LEAPing toward Success

Alumni Relations and Career Services have collaborated to create LEAP (Leadership Education through Alumni Partnerships), a new program connecting graduating students with alumni for guidance in career decisions, life skills, and spiritual development. LEAP has been tested with four departments on campus over the past several months and is now ready to be shared with Southern alumni. The goal is to add at least 25 new mentors by the end of this semester and to continue increasing this number during the summer months in order to have mentors in place for students who wish to use this service beginning next school year. More information about mentoring is available online at southern.edu/mentor. To volunteer as a mentor, email or call 423.236.2830.


Southern is Named the #3 Choice for a Sports Management Degree

The sports industry is one of the fastest-growing industries in America, according to the North American Society for Sport Management. Southern Adventist University was recognized by Sports-Management-Degrees.com as #3 out of 20 best small colleges for sports management degrees. The Bachelor of Science in Sports Studies program at Southern focuses on management and offers a sequence of courses that equip students for positions in the fast-growing sports industry. Students who receive a degree in sports studies are equipped for a management position in the industry.

Read the full article here.



Physics Student Receives a Future Teachers Scholarship

~Xenia Figueroa, Alumni Relations assistant


Last fall Leah DeWeez, sophomore physics major, applied for the 2014 Barbara Lotze Scholarship for Future Teachers. She was one of only four students to be awarded this national scholarship!

"When I would advance in school, I would spend my vacation days volunteering at my old school, and it went from grading papers to one-on-one help with students and even teaching a few lessons,” DeWeez said.

This past May, DeWeez volunteered at a school during her summer vacation, and the principal was so impressed with her ability to teach that she was asked to be a substitute teacher for a day. Chris Hansen, '89, department chair and professor of physics at Southern Adventist University, praised her determination to become a teacher and mentioned that most who follow this path figure it out later in their academic career or even after graduating.

"In the 18 years I have been teaching, I have not seen a student more intentional about his or her desire to teach physics at the secondary level,” he said.

DeWeez was working as a Physics research assistant for Ray Hefferlin, attendee and former professor and research instructor who impacted the lives of so many alumni throughout almost 60 years of teaching at Southern, and who passed away unexpectedly on March 7. She can be seen participating in the service as she read Psalm 23 for the hundreds of alumni, colleagues, friends, and family who were in attendance for the inspirational celebration of life service conducted on March 25; it is available for viewing online.

DeWeez is working to attain her teacher certification and will continue in pursuing her degree. To learn more about the physics and engineering department online.


Long Term Healthcare Banquet

~Ashley Noonan, Advancement Intern


For the first time, the annual Long Term Healthcare Banquet, in partnership with the E.A. Anderson Lecture series, was held off campus at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Chattanooga. This meeting created networking opportunities for 175 students and some of the top business leaders in the long term healthcare industry.

Mark Waldrop, '90, COO of Community Health Systems and adjunct professor, organized and oversaw the distinguished panel of business professionals to discuss the topic of "Health Care, Politics and Volcanoes." The panel discussed challenges being addressed in the ever changing world of long term healthcare and shared their experience and opinions about working in the healthcare industry and what the future may hold.

Several businesses were represented that evening including Community Health Services of Georgia, Life Care Centers of America, Kettering Health Network, MBG Organizing and Independent Health Care.


Alumnus Publishes Book of "Wit and Wisdom"

~Xenia Figueroa, Alumni Relations assistant


Seven years after graduation with a BA degree in History, Brian E. Strayer, ’73, Ph.D., returned to Southern and taught for three years. In his Western Civilization classes, he always gave essay quizzes and bluebook exams. The story behind his book, Romans Were Known for Their Aquaducks and Other Gems of Wit and Wisdom in Western Civilization, is told in the Foreword, along with a dedication to Dr. Floyd Greenleaf, '55: Strayer worked for Dr. Greenleaf as his reader from 1970-1973.

“I soon noticed that even the best students slipped in misspellings and witticisms from time to time that made my student reader and I chuckle," Strayer said.

He would type out these bloopers and share them with his students, who found them hilarious. This encouraged him to save them as written, with the idea of someday compiling them in a booklet form, complete with “fractured footnotes” and funny artwork with students’ bloopers for captions.

Some of the gems are witty; others show wise insights into human failures and foibles; while still others are humorous mainly because of their ignorance of factual detail. It was this combination of the punny and the profound, the comic and the correct, and the ribald and the rational, that led him to include the subtitle Wit and Wisdom in Western Civilization.

The book is available on amazon.com.


