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JU Students and Professor Attend Leadership Conference

This past week, two JU students and a professor had the opportunity to attend the United States Naval Academy Leadership Conference in Annapolis, Md.

The theme of this year’s conference, “Inside Out Leadership”, was primarily focused on helping leaders know themselves first so that they could better lead those they’re in  charge of. There were a multitude of speakers and panels covering the various facets of leadership.

Some of this year’s speakers were former Mayor of New York City Michael Bloomberg, the 16th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Peter Pace, and President of Operations at NPR Loren Mayor.

“(The speakers) were excellent,” sophomore Elijah Muller said. “They gave me a lot to think about when it comes to my leadership abilities.”

This was the largest attendance the conference has ever had with over 400 delegates coming from over 120 institutions around the world. The delegates were allowed to discuss the information they were learning at the conference as well as get leadership tips from one another in discussion groups that were moderated by midshipmen at the academy.

“One of the most enjoyable parts of the conference was getting to interact with the other delegates,” Dr. Daniel Overdorf said. “Getting to meet with students from other universities and military academies and also seeing the caliber of the students at the Naval Academy was amazing.”

Throughout the week, the delegates from JU got to explore the grounds of the Naval Academy, tour a patrol boat, and explore downtown Annapolis.

Dr. Gerald Mattingly, who helps coordinate the trip for the JU delegation every year hopes that the students and professors that go will return and use what they learned at the conference to better JU.

CultureHomeNewsStudentsTennessee

Students encouraged to participate in upcoming faith, sexuality conversations

Knoxville — Johnson University’s Counseling Center is hosting round table discussions for students who are interested in diving deeper into the topic of faith and sexuality.

These discussion groups are an opportunity for students to debrief following the Faith and Sexuality lectures presented by Mark Yarhouse, here Thursday.

These discussions will be held at 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, in the private dining hall. They are an open-ended conversation between students and faculty, touching on the information given by Yarhouse.

Emily Eisenhart, Director of Clinical Services, said that the conversation will mainly be “focused on what was heard from the lectures” and “continuing the idea of being hospitable to those that are different from us.”

She also said that the format of the conversations will be informal.

The format is intended to allow students to discuss their questions, comments and concerns in a safe environment. The conversation will be facilitated and guided by a faculty or staff member.

“We know that there are students that are struggling with issues of sexual identity or may be in a different place than the majority on campus,”  Eisenhart said. “And we want those students to feel welcome.. to feel hope.”

Eisenhart said that support for students thinking through sexual identity issues is available beyond the meeting Tuesday.

“If sexual identity topics are personal to them and they find themselves in that minority here at Johnson, they can receive support here at the counseling center,” she said. “We can’t stress enough how confidential their sessions are.”

All students at JU are encouraged to attend this round table discussion and become more educated on the topic of sexual identity.

“This is a topic we really need to consider and engage,” Eisenhart said.

“How can we move toward people, rather than disregard where they’re at?”

She said this is an opportunity to meet people where they are and walk with them through differences.

FloridaHomeStudents

Fall Senior Recitals

KISSIMMEE — Two seniors at the Johnson University Florida campus performed recitals to cap off their education.

Audrey Olsheske, a Musical Arts student, was first to perform her recital entitled “More Than A Conqueror” October 26 at 6:30 p.m. in the gym.

Brent Glover, a Worship Ministry student, followed with his recital entitled “Hold Us Together” on November 9.

Each recital lasted approximately one hour and consisted of vocal and piano pieces. During vocal pieces, both students were accompanied by Tony Cason on piano.

The senior recital is required for music majors and serves as a class.  It is a “…time for us music students to use what we have learned,” stated Olsheske. “It is a time for people to gather around and support you.”

Students prepare for this moment every year of their studies.  “It is an opportunity to show our professors, family, and friends what we have learned and how we have grown as musicians/worship leaders during our time at Johnson,” Glover said.

Additionally, Glover saw his recital as a personal confirmation that he obtained the skills necessary for his calling.

“I went from someone who could sing a little bit and play guitar to someone who can sing a lot better and lead worship from multiple instruments, along with being able to responsibly and biblically structure services,” Glover said.

Olsheske experienced difficulty when planning her recital. She was nervous and uncertain if she should perform. But, her nerves turned to joy after her recital.

“My favorite part would be the standing ovation I received at the end,” Olsheske said. “I’m an introvert and definitely NOT an attention seeker, but it felt great to know people really enjoyed what I had done.”

