Meet the Class of 2015

Just four short years ago, the Class of 2015 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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Hannah Kunde

Name: Hannah Kunde
Hometown: Seattle
Major: International Studies

Q: How would you describe your experience at George Fox? 
A: My time at George Fox was marked by immense growth: emotionally, spiritually, academically and relationally. This last year I even had the privilege of living in the home of Jill and Corwynn Beals, where tending to a small vegetable garden and watching it grow and produce proved to be representative of my inner journey.

Clint Baldwin introduced me to the group Quaere Verum my freshman year. At that point I had no idea that this group would become an integral part of my George Fox experience. It grew to be the place where I found my closest friends. The meetings became a highlight of my week. In the midst of the busyness of student life, I learned the importance of setting two hours aside each week to sit and eat soup and bread with friends while discussing topics surrounding social justice, faith or current events. We took a couple spring break trips together, which left me with unimaginable connections and sweet memories. Although he lives in Kentucky now, Clint Baldwin remains a good friend and mentor of mine. I consider this community at George Fox a great blessing. Being part of QV was life-giving and challenging while I was a student. Now as an alumna, it has gifted me with a community of friends that transcends the Newberg campus and four-year college experience for which I am incredibly grateful and humbled by.

Q: How have you changed or grown since coming to George Fox? 
A: Sitting in a Hoover lecture hall listening to Lisa McMinn discuss her Community Supported Agriculture project and our relationship with God and creation was a significant moment. At a young age, my mom encouraged me to work outside in the garden with her, and I have loved it ever since. After watching the documentary Food Inc. in high school, I stopped eating meat and started reading about the impact that meat production has on the environment and on our own bodies. Lisa’s passion and activism surrounding these issues drew out from within me similar passions that simply had never been put to words in such an elegant way. This lecture enabled me to connect the dots between my passion for these issues and my relationship with God. It inspired me to know God as Creator more deeply and to live out my faith in a more complete way.

At that point in time I never would have imagined that two years later would bring the opportunity to intern on Lisa and Mark’s CSA. That summer I had the immense privilege of learning from Lisa (and Mark) outside of the classroom. Pulling weeds, feeding chickens, harvesting vegetables, cooking, eating and learning about the abundance and beauty of God’s creation and interconnectedness of all living things. To this day, I remain impacted by that lecture and that summer at Fern Creek, and I daily do my best to pursue a lifestyle that reflects my love for God and his creation.

Q: What's next? 
A: December of 2014 marked my graduation. Since the beginning of January I have been living and working in Mexico City and will be here until June as an intern with Evangelical Friends Mission. I came with the intentions to learn about the culture, language, church, and situation surrounding immigration. I have had the opportunity to work with the children’s ministry as well as help establish a weekly outreach to immigrants through the church (among other things). It has proven to be a rich and challenging learning experience so far.

I hope to return to Oregon to work with marginalized people groups, those coming from Latin America in particular, in translation and education. Grad school is a distant dream. I love academics and would pursue sustainable development, as it includes relationships with social systems, human individuals and creation.

Rose Lukinsa Laguerre

Name: Rose Lukinsa Laguerre
Hometown: Jérémie, Haïti
Major: Global Business and Management

Q: How would you describe your experience at George Fox? 
A: Five words that describe my experience at George Fox University: exhilarating, challenging, enlightening, ennobling and cherishing! What I will remember most is how people made me feel and how I was cared for. And it is all good – even the bad times!

Q: How have you changed or grown since coming to George Fox? 
A: I could probably write a five-page essay on how I have changed or grown since I came to George Fox University, but worry not: I will spare you the details. I have never really envisioned that a small-town girl from the backcountry of Haiti would end up here, in Newberg, Ore., of all places on earth. It is pretty amazing how God has opened up so many doors and lit my path during this journey.

I have grown and changed on so many levels – personal, spiritual and professional. Aside from my regular academic coursework, my involvement in leadership and extracurricular activities and programs, such as residence life, Bible study groups and Serve Day, has allowed me to develop leadership, intercultural and interpersonal skills that will serve me well in today's workplace. Not to mention the amount of spiritual and personal growth that took place since I have allowed myself to be my little "bubbly-weird-bold" self. A turning point from my experience at Fox is when I became a resident assistant. I did not know what I was getting myself into when I applied to become an RA, but did it change how I perceive others and myself? Absolutely! I think I can write a booklet on that one!

Q: What’s next?
A: God has given me a heart for the poor, and I am extremely passionate about helping others break the cycle of poverty through implementing sustainable business and economic development programs. I will have the opportunity to work at World Vision as an intern this summer, in Washington, D.C. After that, what is next? It is a few lofty dreams and nebulous plans (mostly in my head and on scratch paper). Some involve working for the World Bank or USAID as a program director, managing a nonprofit or an international business, becoming a project manager, getting an awesome job and life (getting married and making cute babies)!

I also want to obtain a doctoral research degree, which will focus on improving sustainable business practices and development solutions for poverty alleviation. I am currently applying for master programs in economic and international development at a few universities in the U.S. "Next" is God's plan, and I am in "waiting" mode!

Madelyn Larson

Name: Joshua Garcia
Hometown: Beaverton, Ore.
Major: Psychology and Biblical Studies

Q: How would you describe your experience at George Fox? 
A: I tried to fit as many experiences as I could into my four years at George Fox University. I served as a peer advisor during my sophomore year and as a resident assistant during my junior year. Both those years, I also volunteered in the admissions department as a University Ambassador. This year, I am serving as an intern for the Office of Spiritual and Intercultural Life. For two years as an upperclassman, I worked in the library, opening it at the break of dawn every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Academically, I double-majored and took enough classes that I could earn two degrees. Really, the only regret that I have is that I did not study abroad even though I did get to tour five countries in three weeks through the Juniors Abroad program.

While I am thankful for the big opportunities that Fox has provided for me, like the aforementioned, I am sure that I will remember the little things the most. I will remember helping my freshman roommate, who became a good friend, carry his broken mirror out of our dorm room into the dumpster behind Coffin late at night (shout-out to Craig Garcia, with whom I only have four more years of bad luck). I will remember learning a dance routine, despite my criminal dancing ability, for Mr. Bruin during my sophomore year. I will remember winning an intramural championship which, embarrassingly enough, is and probably will be the greatest athletic achievement of my entire life. I will remember splitting a platter of escargot with the always-intrepid Quincy Woo after wandering the streets of Paris. I will remember enjoying the personhoods of professors Kris Kays, Sue O’Donnell, Chris Koch and Brian Doak. These experiences, along with a plethora of unnamed friends, professors, and mentors, taught me to simply live well.

Q: How have you changed or grown since coming to George Fox?
A: I feel like I have become slower to speak, which has been a slow and incremental process that I am sure is still happening. The classes that I identify as the watershed moments when this change came about were Counseling with professor Kays and Biblical Interpretation with professor Doak. Counseling was life-changing for me because it introduced and affirmed the idea that silence was permissible if not encouraged. Biblical Interpretation, the class which ultimately led to my declaring biblical studies as my second major, taught me that we, as human beings, do not have any answers. We only ever see through a glass darkly, and to speak and pretend that we do not is extremely arrogant. Because of Fox, these classes and these teachers, I have come to recognize the power of silence and humility.

Q: What's next? 
A: I plan on attending Boston University’s School of Theology in the fall. I have been admitted into their Master of Theological Studies program, and I plan to study Old Testament literature as far as I possibly can. Recently, the relationship between Christians and Jews, as a religious community, has weighed on my heart as something that needs attention. I buy into the maxim “those who can’t do teach” in that I cannot pastor a church – as a second-generation pastor’s kid, I have an understanding of the gravity of this responsibility – so I resolve to learn about the OT, or Hebrew Bible, as much as I can in order to educate and collaborate with the next generation of pastors in approaching the Hebrew Bible and the Jewish religious community with the respect due God’s chosen people.

Ben Fullhart

Name: Ben Fullhart
Hometown: Sisters, Ore.
Major: Accounting

Q: How would you describe your experience at George Fox?
A: My best experiences at Fox have simply been all of the amazing relationships I have developed here. Whether it is professors, teammates (tennis) or friends, so many of these wonderful people have been best friends, competitors and mentors. I am so thankful for the people of George Fox. Playing on the tennis team has taught me so much about work ethic and time management. Josh Sauerwein, an accounting professor, taught me so much about incorporating my faith and ethics into my career.

Q: How have you changed or grown since coming to George Fox? 
A: I have grown in so many ways during my time at Fox. Not only have I learned how to weight lift, I have become so much closer with God. I have learned how to trust him in difficult times, and he has used less than ideal situations to really shine brightly in my life. I have gained so much confidence in myself and in my faith and no longer allow the opinions and beliefs of others to negatively impact my life. I also know a little more about accounting and business.

Q: What’s next?
A: I will be starting my career at Deloitte, one of the Big 4 public accounting firms, in September. I will work out of their Portland office as an auditor and cannot wait for the challenges and growth as I begin my career. I am so excited to get my feet wet in this industry, and am so blessed to have this opportunity. I really don’t know what the future has in store for me, but I will embrace whatever God places in my lap.

Jared Larson

Name: Jared Larson
Hometown: St. Helens, Ore.
Major: Psychology

Q: How would you describe your experience at George Fox?
A: I will remember my relationships that I had here most. I have had so many positive relationships here on campus that I will never be able to forget any of these friendships that I’ve made with my peers, faculty, professors and bosses. A few of the people who had the biggest impact on my life were Kris Kays, Nate McIntyre, Sue O'Donnell, Grant Burns and Emma Glennen, to name a few. They each taught me a few things. Kris Kays has always just been super positive and has pushed me to follow my dreams. Sue has pushed me beyond what I thought I was capable of. She made me realize that I am more than a test score and that I can do anything I put my mind to. Nate and Grant have given me good life advice. Emma has been a wonderful supervisor in admissions.

Q: How have you changed or grown since coming to George Fox? 
A: I grew up a lot when I took my first leadership position as a peer advisor here on campus. I felt in my realm. I felt like I connected with a lot of the students I worked with and that I had a role where I could impact someone’s life. After that year, I took an RA position and really enjoyed that as well. I feel like being a leader on campus has helped me grow up and learn how to deal with real-life experiences.

Q: What’s next?
A: I just got accepted to George Fox’s school counseling program at the Portland Center. I plan on finishing that degree in three years. After that, I would love to work at one of the local schools or somewhere nearby so I can stay connected to the Newberg community where I feel at home. I plan to work at Dutch Brothers while earning my masters, so make sure to come by and say hi!

