University Tweet Chat with President Cureton

University Tweet Chat with President Cureton

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.

Dr. Alan Cureton @prezcure (President)

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 College senior Anastasia Pederson awarded Fulbright Scholarship

Northwestern College senior Anastasia Pederson awarded Fulbright Scholarship

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 presents 7th annual Five16 Film Festival

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."

Speechless no more: NWC team revives and thrives

Speechless no more: NWC team revives and thrives

 Until last fall, Northwestern's student body, full of canny communicators, had no representing speech teama 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 Bolthouse talks trafficking

Lights, camera, and most importantly—ACTION!

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



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