After announcing our new name, University of Northwestern – St. Paul, we held a Tweet Chat on May 9, 2013 to talk about becoming a university! We’ve created this summary of the chat, arranged by topic so you can easily jump to the answers you’re looking for.
HOST Dr. Alan Cureton @prezcure (President)
CO-HOSTS Drew Shepp @drewshepp (Assoc. Director, Campus Ministries) Emily Herman @emilyrherman (Asst. Director, Alumni & Parent Relations)
Read our Tweet Chat recap if you missed the chat, or have questions about Northwestern's new name and what it means for you.
A few questions from the #AskPrezCure chat: Why University of Northwestern – St. Paul? What will the school's new abbreviation be? How does the name change affect alumni? What about resumes and diplomas?
Northwestern senior Anastasia Pederson '13 accepted the Fulbright English Teaching Assistant (ETA) Scholarship in April, appointment to teach high school students in Levice, Slovakia. The tenth awardee in Northwestern's Fulbright legacy, Pederson crowns a decade of excellence overseas.
U.S. Fulbright scholars represent the nation's largest international exchange program, sponsored by the Department of State. The ETA program is a natural next step for Pederson, who will graduate in May with a B.A. in ESL Education and an Intercultural Studies (ICS) minor, then begin her assistantship in Slovakia on August 24. Pederson remembers a 2010 tour abroad with Northwestern's ICS program as a catalyst for international interest and her Fulbright pursuit.
"It was a desire for the unknown," said Pederson, "Eastern Europe is an area of the world I don't know a lot about, and so it was kind of for my own desire to learn and to experience a new way of life."
Beyond personal enjoyment, Pederson sees purpose in using linguistics to make meaningful cross-cultural connections. She referred to wisdom from her professor, Dr. Feng Ling Johnson, who taught how the language failure leads to loss of identity:
"If you're not able to communicate in a language when you're surrounded by a different language, you lose yourself in a way," explained Pederson, "So how do you cross those cultural barriers of language to help people find their identity again and be able to express themselves so that they're heard and that they're seen and that they're known."
Pederson saw the lasting effect of saying hello to her ESL students in their native language, and taking time to ask about their lives as she student taught this spring at a Twin Cities high school. Even with her experience, Pederson recognizes the new challenge of teaching in Slovakia.
"Teaching is always a humbling experience," she said, "You realize there's always a huge learning curve, just trying to remember you're never going to be a perfect teacher, but aiming to be a perfect teacher."
Pederson, 21, is from Buffalo, MN and will be spending a month in Norway with relatives prior to her appointment in Slovakia. Northwestern's 2012 Fulbright Scholar, Charissa Doebler '12 , is just finishing her appointment in Taiwan and has documented her journey on her blog, A Sojourner's Saga.
Northwestern College will roll out its red carpet for the seventh year this spring, showcasing student films at the Five16 Film Festival on Monday, April 15, 2013 at 7 p.m. in Maranatha Hall. After festival-goers enjoy a selection of comedy, drama, music video, documentary and animation film submissions, a panel of Northwestern faculty, alumni and film professionals from around the country will announce the winner for each category.
"This is a great opportunity for students to produce creative and engaging videos and receive feedback from professionals in the industry," said Ann Sorenson, MFA, associate professor of communication and festival director. "As the festival grows, so does the level of quality and professionalism in the films that the students are producing."
Last year, the Five16 drew an audience of 950 and received rave reviews from attendees. Named in homage to Matthew 5:16, the festival awards films for storytelling and production, as well as the portrayal of Christian values:
"In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven."
When Sorenson came to the film department in 2007, she had a vision to build the program and empower students to tell their best stories with what she calls the "everything art."
While a successful film festival is one goal fulfilled, Sorenson took another stride in January when she brought Northwestern students to the Sundance Festival for the first time for a week of industry exposure in Park City, Utah where the team of seven blogged their experiences live.
