Grace Prevails Past Taylor, Advances to Semifinals

February 23rd, 2017
Vironnica Drake pushing the ball up the floor in the first half during Tuesday's game.

Vironnica Drake pushing the ball up the floor in the first half during Tuesday’s game.

A dominant third quarter lifted Grace’s women’s basketball team to a 66-58 win over Taylor on Tuesday in the quarterfinals of the Crossroads League Tournament.

Vironnica Drake poured in a career-high 23 points to go along with 12 rebounds in a sparkling performance. She was a key figure during Grace’s game-changing third quarter.

The Lady Lancers (15-16) advance to the tournament semifinals and will travel to top-seeded Marian on Friday at 7 p.m.

Grace controlled much of the first half thanks to its muscle on the defensive end and effort on the glass. The Lady Lancers outrebounded Taylor by 11 before halftime, thanks in large part to six offensive boards.

The first quarter started slowly as the sides traded baskets. Taylor ended the quarter with three straight points, but a late hoop from Haley Richardson cut the gap to 12-11.

Chloe Pridgen sparked Grace to start the second quarter with four quick points. The Lady Lancers’ fast-paced attack put Taylor on its heels and lifted Grace to a 19-14 edge, forcing Taylor to burn a timeout.

Grace maintained a slight lead and went into halftime ahead 25-24.

The third quarter belonged to Grace. Drake started the quarter with a 3-pointer, which was a sign of things to come. Drake buried a trio of 3-pointers in the first four minutes of the quarter and provided a steady source of offense.

Pridgen and Richardson propelled the Lady Lancers to a 9-0 run to open up an eight-point lead. 

On the final possession of the quarter, Drake pulled up for a 3-pointer at the top of the key. She drilled her fourth trey of the quarter to beat the buzzer and give Grace a 50-39 lead. Drake’s 12 points nearly outscored Taylor’s 15 combined points in the period.

The Trojans (13-18) still faced a 15-point deficit with 2:15 remaining in the game before producing a valiant comeback. Taylor managed to trim Grace’s cushion down to seven with 31 seconds remaining, but the Lady Lancers made enough free throws to ice the quarterfinal win.

Drake’s 23 points came on 7-of-15 shooting from the floor and 4-of-7 from beyond the arc. Her 12 rebounds were also a career-best mark.

Pridgen had another double-double for Grace, tallying 14 points, 11 boards and 2 blocks in 21 minutes. Richardson was the third Grace player in double figures with 15 points.

Darian Patton finished with 8 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists, and Kelsie Peterson added 2 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists.

Grace only shot 39 percent from the floor as a team, but they held Taylor to 32 percent. The Lady Lancers also held a dominant plus-18 advantage in rebounds.

Grace College Art Students Learn From Professionals

February 21st, 2017
Photo pictures Grace College senior art students and Jeff Junkin (lavender shirt), account executive at New Haven Print & Copy.

Photo pictures Grace College senior art students and Jeff Junkin (lavender shirt), account executive at New Haven Print, during their tour of New Haven Print.

Grace College senior art students recently toured New Haven Print, a leading print company in New Haven, Ind., and met with industry professionals. The second-annual trip was organized and led by Richard Wanjema, assistant professor of visual communication design at Grace.

“The New Haven trip is an excellent opportunity for students to network with potential employers,” Wanjema said. “They get to see where their skills can be applied in the professional world.” While in New Haven, the students received an in-depth explanation of offset and digital print production. They explored project management and organizational processes in a professional setting.

During lunch, the students listened to a panel discussion by eight creative professionals from Fort Wayne, Ind. The panel included Andie Mobley, president of Red Tree Procurement; Dan Mobley, graphic designer at Blue 707; Jennifer Bell, copywriter at JB Wordcraft; Patrick Florea, account executive at JH Specialty; Helge Hinniger, corporate communications manager at Fort Wayne Metals; Craig Dellinger, president and owner at New Haven Print; Jeremy Diller, president at Scenario 77; and Sonya Snellenberger, project manager at Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership.

