Senior profiles

Ryan Kolb
Hometown: Souderton, Pa.
Majors: Psychology and Bible, religion and philosophy
Plans: Central American Study and Service (CASAS) in Guatemala through December, then work with an outdoor youth program guiding at-risk teens on backpacking and canoeing trips, Eckard Youth Alternatives.
“I want to work with others in their own personal and communal pursuit for happiness and understanding. This will mean further study in a counseling program or seminary – perhaps both.”
Goshen path: “Undecided my first year about which direction I was going to take as far as a major went, I opted for the classes that most interested me. All of the questions I had about religion and the human condition were fleshed out in the courses of my double major.”
Notes from the journey: “God’s hand in my vocational direction? It has been subtle at times – I’m not a slap-in-the-face kind of guy. The direction and encouragement from those close to me have been a blessing that I do not take for granted.
“The opportunity to go to Colorado through the Ministry Inquiry Program was one of the more formative experiences in my time at Goshen College. I explored so many facets of who I am. I was able to use my gifts and talents in the congregation and discover new gifts and abilities.
“I have been heavily acculturated – completely voluntarily – by the college motto and spirit. Studying at an institution that does not put financial gain before issues of learning, faith and service to others has helped me to truly focus on how my gifts and abilities can be used for service to others.”

Andrea Troyer
Hometown: Manistique, Mich.
Major: Accounting
Plans: Join Ernst and Young, Fort Wayne, Ind., in January 2002. In June 2002, begin a master’s degree in accountancy program at the University of Virginia, sponsored by Ernst and Young. Plan to work in public accounting, aspiring to reach a management position. Law school or a law/business graduate school program are possibilities for the future, perhaps leading to corporate or international business law.
Goshen path: “At Goshen I developed a better understanding of vocational opportunities that helped me focus my goals by defining which aspects best fit and would equip me to be successful in the business world and achieve my long-term goals.”
Notes from the journey: “All of the professors in the business department have been helpful in helping me find a vision and path to reach my goals, particularly Russ Rupp [associate professor of accounting], Michelle Horning [assistant professor of accounting] and Randy Gunden [associate professor of business and economics].
“Other professors in my experience at Goshen have also been wonderful examples of intelligent, successful scholars who have not lost their compassion or concern for students in the classroom or in life, particularly Alexandra Sterling-Hellenbrand [associate professor of German], John D. Roth [professor of history] and Don Blosser [professor of Bible]. My three years here are decorated by the thoughtfulness, caring and love of many people, in various positions and roles, here at GC.
“Many people would think that the career path I have chosen automatically removes me from any discussion of either the words ‘culture’ or ‘service.’ However, I think that my experience at GC has uniquely prepared me to be an accountant, lawyer and/or businessperson who will embrace these words and our motto. GC has given me the tools to be a successful professional but also a responsible human being.”

Joel Jimenez
Hometown: San Ramon de Tres Rios, Costa Rica
Major: Communication major, graphic design minor
Plans: This summer: design, build and install a new production room in the basement of Good Library for video and audio production for Goshen College’s ITS-Media and free-lance for NaviGuide Systems. In October, begin a full-time recording arts program at Full Sail, a school in Orlando, Fla.
“My biggest dream has been to learn about recording and become a professional engineer. My level of excitement is indescribable – I had a dream and it’s coming true. My long term goal is to be a professional sound engineer and own my own studio either here in the U.S. or in my home country.”
Goshen path: “My degree will be in communication and my concentration is in multimedia; these are more related to my end goal.
“The opportunity to work for ITS Media and doing sound and lighting for campus activities, and in-depth special projects, gave me tons of experience and helped me realize this was my calling.”
Notes from the journey: “Everything about coming to Goshen College has been part of God’s plan for me. I didn’t even apply to Goshen until about a month before classes started, and ever since that day the pieces keep falling in place. I have done a lot of work and put effort in, but there was something more helping me along the way.
“I enjoyed Graphic Design classes with Gwen Miller [assistant professor of art]. [Associate Professor of Communication] Mark Kelley has been a big influence and support person for me. My most important mentor is Paul Housholder [Information Technology Services media specialist] who has encouraged me, supported me and enabled me to do so many things. Most recently, [Umble Center technical director] Jerry Peters has been a significant mentor as well.
“I’d also love to help preserve musical traditions that are being lost in countries around the world through recordings and compilations. Since music is such a vital element of just about every culture, that would be an important way of helping people continue – or at least not forget – traditions.”

Lora Nafziger
Hometown: Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
Major: Sociology/Anthropology
Plans: Internship with Women’s Alliance for Theology, Ethics and Ritual, Washington, D.C., in June and July. Then, a two-year assignment with Mennonite Central Committee at a high school in a large district in Cranberry Portage, Manitoba, Canada, serving mostly boarding students, 90 percent of whom are “First Nation” students from communities considered at risk for drug and alcohol problems. With other recreation workers and counselors, will lead programs in anger management, self-esteem, group communication and other activities.
Goshen path: “I transferred here, and it was a good choice to have made. My time at Goshen helped to shape my vision for the future. I felt encouraged to use skills I have and to develop new ones. I participated in the Ministry Inquiry Program last summer and that opened my eyes to possibilities like a pastor/social work combination, one to which I really connect. I would eventually like to go to graduate school. I am open to being led.”
Notes from the journey: “I served on a number of committees while I was here to talk about everything from chapel to small group housing to sexuality. The opportunity to see how the institution works at a broader level and become part of the process was amazing. I also enjoyed teaching private and group swimming lessons, especially the individual lessons.
“I loved May term on campus, with time to really focus on one class, study outside, go camping with friends and play Frisbee – that was all a blast. I also went to Guatemala [Doing Theology Abroad] and it is a favorite experience in a different way.
“On chapel committee and as her student assistant for special programs, I worked with [Campus Minister] Sylvia Shirk Charles. If I had come to Goshen for no other reason than to develop a relationship with her, it would have been worth it! She has supported me in the process of deciding what to do next year, given me new ways to look at the vocational call and has been a friend and mentor.
“I have felt God at work in the process of coming to see gifts I have. I see God through people and in the way they have entered my life. I have found God in a community that supports me to do work that I enjoy and learn through, and that, at the same time, encourages self-development and self-care. I believe that God has and continues to accompany me on my journey, and inspires in me the desire to work for life and hope.”