Laticia Mattson '15, film major and Sundance attendee, is just one reflection of the creativity Sorenson and other film faculty have endeavored to cultivate in their program:
"I've always had a passion for storytelling and entertaining others through filmmaking." she said, "It's cool to have an idea and make it come to life on the screen, whether it's a short film or a feature-length. I really enjoy my major and I can't imagine doing anything else."
Until last fall, Northwestern's student body, full of canny communicators, had no representing speech team—a speechless status junior Adam Saxton ’14 found unacceptable. Saxton, an International Relations major, joined Professor John Arehart to captain a team of 15 students for Northwestern’s first year back in competitive speech and debate.
“We went from having no team on campus last year, to having over a dozen people involved, competing at multiple tournaments in several categories and placing in several of them,” said Saxton, “God has blessed our team with a rapid development that usually takes years of experience to acquire.”
The team competed in eight tournaments, nearly sweeping the Impromptu category at the final Twin Cities Forensics League tournament in February, ending their season victorious. Saxton placed first and teammates Rachel Temp ‘and Benjamin Fernandes ’14 tied for third place; Danielle Jack placed fifth.
Fernandes remembers heading into that last competition with waning confidence, feeling unprepared.
"I met professor Arehart, and practiced with him, I was quite saddened and disappointed with myself as I felt as if I hadn’t prepared enough ...Coach gave me a short pep talk, and it really got to me. At this point I had an hour till we departed for the speech meet. I went to my room, turned off my cellphone and everything, and found a mirror. I practiced impromptu speaking for an entire hour, just the mirror and myself. I prayed and asked God for wisdom and insight, once I got done. I went to the Shuttle van that was taking us to the speech meet and didn’t tell anyone what I had just done."
At the competition, Fernandes gained confidence with each round and found himself looking at his name on the list of finalists for the Impromptu category.
"I was in awe of what God had done, as I knew for sure that I couldn’t have done any of that on my own. I looked up and said a short prayer. I glanced across and saw my coach with a big smile on his face as four impromptu speakers in the finals were from Northwestern College. Coach came up to us and gave us a big hug...I thanked God and realized that the talents that we have are a gift from God, what we make of our talents is our gifts back to God."
Though there are no more tournaments this season, the team has one more performance left. Today they’ll deliver their winning speeches for President Cureton, who invited the team in an act of recognition and celebration of their unprecedented first year.
Coach Arehart expressed joy over the team's accomplishments: "Winners of [the TCFL] tournament consistently vie for national championships, so we are extremely proud of our team's performance and look forward to a great season next year.”
The team will continue under leadership of co-captains Rachel Temp and Charity Hayden in the fall while Saxton studies in Washington D.C. for the semester. Though absent from competition, the thrill and skill of debate has its permanence with Saxton.
“Competitive speech and debate impacts every aspect of my life. From writing arguments in academic papers, formulating presentations, to engaging other people in daily conversations, speech and debate did more to change my mindset than almost any other activity.”
In the spring Saxton plans on rejoining the team, envisioning a “more structured approach” after a year of learning the basics of competing. One of the team’s goals is to attend the Christian College Nationals, a large highly competitive tournament attended by numerous colleges and universities across the nation. Beyond competing, Saxton, Fernandes and other team members acknowledged they became a family, sharing Christ as a common thread.
“Speech at Northwestern is different because of the centrality of Christ," Saxton said, "We strive to make sure that not only the way we are speaking is pleasing to God, but also what we say.”
Laurie (LeGree’89) Bolthouse was on campus on March 5 to speak in chapel and participate in a special screening of Trade of Innocents, the feature film she co-produced with her husband.
We connected with Laurie to learn more about what it takes to produce a feature film and learn about practical and positive actions students—and others—can take to combat human trafficking. WATCH VIDEO
The Northwestern College Choir & Orchestra will be performing a homecoming concert to conclude their Spring 2013 Tour on Friday, March 22, at 7:30 p.m at Calvary Church in Roseville.
