Archive for January, 2011

Abby (Trejo ’09) Rice | Biology, Pre-medical, Honors

by   |  01.20.11  |  Biology, Health Professions, Honors

Abby (Trejo '09) Rice

B.A. in Biology, Honors student
Pursuing Master of Physician Assistant Studies, University of North Texas Health Science Center (Fort Worth, Texas)

Not only are people around the world diverse, so are their diseases.

Senior biology major Abby Trejo made that discovery during summer internships in Ghana and Guatemala, where she worked at an orphanage and helped with mobile medical clinics taking health care to villagers in remote locations.

This pre-med student used these experiences as part of her capstone project for the Honors College, comparing the diseases she encountered in those developing countries with illnesses she sees working at an Abilene hospital.

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Garrett Hines (’06) | Education, History, Art

by   |  01.20.11  |  Art & Design, Education, History

Garrett Hines ('06)

B.S. in Education and History, Teacher Certification in EC-12 Art
Fifth-grade art teacher, Woodgate Intermediate School (Waco, Texas)

Renaissance Man might be an apt description for Garrett Hines (’06). He has an interdisciplinary degree in education and history, certification to teach K-12 art, is a triathlete and a professional artist who had his first gallery opening this fall.

And the audience who benefits daily from his talents is a group of fifth-graders at Woodgate Intermediate School in Midway ISD, Waco, where he teaches the finer points of appreciating art.

“I believe when your heart burns for something, that is God telling us and guiding us toward a path he laid out for us.”

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Lindsey Winegeart (’10) | International Studies, Political Science

by   |  01.20.11  |  Foreign Languages, Political Science

Lindsey Winegeart ('10)

International Studies major, Political Science minor
(Abilene, Texas)

“My ACU experience has shaped my faith in many ways. When you start to become more independent, your faith must become more of your own as well. ACU has allowed me to take ownership of my spiritual life.”

Spending part of her childhood in Germany instilled in Lindsey Winegeart a desire to promote intercultural understanding. As an international studies major at ACU, she has found numerous outlets to develop that interest.

Many of those opportunities have come through ACU’s Service Learning program, which incorporates volunteer work into the curriculum. Students gain real-world experiences that enhance their academic learning while providing a tangible benefit for the community.

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Marc Mace (’10) | Mathematics

by   |  01.20.11  |  Mathematics

Marc Mace ('10)

B.S. in Mathematics
Pursuing Ph.D. in Mathematics at Oklahoma State University (Stillwater, Oklahoma)

“The professors at ACU really know their stuff,” says Marc Mace (’10), who is headed to Oklahoma State this fall to earn a Ph.D. in mathematics.

The Keller, Texas, native chose ACU over other universities, including Rice and University of Texas at Dallas, but after visiting ACU his decision was easy.  “I knew I needed to come to a place where my faith could be challenged and grow,” he says. He found at ACU professors and fellow students who cared about helping him grow, but beyond that he found an exceptional academic environment.

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Sam Souder (’10) | Worship Ministry

by   |  01.20.11  |  Bible, Missions & Ministry, Music

Sam Souder ('10)

B.A. in Worship Ministry
Worship Minister, Fairfax Church of Christ (Fairfax, Virginia)

Music has been part of Sam Souder’s life for as long as he can remember.

“I’ve always grown up around music,” he said. “It’s just always been part of who I am.”

His father was a worship director at the church their family attended, and Sam led his first worship service at age 6. He had already started taking piano and voice lessons at 5, and continued to study through junior high and high school.

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Whitney Puckett (’11) | Advertising & Public Relations

by   |  01.20.11  |  Journalism & Mass Communication

Whitney Puckett ('11)

Advertising/Public Relations major
(Melbourne, Florida)

When most people think of fashion, they see expensive designer clothing showcased on a runway set in New York or L.A.  Glamour is the word of the hour –  everyone is either famous or beautiful, and there is not so much as a hint of poverty, catastrophe or despair.