Spencer Giles

Name: Spencer Giles
Hometown: Grants Pass, Ore.
Major: Accounting

Q: How would you describe your experience at George Fox?
A: My experience at George Fox has been one of amazing opportunities, incredible people and life-changing professors. I have been absolutely blessed to be able to go to Fox for my undergrad experience. From freshman year to these final months of senior year, I am continually blown away by the people who surround me. Lifelong friends have been made here and have impacted me in many, many ways. The College of Business has some incredible professors, and the accounting program has been incredibly challenging, rewarding and inspiring.

Q: How have you changed or grown since coming to George Fox?
A: My faith has grown and stretched since coming to George Fox. I had grown up in the church and thought I had this whole “Christian” thing down. George Fox was really the first time that my own Christian beliefs were challenged and consequently developed into something that I truly owned. Being surrounded by fellow Christians is an amazing opportunity to hear from all denominations and faiths. I began asking myself why I believe instead of just focusing on what I believe.

Q: What's next? 
A: I have accepted a full-time position with Delap LLP, a public accounting firm in Lake Oswego, Ore. I will be an auditor working on a specialized team focusing on IT assurance and secure financial reporting. It is my absolute dream job and an incredible opportunity. I will also be focusing on my CPA license and additional IT auditing certifications. I could not have gotten this opportunity without the George Fox College of Business and the accounting program.

Tashawna Gordon

Name: Tashawna Gordon
Hometown: Vancouver, Wash.
Major: Christian Ministries

Q: How would you describe your experience at George Fox?
A: My experience at Fox has been unreal. I think what stands out the most is the community and the professors who care so much about the students here. All around, I’ve had solid professors who’ve mentored me, spending hours outside of class with me to help me figure out what it is that I want to do with my life and, ultimately, help me figure out who I am and who God has called me to be. I think specifically of Steve Sherwood, Sarita Gallagher and Michael Meek. I really can’t thank them enough for how they’ve walked life with me these last four years.

I think what I’ll remember the most is my experience being the women’s basketball team chaplain these last couple years. In every way, it was life changing. Our women’s basketball team is phenomenal, not because they are stellar athletes but because they are so easy to love and easily some of my favorite people in the whole world. They continually challenge each other to not only be better but to love better, and they have surely challenged me to be the best person that I can be.

Q: How have you changed or grown since coming to George Fox?
A: My faith has changed drastically since coming to Fox. A lot of that was formed through classes but even more so, it has been through this community that has provided space for hard questions to be asked. I think of a time my junior year in one of Steve Sherwood’s classes where what we were discussing was really hard to talk about but the people in my class were so willing to be vulnerable with one another as we sifted through this topic, through the muck and disorientation. I remember sitting there, crying, in this classroom with 12 other students, in awe of the fact that we serve a God that can handle these kinds of questions.

Q: What’s next?
A: : As far as what’s next, I have an internship this summer with Murdock Trust in Vancouver, Wash., that I'm really excited to start a few weeks after graduation. In the fall, I’m planning on attending seminary, pursuing a Master of Divinity, although I'm not sure yet where that will be. In the long run, I would love to continue working with college students, perhaps by serving as a chaplain, a pastor or even a professor.

I'm really excited about what's next. I'm thankful for Fox and in a lot of ways, it's sad to be leaving such a special place but I'm stoked about what's next. I don't know what it'll look like exactly, but I do know that if God has anything to do with it, it has to be good.

Ameena Bossier

Name: Ameena Bossier
Hometown: Lancaster, Calif.
Major: Art & Design, Global Business

Q: How would you describe your experience at George Fox? 
A: Overall my experience at George Fox University has been great but not without its challenges. I have been challenged academically, spiritually and emotionally. However, the things that I will remember most are the places that I have been, the relationships that were built, and the things that I have been able to do during my time here. My biggest memories come from my time abroad in Swaziland, Africa, and Managua, Nicaragua, during May Serve. I will never forget the strangers that became family, the breathtaking views, and the hilarious moments I had with my teammates. We did everything together, from laughing to crying, painting murals to digging holes, and sitting in deep discussions to stargazing in the darkness.

My time here at George Fox has also been filled with people who have poured so much into me as a person. I cannot point to one specific person because each has played such a significant role. From my supervisors at the library, those in the IDEA Center, professors, and other faculty members, there have been so many people that I wouldn't have enough room to share it all.

Q: How have you changed or grown since coming to George Fox? 
A: Since the day I stepped foot on this campus I have changed and am continuing to change. The biggest turning point for me was coming to the realization that there is no such thing as being perfect, a person has to be flexible, and most of the time nothing will go exactly as you planned. These have been the best lessons to learn and have helped me to make better decisions – and to ultimately trust that no matter what happens God knows the bigger plan.

Q: What’s next?
A: After graduation I plan to work in a company where I can utilize both of my degrees in studio art and global business. I really enjoy being in a place that is surrounded by passionate and creative people, but that also comes with organization and structure. In the future I am considering attending graduate school for museum studies or curation. Museums have fascinated me since childhood. If it were possible to have the movie Night at the Museum be my reality, I would absolutely love it!

Travel has always been a part of my life, and I hope to continue to do that in the future. A road trip to the major national parks is next on my list as well as returning to Africa and Nicaragua. I would also love to visit Italy and see all of the major museums and famous art pieces that I have studied for four years. You could say that my passport is ready to be stamped again!

Ruthanne Condie

Name: Ruthanne Condie
Hometown: Amman, Jordan
Major: Social Work

Q: How would you describe your experience at George Fox? 
A: My experience at Fox as been amazing. As I have come to this last month of school I find myself feeling more sad than happy to leave this place, which is a testament to the good I’ve found here. My experience of being an RA for two years on Matt Dyment’s team holds some of the happiest memories for me. I loved being a part of a community of RAs who all were dedicated to coming alongside students on this campus. Matt and his wife Carla, hands down, have been some of the most influential people to me here at Fox and in my life in general. They have taught me how to holistically love God better and how to love others out of a place of fullness.

Q: How have you changed or grown since coming to George Fox?
A: To recount all the ways I have grown and changed since coming to Fox would take longer than a couple paragraphs. But this last year especially I can point to a specific class that has brought about a lot of personal growth: Steve Sherwood's Youth Culture & Ministry class. In this class I was challenged to really look at what I believe and why I believe it in regards to my faith. It was a scary, unsettling, yet immensely beautiful process of examining truth. I have come out the other end having learned that a growing faith is an unsettled one where being comfortable is not what I should strive for. With friends, classmates and teachers like Steve there are people to walk and wrestle through this journey of faith with me.

Q: What's next?
A: Next I will be pursuing a Master of Social Work through George Fox. This will be a yearlong program focused on community practice in social work. A long-term goal and dream I have is to one day work internationally for a humanitarian organization, possibly working with refugees or children in some capacity. But all that is much too far down the road. Right now I am just going to focus on the next step that God has for me and see where it takes me.

Emily Lund

Name: Emily Lund
Hometown: Olympia, Wash.
Major: English

Q: How would you describe your experience at George Fox?
A: My own George Fox experience can perhaps be summed up in one word, one concept – “community.” Here, community thrives. I usually can’t make it across the quad without swapping greetings with a familiar face. My classes are small enough that I can overcome my introvert tendencies, sit in the front row, and speak up. Various faculty have become friends to me (both on Facebook and in real life). The George Fox community – the people who work and play and learn together in order to make up this institution – welcomed me. And I am forever thankful.

Q: How have you changed or grown since coming to George Fox?
A: It was freshman year. I was sitting in Melanie Mock's Creative Nonfiction class, and I was thinking I had no good stories to tell. My life, much like me, was quiet – maybe a little quirky. But nothing to type up a memoir about. Then we began to write. As I explored my memories, looking for material for my next writing assignment, I saw that my whole world was a mosaic of stories, in all different shades and hues. Some of them shone brightly, others softly, but all of them shone.

Melanie's consistent encouragement and engaging teaching helped to shape my writing, my thoughts. This new idea – that my stories are important – I have since held tightly and carried with me, throughout my time with the University Players theatre troupe (in which I shared my own and others’ trials and triumphs) and into my plans for the future (working as an editor to see stories inspire readers). Creative Nonfiction, the class I was hesitant to take, left me changed and new.

Q: What's next?
A: After graduation, I hope to enter into editorial work, hopefully in the world of book publishing. Because I see editors as the unsung heroes of the publishing process – responsible for so much and influential in ways a reader may never expect – I wish to play such a “heroic” role in a story’s journey from the author’s mind to the bookstore shelves. As it is my belief that much of the most important reading of one’s life occurs in one’s youth, I hope to work in a position focusing on books for children, championing books like the ones that opened my mind.

David Munoz Constantine

Name: David Munoz Constantine
Hometown: Cuenca, Ecuador
Major: Engineering

Q: How would you describe your experience at George Fox? 
A: What I will remember most about my time at Fox is meeting a variety of people and creating relationships with them. The school emphasized helping others, not primarily focusing on yourself. My engineering professors and classmates have made a great impact on my life. My professors have taken the time to get to know me, help me learn, and communicate that they want the best for my future. I have shared many laughs and achievements with my classmates and developed great friendships. My time here has helped me grow academically as well as a person.

Q: How have you changed or grown since coming to George Fox? 
A: My personal and academic growth has progressed at a steady pace throughout my time at Fox. I have grown in confidence and feel more prepared for my future as an engineer. Thanks again to my professors who have taught me all I know and helped me get where I am today. I have, also, become more aware about world events and how those affect myself. I understand how everything is connected and how my role in society can impact others.

Q: What's next? 
A: I have hopes to pursue a master’s degree in computer engineering in California. I would eventually like to end up working in the Silicon Valley. There, I would like to work at a highly innovative company where I am able to work on developing technologies and contribute to my field.

Jami Morris

Name: Jami Morris
Hometown: Salem, Ore.
Major: Biology
 
Q: How would you describe your experience at George Fox?
A: When I look back on my college experience, there are three things I will remember most: homework, relationships and basketball. Those are the three things that took up 95 percent of my time as a student. I was a big nerd and proud of it! I love being challenged, and the academics at Fox provided just that. There were times I felt overwhelmed with how much schoolwork I had, but that’s where relationships came in. I had great relationships with all my professors, who truly cared about my success and well-being.

