Meet Mariah Kauffman ’22, and Music and Secondary Education Major from Lawrence, Kansas.
“I discovered a passion for education through the course work here. We’re really fortunate to get out into a school classroom in our first year of studies. One of the groups I am involved with is the Prevention Intervention Network. I also volunteer at the Boys and Girls Club.
Some next steps for me are Mennonite Voluntary Service. Then I would like to find a teaching job. I like working with 6th and 7th graders!
GC was absolutely the right place for me. I have been challenged but supported here. All the experiences I have had have been important, and I have been able to explore and create. It’s been so special to me. The Education Department here is superior! The professors are so connected with a network of schools and resources that I feel very equipped to go out into the world! That connection between staff and students is integral. I certainly don’t think I could find that anywhere else.”
Meet Robert Sanders ’23, a sports management major and psychology minor from Merrillville, Indiana.
“I’m from an urban area, so being at Goshen College opened my eyes to a new perspective on life! I didn’t know anything about the Amish before I came here – I had never seen anything like this!
My faith is so important to me. Being involved in Campus Ministries has given me an opportunity to work on Faith over Fear, and lead with my faith and convictions. I have grown so much and have had opportunities to be in leadership positions.”
Meet Jakyra Green ’24, an english education major from Elkhart, Indiana.
“I have always wanted to come to Goshen College ever since I took a tour of the campus when I was in high school! Scholarships and donors have been so helpful in continuing my education. As a commuter student, at first I felt out of place, but the professors and the environment are welcoming and I joined clubs like Black Student Union. I’m also the co-editor of the Record where I enjoy learning and hearing about diverse voices. I’m going to London for May term, which is my second time out of the US.”
Meet Cade Fisher ’22, a peace, justice and conflict studies major and music and video game development minor from Goshen, Indiana.
“People are often surprised that I’m working with video game development. In my senior thesis, I’m researching video games as a legitimate tool of socialization. Part of this is understanding how video game violence influences real-world behaviors and attitudes but also includes research on prosocial video games and how themes of whiteness are presented in video games. I want to use video games to develop empathy, not violence. After I graduate, I will be going to Tucson with Mennonite Voluntary Service to work with immigrants in the Florence Project.”
Meet Madison Swartzendruber ’22, a film production major from Goshen, Indiana.
“To be able to say that I worked and took classes in Los Angeles through our programs here at GC is amazing! The classmates from other universities often focus on one aspect of filmmaking, such as editing or writing. But at GC, Kyle Hufford teaches us to work on all the skills and techniques. This semester I’m writing, editing and producing my own short film. It means so much to be able to have a college experience, and be able to afford college. If I didn’t have scholarships and grants, I wouldn’t have had these awesome experiences.”
Meet Salvador Escamilla ’21, a Computer Science Major from Elkhart, Indiana.
“I’m happy with my choice to come to GC. I enjoyed the tighter, closer relationships I made here at GC. I wouldn’t have been able to attend GC without scholarships. Thank you for giving to the college that is filling a niche in Indiana. Many people overlook GC because of its size, but they shouldn’t! Other colleges may be bigger and flashier, but the personal connections that we build day after day are more important. GC has character!”
Meet Anna Smucker ’22, a graphic design major from Goshen.
“When the Ecuador SST was canceled [due to the pandemic], I chose the Navajo and Hopi SST course because I hadn’t learned a lot about Indigenous Peoples in a global context and I wanted to know more about Navajo and Hopi people. When we first stayed with host families on the Navajo Reservation, I was immediately struck by my host family’s hospitality as they welcomed us into their homes as strangers. After asking questions and doing a lot of listening and learning, I remember being told a lot about the daily challenges that my host sister and mom faced over the years for being Native American, such as discrimination, hatred and prejudice. Yet, this was balanced out by stories of their incredible strength and courage to keep pushing on. I felt honored to be in a household with three generations of women who showed us nothing but patience, strength and kindness.”
Meet Abishek Bhandari ’22, an accounting major and global economics, IT and business minors from Mussoorie, India.
“Being at Goshen College has instilled gratitude in me. I have grown academically, with so much guidance from my professors. They work to make connections with us, and for us. In fact, the internship where I am working now has already offered me a job! After I graduate, my next step is to help my younger brother graduate from college; and then I would like to contribute to the business department and help with scholarships at GC.”
Meet Olivia Krall ’23, a history major and political science minor from Carmel, Indiana.
“I have to say that I wouldn’t be here without the scholarships that have been donated. I have had so many opportunities at Goshen College. Because of the interdisciplinary courses at Goshen, I can even take Sculpture classes, and two of my pieces will be placed in Elkhart County in May. I certainly didn’t see that coming! Most recently, I spent the summer in DC thanks to the Austin E. Knowlton Foundation, an important partner for Goshen College. Through the Foundation and our history department I earned a scholarship to the Leadership in American Presidency program. I’m very grateful.”
Meet Alex Neufeld ’24, a biology major and Spanish minor from Harrisonburg, Virginia.
“When I was 3, I wanted to become a paleontologist! So I have always wanted to work in science from the time I can remember. At Goshen College, I work with Campus Prairies, which are three areas of natural landscaping and restored pockets of prairies on campus. It’s so nice to step outside and do field work – literally! I’m also helping to organize and preserve the Gleason moss collection which has over 5000 specimens of moss. Some are over 100 years old!
After graduation, I’ll be applying to grad school for ecology or molecular biology/chem side of plant science. I would like to do research on the ecosystems in South America.”
Meet Gloria Bontrager Thomas ’22, a theater major and peace, justice and conflict resolution minor from Milford, Delaware.
“You find connections with people at GC all the time, even over the little things. Being here has given me a safe place to explore what kind of artist I am. My senior project is a combination of my two majors. I’ve spent 2 years putting together stories from my Black friends and family members about experiences with systemic racism- combining two things that I’m interested in: social justice and theater.”