Whitney Puckett would like to challenge those people with a different vision.

Over the past three years, she has helped produce several fashion shows to raise money for such causes as disaster relief for earthquake victims in Haiti. She uses models from ACU and presents the shows on campus. She invites other ACU non-profit groups to sell their merchandise at her shows. And each show has a purpose: to raise money for people in need.

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Ryan Carstens (’09) | Chemistry

by   |  01.20.11  |  Chemistry

Ryan Carstens ('09)

B.S. in Chemistry
Pursuing Ph.D. in Immunology at University of Texas – Southwestern Medical Center (Dallas, Texas)

The opportunity to participate in a research project as a freshman at ACU changed the course of Ryan Carstens’ future.

Ryan thought he wanted to become a doctor when he came to ACU. He began his freshman year as a pre-med student and started taking the required classes.

It took him only one semester to find out this wasn’t what he wanted to do with his life. He took his problem to Dr. Brian Cavitt, chemistry professor, who suggested that maybe Ryan would be happier doing research in a lab setting and offered to let him work on a research project as a trial run. Ryan was hooked.

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Sara Morris (’11) | English, Art, National Merit Finalist

by   |  01.20.11  |  Art & Design, English, Honors

Sara Morris ('11)

English and Art major, National Merit Finalist
(Abilene, Texas)

Sara Morris is a writer. Some people express themselves through art. Some people express themselves through public speaking or sign language or music. Sara uses the written word.

So for a writer, 3-1/2 months spent in Montevideo, Uruguay, was a dream come true. Sara was constantly surrounded by new experiences, continually challenged by a new culture and different lifestyle. She kept a blog to remind herself of what she’d heard and seen and what she hoped to experience in the future.

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Sarah Peters (’12) | Special Education

by   |  01.20.11  |  Education

Sarah Peters ('12)

Special Education major
(Austin, Texas)

The summer after her sophomore year of high school, Sarah Peters volunteered at a camp for kids with special needs known as CAMP – or Children’s Association for Maximum Potential. The experience changed her life.

“It helped me to see people for who they are, not what they look like,” she said.

At CAMP, Sarah served as a counselor, working with only one child for the entire week. It was her job to make sure that her camper could participate in every activity, no matter how challenging the process might be.

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Samuel Palomares (’11) | Communication

by   |  01.20.11  |  Communication

Samuel Palomares ('11)

Communication major, Students’ Association executive president
(Elsa, Texas)

From a high school mission trip in Mexico to building his parents’ church in South Texas, Samuel Palomares has seen the thread drawing him to Abilene.

Numerous threads, actually. Purple, emblazoned with an interlocking logo of three white letters: ACU.

“At every major moment in my life, there have been ACU people helping us along the way, praying for us,” Samuel said.

It started during his freshman year of high school, when Samuel, living in the South Texas town of Elsa, volunteered to be the interpreter for a mission trip to Victoria, Tamaulipas, Mexico, sponsored by the Austin-based Westover Hills Church of Christ.

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Jenni Burks (’11) | Accounting, Finance

by   |  01.20.11  |  Business

Jenni Burks ('11)

Accounting and Finance major
(Weatherford, Texas)

Jenni Burks says ACU has prepared her for so much more than she expected. “Here I have been taught about values, ethics and beliefs… ACU has prepared me on how to be the same person at home, church and at work.”

Q&A with Jenni

Did you always want to have a career in business?

I always knew I would be involved in the business industry somehow. However, I didn’t always know it would be accounting.

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David Kempe (’12) | Biochemistry, Pre-medical, Honors

by   |  01.20.11  |  Chemistry, Health Professions, Honors

David Kempe ('12)

Biochemistry major, Pre-medical, Honors student
(Tulsa, Oklahoma)

David Kempe knew he wanted to do something related to biochemistry since he was a kid. He always thought he wanted to be a doctor like his father, a cardiovascular surgeon. As he grew older and began to have more opportunities to explore science, his fascination with chemistry deepened.