Orchestra repertoire includes masterworks by Johannes Brahms, Edvard Grieg, and Antonin Dvorak. The choir will perform hymns, gospel music and spirituals, featuring the Midwest premiere of Langston Hughes' poem Fire by Illinois composer John Orfe. Together, the ensembles will perform Meteor Shower by Owl City's Adam Young and selections from Ralph Vaughan Williams' Five Mystical Songs.
Concert details can be found online or contact the Northwestern College music tours office at 651-631-2080.
The Northwestern Orchestra and College Choir join forces this spring for a collaborative tour to northwestern Minnesota and the Fargo/Moorhead area, presenting a series of concerts in Alexandria, Osakis and at several venues in Fargo, North Dakota including Bethel Evangelical Free Church, and choral exchanges with Oak Grove Lutheran High School, Fargo North High School and Park Christian School in Moorhead.
Lee Strobel , author of The Case for Christ, The Case for Faith and The Case for a Creator was on campus February 6 and 7 speaking in chapel and at several other gatherings, sharing his story and encouraging leaders.
We connected with him between events to learn more about his journey and thoughts on understanding the facts of the Christian faith.
Ask Lee questions: firstname.lastname@example.org.
When college admissions materials say that an institution is “academically excellent” does a reader dismiss it as hype? What does the term truly signify? What evidence supports the assertion?
At Northwestern, we ask ourselves these questions often and each time the answers lead to confidence in this: We say we are academically excellent because it is true.
Faculty scholarship and research are reaching new heights. Exemplifying this is Dr. Ed Glenny (Biblical & Theological Studies), who has published and presented numerous articles and papers during the college’s first endowed J. Edwin Hartill Professorship.
Last spring, Dr. Jonathan Den Hartog (History) was selected as a Visiting Fellow at Princeton University (New Jersey) with the James Madison Program for American Ideals and Institutions.
Academic quality is evident in our students. Charissa Doebler ’12 is Northwestern’s ninth Fulbright Scholar in the past nine years. The Fulbright program only selects America’s brightest and best.
New programs—such as the five-year Bachelor of Arts/Master of Divinity degree, the proposed accelerated nursing degree, and “Degree in Three”—reflect excellence in a proactive approach to help students and families with the rising costs of college.
Faculty and students are collaborating on research projects, publishing articles, and presenting papers. You will see several examples of this in the annual report.
“Academically excellent” is simply part of our DNA and we see excellence emerging in new graduate and online learning programs, all while maintaining our mission as a Christ-centered institution of higher education. Above all, we seek to give God our highest and best.
At the threshold of our move to university status in the coming year, I could not be more confident and enthusiastic about Northwestern’s academic excellence and its future.
Alan S. Cureton, Ph.D. President Northwestern College and Northwestern Media
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Alumni Kenny '10 and Danny King '10, in Pioneer Press and Haven Magazine
Kenny told us why he's personally invested in this business:
"Style is something we’ve been passionate about for a very long time. As many men our age have done, we grew up looking at photos of our grandpas and wanted to look just like them. It’s funny how things tend to skip a generation.
We’re twins, and as such, there was often a desire for us to be our own person. It was always so easy for people to group us together: 'Let’s invite Kenny and Danny,' or 'I’m going over to Kenny and Danny’s house.'
What we wore helped us to establish ourselves as separate units. We didn’t share clothes growing up because even at a very young age, we learned one’s clothing was a key component to establishing an image. People always associated us with what we were wearing: 'Kenny is in the red today, and Danny is in the blue.'
Today, our passion continues. We have different jobs (Kenny is morning anchor for ABC 6 News, Rochester, and Danny is the Youth Pastor at Roseville Covenant Church) and different lives these days, but our love for style has continued to be a part of who we are – it’s what’s been driving King Brothers Clothiers, the ShelbyKnot Collection, and has served as a way for us to remain close as brothers, friends, and now business partners."
– Kenny King
King Brothers Clothiers
Ties available at: Heimie's Haberdashery (St. Paul) Martin Patrick 3 (Mpls)
Northwestern College students flexed major media muscle at the intercollegiate National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) 2013 Student Production Competition, winning eight awards in video and radio, including three first place awards.
