ICI President to Resign

December 20th, 2016
Richard Ludwick. Photo from

ICI President Richard Ludwick. Photo from Inside INdiana Business.


Richard Ludwick, the president and chief executive officer of the Independent Colleges of Indiana (ICI), has announced plans to step down and become president of the University of St. Thomas. Since 2010, Ludwick has successfully led ICI through a series of challenges. ICI Board Chair Bill Katip, president of Grace College, gave Ludwick a glowing review in a recent article. The following was published by Inside INdiana Business.

“By any objective measure, we are stronger because of Richard’s leadership,” said ICI Board Chair Bill Katip. “During his seven-year tenure, Indiana’s private colleges have experienced growth in enrollment, student aid, collaboration among our membership, and recognition by policymakers and the public of our educational and financial value to the state.”

Ludwick, who has served in the role since 2010, will step down in June to become president of the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Texas.

The ICI Board of Directors says it will begin a search for Ludwick’s successor after the first of the year.

Ludwick has previously served as provost of Saint Gregory’s University in Oklahoma and vice president for enrollment and student affairs at Albany Law School in New York. At UST, Ludwick will succeed Robert Ivany, a retired Army Major General, who is stepping down after 12 years as president.

For the complete story, click here.


Allyn Decker Named Warsaw Ivy Tech President

December 13th, 2016

Allyn Decker (Photo provided by Ivy Tech)

Former director of the Orthopedic Regulatory and Clinical Affairs graduate program and the Medical Device Quality Management program at Grace College, Allyn Decker will become Ivy Tech’s next president in Warsaw.  An alumnus of both Grace College and Grace Theological Seminary, Decker served in multiple capacities at Grace over the years including chair of the communications department and dual credit administrator.  The following story is from Ink Free News.

Ivy Tech Community College announces the appointment of Allyn Decker as campus president at the Warsaw campus. He will begin his role with the college on Jan. 2.

Decker recently served as director of the Orthopedic Regulatory and Clinical Affairs graduate program, and Medical Device Quality Management program at Grace College. He also brings academic experience in dual credit administration and as chair and faculty member of the Communication department at Grace College.

“(Decker) plans to expand his service to the community where he has strong relationships with community leaders, the orthopedic industry and the banking industry,” said Dr. Thomas Coley, North Central/Northwest Chancellor. “He brings the skills and attitude the Warsaw campus needs to further its efforts for community and student success.”

Decker assumes campus leadership duties from interim president Michael Slavkin.

“I commend Dr. Slavkin for his efforts to maintain campus operations, to support enrollment growth, and to promote outreach into the community,” Dr. Coley said.

For the complete story from Ink Free News, click here.

Grace Students Brighten Local Business with Mural

December 9th, 2016
1.Michelle Sweers and Kaylee Kercher’s mural on the conference room wall at AkzoNobel Powder Coatings.

Michelle Sweers and Kaylee Kercher’s mural on the conference room wall at AkzoNobel Powder Coatings.

Grace College students Kaylee Kercher, resident of Goshen, Ind., and Michelle Sweers, resident of Union, Mich., spent the summer of 2016 creating art at AkzoNobel Powder Coatings in Warsaw, Ind.  After two months of sketching and outlining, and over 100 hours of painting, the duo produced a landscape masterpiece on a conference room wall.

“Employees got to watch the project unfold,” said Deanna Cripe, Powder Coating’s Warsaw buyer. “Day by day, a beautiful sea of tulips with a snowcapped mountain range, and even a windmill, emerged. We are pleased with the result!  Michelle and Kaylee were also very professional; their work impressed our team.”

AkzoNobel Powder Coatings is a world-wide provider of solvent-free spray paint for every surface. Since arriving in 2015, Mojmir Mocek, Warsaw’s Powder Coatings plant manager, has pursued a variety of business improvements. The mural project was Mocek’s inspiration for beautifying the building. Through a partnership with Kim M. Reiff, professor and chair of the Visual, Performing and Media Arts Department at Grace College, Kercher and Sweers were chosen for the job.

“We completely enjoyed creating the mural for Powder Coatings,” said Sweers. “It was so cool to have people walk by and appreciate our work. It was also a great real-world experience and application of our skills.”

(Left to right) Deanna Cripe, Kaylee Kercher, Michelle Sweers, Kim M. Reiff and Mojmir Mocek stand in front of Sweers and Kercher’s final project.

(Left to right) Deanna Cripe, Kaylee Kercher, Michelle Sweers, Kim M. Reiff and Mojmir Mocek stand in front of Sweers and Kercher’s final project.

Kercher, an illustration major, and Sweers, an art major, earned applied learning credit by interning at Powder Coatings. Grace College’s applied learning and internship programs prepare students to enter the workforce after graduation. They supply substantial resume material and experience in the student’s field of interest. Applied learning is required for each academic program at Grace; undergraduate students must earn ten percent of their bachelor’s degree by attaining 12 credit hours of applied learning.  Positions include part-time summer jobs, research projects, cross-cultural field experiences and community service projects.  Applied learning can lead to internships and eventual employment.

For more information about applied learning and internship opportunities with Grace College students, visit grace.edu/resources/center-career-connections or call 574-372-5100, ext. 6101.

Four runners honored as NAIA Scholar-Athletes

December 9th, 2016

Nathan Lane and Emma Mitchell.

