Cornerstone University https://www.cornerstone.edu Tue, 17 Nov 2020 14:43:21 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.5.3 Ada Bible Church Partners With Urban Cohort for Continued Financial Support https://www.cornerstone.edu/ada-bible-church-partners-with-urban-cohort-for-continued-financial-support/ Tue, 17 Nov 2020 14:28:00 +0000 https://www.cornerstone.edu/?p=17032 Ada Bible Church recently renewed its generous financial support of Grand Rapids Theological Seminary’s Urban Cohort program for the next four years, a testament to the impact graduate theological education can have and Ada Bible’s recognition of the blessing of the Urban Cohort students at GRTS and in the West Michigan community. “We are so […]

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Ada Bible Church recently renewed its generous financial support of Grand Rapids Theological Seminary’s Urban Cohort program for the next four years, a testament to the impact graduate theological education can have and Ada Bible’s recognition of the blessing of the Urban Cohort students at GRTS and in the West Michigan community.

“We are so pleased that Ada Bible Church has made the strategic decision to continue participation with GRTS,” said Dr. John VerBerkmoes, executive vice president for academics and dean of GRTS. “This grant will empower current and future urban ministry leaders through the Urban Cohort program.”

During the past four years, Ada Bible Church pledged an annual gift to the Urban Cohort program. These funds underwrote program scholarships, supported students who felt called toward urban ministry and provided avenues for bi-vocational urban pastors to continue their seminary education.

Now, Ada Bible Church has committed to give for four more years, including a special contribution toward the Israel, Palestine and Jordan study abroad trip. Led by GRTS professors, this trip occurs every January and includes tours of biblical sites and helps students gain insight into the geography of Scripture.

Initially, trip scholarships were only available for Master of Divinity students at GRTS. According to Rev. Dr. Royce Evans, associate dean of the Urban Cohort, Ada Bible’s gift removes the disparity for Urban Cohort students by providing financial scholarships for them to be able to participate.

“The goal of the Urban Cohort from the very beginning was to make a theological education accessible, affordable and manageable,” Evans said. “This grant ensures that there is no student left behind. Everyone that signs up can go.”

Evans has directed the Urban Cohort for over 10 years and is now the associate dean of the cohort and the executive director of the ministry residency at GRTS. He sees the partnership with Ada as an outstanding opportunity to influence both students and churches in the greater Grand Rapids area.

The proposal was put together by VerBerkmoes and facilitated by Mark Tremaine, advancement advisor for Cornerstone University. They coordinated with both Jeff Manion, senior pastor of Ada Bible Church, and Rich Nibbe, director of church engagement at Ada Bible.

“We at Ada Bible Church love the work GRTS is doing to equip current and next generation leaders of urban churches in our region,” Nibbe said. “As we think about the future of our region, we believe that healthy churches are a key part of the spiritual transformation we are praying for. We believe equipping pastors and ministry leaders is one of the best ways to invest in the health of the church at large. We are grateful to be able to participate in this work.”

This grant is indicative of the ongoing partnership of Ada Bible Church with GRTS and the Urban Cohort program. “In order for a program to have traction, it has to have partners,” Evans said. “It’s about relationship building with our partners that contributes to their ongoing commitment.”

The Israel, Palestine and Jordan trip was canceled for January 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic, but both Evans and VerBerkmoes are thrilled at the opportunity to send a record number of Urban Cohort students on the next trip, where they will see new dimensions of the biblical texts and gain first-hand experience in the land of Scripture.