I remember being scared out of my mind to take my first upper-division biology class, but Jim Smart didn’t allow me to be intimidated. He challenged me and helped me through every step of the way. Academically, he has had the biggest impact on my choice to stick with biology and be the best student I could be. I also built great relationships with my teammates and coaches, who I spent A LOT of time with over the years. As much as I know education is about class and homework and tests, I truly believe I learned just as much, if not more, from basketball. There are countless memories, on and off the court, that I will cherish forever.

One person who has had a huge impact on my life is my coach, Mike Meek. As much as he ticked me off at times, I will never be able to fully explain how much Coach Meek has meant to me. He always believed in me and helped me reach my potential not only as a player, but as a person. His dedication, hard work, caring heart, and craziness has taught me more about life than any person besides my parents. I am incredibly thankful for his ability to be extremely tough on me while never letting me doubt how much he cares for me and my team.

Q: How have you changed or grown since coming to George Fox?
A: I came to Fox with a lot of ideas about who I was, what I believed, and what I could do. That all changed. As a freshman, I was pretty naive. I thought I had everything I needed with good grades, a great family and boyfriend, an awesome relationship with God, and a spot on a nationally ranked basketball team. All of those things were tested throughout my time at Fox. School was challenging. I struggled in my relationships. I found out I had a lot of spiritual growing to do. And I realized how hard it was to balance school, relationships and basketball. Through classes, friendships and leaders, I learned what it meant to truly have an awesome relationship with God and how to live a life that honors him. I learned that it’s OK to fail. I learned that God places people, triumphs and setbacks in your life for a reason.

Looking back, I feel that my turning point was this past summer, when I married “that great boyfriend from freshman year” and also assumed a leadership position on a basketball team that was struggling. On top of a previously busy schedule, I added maintaining a marriage, which can teach you a lot very quickly! I am able to see God’s love through the way my husband loves me. I realized how I am a better person alongside the man that God chose for me. Experiencing that kind of love has made me a better person, and I think it has also made me a better leader.

This year, our basketball team had an incredible season by going 32-1 and placing second in the nation. But it was easily the toughest season of my career. I learned how to be a better leader through my failures. I learned how to love through hurt and anger. I learned how to forgive. I learned how to be intentional with relationships. I learned what ultimate defeat feels like. But the best part is that I learned that life is so much bigger than basketball. The lessons I have learned and friendships I have made will last longer than any memory of a win or loss. I am thankful to have learned those lessons and met the people I did at such an amazing school.

Q: What's next?
A: I wish I knew for sure! All I know right now is I will be moving back to Salem so that my husband will be closer to his job. I have applied and am waiting to hear from a few Master of Arts in Teaching programs. I plan on teaching biology at the high school level and also coaching basketball! While waiting to hear back from MAT programs, I am looking into different options for playing basketball professionally overseas. I am doubtful that will take me anywhere, but never say never! I would love to have an opportunity to continue playing the game that has taught me so much. But I know that, no matter what, I will always be surrounded by basketball because I’m passionate about sharing its lifelong benefits with as many people as I can!

Quincy Woo

Name: Quincy Woo
Hometown: Honolulu
Major: Cinema and Media Communication

Q: How would you describe your experience at George Fox? 
A: My time at George Fox has been an incredible and transformational experience. Ultimately, I believe the overall community fostered here has characterized my years as an undergraduate student, and that is something that I am grateful to be a part of. I have been able to form and invest in meaningful and valuable friendships with others from my freshman hall as well as other living areas throughout the years, fellow filmmakers in the cinema and media communication department, and also the friends who I’ve met as a result of serving as a student leader. Some of my fondest memories have been participating in multiple Welcome Weekends as a student leader. Waking up at 5 a.m. to welcome incoming students alongside other servant leaders and going until midnight at Fred Meyer night was one of the craziest highlights – not to mention the Mystery Bus Tour! It is because of this grounded community that I consider Oregon my home away from home and the people of Fox a new family.

Additionally, when it comes to my academic experience, a fairly accurate representation of my undergraduate journey has been the circus (in a good way!) that is the CMCO department and the incredibly talented filmmakers I have been able to work with in the major. Some of my greatest memories have been creating many of the short films that I have worked on and the wild adventures embarked on with each project. On numerous occasions, there have been hectic production days or all-nighters spent finalizing a film, yet those experiences are what push me to become a better storyteller and, in the end, are the memories that always come to mind.

Q: How have you changed or grown since coming to George Fox? 
A: I believe that my journey here has been one of growth in many areas of my life. I have been able to flourish in such a supportive and nurturing community, which has allowed me to realize potential in myself and in others. Two of the incredible opportunities I have had at Fox have been my involvement in student life as a Peer Advisor and a Resident Assistant. My roles as a student leader have been quite formational and have effectively pushed me beyond the boundaries of my comfort zone. Great opportunities like these, beyond that of academics, have truly allowed me to grow personally and to invest in the community around me and the friendships that I have formed. I have discovered how much I have a heart and passion for people, and the ability and opportunities I have had to pursue that passion has been an incredible and rewarding journey.

Q: What’s next?
A: First off, I will be spending time at home with my family after lengthy absences away. I hope to continue to pursue my passion in filmmaking and photography, and in doing so, hope to return to the Pacific Northwest area. Besides that, I am excited to see where God will lead me in the future and how I will be able to exercise my creative skills through new opportunities.

Josiah Sweeney

Name: Josiah Sweeney
Hometown: Newberg, Ore.
Major: Engineering

Q: How would you describe your experience at George Fox?
A: I have loved my experience at Fox. As a freshman, I lived on the second floor of Pennington, and I have never experienced another group of men who came together and got along so well – and so fast – as we did. I will always look fondly back on the Bible studies, the late-night studying and food trips, the Smash Brothers tournaments, the random worship sessions, and fascinating and poignant conversations. The experience at Fox has been all about the community. As an engineering student, I have worked through some difficult and very time-consuming work with others, and I wouldn't have it any other way. Above all, the experience at George Fox has been about the people, both fellow students and professors, and how genuine and thoughtful people are.

During my freshman year, I met my friend Levi Jaspers. His room was right next to mine on my floor, and we bonded over the fact that we were both sarcastic, pranking and introverted engineering students who happened to have an affinity for pizza and Top Gear. I never thought I could know someone with such a similar personality and sense of humor to mine, and that has had a huge impact on my life. We roomed together our sophomore and junior years and went on Juniors Abroad in the same group. I am proud to say that I am his best man in his wedding this summer. I am incredibly grateful to have met someone who I believe to be a lifelong friend here at George Fox.

Q: How have you changed or grown since coming to George Fox?
A: During my time at Fox, I have really found out what my skills are as a student, Christian and friend. Professors and projects in the engineering department have made me come to realize that I am capable of a lot more than I had previously thought. With this, I have also realized my limitations as a person, and when I need help and how to better work with others. As a Christian, I have grown in the fact that I know more what gifts I have and how I can help others in my own way while glorifying God. Finally, as a friend, I have learned from others and friends what it is like to truly be surrounded by genuine, caring people, and what it truly means to be a kindred spirit in both experiences and Christianity.

Q: What’s next?
A: Well, after I graduate I plan to work in industry, specifically in technology as an electrical engineer. Ultimately, I hope to pursue a Masters of Electrical Engineering in a few years so that I can specialize and fit into a more design role in industry, as I would like to be an innovator. I hope to have opportunities to travel around the world to see both the natural and created beauty in it.

Erika Stutts

Name: Erika Stutts
Hometown: Ventura, Calif.

Major: Math and Computer Science

Q: How would you describe your experience at George Fox? 
A: One aspect of being a math or computer science major that many do not know is that the classes are not all about numbers, code or hardware (although those are important too!). Instead, the core of both disciplines rests largely in reasoning, articulation of ideas, and determination in problem solving – all skills I will use both professionally and personally for the rest of my life. I can truly say that I think differently than I did when I came to college, and that is largely thanks to the fantastic instruction from professors in both departments.

However, while the classes were so influential, the portions of my time at George Fox that stand out in my mind the most are three-hour, after-midnight talk-a-thons with my close friends, in-office discussions with my professors that started with math and ended with wider-life topics, and the joy of spending time in math lab or the computer lab with other majors and discussing shared passions. Learning is fun, but learning with friends is fantastic! Thus, the words that come to mind to describe my time at George Fox are enriching, challenging, empowering, humbling and definitely enjoyable.

Q: How have you changed or grown since coming to George Fox? 
A: I have had two turning points during my time at George Fox. The first was freshman year when I was in Introduction to Proofs and I found the course to be very difficult. Because this is the “entry class” into the math major, it really shook my confidence that I found this first 200-level class so challenging. This was a turning point because it caused me to work hard and persevere through doubts, and when I was finally successful, it led me to realize that I’m more capable than I knew. This has been a theme throughout my academic journey: I have realized that I do not have to be a genius who finds everything simple in order to be successful and generally competent.

The second turning point was earlier this year, when I felt a little aimless at George Fox. I did not have many math major courses left and I felt like I was just waiting for graduation. The turning point came when I realized that just because there is a time limit to an experience, that does not imply that you should fail to get out there, meet new people, build relationships, and be fully engaged in your surroundings. A long-term “point” is not necessary in order for an experience to be worth a little effort. As a result, I have been able to have a lot of great experiences my senior year. I am really grateful that I did not just “wait” for graduation until the end because I would have missed out on a lot.

Q: What’s next?
A: After graduation, I am lucky to be able to start work in the field of math and computer science. I would like to work toward my masters in mathematics while working and eventually, after I have been outside the world of academia for a few years, I would like to teach. I am interested in a great many things, so I am excited to chase after opportunities!

Brianna E. Whithorn

Name: Brianna E. Whithorn
Hometown: Vancouver, Wash.
Major: Biology and French

Q: How would you describe your experience at George Fox? 
A: What I will remember most are the people – professors and fellow students. They are the ones who set me up for success. I met my best friend the first day of orientation, and we have walked together through the past four years. She has encouraged and challenged me.

Q: How have you changed or grown since coming to George Fox? 
A: I have changed so drastically during my four years at Fox – so much that before and after seem like different people to me! I started off as a nursing major, and two weeks in, I fell in love with what I was learning, and decided to go all in to medicine. I changed my major to biology with intentions of going to medical school.

