Bluffton University Introduces New Head Football Coach

Dorrel, pictured above. 
(photo cred: Marietta College)

Denny Dorrel was introduced as Bluffton University’s new head football coach on Thursday afternoon at a press conference in front of local media outlets, university employees, and current players.

Dorrel comes to Bluffton from Hanover College in Indiana, a rival within the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC). At Hanover, Dorrel served as defensive coordinator. He is also a 2001 graduate of Hanover. Last season, Hanover finished one game in front of Bluffton in both HCAC play (5-3 vs. 4-4) and in overall record (5-5 vs. 4-6).

Dorrel said that as a head coach, “the main goal is to graduate players, period.” Bluffton University Athletics Director, Phill Talavinia, said that this was one of the factors that stood out about Dorrel to the search committee for a new head coach. Talavinia said that the search committee was impressed with Dorrel’s organization and passion, along with his “focus on the student-athletes as being students first; completing their education, and winning both in life and on the field.”

“From this point forward…you are going to see a passionate program,” Dorrel said. Dorrel said that his players will be individuals who are energetic, who fly around, and who do things the right way. Dorrel also expressed that he wants the football program to be “heavily involved in the community and the campus itself.”

Dorrel expressed that he is excited to get started on getting the program “where we all expect it to be, which is winning championships.” He went on to say that “we are so excited to take Bluffton University football to unprecedented heights.”

Dorrel said that his coaching style and philosophy originates from the personalities of his parents. “My father was very tough…and demanding,” said Dorrel. Dorrel said that his father demanded discipline and understood how those traits could be positive when raising a young man. On the other hand, Dorrel explained that his mother was a very nurturing person “who would let you know how important you are.” “I combine those two (personalities) very well, I’m a perfect mixture of my parents,” Dorrel said.

“Bluffton football, from now on, is all going to be about family,” Dorrel said.

Dorrel has also served in previous coaching roles at Marietta College in Ohio and Thomas More College in Kentucky, but Bluffton is his first head coaching role at the college level. Dorrel is filling the open head football coaching vacancy at Bluffton due to the departure of Tyson Veidt, who held the position since 2008. Veidt accepted the position of linebackers coach and recruiting coordinator at the University of Toledo earlier this year. Veidt posted an overall record regular season record of 20-40 as head coach at Bluffton, but was 17-15 in HCAC play since 2010. Despite a winning record in conference play since 2010, four of Veidt’s losses in that span came against Hanover.

Originally from Brookville, Ind., Dorrel said that he felt like Bluffton was home on the day he drove into town for his interview. Dorrel is married to his wife, Sarah, they have three children.


Miss America 2014 to Visit Bluffton

Nina Davuluri in Sept. 2013
(photo credit: @MissAmerica | Twitter)

Miss America 2014, Nina Davuluri, will be the keynote speaker for Bluffton University’s Civic Engagement Day on Wednesday, April 9.  Her speech, which will be at 7:30 p.m. in the Sommer Center, is titled “Circles of Unity: The Celebration of Diversity through Cultural Competency.”

As the first Indian American to be voted Miss America, Miss Davuluri’s experiences are both unique and relevant to this year’s theme of race and ethnicity in America.

Tuesday morning Forum speakers have been addressing the topic throughout the school year, and Civic Engagement Day will continue to do so.

Students are excited for Miss America’s visit to Bluffton’s campus. One male student, who wishes to remain anonymous, said, “I can’t wait to see her in person. I might even ask her out if I get the chance.”

The event is free and open to the public.

Insight on Ukrainian Crisis at Bluffton

Ukrainian native and current resident Gala Korniyenko spoke about the situation in her home country to an audience in Bluffton University’s Kreider Room on Wednesday evening. IMG_0890

Korniyenko said that the recent demonstrations in Ukraine began because of the government’s refusal to join the European Union. “Ukraine was supposed to sign an agreement with the European Union” based on political and economic issues, but the government would not do so and the demonstrations started, Korniyenko said. This decision was heavily influenced by Russian President Vladimir Putin who has pressured Ukraine to join the Customs Union, which is the Russian controlled equivalent to the European Union.