"We congratulate all of our students. They pursue Christ joyfully and faithfully and allow him to fuel their creative craft," said Mark Seignious, associate professor of communication, "Our prayer is that these students will always strive to remember that they 'have been entrusted with the Gospel, so they speak not to please man but to please God, who tests their hearts' (1 Thess. 2:4)."
Audio students captured first place audio awards in two of four categories, Best Radio Drama and Best Promo/Imaging/Branding, and a second place in Radio News and Sports. In the film/video competition, students swept all awards for the PSA/Commercial category and took second place in Documentary/News and third in Short Film.
This year's winners, all representing Northwestern's electronic media communication major, add to the program's successful track record at NRB competitions: last year Northwestern took first at NRB's 36 Hour Challenge and finished strong at the 2012 Student Production Competition.
Radio Feature/Radio Drama 1st Place Anthony Mansmith and Aaron McIntire Momentary Troubles
Radio Promo/Imaging/Branding 1st Place: Chris Bell To Write Love on her Arms
Radio News and Sports 2nd Place: Aaron McIntire The Hunger Games: Freaky Fad or Fantastic
Television/Video - PSA/Commercial/Promo 1st Place: Luke Stapleton and Grant Swanson, Bessy 2nd Place: Chris Behnen Commute 3rd Place: Krista Koester Third Day - Behind the Scenes
Documentary 2nd Place: Anna Carey, Poet
Film/Short 3rd Place: Chris Behnen, Man in the Mirror
Most of us appreciate that one funny ad on T.V. that leaves us laughing, but that’s about it; we’re always ready to get back to our show.Nobody advertising, right?
Probably—but then there’s public relations Chase Donahue (pictured, right).
"Advertising seems to mold all of my interests, gifts, and desires into one field. My work thrives when I can be creative, strategic, and systematic."
In October, Donahue won a free pass to New York City for the advertising adventure of his life.
“I saw a contest on Advertising Week for five people to play a famous Creative Director in Words With Friends. I applied, won a chance to play him, and I actually beat him.”
At the annual conference Donahue careened through 18 hour event-packed days with thousands of people, all of them on the go.
“I met some of the most influential decision-makers and a thinker of our culture, sat through hours of influential seminars, and was even offered an internship at a phenomenal advertising agency.”
“I learned that we can all change the world. That’s a big statement, but I wholeheartedly mean that,” he said, “When we take a minute to sit back and think about it, we are infinitely gifted and talented human beings. We are far too blessed to be mediocre with our abilities.”
With conviction that reached into his mind and spirit, Donahue returned home ready to confront broken realities with powerful ideas.
“Advertising at its best can challenge, inspire, and create something that has never been done…[it’s]the best place to work to have the opportunity to create new things and change the world with big ideas.”
Perhaps Donahue’s world-changer advertising approach isn’t so uncommon, especially in a generation that is constantly shouting its need for meaning and purpose. And yet, he acknowledged that the weight of that need does not fall on human shoulders.
“Our ability to make a positive change is not because we are that good, but because God is that great.”
The transformation that started in New York is showing true in Donahue's life months later.Chase started meeting with professors on campus for encouragement, but that's just the start.
Hoping to incite passion in peers and help people leave mediocrity behind, Donahue has a message to get out and an dream up his sleeve. He just wrote his first post, Dream a Big Dream With Me for the Advertising Week Social Club's blog and we've got his best pointers for you:
Stop saying, “I’ll start tomorrow.” Our future is determined by what we do today – not in a week.
Donahue is taking his own advice, getting started with his dreams using Innove Project. Talk with Chase on Twitter @ChaseDonahue about your dream!
As Chase says, "We are all equipped to change the world; it’s time that we do."
