Beavers All

I'm a Beaver. You're a Beaver. We’re Beavers All. And when we get together, we do the Beaver
Call. BEA - VER Beavers. Beavers. Go Beavers!

Bluffton has been known as The Beavers since the late 1920s when long-time coach A.C. Burcky noted that Beavers are “resourceful, indefatigable (don't tire easily), accomplish more with less ("works with twigs, building up large things from small”) and work to leave the world a better place ("never does things any worse than its ancestors did.")
Let us celebrate the many ways that we are Beavers All!  

Marissa Hall

Marissa Hall

Meet Marissa Hall, English major from Avon Lake, Ohio, and President's Ambassador.

Speech-language pathology and audiology major Jordan Jennings

Jordan Jennings

Meet Jordan Jennings, speech-language pathology and audiology major from Portsmouth, Ohio, and President's Ambassador.

Jenía Freewalt

Jenía Freewalt

Meet Jenía Freewalt, art education major from Delphos, Ohio, and President's Ambassador.

Riley Garmatter

Riley Garmatter

Meet Riley Garmatter, Primary P-5 and Intervention Specialist double major from Rawson, Ohio, and President's Ambassador.

Stacey Chirewa

Stacey Chirewa

Meet Stacey Chirewa, accounting and business administration double major from Harare, Zimbabwe, and President's Ambassador.

Evan Burden

Evan Burden

Meet Evan Burden, music education major from Sidney, Ohio, and President's Ambassador.

Amy Marshall

Amy Marshall

Meet Amy Marshall, social work and psychology double major from Pickerington, Ohio, and President's Ambassador.

President's Ambassador MacKenzie Martin

MacKenzie Martin

Meet MacKenzie Martin, speech language pathology and audiology major from Hartville, Ohio, and President's Ambassador.

Sarah Rivera Rios

Sarah Rivera Rios

Meet Sarah Rivera Rios, a Business Administration/Marketing major and President's Ambassador from Comayagua, Honduras.

Cassie Mladek

Cassie Mladek

Meet Cassie Mladek, a elementary education major and President's Ambassador from Coshocton, Ohio.

Danielle King

Danielle King

Meet Danielle King, a pre-physical therapy major and President's Ambassador from Tedrow, Ohio.

Noah Heiing

Noah Heiing

Meet Noah Heiing , a Primary Education/Intervention Specialist major and President's Ambassador from Delphos, Ohio .

Haley Byrnes

Haley Byrnes

Meet Haley Byrnes, a Exercise Science major and President's Ambassador from Worthington, Ohio.

Avery Carter, nutrition and dietetics

Avery Carter

Meet Avery Carter, a nutrition and dietetics major and President's Ambassador from Bryan, Ohio.

Emily Clawson

Emily Clawson

Meet Emily Clawson, a Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology major and President's Ambassador from Troy, Ohio.

Payton Stephens

Payton Stephens

Meet Payton Stephens, a writing major and President's Ambassador from Lebanon, Ohio.

Darius Boeke

Darius Boeke

Meet Darius Boeke, a mathematics major with AYA licensure and President's Ambassador from Sidney, Ohio.

President's Ambassador Grace Leichty Zickafoose

Grace Zickafoose

Meet Grace Liechty Zickafoose, a mathematics major/education minor and President's Ambassador from Lima, Ohio.

Meet Nathan DeWeese, a mathematics/business administration major and President's Ambassador from Columbus, Ohio.

Nathan DeWeese

Meet Nathan DeWeese, a mathematics/business administration major and President's Ambassador from Columbus, Ohio.

Alejandra Valenzuela

Alejandra Valenzuela

Meet Alejandra Valenzuela, a psychology/social work major and President's Ambassador from Honduras.

Bluffton Bread Company spring 2021 student interns: (top row) Haley Gill and Justin Dorsey. (bottom row) Jeremy Locklear, Kylee Tiziani and Liz Deal.

Hands-on experience

Through the Bluffton Bread Company I am learning different food service skills. This opportunity is unique because it allows students lead the direction and development of the company."

Jake Latkofsky will enter the Doctor of Physical Therapy program at Mount Saint Joseph College.

The next step

Jake Latkofsky '21, a pre-physical therapy major and infielder, was recently accepted into the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program at Mount Saint Joseph University.

Ashley Johansen Ph.D. has a passion for learning and for teaching adult students.

Passion to learn

At age 18, Ashley Johansen, director of degree-completion programs in business, had no idea what she wanted to do for the rest of her life. So, she took classes at a trade school and worked.

2020-21 Beavers: Cassie Mladek, Clay Meyer, Olivia “Lou” Westcott and a Jenny to be revealed next year.

The Big Reveal

After months of secrecy, it can now be shared that Clay Meyer, Cassie Mladek and Olivia "Lou" Westcott served as J. Denny and Jenny Beaver in 2020-21.

Stacey Chirewa was selected for a 10-week, paid internship with big-four accounting firm Ernst & Young.

Impressive internship

The professors here push you to get out there and chase your dreams. I really think I can accomplish my goals if I work hard and stayed focused."

Communication major Gabe Denecker '21

The right fit

Gabe Denecker '21 started at Bluffton undecided about his major. However, after four years and a hands-on internship experience, Denecker found the right fit in communication.