The panel discussion was followed by a Q&A session. The students inquired about a variety of career-readiness topics including portfolio and resume preparation, marketing and self-promotion, and interviewing techniques.

“The students and I are very thankful for the time and resources provided by these professionals,” said Wanjema.  “Their insight is invaluable as students consider where and how to apply their education after graduation.”

Each of the fifteen participating students are currently completing their final semester at Grace College.  They are working to solidify a portfolio in their area of study and preparing for their senior art and design exhibition this spring.

Grace’s Department of Visual, Performing and Media Arts fuses creativity and worship. The department equips students to use their creativity to communicate in a visual-oriented world, possess technical skills, analyze historical and contemporary works, and demonstrate excellence at all times. Areas of study include art, illustration, media arts, photography, visual communication design and worship arts.

For more information about Grace’s art program, email Richard Wanjema at or call 574-372-5100, ext. 6024.

Grace College Students Succeed in I-69 Collegiate Innovation Challenge

February 21st, 2017
This image pictures participating I-69 Collegiate Innovation Challenge Grace College students (L to R) Emily Guinter, Annette Hammond, Dominic Kimrough, Matt McNeal, and Abbey Hartwinger with Prof. Al Grossnickle.

Participating I-69 Collegiate Innovation Challenge Grace College students (L to R) Emily Guinter, Annette Hammond, Dominic Kimbrough, Matt McNeal, and Abbey Hartwiger with Prof. Al Grossnickle.

Five Grace College business students participated in the tenth annual I-69 Collegiate Innovation Challenge Feb. 10 and 11. The event, hosted by the Grant County Economic Growth Council, took place at the Swan Lake Resort in Plymouth, Ind. Students from Huntington University, Ivy Tech Community College, Taylor University and Indiana Wesleyan University also participated.

The I-69 Collegiate Innovation Challenge brings together university students from along the I-69 corridor for a weekend of innovation, problem solving and entrepreneurship. Five teams competed in the challenge; each team was comprised of a student representative from each participating university. The students were placed into teams Friday afternoon and collaborated for less than 24-hours on a for-profit business solution to the social problem that was selected by the students. The 2017 social problem that the students choose was prison overcrowding.

“This is the second year Grace has participated in the I-69 challenge,” said Al Grossnickle, associate professor of business at Grace College and director of the William P. Gordon Institute for Enterprise Development. “We are proud of our students. They put in a lot of effort and creativity, and it paid off.”

The 2017 winning team included Emily Guinter of Grace College; Kyle Barry of Indiana Wesleyan University; Emma Reese of Huntington University; Jackson Wilcox of Taylor University; and Carson Adams of Ivy Tech Community College. Each student was awarded $500 in gift cards for their business concept, “Design Again,” a business solution that utilizes the creativity of former inmates to produce and market products for small businesses.

The second place team included Matthew McNeal from Grace College. Each member of the second place team won $250 in gift cards for creating “KP Trucking,” a freight moving company that hires, trains and mentors prisoners after their sentences are served. Members of the third place team, including Annette Hammond from Grace, won $100 for creating “Life Loan,” a career-placement and lending organization.

The purpose of the I-69 Collegiate Innovation Challenge is to encourage entrepreneurship among students along the I-69 corridor, provide networking opportunities for students and judges, generate creative ideas, and allow for collaboration between universities. The event was sponsored by each participating university, the Grant County Economic Growth Council, and Indiana Michigan Power.


Lakes Festival Now Accepting Vendor Applications

February 17th, 2017
Curbside participated as a food vendor in the 2016 Northern Indiana Lakes Festival.

Curbside participated as a food vendor in the 2016 Northern Indiana Lakes Festival.

The Center for Lakes & Streams at Grace College is now accepting vendor applications for the 2017 Northern Indiana Lakes Festival this Memorial Day Weekend, May 26-28.

Food and commercial vendors will be located outside at Center Lake Park in Warsaw, Ind. Vendors must be set up from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 27, but can elect to open for the Friday evening concert, Saturday evening events, and Sunday afternoon events. Applications are considered on a first-come, first-served basis.