Glover’s favorite part was being able to minister to his family members through his recital. He encouraged all by witnessing to Christ in both song and word. He led the audience in an extended time of worship featuring songs “Is He Worthy?” and “Hold Us Together.”

Both Glover and Olsheske extended special thanks to their professors without whom their success would have been impossible.

“I have grown exponentially in my singing ability and my musicianship,” Glover said.

“Dr. Reyes, Dirk Donahue, and Tony Cason have all done such a great job at helping me get to where I am today, musically and more,” Olsheske said.

Glover accepted a job as the campus worship pastor for Tomoka Christian Church’s Palm Bay campus and will be joining them full-time after he graduates.

Olsheske is unsure what she will do after graduation. She said she is certain, however, that things will all work out.

 

 

 

 

FloridaHomeMissions/CultureStaffStudents

JUFL Cycling Event Raises over $30,000 for Missions

Over Spring Break (March 17-21) faculty and students from JUFL participated in the Key West Bike Ride 2018 (#KWBR2018), a cycling tour created by Ends of the Earth Cycling (a division of New Mission Systems International).

In 2016 Ends Cycling hosted the Tennessee Bike Ride in conjunction with JU—a 300-mile trek from JUTN to VA and back. After experiencing near-freezing temperatures in the Cherokee National Forest in March 2016, Ends made a decision to host this year’s JU-partnered tour in Florida.  

The KWBR2018 took more than 30 cyclists, and support staff from NMSI headquarters in Ft. Myers to the southernmost point of the U.S. in Key West. Cyclists included students Christian Arnold, Jessica Hammock, Rodrigo Monteroso, Leah Hardin, and Dr. Les Hardin (Professor of NT). Seth McManus (student, SGA President) and Elisabeth Arnold (alumnus) provided support staff for the tour.

Ends Cycling hosts tours specifically to raise money and awareness of worldwide mission work. This year’s KWBR2018 sought to raise money for Africa Hope’s School of Youth Ministry Training. The median age on the continent of Africa is currently 18 years old, making youth ministry key for the growth of the Kingdom there.

Justin Hanneken, Executive Director of Ends Cycling, had the following to say about Ends Cycling’s partnership with JU:

“Following a successful Tennessee Bike Ride in March 2016, we at Ends Cycling were so excited to partner with Johnson University again. We knew the only way this would work for the Key West Bike Ride 2017 was to have the tour over JU’s Spring Break. We also knew that God would have to provide a staff member on campus to help us out. He did exactly that through our ‘bro’ and friend, Dr. Les Hardin. Les organized an incredible group of students and JU alumni who were an absolute blessing to the team! Over the course of 5 days, we became family and God was glorified as we had the opportunity to #PrayPedalRepeat for the youth of Africa.”  

Each Ends Cycling participant is asked to commit to raise funds for the designated mission. The KWBR2018 group raised an excess of $30,000 to promote and facilitate youth work in Africa.

Participants in Key West Bike Ride had the following to say about their experiences:

“The KWBR was an awesome way to spend my spring break. Even though I’m not a cyclist, I found a way to plug-in and help serve the riders by moving equipment, helping with worship, and preaching at one of the stops.” —Seth McManus, SGA President

“Intentional discipleship occurs at every part in the team: praising one another for daily accomplishments, pushing one another to work harder, and supporting one another when trouble arises.” —Christian Arnold, JUFL Alumnus and M.A. Student

“KWBR was an awesome opportunity that trained my body and exercised my faith. Carving out specific time to train 6 days a week helped me prioritize my day and even helped me do better in my classes because I was forced to stick to a strict schedule. On the ride I was constantly praying for YouthHOPE in Africa because being on the bike for 8 or so hours a day provides a great opportunity for focusing on prayer.” —Jessica Hammock, JUFL student

“The past two years (2017 & 2018), I have served as a support staff member caring for the needs of cyclists. It is such a rewarding experience as I grow close to people from different faith backgrounds all coming together to use their love of cycling for the cause of global youth outreach.” —Elisabeth Arnold, JUFL Alumnus

JUFL students will once again have the opportunity to participate in the KWBR this upcoming Spring Break (Mar. 16-21, 2019). KWBR19 will raise funds for youth work in Thailand. Anyone interested in cycling or helping as a support staff member is encouraged to speak with Dr. Les Hardin for more information.

For more on the work of Ends of the Earth Cycling, visit www.endscycling.com and follow them at #PrayPedalRepeat.

FeaturesStudentsTennessee

Freshman enters into new college experience with hopeful anticipation

KNOXVILLE — Alyssa Bode is excited as she begins her freshman year of college. She is pursuing a business degree at Johnson University.

