining. I was transformed here at Fox, but my fondest memories are of sit-down lunches and dinners and coffees, talking with a variety of friends about everything. There were fun events, dances and parties. But what I will always look back on is my time one on one with the handful of people I met at Fox who changed my life. Oddly, I met them all in different ways. Two are from my major, one is a math major, one is a nurse, one is an accountant (but I met her in dance class, go figure), one is a variety of everything, and so on (you know who you are). What I remember most about my time with them at Fox is laughter. I cried so many times in the last two years simply because my body could not handle how hard I was laughing. The community here is something I will forever cherish, both students and professors. One of my favorite class memories is walking in to the sound of Casting Crowns, feeling as if I belonged here even before I was a student. You don’t get that feeling very often, so when you do find it, hold onto it and don’t let the opportunity slip by. You can be the smartest person in the world, but if you do not have a good support system you will never be truly happy. Relationships are what matter.

Q: How have you changed or grown since coming to George Fox?
A: As a transfer student, I knew coming to Fox was going to be an adjustment: new town, new people, new student loans. But I knew God was calling me here because the more I fought to come, the harder the devil tried to make it impossible. The first turning point I had was on the first day of Welcome Weekend when I checked in to the transfer station. I was nervous because I knew no one, but out of the blue someone said, “Amanda, right?” Standing in front of me was a girl I had met at transfer Genesis. That day I had found out her name was Haley and that she was a math major. So here I am thinking, “I am a communications student. She is math. I will never see her again.” So what do I do? I talk her ear off. Then who do I run into at Welcome Weekend? The math major. Now getting back to how that was a turning point: God knew I was scared and he sent me the most unlikely person to be a calm. This has become a theme throughout the last two years; every time I was scared or alone, God provided someone to help me through it. That alone has changed me in so many ways because I have a newly found respect for how powerful God is and how much he truly does care for us.

Another turning point was through chapel and guest speakers last year. I was made aware that those who leave Fox almost always have a calling to do something bigger than themselves. Up until that point I had no idea what I wanted to do. I figured I would get a job and volunteer when I could. But then it hit me, through prayer and songs and stories and laughter, God has a bigger purpose for me. I am not a robot off an assembly line as much as the devil would like me to think. It took me a while to figure this out and took me even longer to figure out exactly what I felt called to do. But I remember that moment, sitting in chapel one day, slouched back trying to pay attention, when it hit me. I kept thinking of things like the Red Cross or becoming a missionary, but I had no particular ties to them so it didn’t feel right. Sitting there I realized that my calling was something I had experience in, I knew what it felt like and why there was such a need. This revelation transformed me and my faith. I have grown so much as a person and have matured a huge amount (though my friends may not agree) simply because my life is no longer about me.

Q: What’s next?
A: I wish I could say that I was going to travel abroad and save lives and be awesome like that after I graduate. Then reality smacks me in the face and reminds me that you’ve got to have money in order to travel, and you have to have a job in order to have money. So I will be finishing up my internship and hopefully getting a job in a communications/marketing field. Ideally it would be in a nonprofit, but I will take what God blesses me with. Grad school is also an option as I love learning and it would increase my skills in order to fulfill my life goal.

My ultimate goal is to open a nonprofit focused on young adults and high school kids who did not have a father in their lives while growing up. The nonprofit would provide resources such as a safe haven, counseling services, a place to meet others who have gone through similar situations, and activities that the person may not have had the opportunity for while growing up (i.e. backpacking, camping, hiking, etc). My hope is that it would enable young people to feel like they are not alone, to allow them to relax and feel safe. Sometimes this will be through fun experiences and sometimes it will be through difficult ones. Ideally I would like to partner with other organizations in order to provide the best assortment of resources possible. For example, partnering with Big Brothers, Big Sisters could expand the benefits of the nonprofit to children/teenagers with similar issues. Ultimately, I want these young people to know that they are just as important as everybody else. They deserve the best, no matter what they have been told. That is what I want to do with my life.