Professor Ann Sorenson and six film students will be making a first ever Northwestern appearance at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah in January. For one week Laticia Mattson '15, David DeLeon '14, Anna Carey '13, Krista Koester '14, Chris Behnen '13 and Mike Niedermeyer '12 will be screening upcoming films and joining five other university groups every morning to participate in the Windrider Forum, a gathering of Christian filmmakers and students focused on faith-based discussion and learning.
Sorenson hopes the Sundance experience "widens [the students'] world in a way that will bless them," wherever they may be in their film careers.
Mattson, excited to see potential blockbusters and mingle with filmmakers or celebrities, has had an experience like Sundance on her bucket list for awhile.
"Ever since I was a kid I loved writing scripts and making videos with my family and friends," she said, "I've always had a passion for storytelling and entertaining others through filmmaking."
The story of film at NWC
Upcoming filmmakers like Mattson are a growing breed at Northwestern, led by Sorenson's contagious film fervor. Prior to teaching at Northwestern, Sorenson directed theatre at Minnehaha Academy in Minneapolis where her love for stories lived on stage, no where near the big screen. One day she went to a "horrible movie" with a single beautiful shot in it and upon leaving, she had a passing thought: you're going to make a movie someday.
At first, she said it was laughable, but that next summer Sorenson enrolled in an intensive film class at UCLA and came back with a wild idea. Instead of a spring theatre production at Minnehaha, Sorenson and her students made a movie.
"I was totally over my head," she remembered, "Naivete was bliss, but it got me out of my comfort zone."
After that initial project, Sorenson earned her M.F.A. in Film from Columbia University and returned to Minneapolis, starting a new career in film.
"I love stories so much and I love the visual element of film. It’s an everything art, a combination of all the art forms."
After their time in Utah, Northwestern's film department will be preparing for their annual Five16 Film Festival on April 15, where students screen their best flicks to a packed out audience in Maranatha Hall.
Watch winners from Five16 2012:
Cherish - By David DeLeon
Poet - By Anna Carey
Dec. 17—Professor Ann Sorenson and six film students will be making a first ever Northwestern appearance at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah in January. For one week Laticia Mattson '15, David DeLeon '14, Anna Carey '13, Krista Koester '14, Chris Behnen '13 and Mike Niedermeyer '12 will be screening upcoming films and joining five other university groups every morning to participate in the Windrider Forum, a gathering of Christian filmmakers and students focused on faith-based discussion and learning.
Jon Acuff, author of Quitter and Stuff Christians Like, spoke in chapel for a few days in November, talking about letting go of your boring view of God. Since he was around, we thought we'd ask him a few questions:
Watch on YouTube
Twitter Shout Out:
@Benji_Fernandes @jcoil10 @Neecy_Bernice @TraceyTrouten & @AfiIsGolden (for their brilliant questions)
Congratulations Benji and Jacob for winning copies of Jon's books Quitter and Stuff Christians Like in our #AskAcuff drawing!
Hear Jon Acuff's answers on YouTube
Dec. 4—Dr. Mary Kay Geston was named Minnesota's 2012 Choral Director of the Year by the American Choral Directors Association of Minnesota in November. Geston returns to Northwestern after serving this past year as visiting associate professor of choral studies at University of Colorado Boulder.
"Minnesota is renowned as 'choral country' and has a national and international reputation for excellence in choral music, so to receive the Choral Director of the Year award from my professional colleagues in the American Choral Director's Association of Minnesota is deeply humbling," said Geston, "My joy comes from using and developing the gifts I've been given to help those around me embrace music as a gift from God while using and developing their own gifts. I love what I do!"
Upon her return to Northwestern, Geston has resumed conducting the 75-voice Women's Chorale and the Chamber Singers, simultaneously teaching choral methods, conducting and voice, and supervising secondary student teachers.
"Dr. Mary Kay Geston is the most qualified person I can think of to deserve this distinguished award," said alumna Natalie Cromwell '10 in a recommendation, "She demonstrates nothing but an overwhelming support of her students, not just in Northwestern's vocal department, but also in the music department as a whole."