Riley Larcom’s career path was confirmed during an accounting internship at Mennonite Memorial Home.

Experiential learning

"You're in school for four years, but after that you need to get a job. The professors here really prepare you for that. They are willing to help you find internships."

Dezman Brown builds relationships through athletics.

Building relationships

When Dezman Brown '21, a business administration major, isn't on the court for Beavers basketball, he's often there anyway as a head coordinator for intramurals.

Kayla Ferguson completed a field experience at the Juvenile Detention Center in Lima during fall semester, then continued volunteering through winter break.

Pursuing advocacy

Kayla Ferguson '22 came to Bluffton to study psychology, but as her academic advisor got to know her better, it became clear Ferguson was passionate about advocacy.

Adam Shanaman, a Bible and theology major and theatre minor, embraced the challenges of theatre performances via Zoom.

Relaxing on stage

"It's a nice escape from the struggles of everyday life because you can pretend to be somebody else for a few hours each night," said Bible and theology major Adam Shanaman.

Travon Mason is a communication major, football player and Becoming a Scholar mentor.

BAS mentor

A second-year communication student, Travon Mason has not yet determined his career ambitions. In the meantime, he's helping first-year students find their footing in college as a Becoming a Scholar mentor.

Student teaching with the realities of COVID-19 presented unique challenges and preparation for Madison Heckman's future in the classroom.

Prepared to teach

"Teaching English is a big responsibility. I'm not only teaching students proper literacy skills, but at the high-school level, I'm teaching them how to view texts from different perspectives."

Lenny Winiarski is working on a departmental honors project, researching the experiences of German immigrants in Cincinnati during WWI.


Now in his final year at Bluffton, the first baseman, hall director and history/AYA student is completing a departmental honors project on German immigrants in his hometown during WWI.

Caitlyn Renner with Bluffton's mascots, J. Denny and Jenny Beaver

More than a legacy

With a family legacy like Caitlyn Renner's, of course she would be a Beaver. "Bluffton was like a home away from home, and when I got here, it was even better than I expected."

Kori Frey is ready for her social work field placement at Hope House in Findlay, Ohio.

Helping people

When I started out in residence life, I thought of it like working at a social work agency, helping people connect to resources. It was a step toward my future career."

Reid Whitney found his place at Bluffton.

Nursing major confirmed

Reid Whitney '23, a nursing major, was initially drawn to Bluffton to continue his athletics career. However, the more he learned about the nursing program, the clearer his choice of major became.

Brandon James' persistence comes from a desire to “prove people wrong.”

Reigning champion

I’m going to keep doing this sport as long as I can. When I’m done, I still want to be around it. Strength and conditioning is the perfect major to help me continue.”

Alana Holsapple

A 'second family'

From the difficulties of everyday college life, to personal tragedy, to the COVID-19 pandemic, Alana Holsapple '21 found a "second family" to help her through it all at Bluffton.

Being a science major and keeping up with labs means I'm busier doing academics, but I love every second of it. I love football. I love school. I love Bluffton.

Knowlton Scholar

Being a science major and keeping up with labs means I'm busier doing academics, but I love every second of it. I love football. I love school. I love Bluffton."

Sergio Alvarez

Sergio Alvarez

When Sergio Alvarez first stepped foot on campus he was just dropping his cousin off. Days later he too was enrolled at Bluffton. "I felt like I was in the right place."

Evan Burden, junior music education major

Vocation confirmation

Right now, I’m taking Woodwind Methods. Never in my life did I think I would play a woodwind instrument. I’ve also taken String Methods, Voice Methods… It’s a very in-depth experience.”

Campus Relationships

"Coming to a place where you actually get to know everybody is nice", said Gill. "At Bluffton, I knew I would be able to build relationships with my professors."

Darian Greenly

Serving others

“I’m a big believer in giving back to the community. We have goals for MSO to do more community work. We’re a family. I want everybody to see that.”

Bri Baker

Trusted mentors

For Bri Baker '21, a mathematics major from Defiance, Ohio, little nudges from trusted mentors have "really made an impact on my life."

Natilee Grover ’21 is a Bible and theology major with minors in education studies and psychology.

Service to humankind

"Mostly, I would like to have a career that takes me in a direction where I am spreading a reflection of love and empathy to others." - Natilee Grover '21

Abbie Parkins has explored four types of accounting through her internships.

4 years, 4 internships

An accounting and business administration double major, Abbie Parkins is getting as much hands-on experience as possible before she graduates. Entering her senior year, she is completing her fourth internship.

Mikey Fimiani

Criminal Justice and Psychology

Mikey Fimiani '21, a criminal justice and psychology double major from Willoughby, Ohio, was masked up and ready to make a difference. Fimiani spent the summer living and learning at the Chicago Center for Urban Life and Culture.

Dr. Crystal Sellers Battle

Vocal health

Gospel music has its roots in just about every American musical style, so as I'm thinking about how to prepare gospel singers, this research will also help me better prepare jazz singers and musical theatre singers."

Katie McClure

Pre-physical therapy

Katie McClure's professional goal is to become a physical therapist. It's a field she has a lot of experience in, not yet as a practitioner but instead as a patient.