Both the Commercial Vendor Application and the Food Vendor Pre-Application can be accessed online at

The Lakes Festival is also accepting Education Vendor Applications for education and non-profit organizations with messages that align with the festival’s mission to further lake and stream education in Kosciusko County and beyond.

The 2017 Northern Indiana Lakes Festival will feature a Friday evening concert, Saturday evening fireworks over Center Lake, a kayak race, live entertainment, lake education, and more! Admission is free. More information and activities will be released closer to the festival dates. To learn more about the Northern Indiana Lakes Festival and for most recent activity updates, visit

Grace College to Host Toastmasters Speech Contests

February 16th, 2017

toastmasters_internationalGrace College will host the Area 13 Toastmasters speech contests on Thursday, March 2, at 7 p.m. in McClain Hall room 107.  The Area 13 contest will feature participants who have successfully competed at the club level and advanced to area competition.  The event is open to the public.

The Area 13 International and Evaluation Contests will be held on March 2.  In the International Contest, contestants will present a five-to-seven-minute speech on the topic of their choice. During the Evaluation Contest, contestants will observe a five-to-seven-minute speech and then present a two-to-three-minute evaluation of what they heard.

Contestants represent four area clubs: Warsaw Noon Toastmasters, Maple City Toastmasters, Everence Toastmasters and the Lake City Toastmasters. The Lake City Toastmasters meet regularly at Grace.

“Toastmasters provides a supportive and positive environment where members have the opportunity to develop their communication and leadership skills. Attending a contest is inspiring!” says Jean Wolfe, talent development specialist at Grace College and vice president of education for the Lake City Toastmasters club that meets at Grace College.

Brent Hochstetler, Area 13 director, said, “Contests are exciting opportunities for Toastmasters members. You’d be surprised at the doors that open by developing your speaking skills, both at your local Toastmasters club and at contests like this one.”

Each year thousands of Toastmasters compete in speech contests. Competition begins with club contests, and winners continue competing through the area, division and district levels. The international competition has two additional levels — semifinal and the World Championship of Public Speaking®. The Toastmasters International Convention culminates annually in the final round of the International Speech Contest, where the World Champion of Public Speaking® is chosen. In this event, ten contestants from all over the world deliver five-to-seven-minute speeches that are evaluated by a panel of experienced Toastmasters. After a year of competing in club, area, district and semifinal competitions, these contestants have advanced for the chance to win this prestigious accolade.

Richard Brungardt, president of the Lake City Toastmasters, encourages the community to attend the Area 13 contests on March 2. “The public is also welcome to attend the Lake City club meeting at 5:30 p.m., immediately prior to the contest, to learn more about the club experience,” said Brungardt.  “Find out how Toastmasters can help you!”

Toastmasters International is a worldwide nonprofit educational organization that empowers individuals to become more effective communicators and leaders. Headquartered in Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif., the organization’s membership exceeds 345,000 in more than 15,900 clubs in 142 countries. Since 1924, Toastmasters International has helped people from diverse backgrounds become more confident speakers, communicators and leaders.

To learn more about the Lake City Toastmasters club, visit For general information about Toastmasters, go to and follow @Toastmasters on Twitter.  For information about Grace College, visit or call 574-372-5100.

Grace College Unveils New Athletic Website

February 16th, 2017

Welcome to the new GCLancers.comGrace’s award-winning athletic website took another step forward with the unveiling of the new today.

The website features an enhanced responsive view, providing a similar viewing experience regardless of the device being used. Additionally, the new site is built with a dynamic image and video-based design to better showcase Grace’s teams.

“We are very excited about the new website. The site is a primary source for information and updated communication for Lancer Nation and potential student-athletes,” said Grace Director of Athletics Chad Briscoe. “I appreciate Josh Neuhart‘s dedication to building a website that is cutting edge and has a ‘wow factor’ to display all that the Lord is doing at Grace College.”

The new uses state-of-the-art design to highlight the parts of Grace College that are unique. The athletic website also delivers a slick viewing experience, focusing on strong imagery and video highlights to bring Grace’s fanbase closer to the action than ever before.