Q: What's next?
A: I’m happy to report that I will be attending Campbell University School of Osteopathic Medicine in the fall! I'll be moving to North Carolina in July, and starting at the beginning of August. I know that a lot can change in four years, but as of right now, I intend on doing orthopedic surgery, specifically orthopedic trauma.

Brooke Greenburg

Name: Brooke Greenburg
Hometown: Glendora, Calif.
Major: Biblical Studies and Organizational Communication

Q: How would you describe your experience at George Fox? 
A: My experience at Fox has been incredible. I couldn’t have found a better place to learn and grow. I am particularly thankful for the College of Christian Studies. The professors, students and office administrator, Paula Hampton, have contributed to my growth as a student in ways I never expected. I have felt supported, encouraged and challenged during my time here.

Q: How have you changed or grown since coming to George Fox?
A: I have changed and grown in dramatic ways during my career at Fox. The biggest area of growth has been learning how to see beyond my own culture and experiences. Fox has pushed me to expand my perspectives and think critically about how I approach the world. I am a better person because of the critical thinking skills I have learned at Fox.

Q: What's next? 
A: I was accepted into three amazing graduate programs at Yale Divinity School, Princeton Theological Seminary and Boston University. I recently went ahead and made the decision to matriculate at Princeton. I am pursuing a career as a professor of biblical studies, and grad school is a step in the right direction. I would never have believed I was capable of achieving acceptance into such prestigious programs were it not for professors such as Brian Doak, who supported, encouraged and pushed me toward excellence at every step. I would not be the same person if it weren't for the hard work and support of my professors.

Dmitrey Timofeyev

Name: Dmitrey Timofeyev
Hometown: Woodburn, Ore.
Major: Mechanical Engineering

Q: How would you describe your experience at George Fox?
A: My experience at George Fox has been wonderful; I enjoyed every bit of it. The mechanical engineering program was very rigorous, but well worth it. I enjoyed almost every class I took, and I don’t recall disliking any professor. The engineering professors are superb. They are very supportive, considerate, qualified and available. I learned a lot of cool information, and I know it will be useful in my career.

I also enjoyed making new friends, serving together, and traveling for Juniors Abroad. Some of my fondest memories are going out for tacos with friends, staying up all night around a campfire, helping people in crazy ways at James Project, and riding bikes through the Andes. I couldn’t have asked for a better four years.

Q: How have you changed or grown since coming to George Fox? 
A: Through many occasions, I have been challenged to rethink what I believe, look at things from different perspectives, and to open up. These occasions include discussions in classes like Ethics and LACI, service projects and random conversations. One such occasion was during a Winter Serve trip to Puyallup, Wash. Besides doing the physical service throughout the week, we spent a fair amount of time discussing why we serve and what our motivations behind our service are. These conversations challenged me to only serve for the glory of God instead of any other selfish motivations.

Q: What's next? 
A: Next fall I plan to go to Oregon State University for a masters of engineering in mechanical engineering, with a concentration in design engineering. After graduate school, I plan to work in the industry in the area of design. The design engineering discipline focuses on developing the necessary skills to design products for complex systems such as robots, power plants and manufacturing machines. I hope that by completing this program I will learn how to consistently design products that fail less, perform better, and are more reliable. In a world that is rapidly advancing and requiring higher standards, it is crucial to know how to design new and improved solutions to meet the ever-increasing demands. Obtaining a design engineering degree will help me do just that.

Victoria Wilson

Name: Victoria Wilson
Hometown: Dallas, Ore.
Major: Business Management

Q: How would you describe your experience at George Fox? 
A: I adored my experience at Fox. I feel immensely blessed to have had the opportunity to learn and grow in a supportive environment where I felt like I belonged. Higher education with a Christian mindset is invaluable. Thanks, Mom and Dad, for making this possible!

I will remember first and foremost the relationships I formed here and how those people showed me new perspectives and prompted me to think about things differently. I really enjoyed the hands-on nature of the business program, and being taught by professors with spectacular past business experience! The three sociology courses I took (with professors Melanie Hulbert, Abigail Rine and Christopher Morrissey) absolutely changed my life, and my three serve trips (L.A., Seattle and Portland) further encouraged me to work for nonprofits post-grad. These experiences exposed me to the world outside of my small-town childhood and transformed how I relate to people. I really saw “Christianity at work” through my education.

Working at the library was an absolute joy. Singing with Concert Choir secured music as a vital part of my life. Traveling to Europe for Juniors Abroad was more than I could have ever dreamed of. Being an RA allowed me to be a part of an amazing team. I lived fully at Fox. I’ve made lifelong friends here. This school has had a tremendous influence on who I am today, and I would be lying if I didn’t say parting with it is bittersweet.

Q: How have you changed or grown since coming to George Fox? 
A: Essentially, I grew up here. College transformed me, just as everyone said it would! One of the most significant ways I grew while at Fox was through the understanding that the difficult seasons in life often benefit us in ways we don't see immediately. We might not know why we go through pain, but sometimes in a few weeks, months, or even years, God reveals to us how it was all in his perfect plan. I’ve learned that we need the bad to appreciate the good – without the tough times, why would the good times matter? I am thankful for the trials I've gone through; they have each taught me how to appreciate life more and love others better. At Fox, I learned to truly appreciate the relationships I have, and I hope that my life encourages people to see the true source of its joy: Jesus Christ.

Q: What's next? 
A: I am pursuing a career in public relations and fundraising, in hopes to ultimately work for a nonprofit as a director. I could even see myself as a press secretary or publicist! After a few years of experience, I will go back to school for my MBA. I’m starting out here in the Portland area, but once I get my feet on the ground I want to move in with my sister and work in New York City! I can't wait to experience more of the world. I’m thankful George Fox was the school that prepared me for it.

Ana Fakkema

Name: Ana Fakkema
Hometown: Anacortes, Wash.
Major: Biology

Q: How would you describe your experience at George Fox? 
A: Whether backpacking through the mosquito-infested mountains with RAs in the summer or playing soccer every Friday night until the lights shut off, my time at Fox has been spent with some amazing people. One of my favorite experiences was my Juniors Abroad trip to Central America. I had been hoping to go on a trip where I could brush up on my rusty Spanish, and this trip provided some great opportunities to interact with the locals. We spent three weeks trekking through Costa Rica, Honduras and Guatemala, and I was surprised at the uniqueness of each country. The poverty and social disparities that we witnessed contrasted strongly with the rich cultures, fantastic food and welcoming hospitality that we received at every stop along the way. Among the incredible rainforests, volcanoes, Mayan ruins and museums that we visited, the highlight of the trip for me was getting to know the hardworking people who opened their homes and businesses to us.

Back on campus, I could not have been more blessed by better friends and roommates. I have lived with some of the same wonderful women since my freshman year, and they have supported me through two years as a resident assistant, numerous stressful semesters, vet school interviews … you name it, they have been there! Being surrounded by hardworking, enthusiastic and caring people has made even the most challenging moments worth it.

Q: How have you changed or grown since coming to George Fox? 
A: The two years I served as an RA on campus were incredibly influential in shaping me as a leader. The opportunity to support others and be challenged on campus was very rewarding, and I found myself growing in patience, confidence and compassion. Being part of a larger working unit on campus also helped me appreciate many things; one of the most significant experiences for me has been sharing my own story and learning from the lives of others. I have developed a better understanding of the complexities and hardships that people face every day and the incredible perseverance and faith that has seen my friends and peers through difficult circumstances.

Q: What’s next?
A: After graduation, I plan to spend a summer soaking up the ocean, mountains and trails back home. Toss in a sister’s wedding and a trip down to the St. Paul Rodeo (I promised myself I would go before I left Newberg), and my summer will be coming to a close. In August, I will be packing up and moving across the state to Pullman, Wash., to begin vet school at Washington State University. After four years studying in the wheat fields, I hope to return to Northwest Washington to enter a large animal practice closer to my family (though in reality, I will be heading where the Lord calls and the cows moo!). Wherever I end up, I am looking forward to an adventure and a rewarding career. I also plan to continue my involvement in missions. After serving this past summer in Nicaragua with Christian Veterinary Missions, I have my heart on returning as often as possible in the future.

Shekinah Davis

Name: Shekinah Davis
Hometown: Portland, Ore.
Major: Art & Design

Q: How would you describe your experience at George Fox?
A: The most memorable part of my experience at Fox would definitely be working with spiritual life my junior year. Being mentored by amazing pastors and advisors, sleeping in the wilderness, canoeing in complete silence along the Willamette River, and meeting amazing speakers and musicians. I could go on and on. Throughout the whole year working with SpiL, especially during our Floatabout training, I learned that community and silence can be done simultaneously. I learned that sometimes God speaks in a gentle whisper, and that I can hear if only I sit still long enough. Working with an amazing team of chaplains, I also learned that doubt is good because it helps us grow.

Q: How have you changed or grown since coming to George Fox?
A: Fox has been very significant in helping me grow spiritually. I came here with a very narrow view of Christianity and my spirituality, but I am leaving having learned so much about my personal theological views and understandings. Coming here my faith was not entirely my own, but greatly influenced by my parents’ beliefs. I love my parents and they have taught me well, especially when it comes to the gospel, but at Fox I have been able to develop some of my own beliefs and perspectives. I took classes from amazing professors such as Steve Sherwood, Sarita Gallagher and others who really stretched and challenged me in a positive way. Leaving here I see how big God is and can’t wait to continue to grow and learn new things about him for the rest of my life!

Q: What's next?
A: Next I want to get on my feet financially and start paying off my student loans. My goal is not to get my dream job as a photojournalist just yet, but rather to become financially stable and figure out what being a grown-up means. Haha. Right now I am in the interviewing process for a job with Ruby Receptionist, which would be an amazing work environment and an awesome opportunity for growth. I intend on continuing to do freelance photography; however, just not under a specific company. My hope is to eventually go to grad school for photojournalism and to become an arts/communication director for a local or global nonprofit.

Website: Shekinahfaithphotography.com

Annelise Koeth

Name: Annelise Koeth
Hometown: Clackamas, Ore.
Major: Art & Design

Q: How would you describe your experience at George Fox?
A: The entire process of discovering and choosing Fox to being a student and now an alumna has been amazing. The way has been paved with important people in my life, from encouraging upperclassmen friends when I just began and all the friends and professors I’ve grown close with on the way, proving to be a great support system as I pursued learning. Especially as I delved into my focus of study, I was amazed by my professors, effective teachers but also excellent professionals whose shared real-world experiences made the coursework more relevant.

