Kapumba Chinyanta: from Zambia to Bluffton

Kapumba Chinyanta is a senior accounting major with a business minor. He is from Zambia, which is located in southern Africa. He had lived there all his life until he moved to the United States for his education.

“The small atmosphere along with Christian values really attracted me,” said Chinyanta. There aren’t many things that he found challenging with the university except maintaining relationships with the students and faculty on campus. “I learned that it’s very important to know my limits with people and be respectful,” said Chinyanta. Bluffton University is his second home but he will always consider Zambia his primary home.

The three main sports that he has enjoyed watching since he has arrived in the U.S. are: soccer, football and basketball. When he lived in Zambia, soccer was the main sport where he lived. “Juventus is my favorite soccer team, because of the great history,” said Chinyanta.

When he is not busy with work or academics, he stated that he loves playing soccer with friends both video games (FIFA) and real life. Soccer was a key factor in him making friends and bridging the gap between Zambia and the US. He stated that there were some culture shocks but he tried to use soccer to help cope with some of the shocks. “I got to know people from a better perspective through soccer and create friendships,” said Chinyanta.

Like basketball and football, he stated that he likes sports in Bluffton and the U.S. more because of the diversity. “Diversity from my stand point has helped me understand myself and to know that people might be different but they can still share some unique qualities,” stated by Chinyanta.

Most of the important things like sports, music, food and other things were interesting to him. He stated that the vocabulary was a little weird because of how they were used. “Slang words kind of made me confessed but studying when and how they used it allowed me to fit in more. I wanted to understand the U.S. culture and I think the use of slangs among my friends started to make me feel more welcome,” said Chinyanta.

There are many things still left to learn and understand but he stated that he’s enjoyed his time here and hopefully make more friends along with getting his degree and later attending graduate school in the U.S.

Lent me give you a hand

Fat Tuesday, one of the most coveted times of the year, where guilt-free binge eating is acceptable and encouraged. While I’m not Catholic, I still choose to participate in Fat Tuesday shamelessly. Although Fat Tuesday isn’t really any different than any other day, lent, on the other hand is a different story.

I grew up in a small country town where half of my high school was Catholic, nonpracticing Catholic at that. And while the majority did not attend weekly mass, the one thing they participated in was Lent. I’m not Catholic, in fact I’m probably the opposite of Catholic, but I still enjoy participating in this six week experience.

A lot of other people, whether they are religious or not, participate as well. The idea of lent is to prepare yourself through prayers, repentance of sins, and thanksgiving all leading up to the week surrounding Jesus’ resurrection.

I would go out on a limb and say that a lot of people who participate in the act of lent are not preparing themselves for the Holy week, myself included.Ultimately I think lent has come down to a mid-year crisis of forgetting our New Year’s resolutions and trying to justify the cheating that happened two weeks after the new year. Ironically, the redemption a lot of people seek for cheating diets and lost volunteer motivation is not the redemption that is meant to be given.

I like to think of lent as sort of a fasting experience. Fasting is typically giving up food or something sustaining in order to grow closer to God. During lent, the time spent eating or doing or using whatever it is you gave up is meant to be a time where you seek God’s direction and guidance. Now how am I supposed to do that if I have a caffeine headache from giving up pop, you ask? Simple. Don’t.

Lent, if not meant to help you recognize that you are a sinner, is just another way for people to claim religion or get back in shape. If you are not seeking God daily, then he probably won’t show up when you’re crabby from sugar withdrawal or irritated with a caffeine headache. If you’re not willing to give up little things like social media or sweets everyday in order to see God work then what makes you think that six weeks out of the year is going to do anything?

I’ll let you in on a secret; I complain, a lot. It’s true, complaining is how I get through the day. I complain about how much I complain. It’s sort of ridiculous and I’m sure my friends are tired of hearing it. So in rebuttal to their constant nagging, I’ve decided to give up complaining for lent.

Six long weeks of keeping my irritation and annoyance to myself. I’m not sure if my head will explode from holding it all inside, but I presume that it will brighten my spirit subtly and will make my presence much more enjoyable. (I’m giving up sweets as well, I could stand to lose a few pounds. My body is temple unto the Lord, right?)

I don’t plan on using this six-week period to better myself but I plan on using it better the world around me. This is going to be the spring board for what I want my life to reflect. When this lent period is over, I don’t want to go back to the way I was. Who wants to gain the 20 pounds they lost right after they just started looking hot? I want my life to be different in the words I say and the attitude I present. I want to keep that 20 pounds of complaining off my shoulders and out of my heart.

So why did I ramble on and on about something that most people already know about? I just want to push your comfort zone. I want you to take this seriously, and to really immerse yourself in the time you spend away from this world and the time you spend with God.

Fat Tuesday is meant for binging food, not binging sins. And lent is meant to cleanse you from sins and not just from food.

A conversation with Savanah Hofstetter

by: Caitlin Nearhood

???????????????????????????????Q: So, what’s your major, where are you from and what year are you at Bluffton?
A: I’m a psychology major for Kidron, Ohio and I’m a junior here.