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Grand Rapids Theological Seminary’s Thursday Evening Bible Class Highlights Justice in Scripture https://www.cornerstone.edu/grand-rapids-theological-seminarys-thursday-evening-bible-class-highlights-justice-in-scripture/ Thu, 12 Nov 2020 13:41:28 +0000 https://www.cornerstone.edu/?p=16735 Throughout fall 2020, Grand Rapids Theological Seminary has focused its annual Thursday Evening Bible Class on the topic of social justice, a topic widely discussed in the public sphere throughout the past spring and summer. The series, titled Biblical Foundations for Justice, is hosted by Dr. Kenneth Reid, assistant professor of systematic and historical theology […]

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Throughout fall 2020, Grand Rapids Theological Seminary has focused its annual Thursday Evening Bible Class on the topic of social justice, a topic widely discussed in the public sphere throughout the past spring and summer.

The series, titled Biblical Foundations for Justice, is hosted by Dr. Kenneth Reid, assistant professor of systematic and historical theology at GRTS. Reid has done extensive research on racial reconciliation and justice theology and uses his expertise to speak into biblical interpretations of what he calls “public justice”—the act of treating people equitably, creating just laws and systems and looking out for the weak and vulnerable.

Reid’s goal for this ongoing series is to open people’s eyes to the current state of our society, misunderstandings in the Christian church regarding justice and the injustice that exists in our world.

“When we think about what the Bible says about justice in light of the current state of the world, we as Christians can give an answer that is different from what psychologists or sociologists might say,” Reid said in his introductory class. “We are able to speak into what God says about justice.”

The class began in October 2020 and will continue through November via Zoom. Each week, Reid will continue to discuss how justice is informed in the “big picture” story of the Bible—creation, fall and redemption—as well as through the “small picture”—individual passages from Genesis to Revelation.

Reid has covered justice as it relates to Mosaic Law and the Old Testament prophets. He will also cover Jesus and justice, justice in the Pauline letters and how justice will inform the end times.

Thursday Evening Bible Class is free, open to the public and does not require registration. To listen to past recordings and tune into upcoming classes, visit the Thursday Evening Bible Class web page.

Learn More

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Cornerstone University Announces Timetable for Presidential Leadership Change https://www.cornerstone.edu/cornerstone-announces-timetable-for-presidential-leadership-change/ Fri, 06 Nov 2020 19:23:25 +0000 https://www.cornerstone.edu/?p=16376 The Cornerstone University Board of Trustees today announced plans for a presidential leadership search. Dr. Joseph M. Stowell, who has served the university as president since 2008, will complete his season as president of the university in May 2021. Subsequently, he will serve in the role of president emeritus. “Our gratitude for Dr. Stowell’s 13 […]

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The Cornerstone University Board of Trustees today announced plans for a presidential leadership search. Dr. Joseph M. Stowell, who has served the university as president since 2008, will complete his season as president of the university in May 2021. Subsequently, he will serve in the role of president emeritus.

“Our gratitude for Dr. Stowell’s 13 years of leadership is immeasurable,” said Carole Bos, chairman of Cornerstone University’s Board of Trustees. “He has enriched the Cornerstone community and the West Michigan community in so many ways. We are delighted to have him continue his support of the ongoing success of Cornerstone University as president emeritus.”

The board has appointed a transition committee to design a comprehensive process toward a successful appointment of its next president.

“We are actively preparing for the next season of growth and the advancement of our mission,” added Bos. “We will continue to provide a rigorous Christ-centered academic learning environment where students flourish in their pursuit of fruitful lifelong outcomes.”

Under Stowell’s leadership, Cornerstone has resolutely established its identity, mission and vision as a Christ-centered university while restructuring its academic leadership and adding several new academic programs responsive to the changing marketplace, including undergrad programs in nursing, engineering and innovation along with graduate degrees in leadership and social justice. Meanwhile, the past decade has seen the university campus add over $40 million in new campus buildings and improvements. The $15.5 million Jack and Mary De Witt Center for Science and Technology opened in January 2019, a new broadcast facility was completed this past summer for WCSG Radio, and a renovated health sciences building will debut in 2021.