Another one of my favorite parts about my education is the connections I made across disciplines. I found (and am still finding) a way to reconcile my love for art with the advantages of business, mingled with history and bits of other disciplines. In my sophomore year, the overlap between my marketing and graphic design courses was a significant turning point for the way I viewed the world because it harmonized pieces that seemed to be so different. These courses made me aware of branding and taught me how to brand and position myself now as an emerging professional.

Q: How have you changed or grown since coming to George Fox?
A: These four years have gone so fast, but when I take time to think about them I can see a transformation in myself. Where I was once uncomfortable or under-confident, I’ve found more ease and assuredness, and I see that coming from a couple sources here at Fox. One is my academics and involvement in extracurricular activities. Choosing my courses and path of study, being an active participant in class and getting involved in clubs and groups helped me take ownership of my education. There was a point when I told myself, “Your career starts now. Create your best work now.” I wanted my coursework to become something important to me, not just a course to fulfill. I really see that in my senior thesis art exhibition. There was a lot of intimidating potential in making a body of work from scratch in one year, but it was a chance to go where I wanted with the ideas and techniques, and now I feel like I have my own practice as an artist.

My supportive faculty, staff, supervisors and coworkers have been so instrumental in my growth as well. I realized that at Fox I had a chance to let these people be more than just my teachers, and I’ve been blessed to develop relationships with several faculty members in both art and business. They’ve helped empower me and see many possibilities in what I can do. I had a chance to support first-year art students as a Peer Advisor for the last two years. Hopefully I’ve encouraged them to become immersed in the community in which they want to be a part.

Q: What's next?
A: I may not know exactly where I am heading next, but I know I’ve had a chance to learn about many options I never previously considered. I know that I will always make art and make time for personal projects for fun as well as a revenue stream. I'll be developing my studio practice and keep creating while merging it with the marketing and entrepreneurship skills I've learned through my minors.

Lately I've been fantasizing about starting my own gallery or gift shop-type of business, but first I’d like to gain some hands-on business experience with an established company. I’m also interested in teaching and mentorship, especially to encourage young ones to cling to their creativity. I’m open to possibilities like teaching or art therapy, or to continue in art and business, so I can imagine obtaining a second degree in a few years. My greatest goal is to use the skills and gifts I've been growing these last few years and take advantage of my creative and strategic sides. Wherever God leads me, I know that I was created to be a life-long learner, and I’m excited to discover my next learning environment.

Alana Espineli

Name: Alana Espineli
Hometown: Chula Vista, Calif.
Major: Art & Design, Graphic Design

Q: How would you describe your experience at George Fox?
A: These past four years have been both fun and challenging, and filled with so many great experiences. This community has been such an important part of my time here at Fox. I am so thankful for every friend, professor and mentor who has believed in me and encouraged me to keep going. I can only hope to be such a great encouragement to others. All of my design professors have pushed me to always put my best work forward. Though this sometimes led to all-nighters in the design lab, it was always fun to spend them working alongside friends. Two of the most memorable parts of my Fox experience were spent abroad. One trip was to China for Summer Serve and the other was to South Korea, Hong Kong and Vietnam for Juniors Abroad. These trips have changed the way I see the world and encouraged me to learn more about other cultures and explore more.

Q: How have you changed or grown since coming to George Fox?
A: These past four years have been quite the journey. When I first came to Fox, I didn’t know a single person in Oregon. I spent the first part of my time here slowly adjusting to life in a new place and just soaking everything in. It took me a while to find my place here, and it wasn’t until late in sophomore year that I started getting really involved. The most significant turning point for me was being a part of the Summer Serve team to China in 2013 and then becoming involved with the spiritual life office in the following semester. These two experiences have really pushed me to be more involved and invested in my community. I’ve learned that relationships are strengthened by vulnerability and that I shouldn’t let uncertainty or fear take a hold of me.

Q: What's next?
A: In July I'll be starting a 10-month graphic design internship with World Vision International's new Global Youth Engagement team. As I move forward with my design career I hope to never lose my love for learning. In every project I work on I get to learn about a whole new industry or hear someone’s story and then get to share that visually with others. This summer I’ll be headed home for a few months to spend some time with my family. While there I’ll be finishing up an internship at a local marketing firm, Fidelitas Development. I’ll also be working remotely for my professor’s design firm, Ashley Lippard Design. At the end of the summer I plan to move back to Newberg to continue working for Ashley.

Mark Adam Almquist

Name: Mark Adam Almquist
Hometown: Newberg, Ore.
Major: Biblical Studies and Philosophy

Q: How would you describe your experience at George Fox?
A: My time at George Fox has been one saturated with opportunities to encounter depth and meaning. As a biblical studies and philosophy major, I have learned the importance of maintaining an open posture when it comes to encountering the world and its complexity. Along with this outward attention, I have simultaneously taken an inward journey, becoming more intentionally aware of the importance of knowing myself. I have gained a healthy and critical outlook of the world, a more robust urgency for justice, and a more nuanced understanding of the divine.

I will certainly remember my professors the most. My academic advisor, Brian Doak, encouraged me to pursue levels of thinking, writing and scholarship I did not know I was capable of. I will also remember the other professors who particularly shaped me: Paul Anderson, Mary Schmitt, Corwynn Beals, Mark Mcleod-Harrison, Joseph Clair and Roger Newell. I have developed important relationships within the George Fox community, most notably my lifelong partner Mackenzie Murray.

Q: How have you changed or grown since coming to George Fox?
A: Before coming to Fox, I was unaware of my hearty taste for theology, philosophy and biblical studies. It was in Corwynn Beals’ Philosophy 150 course where I came across Socrates’ words: “True wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.” At that point I was introduced to an essential prerequisite for learning. Namely, humbly admitting what I do not know. Another particularly notable experience I had was the opportunity to study abroad in Regensburg, Germany. To be in some of the most pivotal contexts for my fields of study was quite invigorating.

It was in Brian Doak’s course on the Psalms that I began to kindle an interest in the human experience of lament. My attentiveness toward the experience of human suffering, particularly in the Hebrew Bible, would later lead to a Richter research project where I had the opportunity to conduct research on the book of Lamentations and the philosophy of Emmanuel Levinas. This intensive study with professors Doak and Beals has been the key reason I have chosen to pursue further studies at the graduate level.

Q: What’s next?
A: This summer I am getting married to my fiancée Mackenzie Murray. I am thrilled to be committing to partnership with her. We plan to move to Princeton, N.J., where I have been accepted into candidacy for the Master of Arts and Theological Studies program at Princeton Theological Seminary. Ultimately, I hope to teach, whether that is in an academic or confessional setting.

Katelyn-Lowen

Name: Katelyn Lowen
Hometown: Salem, Ore.
Major: Spanish and Music

Q: How would you describe your experience at George Fox? 
A: My experience at George Fox has certainly been an adventure, and has lead me to be an adventurer. From dorm room shenanigans like playing pumpkin baseball, to deep conversations in the laundry room, late nights in the practice rooms, memorable performances, and even more memorable friends, I have to say I owe a lot to George Fox. Here is where I learned to be myself, and to seek opportunities and take them. With the support of my friends, my God, my family and many helpful hands along the way, I feel like I am coming out of George Fox as a new and improved version of the Kate that started coming to school here four years ago.

The top two influential factors of my time here have been the Serve trips/international experience that I have been able to participate in, and my voice teacher Cynthia McGladrey. Without a doubt my travel and time learning and singing with Cynthia have shaped who I am today. Having the chance to experience other cultures through the mindset of service (whether in my own community or abroad) has given me the chance to see the world in a new light.

In the world of music, Cynthia has taught me so much more than just singing. She continues to be a role model to each student and a light to everyone she encounters alongside being so knowledgeable and talented in her field. She teaches every student like the unique individual that they are, and works hard to understand how they think in order to teach them so they can learn to the best of their ability.

Q: How have you changed or grown since coming to George Fox? 
A: My turning point during my time at George Fox was when I added my Spanish major. I had always felt called to learn Spanish, and it was finally time to do it! I had a rough transition from a major which I had really enjoyed and felt accomplished at into a major that I did not feel confident in and felt entirely out of my element. This experience pushed me out of my comfort zone and made me work harder to achieve my academic goals. Through this experience, I have been blessed in so many ways that my two passions, music and Spanish, can work together. I received a Richter Scholars grant to research worship in Nicaragua, have been a part of Spanish chapel, and am volunteering in the Young Mariachi Project in Newberg. During my years at Fox I have become more sure of myself and confident in my abilities to tackle any challenge. My faith in God and confidence in myself have been strengthened because of the opportunities he has shown me – and the way he proves I can handle them.

Q: What's next? 
A: My initial plans after graduation are to continue working with the Salem-Keizer School District with my incredible AVID students, as well as being a substitute in bilingual and special needs classrooms. This summer I am going to intern with Music Therapy Services of Portland in order to gain more experience, with the long-term goal of going to grad school and becoming a music therapist. Music therapy offers a way for me to use my musical abilities along with my bilingual skills and my passion to connect with at-risk individuals or those with disabilities. This position also comes with the potential of a unique opportunity to travel to Ecuador to observe other occupational therapists and use my Spanish skills to assist a music therapist as she trains other therapists about the use of music. My first plans after graduation are to fulfill my dreams of getting my scuba certification and joining a book club.

Torrey Dooley

Name:  Torrey Dooley
Hometown: Beaverton, Ore.
Major: Nursing

Q: How would you describe your experience at George Fox? 
A: I would describe my experience at George fox as amazing! I loved every minute of my time here. I will remember my professors the most. Each of them has had a profound impact on who I am now as a person. Everyone that I had the privilege to meet at Fox impacted me greatly; everyone here is very special. I learned how to be a nurse, I learned more about the Bible than I ever dreamed, and I learned a new respect for those who have endured a four-year education. I learned to love even more than I did in the past, and that is amazing!

Q: How have you changed or grown since coming to George Fox?
A: I have become more aware of my surroundings since my time at Fox. I have learned that GOD is FAITHFUL. I have learned that GOD WILL PROVIDE! I have learned to have a deeper love for his people and his creation. I have a desire to learn more every day. A turning point for me was when I met Elizabeth Tolon; she is an amazing person. To say the most with the fewest number of words, I would say she blessed me and my family. I will never forget her act of generosity. Another turning point is when I met Timotheos; he is an incredible man.

