Alumni News

Stories from our recent grads and alums.

Featured Grads

 

Maci Jokumsen - 2019

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Hometown: Grants Pass, Oregon
Major: Psychology and English

Q: How would you describe your experience at George Fox?
A: My experience at George Fox has been more than I could have ever prayed for. I have had the opportunity to play three different sports and be a part of two different majors during the last for years, and I have experienced the "Be Known" promise in every way. I am convinced that there is no other place that will ever be as special as Fox is. The people, the community and the love of God is so present and intercedes into every aspect of life at Fox. I feel so blessed to have been given the opportunities that I have over my undergraduate career, and I will forever consider George Fox to be "home."

Q: How have you changed or grown since coming to George Fox?
A: I feel ready, competent and capable to take on the next chapter because of the way that Fox has forced me to grow spiritually, academically, personally and relationally. I am so far from the girl that came to Fox as an apprehensive freshman, and I have never felt more fully myself. My coaches and professors have constantly pushed me out of my comfort zone, picked me up when I've fallen, and loved me regardless of what stage I was in. I never could have imagined what the last four years would entail; and yet, God's faithfulness has been so evident in every aspect.

Q: What’s next?
A: I am getting married and moving to Denver in August to pursue a master's degree in clinical mental health from Regis University. Eventually I want to open up my own practice, but in the meantime I want to spend a lot of time hiking, skiing, running and exploring our new home when I'm not in the classroom.

 

Sean E. Robertson - 2017

seanerobertson

Hometown: Hillsboro, Oregon
Major: Psychology (minor: Christian Ministries)

Q: How would you describe your experience at George Fox?
A: As cliché as the "Be Known" promise has become, it has been absolutely true. I'll never forget my professors in my first spring celebrating and honoring the birth of my second son. They moved exams for me, they allowed him to come to class when he was sick, and they held him as the precious child of God he was. Being a veteran on this campus was at first unnerving. I was an older, different student compared to my peers, but the professors continually invited me into deeper relationship with them. This has had a major impact on my future career, ability to relate to others, and desire to show empathy.

Q: How have you changed or grown since coming to George Fox?
A: One metaphor by an influential professor sticks out. Our life, he proposed, looks and behaves much like our beautiful quad in response to the changing seasons. Winter, in particular, is a pithy time. Plants lose their ability for outward growth, and the leaves and the flowers are long gone. Bright, flashy colors no longer bless our visual sense, but underneath, the tree is not dormant. Roots dig deeper and deeper into the soil to anchor the tree and to provide the vital source of nutrients and water the leaves and flowers will need during the future seasons. If it were not for the infrastructure and support grown during the harshness of winter, neither the glory of spring blooms nor the majesty of autumn would be a reality. George Fox has not been an easy time for me. My family and I have sacrificed a great deal for me to graduate with honors. My wife quit her job to move here, my son left friends behind when he moved schools, and I scrounged for the space to see them. The harsh times of winter seemed to be everlasting. Yet, we have grown our roots deeper. Spiritually, we have grown in our relationship with God and each other. Physically, my sons have grown – one is a captain on his baseball team, the other an aspiring Buzz Lightyear. George Fox University will forever be the place my children, my marriage, and my vocation were nurtured to maturity.

Q: What’s next?
A: Next year I begin doctoral training in clinical psychology in George Fox’s Doctor of Psychology program. I plan to eventually work with populations that are systemically underprivileged. In the past, I have worked with people that abuse substances, experience homelessness, and lack strong familial support systems. These populations normally are either originally at-risk youth or veterans, both of which are a part of my personal story. My goal is to provide mental and relational care to these people through individual and group therapy.

 

Jacinda Thomas - 2014

jacindathomas

Hometown: Tillamook, Oregon
Major: Psychology & English (double major)

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

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

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

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

 

Josh Riedel - 2013

joshriedel

Hometown: Elma, Washington
Major: Double major in Psychology and Philosophy

Q: How would you describe your experience at George Fox?
A: Coming in to Fox as a freshman I could not have imagined what awaited me. First off, I was extremely blessed to be placed on a floor with guys who love Jesus and love to have fun. Many of them have become my closest friends and men who I will continue to be close to throughout life. I cannot imagine my time here at Fox without these guys. They have had a profound impact on my life, and it has been such an amazing blessing to become more of a man along with these guys. I also don’t think I could have anticipated the extent that I would be poured into as well. I have been extremely blessed and overwhelmed by the number of people who have journeyed further in life than me who have been willing to invest in me. I have had professors, people in Spiritual Life and Res Life, and other staff members who have taken time to sit down and help me sort through all the things that life has thrown at me during my time here. Even my entire career trajectory is different because these people were willing to invest in me and be a true blessing.

I could not have imagined that a place would have such a profound impact on my life. I came in thinking I would graduate as quickly as possible and continue on with whatever is next, and of course have fun along the way. Instead, I have found a home and a place I know I can always come back to and be welcomed as family, and that has been a blessing beyond belief. 

Q: How have you changed or grown since coming to George Fox? 
A: I am in no way the same person I came here as. I was a boy who thought I had life figured out, and now I am man who is stumbling my way through, but at the same time feels more stable than ever. I have learned so many things about life and myself, but above all I have learned more about the gospel and how life changing it is and how Jesus must consume all I do because of it. It is difficult to keep this response short, but basically I realized I didn't truly know the gospel. Sure, I knew Jesus died for my sins so I could go to heaven someday, but I have begun to realize how profound the gospel really is and how life changing it is now and not just in the future. I have learned that no matter how hard I try or how badly I fail, Jesus will love me the same, and because of that my life ought to be lived to point others to that truth and reality. I am awful at that and everyday I become more consumed with myself than Jesus, but I’m a lot further along on this journey than I was as a freshman and am closer to Jesus now than ever before. The best part is I still don't know Jesus well at all and get to continue to seek after him and learn more and more about his love for his children everyday. So while I have learned lots of little things and grown in many ways, this is by far the way I have changed the most during my time at Fox. 

Q: What’s next?
A: I will be going to Taylor University in Indiana next fall for a master’s in higher education and student development. I had no idea I would be doing this when I came to Fox, but it has been an amazing journey and I am so excited for what is next. The intent is to continue to work at a university in student development, more specifically residence life or spiritual life. I absolutely love the college life. I love the energy and excitement all the time, but also the potential to grow and change for the best when people pour into students. Hopefully someday I get to come back to Fox and work here, which is probably a ways down the road, but my dream job is indeed to come back here and pour into students the way I have been poured into.