Archive for People

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.

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.

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.



Dr. Friesen’s trip to Italy

Dr. Melissa Friesen spent two weeks of the holiday break in Italy participating in the directors’ symposium, “Theatre-makers: Theatre for Social Change and Community Engagement,” put on by La MaMa Umbria.

In the beautifully scenic hills of rural Umbria, near the small city of Spoleto, Dr. Friesen and 14 others immersed themselves in the culture while expanding their theater teaching techniques.

Dr. Friesen said the most enriching part of the symposium was the hands-on exercises she was able to take back home. The new warm-up rituals and focus games she performed were important for her she said because of the awareness she now has concerning their actual effectiveness. Psychodrama as drama therapy opened her mind to the personal change that can occur when fully engaging in these practices.

Though she’s had fun and found usefulness in all the workshops she’s attended over the years (including trips to California and Broadway), it sounded as though her adventure in Italy was her favorite. The relevance to the Theatre for Social Change course that she’s developed and is now teaching for the second time is no doubt a big reason why she enjoyed the experience so much.

After an intense two weeks of mentally exhausting work and play, Dr. Friesen said she’s inspired and ready to apply what she’s learned in all the different aspects within her job.

If you’re curious to know more about Dr. Friesen’s trip ask her about it yourself. She’s always friendly and willing to talk to students during her office hours or when you spot her around campus.

Writers, artists, musicians wanted


Did you know that Bluffton University has student writing journals? Most don’t. Plans to change that are in the works!

A new student team of editors met on Tuesday evening, January 20, 2015. Some exciting ideas are being planned for your artistic expression.

Editors of the BU online writing journal Inspiration Point and the hard copy journal Shalith are after your creative pieces. The motto of both resources is “Anything is Possible.”

Poetry, short story prose (both fiction and nonfiction), drawings, and black and white photographs will be considered for publication in Shalith. Works longer than 1,000 words, color photographs, possibly music, essays, speeches, and research papers will be considered for publication in Inspiration Point.

The creation of a new website for the online magazine Inspiration Point is being researched to make it more user friendly. Thoughts regarding a cover contest for the Shalith with a possible cash prize from sales were also discussed.

Keep your eye out for flyers announcing our new website address to which you can submit your original works.

Meet: Kapumba Chinyanta

Why attend Bluffton University?

It’s easy to connect with students and professors. The small campus is very appealing. The tutors are amazing and help him improve his studies.

What about the professors do you like?

They’re able to give specific ideas on assignments. When he has personal problems, he likes when professors are able to zero in on the problems and find solutions that can assist him.

What are you studying and why?

He is studying Accounting because he wants to understand how businesses are being run; mostly if the business is profiting or not.

Organizations that you are involved in?

He has been involved in Bible Studies, Accounting Club, Youth Camps (his church) and ICON, where he has been a member of 3 years.

What is your belief?

If someone practices something they really love, then they will become better at it.

Favorite sports?

Soccer and swimming.

Favorite Soccer team and how long have you been a fan (supporter)?

Juventus and since he was nine years old. Their playing style is what drew him in.

Advice for incoming first year students?

Encourage the students to love what they do and stay focused on their school work in order to be successful.

What is one thing about this University that helps you not to miss Zambia (his birthplace and home)?

The University feels like home to him and the friends that he has made are like his family here. The church that he attends also helps make him feel at home so he misses his home less.

Who has made an impact on your life since attending Bluffton University?

Paul Neufled Weaver has impacted his life in a great way. Weaver has shown him compassion and understating, especially when Chinyanta is going through a tough time. The university counselor has also played an impactl. There are a few others as well: Louise Matthews, Pastor Jim King, Roy Couch, Donald Fom, Ryan Laidlaw, Nate Thomas, Sam Stuckey, Chris Wagler, Ryan Johnson-Eyers (Dash), Jeremy Amstutz, Daniel Mushangwe and Appiah Adubofour.

Friendly neighborhood spider surprises terminally ill boy on his fifth birthday [video]

images (34)-1Spiderman surprised a terminally ill Jayden Wilson on his fifth birthday. Mike Wilson, Jayden’s father, came up with the idea to have a replica Spiderman surprise his son. Jayden has been diagnosed with a grade-four brain stem tumor which carries with it an average life expectancy of about a year.

“He’s still with us fighting it all the way today, but at least he has Spiderman to take care of him,” said Mike.

Mike is very happy he got to catch it on camera, and so are we!

The amazing SpiderDad! I think he deserves dad of the year. Click here to watch the clip.

Schumacher back in classes after eye complications scare

Bluffton Senior, Isaac Schumacher had a very eventful fall break – but not in the way you might think. The Pandora, OH native discovered that he had retinal detachment and had an invasive eye surgery while most of us were arriving back on campus for classes after break.

It all started when he noticed a dark spot in his peripheral vison about two weeks prior. Schumacher mentioned it to his father, but assumed it would just go away on its own. However, it did not. His close-up vision was becoming blurred as well. He went in to his family eye doctor and was told he had retinal detachment and needed immediate surgery.

Schumacher’s father has bad near-sightedness, and the doctor concluded that Isaac did as well. They both have oval-shaped eyes, as opposed to a rounder shape, which are prone to thinning and retinal detachment. “It’s not that my eyes were falling out, which is what it sounds like,” Isaac said. “It’s more of a tear, which can lead to total loss of vision.”

He had surgery on his right eye, and they put in a buckle in the back. Laser eye surgery was done on the left to add scar tissue. Both eyes are fine for now, though his eyes are sensitive to light (he’s wearing sunglasses for the next few weeks) and he has to put drops in that blur his vision. Other than his eyes looking bloody, they are back to being functional.

Retinal detachment only occurs in about 5 people each year, so it’s somewhat rare. “It’s usually something found in pretty old people, not 21 year olds,” Isaac said. “They were definitely surprised [that he was so young]. When you go into retinal surgeons, it’s older people in the waiting room. And then I was there.”

So did something other than the hereditary concerns cause all these eye problems? “Nothing I did knocked my eyes out or anything like that. Even if something had sped up the process, it’s something my eyes were already prone to. I’m kind of glad it happened now so that I could get it taken care of.”

Isaac is a graphic design major with an art minor, so his eyes are a huge part of his career. He returned to classes after a week and a half off, on Oct. 27. “It was pretty scary, but it did happen quickly and I’m glad it’s over.”