Monday, October 11, 2010


What an amazing weekend it was here at Bluffton! We celebrated our annual Homecoming with festivities all weekend long. There was a Friday evening alumni awards banquet that honored 3 Bluffton graduates and one professor who have accomplished some pretty amazing things with their gifts, talents and ambitions. There was also an exciting football game against Manchester that ended with a thrilling 29-27 victory by the Beavers and a great choral concert on Sunday afternoon.
As a 2006 graduate, it was awesome to see so many Bluffton alums reconnecting with old friends and experiencing memories of their time here on campus. I found myself recalling those days when I called Bluffton University my home, as well. Four years have FLOWN by, but its so good to see that for those who have had the Bluffton experience, the good memories will never fade.
It's also been so great to see the newest members of our community begin getting involved and making Bluffton their home as well. Here's to an AMAZING 4 year experience for them! :)


Thursday, September 2, 2010

It begins...again!

Ahh, the world of's endless complexities and exciting challenges, it's communities and ever-winding paths of discovery, it's triumphs and defeats. As you wrap up your first week here, I see many different stories unfolding that reflect the spectrum of emotion...from joy to struggle. And I'm reminded just how important one thing in particular is to the small universe of college: relationships.

As I watch new students begin to claim this campus as their own, I remember how it felt-to be in an entirely new environment, to have that sweaty-palm feeling constantly, to yearn for a foothold somewhere...anywhere that would lead to security and safety within the community. For some, the feeling of belonging literally falls into their laps. Some form tight bonds with their roommates right away, or join a team that allows for fellowship with many like-minded people. For others...the transition is bumpy, and uncomfortable. They miss home, their parents, siblings and high school friends. Classes are challenging, and they haven't "clicked" with their roommate or found the friendships they were hoping for. Things feel dis-jointed, and they are far from settled. To you who identify with those feelings, I ask you to hang in there. To press on and continue putting yourself out there. It may feel defeating if things haven't lined up yet, but they will. You are a part of this community for a reason, and good things are coming your way!

This advice doesn't come from someone who has never experienced what you are going through. Indeed, I've walked the exact road. In 2004 I was a nervous transfer student, setting up my life across the country from my parents (in Idaho) and wondering what the heck I was doing here. Eating in Marbeck was a challenge...simply finding a place to sit was a chore! I spent the first several weeks in limbo, trying to adjust and find my place. Luckily, I decided to try out for Camerata choir during the first week of classes. I made it, and as rehearsals began the 2nd week, I started to form connections. Those connections became friendships, which became close friendships and eventually I realized that I had found my ties to the Bluffton community! I also began catching up on the work in my literature classes and finding that I enjoyed the discussions and the personalities of my professors. The transition was a success...and it was TOTALLY worth the wait:)

To those of you who've plugged in here and are loving it... GREAT! I'm so glad, and I hope it continues to go well. For the ones wondering if this was the right decision, I ask you to hold on. It WILL get better. I know you heard this time and time again throughout your visits, orientations and the welcome weekend, but I will say it again: Bluffton is here for you! Don't be afraid to ask for help if you find yourself struggling. Talk to your professor after class. Stop by your RA's room in the afternoon. Come over to the admissions office and chat with your counselor. Reach out, and you'll find us reaching back to help. This is something I'll always be grateful for...that Bluffton really is made up of professors and staff members who are invested in each student''s success. I am a product of this community, and I'm thankful that God led me here...even though I didn't realize all He would do when I chose this university. You are here for a reason, and good things are on the way!


Friday, May 7, 2010


It's that time of year. For our students, another year is coming to a close.
This means different things for everyone. Underclassmen are finishing loading all their possessions into the car to head for home. Many of our juniors are preparing to leave on their cross-cultural trips next week: some bound for places within the US, others to the far reaches of the globe for a first-hand glimpse of other cultures that will re-define their perception of the world as a community. Many others are planning for summer jobs and a chance to rest and relax after a year of hard work and new experiences.
Lastly, our seniors. Tomorrow they will participate in many of our traditional May Day events, and we will welcome their parents, siblings and extended family to join us as we celebrate their college experience. Sunday afternoon is graduation, and always brings mixed emotions for me as an admissions counselor. The most rewarding part of my job (by FAR) are the personal relationships I build with the students here: watching them arrive as nervous first years, catching glimpses of them on the sidewalk between classes, watching their volleyball, basketball and football games, seeing them perform in concerts and plays, talking with them one-on-one in small groups, praying for them as they are stretched academically ad emotionally, and finally watching them walk across the stage to receive their diplomas. It is a great journey to behold. Each student at Bluffton is unique and possesses a light that will make the world a better place. While here, they cultivate their interests and talents, discovering the places in the world that need what they have to give. Along the way, they share laughs and struggles as they grow.
Tomorrow, many will leave us. But they will carry the Bluffton spirit with them.