Perry Bush, Professor of History

Bluffton history professor

Dr. Perry Bush, professor of history, spent the spring semester on sabbatical completing interviews, outlining chapters and preparing to write his next major scholarly work

Meghan Ream '22

Summer research

I was going to go to Cornell this summer. But we figured out how to make the experience virtual. I'm extremely grateful to have this opportunity."

Carter Mumbower playing golf.

Golf Internship

Carter Mumbower is completing a paid junior golf internship with the Northern Ohio PGA this summer.

Dr. Jackie Wyse-Rhodes

Stories in the Book of Numbers

Dr. Jackie Wyse-Rhodes is delving into the Old Testament “gem,” to write a book for the Herald Press’ Believers Church Bible Commentary series.

Leslie Diaz Valdiviezo ’22, graphic design major from Chiclayo, Peru

Forming connections

"I've always felt an environment here that Bluffton was like my family," said Diaz. "I've met international students from many countries and I feel very welcome here."

Nicholas Hoffman '20 to continue as Neufeld Residence Hall Director in 2020-21.

Expect the unexpected

In high school, I kept to myself... I would have never expected that by my senior year, I would be saying 'How's it going?' to almost every person I passed because they were my friends."

Dr. Zachary Walton

The evolution of memes

"I wanted to look at how memes are created, how they change and how they interact. I'm analyzing them through the lens of visual rhetoric, looking for patterns and themes."

Ky Gurley '21

Community and service

My main goal is to help a school that is helping me. I see this as an opportunity for me to leave a mark on this campus for others to follow."

Alexis Cash maintains a focus on service others.

From Bluffton to Yale

Dr. Alex Sider, professor of religion, encouraged Alexis Cash to reach for the Ivy League. This fall she will enter Yale Divinity School to earn her Master of Divinity.

Juniors Tajah Upshaw and Sienna Sullivan in Washington D.C.

Internships in D.C.

I didn't get to leave on my own terms... I just have to look at all the valuable knowledge, relationships, adventures and new experiences I did gain while in D.C."

Brothers and teammates Brantley and Carson Curnutte

Brothers and teammates

Brantley and Carson Curnutte were both drawn to Bluffton by the relationships they built while visiting. However, it was mainly Bluffton's baseball program that shaped their college experience and their relationship as brothers.

Michelle Swartley turned an internship into a job offer.

Internship leads to job offer

If I went to school anywhere else, I would not have had the courage to get an internship at a company like Progressive. I had multiple professors encourage me to apply."

Aubrey Bartel, a double major in pre-physical therapy and exercise science, member of the women’s soccer team and student in Bluffton’s Honors Program, is shaping a future career in pediatric physical therapy.

Senior shapes future

Senior Aubrey Bartel squeezed every experience possible out of her four years at Bluffton. After graduation she plans to earn her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree at the University of Kansas.

Dr. Amy Mullins, assistant professor of education

Filling a need

Seeing a need and responding to a challenge, Amy Mullins developed an online resource teaching basic phonics skills designed specifically for older students.

Lydia Lugibihl

Enhancing her experience

Getting to spend a semester in a totally different environment while getting school credit and great internship experience was absolutely incredible. It was the best decision I've ever made."

Robert McMullen-Ruppert '20 in Chicago

Student teacher thrives

Up until last week, Robert McMullen-Ruppert '20, an intervention specialist major was student teaching in inner-city Chicago through a partnership with the Chicago Center for Urban Life and Culture.

Von Thomas '20

Strong relationships

Von Thomas came to Bluffton to play football. While he enjoyed his four seasons on the gridiron, he also values the relationships he formed and the lessons learned along the way.

Michael Short '20

Growth through relationships

"Bluffton presented me with a whole array of views in the church. That's really challenged me and helped solidify my beliefs, helped me question why I believe what I do."

Leslie Beasley '20

Relating to others

Leslie Beasley '20 is putting her last three and a half years of Bluffton education into practice through her current student teaching experience.

Bluffton dietetic program was

Transitioning majors

Now that I’m here, I would much rather be here than anywhere else, any other dietetic program, because at Bluffton you get so much hands-on experience as an undergraduate.”

TJ Mills ’20

Senior hits 1,000

My advisor gets involved in making sure you have all of the tools you need for your future and your success in the psychology field.”

Dan Metzger ’05, Amy Marshall ’22 and Spencer Garrison ’22

Connecting through faith

At Bluffton University, the worship band has allowed two current students to form meaningful relationships with alumni, as well as strengthen their relationship with God.

“Education wise, Bluffton is a very good university,” Assefa said. “The other international students are great. We have so much in common, so it’s been fun to get to know them.”

Making connections

Encouraged by a high school teacher to pursue higher education in the U.S., Ermias Assefa '23, an international student from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, is fulfilling his goal at Bluffton.

Wilmar Caal Botzoc '21

Focusing on service

Junior Wilmar Caal Botzoc first stepped foot in the United States in 2011. A year later, he returned home to Guatemala only to be called back to the U.S.

Julian LaVallee spent the semester in Nashville, Tenn., gaining hands-on experience in audio, lighting and management in the music business.

Semester in Music City

Julian LaVallee, a junior music major with a concentration in business, spent fall 2019 in Nashville, Tenn., gaining clarity on his future career path and developing his faith.