On Aug. 17, 2018, Bode moves into her college dorm room. She traveled from her home in Dandridge.

Bode grew up with two twin brothers, Levi Bode and Dakota Bode. Alyssa began homeschooling in the seventh grade alongside her brothers. The rest of her middle and high school experience was spent getting her education at home.

After visiting JU the summer before her 12th-grade year, Alyssa knew JU was where she wanted to be.

“I loved being homeschooled but, the atmosphere here was really cool. I love getting to meet people from different places,” Alyssa said. “I would compare every school to Johnson. They had my major, and the people were really friendly.”

Alyssa said she fell in love with the scenic views of the campus. She said she admired the communal atmosphere of the people on campus.

“I love how much everyone here loves Jesus and each other,” she said. “I knew I wanted to play a part in that.”

Since her arrival, she has found people to grow in community with. Alyssa said she has participated in all of the activities from Genesis Weekend, the university’s freshmen welcome experience.

“Saturday night was my favorite,” she said. “I was able to get to know people. The worship was really cool too.”

Alyssa said she is looking forward to pursuing her business major at JU and hopes to continue to meet new people.

 

 

 

FeaturesStudentsTennessee

Resident Assistant feels importance of job as she impacts incoming freshmen

 

Knoxville — As the 2018 school year begins, senior Carli Long reflects about her time at Johnson.

Growing up in Memphis, Long heard about Johnson from her youth pastors who both attended Johnson. While sharing stories from their time as students, Long’s youth pastors encouraged the students to tour their alma mater.

“I didn’t want to be a preacher,” Long said. “I asked them why I would go to Johnson Bible College.”

After reassuring Long that the school offered a multitude of majors and that the name had been changed to Johnson University, Long’s youth pastors convinced her to tour the school.

“When I came here for Preview Day, it just felt like home,” Long said. After four years, coming back on campus still feels like home. Pursuing a degree in Education, Long hopes to complete the Holistic Education Masters after graduating in the spring.

At the beginning of every year, Long said she looks forward to meeting new people and deepening current relationships.

“I love the personal side that comes with going to Johnson,” Long said. “It is a very strong, tight-knit community.”

Long has been a Freshman Resident Assistant for three years, a job that she is passionate about, mainly because of her Freshman RA’s who invested in her.

“One of the reasons I keep coming back to being a Freshman RA is that I love being able to pour into new girls,” Long said.

In a way, walking with these freshmen is Long’s way of helping raise the next generation of Johnson students. Looking back over her four years at Johnson, Long offered advice to the new freshman, reminding them that “transition takes time.” Coming as a freshman is a drastic change, and is easy to become discouraged when the transition does not come quickly.

As graduation quickly approaches, Long has been praying how she can invest in people with her remaining time.

“My goal right now is focusing on the present, enjoying each day I get here at Johnson,” Long said. “I want to take mentor my new freshman girls and to be there for them because I know how important this season of life is for them.”

There are many stories Long said she will remember from her time at Johnson, especially memories made as an RA.

“Just a few days in as my first year being an RA, one of my girls came to my room saying she had caught her mac and cheese on fire,” Long remembered fondly. Both trying to keep calm while also reframe from la­ughing, Long remembers opening the door to see black smoke coming from the room.

FeaturesStudentsTennessee

JU Sophomore gearing up for new year, new singing opportunity​

Knoxville — Caleb Giffin, a Sophomore at Johnson University, is preparing for his second year of college.

“I am very excited to dig deeper into my Bible knowledge and continue building my new and current relationships,” he said.

Giffin is a Worship Ministry major and said he is excited to get back into his classes. One project in particular that he is excited about being apart of is Vox Royale.

Vox Royale is a new music performance group starting this semester that will include both a cappella and other forms of music.

Only a handful of Worship Ministry students were selected to be part of this new opportunity.

“I am looking forward to working with super talented vocalists and performing songs outside of the traditional worship music,” Giffin said.

Music is not the only activity Griffin has been involved in at JU.

Giffin said he is involved in a couple of work-study positions around campus. One position he said he also held last year is landscape assistant for Plant Services. Along with that position, Giffin said he is also going to be a teachers assistant for Mark Weedman.

He said that outside of campus life, he is looking forward to church-hunting Sundays.

“It is really interesting to see how differently churches run things,” he said.

Giffin said he found out about the university through a Johnson recruitment team when attending Camp Rudolph located in Virginia.

He said he chose Johnson because of the current students he had met and the great things he had heard about the music program.