Wheaton says goodbye to class of 2015

Sadly, Wheaton College is saying good bye to the class of 2015. While the seniors will certainly be missed, Features thought we’d send them out with one last hurrah. So we asked them a few pertinent questions about their years here at Wheaton, their future plans and any wise advice they felt like imparting to the re­maining students.

What are your plans for next year?

“I’ll be doing the English Teaching Assistantship pro­gram through the Fulbright Scholarship in Taiwan.” — Grace Pyo, economics and in­ternational relations

“I received a grant to teach English with hopefully some theater, improv, and creative writing aspects thrown in, in South Korea next year.” — Morgan Kinsinger, English writing, minor in Spanish

“This upcoming fall, I plan to join Border Fellows, a 10-month program in which recent college graduates live, work and engage in commu­nity development in El Paso, Texas, on the U.S.-Mexico border.” — Taylor Pride, in­ternational relations and urban studies

“I am moving to Denver, CO, to attend medical school at Rocky Vista University Col­lege of Osteopathic Medi­cine.” — Alexa Tyler, applied health science

“I hope to be living in New York City, working in the fashion industry.” — Whitney Bauck, studio art

“I’ll be living in Northwest Ar­kansas doing a rotational pro­gram and management train­ing for Tyson Foods in their Sales Division.” — Susannah Sullivan, communication and Chinese minor

“I am moving to the Middle East to do work within the booming entrepreneurial eco­system.” — Andrew Shadid, interdisciplinary studies

“Next year, I will be a GRA at Moody Bible Institute in Chi­cago!” — Nathan Smith, Eng­lish major and Spanish minor

“I will be attending the Uni­versity of Indiana to begin my graduate studies of medieval art history and will be work­ing as an assistant curator in the University of Indiana Art Museum. Consequently, I will be living in the Bloomington area.” — Stephen Westich, art history

“My job (in Los Angeles) is located nearby with Northrop Grumman Corporation, where I will be doing cost estimation for space systems. I also hope to become thoroughly in­volved in a local church as well as step up my role as regional coordinator for an India-based nonprofit.” — Forrest Acker­man, economics and biblical studies

“Next year I will start a masters entry level nursing program at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. It’s a two year pro­gram and when I graduate, I’ll be ready to work as an RN.” — Hannah Pahutski, applied health science

“Next year I will be studying to get my master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Wheaton College.” — Bornell Nicholson, psychology

“I will be attending Duke Divinity, pursuing a Masters of Divinity (thereby living in Durham NC).” — Darin Net­tleton, biblical and theological studies

“Texas A&M School of Med­icine in Bryan, TX (1 yr) and then Dallas, TX (3 yrs).” — Daniel Lim, biology

“Beginning my career as a con­sultant with Cerner, a health­care technology firm located in Kansas City, MO.” — Ian Donahoe, applied health sci­ence, minor in urban studies

“I’m planning on heading out to New Hampshire to work with His Mansion Ministries, a unique blending of Christ-centered psychological therapy for addiction recovery and substance abuse. I’m signing on to work there for one year and then planning on applying to Wheaton’s Doctoral Psy­chology Graduate Program.” — Dan Barnhart, psychology

“I will be heading to Emory University to pursue a Masters in Theological Studies, so I’ll be moving to Atlanta, GA!” — Gareth Leake, biblical and theological studies

“I will be working at Gordon College next fall as the As­sistant Director/RD of the WILD Semester, a wilderness immersion leadership develop­ment program for 12 students. I will be going on outdoor ad­ventures all over the country and living in Rockport, MA, for five months during the WILD program and then will be moving to Phnom Penh, Cambodia, to spend time with family for several months.” — Abby Coster, interpersonal communications, certificate in adventure ministry

What have you enjoyed the most about Wheaton, or what is the best expe­rience you’d like to share?