Though the areas of study might seem like an unusual combination, the music and dietetics double major has been integrating these two interests since she was young.

Unique double major

Emma Cobb, a senior from Archbold, Ohio, is pursuing two very different passions in her pursuit to earn a degree--music and nutrition.

Brianna Sinn ’20, Katie Kline ’20 and Carley Lester ’20 (L to R)

Hands-on experience

From perfecting recipes with wholesome ingredients to executing professional business and marketing plans, the Bluffton Bread Company is an example of the great things happening at Bluffton University.

Levi Litwiller '20

Big research opportunity

"It was fun to live in Chicago all summer and it was neat to see concepts from class being applied to actual things." Levi Litwiller researched organic compounds while interning at AbbVie Pharmaceuticals.

Milan Schilling ’23

World Series experience

Milan Schilling '23 got the experience of a lifetime when the Reds Youth Academy Member of the Year earned two tickets to game four of the World Series in Washington D.C.

Abigail Newkirk ’20

Finding success

Abigail Newkirk '20 is a speech-language pathology and audiology (SLPA) major who starts every day around 5:30 a.m. Newkirk thrives in a "go-go-go" lifestyle, and she wouldn't have it any other way.

Trent Mast '21

Developing career skills

“When I got here, I didn’t even know what convergent media was. I learned so much so fast.” Learning about all approaches to media—from video to social media, is a strength of the program.

Heather McConnaughey ’20 with professor Michael Barret

Research for Midwestern

Heather McConnaughey '20, a criminal justice and sociology double major from Pioneer, Ohio, recently presented her research at the Midwestern Criminal Justice Association's annual meeting in Chicago.

Growing through music

Kenzie Newberry '20, a music education major from Defiance, Ohio, was initially drawn to Bluffton University because of the music program. Newberry is thankful for the growth the program has helped her achieve.

Kai Smith '22

Finding his niche

I feel like there’s a healing property in almost all art. I’d like to be a healer; I think it’s one of my talents.”

With the encouragement by her professor, Dani Easterday '20 has set a goal of becoming a writing therapist.

Writing for therapy

By combining her passions, Dani Easterday '20, a writing major with minors in English and psychology, has a unique plan for life after college.

Levi Elsea

Competitive internship

For the third year in a row, a Bluffton University student, Levi Elsea ’20 was selected to participate in a two and a half month highly competitive internship with Purdue University’s Department of Nutrition Science.

Ginesha Robinson '21

Experience led growth

I learned a lot about myself which was the best part. In D.C. I had to handle a lot of things on my own. It was good preparation for the future.”

Sienna Sullivan '21

Aspiring Lawyer

Sienna Sullivan '21, a criminal justice major, spent her summer in the Ohio Public Defender's Office interning with the Criminal Investigation and Mitigation specialist team for death penalty cases.

Patrick Spillman '21

Sports and business

I definitely feel like I'm pursuing the correct degree for what I want to do. [The internship] solidified that I am on the right track, and I'm thankful for the requirement."

Beavers All Adam Duncan '20

Career path in human resources

For Adam Duncan '20 a business administration and marketing double major the key to succeeding in college is time management.

Amryn Dover

Junior ready to lead

As the oldest of six children, Amryn Dover '21 knew from an early age she wanted to work with kids. "Being the oldest child, I watched my siblings grow," said Dover. "It really influenced me to pursue this major. I always loved helping them learn new things."

Kevin Gregory and women's soccer team leaders

Bluffton women's soccer

At Bluffton, it's all about relationships, and the women's soccer team is no exception. "Team chemistry is probably our strongest asset right now," said Kevin Gregory, head women's soccer coach.

Jenny Dorsey explored her future through the Ministry Inquiry Program.

Ministry Inquiry Program

Jenny Dorsey confirmed her call while interning this summer at Sharon Mennonite Church through the Ministry Inquiry Program. "This is definitely the right path for me."

Dylan Shaffer '20

Internship connects Bluffton senior, alumnus

"This is an opportunity to put to use what I'm studying and to determine what I want to do for the rest of my life."

Bluffton University social work major Andrew Sluss is interning at CASA of Allen and Putnam Counties.

Summer internship

Andrew Sluss, a social work major, is interning at CASA of Allen and Putnam Counties. The agency trains volunteers to intervene on the behalf of abused and neglected children in the court system.

Ryan Oostland ’20, a mathematics major and computer science minor, is collaborating with Dr. Stephen Harnish, professor of mathematics, on a research project through the XSEDE EMPOWER Program

Senior and professor collaborate on research

"I really appreciate that the Mennonite schools have strong communities and deliberate community building on campus, and the small student-to-faculty ratio is really nice."

Caroline Schutz, admissions intern

Learn and Earn

"Working [on campus] has helped me establish accountability, team work and conflict management skills. It's shown me how connecting with people and building relationships can propel you forward."

Holly Metzger '05 builds relationships on campus and abroad

Enrollment counselor builds relationships

As a volunteer for World Vision, a humanitarian aid, development and advocacy organization, Holly Metzger '05 is living out the values instilled during her Bluffton education.