Meet Johanna Morford-Oberst ’25, a currently undecided major from Albuquerque, New Mexico.
“A liberal arts education is incredible. I don’t feel so much pressure to decide on a major yet. I’m enjoying taking all the different classes! I can take sociology classes if I want to, and it’s so interesting! I’m enjoying my science classes with Paul Reimer and John Bushert. I like that GC values a well-rounded education.”
“Being here is helping me learn about myself. I like that the campus is diverse, and being around so many different people helps me learn about myself. I am growing on my faith journey and I have fascinating conversations with my peers and my professors.”
Meet Sandra Cortez ’22, a nursing and public health major from Elkhart, Indiana.
“It’s not always very easy finding help or resources for college. We are trying to live the dream too but we have to work harder for it. This encourages me to keep pushing through it even when it gets hard. I want to inspire other students like me to not give up and follow their dreams.”
Petenei Tacü ’22
Meet Petenei Tacü ’22, a music major from Phesama, India.
“My parents taught me to give back to the community, and taking Music for Social Change made my focus clearer. This course made sense to me, and I connected with it personally. Part of my internship was spent in the GC Leaf Alive Camp for local school children this summer. I saw how normally quiet kids responded when they heard music that represented their cultural heritage.
“After my studies, I want to return to India. We need a purpose in life, and my purpose is to help children learn and experience music, while preserving our culture, and inspiring social change.”
Meet Gabriella Klopfenstein ’22, a public relations major from Goshen.
“The Center for Communication Studies has become my second home. I’ve had the opportunity to hold many leadership positions, but most recently as president of Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) and the student station manager of 91.1 The Globe, our student-run radio station on campus. In these various leadership roles, I have experienced more than just on-campus opportunities. For my internships, through connections from PRSSA, I worked with organizations from Goshen and Elkhart. These opportunities not only shaped my skills and helped me find my true passion, but also gave me mentors and friends. My time in the communication department has fostered my love of learning, new relationships, and prepared me for my future.”
Kiprop Kiprotich ’22
Meet Kiprop Kiprotich ’22, a nursing major from Eldoret, Kenya.
“Caring and learning through the pandemic was a battle we fought hard. Out of everything I’ve done or will ever do, nothing can compare to the joy and fulfillment of seeing my patients going home, especially from the ICU after spending weeks on the ventilator and being intubated. These were people from my community. I was always ecstatic releasing them to their families. The college and local community has given me so much that I felt I could return the favor by serving it and caring for its people.”
Olivia Koop ’23
Meet Olivia Koop ’23, a Molecular Biology/Biochemistry major from Kitchener, Ontario
“With my majors, I would normally be a Pre-Med student. But being at GC means that I can explore other classes, and I am not locked in to Pre-Med. I can even take courses outside of my major, like a water-color class!”
Christian Saleh ’22
Meet Christian Saleh ’22, an accounting major from Elkhart, Indiana.
“The profs at GC actually teach! Professors connect with the students, know our names, and continuously stay in touch with us throughout our college and career paths. They really want us to succeed beyond the classroom. My knowledge of sustainability was poor before coming to GC, and then was significantly strengthened! I’m doing sustainability management because it bridges what I’m good at and my core values. Many people say you should leave your personal life at the door when you come to work, but I think the opposite. Your personal life and beliefs should drive your job and connect to your pursuits.”
Emma Zuercher ’23
Meet Emma Zuercher ’23, a sign language interpreting major from Apple Creek, Ohio.
“My experience as a participant in the Sustainability Leadership Semester (SLS) at Merry Lea helped shape the lens through which I see the world. I saw how sustainability — a word I found confusing and undefined prior to my SLS experience — applies not only to environmental issues but to culture, social and environmental justice, language, art and community. Sustainability is inherently interdisciplinary and that means it’s woven into every aspect of my life no matter what my career path looks like.”
Joel Lara ’22
Meet Joel Lara ’22, an art major from Aguas Callientes, Mexico, and Elkhart, Indiana.
“I was recruited to go to other universities, but the scholarships at GC changed my mind. I had heard it was a very small school, but my first year was good, and the stories of the alum that have come out of GC show how good GC is. A small population does not equate with a poor academic program
“I’m a first generation student, who lived at home for the first three years. I worked 30-35 hours a week for the first three years at Greencroft and Rise-n-Roll, Miso Japan, always working in the culinary field. I love foreign food! I would like to create a DACA scholarship.
“My SST was a three-week term with Mennonite Disaster Service. I did a lot of painting since I was the art major! Seeing the effect of our work was very emotional. We saw how our work paid off. I would do it again.
“At GC, I get to learn from all people. Friendships are made easily, regardless of where you come from. The profs at GC help us network. I’ve had the opportunity to work with profs in Maple Scholars. They don’t just give us homework, real work.”
Kedrick Bibby '23
Meet Kedrick Bibby ’23, an exercise science major from Kissimmee, Florida.
“I have had a lot of hands-on valuable experience towards my field of study and I find it very beneficial when I will eventually be put to the test. I believe Goshen’s curriculum has prepared me pretty well for that. On the athletic side I have had teammates who made it to the pros after college, and to be able to play with them and see that these goals are achievable I’d like to see what’s in store next for me.”
Ben Zimmerman ’22
Meet Ben Zimmerman ’22, a sustainability management major from Archbold, Ohio.
“I love the small campus. I know my profs and they know me. At GC we can interact with everyone. We get to live at Merry Lea, and I really need more time to do it all, like Marine Biology! Other schools don’t have the depth of sustainability programs, or cross cultural experiences, and programs that are not campus bound. My values and beliefs align with GC.”