Nolan Staples

Name: Nolan Staples
Hometown: Newberg, Ore.
Major: Music

Q: How would you describe your experience at George Fox?
A: My experience at George Fox has been one that is rooted in community. When I graduated high school I was unsure whether I would attend Fox or a music school in Boston. I felt God leading me to go to Fox for at least a year, but I didn’t know if I would stay longer than that. By December of my freshman year I knew that I would stay at Fox, mostly because of the people. The many wonderful memories of the last four years are all so meaningful to me because of the people with whom I experienced this journey. My life has been greatly impacted by my tennis teammates and coaches, several professors and mentors, and so many amazing friends that I have had the blessing to live in community with through the last four years. My strongest and fondest memories of my time at George Fox will not be the times when I was responsible about my schoolwork; they will be of the times when my friends and I dropped everything we should be doing and went out to do something random and ridiculous together (and then I had to stay up even later writing whatever paper I was supposed to be writing). I have learned a lot of important lessons about how to work hard and persevere even when things seem to be beyond my ability. More important than everything that I learned related to efficiency and success in academics, though, is what I learned about the importance of building strong relationships with those around me. I have come out on the other side of four great years at Fox with so many friendships that I will always cherish, and those friendships are what has defined my experience at George Fox.

Q: How have you changed or grown since coming to George Fox?
A: I have experienced a significant amount of personal growth while at George Fox. In my first couple of years here I wrestled a lot with what defined me and gave me worth as a person. I was so consumed in the things that I did and, more importantly, the things that I did well, to the point where my personal perception of myself was in the things that I did. A big part of breaking that unhealthy cycle of thinking for me was in the process of letting go of the pressure that I put on myself in tennis. Once I realized that I could continue to work and compete hard without believing my worth was in how well I played or whether I won or lost, I was able to see more clearly that my worth was as a child of God, and the important thing was to work hard and set a positive and loving example for others. As I’ve continued on this journey of holding my identity in God’s love for me, I’ve worked to release myself in other areas of my life where I’ve experienced similar pressure and identity crisis. There are a few coaches, professors and close friends at Fox who have really helped me in this area of growth. Most other significant personal changes have been beard-related.

Q: What’s next?
A: In July I will begin working as the interim pastor for worship ministries at Newberg Friends Church. I’ve attended Newberg Friends my entire life, and I’ve been so blessed to grow up in such a nurturing community. It’s been exciting to see how God has prepared both the church and myself for this transition in musical leadership. The interim position will be for a year, and I’m looking forward to growing as a leader and learning how to better serve my community during this next year. This position could lead to a more permanent position with the church, but whether or not it does I am excited to trust God in the ways God wants to use me.

Sarah Gilmore

Name: Sarah Gilmore
Hometown: Newberg, Ore.
Major: Math & Psychology (double major)

Q: How would you describe your experience at George Fox?
A: My George Fox experience has really been shaped by the people I have met here; without them, my experience would not have been the same. I’ve been supported by professors, administrators and coaches who have challenged and encouraged me academically, athletically and personally. And I’ve built so many wonderful friendships – some of which may come to an end after graduation, and others that will last a lifetime. Whether or not these people continue to be a part of my life beyond this season at Fox, they have had a significant impact on my life and have helped me become who I am today. I am beyond thankful for the community that is present on this campus! I’m going to miss it.

Q: How have you changed or grown since coming to George Fox?
A: Throughout the past four years, I have gained a lot of confidence in who I am and what I’m capable of. When I came in as a freshman, I was shy, insecure and really anxious about what was ahead. Through my experiences as an RA for three years, a work-study employee in the human resources office, a varsity track athlete and a student, I have learned that I am capable of so much. God has blessed me with these abilities, so why shouldn’t I be confident in them? Before George Fox, that wasn’t a concept that I understood fully. But now, as graduation approaches, I am excited to see what I will be able to accomplish in the future.

Q: What’s next?
A: One of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned in my time at Fox has been the importance of trust. And clearly, God is not done teaching me! I’m not continuing on to graduate school next year, I currently don’t have a job, and I don’t have much of an idea what I’ll end up doing a few years from now. But I have a college degree, a ton of great experiences, and I know that the Lord will provide. He has a plan for me and my future, and I’m learning to trust that what he has in mind is way better than anything I could ever imagine.

