Don Murk’ 79 Professor of Early Childhood Education Mechanicsburg, Pa.
What makes a kid who grew up in rural, eastern Pennsylvania interested in teaching in a city? That’s the question Don Murk ’79, professor of early childhood education asked himself more than 30 years ago as student at Messiah College. Murk, who was an early childhood and elementary education major, decided he wanted to complete his student teaching experience in an urban school and spent his student teaching semester at Downey Elementary School in the Harrisburg School District teaching kindergarten. Read the rest of this entry »
Andrea Cole ’15 Biology/Pre-Med Winfield, Pa.
As Andrea Cole ’15 walked through the streets of the small Honduran town she was visiting on a church-sponsored mission trip in 2011, she noticed that many of the children were running around on the rough terrain with no shoes. Her heart ached for those children because they were missing, what seemed to her, a basic necessity. Read the rest of this entry »
Attorney and Partner at Gager, Emerson, Rickart, Bower and Scalzo, LLC
Faith and intellect. Discipline and imagination. Humility and aspiration. Students at Messiah College are regularly challenged to explore how two seemingly opposing entities can coexist and forge even greater strength when merged.
Peter Scalzo ’84, a business administration major and bible minor, can add two more:
Cancer and joy. Suffering and purpose. Since his cancer diagnosis in 2005, the 49-year-old alumnus has seen God use a six-year battle with cancer to not only solidify his faith, but to open new doors of ministry and service to individuals whose lives also have been similarly turned upside down by the disease.
For his final spring break, Steve Frankenfield ’11 journeyed to the rugged Cumberland Valley of Tennessee.
For three out of four spring breaks of his Messiah College career, the 22-year-old adventure education major has participated in the Agapé Center’s service trip to Mountain T.O.P. (Tennessee Outreach Project), an interdenominational nonprofit ministry that serves impoverished rural families in the scenic—yet isolated—Cumberland Valley.
Like concentric circles in a stirred pond, a single gesture of gracious generosity affects multiple lives in its wake. One such selfless act involving soccer, suffering and an unexpected gift recently rippled through the Messiah College community, as a tangible display of servant leadership.
Just a few weeks after Messiah senior Geoff Pezon ’11 scored the winning goal in the 2010 NCAA Division III men’s soccer championship game, he offered a key assist to a seriously ill Messiah professor. Read the rest of this entry »
Christian ministries major Kristopher Sledge ’13 experienced a summer he won’t soon forget. The 19-year-old Selinsgrove, Pa., native says he was grateful to spend time this summer as part of a 15-member team from his church doing mission work in Bwaise, Uganda, a suburb of the capital, Kampala. However, on July 11, he was also one of the people hurt in a terrorist bombing that killed 74 and injured many others. Read the rest of this entry »
Leigh McCauley ’12
At first glance, Leigh McCauley ’12 is like many other Messiah College sophomores: happy, bubbly, bright, and carefree. But, she has overcome more than the average 21-year-old and now uses those difficult childhood experiences to inspire others.