“My wife, Martie, and I have been honored to play a role in the upward trajectory of the university—much of which would not have been possible without the blessing of our God, the contributions of a supportive board of trustees, our gifted faculty, a highly competent administrative team and donors who have embraced our vision,” Stowell said. “I look forward to continuing to serve the unique mission and outstanding students of Cornerstone as president emeritus. I will serve the next president by representing CU in various venues along with continuing to support the vision and forward progress through fundraising activity. It has been, and will continue to be, one of my highest joys to watch our students flourish as they prepare to distinguish themselves in their careers and to be impassioned to influence their cultures for Christ and His kingdom. I share the community’s excitement about a new season of growth under the leadership of our next president.”

Stowell has a distinguished career in higher education and church leadership. He served in the pastorate for 16 years before taking the position of president at Moody Bible Institute where he served for 17 years, with oversight of the undergraduate and graduate schools, Moody Publishers and the Moody Broadcasting Network. Following his time at MBI, Stowell served as a teaching pastor in suburban Chicago before he was inaugurated as the 11th president at Cornerstone in early 2008. In West Michigan, Stowell has served on numerous civic boards and committees, including chairing the 2018 Grand Rapids CityFest event with Doug DeVos.

President Stowell’s life is marked by a deep love for Jesus which is reflected in his desire to value people regardless of gender, race or class; to aid the poor and marginalized; to build a strong and vibrant community where the presence of Christ is evident; and to govern and lead in ways that engender mutual confidence and trust.

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PGS’s Center for Student Success Provides Intentional Support for Adult Students https://www.cornerstone.edu/pgss-center-for-student-success-provides-intentional-support-for-adult-students/ Thu, 05 Nov 2020 18:49:51 +0000 https://www.cornerstone.edu/?p=16208 Note: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Center for Student Success currently offers one-on-one appointments exclusively online. Cornerstone University’s newest Center for Student Success demonstrates authentic support that empowers adult students to reach their full potential. The recently launched center at the Professional & Graduate Studies (PGS) division offers resources available to PGS students and […]

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Note: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Center for Student Success currently offers one-on-one appointments exclusively online.

Cornerstone University’s newest Center for Student Success demonstrates authentic support that empowers adult students to reach their full potential. The recently launched center at the Professional & Graduate Studies (PGS) division offers resources available to PGS students and alumni, including writing coaching, career guidance and technology assistance.

This space provides an easy opportunity for students to grow in confidence of their academic and professional success for their degree program and beyond. The center’s coaches continue to offer online appointments through video calls, and the Center for Student Success hopes to return to on-campus opportunities as well in the future.

Dr. Andrea Fryling, assistant director of academic services, assistant professor of English and assistant program director of the Ed.D. at PGS, dreamed of a space where students could receive the individualized support they craved.

“We want to listen and create resources based on what we hear from our students and from our faculty,” Fryling said. “A few years ago, I was teaching a group of students who verbalized their writing anxieties, and it became clear to me that we need to support students more in certain areas. We focus on helping students with writing, career and technology, as those are some of the biggest concerns our students have.”

Since the concept of this dedicated space, the focus has been on identifying and meeting the needs of students through intentional support and relationships.

“The staff here deeply care about our students’ success. Others have also shared this vision, and we’ve been pursuing it, listening and aligning resources. Now, it’s come to fruition.”

A DEDICATED SPACE FOR STUDENTS

Since its grand opening in February, the PGS Center for Student Success has already seen its popularity grow from a positive response from students. The team providing these supportive services includes Fryling; Melissa Canup, assistant director of academic success; Mike Frankey, readmission and retention specialist; and Gloria Truax, educational resource coordinator. With experience and passion for meeting the unique needs of students, each staff member is committed to equipping them to thrive in the classroom and beyond.

“There’s a space students can consistently go, wherever they’re at in their program, to get the help they need,” Fryling said. “We’re so excited for this designated space for students to learn, meet and grow ongoing relationships.”

Beyond students connecting with their team of staff through email or phone, the Center for Student Success provides an opportunity for one-on-one interaction that can help support students in a tangible way.

