On the Hill: Emily Chadwick

By Morgan Jackson, Features Editor

For all students, the road to deciding what to do after high school is different. Junior family science major Emily Chadwick never expected to be where she is today.

“What lead me to OBU?” Chadwick said. “That’s a funny story. I never had any plans of ever going to college.”

Chadwick was working as a nanny for her brother in the area when they decided to move away.

“I needed to figure out what I was going to do in the next season of my life,” Chadwick said. “I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do. I was friends with a bunch of OBU students, and they were all like ‘Why don’t you come to OBU?’”

Chadwick had all sorts of excuses for not wanting to come to OBU.

These included claims about not being smart enough, or not having a high enough ACT score to be admitted into the school.

Chadwick’s thinking flipped after she found the determination with-in herself to want to be at OBU to learn and grow.

Chadwick was familiar with the OBU community because of her friends and family.

“I’ve always been amazed at and in love with the professors here,” Chadwick said. “Because all of my siblings previously at-tended OBU, I already knew some of them, and I knew that I liked them.”

Chadwick decided on a family science major during her time at OBU.

“I love family science because I love talking about people,” Chadwick said. “I want to know everything about people. I want to know why they do the things that they do, and what they want to do.”

Chadwick has a love for people and making relationships.

“I want to continue to learn and grow myself, while also helping those around me to learn and grow in healthy ways,” Chadwick said. “One of the biggest reasons I love family science is being able to learn about people and how people affect people.”

In the future, Chadwick is thinking about pursuing counseling as a career, though she is currently undecided.

“I really like hearing about people’s problems,” she said. “I like to love on people and listen.”

Chadwick currently works at the Hope House, a Youth and Family Resource Center in Shawnee. Her job involves making sure that kids are doing what they are supposed to be doing, like homework or another activity.

“It’s like babysitting or parenting,” Chadwick said. “It’s a very fluid job. You never know what is going to happen next.”

While the job is often demanding or challenging, Chadwick sees the reward in the eyes of the children she is caring for.

“The most rewarding thing is seeing that the kids are loved and cared for,” Chadwick said. “So, we have two little kids right now, around the ages of eight and nine. They have started asking for hugs. When they first came, they were afraid to ask. But now, they come up to me and look at me and say, ‘I just need a hug.’ It is the sweetest thing, and sometimes it makes me want to cry.”

Chadwick often looks for small ways to share the gospel with the people around her, and often does this by showing love to whoever she is around.

Junior biblical languages major Chloe Stokes has seen firsthand the qualities Chadwick displays. They attend church together at Temple Baptist Church.

“Emily has the unique ability of making everyone feel welcome,” Stokes said. “No one can feel alone when they are around Emily.”

Stokes also appreciates the way that Chadwick affects the people that she is around.

“Emily brings all of the energy to a room!” Stokes said. “Her laugh is contagious, and she is always laughing. Her love for everyone is evident, her friendship is invaluable, and she brings light wherever she goes.”

On The Hill: Jude Balthazar

By Loren Rhoades, Assistant Features Editor

“I want them to not take the land of America for granted,” Jude Balthazar said.
Balthazar is a senior vocal music major from Haiti who spent six years working towards studying music in America.
It all started when he was introduced to associate professor of music, Dr. Louima Lilite in the summer of 2009 at a music camp in Haiti.
“Since being introduced to him it’s been completely different,” Balthazar said. “I don’t think it’s someone I could let go of, for what I am learning and how I am growing.”
Balthazar was studying computer science at the time but wanted to come to the United States, so he asked Lilite if he could help him find a scholarship to come study at OBU or Biola University in California.
Lilite could help, but only with scholarships in the field of music. Thus, starting Balthazar’s career in vocal music.
“I never had a music dream, but one thing I always felt was that I always wanted to be on stage,” Balthazar said.
Before coming to the U.S. Balthazar had to first better his English.
While working on his English proficiency, he was invited to study music at a university in Trinidad and Tobago in 2013.
There he received an artist diploma in music performances.
Once he finished the program in Trinidad and Tobago in 2016, he began the process of applying to OBU.
Dr. Lilite said it was a miracle from God that finally brought Balthazar to the university.
“Loads of prayers were lifted up to God on his behalf,” Lilite said. “Donations were giv-en from all over the place until there was enough funding for the US consulate to grant him a student visa.”
Balthazar said once he arrived everything was completely different than he anticipated, specifically the academic system.
With English being his second language, not everything was easy for him to grasp.
Especially because the English he studied in Trinidad is not the same as it is here.
“Being here I have been in a situation where I have had to learn differently and grow differently,” he said.
Although difficult at first, Balthazar has used the opportunity of being at OBU to his advantage. Lilite said he constantly listens and seeks to take to heart what is taught to him here.
“His singing has blossomed and continues to bless many,” Lilite said. “He spots needs and seeks to meet them. He is much more mature and flexible now than when we first met. In this case, I am grateful to see OBU’s mission at work — true life transformation has occurred in him.”
Balthazar said being at OBU and in the U.S. has taught him that there is a better way to do things, and not only in the aspect of academics and respecting others, but also with his voice.
“I have learned to control myself, I have learned to manage myself and I have learned to let God use me to be a better me,” he said.
Lilite said that Balthazar has impacted his life in many ways and that teaching him has taught him things as well.
“To be able to mold a voice like Jude’s is a tremendous gift from God,” Lilite said. “I am humbled by the numerous ways God shows me His grace and faithfulness as I teach Jude. I grow more knowledgeable of the craft of voice teaching because of my work with him.”
Balthazar is grateful for what he has learned from Lilite and OBU. He wants people to understand that it was not a short journey that got him her, and that they should be thankful for the opportunities that are available to them.
“The reason why I’m here studying music is because I cannot do it how I wanted in my own country,” Balthazar said. “If I could do it how I wanted in my country, I would stay home and be with my family, but in order to get this you need to lose that.”

