Archive for People

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.”

Bluffton Compliments: put a smile on someone’s face

Bluffton Compliments is a student run Facebook page where students can anonymously post compliments towards other students. The Bluffton Compliments page was created in April of 2013 by a Bluffton University student, Kerry Bush.

Kerry said she originally saw a similar type of page done by Goshen College and felt that it would be a good thing to have here on campus.  Kerry has set up the page in a way that every compliment is completely anonymous, including to her.

On the Bluffton Compliments Facebook page, there is a link to a Google docs form where anyone can write a nice compliment and submit it.  The administrator, Kerry, looks through them to make sure that they are appropriate and posts them on the page in the form of a status.  She admits that some of the compliments come from her but that the majority of the compliments are posted by students throughout campus.

Hopefully with the support of other students, Bluffton Compliments will be a page that is continuously updated with encouraging posts. Kerry will be graduating this May and is looking for somebody to take over her role as administrator. She hopes to keep the page alive and thriving so it can continue to brighten peoples’ day.

If you haven’t already, be sure to check out the Bluffton Compliments page on Facebook and like it.  Also make sure to suggest the page to all your friends, especially underclassmen who may not know about it. If you see a post about someone you know, tag them. It’s nice to see the great things that our peers have to say about each other.

If you would like to submit a compliment about someone around campus follow this link and help make somebody’s day! 

Meet Eric Pasho


Sophomore transfer student from Akron, Ohio

Information Technology Major

From: Wooster, Ohio

Lives in Ropp Hall

Works in the Commons

A little about Eric:

Eric loves to sing and play video games. His favorite video games are League of Legends, Mario Kart, Punchout, and Super Smash bros. He pays little to no attention in classes unless his attention is paid in the form of meaningless conversation and bits of wit and wiles. He is an energetic, eccentric, exceptional individual who will find a special place in any community.

Interesting things about Eric:

Eric has an “eye thing” as in when he looks people in the eyes, it looks like he is looking at their forehead or eyebrows. Odds are, if he is talking to you, he is staring at your nose or mouth to fool you into thinking that he is looking at your eyes. His lies sound like the truth; deception is his strong suit. He can hold a note, in a yell or sing-song way, for at least 38 seconds. He can also hit and sustain the high note in the 80’s classic “Take on me” by the A-Ha. Wow. He gives people unnecessary nicknames, such as Dallas, for me, that make sense to only him. He owns every Green Day CD. Get to know this young man, because he’s worth it.

Eric’s goals:

  • to have a late night talk show, “The Pashow”
  • to become a merman, for the hot mermaids… “mer-babes”
  • memorize all of the lyrics to “One Week” by The Bare Naked Ladies
  • to go to space
  • to be a man when he grows up

Eric’s Accomplishments:

“Eric speak good” said Eric. He is an articulate 19 year old wit-master. He was recently on a mall adventure with his friends when he allowed make-up to be applied to his face in public. He has entertained Daila Moore for two hours for this single interview. He accomplished a successful transfer from University of Akron to our very own Bluffton University. See him, greet him, befriend him.

Meet Jesse Roth

Jesse Roth photoshopJesse Roth is a senior majoring in Business, and Writing, from Rockford, Ohio

She lives in Ramseyer Hall

She is President of Fault Lines line dancing club

Campus jobs: Writing Center tutor and English department assistant.

What is Fault Lines?

Jesse started Fault Lines because she wanted a space for her friends, as well as herself, to dance and have a jolly-good time.

How is that going?

Last semester Fault Lines had five consistent members and this year membership has doubled and opened up to the community as well.

What is in store for Fault Lines this year?

Jesse and her band of dancers will be participating in the Fort Wayne Dance for All Choreography Competition at the end of February.

Interesting Things About Jesse

She is an original Superman lover! Ask her about her Halloween costume choices for the past 3 years.

Jesse’s interests follow reading books. Jodi Picoult, author of My Sister’s Keeper and Micheal Crichton, author of Jurassic Park. Talk to her about books and movies. Her favorite movies are the Scream movies and Jaws. Fun fact, she’s picky about her submarine sandwiches because she used to work at Subway, for three years, and she is in general, just a picky person. She’s colorblind! She won’t tell you that your clothes don’t match.

Jesse’s Accomplishments, because she’s awesome.

Presidential Scholarship winner… wow.

Her line dance choreography has been and is still being taught in various places in America, ask her about it.

She has edited 2 published books, entitled Story Hour and Other Stories by Robert Flanagan, and Waiting at the Dead End Diner by Rebecca Schumejda.

In 2010 she won the Fort Wayne Dance for All Choreography Completion in the phrased non-country.  She won, being the youngest choreographer, and it was her first year.

“Line dancing is for everyone, whether you have danced for ten, twenty years or never. It’s more than fun, I love it. Dancing is a great way to exercise and it is so good for you.”

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 it to appear on the site, send it to us at:

This week’s photo comes from the folks at the PR house.

Lauren Hoffman, a Bluffton University junior from Dunkirk, Ohio, stirs a pot of potato and kale soup destined for distribution Oct. 18 at the Bluffton food pantry. Hoffman is among the food and nutrition majors in a food service class that prepared 50 family servings of soup, using several hundred pounds of potatoes donated by an area farmer.

Lauren Hoffman, a Bluffton University junior from Dunkirk, Ohio, stirs a pot of potato and kale soup destined for distribution.

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.

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 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.

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.