“I’m excited to be involved with the PGS Center for Student Success because it gives me an opportunity to connect with students,” Canup said. “In my work as an academic adviser, I look for ways to help students succeed academically and equip them to succeed professionally. The Center for Student Success allows us to serve students on a personal level by meeting their individual needs.”

ONE-ON-ONE APPOINTMENTS

The PGS Center for Student Success also offers opportunities for scheduling one-on-one appointments with one of the dedicated team members. To set up an appointment, students can complete an appointment request form found on the university’s My Cornerstone community platform.

With online opportunities, the Center for Student Success is rooted in fostering community so all are equipped to succeed.

“We at PGS care about our student’s success, both academically and personally,” Canup said. “Adult students in accelerated programs often face unique challenges. Our approach is to partner with them to equip them with the skills they need to be successful in the future.”

That passion for empowering students to thrive begins from the first conversation with the enrollment team all the way through graduation and beyond.

“One of the things that I so love about PGS is that each person is here because of our students,” Fryling said. “We want to help them succeed. We want to be part of their journeys by creating a supportive environment.”

While the PGS Center for Student Success is dedicated primarily to serve current students with academic support and other professional development resources, PGS alumni can receive assistance as well upon request.

For more information about the PGS Center for Student Success and the opportunities it offers, email PGSStudentSuccess@cornerstone.edu.

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Cornerstone University Music Education Program Continues to Grow https://www.cornerstone.edu/cornerstone-university-music-education-program-continues-to-grow/ Mon, 02 Nov 2020 20:43:20 +0000 https://www.cornerstone.edu/?p=15864 Careers in music education are growing steadily. According to Study.com, music teaching jobs are expected to increase by 8% through 2028. Cornerstone University’s music education program is ready for that uptick by preparing well-rounded music educators. Cornerstone University’s Communication, Media & Music Division has a robust music education program that continues to grow. Half of […]

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Careers in music education are growing steadily. According to Study.com, music teaching jobs are expected to increase by 8% through 2028. Cornerstone University’s music education program is ready for that uptick by preparing well-rounded music educators.

Cornerstone University’s Communication, Media & Music Division has a robust music education program that continues to grow. Half of the incoming music majors for the 2020-21 academic year will study music education. And that’s no surprise, considering this program has produced several outstanding music directors, including Jonathan Schnicke, who led his Kent City Marching Band to a Michigan Competitive Band Association State Championship. This is the highest honor a marching band can receive in Michigan.

This rigorous program has two sections: the CU core curriculum and, once the student is accepted into the program, both music and education classes. CU offers small class sizes, giving students the unique opportunity to be mentored by their professors and become involved in several musical groups. Chelsea Dykstra (B.Mus. ’20) held leadership positions in both the CU Chorale and Symphonic Winds and even performed with the CU Jazz Ensemble. This fall, she will be student teaching in Jenison Public Schools.

“This program has the most incredible professors and mentors,” Dykstra said of her experience. “It’s a lot of work, but it’s really rewarding.”

The program is designed to provide a well-rounded music education experience to prepare students for a variety of music classes. With the new program structure, students now have an opportunity for greater preparation in choral and instrumental studies and will complete more hours interning in a music classroom.

Upon graduation, students are qualified to receive their teaching certificate in the state of Michigan and do not need any separate endorsements; they are qualified to teach any music subject in the state.

Professor Kayla Cordell, assistant professor of music, and Professor Adam Borst, an adjunct music education faculty member, both have extensive experience teaching music in the K-12 classroom. They recently presented at the MSU New Directions in Music Education conference on music program advocacy and strategies for using state-mandated teacher evaluation systems.

“Our music education faculty stay relevant,” Cordell said. “We engage in current topics, and we have practical experience to share with the students we mentor.”

Cordell said that since many of Cornerstone’s music students grew up in churches, they have diverse talents and interests when it comes to music, whether they played in a worship band or sang in a church choir. That is an important facet of the newly designed program.

