The Latest from Cedarville University


  • Educating Students Through Reading Inspires Team
  • Blanketing Children in Love is Focus of Women Engineers
  • Chicago's Underserved Cared by Cedarville Students
  • Repeat Performance is goal of Model UN Team
  • Living Faith Encourages Students in Cross-Cultural Settings

Educating Students Through Reading Inspires Team

The Cedarville University women’s volleyball team has a long history of service in the community. This year, wanting to connect with young members of the community through a new activity, the team “adopted” two elementary school classes at Cedar Cliff Elementary School.

Members of the team will read to a first- and second-grade class every Thursday or Friday for the rest of the semester. This half-hour story time will give the elementary teachers a small break while the team forms relationships with the children.

Families from Cedar Cliff supported the volleyball team during its season, so the team wanted to find a way to give back to the school. Stephanie Zonars, assistant athletic director for marketing and sponsorships, helped the team establish its “adopt a class” friendship with the Cedar Cliff teachers.

“We see a lot of families from Cedar Cliff come to our volleyball matches,” said student volleyball player Taylor Wilkerson, “so we want them to know that we love that they come support us!”

The volleyball team hopes that this “adopt a class” program will establish a fun and loving relationship between Cedarville students and Cedar Cliff teachers and children. The team wants to maintain its “adopt a class” activity and adopt a new class each spring.

Blanketing Children in Love is Focus of Women Engineers

Cedarville’s Society of Women Engineers organization (SWE) made 30 blankets with Children in mind. The engineering students now anticipate donating the blankets in April to Dayton Children’s Hospital.

This high-touch approach from a high-tech group originated with student leader Sara Freeland, a junior electrical engineering major from Mount Carmel, Illinois.

Freeland has a personal connection to the project – Children’s gave her family a blanket when her younger brother was admitted to the hospital years ago. Having experienced the generosity directly, Freeland pitched the idea to SWE as their annual service project.

“Service projects are a very important part of our SWE program. We want to make our SWE of CU chapter stand out by demonstrating God's love to our local community,” said Dr. Vicky Fang, associate professor of computer engineering and advisor for SWE. “Getting our girls to roll up their sleeves and serve together helps build community and confidence in their success in engineering.”

SWE raised money for the project during the second week of February, exceeding their goal. The extra funds will go toward small items that will also be donated to Children’s, such as coloring books and crayons.

“This is a completely student-led project,” said Freeland. “We hope to include as many female engineers as possible. And all for a good cause.”

After the project is completed, SWE will invite any financial contributors to pray over the blankets before they are delivered to the hospital.

Chicago's Underserved Cared by Cedarville Students

Providing cross-cultural experiences for its students is a goal of the Cedarville University School of Pharmacy. Focusing on serving the undeserved is of paramount importance.

A team of students in the professional pharmacy program recently spent a week at the Lawndale Christian Health Center (LCHC), a nonprofit clinic in a primarily undeserved, minority neighborhood in Chicago.

Tyler Michael, Stephanie Cailor, Charles Snyder and Sara Evans, all third-year professional pharmacy students, participated in the project that provided health services.

“We didn’t have a lot of direct patient care, but the pharmacy director said the work we accomplished in a week would’ve taken him over a year to complete,” said Snyder. “And through the university’s resources, we were able to access information LCHC wouldn’t have had otherwise.”

That information included more than 100 studies finding evidence of the financial and clinical benefits of expanding the role of a pharmacist in the community. Over the course of the week, 13 educational patient displays were created and placed on LCHC waiting room TV screens with topics such as birth defect prevention, American Heart Month, smoking cessation, stroke prevention and World AIDS Day.

The community around LCHC is heavily Spanish-speaking, so the team encountered a language barrier throughout their service.

“We weren’t expecting much of a cultural immersion, but it taught us that you don’t have to go outside the country to get an intercultural experience – there’s culture all around the U.S.,” said Cailor.

Because professional pharmacy students are required to go on an international or domestic missions trip, the concept of cultural competency is integrated into coursework to help prepare them. Cultural competency trains students on how to interact with people with a language barrier and with low health literacy.

“If it wasn’t for our training in cultural competency, we wouldn’t have known how to complete our work to the benefit of the community,” said Snyder. “Our education gives us the experience and skills we need to serve effectively.”


Repeat Performance is goal of Model UN Team

Cedarville University’s model United Nations (U.N.) team will return to the National Model U.N. Conference in New York City April 9-13, hoping to earn the highest honor of “Outstanding Delegation” for the third consecutive year.  More than 2,500 students from around the world compete in New York.

The Cedarville University team will tour the United Nations on Thursday.

In recent years Cedarville’s model U.N. team has proven to be a leader in regional and national competitions. Its members earned all eight major individual awards at the annual Dayton Model United Nations Conference (DAYMUNC) in 2015. Earlier this year, the team claimed seven awards.

The team was awarded Outstanding Delegation at the National Model U.N. Conference in both the 2015 and 2016 competitions. Dr. Glen Duerr, associate professor of international studies and team advisor, explained that much of this success is due to the mindset of the team.

“If our students are going to represent Christ well, it means we’re going to be diligent, we’re going to work hard and we’re going to treat people well,” said Duerr. “And invariably it also has the spill-over effect of leading to some successes.”

This year, students on this 16-member team will act as representatives from the Czech Republic. They will be divided into pairs to participate in eight different committees and work alongside students representing the other 192 countries in the U.N. These committees address a variety of topics such as security and peacekeeping, the environment and nuclear energy.

In order to earn Outstanding Delegation as a team, each student pair must be listed among the top countries in their specific committee. Only 10 percent of schools will achieve this designation. Students are also able to win individual awards and receive recognition for the position paper they submit to their committee.

For Duerr, individual awards and the designation of Outstanding Delegation are important, but they do not define the overall success of the team.

“The hope is to show excellence in what we do, and to represent Christ in that way,” said Duerr. “If it ends up being an Outstanding Delegation award, that’s wonderful. If not, as long as everyone was on task working to the best of their ability, I see that as successful.”

Living Faith Encourages Students in Cross-Cultural Settings

Cedarville University’s Global Outreach program recently sent 14 teams totaling more than 120 students, faculty and staff members, on mission trips around the globe. Five teams served stateside, while nine teams traveled internationally to the Caribbean, South America and Europe.

The teams offered medical care, constructed buildings, evangelized, tutored and conducted children’s programs for people in need. The short-term trips allowed students to explore their interest in long-term mission service, while serving and strengthening their host organizations.

“It’s a great opportunity for the students to be an encouragement to others and to see how the Christian faith is being lived out in a different cultural context,” explained Erin Weber, assistant professor of Spanish.

Weber co-led a team of nine Cedarville students who served as counselors in a youth camp in Puebla, Mexico. The team helped lead a spiritual emphasis week for nearly 300 Christian elementary and high school students.

The Mexico trip allows Cedarville teams to build long-term relationships with the students, said Weber, who has led teams to the camp for four years. Many Cedarville students maintain contact throughout the year and return to camp each year.

Another spring break team traveled to New York City, partnering with New York City Rescue Mission and Graffiti Ministries. The team of six Cedarville students participated in urban ministries focused on serving homeless and impoverished people.

“A lot of students might be intimidated by urban ministry and don’t know how to interact with the homeless community,” said Rachel Rowland, a senior intercultural studies major from Mahwah, New Jersey. “Sometimes it takes a trip to introduce them to that ministry and realize this is something they could be involved with long term.”

Rowland, who has led teams to New York City three times, hopes students will become more involved in urban ministry after gaining an increased understanding and familiarity with poverty through the trip.


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