On the Hill: Kaleigh Reynolds

By Loren Rhoades, Assistant Features Editor

School, workand an autoimmune disease, that is the everyday life of Kaleigh Reynolds.  

Reynolds is a sophomore communication studies major who was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease two weeks before starting her freshman year.   

From the day I was diagnosed to moving in it was a struggle,” she said. “I didn’t have time to process what was going on with my body or to figure out what I could and couldn’t eat before moving to OBU.”  

Crohn’s disease is condition in which the gastrointestinal tract becomes chronically inflamed. Symptoms of the disease include abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea, weight loss, fever, exhaustion, loss of appetite, etc.  

According to the American College of Gastroenterology, there is currently no cure for Crohn’s disease nor an exact cause of the condition. Treatments for the disease only exist in order to alleviate symptoms and to prevent further complications.  

For Reynolds and her family, it is a continual learning process to discover what she can eat, what medications work best and how to use her disease as a tool to help others.  

After living with this disease for a year and a half, I’ve realized that life is short and you can’t control everything that happens to you, but you can control how you respond to it,” she said. “I just try to live every day positively.”   

 The positive outlook that Kaleigh has now isn’t one that has come easily. Crohn’s not only takes a toll on her physically, but also emotionally and spiritually.  

In order to keep up with the physical aspect, she has had two colonoscopies, attends doctors’ appointments every three months, has bloodwork done regularly, meets with a nutritionist and does biweekly self-injections 

“Physically, I’ve overcome a lot from knowing what my body likes, to losing almost 30 pounds due to the loss of nutrients and gaining it all back,” Reynolds said. “I’ve also had to overcome the toll that Crohn’s has on my body like getting fevers out of nowhere and constantly getting up to go to the restroom.”  

Emotionally, both Reynolds and her family were on a rollercoaster ride at the beginning of her journey with Crohn’s.  

“When she was first diagnosed, we had no idea how difficult this disease was,” Reynold’s mother Laurie Reynolds said. “For the first nine months to a year, we felt very helpless and just wanted to take this from her.”   

What made the situation even harder, was that Reynolds and her parents were now living three and a half hours apart. So not only were they having to quickly learn all they could about the disease, but they were having to do it from different states.  

“It’s been very challenging and heartbreaking,” Reynolds father Sean Reynolds said, “but having some distance is teaching her how to manage this on her own.”  

For Reynold’s the most emotionally draining part of her journey with Crohn’s is the lack of confidence she felt in the beginning. She thought no one would want to have a relationship with her or even be near her because of this disease.  

On top of that, she continually has to work on loving herself physically. Since having this disease causes her weight to fluctuate frequently it is sometimes hard for her to love the body she’s been given 

“With my weight jumping up and down the way it does, my mom has had to remind me that, ‘you need to show your body some grace, because your body has been through so much in the past year that this is something you have to be okay with,’” she said.  

Due to the constant pain and suffering she felt in the beginning, Reynolds also questioned why this is a burden that she must bear.  

“When I was first diagnosed, I questioned a lot about what I did to deserve this,” she said. “I was very upset with God because I didn’t feel like I did anything wrong in my life.”  

But as time has passed Reynolds said it continues to make her faith stronger, because she is able to help others through her Crohn’s. Being able to reach out to those in similar situations helps her to trust that the Lord gave her this for a reason.  

“While having it and learning more about it, I’ve just learned that God gave this to me for a reason, because something that could be miserable for me could be a blessing to somebody else,” she said. 