“We found that students do not want to be trapped in one track,” Cordell said. “We’ve modeled this program after the needs of the students and the multiple demands of the music education field.”

Learn More

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Cornerstone’s Science Center Receives Recognition for Outstanding Building Design https://www.cornerstone.edu/cornerstones-science-center-receives-recognition-for-outstanding-building-design/ Fri, 30 Oct 2020 16:46:26 +0000 https://www.cornerstone.edu/?p=15744 The Jack and Mary De Witt Center for Science and Technology received distinction in the Educational Interiors Showcase for its outstanding design. This showcase, hosted by SchoolDesigns, highlights architectural excellence in primary schools, colleges and educational institutions. SchoolDesigns recognizes the science center’s innovative structure and flow, as well as its use of space with details […]

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The Jack and Mary De Witt Center for Science and Technology received distinction in the Educational Interiors Showcase for its outstanding design.

This showcase, hosted by SchoolDesigns, highlights architectural excellence in primary schools, colleges and educational institutions. SchoolDesigns recognizes the science center’s innovative structure and flow, as well as its use of space with details like the rain garden and aquarium.

The building, designed by Progressive AE and opened in December 2018, was awarded Outstanding Design in SchoolDesigns’ 2020 American School & University Educational Interiors Showcase. Other schools that were recognized included Emory University in Atlanta, Ga.; The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio; and Flagler College in St. Augustine, Fla.

“From the moment you walk into the De Witt Science Building, you see thoughtful design and planning,” said Dr. Peter Osborn, executive vice president and chief operations officer at Cornerstone. “The use of space, color, texture and natural materials that highlight the goodness of Christ as creator is evident in the state-of-the-art laboratories, student workrooms and common areas. The very design of the building welcomes and drives collaborative interaction between students, faculty and guests.”

This award recognizes Cornerstone’s determination to innovate and adapt to student needs while demonstrating dedication to its mission of serving and educating students for the glory of Christ our Creator.

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CU Alumna Awarded GRBJ’s 2020 “40 Under 40” https://www.cornerstone.edu/cu-alumna-awarded-grbjs-2020-40-under-40/ Wed, 14 Oct 2020 13:49:04 +0000 https://www.cornerstone.edu/?p=14346 For influencers like Aleka C.Thrash (B.S. ’18), authenticity has power. What started as a passion for photography in 2001 has transformed into a thriving platform to inspire and empower others. And her influence has led her to accomplish some amazing things, including being recognized as a “40 Under 40” recipient from the Grand Rapids Business […]

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For influencers like Aleka C.Thrash (B.S. ’18), authenticity has power. What started as a passion for photography in 2001 has transformed into a thriving platform to inspire and empower others. And her influence has led her to accomplish some amazing things, including being recognized as a “40 Under 40” recipient from the Grand Rapids Business Journal.

In the fall of 2020, Thrash and 39 other community leaders and influencers were selected based on personal success and community contributions, according to the GRBJ’s award description. These leaders, all under the age of 40, represent a diverse range of industries, including business, nonprofit, government and social organizations.

Thrash, who earned her bachelor’s degree in 2018 from Cornerstone University, also serves as an enrollment counselor at CU’s Professional & Graduate Studies. Whether enrolling students or teaching how to care for hair, her passion for inspiring and encouraging others makes her a natural fit for this community influencer award.

CREATING BRANDS THAT INSPIRE

With a creative personality and eye for design, Thrash was drawn to photography. In 2010, Thrash began to grow her creative skills and experience by officially launching ACTPhotoMedia. Simultaneously, she learned and researched celebrating the beauty of women and girls through natural hair care. Her lifestyle blog, @NaturallyACT, shares posts about hair care, positive body image and the power of living authentically.