Q: What's next? 
A: Next is work and spending some much-needed time with my family. I will eventually go to graduate school, but I am taking it one day at a time. “Life is but a vapor.” I want to make the most of every moment.

Elise Stewart

Name: Elise Stewart
Hometown: Tigard, Ore.
Major: Nursing

Q: How would you describe your experience at George Fox? 
A: The last four years have been the whirlwind of academic rigor that makes up the educational journey of any nursing major. But here at the end, it has all been worth it.

It never seemed financially possible for me to attend George Fox, but God miraculously provided a way. I also could not have come this far without the patient support of my family and rejuvenating friendships with my peers.

Some of the opportunities I’ve had at Fox include studying abroad in Costa Rica, voice lessons, rock-climbing class, anatomy and physiology cadaver lab, starting a pro-life club, and late nights laughing and chatting with friends. I’ve made mistakes and picked myself back up again, overcome fears and gone on great adventures, and learned more about trusting a God who is all-knowing and loving.

Q: How have you changed or grown since coming to George Fox?
A: I believe my college experience has truly prepared me for the transition from academic to professional life. Through that process, I have discovered myself, so to speak. Freshman year I was enclosed in my own little world, unable to fully open up to the new opportunities surrounding me. Through an arduous process that only God could have carried me through, I have since become much more vivacious, expressive and adaptable. This doesn't mean life doesn't send hard times my way, but I am much more equipped to cope with them.

Q: What’s next?
A: My senior clinical rotation was on the trauma unit at Legacy Emanuel. The level of excitement, constant opportunity to learn, and daily chance to care for people made it a rewarding experience. However, I have thoroughly enjoyed almost all my rotations, so I am very flexible in my job search. My ideal job would be in the acute care hospital setting. As I await God’s guidance, I am looking forward to seeing what the future holds.

Kody Tarbell

Name: Kody Tarbell
Hometown:  Portland, Ore.
Major: Communication Arts, Cinema and Media Communication

Q: How would you describe your experience at George Fox? 
A: Over my four years here, one of the most important things I learned was that you never know what opportunities might await you. I came in not knowing what I wanted to do, whether I wanted to compete on the cross country team, or even if I was going to like it here. As the semesters passed, I found myself building new relationships everywhere. I allowed God to kind of direct me, and before I knew it I was one of the top runners at the school, majoring in something I liked, and building relationships I never had in high school.

Q: How have you changed or grown since coming to George Fox?
A: Over my four years here, one of the most important things I learned was that you never know what opportunities might await you. I came in not knowing what I wanted to do, whether I wanted to compete on the cross country team, or even if I was going to like it here. As the semesters passed, I found myself building new relationships everywhere. I allowed God to kind of direct me, and before I knew it I was one of the top runners at the school, majoring in something I liked, and building relationships I never had in high school.

Q: What's next?
A: As of right now, I have no idea. For two years, I have been debating about what career I wanted to go into and what kind of a person I wanted to be. When my senior year came, I began to realize that I was so caught up in comparing myself to others around me and their success that I wasn't able to enjoy what I have accomplished. So to answer your question, I don't know where I want to work. Once I go back home, I'm going to look for work anywhere I can, hopefully somewhere working in marketing or with people in PR. From there, I want to use those experiences to leap me into what God is calling me to be, which I haven't found yet. It’s scary to think about, but at the same time I'm at peace because I know God will direct me to where he wants me to go.

Mackenzie Murray

Name: Mackenzie Murray
Hometown: Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
Major: Biblical Studies and Christian Ministries

Q: How would you describe your experience at George Fox?
A: It would be easy to describe my experience at George Fox in platitudes, saying it was fantastic, fun and went by quickly! Yet the moments I'll remember are ones when my perspective on a topic changed because I met someone who experienced the world differently. I'll remember the times when I wasn't correct, and I realized how much I still have to learn. I'll remember the routines that got me through week after week. The encouraging, positive friends definitely made an impact; but I know I will remember those who offered to teach me about privilege and justice, though it was painful. Platitudes would suffice, but I'll continue to frame my experience of Fox as a difficult, but important, time.

Q: How have you changed or grown since coming to George Fox?
A: I can't identify a specific turning point in my three and half years at Fox. There was no lightning strike or audible direction from the Divine. The change and growth I've experienced have come in little ways. After having more than 13 roommates through my time here I learned the differences in definitions of clean. I've grown to know the value of saying, “I don't know,” and letting that just be. I've become far less certain of my own ability to define and dictate how God works. The Quaker roots of the university, though sometimes difficult to detect in operations, led me to learn more about discernment and trust for others in the faith journey. Each year held its own series of turning points, some more obvious than others. Though I look back now on my 18-year-old self and think, "She would have never guessed."

Q: What’s next?
A: Since graduating in December I've been working at Ruddick/Wood, a restaurant and tavern in town, as well as for the Northwest Yearly Meeting trying to become more like those fantastic Quakers. Post-George Fox life for me looks like seeking health in all areas so I may live an embodied life. Within that lifelong journey, I have plenty of adventure on the horizon. I'll be marrying Mark Almquist in the summer and supporting him through graduate school at Princeton Theological Seminary in the fall. We hope to be partners, as Daniel Erlander says, in “God's unfolding promise to mend the entire universe.”

Dacia Heckendorf

Name: Dacia Heckendorf
Hometown: Marysville, Wash.
Major: Exercise Science and Biology

Q: How would you describe your experience at George Fox?
A: My experience here at Fox has shaped the person I am today. I have built relationships with friends, professors, administrators, teammates and coaches that will last a lifetime. I have continually been challenged and inspired by this community every day. My friends have stood by me during the best and the worst of times here at George Fox. And my professors have poured their heart and soul into my education. I feel so blessed to be able to have made relationships with each and every individual here.

I was given the opportunity to participate on the women’s basketball team for four years. This was an amazing experience that pushed me and challenged me to my limits. I have become a better friend, teammate, leader and woman of God because of the individuals who went to battle by my side every day.

Q: How have you changed or grown since coming to George Fox?
A: Looking back over my four years here at George Fox I have grown so much. It has been a gradual process from freshman year. The greatest change that I have seen in myself since I came to Fox is the confidence I have in myself and what I am capable of. I have learned what it is like to be intentional with relationships and to live authentically. Over these past few years I have been able to find my own identity in Christ and in myself. The George Fox community helped me grow from an insecure girl to a confident, capable and eager woman.

Q: What’s next?
A: After I graduate I will be attending George Fox for the Doctor of Physical Therapy program starting in the fall. Physical therapists have so many opportunities to serve people from all backgrounds, and this is something I am really passionate about. I am really excited to be able to continue my education at Fox and so thankful for all the professors and mentors who helped me through this process. I am open to where God is leading me throughout this journey and will continue to follow the path God has laid out.

Grace Heisler

Name: Grace Heisler
Hometown: Newberg, Ore.
Major: Nursing

Q: How would you describe your experience at George Fox?
A: When I'm older and I look back on my years in college, I'll think fondly of the relationships I made, the fun and crazy experiences I had, and how I worked harder than I've ever had to work before. Catherine Fettig, Lisa Bingham and Stephanie Fisher, who are all nursing instructors, have made the greatest impact on not only who I want to be as a nurse, but also who I want to be as a person. Thank you for your encouragement and enthusiasm in speaking into the lives of your students. I'd also like to thank Sierra Neiman. I traveled to Romania with her and a few other students last May on a Summer Serve trip. She has helped shift my perspective and has been influential in my pursuit of how to practically live like Christ in modern-day America. Thank you for being so inspiring and passionate!

Q: How have you changed or grown since coming to George Fox?
A: One of the biggest ways in which I've changed while at Fox has been learning to ask more questions and challenge what is presented as "truth." I have been encouraged by my classmates and my professors to not take things at "face value," but to instead investigate for myself. This has challenged and shaped my faith, making my faith more real and personal. Overall, my time at Fox has been exhausting and rewarding! I am very glad I made the decision to come to school here.

Q: What’s next?
A: My husband and I are moving to the Los Angeles area this summer. He's going to grad school and I'm going to start my career as a REAL LIVE NURSE! I hope to work with marginalized populations, such as those suffering with mental illnesses or the homeless. L.A. is a very diverse area and I'm looking forward to all the opportunities I'll have to be Jesus’ hands and feet. Matt (my husband) and I hope to have a puppy soon and are looking forward to our transition down to California.

Lizzy Riese

Name: Lizzy Riese
Hometown: The Dalles, Ore.
Major: Communication Arts

Q: How would you describe your experience at George Fox?
A: My college years have been a rollercoaster, to be honest. There have been some pretty low points due to events in my personal life, but there has also been an unbelievable amount of grace and love from an incredibly caring community of faculty, staff and peers here at Fox. I will forever remember my sophomore year small group, Abide, as the first time I experienced genuine community in which I could grow and seek truth with other women who were dedicated to being authentic and vulnerable. Being part of a staff of resident assistants my junior year was also very influential. I’m not sure if I could have survived that year without the support of my staff and Ben Kulpa, my area coordinator, as a mentor.

Kevin Jones, my academic advisor, has also been a great mentor and friend, and has always been willing to talk when I needed some wisdom or just a listening ear. There are so many individuals – professors, staff and others – who have helped shape my time at Fox and who have encouraged me in one way or another on my path toward God’s calling on my life. I have also been especially blessed in the last two years to find a second home at Hillside Fellowship, and have so appreciated the support of my pastors there, Zach Elliott and Sean Flannery.

Q: How have you changed or grown since coming to George Fox?
A: One of the most transformational things about my time at Fox has been simply gaining confidence in myself and accepting that I have value. I had a lot of insecurities prior to college, but over time God has used people and experiences in my life to show me that I am important to him –not because of my talents or abilities, but simply because he loves me and I am his child. I don’t think I would have ever been comfortable in the past just saying “I really love being me,” but by the grace of God I can truly say that today.

I have also grown a great deal in my relationship with God and my love for him over the last four years. I’ve been blown away time and time again by God’s faithfulness, even in the darkest times of my life. I am very thankful that I have been able to wrestle with my doubts and fears in a safe and supportive community, where I am constantly being reminded of God’s love and his desire to be reconciled with our broken world.

Q: What’s next?
A: I plan on taking a year or two off to work and gain experience before returning to school to get my master’s degree. I’m not sure yet where or what I will be studying, but I am trusting God will reveal that to me in time to get there! I will also continue to pursue freelance writing jobs on the side of whatever I find myself doing after graduation. I am trying to be open to whatever God has for me, and I’m really looking forward to figuring out what exactly that is.