In past roles ranging from chair to president, Geston is a faithful member of ACDA-MN and five other choral organizations. She is in high demand across the Midwest, having conducted All-State and honor choirs in six states and presented at several professional choral conferences.
In February, Dr. Geston conducted an all-state choir in Kentucky, and served as a panelist at the Southwest American Choral Directors Association conference in Texas. Traveling overseas in May, she worked with choirs at National Taiwan University and Kaohsiung Medical University.
Juniors Mai Kia Thao and Yana Lenta, and senior Miriam Navamanie are Northwestern’s first recipients of the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, a $3,000 grant allowing them to join 16 other students on Wednesday for a two-month internship tour of Southeast Asia.
Through the Gilman Scholarship Program, the U.S. Dept. of State offers funding "for students of limited financial means to pursue academic studies abroad.” Dr. John Easterling, professor of intercultural studies, leads a group of students on an overseas internship every year, and found that six current students qualified for the scholarship.
Easterling called on Sally Harris, Ph.D., Northwestern’s Fulbright Program Advisor, to help five eligible students through the extensive application last fall. In the spring, only Lenta and Thao were awarded initially, eventually followed by alternate Navamanie, awarded after other recipients declined the scholarship.
“I’ve always wanted to go to Japan…” said Navamanie, “And I’m really excited to spend a whole month in Thailand, just being there for so long and learning the culture.”
Before receiving the scholarship Navamanie was hoping to scrape together funding for the trip, but Thao said that without the funding, a trip overseas wouldn’t have been possible:
”I don’t have that many family members to support me financially, so it would have been really hard to make the trip happen.”
As the internship departure approaches, Thao, holds a quiet eagerness to return to family roots in Thailand, where her parents grew up after the Vietnam War. Lenta expressed anticipation and gratitude similar to her fellow recipients:
“I feel so blessed to have been able to receive the scholarship and I am very excited to see the beauty that exists in other cultures,” she said.
While all three Gilman recipients are Intercultural Studies majors, the trip roster includes students majoring in psychology, studio arts, health science, accounting, ESL and elementary education.
“This (internship) program is open to the entire student body,” said Easterling, “But if a student goes on the trip, the need to declare an Intercultural Studies minor.”
This year, Easterling is co-leading the internship trip with Kai Thoni, a staff member from student development. After touring Asia, the group will end their travels in December with a debrief in England.
Students can apply for the 2013 trip this fall and are required to attend a lab in the spring and completing eight credits of coursework in the fall before going overseas. For more information, contact Professor John Easterling.
Nov. 20—President Alan Cureton, Ph.D., has been appointed to the NCAA Division III Presidents Council, becoming its first member to represent the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference.
"This is a great opportunity for Dr. Cureton to serve the over 450 NCAA Division III institutions in the United States," said Vice President for Student Life & Athletics Matt Hill '89, Ed.D., "The Presidents Council is considered the top committee in the organization as they deal with many legislative issues, student-athlete well-being issues, and encourage the co-curricular participation of over 100,000 student-athletes."
Dr. Cureton's appointment followed Brian Levin-Stankevich's necessary departure from the council as he transitioned into a new presidency with an NAIA institution, according to the NCAA.
Prior to this council position, Dr. Cureton has been leading for two years as a member of the NCAA Division III Nominating Committee and the NCAA Division III Chancellors/Presidents Advisory Group. He also serves as chair for the Midwest Athletic Conference Council of Presidents.
"His appointment is a great representation for Northwestern College and the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference," said Hill.
The Presidents Council meets on a quarterly basis at the NCAA national office in Indianapolis, Ind., and Dr. Cureton will join the council at the NCAA Convention in January. Though his term will expire in 2014, Dr. Cureton will be eligible for another four year appointment.
Dr. Cureton was inaugurated in January 2002 as the eighth president of Northwestern College. Under his leadership Northwestern College continues the commitment to build the college's academic, fiscal and program strengths while holding firm to the Christ-centered, biblical foundation upon which Northwestern was founded.