When she taught a natural hair segment at an entrepreneurship seminar, people craved to hear more from her. So, she launched her own series of natural hair how-to events. With a desire to educate others, Thrash also co-founded Kinky Hair Connection, an annual event that supports and celebrates women to embrace who they are, naturally.

As she pursued her own experience and understanding of natural hair, including the use of headwraps through tutorials at events on how to wear them, her platform continued to grow. With encouragement and requests from others, she began selling her own line of headwraps through Wrapped by ACT.

As she launched her business, her audience listened. In 2019, she made it in the top 100 in Start Garden’s 100 Ideas competition. In 2019, she received first place in Spring GR’s pitch entrepreneurship competition.

“All those things showed me that this idea is working and encouraged me to keep going,” she said.

As she researched and learned more about the history and practice of wearing headwraps, she presented her products in a way that went beyond a fashion statement. “There’s a history to headwraps,” she said. “I learned more about what it means today, culturally.”

Like her blog posts, photos and events, these headwraps have meaning behind them. “Everything I do has to have a purpose and meaning,” she said. “Anyone can sell fabric. But I ask myself, why am I selling fabric?” Her brand and messaging inspire women to feel empowered and beautiful, all through expressing their creativity.

Each headwrap design is offered as a limited edition. In addition to satin-lined headwraps, Wrapped by ACT also sells headties and face masks.

BRANDS THAT INSPIRE AUTHENTICITY

From her genuine photo shoots to real-talk blog posts to her heart for teaching and her eye for design in headwraps, Thrash has built her brands on a foundation of authenticity.

Even her brand names and logos represent what she stands for, including her initials and character graphic. And that vulnerability to showcase her life and style is intentional.

“I grew up in a household where being vulnerable and honest was all I knew how to be,” she said.

As Thrash moved to Grand Rapids by herself and faced some difficult seasons alone, she decided to use her experiences to empower and encourage others as they navigate similar challenges.

“When you sit with yourself for that amount of time, you can choose which path to go,” she said. “You can either be sad all the time or you can go and find community and figure out how you’re going to create change. That time alone allowed me to make a decision on how I want to live out my faith and be honest about the things I’m going through.

“Everything I’ve gone through is connected to who God created me to be,” she said. “Then, I can bring someone else to Christ and help someone else through something.”

That sense of authentic living is something Thrash integrates into each and every product, event, post and photo she shares.

“My purpose is to inspire and encourage individuals to live authentically,” she said. “The mission on how I do that is through photography and blogging and different multimedia forms. It all starts with me being authentic, which then hopefully encourages you to be your authentic self without judgment.”

Through her intentionality of being authentic, she hopes that others are encouraged.

“When you put this headwrap on, I want you to feel empowered, encouraged, determined,” she said.

40 UNDER 40 AS A NEXT STEP

With a diverse list of recipients in leadership and entrepreneurship roles across industries, the “40 Under 40” nominations provide the opportunity to celebrate people making a difference in their workplaces and communities.

Thrash says she’s excited that Grand Rapids is taking these steps to share stories of leaders and influencers bringing change in the community and hopes it continues.

While in other years the Grand Rapids’ Business Journal’s “40 Under 40” celebration is held in an in-person party that brings together speakers and influencers, 2020’s celebration looked a little differently. On Oct. 28, 2020, the list of recipients will be shared in a digital format, including 40-second video presentations submitted by each recipient. The profiles will also be featured in the Grand Rapids Business Journal in November.

Photo credit: ACTPhotoMedia

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Cornerstone Enactus’ International Artisan Market Goes Virtual https://www.cornerstone.edu/cornerstone-enactus-international-artisan-market-goes-virtual/ Fri, 02 Oct 2020 15:38:51 +0000 https://www.cornerstone.edu/?p=13840 On Oct. 1, Cornerstone University Enactus launched the website for their annual International Artisan Market, held online this year and open until Oct. 17. This streamlined adaptation of the normal market, which typically takes place inside Cornerstone’s Bernice Hansen Athletic Center, is a departure from other years due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic but an […]

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On Oct. 1, Cornerstone University Enactus launched the website for their annual International Artisan Market, held online this year and open until Oct. 17.