Alex Krotzer

Name: Alex Krotzer
Hometown: Amity, Ore.
Major: Computer Science

Q: How would you describe your experience at George Fox?
A: In short? George Fox University has changed my life. In the four years that I have attended, Fox has helped develop my life in every way possible. My professors and friends have made a significant impact on my life. Most of my professors have been absolutely phenomenal teachers, mentors and friends. I always felt comfortable approaching them about more things than just the most recent homework assignment, and I thank them for being open to conversation. It was a privilege to be their student. My friends have also been a significant blessing; my experience here would not have been the same without them.

One of the biggest impacts that I will remember from my time here is a story of God's providence. During my freshman summer, I decided that I wanted to start learning how to play the piano, so I started taking lessons from a piano teacher not far from my home in Amity. I remember praying that I wanted to be able to have a piano of my own someday, so that I could have one for my apartment after graduation. Well, John Knox, a former religion professor at George Fox, and I were talking after my Christian Foundations class in the fall, and I mentioned that I just started learning how to play the piano. “Do you need a piano?” he asked. Chills went up my spine, and I was flabbergasted. I accepted his gracious gift, and his piano sits in a place where it is loved and played often – his only wish.

Q: How have you changed or grown since coming to George Fox?
A: To choose just one event during my travels here is quite the task! I would argue that it is never just one turning point, but rather a long, windy, cross-country road. I started my journey as an engineering major, contemplating electrical engineering. I performed well during those first two years, but I ultimately realized that I enjoyed programming a lot more. I discovered Brent Wilson’s Introduction to Computer Science II class, which opened up a new way of solving problems. So, the biggest disciplinary swerve was to change my major from engineering to computer science, but still chasing after becoming an engineer – a software engineer.

I have been constantly reminded that God is sovereign over all things. There have been many days that I felt that it was “impossible” to get something done or where I felt so burnt out that I couldn’t possibly be successful. Through prayer and supplication, God has continued to remind me that I’m broken and wholly dependent on him. I would say that my faith has been tested at Fox, but it has flourished at the same time. These trials of faith and character have bolstered my relationships with God and the community around me.

Q: What’s next?
A: I am hoping to find a job in the Portland metropolitan area working as a software engineer. There are several reasons why I want to stay in the area. Firstly, I have a number of friends remaining in the area, and I want to continue nurturing my relationship with them. They have been awesome friends, and I just don’t want to say goodbye! Second, I want to continue taking piano lessons from my current piano teacher. I still have a lot that I can learn from her, and it has been an awesome pleasure to work with her!

Finally, I want to give back to the Amity community. They invested a lot of time and effort in me, and I want to give back to that group of people. I was a member of the First Tech Challenge robotics in Amity (Team #447 – 2 Much Sense). A lot of my passion for engineering is derived from the countless hours I spent during high school perfecting the year’s robot with my friends. I would like to give back to the program to coach students in the hopes that they develop a similar passion for engineering and computer science.

Ultimately, I hope that this will all lead to a great start to the next chapter in my life. I want to live a life worthy of the call that God has given me. If I do that, then I know I will live a rich life.

Sara Nutter

Name: Sara Nutter
Hometown: Oregon City, Ore.
Major: Biology

Q: How would you describe your experience at George Fox?
A: I have a tendency to get involved in things I like the idea of and see what happens. My experience at George Fox seems to have been characterized by this, and it has taken me all kinds of places in the last four years I had no idea I'd end up: to Costa Rica to study Spanish, Southeast Asia on Juniors Abroad, and to Arizona for hummingbird research with Powers Lab. I came to George Fox because of its science programs, and the biology department has issued me challenges unlike anything I have ever taken on before. I've seen so much more of what I'm capable of, and through all the ups and downs – be those personal or academic – I have repeatedly seen the goodness of God, pulling me through when there seemed no way to rise above the mess.

I’ve met a lot of different people here at George Fox, and in the friendships I have made, conversations and experiences I've had, classes I've taken, I've become much more open-minded, willing to question pretty much everything in my ongoing search for truth.

Q: How have you changed or grown since coming to George Fox?
A: Sophomore year was a huge turning point. I was in the midst of my first semester of upper-division science classes, genetics and organic chemistry – the latter of which I didn't take well to. And as my classes were taking over, I developed a preoccupation with drawing to match my already-strong passion for writing. That year marked a complete change in direction from my original intended career in physical therapy to something much different.

Since coming to George Fox, I’ve become a much more flexible person, a much braver person -- having seen what it is to work hard and to push through, accepting that time and energy are finite, and that we must choose what our priorities are and allow them to lend insight into how we aim to impact the world.

Q: What’s next?
A: Soon after graduation, I'll be off to Costa Rica to spend a month with my host family, whom I grew close with while studying abroad there for my Spanish minor.

I've applied to a master's program in illustration at Academy of Art University in San Francisco, and am currently waiting to hear back. I'm a huge science nerd and biology highly influences my areas of interest, but I'm a storyteller at heart – and a very avid one at that. I hope to combine my passions in science, art and writing to pursue novel writing, comic making, storyboarding, and whatever else my love of fiction brings me to.

Hope Kenyon

Name: Hope Kenyon
Hometown: Portland, Ore.
Major: Biology

Q: How would you describe your experience at George Fox?
A: My experience at George Fox has been one of exploration, growth and laughter. Through relationships, classes and leadership opportunities, I have been able to explore and ask questions about myself, God, the Christian community and God's plans for my life. I have also been able to explore new perspectives and cultures, both on campus, through participating in intercultural life programs and events, such as Cultural Celebration Week and Cultural Ambassadors, and off campus, through Juniors Abroad and Winter Serve in downtown Portland. The past four years have also been filled with much laughter, joy and friendship, which made homework and studying just a little bit easier and life a lot more full.

Q: How have you changed or grown since coming to George Fox?
A: I have grown a lot in these past four years at George Fox. Through both academic and extracurricular activities, I have been challenged to grow and try new things and new ways of doing things. I have grown as a leader through being the vice president of the International Justice Mission club, being an RA, and being an intern in the Office of Spiritual and Intercultural Life. These experiences have taught me how to be a servant leader, how to engage diverse groups of people, and how to use my strengths.

Growth, for me, has often happened in subtle ways that I don't notice until I look back at who I was four years ago as a freshman just starting my George Fox experience. My life has been greatly impacted and changed by the people I have interacted with and built relationships with, from professors and supervisors to classmates, roommates and friends. These people have encouraged and challenged me to continue to grow into the person God has created me to be. For that I am very thankful.

Q: What’s next?
A: This next year I will be working as an AmeriCorps member with an organization called City Year, in Florida. I will be helping students who are struggling in school, by tutoring, assisting teachers in classrooms, and organizing after-school programs. I believe that this position will give me opportunities to learn more about the education system in the U.S. and gain experience working with a nonprofit, as well as gain skills I can use in future jobs.

Stephen Howell

Name: Stephen Howell
Hometown: Tacoma, Wash.
Major: Computer Science

Q: How would you describe your experience at George Fox?
A: My experience at George Fox has been an incredible ride. I have learned so much and have grown in so many different ways over the last few years. One of the things I'll remember the most about George Fox will be the people that I met here. As a transfer student, I was unsure how well I would fit in to the friends circles of my roommates, but in time, we got to know each other really well. Now, I've got some of the best friends I could ask for. In addition to great friends, I've had two amazing computer science professors. They have opened up some of the “black boxes” and have allowed me to explore the inner workings of countless aspects of computer science. Many of the questions I've had have been answered and, in the process, my appetite has been whet for even more.

Q: How have you changed or grown since coming to George Fox?
A: One of the ways that I have grown in my time at George Fox is my trust in God. This last year, I found myself relying on my own abilities and wisdom in situations and in where I thought my future was heading. Over time, I've learned to let go of what I think is the correct course of action and let God lead me. It's been difficult at times – especially when I've wanted an immediate answer – but, little by little, I’ve been able to give up my plans and submit to his will. When I have, he's moved in ways that were unimaginable.

Q: What’s next?
A: Post-graduation, I'll be sticking around George Fox for a while. I've been hired by the analytics department for a software engineer position. I'll be solving problems and crafting solutions for various departments around George Fox such as admissions, enrollment and registrar. Additionally, I'll be helping with reporting and analysis of university data. I'm excited to start and I've already gotten to know the team that I'll be working with. Beyond that, I'd like to eventually pursue a PhD in computer science and teach. I have no idea what that will look like, but I’m trusting God will lead me in the right direction at the right time.

Shannon Howsden

Name: Shannon Howsden
Hometown: Tooele, Utah
Major: Athletic Training and Exercise Science

Q: How would you describe your experience at George Fox?
A: My time here at Fox has been absolutely amazing. I’ve met so many great people who have encouraged me and challenged me to grow into the person that I am today. I came to Fox not knowing anyone and I’ll be leaving with so many new friends and treasured memories from my time here. The person who was most influential to me was my roommate, Ameena. We were assigned as roommates freshman year and we’ve stuck together all four years. We’ve been through exciting times together as well as the really hard times. I’ve also been supported by the faculty and staff academically and by the advice that they have spoken into my life.

Residence life has had a huge impact on me. It provided me with the opportunity to become a leader among my peers and become a role model for those around me. It challenged me to step out of my comfort zone. It has made the community here at Fox like a family. The staffs that I have been a part of and the women that I’ve lived with have been an inspiration to me. I’ve absolutely loved it here and will always treasure my experience.

Q: How have you changed or grown since coming to George Fox?
A: The biggest way that I’ve seen myself grow over the past four years is by becoming more confident in myself and my abilities. I’ve had professors and friends challenge me to do more than I thought I was ever capable of doing. Looking back over the past few years, I’m amazed by how much I was able to do and the things I was blessed to be involved with. In a sense it’s like I’ve found my voice here at Fox, and I will be forever grateful.

One turning point in my life was when I went on a Summer Serve trip to Swaziland, Africa. I learned a lot about the power of prayer and how life can be so bountiful even in the midst of poverty. I came back from that trip with a greater appreciation for God’s creation and his people more specifically.

