Meet Alex Parker


Alex Parker is a Junior Public Health and Communication double-major.
He is from Alger, Ohio.
He is a commuter student.
Campus job: Communications Assistant for the Public Relations Office.
Campus involvements: Improv Co-leader, Worship Dance Club, Fault Lines Dance Club, Track and Field,Gospel Choir, Radio Show Host.

You’re a radio host?
Yes! “It is awesome.” Alex has been guest-staring on radio shows since his freshman year here at Bluffton University. He has hosted his own show and has co-hosted several shows. This summer he was the intern for 96.1 WBWH FM and currently co-hosts That One Show.

What is That One Show?
“It is a show where two people of equal amazingness speak about life, music and fun”. That One Show airs at 11 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays on 96.1 WBWH. Tune in or click on the live streaming icon.

Interesting Things about Alex:
He has a deep sultry voice that makes women and men alike on campus swoon. “His hips don’t lie” as in he is a fantastic dancer.  He was told so by a professional dance instructor in the presence of the Fault Lines Line Dancing Club.  He participates in outdoor dramas and plays. He is in this year’s fall play and was in last year’s play as well. If you recognize his voice from last year’s musical How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying, that is because he did the voice over from the “How to” book. Also, keep chocolate away from him because it makes him violently ill if he ingests it.

Alex’s Accomplishments:

He has successfully worn the color blue every day for going on three years! He has won as many Oscars as Leonardo DiCaprio, in his mind. In real life he has won awards in acting for his home county, ask him about them. He was accepted into the C. Henry Smith’s Scholars and packs Uncrustables peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch often.

Meet Mitch Gatzke


 Senior double-majoring in Sport Management, and Broadcasting and Journalism

 from Harper Woods, Michigan

resides in Hirshey Annex

Program Director for WBWH, and Executive Editor of Bluffton Connection


A Little About Mitch:

Mitch often makes sport of watching football, baseball, soccer and hockey. Participating in these sports brings him joy. Ask him about media based entertainment, perhaps you have similar interests, don’t be shy, he enjoys finding new music, and TV shows. Specific sustenance makes his tummy joyful: Five Guys burgers, deep dish pizza, half chocolate half strawberry milkshakes, and popcorn.

Mitch’s Life Goals:

  • to be a baseball play-by-play broadcaster
  • host his own sports talk radio show
  • inspire kids who can’t play for whatever reason and show them they    can still be involved in the game
  • design his own line of men’s wear, suits and ties type stuff
  • find “the one” and fall madly in love

Interesting Things about Mitch:

His dad wanted to name him “Jay,” just like Gatsby, which has sparked an interest within him. Thus led to his nickname the Great Gatzke. He is “a total city slicker” as said by Mitch himself. His left leg has a permanent steel rod in it which repaired a broken tibia he suffered from while playing football in his junior year of high school. This is a private high school mind you, 48 people in his graduating class.

Mitch’s Accomplishments:

He dresses very well.  Every day of his senior year he has sported exquisite taste in attire that has the campus talking and complimenting. “He got swag,” said an anonymous student admirer. He was a member of the 2011 University Liggett baseball team which won Michigan’s Division 4 State Championship.  Also, Mitch is the ultimate upper hand and gentle controlling force of 96.1 WBWH FM and

Children’s Rights Advocates Share Nobel Peace Prize

On October 10th, 2014 Malala Yousafzi from Pakistan, along with Kailash Satyarthi from India, won the Noble Peace Prize for their advocacy for children’s rights and education. Satyarthi, advocating against child labor and slavery, has saved approximately 80,000 children from slavery through his organization Bachpan Bachao Andolan. Yousafzi, the now 17-year-old young woman, is the youngest Nobel Peace Prize recipient in the history of the award. She has advocated for the rights of women and children throughout her own childhood. At the age of 11 she blogged about the life of oppression she led while living under Taliban control for the BBC under a pseudonym. On October 9th, 2012 Yousafzi was shot in the head on her way home from school. The Taliban later took credit for the shooting. Miraculously, Yousafzi survived and she has continued her advocacy. To watch Malala’s acceptance speech, click here.

British-Iranian Woman Goes on Hunger Strike

By: Venessa Owsley

Editor’s note: This article was written a couple weeks ago but due to editing difficulties and Fall Break was not published in a timely manner.  Information might be outdated but the story was important enough that we decided to post it anyway.