Korniyenko went on to show pictures of the lavish mansion that Former President of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych and his workers lived in. Korniyenko said that in addition to political and economic reasons, Ukrainians also wanted to join the European Union because of the “injustice” they saw in their government.

Young Ukrainians have especially expressed desire for their country to be a “democratic and prosperous” one, Korniyenko said. A strong Russian interest in Ukraine is nothing new. Korniyenko said that Russia has tried to portray Ukraine as their “younger brother” for many years, claiming that they need to look after the country.

Currently, Ukrainians are starting to boycott goods from Russia. In some stores, there are flags put on goods which were made in Russia as a notice for Ukrainians not to support their oppressor, Korniyenko said. Korniyenko also said that Ukrainians were not happy that their current interim President, Oleksandr Turchynov, for letting Crimea be invaded and eventually annexed by Russia.

Korniyenko said that “Ukrainians see the United States as their biggest ally” as “there is a possibility” of a Russian invasion. Speaking on the sanctions placed on Russia by the United States, Korniyenko said that “what America has done already, means a lot to Ukrainians.” Korniyenko stressed that Ukrainians do not want the tensions between Russia and United States to escalate to the point of war. The Ukrainians that Korniyenko is speaking of primarily reside in the Western part of the country, while the Eastern population has a strong Russian influence.

The possibility of Russia cutting off gas from Ukraine and other European countries is behind the hesitation for heavier sanctions against Russia. Korniyenko explained that “some parts of Ukraine could go without Russian gas and could use coal instead,” while other parts of the country are highly dependent on Russian gas. Korniyenko currently lives in Cherkasy, Ukraine and she said that this is one area that could go without Russian gas.

From the Russian perspective, Vladimir Putin has said that the overthrowing of former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych was an “unconstitutional coup and a military seizure of power.” Putin also has defended the referendum vote for the annexation of Crimea, saying that “more 96 percent of voters spoke for reunification with Russia” (from The Kremlin).

The United States and other European Union member countries have not recognized the Crimean referendum as legitimate because there were no international monitors to examine the validity of the election. President Barack Obama met with European Union leaders in Brussels, Belgium on Wednesday to discuss further sanctions against Russia.

Korniyenko is visiting Bluffton University this week through a connection to Professor of History, Dr. Perry Bush. Bush went to Ukraine in 2012, while there he taught American studies at Zaporozhe National University as a Fulbright scholar.

Mennonite Memorial Home in Bluffton hiring State Tested Nursing Assistants (STNA’s).

Mennonite Home Communities of Ohio has recently opened the new Transition to Home Rehabilitation Center at Mennonite Memorial Home (MMH) in Bluffton and is looking forward to expanding their compassionate staff by hiring State Tested Nursing Assistants (STNA) to work in the new Rehabilitation Center.  The official opening of the new Transition to Home Rehabilitation Center took place on February 23 at an Open House and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony.  People were encouraged to tour the newly renovated Transition to Home Rehabilitation Center as well as view the many other renovations that have taken place at Mennonite Memorial Home.  Doug Luginbill, Director of Development and Church Relations at MMH said “We were very please that so many people from the community participated in the Open House/Ribbon Cutting ceremony.  It was a great representation from the church communities, volunteers, past residents who had received some therapy before, and the general community.”

Mennonite Memorial Home is thrilled about the many renovations and updates that the entire building has received.  Renovations include new paint, new flooring, new cabinets and appliances, as well as additional lighting to make it more open and inviting for the elders and therapy patients.  In response to the exciting new updates and renovations, Luginbill said “Overall, the response from the elders who have gone through the Transition to Home Rehabilitation program has been extremely positive.  They have appreciated the professional and compassionate care of the staff and enjoyed the new open environment and the private rooms.”  If you would like to join the compassionate staff at Mennonite Memorial Home and have your STNA license, apply online at or at 410 West Elm Street in Bluffton.