Q: What’s next?
A: Two weeks after graduation I will be getting married to Christopher Lee and moving across the country to Pennsylvania. I have been accepted to the Doctorate of Physical Therapy program at the University of Pittsburgh, and I will begin graduate school at the end of May. For the next three years I will be working toward my doctorate so I can finally become a physical therapist. I’ve wanted to become a physical therapist since I was in eighth grade, and it’s exciting to see that dream coming to life. I love working with people and being a part of the redemption process that happens when patients recover from an injury or other physical limitations.

Jennifer Newman

Name: Jennifer Newman
Hometown: Livermore, Calif.
Major: Politics and Philosophy

Q: How would you describe your experience at George Fox?
A: I think the best word to describe my experience at Fox is tempestuous, meaning “of strong and conflicting emotion.” Each semester that I have been here has been completely different, making my time here filled with beauty and also with darkness. During the last four years, I have been a part of some amazing changes on campus, yet I have also experienced frustrating and even devastating barriers to change. I have really loved the community I found here, the faculty who have been there to listen and be my friend, and the wonderful classes that have stretched my mind. Yet, as with any institution, sometimes things happened that broke my heart. Nevertheless, I am convinced that George Fox was where God wanted me.

The beauty of Fox has been in the professors challenging my intellect and my faith; it has been finding community; it has been embracing dissent; it has been the opportunities to fight for social justice issues within my Christian community; it has been reforming my faith; it has been studying abroad at Oxford and finding new ways to express faith in scholarship. I am leaving George Fox with a better understanding of my faith than I ever thought possible. George Fox University provided me with a space to be free to figure things out, and the grace and support of faculty members in the process. Fox has equipped me with skills to think across many different disciplines, and how to reason well. These skills are truly invaluable.

People who have influenced me at George Fox:

  • Abigail Rine, for her willingness to listen to my feminist awakening
  • Kathy Heininge, for her heart for her students
  • Ron Mock, for his rigorous grading, and for reminding me that maybe it’s OK to not plan every minute of my life
  • Melanie Mock (and her blog!), for her humor around issues that should make us all angry
  • Michael MacLeod, for his encouragement and belief in my potential
  • Mark McLeod-Harrison, for his dedication to making sure I was heard
  • Phil Smith, for his commitment to civility
  • Leah Payne, for encouraging me as a woman in my field
  • Jenny Matheny, for her constant happiness and encouragement
  • Mary Schmitt, for her companionship this year
  • Paula Hampton, for her dedication to causes she’s passionate about
  • Jane Scott, for always being a listening ear

Q: How have you changed or grown since coming to George Fox?
A: Coming to George Fox, I was excited to begin my life as an adult. In many ways, maturing over the last four years has been a wonderful experience. Yet, I was looking at my future through rose-colored glasses. I was unprepared for facing the deaths of my friends and loved ones. I was unprepared to have many close to me suffer from depression. I was unprepared to become the kind of person that pushed against injustice in my community. I was unprepared to realize that life in adulthood is so much more weighty than simply having more responsibility and freedom. Looking back, I cannot ignore these experiences, because they have shaped me in significant ways. It was all a very real part of my experience in the last four years, and a part that has impacted who I have become. It is this notion of lament as a part of faith that I was thoroughly unfamiliar with until I came to Fox. That part of worship, part of our relationship with God, is being able to lament the things that break our hearts.

Yet, much beauty and light shines through the dark. I really came into my own during these last four years. I had professors who supported me, listened to me, and encouraged me to dig deep and keep searching. I have found community here, community that really means something to me, and that actively shapes me. I had my feminist awakening here, during which I was able to have a community of people around me to have conversation and stretch my mind. I became a philosopher, and I became an activist. Studying abroad at Oxford helped me to take myself seriously as an academic, and I began to find my voice. I deconstructed my faith, yet I found beauty and solace in tradition as I prayed in beautiful churches and contemplatively worshipped. Leaving George Fox, I feel prepared to enter the world as a confident academic as well as a Christian.

Q: What’s next?
A: In fall 2015, I will be heading to Vanderbilt Divinity School to pursue a Master of Theological Studies degree with a certificate in Religion, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.

As I was applying for programs, my family and I prayed that if I was going to enter a master’s program, God would provide a way to help me afford it. Amazingly, it seems that God wanted me at Vanderbilt. I was blessed to receive their Carpenter Scholarship, which includes full tuition and a stipend for my two years. After this, I am hoping to get my either a J.D. or a PhD in philosophy. I am very excited for the journey ahead!

John Hodges

Name: John Hodges
Hometown: Billings, Mont.
Major: Biblical Studies

Q: How would you describe your experience at George Fox?
A: These four years at George Fox have made real to me some of the complexities of the world, and inspired me to be someone who seeks to be challenged. Along with a greater awareness of systemic social issues brought about by many classes and events, the myriad opportunities to practice scholarly thoughtfulness and discipline within my faith have led me to be personally challenged by the rigorous academic study of the Bible. My professors and classmates have been hugely significant in the growth of my own understanding, and I am grateful to those who offered their thoughts and encouraged me to talk through mine. I had the opportunity to spend a semester as a visiting student at the University of Oxford, and this experience in particular helped me realize that I remain quite ignorant.

I am particularly grateful for my time serving in residence life; the many hours spent in intentional community with others has given me practical skills and further willingness to engage with people who think differently than I do, and brought so much laughter. I came to know many during my time as an RA whom I wouldn’t have otherwise, and I am better for it. My area coordinators especially gave me many chances to be open about my own life, thoughts and experiences, and I experienced God’s grace while being honest with my friends.

All in all, my time at Fox has grown in me a better understanding that good things often come through difficulty, and that being together with people is an important means by which difficulty – whether negative or positive – is embraced and navigated.

Q: How have you changed or grown since coming to George Fox?
A: A residence life retreat during the fall semester of my sophomore year marks a turning point in my own growth since coming to George Fox. Over the course of the term, our staff of 10 individuals took turns telling our life stories with the group, and the retreat marked time for me to share. This telling of my story was the first time I had been open with a group of peers about the whole of my life, and spanned things that I am grateful for and things that I’m not proud of. In this I experienced God’s grace, and that semester I became a more confident individual, willing to be authentic about who I am, even during times when I don’t think my thoughts or actions quite reflect who I want to be. This increased ability to be open with others has helped me obtain a desire to be present to my undertakings and more attentive to God’s presence.

Q: What’s next?
A: Shortly after graduation, I will return to my home state of Montana to learn how to do construction work and crack down on some student loan debt. In the next year, I aim to be applying to various schools toward the pursuit of an MDiv degree. My hope is to enter pastoral worship ministry, and I’m thinking that that might take place in a smaller town, or perhaps within a Spanish-speaking community. Though leaving the comforting presence of the Willamette Valley isn’t something I’m looking forward to, this summer I’m exited about getting into the mountains as often as I can and reading some books I’ve been anticipating.

Miranda D'Agostini

Name: Miranda D'Agostini
Hometown: Albany, Ore.
Major: Christian Ministries and International Studies

Q: How would you describe your experience at George Fox?
A: My time at George Fox has been extremely formational. The community here is something I will never forget. From being a part of an incredible freshman floor of ladies with an awesome RA, to serving alongside remarkable Jesus-loving people in both Outreach Ministries and residence life, to discussing hard and important things with my fellow Christian ministries majors, working and hanging out in the Christian studies office, to studying abroad in Thailand. I've gained so much from each of these intentional communities. My personal experience at Fox has been stretching, diverse, rich, engaging, and so telling of God's love for relationship. Jesus called me to Fox four years ago with the purpose of getting prepared for what is to come, and I owe so much of that quality preparation to my friends, fellow classmates, professors and community members I've had the privilege of encountering along the way.

Q: How have you changed or grown since coming to George Fox?
A: SI've experienced a significant amount of change over the past four years – the importance of community being first and foremost. I've learned that God not only calls his people to live together, but he calls us to live intentionally – on purpose. He wants us to be aware of the world that we live in, to care about important issues and to live a life that reflects the love and intentionality of Christ. Being at Fox, I've gained so much from the guest speakers/lecturers we've had, the different panels that have presented, the various organizations and cultures represented, and the wonderfully diverse group of people I've had the honor of getting to know over the past four years. It's as if a veil of ignorance has been lifted and new vision of cultural and global awareness has been opened, and I couldn't be more thankful.

Q: What’s next?
A: Directly after graduation I'll be moving back home to Albany, Ore., to enjoy a season of rest and discernment. I will be serving my home church, working off some student debt, and diving into the research I love and am excited to do that is the study of what I'm most passionate about – missions. I want to learn all that I can about cross-cultural missions, how the body of Christ can be strengthened and united around the world. How the church, which I love so much, can do and be better when it comes to cross-cultural engagement and ministry. I hope to use this coming season as further preparation for a life abroad in whatever capacity the Lord chooses. I'm taking everything one step at a time. Where he leads, I will follow, and I couldn't be more excited for this next chapter of life knowing I have such a firm foundation and group of incredible people in my ever-growing circle.

Emily Searway

Name: Emily Searway
Hometown: Ensenada, Mexico
Major: Management and Spanish

Q: How would you describe your experience at George Fox?
A: My experience at Fox has been amazing. I have learned a lot about myself and what I have to offer the world. The community here has made a huge impact on my life. People have challenged me and supported me in more ways than I could have expected. Fox has helped me build a family with whom I have shared the joys and sorrow of life over the last four years. I have been blessed with professors who have poured out their wisdom on me and have helped my personal and professional development. During my time at Fox I had the opportunity to study abroad in Seville, Spain. My time there was simultaneously the best and most challenging time of my life. God used that time to relieve me of some personal burdens, strengthen my convictions and to remind me of the freedom I have in him. The university equipped me for that experience, and I was fortunate to have my Fox family to come back to.

Q: How have you changed or grown since coming to George Fox?
A: It is hard to pinpoint specific moments of change. For me, it has been a gradual process. I have learned about being intentional and to take time to strengthen my relationships. In the classroom, I have learned to understand and embrace different viewpoints, and to use my strengths and my experiences to make a difference. Spiritually, I deepened my convictions and discovered the importance of being a part of a spiritual community. I’m so grateful for my years at George Fox because it was a safe place to live away from home, get to understand the American culture, get to test my faith for myself, and to gain confidence. I feel ready to go out and live!

Q: What’s next?
A: This fall I will be participating in the Disney College Program. I will be living, working and taking some courses at Disney World in Florida. I’m hoping to get my certificate in hospitality management while I am there. In the future I hope to find a job in the hospitality field. I am passionate about helping others and making people feel welcome. I hope to live out my passion through my work.