“My two experiences study­ing abroad during my time at Wheaton have been most im­pactful! The first time, I went to Beijing with the Wheaton in China program the sum­mer after my freshman year, and the second time, I went on my own to Shanghai spring semester of my junior year. I’ll never forget the most amaz­ing food and how cheap it was — except the time I found a toenail in my dumpling.” — Susannah Sullivan, communi­cation, minor in Chinese

“The professors are easily the best part of Wheaton. Deep faith and great wisdom has been tested by the life expe­rience many of us lack. Very few other places will you find professors who will walk you through life’s heartbreaks and hardships.” — Nancy Ritter, English literature

“Last summer, I spent six weeks in the Holy Lands with a group of amazing people, and my life was truly trans­formed from the experience. If you have the opportunity to study abroad, do it.” — Alli­son Freet, math and secondary education

“Spending my freshman sum­mer in Norway with YHM, interning at Lawndale Chris­tian Health Center through Wheaton in Chicago and serving as chair of BreakAway Ministry.” — Ian Donahoe, applied health science, minor in urban studies

“One of the best experiences at Wheaton has been living in Shalom Community this year. I have learned so much about conflict resolution and living in community through living with six other ladies who have incredibly different experienc­es and backgrounds. In Sha­lom I have learned about the incredible racism that perme­ates our society and even taints our school. I am encouraged to see that there are changes being made, and there is hope as Christians work to bring God’s love and equality in the midst of diversity” — Hannah Pahutski, applied health sci­ence

“The best feature of Whea­ton is the faculty. Every class I have taken, including gen eds, have been led by professional academics in whom conflate the highest levels of scholar­ship, pedagogy and good old-fashioned genuine concern for students’ well being. I remem­ber my very first day of class was an art history class. I had come in declared as an art his­tory major, and Dr. Milliner came rushing into the class­room with a fist pump. The interesting thing about this was that it was not a harried hurry, but instead it was sheer enthusiasm for the opportu­nity of art historical discourse and sharing this with students. I soon discovered that the enthusiasm was completely grounded in scholarship, and that Wheaton was a place that passion and learning not only coexisted, but a place where they supported one another.” — Stephen Westich, art his­tory

“Maybe just four years of daily life in Smaber. That in and of itself has been such a blessing.” — Nathan Smith, English, minor in Spanish

“My art professors, my silly friends, napping on Blanchard lawn in the afternoons and the amount of plaid flannel shirts I can wear without be­ing judged.” — Jaclyn Fortier, studio art, minor in Spanish

“I have made some of the best friendships of my life here. People continue to be surpris­ing and delightful. I could eas­ily have done the senior thing and not continued to meet new people, but the fresh­men and sophomore classes have some of the best people, people I know will stay with me through life.” — Alyssa Hughey, studio art

“Freshman year in my intro physics lab at 7:30 a.m., I had an open cup of coffee. In an attempt to ask Dr. AJ a ques­tion about the experiment, I knocked over the whole setup, which in turn knocked over my coffee, spilling the entire cup onto the school’s laptop. We quickly turned the computer sideways — it had already blue-screened and turned off — and watched as 12 oz of coffee drained out of the USB ports. IT was able to resusci­tate the computer and I was, for the first and last time in my Wheaton career, not charged a fine for my mistake.” — Darin Nettleton, biblical and theo­logical studies

“I think the class that made the deepest impression on me was Dr. Bieber Lake’s 343. Studying the poetry of Denise Levertov, Raymond Carter’s short stories and of course Flannery O’Connor really pulled me through a lot of dis­illusionment and discourage­ment in my faith. I think my second favorite thing about Wheaton is mixing cereals in saga.” — Hannah Marie Roop, English writing, minor in an­thropology

“I have been absolutely trans­formed by all the time that I have spent at HoneyRock; starting my Wheaton experi­ence with Passage prepared me to engage in my intellec­tual and spiritual development in ways that I never could have otherwise. I have also been so grateful to be a part of the Chaplain’s Office this year and to see first-hand how much the staff and faculty care for the student body.” — Abby Coster, interpersonal commu­nications, certificate in adven­ture ministry

“Although very different, Honduras Project and Air Jam tie as my favorite things during my time at Wheaton. Honduras Project was unique in the sense that it helped to get me to think outside of my own desires, wants, and expe­riences and consider others’ situations. Air Jam is just pure sick — best event at Wheaton by far!” — Taylor Pride, inter­national relations and urban studies

Any advice for continu­ing students?