A British-Iranian woman, Ghoncheh Ghavami, age 25, is being held in Evin Prison, Tehran’s most infamous prison. Ghavami has been charged with alleged “propaganda against the regime” following her attempt to attend a men’s volleyball match. To mark her hundredth day of her detainment (fifty of which were spent in solitary confinement) Ghavami went on a hunger strike. Ghavami has not eaten for five days and her health is deteriorating. Originally Ghavami was held in custody on June 20, interrogated for four hours, and then released. She was arrested again only a few days later. There is a petition calling for Ghavami’s release. The petition, set up through, now has approximately 527,000 signatures. The charge against Ghavami could potentially result in a sentence lasting several years and with her medical stability on the line, Ghavami’s family is appalled by her plight. This anxiety is heightened by the fact that Ghavami has had only minimal contact with her family. Susan Moshtaghian, Ghavami’s mother, told The Guardian “I am restless since I heard about this and I have also gone on hunger strike. I stayed silent for 82 days in the hope that my daughter comes back home safely. Now I am worried about her life and will not stop until she’s free.”

Photo of the week

Editor’s note: Bluffton Connection will be posting a “Photo of the Week” periodically throughout the semester.  If you’ve recently taken a picture that you’re proud of and would like for it to appear on the site, send it to us at:

This week’s photo was taken by Caitlin Nearhood.

Matt McCoy, a senior accounting major from Archbold, Ohio, serves the ball during a tennis match at a recent Tennis Club meeting.

Matt McCoy, a senior accounting major from Archbold, Ohio, serves the ball during a tennis match at a Tennis Club meeting.

Come and See “The Magic of Life”


The Magic of Life is not just an alcohol awareness program or an anti-drunk driving program; it is about a mother’s son sharing his story, trying to make a difference.


At 9 p.m., Friday, Oct. 17, Michael Gershe will present his “The Magic of Life” alcohol awareness program.  Michael Gershe is a survivor of a drunk driving accident that killed his mother when he was only eight months old.

This alcohol awareness program isn’t a run of the mill presentation about the dangers of alcohol and drunk driving.  Michael’s approach is one of humor.  He keeps his program “funny, easy to relate to, and meaningful.”  He combines comedy, audience interaction, and his story to connect with the audience and share his message.

This event is sponsored by Bluffton University PALS and Marbeck Center Board.  Snacks will be provided.  We all hope to see you there!

If you want to learn more about Michael or his presentation you can go to

My Life on the Sidelines

Courtesy photo

“Okay, you can do this, stay tight. Smile! Squeeze legs, lock out arms, and.. hit! YES! Crap, I’m supposed to be saying words too. Oh ouch, I can’t hold this stunt much longer. Smile! Ugh, so many blank stares. How many times have we repeated these words now? Six? Seven times? PAY ATTENTION TO ME I’M DOING A DANGEROUS STUNT. I’m seriously about to fall! Have I been grimacing in pain? For Pete’s sake, SMILE!”

These are just a few of the thoughts running through my brain during a single stunt while cheering at a Bluffton University football game. Most people don’t realize how much goes into cheerleading. First of all, the attitude. We’re not allowed to be upset or show anything but complete joy. No one wants to go to a game and see a cheerleader sulking. Even when the boys are losing and visibly showing frustration, we have to remain peppy and positive. When fans are yelling about a referee’s terrible call, we cannot join in but must instead look like we’re having the time of our lives while our cheers are drowned out by booing. Putting on a face, even if you’re having the worst day ever, is extremely hard sometimes, but completely essential.

Secondly, the lack of recognition and blasé attitude toward cheerleading is difficult to ignore. I’ve heard the question, “ do you even practice cheerleading?” asked way too many times. We have two hours of practice a day. We have 6 a.m. workouts like any other fall athlete. We condition when we mess up. We lift- both weights, and humans. We have 70+ chants to learn, and over 15 long cheers and dances. Our torsos, legs, arms, hands, feet, and faces must be in perfect synchrony with nine other women. We have to be extremely flexible and strong to resist gravity and hold stunts in the air – Not to mention, we’re supposed to look good doing it all. No grunting or wiping sweat or letting anyone see you’re out of breath. Smiling, Barbie hands, and pretty posturing.

So, why do we do it? Simple. We love it. Like any other athlete, our squad-mates are our family. We’re with them every day. They (literally) catch us when we fall. We pour hours and hours into promoting our school in any way possible.

