Cedarville University News

Cedarville Students Mentor At-Risk Youth in XeniaXenia Students Benefit From New Education ApproachStudent Remembers Anniversary of Life-Changing AccidentCedarville Programming Team Qualifies for World Finals

Cedarville Students Mentor At-Risk Youth in Xenia

Cedarville University students are mentoring young people who need a second chance in life. Through a connection forged by Cedarville University’s Global Outreach office, college students are spending 90 minutes a week interacting and mentoring youth in the Greene County Juvenile Detention and Treatment Center in Xenia, Ohio.

The center acts as a half-way house for youth who have violated the law and require special attention before reentering society.

“It is a special thing to show love toward young people that society might judge as lost or hopeless,” said Hannah Cloyd, a junior nursing major from Greenville, Ohio. “The youths we mentor know that they can ask for advice and talk about issues they might not be able to talk about with others.”

Students also accompany the youth on hiking trips and hold special movie nights throughout the semester.

As Dawson Nelson, a sophomore exercise science major from Brazil, Indiana, explained, Cedarville’s Global Outreach ministries offer many opportunities for Cedarville students to impact local communities through service and Gospel-driven interaction. “With Cedarville,” said Nelson, “there are plenty of options to show Christ’s love to the community.”

Xenia Students Benefit From New Education Approach

Through a new collaborative educational partnership with the Xenia community, Cedarville University is changing the way it prepares future teachers. And the immediate benefactor is Xenia City Schools.

The new teacher education program places teacher candidates and university professors in Xenia classrooms at the same time, allowing students to deepen their teaching skills, while also taking college courses. The program also assigns student teachers to elementary, middle and high schools for their field experience, while receiving college instruction at the same time.

This model of training tomorrow’s teachers replaces the more traditional teacher education system that didn’t integrate classroom instruction with field experience.

“Our partnership with Xenia Community Schools is unique because it combines theoretical instruction with authentic teacher experiences throughout our curriculum,” said Jeremy Ervin, Ph.D., dean of Cedarville University’s School of Education. “By combining these elements in the ‘teacher education laboratory,’ our candidates receive a more active learning experience that will set them apart from other beginning teachers.”

Xenia City School’s leadership team agrees with Ervin’s assessment.

“We have seen an increase in student learning and on-task behaviors as a result of our partnership with Cedarville University,” said Garry Hawes, principal of McKinley Elementary. “We are energized by the opportunity to innovate with our university partners.”

Cheyenne Lubben, a junior special education and early education major from Holland, Michigan, has already seen the benefits of this partnership during her time in the classroom at McKinley Elementary in Xenia.

“We’re able to take what we learn and actually apply it in the classroom,” Lubben said. “And what we’re learning helps us to be used more effectively in the schools.”

Cedarville’s school of education is currently in the first phase of implementing the partnership. It hopes to fully implement the initiative within three years, and principals at Xenia’s partner schools are highly supportive of the effort.

Ervin believes all students benefit from this partnership. He says Cedarville’s teacher candidates gain real-world experience through learning in a classroom setting, and Xenia schools benefit from having the energy and manpower of teacher candidates to help meet the needs of their students and mentor teachers. He is eager to see the program continue to grow and develop more highly equipped teachers.

“While we already produce top teacher candidates who make a noticeable impact in classrooms during their first year, this is only going to make them better,” Ervin said. “The future teachers in this program will have the ability to impact communities more than ever before.”

Student Remembers Anniversary of Life-Changing Accident

One year after a near-fatal accident with a semi-truck, sophomore AJ Ervin believes his experience has made him a better person. He wouldn’t change anything, if given the opportunity.

That’s an incredible statement from a 20-year-old who required assistance from emergency workers to survive the accident on Route 42. Ervin was placed in a medically induced coma at Miami Valley Hospital after suffering heavy brain damage in the December 2, 2015 accident. He returned to classes in August 2016.

Six months after the accident, doctors were surprised at how far Ervin’s recovery had come.
By June, Ervin had completed intense therapy, and with the help of The Cove, Cedarville’s nationally recognized academic enrichment center, history professor Tom Mach, Ph.D., and some Cedarville University friends, he completed a May semester class.

“The recovery process was not all about me,” said Ervin. “Three different doctors said that the recovery was obviously a God thing.”

Now, one year after the accident, Ervin and his family are thankful for the help he’s received.
“God has been so gracious to us,” said Ervin’s mother, Amy. “So many people have come alongside us from all over the globe to walk with us through this journey.”

Ervin still struggles with short-term memory and a personality change. But he quickly points out that the accident helped him grow personally.

“The Cedarville faculty, staff and students showed so much love through my accident, from visiting the hospital, to writing notes, to giving my family meals,” said Ervin. “There was just a constant outpouring of love from so many people from the university – many of whom I didn't even personally know.”

Ervin continues to utilize The Cove and meets with a student mentor to make sure he can successfully navigate a full class schedule.

“Our biggest desire from day one of this tragedy was to honor our God whom we owe everything to,” said Amy Ervin. “We pray daily that we point others to Christ.”

Cedarville Programming Team Qualifies for World Finals

Cedarville University computer science students Nathan Harold, Timothy Smith and Jon Easterday qualified for the International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC) World Finals. The pinnacle event for computer science students will be held May 20-25 in Rapid City, South Dakota.

Cedarville University will be one of 132 teams competing in the finals. The programming team is coached and advised by Dr. David Gallagher, professor of computer science at Cedarville University.

“This is very exciting,” said Harold, a senior from Novi, Michigan. “The ICPC World Finals will undoubtedly be a rare experience — and afterward, a memory to carry for years to come.”

ICPC is the largest, oldest and most prestigious computer programming competition in the world. Last year, 13,422 teams from more than 2,700 schools and 102 countries competed for a spot in the World Finals competition.

The qualification comes after Cedarville’s strong performance in Cincinnati in October as part of a regional competition. The team placed sixth, ahead of larger universities like Purdue, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn State and Carnegie Mellon.

The ICPC regional contest gave the three-member team a series of ten complex, real-world programming problems. Within the five-hour allotted time period the team solved eight problems – its best performance to date.

“Dr. Gallagher practically built the team and has heavily invested in us,” said Easterday, a senior from Largo, Florida. “He has consistently reminded us that our top priority is not to win or beat everyone else, but to faithfully represent Cedarville University – and by extension, God – in our words and actions.”

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