Hostetler Challenges Individuals to ‘Better My Town’

Casey HostetlerAlumna Casey Hostetler doesn’t recall the exact moment the idea hit her. She just woke up one day last summer with a thought: What are practical things people can do to help make their hometowns a better place?

It was a simple concept, but profound in its potential. What would happen if – like the massively successful ALS Ice Bucket Challenge in 2014 – this thing went viral? What kind of impact would it have in Yamhill County … Portland … Oregon … the nation?

Hostetler couldn’t wait to share her idea, dubbed the “Better My Town Challenge.” She started with coworkers at her place of employment, Hagan Hamilton Insurance in McMinnville, Ore., thinking it might make for a nice marketing campaign. She told friends, who suggested it might work but weren’t sure, before ultimately consulting with Nathan Knottingham, president and CEO of the McMinnville Area Chamber of Commerce.

“Nathan and I talked for quite a while before finally saying, ‘Why not, let’s do this,’” says Hostetler, who earned both a degree in business management (2013) and an MBA (2014) from George Fox. “We obviously didn’t know what to expect because you just don’t know how people will respond. But I was encouraged by what I saw with the Ice Bucket Challenge. This was the same idea, just that you would be doing practical things rather than dumping a bucket of cold water on your head.”

The idea: Post a video on social media in which you state your name, who nominated you and what task you are performing to better your town. It could be anything from disinfecting doorknobs around town to donating food or clothing to a local charity. Conclude the message by nominating three people and encouraging them to keep the chain going by nominating three individuals each.
(more…)

Read More

DSCN1597-2

Alumni Update: Elisabeth Tissell

DSCN1597-2Recently 2014 graduate Elisabeth Tissell shared with us details about her new position with AmeriCorps. A politics major, she will lean heavily on her Spanish minor serving as a case manager for bilingual families. Here are more details from Elisabeth:

“I recently accepted an AmeriCorps position in Alamosa, Colorado! I will be working as a case manager with four or five families as they transition from homelessness to self-sufficiency. Many of the families are bilingual, so I will be using Spanish regularly. I will also have the chance to teach life skill classes, attend relevant court hearings, conduct home visits and plan numerous projects. The position starts August 1, and is a two-year commitment.

I am nervous, but excited. This job will stretch me emotionally as I confront difficult situations and problems. Fortunately, the position comes with housing; I will be sharing a house with other AmeriCorps participants, and each house includes a shared vehicle. God is good – I don’t have to find a car, an apartment or ready companions!

I want to thank Spanish professors Debbie Berho and Viki Defferding for their guidance and support throughout my last few years. Thanks to them, I feel prepared for this job and the challenges I will face.”

Read More

Inspired to Serve

The university’s annual Serve Day makes a big difference in our local community, but one alumna has spread its impact all the way to South Africa. Rebecca Turba (’10), a teacher at Bridges of Hope Academy in South Africa, recently launched Bridges Service Day. Here’s an update from Rebecca’s newsletter:
(more…)

Read More

Alumna, student collaborate on poetry book

By Heather DeRosa, Class of 2014

Junior Erin Kays, a double major in studio art and graphic design, got the opportunity some artists only dream of this past summer – she became a published illustrator. And not just any published illustrator, but the illustrator for alumna Sarah Katreen Hoggatt’s book of poetry titled In The Wild Places. Hoggatt graduated from George Fox Evangelical Seminary with a master’s degree in 2006 and finished a certificate in spiritual formation and discipleship in 2007.
(more…)

Read More

Meet Your Homecoming King and Queen

By Heather DeRosa (’14), photo by Emily Jackson (’16)

Meet Joe Djanga and Tracy Berg, this year’s Homecoming king and queen. Joe is from Beaverton, Ore., and is an athletic training major. Tracy is a business major from Corvallis, Ore. Tracy will graduate this spring, and Joe will graduate once he finishes the athletic training program in a few years. Interesting fact: Tracy was a Homecoming princess her freshman year, and now homecoming queen her senior year. Tracy’s roommate described her experiences on homecoming court as bookends to her time at George Fox.
(more…)

Read More

Alumni Return to Old Stomping Grounds

By Heather DeRosa (’14)

This past weekend George Fox combined Homecoming and Family Weekend into one big event. Hundreds of alumni returned to the place they once called home, and current students got to show their families the campus that they have come to love. Here are two of their stories.
(more…)

Read More

Alumni Update: Paige Copenhaver (’11)

Yale and Dartmouth had both offered her a full ride scholarship, but for Paige Copenhaver the choice was clear. “I chose to come to George Fox instead of the Ivy Leagues,” she says, “and I’m really happy with that decision.”

A biology major who graduated in December of 2011 after just two and a half years of undergraduate work, Copenhaver’s 2180 SAT score and impressive high school resume allowed her the freedom to attend just about any college in the country. But in the end Paige chose to accept presidential merit and science scholarships from George Fox, which allowed her to learn about the world around her from a Christian perspective – a rare luxury in her field.

“That’s a pretty secular world,” she explains,” and I wanted to have a foundation in a Christian education before I moved off into that.”

Today, she is pursuing a graduate degree at the University of Wyoming. Read on for an update from Paige on her latest adventures in field research, and her continued commitment to bring glory to God through her work.
(more…)

Read More

Alaska Move Leads to Hollywood Ending


Brent and Liz Hoffman at the premier of Big Miracle

By Barry Hubbell

Take your watch when you see the new movie Big Miracle, which opens in theaters nationwide this spring. That way you can check out George Fox alumna Liz (Hunt) Hoffman (G96) and her husband, Brent, in their big-screen debut.

The movie premiered Feb. 3 in Anchorage, and despite a foot of new snow the Hoffmans made it from their Chugiak home to attend, along with about 1,000 other Alaskans who served as background extras and on the film crew.

“After the movie, cameras were flashing – we felt like celebrities,” recalls Liz. “It was a blast watching it.”
(more…)

Read More