Natalie De Jesus Campos

Name: Natalie De Jesus Campos
Hometown: Los Angeles, Calif.
Major: Nursing

Q: How would you describe your experience at George Fox?
A: The best part of my experience at George Fox has been the support I have obtained from my professors and the friendships along the way. I find that having the small classes and having access to resources and help along the way has made this dream of graduating a reality. The bonds I have created with some of the faculty are so genuine that I feel cared for, and knowing that my professors want me to succeed is a wonderful thing. I will definitely never forget the long nights of studying and sacrifice that has been put into getting to where I am today. Being a first-generation college student, I find completing my George Fox experience and graduating rewarding and a blessing in itself. My success has been the product of many generous individuals who have helped me financially, emotionally and professionally throughout this journey.

Q: How have you changed or grown since coming to George Fox?
A: Since coming to Fox, I have grown professionally and learned about what I would like to pursue within my profession. A turning point for me was when I thought nursing was not the right profession to pursue and I was going to change my major. I was surprised to know how much support and encouragement I was given from an unexpected faculty member who made me realize and feel that I was called to be a nurse.

Q: What’s next?
A: The plan is to obtain a residency program at a hospital either in the ER or the medical-surgical unit. My road may lead me back to California, but at this point it is unclear whether I will go back. I must admit I have grown fond of Oregon. However, my whole family is in California and I am inclined to find a job and settle somewhere close to them. The journey for me just seems to begin. In a few of years, grad school will be the next step.

Renee Geck

Name: Renee Geck
Hometown: Everett, Wash.
Major: Biology (cell and molecular)

Q: How would you describe your experience at George Fox?
A: My time at George Fox has enriched so many areas of my life. I have made fantastic friends, gained knowledge in diverse fields, and had unique opportunities inside and outside of my major. I was blessed with a tight-knit freshman floor, so we had a lot of fun together, and some of those women are still among my closest friends. I also connected well with my major department, especially doing breast cancer research with Dr. John Schmitt. He has been a wonderful mentor to me, and those summers helped me determine what I want to do in the future.

One of the fantastic things about George Fox is all the opportunities to explore different disciplines and issues. Even with commitments to my major, I was able to take classes in math (which I love!), play in band and be a member of the International Justice Mission Club for all four years I’ve been here. I've also taken "just for fun" classes in art, history and religion, as well as a spectacular Juniors Abroad trip to Greece. To me, that balance of strength in my major as well as ways to pursue other passions has created an invigorating and exciting course for my time at George Fox.

Q: How have you changed or grown since coming to George Fox?
A: I know that I have changed over my time at George Fox, but it has been a gradual process from many events and realizations. My friends have taught me to be more spontaneous and flexible, and to realize the importance of taking time to strengthen relationships. From discussions and classes I learned more about different viewpoints and how to better process my thoughts, especially before I speak. That also helped me better understand some of my beliefs so I will leave here with a better foundation in my faith. I have a greater appreciation for different fields now that I have learned more about them. I have also learned more about how I think and work and how that will play a role in what I want to do and who I want to be.

Q: What’s next?
A: This coming fall I will be moving to Boston to pursue a PhD in Harvard's program in biological and biomedical sciences. I am very excited and so thankful to all my professors for helping me through the application and interview processes, and for providing the research experiences that prepared me to pursue graduate school. I am hoping to do research in a lab that focuses on mechanisms of human diseases, and one day have a lab of my own and perhaps teach at a university. For now, I am excited for an opportunity to explore a different part of the country, meet new people and contribute to significant research as I continue to learn. That desire to continue learning definitely propelled me toward graduate school and research, since I want to work in an area that is dynamic with opportunities to improve people's lives. Since science is a field that many people think can be hostile to the Christian faith, I am grateful for the integration of faith into my studies at Fox, and look forward to meeting other Christian students in the program at Harvard. I think that this is a great opportunity to use my gifts and passions in a constructive way, not only to help others but also to bring me fulfillment in doing something I see as meaningful.

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