Archive for People

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.

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.

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.

Meet Jessica Parker


Jessica is a Public Relations and Marketing major from McComb, Ohio
She lives in Ropp Hall, Old Ropp
Her job on campus: Campus Coverage Manager
She’s a member of: Bluffton University Business Leaders, Student Alumni Association, Habitat for Humanity, Public Relations Student Society of America


What is your favorite thing to do?

“Hang out with friends and watch Scandal… I want to be like Olivia Pope when I grow up.”
Tell me about your life goals.

  • To work for a non-profit
  • To work in crisis management
  • To have a big family
  • To have elephant rides at my wedding
  • To work in PR
  • To get into Ball State for her masters and to be a graduate assistant
  • To learn how to make mushroom ravioli

Interesting Things about Jessica:
Jessica collects elephants because she loves them. Her mother almost spelled her name J-e-s-s-y-k-a Jessyka. She can play three instruments: Clarinet, Alto-Sax, and piano. She helps facilitate events at WKXA FM in Findlay and she volunteers at the Hope House.

Jessica’s Accomplishments:

She is a National Honors Society member, she has survived for 20 years! She once watched all of the seasons of Parenthood on Netflix in 2 weeks. She bought herself a pair of knock-off Tom’s that have changed her life.

Meet Ryan Laidlaw

photo 1 (1)


Ryan Laidlaw is a Senior, Social Work major from Lima, Ohio
He lives in Bren-Dell Hall
His campus job is working in the Marbeck Commons
He is involved in many different ways on campus including: Improv, ICON, Multi-Cultural Affairs, Tennis Club, Serve, MCB, Gospel Choir, Radio Show Host.

You’re a radio host?

Yes, “I wish we had more listeners but it is still fun.”
What is The Laidlaw Show?
It is an entertainment show. We talk about sports, movies, and t.v. shows. I give shout outs and talk about what is trending.
The Laidlaw Show airs Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 11am on 96.1 WBWH and streaming online at
Tell me about your life goals.
• To be a successful social worker and lawyer
• To be an investor
• To be a CEO
• To be a marriage counselor
And ultimately to get financially stable so my mother doesn’t have to work another day in her life.

Interesting Things about Ryan:

Ryan is a man with an opinion. Ryan doesn’t hesitate to spread his love via philosophy. His words of wisdom and experience will clear your cloudy skies and offer your mind some freedom.  He is quite humble when sober. Ladies, he is also “single and ready to mingle.”

Contact information:
• E-mail:
• Snap Chat: Ryanst0ne

Ryan’s Accomplishments:
Ryan graduated from Elida with a 3.2. He has won multiple writing awards. He knows some Spanish. He has been to Iceland on a two and a half week excursion. He volunteers at Lima youth and family YMCA and was volunteer of the year in 2011.

New Man on Campus

Caleb Farmer, the new Director of Residence Life, is one of many new faces on campus.  Originally from Indiana, Caleb traveled to Waco, Texas to attend Baylor University where he received his undergraduate and masters degrees. Baylor University is where Caleb’s passion for residence life began. While at Baylor University, he was an assistant hall director and the program director of residential life. In addition to his work at the college, Caleb had been a youth pastor for the past four years.

Caleb Farmer and his wife Ryn

Caleb Farmer and his wife Ryn

Caleb is not the only person who has jumped on the Bluffton University train wagon! His wife Ryn, of seven years, came to be a part of the Bluffton community as well. Caleb says that he loves the atmosphere downtown and enjoys the flavor of all the local businesses. Like a lot of students on campus, Caleb enjoys music. He interviews bands and writes in a music journal. Along with his love of music is his love for racquet ball; he is always looking for a new partner to play with.  The role Caleb plays as the Director of Residence Life is to ensure that students feel safe and involved, to help make Bluffton feel a little bit like home. Caleb plans to help our residence here be just that.

The excitement Caleb shows to get to know all the students, faculty, and staff on campus is inspiring and ensuring. We look forward to getting know to our new Residence Life director and his family. So, let’s give Caleb a warm welcome, and if you see him roaming around campus make sure to make an effort to get to know him a little bit better.