Other new features include improved schedule and roster pages, simplified in-site navigation, integrated social media networks and new facilities pages.

“A primary goal with this redesign was to become a dynamic recruiting tool for the next wave of Lancer student-athletes. So we decided to highlight parts of Grace which are distinctive to us, including our outstanding academics, pristine facilities, unique location and our central mission to build champions of character,” said Grace Assistant Athletic Director/SID Josh Neuhart. “Thanks to Chad Briscoe for his support and direction on this project as well as the countless people who served on focus groups during the design phase. We are committed to continue bringing our Lancer fans the same great coverage while also providing cutting-edge design and technology.”

Grace worked closely with SIDEARM Sports during the design process. SIDEARM Sports, a Learfield company, is a leading digital provider and powers over 900 athletic websites. To learn more about the company’s capabilities and its complete collegiate portfolio, visit

DeRenzo Honored for 30 Years on the Mic for the Lancers

February 14th, 2017
Pictured is Paul DeRenzo (in red shirt) and his family during Saturday's surprise ceremony for the longtime "Voice of the Lancers".

Pictured is Paul DeRenzo (in red shirt) and his family during Saturday’s surprise ceremony for the longtime “Voice of the Lancers”.

Longtime Grace College staff Paul DeRenzo was surprised with a ceremony on Saturday, honoring his three decades of service to Grace Athletics.

DeRenzo is in his 30th year doing public address work for Lancer teams. He was shocked at halftime of the men’s basketball game to receive a custom plaque and a surprise from his family at center court.

DeRenzo was met by family members, who were wearing shirts honoring DeRenzo’s 30 years as Grace’s PA announcer. The crowd gave DeRenzo a standing ovation in thanks for his service.

To cap off a memorable day, DeRenzo also was on the mic for the Lancers’ last-second 65-64 win over Spring Arbor.

“Paul puts on a tremendous game-day atmosphere for the Lancers and serves the teams and fans extremely well,” said Grace Director of Athletics Chad Briscoe. “He has a great heart to serve others. We couldn’t be more thrilled to celebrate this milestone, and we are excited for the next 30 years with Paul at the mic.”

Grace College Study Abroad Program Opens World to Student

February 13th, 2017

ianrossIan Ross, resident of Oswego, Ill., is a junior at Grace College studying world languages including biblical Hebrew, French and Spanish.  He is currently studying in Dijon, France, for the spring semester where he will complete his bachelor degree immersed in French culture. “I am taking some language courses along with culture and civic classes, which include a contemporary history and French philosophy,” Ross said.

This is Ross’s second trip studying overseas while pursuing his bachelor degree at Grace College.  Last fall, he was hosted by the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) as he studied Spanish and cultural adaption in Costa Rica for 12 weeks.  Grace has partnered with the CCCU to provide a broader selection of study abroad programs for its students.

Students studying languages, international business and international studies at Grace most often take advantage of study abroad programs.  The opportunity to live and study immersed in another culture significantly adds to the depth and impact of their education.  For Ross, study abroad experiences have refined and guided his decision on the career path to pursue after college.  “I hope to work for a sustainably minded NGO [non-governmental organization], a non-profit or Christian ministry overseas.  Long term, landing a job as an interpreter or translator between two or more languages is my ‘end game,’” he said. “I believe this to be a way I can serve the Lord and be part of the Church during my time on earth.”

Ross strongly encourages prospective students interested in languages to attend Grace. “You are never short of willing and helpful professors,” he said. “They prepare you for the experiences you will have abroad by encouraging self-initiative, creative problem-solving and humility.”

In addition to study abroad opportunities, all undergraduate programs at Grace include a mandatory cross-cultural field experience.  Many students choose to fulfill this requirement through a Go Encounter trip to a variety of destinations including Brazil, Fiji, France, England, Germany, Japan, Romania, South Korea, Cambodia, Uganda, Ireland and many more.   Grace’s faculty lead these seven-to-10-day trips on which students explore native cultures and serve the community.