Q: Who was the first person you met at Bluffton?
A: Well, since I’m part of the hall chaplain team here, I got to meet them first at the retreat at the beginning of the year.

Q: When you tell someone about Bluffton, how do you describe it?
A: The people are pretty nice; some don’t say hi back. The dorms are different too. For example, Ropp is more open and community-like, while the dorm I live in, Hirschy, is more isolated.

Q: What’s the biggest culture shock you’ve had as a Bluffton student?
A: It’s bigger than my last college! (Hesston College)

Q: If you could take any famous person out to eat, who would it be and where would you go?
A: I would choose author Ted Dekker, and even though I don’t go out to eat a lot, I’d pick Applebee’s.

Q: What’s the worst movie you’ve ever seen?
A: Well, there are several, so I’ll list them: The Departed, because it was a long movie and everyone dies in the end. I’d also say Twilight and any chick flick.

Q: Well, what’s your favorite movie?
A: Oh gosh! Do you have to make me pick just one? I have, like, at least five: Fanastic Four, Batman: Dark Night, Man of Steel, Guardians of the Galaxy and Daredevil. That was so hard!

Q: Favorite Marbeck food?
A: Oh gosh, so many choices! I like a specific baked pasta dish that is at the pasta place sometimes. I like the cookies on Tuesdays and Fridays —the M&M and chocolate chip ones. Also, I like biscuits and gravy when the biscuits aren’t hard. Oh, and cheesecake! I love cheesecake!

Q: Coke or Pepsi?
A: Honestly, I don’t like either of them—I don’t like brown pop. I don’t drink a whole lot of pop in general. If I do drink pop like at a party or something, I’d drink Mountain Dew or any orange pop.

Q: Who’s your favorite professor here at Bluffton?
A: I really like Rudi Kauffman! He’s so awesome, I could listen to him talk all day. He’s so inspirational and he knows everything!

Q: Finally, what would you say is your best memory at Bluffton so far?
A: Hmmm. I would say the times at Frisbee are the best times I’ve had. We’re good at goofing off.

Meet Hannah Johnson- 3rd generation BU student

by: Kristina Ciminillorth

Senior student from Goshen, Indiana
Environmental Science Major
Lives in Ropp Hall
Works at TLU Rescue

Q: So Hannah you mentioned that your parents, both sets of Grandparents, an aunt, and an uncle are all graduates of Bluffton University.
A: “Yes, both my parents, they met at Bluffton.”

Q: How does that feel?
A: “Feels familiar. Especially the campus- for activities. I have family in Lima and here in Bluffton. I know a ton of faculty members. I feel like there’s some pressure to be as successful as my parents but they keep reminding me to be myself. This is 40 years later. My parents come to Homecoming, all the concerts, and May Day.”

Q: What are your parents doing now?
A: “My mom is a campus pastor at Anabaptist Mennonite Bible Seminary and my dad found work at an alternative high school as a math teacher. They lived in Elkhart initially but moved to Goshen for better schooling opportunities for me and my younger brother Aaron.”

Aaron has followed the family footsteps and is a 2nd year student at BU now.

Hannah is planning to graduate in May. With her degree in environmental science she hopes to find employment with a local zoo. Besides volunteering and being a paid employee of TLU Rescue Hannah is interested in working with young children and is pursuing a job caring for them as well as animals.

Hannah has worked diligently to overcome problems with Autism and anxiety. I observed her interacting firsthand with a child who has Asperger’s. This child was very comfortable in her presence, even falling asleep next to her, and continues to ask after her daily.

Hannah will make an excellent zoo employee. The animals will be well cared for and the visiting children will feel welcome and encouraged.

clusterFlunk raises $1 million in new funding from Lightbank, launches nationwide

default_gigantic_avatarclusterFlunk, an app that allows students to get better grades by asking questions and uploading/downloading files, has come out of a private beta and made the entire app available to all university students.

Students join the app/website, and get help from students studying similar subjects, courses, or even the same professor. From there they can post questions, and upload/download files to get the help they need instantly. Best of all, clusterFlunk is completely free.

The app that gets students better grades will use their latest round of funding to help every student in the U.S.

They have recently closed a $1 million seed round. Lightbank led the round and was joined by Built by Iowa, an Iowa-focused early stage fund. This investment was primarily for their national launch, as they were in a closed beta at the University of Iowa, after seeing massive success.

While in beta 15 thousand of the 21 thousand undergraduates were using clusterFlunk at Iowa.

“As students, we were frustrated by the lack of access to classmates in our large lecture courses, and we wanted to create a way for more collaboration outside of the classroom,” said clusterFlunk co-founder AJ Nelson. “clusterFlunk provides students with instant help, allowing them to ask questions and upload/download any kind of file (study guides, past exams, lecture notes), for free.”

clusterFlunk launched at the University of Iowa in January 2013, and more than two-thirds of the students on campus have joined the platform. Additionally, three-fourths of clusterFlunk’s users visit the site at least monthly to share notes, ask questions, and collaborate on assignments.

After seeing that success the company has decided to make the app/ website available nationally.

