Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A Great Time to be a Beaver

Guest post by Katie Steenrod ‘14
 The cheering of fans and a broadcaster’s announcement (“TOUCHDOWN!”) drew me out of my somewhat productive homework session in Hirschy to the stands of the football game Saturday as our Bluffton Beavers handled the Rose Hulman Fightin’ Engineers.

The win marked the fourth straight for the Beavers, making them 4-2 in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference. With only two matches remaining, the Beavers are guaranteed to finish at least at .500, if not better. The last time our football team made such a finish was 2004.

But the football team isn’t the only team giving J. Denny something to cheer about. Beaver volleyball sits at 5-2 in the HCAC with only Defiance and Franklin left to play. They hope to make the conference tournament for the fourth straight year.

Seniors Courtney Zimmerman, Jenna Eshleman, and Nicole Wood have had celebratory seasons, especially Jenna and Nicole, who each celebrated 1,000 career kills. Jenna was twice named HCAC player of the week in September.

Arguably most exciting for the Bluffton community is the success of the women’s soccer team. (Although being a member of the team may make me biased!) Currently at 9-3-2 (4-2-1 HCAC), the team has guaranteed a winning record for the first time in Bluffton women’s soccer history. Goalkeeper Maggie Armstrong has posted eight shutout games, including 11 consecutive shutout halves, which is also a team record.

Currently, the team is in fourth place in the HCAC, but will likely have to win both of its remaining games to make the post-season tournament. A trip to the tournament would be the first by the women’s soccer team in school history. The team has also earned its first ever National Team Academic Award.

So while the seasons are winding down, we are both energized and exhausted. Relieved and disappointed. The end of a great fall season marks the end of the careers of our beloved seniors and the beginning of an offseason to prepare to once again compete at a high level next season.

What a great time to be a Bluffton Beaver!

Check out the latest in fall athletics action.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A single step…

Many people talk about wanting to “get healthy.” What exactly does it mean to “get healthy”? Gain strength? Lose weight? Increase energy? Decrease medications?

For many of us it’s yes, yes, yes and yes. So what steps are we willing to take to reach these goals; goals that may feel completely out of reach?

A journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step.
Chinese proverb

Senior accounting major Andy Chaffee is hoping to inspire those around him to take that initial step toward a healthier lifestyle. Last summer he met with alumni relations director Julia Szabo with a proposal. He signed up to compete in the 2012 Ironman Lake Placid and is hoping to inspire others to fitness and to philanthropy as he builds a support team for himself. As he told members of the President’s Society at their annual banquet…
"In all of my research, I have found that the most important thing I will need in order to complete the event is a support team. It can get fairly boring and monotonous just going out for runs, or bike rides or doing what seems like endless amounts of laps in the swimming pool by yourself. But knowing that you have a group of people invested in knowing how you are progressing through this process can completely make those feelings disappear."
So we decided on a two separate challenges. First, the greater Bluffton community has been challenged to Get Moving. During 36 weeks of intense training, Andy will cover at least 3,240 miles running, biking and swimming. As a group, the rest of us are challenged to increase our activity by 3,240 half-hour sessions. We’re getting a head start. Our increased activity counts now, Andy’s doesn’t start until Nov. 14.

And he’s starting to taunt us, tweeting last night “Only 4 weeks until training starts! Challengers better take advantage of the head start! #BlufftonTeamAndy #superpumped”

The second challenge looks to use cash as a motivator, not for Andy, but as gifts toward the Health and Fitness Education Center. We’re looking for at least 36 people to sponsor Andy for one week of his training, by donating $1 for every mile he trains for the week.

Are you ready to accept the throw down? Join either or both challenges, and check out progress at www.bluffton.edu/teamandy

To get through the hardest journey
we need take only one step at a time,
but we must keep on stepping.

Chinese proverb

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Indian Summer

This past stretch of weather has been absolutely beautiful. Shirt-sleeves, sunshine, cool breezes and mid-October. Don’t you just love Indian Summer?

Anybody who has been on Bluffton’s campus can attest to the beauty of this place in any season. But this autumn has been stellar. Some years the leaves just turn brown and fall, but this year we’ve had reds, golds, greens and every shade in between.

I’ve had photographers tell me in the past they struggle taking fall photos in Ohio because the sky “looks like mud.” Not this past week. For the most part the sky has been a brilliant, cloud-free blue.

We turned our student photographer Katie Steenrod loose Friday afternoon. She had one directive, “Go take fun, fall photos.” Not sure if she had more fun taking the creative shots, or donning the hard hat and taking close-up construction photos.

Walking across campus just now, I noticed the intramural staff has the Tennis Ball Golf stakes out. It is perfect weather for TBG. Expect that as students return from fall break tonight, people will have to watch out for flying tennis balls.

I passed a professor who wondered aloud, “What are we doing inside on a day like this?”

Which leaves me with one question. Is it possible to have spring fever in October?

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Blending voices

Dr. Crystal Sellers
Guest post by
Dr. Crystal Sellers
assistant professor of music

Gospel music has always been a huge influence on my life path so it seems natural for me to always want to be involved in some way in performing or learning more about the style.

Growing up I sang with my father, brother and sister at our church and other events and it deeply influenced my desire to study music. During my undergraduate studies I sang in the gospel choir and it helped me create bonds with friends that I still have to this day.

So there was no apprehension for me to start the gospel choir when asked by members of the university administration as well as the music department. It was an opportunity for me to share a part of what makes me who I am, as well as provide students, faculty and staff the opportunity to connect in the same way that my undergrad gospel choir did for me. So with great pride I conduct the Bluffton University Gospel Choir in our weekly rehearsals and concerts each semester.

Due to the success of this new musical group and the profound support from the university and community, it is my pleasure to tell you about a new and exciting program that is coming to Bluffton University campus Nov. 6-12, 2011. The event, in conjunction with Spiritual Life Week, is Blended Voices: Music and Worship in the Gospel Tradition, a weeklong celebration of all things gospel music. It will feature Dr. Raymond Wise, prolific gospel historian, composer, clinician and minister, who will present in Forum as well as during the chapel service.

Dr. Wise will also work with a 200-voice choir that will perform at a concert on Saturday, Nov. 12 at 6 p.m. in Founders Hall. This choir is composed of university students, faculty and staff as well as community members from Findlay, Lima and Bluffton. The members of this choir are from churches that were invited to participate in this event. Each choir will perform on their own as well as with the larger group in hopes of “blending voices” together that have never been together and may never be again.

This week also provides an opportunity for people to participate just to learn more about gospel music. There are opportunities for all to attend workshops and even to participate in the choir. It is a great way to be introduced to singing in a style that so many love but may have not been able to perform in for various reasons. 

It is my hope that you will attend all or some part of this event. It will be a wonderful way to blend your voice with the voices of others to bless God’s universal kingdom!

More about the Blended Voices: Music and Worship in the Gospel Tradition >>>