Reynold’s parents said despite the emotional and physical struggle she continues to endure, she never tries to throw in the towel. They said although it’s been difficult, she rarely complains and continues to fight hard every single day.  

“Her faith has stayed strongand for me as her father it is one of the strongest points I have seen in her,” Sean said.  

Both of Reynolds parent said that she inspires them to be better than they werebecause of all she has overcome. They are happy that she’s embracing that this is her story, because it is a message of hope.   

 “Every colonoscopy and every needle punch is a part of her story,” Sean said.  

On the Hill: Mackenzie Camp

By Loren Rhoades, Assistant Features Editor

“There’s not a single person in the world who doesn’t have a relationship”

When it comes to having a particular skill or talent, people usually correlate it with having musical ability or athleticism. There is one student on OBU’s campus who has proven that the ability to build meaningful relationships is also a reputable skill. 

Sophomore family and community service major, Mackenzie Camp, said having relationships that are solid and grounded is one of the main things she has always valued.  

“I love talking about relationships, because there’s not a person in the world who doesn’t have a relationship,” she said.  

She said her main interest in relationships themselves stems from the enjoyment of seeing people get along. She loves helping people to resolve conflict whether it be in friendships or romantic relationships.  

“I think the Lord has gifted me in listening and helping people interact with other people,” Camp said.  

Sophomore English major, Jonathan Soder, said you can see Camp’s interest in people through her want and ability to have meaningful conversation with those around her.  

“She wants to talk about stuff that actually matters,” he said. “It’s refreshing to have someone to talk about what life really is and the difficulties of college with.” 

Camp believes in order to build connections with others that one must be accessible to everyone they are around. She tries to be available to her friends whenever they need her, as well as honest about how she thinks different issues can be solved.  

“I’ve always been good at being relatively real with people, and I think people value that more than they think they do when developing friendships,” Camp said.   

Camp said OBU caters well to how she develops friendships and connections with other people. She said she can’t picture going anywhere else because of the community she gained from going to this university.   

“I’ve always seen community as really important,” she said. “So being at a place that nurtures community well has been great for me.”  

Camp’s heart for community and relationship is rooted in her heart for ministry. Her hope for the future is to work on staff at a church in a counselor position or to go overseas and counsel missionaries stationed there. In doing so, she wants to teach people how to emulate their relationship with Christ in their earthly relationships.  

“For me relationship is an important part of the kingdom because that’s how you build discipleship, community and fellowship,” Camp said, “It’s also what you have with Christ, so why wouldn’t it be important to have relationship with other people who are made in the image of God?”  

She said that if she can help couples and friends to date, marry and better their relationships while also glorifying God, that will be her way of fulfilling what the Lord wants for her life. She wants to not only teach how important relationships are in a person’s life, but also all they have to offer. Specifically, because the forming of a relationship with another person is one way to share the gospel.  

“Since calls to discipleship and things like that are based on relationships, I think there’s so much riding on them that to not pay them any attention is to put the Kingdom of God on a back burner,” Camp said.  

Camp’s goal is to invest in others in such a way that her love for them is evident and that they are able to invest the same type of love into their friends and family.  

“I think the big thing that shows through as Christlikeness in Mackenzie’s approach to friendship, is just her propensity for investment,” Soder said. “She invests in people easily and she demonstrates selflessness that is refreshing to people.”

On the Hill: Student runs towards excellence

By Loren Rhoades, Assistant Features Editor  (Courtesy photo/Evie Carlswell)

Relationships made with others are what help to mold a person’s character while also teaching them how to grow. Whether it be by blood, romantic attraction or friendship, the relationships a person makes largely impacts who they are and who they will become.

Freshman accounting major Evie Carswell is one example of how relationships can impact character. She said throughout her life she has been pushed to work hard in all areas of her relationships including with her parents, friends, teachers, coaches and teammates. She said it has always been a positive push and has made her who she is today.

“I’ve never felt the pressure to perform. It has just been more of an incentive to do what I want to do, and do it for the Lord,” Carswell said.

Carswell is a member of the track team and said one relationship she has been impacted by since joining the team at OBU has been with Coach Ford Mastin. She said his desire for the athletes to strive in all areas of life has been something that has helped her to push through any struggle in college thus far.

“Jumping from high school sports to college sports I expected it to be really hard, which it was. But he has always encouraged me and made the transition easier by being understanding and continuing to put time into me,” she said.

Carswell said the commitment and time she has put into the track team has bettered her. She said that it has taught her how to manage her time and that if others can do it then she can too. She said watching one of her close friends on the team run track while also striving academically helped to push her in both areas as well.

“It pushed me to be a better student,” she said. “I didn’t want to disappoint, and I wanted to be able to handle it because I wanted to get good grades so that I could succeed and go do what I want to do without being held back.”