Greg Stahly
Hometown: Goshen, Ind.
Major: Art
Plans: Work full time this summer for Dick Lehman (’76) Pottery; in the fall, hopefully join MennoCorps program in Pittsburgh, Pa., potentially teaching after-school ceramics to urban high school students.
“Ultimately, I want to attend graduate school for a master of fine arts degree in order to teach ceramics at the college level.”
Goshen path: “At Goshen, I have been able to pursue ceramics with as much intensity as I am willing to put into it. At many larger schools, I probably wouldn’t have been able to even take a class in my emphasis area until my junior year, but I was in ceramics my first year. I have been encouraged to find my own way, and keep records to learn things for myself. [Professor of Art] Marvin Bartel has always been supportive and has allowed me the freedom to explore.”
Notes from the journey: “I want to be able to not only teach the next generation of clay artists, but also have the freedom to pursue my own work without relying on it to pay the rent.
“Ceramics and Sculpture classes have been excellent. My favorite activity is making pots and firing the soda and wood kilns here at the college. Much of my free time has been spent playing in the basement of the Visual Arts building.
“John Mishler [associate professor of art] has always encouraged and pushed me to try new things and take chances. I hope someday I can have as strong a commitment to my students as John has to his.”

Melody Bennett
Hometown: Wapakoneta, Ohio
Major: French, secondary education endorsement
Plans: In September, begin study at the Université François-Rebelais through Bowling Green State University’s master’s degree program in French; next summer, travel to Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, to study regional culture, history and civilization. The next year will be spent finishing post-graduate work and teaching a French course.
“After obtaining my master’s degree, I may teach or go abroad with a missionary organization. Someday, I would also like to write a book, become a foster and host parent, assist communities struggling with racial issues and become involved with the youth at my local congregation.”
Goshen path: “Professors and administrators care about helping students realize their potential and, more importantly, to nurture all students into the best citizens they can be. There have been many people who have been involved in my development – Judith Davis [professor of French], Jennifer Jenkins [assistant professor of biology], Susan Weybright [assistant professor of education]. Each professor took particular interest in students, making the class a community. [Professor of Bible] Don Blosser’s Jesus and the Gospel’s class made me think about biblical issues I hadn’t been exposed to before.”
Notes from the journey: “My long-term career goal or mission is to serve and love those around me. I know I will work in an environment that allows me to use my gifts to benefit the larger community.
“Goshen provided me with many outlets for self-discovery. Study-Service Term opened my eyes to a variety of social issues that I had been blind to and illuminated the passion I have for service. Another remarkable experience was studying in France for a year with Brethren Colleges Abroad; I became passionate about my education. Through all of my experiences, my interests were cultivated and I realized I didn’t want my education to end with graduation.
“I have felt God’s presence throughout my years at Goshen. Through reflection and prayer, I was led to French and education. Many opportunities have been available to me, many situations just falling into place, with a sense of peace that can only come from God.”

Deana Landis, Alicia Montoya and Rachel Glick
Hometowns: Goshen, Ind.; Angola, Ind.; and Middleton, Wis.
Major: Nursing
Plans: All three will live together in Boston, Mass. Deana will work for Franciscan Children’s Hospital after serving as summer program director at Camp Amigo, Sturgis, Mich. Rachel and Alicia are weighing several job offers. All three are interested in attending graduate school in the future.
Goshen path:
Deana: “I started out as a biology/psychology double major; when I decided to leave those majors, nursing seemed like a natural step.”
Alicia: “Nursing is more than passing medications and answering call lights – it’s being an active member of the profession and understanding changes. Two classes in women’s studies with [Professor of Religion and Nursing and Psychology] Ruth Krall taught me about me – who I am, and the woman I want to be.”
Rachel: “The Goshen College nursing department has a high regard for its students and their individuality. I like how the nursing department has fostered my growth in a structured environment. I am constantly amazed at how much I’ve grown as a person. A special bond is created between our clinical instructors who see us not only in the classroom, but also in practice; it has boosted my confidence in myself.”
Notes from the journey:
Deana: “Things have worked out well for me as I have begun to pursue opportunities in Boston. Even though I have had doubts, things have really fallen into place.”
Alicia: “God has always been my foundation and my greatest resource. If it weren’t for God’s presence in my life, I would not have been able to make it through such a challenging nursing program.
“The concept of ‘Culture for Service’ has enabled me to see the true difference I can make.”
Rachel: “I know God has a plan for me and it’ll all happen in time.
“We take all of our life experience with us wherever we go; as we gain new experiences, we transform our thinking and constantly evolve. Finding meaning in the unexpected is, to me, ‘Culture for Service.’”

Return to June Bulletin contents
Commencement rites by Rachel Lapp
“Fling yourself…but, darling, don’t drop!” by President Shirley H. Showalter
How Julia Kasdorf changed my life by Daniel Shank Cruz
Mennonite by choice by Joni S. Sancken ’98
A lifetime in family business: What I’ve learned by Leonard Geiser ’57 with Rachel Lapp
Allon H. Lefever by Ryan Miller

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