Elizabeth Luersman ’19 took advantage of Bluffton University’s small-school atmosphere and will start her journey as an art teacher in the fall at Lima Central Catholic High School.

Big Opportunities for Art Major

"I liked the smaller class sizes and both the education department and the art department are great here. It just felt right."

OCCJE Outstanding Undergraduate Criminal Justice Student

Student of the year

Melanie Moon, a double major in criminal justice and social work, received the Outstanding Undergraduate Criminal Justice Student Award from the Ohio Council of Criminal Justice Education for 2019.

Recently offered a full time position, Thomas Wagler will transition from quality intern to quality systems specialist.

From internship to career

Thomas Wagler '19, a biology major from Bloomdale, Ohio, is currently finishing an internship with Wannemacher Enterprises. He is also looking toward a bright future with the company.

Isaac Zickafoose, Distinguished scholar in sport and recreation leadership and Outstanding Senior Male Athlete of the Year

Changed trajectory

I realized that you need to surround yourself with people who have the same goals as you and who push you to be better."

Considering that there’s not really a chemistry and physics education licensure here, Bluffton has worked with me to ensure that I am prepared to find a teaching job after graduation.”

Ethan Zaerr '20

Considering that there’s not really a chemistry and physics education licensure here, Bluffton has worked with me to ensure that I am prepared to find a teaching job after graduation.”

Meghan Gibson ’19, a music major with a concentration in performance studies

Break a leg

"If you're going to do musical theater, and most music in general, you want to go where the business is. So for the business of musical theatre, that's Broadway."

Early childhood education major Makayla Noble '19

It's all about relationships

I talked to the professors and felt like they were really knowledgeable and cared about their students. As a future educator, that's what I want to do as well, so Bluffton is a good fit."

Jenn Hiester MBA '16, director of quality for Mercy Health St. Anne Hospital, Toledo

Set up to succeed

Bluffton's MBA was a fantastic complement to my nursing background.The professors taught me how to be a leader and gave me the educational advantage I didn't have before."

Spring break 2019 in southern Michigan

Spring break service

"Many of the close relationships I've made in college have started during volunteer trips through SERVE. Taking part in events like our spring break trip helps you meet many new people."

Siblings Omar and Keturah Warlick both were drawn to Bluffton because of its welcoming atmosphere, campus size and the ability to continue their athletic ambitions.

Sibling support

"I came to Bluffton for the small campus. And of course, because my sister came here." Omar and Keturah Warlick, who both run sprints on the track team, have grown closer while finding their own paths.

Obi Martin '20

Curating poetry

Obi Martin '20, an English major from Juniata County, Pa., maintains, with friends, an online poetry journal that offers a voice to conservative Mennonite and Anabaptist writers.

Abbi McCormick '19

Ready to stand out

Abbi McCormick '19, a psychology and sociology double major, has spent the last four years developing the skills and confidence to pursue a master's in mental health counseling following graduation.

Casey Clark '19, a biology major from Lima, Ohio, will further her interest in orthopedics following graduation. The senior was recently accepted into Marietta College's physician's assistant program.

Casey Clark '19

Casey Clark '19, a biology major from Lima, Ohio, will further her interest in orthopedics following graduation. The senior was recently accepted into Marietta College's physician's assistant program.

Senior Jeff Arnett

Building community with esports

My dream is for the organization to be a place where people can get together, compete, play, mingle with each other and bridge every group on campus."

Having been adopted and involved with social services growing up, Keyon Camden drew a connection between his desire to help others and his own personal experience.

Keyon Camden

Keyon Camden started as a music major but realized his calling was in helping others in a more direct way. Transitioning to social work, for him, was the best decision he's made in college.

Congratulations to the latest revealed members of the J. Denny and Jenny family: Takayla Gadberry, Cara Echols, Jena O'Brien and Amryn Dover.

And J Denny is...

Another generation of Beavers have concluded their mascot mission and are preparing to tuck away their tails. Let's learn about the newly-identified Beavers.

Jena O'Brien:

Embracing opportunities

Senior public relation major Jena O'Brien came to Bluffton for the academic support. Four years later she says the opportunities provided have equipped her for the job market and for life.

Senior Justis Dowdy drives the lane for the Beavers.

Prepared for the future

"I'm ready to start looking for jobs," said Justis Dowdy, a senior sports management major and member of the men's basketball team. "I feel prepared and I owe a lot of that to Coach Neal."

After two years studying to be an intervention specialist, Aryn Preston realized social work better aligned with her goals, changed her major and will still graduate on time.

Paying it forward

Aryn Preston understands the importance of advocacy and mentorship. With the desire to extend support to others, she changed her major to social work half-way through her college career.

While at Bluffton for just two years, Michael is getting the most out of his Bluffton experience. He plans to graduate in May and is applying to graduate schools for physical therapy.


While at Bluffton for just two years, Michael is getting the most out of his Bluffton experience. He plans to graduate in May and is applying to graduate schools for physical therapy.

Hannah McBride connects with music during Chapel. “That’s when I feel the closest to God, and I realized I want to do that as a job.”

Hannah McBride

Hannah McBride connects with music during Chapel. “That’s when I feel the closest to God, and I realized I want to do that as a job.”