“It was something that I always loved,” he said.

In high school, his favorite classes included AP Chemistry, infectious diseases and genetics. David also discovered he was a math person who liked things to be “nice and concrete.” He found that chemistry made him think about science in entirely new ways.

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Jason Huang (’12) | Information Systems, Finance

by   |  01.20.11  |  Business, Technology

Jason Huang ('12)

Information Systems and Finance major
(Hong Kong, China)

Jason Huang came to Abilene from Hong Kong 3 1/2 years ago as an international student. Almost immediately he began to see ACU’s influence in the city and community.

The host family he lived with for two years was headed by two ACU professors, Ted and Ellen Presley. Jason enrolled at Abilene Christian High School. He attended University Church of Christ, which sits on the street corner across from ACU and whose congregation includes many ACU professors, faculty and students. Many of his friends at church went to ACU and talked about what was happening on campus. Jason liked the university and the town, and decided to stay.

“It’s a great environment,” he said. “This is the place where I want to grow.”

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Isaac Bray (’09) | Vocal Performance, Education

by   |  01.20.11  |  Education, Music

Isaac Bray ('09)

B.M. in Vocal Performance with EC-12 teacher certification
Pursuing Masters in Opera Performance at The Boston Conservatory (Boston, Massachusetts)

ACU alum Isaac Bray dreams of becoming a professional opera singer who impacts his audience with every performance.  With a full-tuition scholarship to The Boston Conservatory, he seems to be well on his way.

Isaac’s goal is to glorify God with each performance. “You will never know what people are going through or what little thing you might do that will inspire them, so you have to treat every performance – big or small – with equal care and importance,” he says.

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Jessica Schell (’11) | Youth & Family Ministry

by   |  01.20.11  |  Bible, Missions & Ministry

Jessica Schell ('11)

Youth and Family Ministry major
(Willow Park, Texas)

Jessica Schell wants to spend her life working with people who have committed various crimes – theft, murder, drug use and more. The people she seeks to help will be under armed guard, behind bars, and desperate for hope.

In other words, she wants to work in prison ministry.

“I think that God has given me the gift of mercy,” she says.

As a prison chaplain, she’ll work with the warden, counsel inmates and plan programs for them. She also wants to implement programs in prisons that allow prisoners to talk to juvenile delinquents in order to warn them about the bad choices they’re making.

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Kendra Gregory (’10) | Environmental Science, Spanish, Honors

by   |  01.20.11  |  Ag & Environmental Sciences, Foreign Languages, Honors

Kendra Gregory ('10)

B.S. in Environmental Science, B.S. in Spanish, Honors student
Pursuing M.S. in Plant Breeding at Texas A&M University (College Station, Texas)

As a young child, Kendra Gregory loved to play in the dirt.

“The joke when I was two was, ‘you’re going to be a geologist,’ because I would collect all these rocks and I would constantly play in the dirt and soil,” the junior Honors student recalls. She also played a game she called “growing crops. I’m not kidding, I would transplant plants for fun,” she said.

Even so, Kendra was surprised she ended up in the agriculture department at ACU studying environmental science. After all, she was a city girl who grew up in the suburbs of Pittsburgh with a father who is in computer marketing and a mother who is a registered nurse.

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Brad Neathery (’11) | Marketing

by   |  01.20.11  |  Business

Brad Neathery ('11)

Marketing major
(Coppell, Texas)

As a rule, most college students don’t get home plate tickets to the Rangers game every week. They don’t talk to sports celebrities like Colt McCoy or Cole Green, or run into Randy White when they’re coming out of the office. If they design anything, it’s probably not for presentations to Chevrolet, National Geographic or Ford.

As an intern at Fox Sports Southwest this summer, Brad Neathery was an exception to that rule.

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Chelsey Brumbaugh (’13) | Speech Pathology

by   |  01.20.11  |  Communication Sciences

Chelsey Brumbaugh ('13)

Speech Pathology major
(Lewisville, Texas)

Chelsey Brumbaugh expected to find academic excellence at ACU, but she also got a few surprises during her freshman year.