While being pushed physically and academically, Carswell has also has been taught to work hard spiritually. She has specifically been given this mindset by her mom and dad. She said they both have taught her about different aspects in her faith and have made it possible for her to rely on God in all things.

Carswell said the main lesson taught by her dad has to do with being a hard worker and that hard work does pay off especially when involving Christian character. He has taught her that trust doesn’t come easy, but it is earned when doing the right thing.

She said that her mom has taught her to be strong in all things and not that other people’s opinions don’t matter, but that they don’t define who she is. She said this has taught her a sense of respect and that she has learned to take people as they are, even when it seems as if their opinion doesn’t apply.

“Both of those things shaping me told me that I can grow up and be what I want and no matter where I am as long as I am being a good steward and living the way Christ wants me to live, then I can’t go wrong,” Carswell said.

The many lessons that Carswell has learned throughout her life and relationships have even made an impact on the people around her. Her close friend from home Madeline Sparks said Carswell is a steadfast friend. She said that she is grateful for both the friendship they have, and the ability Carswell has to make those around her feel valued.

“Evie is one of those rare friends that has known me at my best and loved me at my worst. Even though we now live fourteen hours apart, I know I can still count on her,” Sparks said.

Not only has she made an impact on friends from home but also on friends that she has made upon coming to OBU. Freshman nursing major Ansley Biesiadecki said that knowing Evie has been a blessing to her.

“In every area of her life she strives to be the best she can be. She’s loyal to friends and family, she has a solid relationship with God, she has great dedication to track and is diligent with her studies. It’s been an honor to be her friend,” Biesiadecki said.

On the Hill: Student athlete finds calling in medical field through swim

By Loren Rhoades, Assistant Features Editor  (Courtesy photo/Jordan Atkins)

When most people think of athletes, they think of the physical demands. However, there is more to the equation.

Freshman health and human performance major Jordan Atkins is an example of the benefits that can be gained from being an athlete. Atkins is on the swim and dive team and has a drive to succeed in his sport as well as in his college career.

“From the time I first met him when he was seven, I knew Jordan was going to be successful in whatever he did. He is just one of those kids. It has been a true blessing to watch Jordan grow both in and out of the water,” Riptide Aquatics coach Eric Huntsman said.

Atkins started swimming competitively at the age of 13 and soon after found a love for lifeguarding. Lifeguarding is what helped Atkins find his love for medicine. After having to personally see injuries regularly in the pool and having to care for the injured himself, he realized the medical field is where he wanted to be.

He said the main event that led him to the medical field was when he had to backboard someone while working a shift. He said he had the ability to keep the person calm amongst the chaos and that is when he knew it was what he was supposed to do with his life.

“That’s when I figured out I have an ability to relate to people and know how to handle a situation medically and under pressure,” Atkins said. “That’s when I went, ‘wow I need to use that talent that God has given me.’”

Another reason he is interested in the medical field are his own physical afflictions.

At a young age, he had ear infections constantly and one got so bad that it caused his eardrum to rupture. This occurrence led to multiple surgeries, including skin grafts, tubes and an eardrum replacement.

“If any of those surgeries hadn’t have worked, I wouldn’t have been able to swim ever again. So, I’m thankful I’m still able to do that and that it has guided me to the medical field,” Atkins said.

Atkins said that after much research on different areas of the medical field, he has decided that he would like to pursue a career as an anesthesiologist. He said the main reason for this choice is that he found that anesthesiologists have the most ability and flexibility to interact with their patients.

“I want to get to know who I’m working with, because by getting to know them they are more willing to trust me. They are more open to my suggestions, and maybe if they’re not Christian they may be more open to a discussion about it,” Atkins said.

Atkins said his main goal for the future and his profession is to have the ability to make people feel comfortable and to let them know he will do whatever it takes to make sure the best outcome is possible. He wants to let his patients know that it isn’t always going to be his knowledge or understanding that leads to those decisions, but that God always will play a part.

Atkins said a past swim coach has played a big role in that thought process for him, because at every practice he came to he always made it a point to let Atkins and his teammates know that it was his job to help the swimmers get better while bettering himself every day.

“That’s something as an athlete and as a student I relate to because I always want the best for myself and I don’t want to live with mediocrity. I want more out of life than just simplicity,” he said.

This philosophy is one of many lessons that Atkins has learned during his time as an athlete, and he said he is very grateful for it. Being an athlete and being a part of a team has taught him not only how to understand others on a more personal level, but also on how to constantly work on improving himself in whatever he is doing.

“As he furthers his knowledge in the medical field, I know he’ll be able to draw from hard swims, early swims and long practices as he deals with the challenges of the medical profession, and I know he will lean on understanding from the best physician our Lord Jesus Christ,” Atkins’ father Robert said.