Environmental sociology

"I'm looking at the effects of waste--especially paper waste--how it biodegrades, and then I'm researching students' attitudes toward recycling." Alicia Loch's year-long research project combines her majors--biology and sociology.

Paige Lawhorn

Making a difference

"I want to make a difference and do something different every single day. With nursing you get that." Sophomore Paige Lawhorn is doing just that as an STNA working at a nursing home near campus.

Ben Black transferred to Bluffton as a chemistry major, but soon added both physics and mathematics mjors. When the pre-engineering major was offered, Black figured why not add one more.

Ben Black '19

Ben Black transferred to Bluffton as a chemistry major, but soon added physics and mathematics majors. When the pre-engineering major was offered, Black figured why not add one more.

There are so many people on this campus who have helped me. Without them, I wouldn’t be where I am today or where I’ll be five, ten years from now.”

Tough love

There are so many people on this campus who have helped me. Without them, I wouldn’t be where I am today or where I’ll be five, ten years from now.”

Jarod Siekman

Jarod Siekman

"I think there's a lot of cool math ideas that you can teach students even if it doesn't really apply to the curriculum." Such as Mayan numerical concepts explored during a cross cultural experience.

Nutrition and dietetics major Alexa Lammers spent 10 weeks over the summer immersing herself in a highly competitive internship with Purdue University's Department of Nutrition Science.

Competitive internship

The summer between your junior and senior year is a really crucial time to do something to promote yourself and get extra experience someone else might not have.

Hannah Brown '19, a nutrition and dietetics senior, stepped out of her comfort zone and her academic discipline to complete a cross-cultural experience through a three-week BCA Study Abroad program.


Hannah Brown '19, a nutrition and dietetics senior, stepped out of her comfort zone and her academic discipline to complete a cross-cultural experience through a three-week BCA Study Abroad program.

Jayden Groppi '19, spent his summer exploring culture and self, both locally and abroad. After returning from a three-week experience in South America, Groppi began a summer internship with Lima Community Church of the Nazarene.

Jayden Groppi '19

Jayden Groppi '19, spent his summer exploring culture and self, both locally and abroad.

Designs created by a member of the class of 2019 are now being seen by prospective members of Bluffton's class of 2023. Emily Griffioen, a senior graphic design major, spent the summer as a student worker in Bluffton's public relations office.

Bluffton PR intern

I got a feel for what doing graphic design full time is like. I learned a lot. It’s a little extra verification that this is what I want to do when I graduate.”

Joshua Ehlers ’19 spent his summer in the heart of Washington D.C., learning about the economic divide on each half of the Anacostia River. Through classes and internship opportunities, Ehlers served the community, gained first-hand experience and explored social diversity while participating in the Washington Community Scholars’ Center.


Joshua Ehlers ’19 spent his summer in the heart of Washington D.C., learning about the economic divide on each half of the Anacostia River.

Utilizing Bluffton's core value of discovery, Timothy Bender '20, a history and biblical and theological studies double major, spent the summer discovering what he wants to do with the rest of his life, with help from Bluffton's Summer Discovery Grant.


Timothy Bender '20 spent the summer discovering what he wants to do with the rest of his life, with help from Bluffton's Summer Discovery Grant.

Psychology and food and nutrition might seem to be two majors with very little in common, but for Becca Starn '19 they are an ideal match. Starn was one of just 24 students selected to participate in Cracker Barrel's paid Summer Scholar Program.


Psychology and food and nutrition might seem to be two majors with very little in common, but for Becca Starn '19 they are an ideal match.


Bluffton University junior Alexis Montemarano started on her journey to becoming a speech-language pathologist in preschool. That's where the SLPA major befriended a classmate who was deaf.

Faculty support

For Seth Regula, a senior music major, making connections on the business side of the music industry is key to his future.

With zip lining, swimming and rock climbing on the daily schedule, Bluffton University senior sport management major Adam Knott found the perfect summer job/internship at Pleasant Hill Outdoor Camp in Perrysville, Ohio.

Adam Knott '19

With zip lining, swimming and rock climbing on the daily schedule, senior sport management major Adam Knott found the perfect summer job/internship at Pleasant Hill Outdoor Camp in Perrysville, Ohio.

Scarlett Purtee, a sophomore criminal justice major at Bluffton University, has dealt with everything from lost cell phones to line jumpers to rowdy night crowds as a security officer at Cedar Point.

Scarlett Purtee '21

Scarlett Purtee, a sophomore criminal justice major, has dealt with everything from lost cell phones to line jumpers to rowdy light night crowds as a security officer at Cedar Point.

Lucas Keller '19

Transfer student Lucas Keller designed his own major, "the sociology of community development," which incorporates classes from sociology, economics and political science.

Destiny Grant '19

Destiny Grant, a psychology major and criminal justice minor from Belle Center, Ohio, came to Bluffton as a nervous freshman.

Bailey Baker '21

At the end of May, Bailey Baker, an early-childhood education and intervention specialist double major from Toledo, Ohio, witnessed the "cutest thing" she had ever seen.

Tyler Avila '18

Ask senior Ty Avila his plans for the future, and he'll tell you, "I have big dreams." He is already making those dreams a reality through a summer job at WPKO.