“ACU’s diverse student body has definitely opened my eyes,” she says. “When I am surrounded by students from literally all over the world, I am constantly reminded of the expanse of God’s creation. He made each and every one at ACU and loves each of us with an unfailing love no matter what race, gender or culture. I love having that reminder every day I’m on campus.”

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Amy Perez (’07) | Social Studies Education

by   |  01.20.11  |  Education, History

Amy Perez ('07)

B.S. in Grades 4-8 Social Studies Education
Teacher of the Year, Region 4, Aldine School District (Houston, Texas)

“‘Changing the world, one child at a time.’ These are the words that ignite my passion for teaching—the words that were rooted into me by my caring professors at ACU. Each morning, I take into my hands a purple lanyard which carries the key to my classroom. As I place it around my neck, I read these words silently and commit to do just as they say. One child at a time. It is the kindling of my career.”

When Amy Perez (’07) received Teacher of the Year Award for her region, she was surprised – in fact, shocked might be a better word. But the award simply represented the fulfillment of Amy’s daily commitment  to minister wholeheartedly to those whom Jesus called “the least of these.”

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Brandon Bartee (’06) | Financial Management

by   |  01.20.11  |  Business

Brandon Bartee ('06)

B.B.A. in Financial Management
Pursuing L.L.M. in Law & Entrepreneurship at Duke University (Durham, North Carolina)

Brandon Bartee was happy to have his name associated with ACU and its College of Business Administration when he applied to the new Law & Entrepreneurship L.L.M. program at Duke University Law School.

“While ACU may seem like a small school, its reputation is much more expansive than the city of Abilene, or the state of Texas for that matter,” says Brandon.  “No matter where I go, it seems as though everyone knows someone who went to ACU. And in the context of applying to graduate or professional school, or even a job, ACU graduates are regarded as very successful.”

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Morgan Negaard (’11) | Nursing, National Merit Finalist

by   |  01.20.11  |  Health Professions, Honors, Nursing

Morgan Negaard ('11)

Nursing major, National Merit Finalist
(Abilene, Texas)

When Morgan Negaard thinks of what she misses most about living in Montevideo, Uruguay, two things come immediately to mind: friends and a sense of peace.

Morgan and a few of the other ACU students on the trip made friends with the youth group from the church next door to the ACU house. They would go out and drink maté, a traditional Uruguayan hot tea, talk about anything and everything, and practice using conversational Spanish.

“It was really awesome getting to build intercultural relationships,” she said. She also came to appreciate the humility and caring and connections she found in the church next door.

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Brittany Kight (’11) | Information Technology

by   |  01.20.11  |  Technology

Brittany Kight ('11)

Information Technology major
(Corpus Christi, Texas)

“The research I am working on has given me the opportunity to learn about how to program iPhone applications that I would not have been able to learn at another university.”

Some freshmen arriving for Welcome Week this fall could be playing an Augmented Reality Game on their iPhones developed by students in ACU’s School of Information Technology and Computing.

The game is designed to help freshmen interact better with each other during that crucial first week of college, said sophomore Brittany Kight, one of two students working on the project. It will encourage freshmen to get out of their shells and meet new friends, she explained.

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Brittany Armenta (‘12) | Biology, Pre-medical

by   |  01.19.11  |  Biology, Health Professions

Brittany Armenta ('12)

Biology major, Pre-medical
(The Woodlands, Texas)

Someday Brittany Armenta wants to work with kids who have cancer. As a pediatric oncologist, she’ll walk into a hospital or a clinic every day and face children whose lives have been turned upside down by a disease they don’t fully understand. She’ll deal with the pain of parents and relatives who can’t fathom why their child is so terribly sick. She’ll grieve for the patients she loses and rejoice with the ones who recover. But through it all, she will be heeding a summons she heard years ago.

