2010 Outstanding New Lutheran Secondary School Educator
Matt McClintock ’08, firmly believes the CUC campus environment shaped him into the person he is today: a 2010 Outstanding New Lutheran Secondary School Educator.
“Concordia is truly an environment conducive to preparing the next generation of students to be Christian leaders,” Matt says.
Matt is in his second year serving at Mayer Lutheran High School in Mayer, Minn. He not only teaches technology and theology, but is also the school’s technology coordinator and yearbook advisor.
In 2008, Matt completed CUC’s Lutheran secondary education program with a major in computer science. While on campus, Matt worked in the Office of Web Services, participated in intramurals, and was a member of a variety of student organizations.
Matt says all of Concordia’s professors and staff members made an impact on his education in some form, and he is unbelievably thankful for those experiences.
Read more about Matt and the professors who inspired him in the May 2010 issue of the University magazine The Forester
Early success in research and academe
Elisabeth Annice Unruh ’09 attributes her achievements and the desire to continue her education to the faculty and staff at CUC.
“The best part of Concordia is the mentoring that comes from the faculty and staff; David Settje, Michelle Morkert ’92 and Andrew Pollom are the greatest. They were amazing by providing a space for me to be challenged,” Elisabeth says.
Elisabeth graduated from CUC in five years with a triple major in history, theology and interdisciplinary women’s studies. Her senior year, Elisabeth presented her paper “Equality Denied: Lutheran Responses to the Equal Rights Amendment” at four different academic conferences around the nation.
Elisabeth is pursuing a master of arts in U.S. history as well as additional graduate certificates including one in women’s studies at Northern Illinois University - all to accomplish her career goal of becoming a professor at a liberal arts college.
Read more about Elisabeth and her accomplishments in the May 2010 issue of the University magazine The Forester
Award paves the way for success
“Concordia University Chicago is large enough to offer lots of opportunities for involvement but small enough that students are able to take true ownership of activities,” says Rachel S. Steele ’06, MA ’09.
Steele, formerly of Red Bud, Ill., majored in political science and minored in theology, communication and mathematics. Steele was very involved in campus activities at CUC, including working as a resident assistant, co-facilitating a freshman freedom and responsibility seminar, serving as president of student government and helping create and lead the Campus Activities Board.
While pursuing her master’s degree in religious studies at CUC, her work as a graduate assistant to former Concordia-Chicago faculty member the Rev. Dr. John Nunes, PhD, resulted in a job offer when Nunes later became president of Lutheran World Relief.
Steele’s responsibilities involve working with The Lutheran Church Missouri Synod and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. She is project coordinator of the Lutheran Malaria Initiative, a campaign aimed at raising $75 million and mobilizing 8 million people toward the containment of malaria in Africa.
Steele currently is pursuing a second master’s degree in social service administration at the University of Chicago, and is interning at Elam Davies Social Service Center in Chicago where she facilitates group therapy for homeless men.
Read more about Rachel and the impact of receiving the Student Servant Leadership Award and Scholarship in the May 2010 issue of the University magazine The Forester
Concordia Alumni Fit for Careers in Exercise Science
Concordia University Chicago graduates, Julianne Schefke, '07, John R. Reynolds, '05 and Aaron Kuester, '05 turned their interests of fitness and sports into a successful career at Chicago-based Advocate Health Care. All former students completed a BA in exercise science at CUC and are now working in the division, Advocate Fitness.
“It was definitely helpful to have come from Concordia,” said Reynolds. “I fit right into the job culture at Advocate.” A career at Advocate, whose faith-based mission and values relate to compassion, equality, excellence, partnership and stewardship, has been a natural fit for Concordia graduates.
Each student credits field experience, professors, and former student connections to their success. Alumni completed practicums with Gottlieb Health and Fitness Center in Melrose Park, Ill., Cardinal Fitness in West Chicago, Ill., the Berwyn YMCA and AlthetiCo in River Grove, Ill. For Schefke, the hands-on experience she gained was the “saving grace” that helped her stand out among other applicants during her post-graduation job search.
Guidance provided inside and outside the classroom by professors such as Dr. William (Bill) Duey, professor of human performances, Sue Walsh, assistant professor of human performance, and Dr. Lois Klatt, emeritus professor of human performance, helped each student during their post-graduation job searches. Dr. Duey continues to stay in contact with the three Concordia alumni as they progress in the careers demonstrating the essence of Concordia faculty commitment to helping students beyond the classroom.
Concordia and Advocate have enjoyed a mutually beneficial relationship since 2002, when student Carrie Fatz, '05 participated in an internship at Advocate and opened the door for future Concordia students. Currently, seven Concordia exercise science graduates are working with the Advocate organization.
Looking ahead, Schefke is interested in eventually moving into the corporate management sector of Advocate; Reynolds would like to continue in his role as manager, hoping one day to work in a community relations capacity. Kuester enjoys working in the area of rehabilitation and recovery from injuries and is pursuing an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) certification.
Making a Concordia – Chicago Impact in Global Communities
The streets of Bangkok are noisy and loud, filled with people, music, and vehicles – it’s something that Betsy Karkan ’08 and Sarah Longmire ’08 have recently gotten used to. Both came to Thailand in August 2008 as two of Concordia’s most recent deaconess program graduates.
“I have been able to participate in Bible studies, paint schools and churches, play with and love numerous kids, witness a hill tribe baptism and worship in three languages,” said Karkan.
Karkan works full time as a service coordinator for The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod/Concordia Welfare and Educational Foundation-Thailand (CWEFT) office. She plans and implements new programs and leads short-term teams with community needs assessments.
Longmire works full time at the Concordia Daycare Center in the Ban Na slum community of Bangkok. She is involved in day care and teaches English and Bible studies to more than 30 students.
Kakran’s experience at Concordia University Chicago prepared her for her call in Thailand by broadening her worldview. “[CUC brought] the service of others into perspective. The University also taught me about community. Whether I was in the dorm, at class, in chapel, working at CougarNet or going to Steak n’ Shake at midnight, I learned that we as Christians are never alone.”
Connecting a World-Class Education with a World Class City
While at Concordia University Chicago, Scott Styck ’08 put his education to work by interning and volunteering in the City of Chicago. His hard work paid off. Smith, Koelling, Dykstra and Ohm, P.C. – one of the locations he interned with offered him a full-time job after graduation. How did Styck do it?
Each summer break from college, Styck interned at Smith Koelling, Dykstra and Ohm, P.C. in Kankakee, Ill., or at Bansley and Kiener, LLP in Chicago. He applied concepts and theories from his business classes to the hands on experience of auditing school districts, townships, multi-million dollar family businesses and Illinois counties.
Styck gained additional skills at CUC through service learning. He volunteered at the Center for Economic Progress in Chicago with Professor Bruce Larson, helping low-income families and individuals file their taxes. “I enjoyed my time at the Center, because I get to be a part of a human experience different that what I’m used to,” said Styck.
Styck credits his success to hard work and guidance from Concordia University Chicago faculty. “Professors Bruce Larson and Marnee Fieldman come to the classroom directly from the workforce, and share their personal experiences with the class. It really helps to explain the course concepts better when you have faculty who have actually done the work in the real world.”