New accessibility map

The course titled “Historical and Theological Studies: Bible and Disability” introduces students to emerging issues in the field of religious studies.

Alexis Link '21

For Alexis Link '21, sound and color collide in amazing ways due to a sensory condition known as synesthesia.

2017-18 Wit staff

The Witmarsum

Bluffton University's student news organization, "The Witmarsum," has surpassed its content goal by 50 stories this year and has certainly undergone a transformation in the past two years.

Peace book club

During the spring 2018 semester, more than 20 faculty and staff members gathered weekly to discuss the importance of a peaceable vision of education in and beyond Mennonite schools, colleges and universities.

Ryan Golden

Ryan Golden '18

Ryan Golden, a senior from Findlay, Ohio, is standing out on the baseball field for both his batting average and his unique mustache styling.

Micayla Hanover

Micayla Hanover '18

Micayla Hanover '18 traveled more than 3,000 miles to attend Maynooth University in Ireland.

Micah Roberson

Micah Roberson '17

Micah Roberson, one of the most highly decorated football student-athletes in Bluffton history, nearly gave up the dream of going to college.

Mark Bias

Mark Bias

Mark Bias has worked at Bluffton for 11 years and can typically be found in the Bluffton University Event Complex cleaning or managing student workers.

"Bridge" Literary Journal

The second edition of "Bridge: The Bluffton University Literary Journal" is now live.

Emily Short '18

Emily Short wears many hats. She is a bible and theology major with three minors (psychology, sociology, and peace and conflict studies).

Chanhee Hwang '19

For Chanhee Hwang '19, a business administration major, college has been both a rewarding and a challenging time.

Emily Griffith '18

After taking part in three successive internships, senior Emily Griffith, is gaining a lot of experience in the field of accounting.

Kelsey May '20

Kelsey May is jumpstarting her career in the field of nursing with a unique opportunity.

Austin Every '17

Austin Every '17 experienced the opportunity of a lifetime. The information technology major and graphic design minor earned an internship at NASA in Washington D.C.

Maria Hernandez '19

Maria Hernandez, a mathematics and physics double major, is engaging and growing in her Mennonite faith while offering her voice and insight to the community.

Kris Lyons '18

Kris Lyons '18 spent the summer shadowing radiation oncologists at the Cleveland Clinic.

DNA sampling and other work performed by Amstutz

Katelyn Amstutz '19

Katelyn Amstutz, a junior biology major from Dalton, Ohio, spent several weeks this summer analyzing viruses found on Ohio poultry farms and the vaccines that prevent them.

Scott Bergman '06

Scott Bergman '06 is teeing off with Bluffton University once more. Stepping back onto the course, this Bluffton graduate is serving as an assistant coach for the men's golf team.

Jason Summers '19

Jason Summers, an accounting and business administration double major, has spent the last two semesters as well as the summer learning outside of a traditional classroom setting of Bluffton.

Kala Jilani-Pritchett '18

Kala Jilani-Pritchett '18, a psychology major from Dayton, Ohio, took part in an experience this summer that offered insight into her future.

John Parent '18

John Parent '18, a senior English major with a concentration on adolescent/young adult education from Delphos, Ohio, is not only a full-time student at Bluffton.

Katie Keesbury '18

Senior Katie Keesbury found her calling this summer, nearly 5,000 miles away from her hometown of Bryan, Ohio.

Erika Byler

Erika Byler '18

Erika Byler '18, a communication major, found her calling this summer through the Ministry Inquiry Program. It just wasn't the calling most participants find during the program.

Amber Edwards '18

When Amber Edwards had the chance to take a creative writing class, she immediately signed up. Now, two pieces from the class have been published by a literary journal specifically for college writers.

Kevin Williams with J Denny and Jenny

Kevin Williams

Kevin Williams admits what he's most looking forward to is the relationships he will be able to build on campus and within the community.

Sarah Oliver '19

Sarah Oliver '19, a biology major from Lexington, Ohio, came up with the idea for a summer research project from a place where many students come up with ideas--YouTube. She is attempting to hatch ducklings outside of their eggshells.

Karen Klassen Harder

Karen Klassen Harder

Dr. Karen Klassen Harder, professor of business, presented "Images of Leadership" to about 30 business department faculty members at Banaras Hindu University in Varanasi, India.

April Misamore '18

April Misamore '18, a food and nutrition major from Findlay, Ohio, recently received two back-to-back recognitions that emphasize the hard work and dedication she's put into her academics.

Ceramics Students

Bluffton University students who took ceramics in fall 2016 not only created bowls, plates and vases during the semester, they built a kiln to fire their pieces in.

Claire Clay, communications intern for Congressman Jim Jordan

Claire Clay '18

Claire Clay is a big fan of political dramas on television, she got to experience the drama, political intrigue and scandals in real life this fall.

Janean Shannon

Janean Shannon '86

Bluffton alumnae, assistant to the business manager, grandmother of six and nationally and internationally ranked heptathlon medalist Janean (Franklin '86) Shannon continues to conquer.

Bradley Hardesty '20

At 16, many students are focused on getting their licenses and looking forward to their junior year of high school rather than considering their college careers. However, for Bradley Hardesty, college is already a reality.