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Brandon Huxford (’07) | Engineering Physics

by   |  01.19.11  |  Engineering, Physics

Brandon Huxford (‘07)

B.S. in Engineering Physics
Engineer in Training, Transportation and Infrastructure, Freese and Nichols, Inc. (Dallas, Texas)

Brandon Huxford’s physics degree from ACU has him traveling new roads – literally and figuratively.

As an engineer with Freese and Nichols Inc., Brandon designs projects ranging from roadways and intersections to traffic signals and culverts throughout the Southwest.

Brandon is an EIT, or engineer in training, which requires passing an eight-hour comprehensive exam and becoming certified by the state of Texas.  After four years of design experience, he will be eligible to take the professional engineer licensing exam.

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Anna Peters (’09) | Ministry to Children & Families, Social Work

by   |  01.19.11  |  Bible, Missions & Ministry, Social Work

Anna Peters ('09)

B.A. in Ministry to Children and Families
Pursuing M.S. in Social Work at ACU

If it hadn’t been for a flat tire, Anna Peters probably wouldn’t be at ACU.  And Anna readily credits God with the turn of circumstances that brought her here.

When she was in high school, she and her mom decided to go on a college road trip. They hadn’t planned to visit ACU for financial reasons, but when they got a flat tire in Abilene and Anna’s sister got sick, they decided to stay the night. Since they were already in the city, a tour of the ACU campus seemed to make sense.

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Caitlin Winegeart (’11) | Master of Accountancy

by   |  01.19.11  |  Business

Caitlin Winegeart ('11)

Master of Accountancy student
(Abilene, Texas)

Extracurricular activities: Women In Business, SALT, Life Group
Favorite course: Leadership Summit
You might also like to know: I’m a twin!

Caitlin Winegeart’s internship at Wal-Mart’s headquarters last summer has paid off nicely with a job waiting for her when she completes her Master of Accountancy degree in May.

“I once heard it said that not everyone is comfortable walking into a church building, but everyone goes to work. With this in mind, there is no better mission field than the workplace.”

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Juliette (Miller ’06) Trafton | Musical Theatre

by   |  01.19.11  |  Theatre

Juliette (Miller '06) TraftonB.F.A. in Musical Theatre
Currently playing Luisa in off-Broadway tour of The Fantasticks (Manhattan, New York)

When Juliette Trafton steps onto the New York stage, she is no longer a resident of northern Manhattan, a wife or an ACU alum. In that moment, she becomes someone new – a character who can relate with the audience in ways that she herself cannot. And as she looks straight into the eyes of complete strangers, the journey of exploration begins yet again.

“Every night, I get to take that journey and discover afresh with my cast and the audience how misled or misplaced our desires, even those that seem the deepest and strongest, can be,” she says.

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Louis Palacios, Jr. (’09) | Mathematics, Actuarial Science

by   |  01.19.11  |  Actuarial Science, Mathematics

Louis Palacios ('09)

B.S. in Mathematics – Actuarial Science
Actuarial Analyst, Towers Watson (Dallas, Texas)

When Louis Palacios Jr. decided he wanted to become an actuary, he knew there were only two schools in Texas with accredited actuarial science programs. ACU was one, and its program at that time was “fledgling,” says Palacios. Palacios decided to take a chance on ACU’s program.

Five years later, that decision has proven to be a good one.

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Adrienne Carpenter (’08) | Spanish, Education

by   |  01.19.11  |  Education, Foreign Languages

Adrienne Carpenter ('08)B.A. in Spanish for Teacher Certification
High school Spanish teacher, Garland ISD

“The ACU difference is simply the professors. Nowhere else will you find men and women who don’t just care that you receive a phenomenal education, but their No. 1 priority is you – your spiritual, physical and emotional health.”

Ever since the eighth grade, Adrienne Carpenter felt a desire to lead and educate others. Her experience on mission trips to Mexico with her church youth group gave her a heart for connecting with Hispanic culture and achieving Spanish fluency.

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