“My Road, Our History,” A forum presentation by Dr. Elizabeth Soto Albrecht

Dr. Elizabeth Soto Albrecht, moderator of Mennonite Church USA shared her story titled “Mi Camino, Nuestra Historia” which translates to “My Road, Our History.”  Dr. Soto started out her presentation by explaining that this is was not her story, but our story.  She explained her journey of traveling from Puerto Rico to Chicago at only 6 months old.  Though she does not remember that transition period, she does vividly remember her transition back to Puerto Rico from Chicago at the age of 16.  She quickly noticed how difficult it was to be uprooted from one country and language and placed into a culture where you have no control.  She had to develop many coping techniques to adjust to living in America.

A major point she made throughout her presentation was how important it is for Americans to be bilingual, or even trilingual.  The struggles that she faced throughout her time in America were completely horrifying to hear from someone who has experienced the racism and discrimination our country has firsthand.  The many languages she had to learn are not just the English language, but more so languages of resistance and non-violence.  As a child, and even today, immigrants are constantly non verbally told that they are not welcome here in America.  She encouraged the audience to “own our privilege but to also question our privilege.”

This “web of racism” that America has evolved over centuries has made living in America a big price for immigrants who have come here for a more prosperous and fulfilling life.  Dr. Soto gave many specific examples of the discrimination she experienced growing up as an immigrant in America during her childhood.  One example she used was because of social promotion, she moved from one grade to the next without being able to read or write.  While that may sound like a privilege, she viewed it as her education being stolen from her.  By the time she got to junior high and high school, she was constantly behind and struggled to keep up with her classmates who were given the proper attention and education during their childhood.  Another example was a very emotional story of the discrimination she has experienced here in America.  Because Dr. Soto could not read or write, her weekly spelling tests were extremely difficult for her and she always just scribbled through the words because she did not know how to write it.  However, one day when her teacher asked the class to spell “camel”, she figured it out and correctly wrote her very first word.  Unfortunately, when the teacher got the test back, the teacher had wrongfully assumed that Elizabeth had cheated and copied one of her classmates.  The teacher held a pencil up to Elizabeth, attempting to force her to admit she had cheated; but she had not.  So when Elizabeth insisted that she did not cheat, the teacher wrote on her forehead in front of the entire class to display that she was a liar and cheater.

Elizabeth concluded her presentation by explaining that there is no law that eliminates racism from people’s heart – that evil cannot be taken away unless we willingly give it away.  “The root of all isms is the abuse of power. Choose to use your power, do not chose to abuse it.  We are in this together…This is a story we are writing together; what will we leave behind for the next generation?”

New Snack Options in Tech Center

This post is satirical in nature and in no way is it representing real facts on the Bluffton University Campus.

The new vending machine on the ground floor of the tech center is selling packages of fresh grass or raw beef for only $1. The machine, installed at Bluffton after multiple requests for “healthier vending choices” were heard by the administration, has delighted vegetarians, carnivores, and specialized herbivores alike with its back-to-basics approach.

“I love the new machine. It emphasizes the fact that everything in the modern world is over-processed. We need to get back to the way things were before technology distracted us from the basic human question ‘What do we have for dinner?’ Things were so much more… simple… before food processing plants complicated everything,” says English professor Susan Carpenter. She, along with many other professors, taught The Omnivore’s Dilemma to her Issues in Modern America class earlier this semester. Carpenter hopes that students will be able to connect this new campus development with some of the things they read in the book.

Other people were less excited about it. “Grass? Really? I’d rather eat at Marbeck,” one student said with obvious distaste. Luckily for her, the cafeteria isn’t going to be serving fresh greens any time soon.

Story by: Alisha Phoebus

‘Fast and Furious’ star’s Fatal Crash under Investigation

Paul Walker

(Santa Clarita, CA)- Investigators are still trying to piece together a fiery, single-car accident that involved celebrity Paul Walker and friend Roger Rodas. Walker, star of the ‘Fast and Furious’ movie saga, was killed along with Rodas Saturday afternoon while driving a red 2005 Porsche Carrera GT for a charity event for Walker’s charity, Reach Out Worldwide.

According to the Los Angeles Times, speed may have been a factor in the crash, but it will take time to find out what happened. Hercules Street, the four lane road on which the crash occurred, has a 45 mph speed limit and warns drivers of the of the uphill curve that is near the accident scene. “Looping” tire tracks can be seen on the asphalt nearby, but it is unclear on whether or not they are related to the accident.