Eric Beachy

Bluffton University's Eric Beachy, a food and nutrition major from Millersburg, Ohio, has a 15-year plan, and it's ambitious.

Rowena Zuercher '20

Rowena Zuercher '20 took a gap year between high school graduation and her freshman year at Bluffton University to work with the active service groups in Los Angeles.

Adam Craig

Adam Craig, Bluffton's newly-hired golf coach, took an unconventional path to the green. Like one of golf's greats, he didn't pick up the sport until he was a teenager.

Chelsea Zoltowski '18

During the summer of 2016, Chelsea Zoltowski, a chemistry major from Toledo, was part of a team using biomimicry in their study of geckos.

Alicia Rodriguez '16

Just hours after walking across the graduation stage, Alicia Rodriguez '16 boarded a plane for a flight which would take her halfway around the world to Bangladesh.

Meg Short '16

Recent Bluffton University graduate Meg Short '16 from Archbold, Ohio, has undertaken a year of voluntary service work to discover more about the poverty and the conflict that exists within the world.

Blake Hershberger and Guatemalan family

Blake Hershberger '18

During the summer of 2016, Blake Hershberger immersed himself in the Guatemalan culture, living in Guatemala City for a month with the aid of a $1,500 Summer Discovery Grant.

Tyler Rotstein '18

Tyler Rotstein, a junior business administration major and football player, is competitive on the field and on the track, but not the track many might be thinking.

Jamie Lyn Smith

Bluffton University's newest addition to the English faculty is spearheading a new initiative for the university. Jamie Lyn Smith, assistant professor of English, will direct Bluffton's new literary journal.

4-H Queen Madeleine Elwell

Madeleine Elwell '19

When Madeleine Elwell returned to campus for her sophomore year, she packed the typical items, but brought two new items--a sash and tiara as the 2016 Butler County Junior Fair Queen.

Morganne and Grim Reaper

Morganne Faler '19

After 11 years of showing animals through 4-H, this was Morganne Faler's final year of eligibility, she had never won the competition and her hog was named Grim Reaper.

Sherri Winegardner

Sherri Winegardner

Sherri Winegardner '91 is reviving the RN to BSN program she graduated from 25 years ago.

Kenny Beeker

Kenny Beeker '18

Kenny Beeker is delving into the heart and soul of his hometown this summer during a three-month Community Heart and Soul internship.

Dean Walters

Dean Walters '18

Dean Walters traveled, learned a new language and observed the treatment of diseases this summer, as he spent six weeks in Peru completing an immersive Spanish and medicine internship.

Mary Bias

Mary Bias

From clay to cups, Mary Bias has been creating ceramic pieces since the beginning of her senior year at Bluffton. Bias, who lives in Lima, says creating from clay is a way for her to talk to God.

Cara Echols

May Day

The May Day tradition of first-year students dancing around the Maypole holds a great significance for Cara Echols, a dancer who is wearing navy blue this year.

The Knotted Gun sculpture

MCC UN Seminar

Their reasons for going differed, but Bluffton students who traveled to New York City for the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) United Nations Seminar shared a learning experience.

Volleyball bonding

Head volleyball coach Steve Yarnell traveled more than 1,000 miles to cross something off his bucket list.

Carrie Phillips

Carrie Phillips

Carrie Phillips curated an exhibition of Bibles from the 1500s in connection with the August observance of the 175th anniversary of the building of the first Mennonite church in the Bluffton-Pandora area.

Tyson Goings, multicultural student development director

Tyson Goings

Tyson Goings is coming back in order to give back. He hopes to provide the same environment to students that head football coach Carlin Carpenter afforded him years ago.

Phill Talavinia

Phill Talavinia

Phill Talavinia, Bluffton's athletics director, begins his appointment to the five-member NCAA Division III Infractions Appeals Committee in January.

Rebuilding hope

Bluffton's vice president for fiscal affairs spent a week with Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS) repairing homes in Far Rockaway, Queens, New York, for families that had given up hope their homes could be whole again.

Steve Yarnell

Steve Yarnell didn't always want to be a volleyball coach, but 10 years into his tenure at Bluffton, it's working out pretty well.

Matt Friesen

Moving from pastor to professor, Matt Friesen believes that a strong and supportive community lies at the heart of the Anabaptist tradition.

Dan Berger

Professor Dan Berger was a Boy Scout for just a couple years as a kid, but, as an adult, he has rejoined with an enthusiasm he thinks will last well into retirement.

James Grandey

James Grandey

As a member of the Division III Baseball National Committee, James Grandey seeks to foster a better experience for NCAA Division III student-athletes .

Student internships

Two Bluffton students, Matthew McCoy and Daniel Piero, are among 20 nationwide selected for an internship with one of the most powerful supercomputers in the world.

Audra Hammond

For Audra Hammond, physical exercise can be hard to come by. That's why she started a program to encourage herself and her colleagues to get up from their desks and get moving.

Dr. Bob Antibus

The professor of biology serves as a volunteer commissioner at the Johnny Appleseed Metropolitan Park District, and is pleased with the growth he has seen in the Allen County parks' popularity.

Carrie Phillips

Carrie Phillips, archives and special collections librarian, recently celebrated 15 years of healthy brain scans and triumph over a tumor that doctors had found accidentally.