For more information about study abroad and cross-cultural experiences at Grace College, visit here or call 574-372-5100, ext. 6133.  For questions, email


Grace College Students Vie for Impact Awards

February 10th, 2017
Five of the seven Grace students nominated for the Impact Award. Left to right: Autumn Ogrin, Chloe Mann, Tim Swanson, Marina Tolczyk and Danielle Deal.

Five of the seven Grace students nominated for the Impact Award. Left to right: Autumn Ogrin, Chloe Mann, Tim Swanson, Marina Tolczyk and Danielle Deal.

Grace College was pleased to support seven students nominated for the 11th-annual Indiana INTERNnet (IIN) Impact Awards. The students, all of whom are fulfilling Grace’s applied learning and internship requirements, were chosen based on exemplary work ethic and leadership skills.

IIN is dedicated to celebrating internship, employer and employee excellence. The program is managed by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce. It provides an extensive database to help link employers, students and higher education schools with the best possible internships.  This year, the awards luncheon took place on Feb. 8 at Ivy Tech Corporate College and Culinary Center. There were 50 nominees in all. Tamika Catchings, four-time Olympic Gold Medalist, WDNA All-Star and founder of Catch the Stars foundation, gave the keynote address. The winners were announced during the luncheon.

The nominated Grace students and corresponding internship sites were Danielle Deal, Flagship Enterprise in Anderson, Ind.; Chloe Mann, Centricity Music Label in Nashville, Tenn.; Katie Moheny, Think Pod in Mishawaka, Ind.; Autumn Ogrin, Roberts Brothers Excavating in 3Rivers Mich.; Jacob Kohl Smith, Croasman Properties in Indianapolis, Ind.; Tim Swanson, Grace College Athletic Department in Winona Lake, Ind., and Marina Tolczyk, Arrowhead Gold Club in Wheaton, Ill.

Although none of the Grace nominees received an award, they were honored to attend the event and spoke highly of the internships that led them there. “The most rewarding parts of my work at Roberts Bros. Excavating were the relationships I built,” said Ogrin. “The internship has also given me insight into what to look for in future jobs and what areas I need to grow in.”

Deal also spoke well of her internship experience at Flagship Enterprise Center. “The most rewarding part was contributing to the mission and vision of Flagship. I was able to contribute as a regular employee, not just as an intern,” she said. Deal called the experience “invaluable.”

“We are proud of our students,” said DeeAnna Muraski, associate director of internships and adjunct faculty for the Career Institute at Grace. “They are capable, talented men and women. We believe our applied learning and internship programs effectively develop students’ skillsets for the job market. Career preparation is a top priority at Grace.”

Mann’s mother, Debbie Mann, also attended the event. “I was honored and proud to attend with my daughter,” Mrs. Mann said. “I often hear about what Chloe is doing. But to see the fruits of that labor in action was a blessing!”

Grace College’s applied learning and internship programs are designed to incorporate real-world experience in the college curriculum.  All Grace students are required to complete 12 hours of applied learning credits to earn their bachelor’s degree. Grace’s Center for Career Connections has developed partnerships with more than 250 area businesses and organizations from which students may choose to apply their classroom learning and explore their desired career path.

For more information about Grace’s applied learning and internship programs, visit or call 574-372-5100, ext. 6101.

Boy Scouts of America to Host Food Drive at Grace College

February 9th, 2017
Photo courtesy of Ken Locke.

Photo courtesy of Ken Locke.

The local chapter of the Boy Scouts of America will host “Scouting for America” on Saturday, Feb. 11, at 3 p.m. in the Manahan Orthopaedic Capital Center, 610 Wooster Rd., Winona Lake. The food drive event takes place during the men’s basketball game between the Spring Arbor University Cougars and the Grace College Lancers.

Admission is free to all Boy Scout youth and leaders wearing their uniforms and bringing at least two cans of food per person. The community is also welcome to attend the game and donate canned goods. All food will be given to The Salvation Army Choice Pantry of Kosciusko County. The pantry supplies food on a monthly basis to local, qualifying individuals and families.