Steinfeldt Scholars

Mikayla Greenwell

Sarah Aldrich 

Senior - Theater Major

Our God is a God of relationship and story, and I have been able to experience that first-hand at George Fox.  It seems to be popular these days to have a spirit of discouragement and fear and to see peace as a foolishly optimistic goal.  Surely we are too different, and the divide is too wide, for us to create peace today.  However, as a Theatre major, I have been witness to the power of story and relationship, and I have been able to see people choose to step outside of themselves and for a couple hours, to empathize with someone else's story.  Just as Jesus used parables to paint pictures of His kingdom, I believe storytelling is a unique way of helping us all to catch the vision for peace and reconciliation today.

Jesus has called us to “come and follow” him, and I am hoping to do that in some small way by pursuing theatre and promoting peace through empathy.  As Jesus demonstrated in his ministry on earth, there is something very powerful in choosing to not only listen to someone else’s story, but to inhabit it.  Peacemaking begins with learning to be like Jesus and doing what Jesus did, so at Fox I’m choosing to dive into the things He has called us to love and more importantly, the people he has called us to love.  Because that's what theatre is all about, choosing to listen and love.

Maidina Tuohuti

Nehemiah Heye

Senior - Psychology Major, Student Body President

Peace and justice is definitely one of those things that I never put too much thought into until I got older.  I grew up during the war in Iraq, so I knew there were problems, but I saw it as a “them” issue and something that didn't affect me directly. 

I moved to Ethiopia my freshman year of high school and saw firsthand how really unjust this world can be.  Upon moving back to the states, I began to see how my actions could have a global impact.  I realized that my watching porn was affecting not just me but women across the world.  I too was playing a role in this world not having peace and justice.  My lesson from this was that we all play a role (whether we know it or not) and once God brings awareness, it changes our lives forever.  I believe if everyone learned this we would live in a very different society. 

 Even though a good portion of the world doesn't believe in God, I believe that our longing for peace is our longing for God.  Most people do this unknowingly.  They feel a need to have peace, but don’t recognize that God is the true Shalom and He is the only answer there is.  We are made to honor Him, and I believe that our longing for peace is the clearest sign of it.

Maidina Tuohuti

Elizah Stephens

Senior - Biology and Philosophy Major

I grew up surrounded on all sides by Pacific Northwest coastal forest and was deeply influenced by the beauty of the wilds of Oregon from a young age.  In my travels and experiences living and working in Central America throughout my teen years, prior to coming to Fox, I learned that this is a luxury that not everyone is able to enjoy.  After working with rural development and community building projects, and spending two years living at an orphanage in Honduras, I learned that seeking peace and justice may not always look like serving orphans and widows.  Peace may involve teaching sustainable agricultural practices that promote food security, and working for justice might mean standing up against pesticides that harm both people and ecosystems.  It is through these experiences that I have come to see that my own journey towards becoming a peacemaker may not look like the traditional missionary or non-profit CEO model, but must reflect my own unique convictions and loves. 

For me, caring for the environment is most pressing on my heart.  The destruction of the environment not only deprives everyone of beauty, it also limits access to clean air and water, sanctuary from heat, and reduces the biodiversity that so often proves necessary to our agriculture and well-being.  In many ways we live at war with the world around us, and often the poor suffer the brunt of the consequences.  I hope to work towards justice in whatever small way I can for those most influenced by polluted rivers, biodiversity loss, topsoil erosion, and the multitude of problems caused by human carelessness, and to seek peaceable ways of living with the planet which is our shared home.

Maidina Tuohuti

Josh Cayetano

Senior - History Major

A few years ago, I visited Auschwitz-Birkenau in Poland and have since visited Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem, and the Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C.  If anything, my close contact with history has taught me the fight for peace and justice is just that: a fight. It requires engagement and advocacy and passion.  As Elie Wiesel writes, "The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference."  

During my time at George Fox University, I have cultivated my voice for the voiceless, beginning with my advocacy with and for Iraqi and Syrian refugees.  In both Oregon and Jordan I have served with members of the refugee community and have learned from their perseverance and their stubborn commitment to a better life.  As someone who wishes to attend Divinity School and, more importantly, a follower of Jesus, I believe this community has something to teach me, even as I advocate for them in the public square.