Ryan Scott Bomberger ’93
Adopted into a multi-racial family of 15, Ryan Scott Bomberger’s acceptance into a loving Christian home fostered his own passion for adoption and seeking God’s purpose in his life.Today, he and wife Bethany Koopalethes Bomberger ’97 are co-founders of The Radiance Foundation (www.theradiancefoundation.org), a life-affirming organization that seeks to empower people by building their sense of purpose.Read the rest of this entry »
Every Tuesday afternoon Rachel Moffett ’09 boards a bus to work with inner-city youth at the Allison Hill Community Center in Harrisburg.After four years of helping with homework, cleaning, serving meals, and lending a shoulder to cry on, this elementary education alum bids farewell to the individuals that have helped shape her life, broaden her horizons, and strengthen her fortitude.Read the rest of this entry »
Emily Rainville ′04
English Literature major
Currently residing in South Asia
Study abroad experiences in West Africa and France shaped this student’s view of the world and convicted her about the investment she could make in the lives of those outside her immediate circle of influence. Read the rest of this entry »
Amanda McMillan ′08 Politics major with a minor in environmental studies Hometown: Herminie, Pennsylvania
Amanda McMillan ’08 is on a crusade for conservation. In just her first two months on the job as the executive assistant to the president of a worldwide Christian environmental protection organization, McMillan travelled from New York City, to Barcelona, and then back to the company’s operation in southern France. Read the rest of this entry »
Ryan Witmer ′09
Environmental Studies major
Hometown: Wooster, Ohio
Planting gardens in abandoned lots strewn among Philadelphia’s economically disadvantaged neighborhoods is more than a beautification project. To Ryan Witmer ’09, and others studying at Messiah College’s Philadelphia campus (MCPC), the ongoing service project is an effective way of combating gang warfare, diabetes, heart disease, and obesity, in addition to supporting ecological sustainability among the historic city’s 30,000+ vacant lots. Read the rest of this entry »
Becca Knight ’03
Majored in Sociology
Director of Home Repair Ministries
Appalachia Service Project, Inc. (ASP)
Johnson City, Tennessee
The national housing crisis has been in the news lately but housing problems are not new to Appalachia (pop. 20 million)—one of the poorest, most isolated regions of the United States. Yet, as the economic downturn deepens and the number of troubled families continues to rise, there are those who plan to not only meet the need, but to double their efforts. Becca Knight ’03 is among them. Read the rest of this entry »
Scott A. Heintzelman, ′89
Partner, McKonly & Asbury, CPA, CMA, CFE
For the unstoppable Scott Heintzelman, success is a journey, not a destination. At 42, this self-directed, self-proclaimed “exuberant accountant” holds a list of noteworthy achievements that reads like a who’s who of Pennsylvania movers-n-shakers, yet he’s only just begun to live a life of significance. Read the rest of this entry »
Chris Book ’78
Chris Book ’78 views his years at Messiah College as the formative years that confirmed God’s call to a life of Christian service. Now executive director of Paxton Ministries in Harrisburg, Book and his wife Marlys have a goal of continuing in service that makes a direct impact in improving the quality of life for people in a way that honors God. Read the rest of this entry »
Patrick Wolfkill ′89 and Todd Suessmuth ′90
Marketing and Business Administration majors respectively
It’s game time at Messiah College. Soccer fans eagerly seek bleacher seats in anticipation of what most believe will be game of the century-the NCAA tournament’s Final Four. Shoemaker Field, home to the College’s six-time national soccer champions, abounds with nervous anticipation … and the alluring smell of the infamous, grilled “cheesy dogs.” Read the rest of this entry »
Ryan Keith ′02
A few weeks before moving to Boston for his first semester of graduate school at Harvard University, Ryan Keith ′02 got a call from his church that changed his plans drastically. West Shore Evangelical Free Church (Mechanicsburg, Pa.) wanted to send Keith and 11 other people to Zimbabwe to explore ways the congregation could respond to the AIDS epidemic. Read the rest of this entry »
Jeff Waters ′08
Hometown: Baltimore, Maryland
Community, particularly within urban environments, means a lot to Jeff Waters ′08. The Messiah College communications graduate believes living and working in Harrisburg—the state capital of Pennsylvania just fifteen miles from the College’s Grantham campus—provides insight into those he serves and adds to the sense of community he relishes.Read the rest of this entry »
Jennifer Esbenshade ′11
Chemistry and Math double major
Hometown: Peach Bottom, Pennsylvania
When Jennifer, a double chemistry and mathematics major, isn’t hitting the books, leading an organic chemistry supplemental instruction session, setting up physics labs, working on a water filtration project through the Collaboratory, or even conducting nanotechnology research for the U.S. Department of Energy, she’s among friends—the canine kind—in Peach Bottom, Pennsylvania. Read the rest of this entry »