This streamlined adaptation of the normal market, which typically takes place inside Cornerstone’s Bernice Hansen Athletic Center, is a departure from other years due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic but an accessible way for customers to purchase unique, handcrafted goods from small vendors.

“People can expect some of the same vendors from previous years,” said Maddie Marks (B.A. ’21), a member of Enactus at Cornerstone. The International Artisan Market is a project facilitated by Enactus to gain skills in business and entrepreneurship.

Between Oct. 1 and Oct. 17, customers can log on to the market’s Shopify online storefront and browse through products available. Customers can expect to see shops like Laskey Family Farm, Surprised by Hope and Olive and Myrtle Handmade Products.

“It’s just like shopping at the market,” Marks said. “You can pick out what you want from each vendor, and it will be delivered to your door.”

Enactus will ship purchased items throughout the month of October and offer curbside pickup on Saturday, Oct. 31 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Products from the International Artisan Market are handmade, ethically sourced and come from small businesses all around the world.

For more information and to shop the market, visit https://internationalartisanmarket.com.

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Cornerstone Hosts Virtual Employer Training Workshops https://www.cornerstone.edu/cornerstone-hosts-virtual-employer-training-workshops/ Thu, 01 Oct 2020 18:33:46 +0000 https://www.cornerstone.edu/?p=13891 Cornerstone University is proud to partner with the West Michigan community, area higher education institutions and traditional undergraduate students in the pursuit of meaningful work as a host of Virtual Employer Internship Workshops for the 2020-21 academic year. For the third year, Cornerstone hosted an internship training workshop for employers in August; a second workshop […]

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Cornerstone University is proud to partner with the West Michigan community, area higher education institutions and traditional undergraduate students in the pursuit of meaningful work as a host of Virtual Employer Internship Workshops for the 2020-21 academic year.

For the third year, Cornerstone hosted an internship training workshop for employers in August; a second workshop will be offered on March 10, one of eight workshops hosted by West Michigan-based colleges and universities. In past years, the West Michigan Internship Initiative employer training workshops focused on the process of how to start an on-site internship within a company. With the current adjustments workplaces are making in response to COVID-19 , the team decided to discuss how to transition to and facilitate a beneficial virtual internship experience for college students, creating new opportunities for the next generation to build their career skills and resume.

The National Association of Colleges and Employers defines an internship as “a form of experiential learning that integrates knowledge and theory learned in the classroom with practical application and skills development in a professional setting.” NACE empowers students to pursue internships because it “gives students the opportunity to gain valuable applied experience and make connections in professional fields they are considering for career paths; and give employers the opportunity to guide and evaluate talent.”

One of Cornerstone’s main advocates for students seeking internships is Anne Gaertner, senior director of employer relations and internships. Anne works hard to develop, establish and maintain relationships with people and businesses in the area looking to hire Cornerstone students. She also works with faculty partners to teach internship courses and hiring process preparation. Anne is the representative for Cornerstone for the West Michigan Internship Initiative. She is responsible for ongoing meetings, content development, securing employer speakers and promotional efforts.

Anne assisted in making the decision to move the workshop to a virtual format.

“COVID-19 dramatically influences where and how we work, yet it doesn’t change the fact that work is still happening,” Gaertner said. “Society is based on work regardless of the industry. Whether you’re in a clinical role in a health care facility or analyze financials for a client, work still needs to be done and there’s a place for an intern.” She is excited to help empower employers to incorporate young talent into organizational operations.

The training provided fundamental information and tools to help employers create an internship experience for their organization. Whether they are looking for one intern or 20, the workshop is an excellent opportunity to learn more about what qualifies an internship. The workshop is a low risk, high reward opportunity. Attend, learn about internships and start to build one for your organization.