It’s all worth it to get a few people to cheer along with us, to encourage the football team rather than yell against our opponent. It’s rewarding to see the players celebrate each others’ good plays and hear the motivating pep talks on the sidelines. And, in the end, it’s something that I’ve wanted to do since I was a little girl. I do it for her, and all the little girls with the same ambitions. I hope she would be proud.

How to Avoid the Freshman 15

I went to college and that’s when it all went down-hill.

I still remember the warnings ringing in my ears. The stories of how obesity came to be. As an individual that has personally struggled with body image for as long as I can remember, gaining fifteen pounds at anytime, let alone the first year of college, was not on my to-do list. With all of the ice cream and french fries that are constantly surrounding the Marbeck consumers, you can understand the concern for my waist line.

Getting past body image, the real concern is for health, both mentally and physically. As college students, we are under enough stress as it is. Studies show that eating right and exercising regularly reduces blood pressure and provides a better night sleep. Here are some tips and tricks to avoid the extra pounds:

1. Stay Organized.

Your class load increases from high school to college, we all know that. Staying organized will help when you have homework to get done. Plan out a time when it is best for you to work out.

2. Get a work out buddy.

Working out for most people is a chore. Misery loves company so get a work out buddy. This way you can complain together and push each other to do “just one more.”

3. Find someone who inspires you.

Having someone to look up to, and comparing yourself to someone are two very different things. Find someone who has a work ethic that you would like to have, and model your attitude towards the workout just as they do. This could be someone around campus or otherwise.

4. Eat well, not less.

This is one of the best tips I could ever give you. Pile up your plate with colorful fruits and veggies, eat whole grains, and drink lots of water. Be good to your body and it’ll be good to you.

5. Do what makes you happy.

As people in college, we don’t have much time to do what we would like to. Or at least that’s what it seems like sometimes. Make sure to take an hour, or even fifteen minutes to do something that you love. Hangout with your friends, play some tennis, throw a Frisbee, shoot some hoops, or whatever you crazy kids do these days.

By following these tips, staying healthy is a no-brainer which is great because we need all the brain cells we can get for classes like Organic Chemistry. Am I right?

Meet Mackenzie Hoeckley


Mackenzie Hoeckley is a Sophomore Art and Writing double-major
She is from Santa Barbra, California
She lives in Ropp Hall, Addition
She works on campus as a Student Life Assistant
She is a member of: Art Club and Women’s Circle
She also has her own radio show on 96.1 WBWH

You’re a radio host?
“Yes! I love being a radio host. I get to share all the music I like with the world instead of shoving it on my unwilling friends.”

What is The Underground?
It is rare, unexplored, stranger territories of music.
The Underground is a live show that gives the public insight on the orphanage made for the songs that don’t have a home in the mainstream. It’s a collection of the unplayable. It is a show for the fine-tuned ear. The Underground airs every Wednesday at 8pm and features mostly indie music.

Tell me about your life goals.
• To have mermaid hair
• Exact revenge on enemies
• To run a buffalo ranch in the northwest

Interesting things about Mackenzie:
Mackenzie is a unique individual who grew up in California loving wales. She’s the first to brighten your day and she is as wild as mulberries in the summertime. She enjoys Cartoon Network’s Adventure Time and has a passion for indie music.

Mackenzie’s Accomplishments:
Mackenzie can speak three languages: English, Spanish, and German. She has been to four continents: North America, Africa, Europe and Asia. And she once ate 3 Chipotle burritos in one sitting.

Ask Wendy


If you have anything going on in your life that you’d like an alternate perspective on, Wendy is here for you!  Contact her by commenting on this post or by email

We are all faced with countless questions about who we are. It’s not that we’re completely unsure of ourselves, we just want to hear someone tell us that we are special. For those who believe this crap, I say to you that you don’t need anyone to tell you how special you are. Yes, it’s nice to hear, but depending on someone telling you is not a good thing.

You are an individual and God made you in his own image. It’s your job to know that you are special and to embrace the beauty that God has given you. One of the main problems people struggle with is believing that we must try to fit in, which is a load of crap. You don’t need to fit in, because if you do then what’s so special about you? You will be just like everybody else and nothing will make you stand out. Therefore my advice to you is embrace your crazy, goofy, funny, wacky, and weird self. Don’t change for people, just grow to be the person that you are meant to be.

Don’t take my word for it if you don’t want to. Read this quote, and you will understand. According to Marianne Williamson “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

Don’t fit in, stand out!