Witness and friend Jim Torp said he heard a loud boom and knew it was his friends. Torp said that Rodas’ young son and a childhood friend of Walker had to be held back from the scene as they tried to save their loved ones.

“They just didn’t want to believe this happened,” Torp told fans and media at the crash site on Sunday. “It was ‘Fast and the Furious,’ that’s what it is. Both race car enthusiasts, both loved speed, both knew how to handle cars, and this had to happen.”

The fire could be seen from Always Evolving Performance Motors, which Rodas owns. Rodas, 38, raced in 10 Pirelli World Challenge GTS races in 2013, according to the racing organization.

“They died doing what they enjoy doing,” he said. “Two close friends died together right next to a church. They’re both with God.”

Dental records will help identify the badly burned bodies, along with autopsies, which are yet to be scheduled.

Walker was in the middle of making the seventh “Fast and Furious” movie at the time of the crash.

Story by: Caitlin Nearhood

Becoming an Insult Pacifist Forum

Dr. William B. Irvine, professor of philosophy and author, talks about the right way to respond to an insult and how insults could also be a sign of a good relationship, on Tuesday November 19ths forum.

Irvine started with a message from the Stoics, that our primary goal in our everyday life should be to obtain and maintain tranquility. This is basically saying that the indication of an individual’s philosophy was not what a person said but how they behaved. You can’t control what other people are going to do or say to you but you can control the way you react back to them.

Within the first five seconds after being insulted, you have a choice to react, Irvine said, and if you take any longer than five seconds then that determines how hurt you might be from the insult. Irvine encourages everyone to take whatever insult that was just thrown at you and turn it into a joke. By doing this he says it shows that you are not affected by the insult and this will discourage the insulter. This works because you would not be giving the satisfaction to the insulter because you are not letting them know you are hurt by it. If you do not reply to the insult then this will just cause them to insult you again, but you could come back at them and say that you already heard them which would make the insulter feel embarrassed.

Insults are also a way of having a relationship with someone, in a good way because it is all just for fun. “Such teasing allows us to raise sensitive issues in a non-confrontational manner,” Irvine said. Many relationships are formed around playful insults and is a sign of a healthy relationship.

Story by: Lauren Volosin

Mother, Son Reunite after 34 Years of Separation

(San Diego, CA)- A mother and her son were reunited Sunday after being separated since 1979. Kathy Amaya, 60, and son David Amaya Barrick, 37, came in contact with each other after Barrick convinced authorities of his American citizenship after being arrested last month for crossing over to California from Mexico with undocumented immigrants.

According to, Barrick was born in a Chicago hospital and was taken to Mexico with his father in 1979, only to be raised by his paternal grandparents and only learned Spanish. Later in life, he moved to Monterrey and as a career played percussion for Norteno bands. He married and had children, but the marriage didn’t last.

After his arrest last month, he first told authorities he was Mexican, but then remembered that he was born in a Chicago hospital, like his grandparents told him. Border Patrol agents then traced his birth certificate and mother, which lead to a long-distance phone call that had to be translated by agents.

“It was very emotional,” supervisory agent Troy Matthews said. “He told her he grew up being told she abandoned him and she started crying that she was afraid they told him that and how she never stopped wanting to find him.”
Mother and son reunited in San Diego, and attended a church service at Iglesia de Cristo Ministerios Llamada Final.

“We have some catching up to do,” Amaya said after an emotional reunion at San Diego International Airport this weekend. “We’re going to do that.”

Amaya flew in from Wisconsin, and plans to take Barrick back for Thanksgiving to meet his three brothers and one sister.

“We’ll spend Thanksgiving with so much to give thanks for,” Amaya said. “It’s really overwhelming, sometimes it feels like my heart will burst.”

Both know that they have work to do in their relationship, but simple similarities-shared eyes, noses, and laugh-already have connected both.

“We are the same blood,” Amaya said. “We can figure out the rest.”

Story by: Caitlin Nearhood