Cornerstone hosted this year’s first Virtual Employer Internship Workshop on Aug. 12 and looks forward to hosting a second workshop on March 10, 2021. Join us for an inside look at flipping the switch to a virtual internship experience.

Register today for this free event.

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Cornerstone Welcomes New Undergraduate and Seminary Faculty for Fall 2020 https://www.cornerstone.edu/cornerstone-welcomes-new-undergraduate-and-seminary-faculty-for-fall-2020/ Wed, 30 Sep 2020 20:52:53 +0000 https://www.cornerstone.edu/?p=13649 This fall, both Cornerstone University’s traditional undergraduate program and Grand Rapids Theological Seminary welcomed new faculty on campus and virtually. With growing needs in nursing, counseling and social work, these new professors are vital resources to the campus community. West Loveland Dr. West Loveland joined the GRTS faculty as an assistant professor of counseling. After […]

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This fall, both Cornerstone University’s traditional undergraduate program and Grand Rapids Theological Seminary welcomed new faculty on campus and virtually. With growing needs in nursing, counseling and social work, these new professors are vital resources to the campus community.

West Loveland

Dr. West Loveland joined the GRTS faculty as an assistant professor of counseling. After completing his undergraduate studies at John Brown University, Loveland received his Master of Science in marriage and family therapy and community counseling there as well. In 2019, he completed his Ph.D. in counseling education and supervision from the University of Arkansas.

Loveland is excited to bring both humility and expertise to the virtual classroom. “I not only love to teach, I love to learn,” Loveland said in a recent interview with GRTS. “One thing that led me to counseling was that factor of growth and change and grace.”

Loveland will be teaching students remotely from his home in Kansas. In his spare time, he enjoys golfing and spending time with family. He is also a marriage and family therapist at Restoration Counseling Services in Joplin, Mo.

Cam Lewis

Professor Cam Lewis joins Cornerstone University’s Communication, Media & Music Division as an assistant professor of film and video production. A familiar face around campus, he has served on staff since 2014 as assistant director of the Center for Academic Media Services (CAMS). Lewis graduated from Cornerstone in 2013 and is nearing completion of his Master of Fine Arts in digital cinema production at National University. Recently, he co-wrote “When Icarus Fell,” an independent film that he also directed the cinematography for. Lewis lives in northeast Grand Rapids with his wife, Jenna, and serves on the tech team at Monroe Community Church.

Maria McCormick

Cornerstone is also pleased to announce its inaugural director of nursing, Dr. Maria McCormick. McCormick has over a decade of nursing experience in long-term care, cardiac step-down, kidney transplant and pediatric nursing. She most recently worked as a pediatric nurse practitioner at the Helen De Vos Emergency Department. McCormick received her undergraduate degrees from Ivy Tech Community College and Kaplan University and her Doctor of Nursing Practice with an emphasis on pediatrics from Grand Valley State University. Her husband, Jim, is an adjunct professor in Cornerstone’s Social Science Division. They have three children—Calvin, Adeline and Silas.

Becky Doane

Additional new undergraduate faculty hires included Professor Becky Doane, assistant professor of social work and director of field education. Doane brings her extensive experience as a clinical social worker and providing clinical supervision at Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services and as a supervisor of two programs within the foster care division at Bethany Christian Services. Doane completed a Master of Social Work at Grand Valley State University and has served Cornerstone as an adjunct in the past.

Eunice Hong

Cornerstone’s Bible, Religion & Ministry Division welcomed Dr. Eunice Hong, who joined the division from Biola University in southern California, where she taught in the graduate department of Cook School of Intercultural Studies. She holds a Ph.D. from Biola University, M.A. from Fuller Theological Seminary and B.A. from Life Pacific College.

Hong is passionate about researching and understanding intercultural and intergenerational conflict, Asian American experiences of race and contextualization strategies across cultures. During her time in California, Hong also served as a pastor at an immigrant Korean church in downtown Los Angeles.

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