Northwestern Mutual Honors Alumnus

~Xenia Figueroa, Alumni Relations assistant


Northwestern Mutual honored Chattanooga financial representative John P. Sterner, '01, CFP®, with membership in its 2014 Forum Group, on December 1, 2014. This membership recognizes individuals for an outstanding year of helping clients achieve financial security. Sterner is affiliated with the Pruett Financial Group based in Nashville, Tennessee. This is the fifth time he received the Forum honor.

“We’re proud of financial professionals like John who are guiding their clients on a path to financial security,” said Northwestern Mutual President Greg Oberland. “Our own research tells us Americans need and want to get their financial houses in order. Northwestern Mutual advisors like John help develop tailored financial plans for both families and business that stand the test of time.”

The annual Forum conference is an exclusive achievement; more than 6,000 financial representatives were invited to attend. For the past five years, Sterner has been honored as a Forum advisor, which recognizes his ranking in the top 5% of Northwestern Mutual advisors across the nation. He has achieved great success in his career.

“Genuine client relationships are what make my job truly rewarding," Sterner says. "Everyone has a different financial picture. I enjoy getting to know what is important to each client and helping them prepare for whatever the future may hold.”

Sterner mentioned that while at Southern, Dr. Josef Ghosn and Peggy Elkins helped him understand that the goal of his career was not about what he could get, but rather, what he could give back to others.



National Religious Broadcasters

~Robby Raney IV, Student Station Manager


Moses begins Psalm 90 by saying, “Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever You had formed the earth and the world, Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God." (Verses 1-2 NKJV)

Makes you feel sort of small, doesn’t it? And very insignificant. But you are significant. King David wrote that God knows whether we’re sitting or standing, and He knows every single stitch of our bodies. He knit each of us together in our mother’s womb.

We have not been created just to sit and feel surrounded by the love of God. He expects us to work while we’re here on this earth. We are called to be both salt and light to this world, sharing the good news of reconciliation to God through his Son, Jesus Christ!

WSMC is opening a new chapter of its history. In October we launched a Christian station that we’re calling Oasis, which has the goal of pointing listeners to the Living Water. You remember the Woman at the Well. Jesus was taking a break by a well in Samaria when a sad, broken woman came to draw water for her and her household. Jesus asked her for a drink and then offered her the most precious gift possible: the Living Water.

That is our goal—to be a must-listen destination that introduces our listeners to Jesus but that also helps them grow in their relationship with Him.

As I write this, I am at a religious broadcaster’s convention in Nashville. This morning we heard from Lord Robert Edmiston, who said, “The only way to evangelize the world is for EVERY Christian to do it.” We’re doing what we can. Are you?



Technology and Business to Combine Programs

 ~Xenia Figueroa, Alumni Relations assistant


The Technology Department and School of Business and Management are merging to create a joint department. The merge, which is in the final stages of approval, will combine the two departments under one title and one dean. The fit is a natural one, as many degrees require courses in both departments.

“Hopefully combining technology with business, which is a larger program, will provide more resources,” said Mark Hyder, '82, dean of the School of Business and Management.

Along with the merger, two new degrees are being added: a bachelor of technology in construction management and a bachelor of technology in automotive technology. Both degrees incorporate a technical aspect along with classes in business and management, which underscores the merger.

“Students need the technical knowledge and the business knowledge,” said Dale Walters, '81, associate professor in the Technology Department. “Every skill set we teach them could be used when they have their own business. They’re true entrepreneurial degrees.”

Both departments are looking forward to combining resources to provide even stronger programs for students in the future.

“They’re a great bunch of guys over there,” Hyder said. “I’m thrilled to have them on my team.”



Alumni Dinner Event - General Conference 2015

Alumni and friends of Southern who will be attending the General Conference Session or who live in the San Antonio, Texas area, are invited to attend a complimentary dinner meeting on Thursday, July 9, starting at 5 p.m. at the Casa Rio Mexican Restaurant, overlooking the beautiful and historic Riverwalk. Join university staff for great food and fellowship, and learn about what’s happening at Southern. You are welcome to bring your family or a guest, but seating is limited to a maximum of 100 attendees. We look forward to visiting with you then!

To RSVP or for more information, contact Alumni Relations by email or by calling 423.236.2830.


The School of Music Invites You!

Are you a music lover? Join the School of Music and attend some delightful performances by the Symphony Orchestra, Wind Symphony, and various other university ensembles. For more information, visit the School of Music online.

Many of these concerts featuring Southern students are held in the Collegedale Church of Seventh-day Adventists and are broadcast live, online at southern.edu/streaming. So if you’re not in the Tennessee Valley, consider watching on your computer or mobile device.

Recordings of many performances can also be heard through Classical 90.5 WSMC, which streams online.