“Get to know people outside of your ‘normal’ friend groups. I’ve been blown away by the people I’ve gotten to know and friendships I’ve been blessed with outside the football team. Become friends with people you think seem strange or weird. You might start to be­come more like them, and that’s an amazingly beautiful thing.” — Dan Barnhart, psy­chology

“Introspect less, pray more. Self-examination without in­cluding the loving and gra­cious gaze of God can only lead to worldly sorrow and self-hatred.” — Nancy Ritter, English literature

“Take time to notice your sur­roundings — the grass, the dirt, the trees, the sky, the moon, the stars, the sunshine, the snow, the rain, the heat, the cold. Take moments to no­tice everything and everyone around you. Take moments to reflect on where you are and how God is shaping you. Take time to cry out to God and bare your heart before him. And take time to laugh and enjoy the beauty of life. Because as my dad says, life is what hap­pens to you while you’re busy planning and worrying about the future.” — Gareth Leake, biblical and theological studies

“Live a life in Christ marked in a spirit of confession, for­giveness and faithfulness.” — Daniel Lim, biology

“Get off campus. I’m not talk­ing about going to Mariano’s or Starbucks. But really, get away from the ‘Wheaton bub­ble’ of Christianity, and explore the people in Chicago. Here at Wheaton we are learning to be well-rounded individu­als. A big portion of that is knowing how to interact with non-Christians in a loving and non-judgmental fashion. Chi­cago’s in our backyard. Take advantage of it.” — Bornell Nicholson, psychology

“Get uncomfortable. It’s so easy to find your niche, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But challenge yourself. When you’re challenged, you grow.” — Alexa Tyler, applied health science

“Have fun. No, seriously. Plan times to explore random plac­es on campus, try the differ­ent smoothie flavors at Sam’s or start a prank war with your friends. While school is im­portant, so are those late night conversations and memory-building activities. As a senior, my biggest regret is spending too much time studying and not enough time hanging out with and loving my friends. So procrastinate sometimes and be okay with lower grades. In 10 years, you’ll remember that awesome game night you planned, and not how you did on your philosophy exam.” — Hannah Pahutski, applied health science

“Don’t take your time here for granted. Don’t just hang out with the people who live next door to you — actually get to know them. Have conversa­tions that push beyond the theological and philosophical into the doubts and confusions and joys that come along with living in relationship with our God.” — Nathan Smith, Eng­lish major, minor in Spanish

“My advice would be to accept your Wheaton experience for what it is. It is so easy to com­pare yourself to others here. I know that I have wasted so much time and energy worry­ing about whether or not my Wheaton life ‘counts,’ because my experiences don’t look like the posters or what I expected as a freshman. But there is no ‘perfect Wheaton experience.’ Your Wheaton life counts because you’re living it. Your experiences are valuable and God is working through them — no matter how they mea­sure up to others.” — Hannah Marie Roop, English writing, minor in anthropology

“Don’t let fear and uncertainty about your future steal your hope! Remember, God is in control and will guide you to the place you’re supposed to be.” — Garret Gaunch, ap­plied health science

“Find a way to give back and stay involved in the Whea­ton community all the way through your senior year. Serve in a way that might be new, different or that makes you uncomfortable! Whether its CU, SG or Res Life, there is something for everyone!” — Susannah Sullivan, communi­cation, minor in Chinese

“Travel, travel, travel. Whea­ton is great, but get out. You’ll learn so much more about yourself, the culture you in­habit, your family and your re­lationship to the world outside Wheaton. When I was a soph­omore, a senior told me, ‘Keep one foot inside Wheaton, and one foot outside Wheaton.’ That’s been the best advice I’ve received, and I hope to pass it along.” — Andrew Shadid, in­terdisciplinary studies

“Find excuses to turn every class project — even those done for gen eds — into a chance to study something you’re passionate about. Seek out good mentors to receive wisdom from people who have walked ahead of you in any given area. Don’t let the Chris­tian-y aspects of Wheaton be­come the whole of your spiri­tual life — choose to pursue faith in less convenient ways as well.” — Whitney Bauck, studio art

“Bring your own mug to Saga. After four years of almost ev­ery morning spilling all over my tray the tiny bit of orange spice tea that could fit into those American Girl Doll mugs, realizing as I sat in the Cave that only two small sips remained for all my effort, I have finally concluded: Your life will be better if you bring your own mug to saga.” — Morgan Kinsinger, English writing, minor in Spanish, cer­tificate in urban studies

“Choose one or two things each year that you embrace and devote yourself to whole­heartedly, whether it’s a com­munity, activity or passion that you have. But it’s impor­tant that it only be one or two things — I think it’s just as important to prioritize caring for yourself and doing normal human things like sleeping, eating, exercising and resting.” — Grace Pyo, economics and international relations

“Think critically about issues, but don’t let that translate into being critical of others.” — Taylor Pride, international re­lations and urban studies

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