“Students have a lack of resources to connect in an easy way online. Current options such as Facebook don’t offer the tools necessary to share files and truly engage with classmates,” said Paul Lee, partner at Lightbank. “clusterFlunk is changing the way students study, interact and plan on campus. The metrics from their initial launch are impressive, and we’re excited to see the platform expand to other campuses across the U.S.”

More than 65 percent of clusterFlunk’s users said their grades enhanced as a result of the platform, and 38 percent said they made at least one new friend after using the social network.

To learn more about clusterFlunk, visit www.clusterflunk.com, or download the app in apple’s iOS store.

Q&A interview with Sara Klenke

By: John Eckenrode

Q: Hi Sara! What’s your major, where you from, and what year are you at Bluffton?

A: I am psychology major and public health minor. I grew up in Coldwater, Ohio. And I am a senior at Bluffton.

Q: Who was the first person you met at Bluffton?

A: Well, I knew a student from my high school that was here, but the first person I really remember meeting was Randy Keeler. I meet him at lunch during a summer discovery day.

Q: If you could take a famous person out to eat, who would it be?

A: I would take Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of Eat, Pray, Love.

Q: What is your middle name?

A: Elizabeth.

Q: Where do you hope to be in 15 years?

A: Umm, I hope to be a high school guidance counselor with my own family, in a school district where I can make a difference. I want to make the students realize their self-worth and foster their potential.

Q: What is the most expensive textbook you’ve had to purchase at Bluffton?

A: I wanted to be a bio major before I got to Bluffton, so I purchased a $190 pre-calculus textbook.

Q: Why did you choose Bluffton?

A: I chose Bluffton because I wanted to be at a small school where I wouldn’t be “just a number.”

Q: What is your favorite thing about Bluffton?

A: My favorite thing about Bluffton is that I have meaningful relationships with my professors so that I can ask them for help with not just academics but personal things that arise in life as well.

Q: When you tell someone you attend Bluffton University, how do you describe it?

A: I say that Bluffton is a small school where professors really care about students. You will get to know at least the name of the majority of your peers and most people are willing to help one another out whether it is studying for an exam or jumping your car. Bluffton feels safe and the residence halls feel homey.

Apply to be a Bluffton University mascot

Have you ever wanted to be a Bluffton University mascot?

It is application time. Follow the link below to upload the pdf file.

Applications are due by 6pm this Friday

Take a chance, participate in fun and school spirit.





Thursday night spotlight

improv spotlight

Cannabis Crusades 5K run 3K walk at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

The Cannabis Crusades, a 5K walk / 3K run, will take place at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo on Saturday, June 13, 2015 at 8:00 am.  The purpose of the race is to collect signatures, to raise awareness, and to show support for the Ohio Cannabis Rights Amendment sponsored by Ohio Rights Group’s initiative to legalize medical marijuana and protect the interests of Ohio farmers.  The cost of the event is $35 which also includes all day admission to the zoo.  A portion of proceeds will also be designated to ohiorightsgroup.org to help fund their signature-gathering efforts.



Contact:          Phil Satayathum

Tel:  216.299.5813

Email:  phil@cannabiscrusades.com


Tyler Oberly visits Bluffton

w9IJlUFyOn the afternoon of Thursday, January 22 Bluffton University hosted a mathematics seminar unlike any you’ve ever been to. Tyler Oberly, Manager of Analytics for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, addressed an eager audience with a speech titled “Sports Analytics: Diving into the math behind athletics.”

The seminar, which was open to all, focused on the emerging industry of sports analytics, and Oberly’s journey to his current position.

Analytics, without going into much detail, is the process of collecting and analyzing data, the ultimate goal being recognition of trends to improve performance. With so many teams searching for a more reliable way to measure and predict player performance, the sports analytics industry is rapidly expanding across all the major professional and collegiate leagues.

Oberly is a graduate of Bluffton High School (2006) and the University of Toledo where he majored in electrical engineering. He is married to Erin (Neal) Oberly, the daughter of Guy and Diane Neal.

He said that while he was happy creating business and risk analysis reports in the industrial world, he knew it wasn’t what he really wanted to be doing. Growing up playing football, basketball and running track, Oberly has always had a passion for sports, and knew he could turn that into a career. He just didn’t know how yet.

“I could not fall asleep after watching that movie,” said Oberly about Moneyball. “It was my eureka moment when I realized I could do this. I was already doing it, just not in a sports context.”

In his time at Toledo Oberly had begun to develop his own model for evaluating National Football League rosters and salary caps, called the Elitics PER (Player Efficiency Rating) Model. The Elitics PER Model is designed to provide one metric in reviewing all players from all positions throughout the NFL.

As one of seven finalists in the 2014 MIT Sloan Business School’s Evolution of Sport conference, Oberly was able to present his work to an audience of sports professionals looking for the next big thing that could change the face of sport.

Obviously Oberly impressed at least one person in that crowd because he was shortly thereafter hired by the Buccaneers to head up their new analytics department. He now works closely with Head Coach Lovie Smith and General Manager Jason Licht, as well as other front office personnel.

For more on Oberly and his innovative work follow him on Twitter: @tyleroberly, or check out some of his writing from his time at The Sideline View.