Best of luck to you, graduates. Thank you for enriching Bluffton...we know you go forward to enrich the world, as well.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

lately...'s been a while! Things are still busy busy busy here in the Bluffton Admissions office as we continue working with students who are narrowing down their college search and coming to a final decision. So much has gone into this search for every student! Doing research on colleges through guidance offices and websites, visiting various campuses (sometimes more than once,) applying for financial aid and comparing final costs, talking with parents, family members and friends about the options...all to arrive at this point, when a final decision is either being made or rapidly approaching. To all you high school seniors in this stage of the college search, I say GOOD WORK! You've given a ton of time and energy to this process, and I have no doubt that it will serve you well as you send in your deposit at whatever school you've chosen, attend an orientation sometime this summer, get to know your roommate, start buying things for your residence hall room and finally move in!
I remember well the days between high school and college. I hope you can relax, have fun and enjoy the "in between" time that these coming summer months will provide. College is an awesome time, to be sure, but it's also a lot of work! So in thinking ahead, take advantage of free time and your family...pretty soon you will be an independent college student!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Little Things

As the sun starts making more regular appearances and spring inches closer, I begin to think about my perspectives. For me, winter is a time to stay inside, seek warmth and find shelter as snows fall and winds blow. Now that spring is almost here, I have a great desire to seek out the small ways that life is springing up once again. But that has me I seek signs of life all the time, no matter the season? It's always there, that small and steady pulse of beauty in different forms. So why do I only think it exists when the sun comes out?

This is my challenge for you: as deadlines for school and college decisions loom closer; as you start thinking ahead and planning for the months to come; as one season of your life begins drawing to a close and another starts opening up, take the moments you need to recognize the good things that are happening now. It seems so easy to set your hopes on the good things to come, but there is no such thing as an ordinary moment. Everything holds a spark of the unique within it...if you take the time to see it!

Monday, March 15, 2010

decisions and investments

Well, March is here. Colleges and universities regard this month as the beginning of "financial aid season." For most higher education institutions, March is marked by the sending out of our award letters to all students who are accepted and have completed a FAFSA. Bluffton is no exception. Over the past few weeks, I have had many different conversations with students and parents wanting to know more about how to compare the award letters they've received, which institution provides the best personal and financial fit, and next steps as they make their final decisions.
At Bluffton, once a student has made the choice to attend in the fall, we ask that their family submit a housing deposit. This reserves the student's place in the incoming class, and allows them to complete our housing questionnaire and register for a summer orientation. Both of these steps are extremely important, and are great things to take care of as soon as possible.
As you begin receiving your financial aid award letters from various colleges, take some time to sit down and compare everything. How much is tuition at each institution? How much scholarship and grant money are you receiving? What is the bottom line to attend each school, and how feasible is that for your family? Each college and university has a financial aid department that is ready and willing to answer your questions, as well as admissions counselors who can help sort things out for you. Remember: this is one of the most important decisions you will make. You are choosing your home for the next four years, and the place you will grow in many different ways. Especially in these uncertain economic times, it is helpful to look at your college decision as an investment in yourself. Where you attend will help shape you into the person you are becoming even now, and I wish you all the best as you continue to journey toward that decision.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Any Juniors Out There??

Happy March, everybody! We're one step closer to spring, and I'm EXCITED. Today is also cause for celebration, as it is the kick-off of my week-long spring travel circuit! If you are a junior and live near Beavercreek, Centerville or Princeton, this is your lucky week! I will be at all three schools for college fairs tonight, tomorrow and Wednesday. Here is the official schedule:

Monday, March 1: Beavercreek High School 7-8:30 p.m.
Tuesday, March 2: Miami Valley Career Technology Center 8:15-10:15 a.m. AND Centerville High School 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Wednesday, March 3: Princeton High School 6:30-8 p.m.

If you are getting started with your college search and want to know more about Bluffton, stop by my table for a chat! I can give you some great information about campus life, financial aid and visiting (all good things to be thinking about!) looking for my silver Honda Accord all over the southern Ohio roads this week, and honk if you see me! :)