Four members of Grace’s cross country team were awarded Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athlete distinction. Emma Mitchell represented Grace’s women’s team as a Scholar-Athlete, and a trio of men (Hunter Reed, Nathan Lane and Tim Drew) were honored on the men’s side.

To become a Scholar-Athlete, a student-athlete must be an upperclassman and maintain a GPA of 3.5.

To see the complete list of women’s Scholar-Athletes, click here.

To see the complete list of men’s Scholar-Athletes, click here.

Pair of All-American nods highlight Lancers’ postseason

December 9th, 2016
John Sands (left) and Cody Boerema.

John Sands (left) and Cody Boerema.

To cap off yet another trip to NCCAA Nationals, Grace’s men’s soccer team was honored with two All-American awards.

Cody Boerema was named NCCAA 2nd Team All-American after his freshman season, and Jon Sands was an NCCAA 3rd Team All-American.

Boerema earned the honor as the catalyst for Grace’s offense for much of the season. He tallied 10 goals to tie for third-most in the Crossroads League.

Sands, who was also named to the NCCAA All-Tournament Team, was one of three players to start all 22 matches. The senior helped secure a formidable defensive line for the Lancers, yielding just 24 goals in all competitions.

Boerema, Sands, Jon Christensen and Damon Binkley were all named to the NCCAA All-Region Team, and Matt Hotchkin was elected the region’s Coach of the Year.

In the classroom, Grace picked up two Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athletes: Christensen and Robbie Barnhill. To become a Scholar-Athlete, a student-athlete must maintain a GPA of 3.5 and achieve upperclassman status.

The Lancers reached the NCCAA National Championship for the fourth time in six years under Hotchkin’s guidance.

Grace College & Seminary Military Program Honored with Designations

December 7th, 2016

Grace College & Seminary’s Military Program was recently awarded two designations: Top Military College from Military Advanced Education & Transition (MAE&T) and Military Friendly School from Victory Media.

“It’s an honor to receive these awards,” said Robert Neufer, veteran’s specialist at Grace College & Seminary. “They help showcase our commitment to aid military and veteran students in achieving their academic goals and fulfilling their life’s calling.”

Grace College & Seminary was chosen as a top school in the 2017 MAE&T “Guide to Colleges & Universities” research study. The award is given to institutions with the best practices in military and veteran education. This is Grace’s second year as a top college.

Grace has been recognized as a Military Friendly School since 2011. This award measures an organization’s level of commitment and success in creating opportunities and positive outcomes for members of the military community. “This designation showcases Grace’s commitment to military, veteran and their dependent students,” says Neufer. The award was given to Grace based on excellence in academic policies, student support, retention and graduation rates, and a military-friendly culture.

“Grace has many academic options,” said Neufer. “Students can earn their degree as a military chaplain, choose from more than 70 undergraduate majors, complete their degree online or enroll in graduate-level theological training.”  Popular military student degrees include accounting, biology, communication and design engineering technology.

A variety of amenities are available at Grace to ensure military students’ comfort and success. The Veteran’s Lounge provides a place for fellowship, study and relaxation. Grace’s Student Veteran Organization gives veterans a voice on campus and provides an opportunity to gather and share ideas.  In addition, Grace offers a recreation and fitness center, academic assistance and counseling services.  “Grace strives to provide military and veteran students with a supportive community of people who ‘get it,’” said Neufer.

Grace College & Seminary employs military-friendly admission and academic policies to ensure that military and veteran students are well-supported.  Grace accepts a variety of military training, course work and exams for college credit and provides the Yellow Ribbon Scholarship to students with 100% eligibility under the Post 9-11 GI Bill.  Neufer, a 24-year Air Force veteran, is on hand to assist military and veteran students with VA benefits and help ensure their academic and personal success in any way possible.

In addition to the main campus in Winona Lake, some degree programs are also offered at two Indianapolis-area locations and fully online.  For more information about Grace’s military program, visit www.grace.edu/militarystudents/ or contact Robert Neufer at 574-372-5100, ext. 6028.


“Art in Action” Column Features Grace’s DeeAnna Muraski

December 6th, 2016
Associate Director of Internships at Grace College, DeeAnna Muraski, beside her art in Indiana Hall.

Associate Director of Internships at Grace College, DeeAnna Muraski, beside her art in Indiana Hall.

DeeAnna Muraski, associate director in the Center for Career Connections at Grace College, recently designed and created four beautiful windows that depict “the light of Christ shining brightly” at the entrance to her office in Indiana Hall.  Muraski used a technique called “gridding” to create the pieces of art, which caught the attention of local art columnist, Darla McCammon.  The following story appeared in InkFree News.

There is an artistic technique that bodes well for the holiday Christmas season. In fact, you can go visit a clever and colorful display exhibiting the technique in Indiana Hall on Grace College’s campus.

I asked Ms. Muraski what gave her the idea and she said, “We had a competition going on to see which department could make the best door decoration. The contest came up while I was on vacation and was over by the time I returned. However, as I kept walking through our un-decorated door I decided to do something! So I created windows reflecting the light of Christ shining brightly for all to enjoy – even myself!”

I admired her windows and said, “These are really good.  Are you an artist?”  That’s when she smiled at me and said, “No.  I modified a technique called gridding.”

Click here to read the complete column in InkFree News.

Grace College to Host Two-Day Blood Drive

December 1st, 2016

Red Cross logoThe Grace College sport management program will host its annual Red Cross blood drive on Thursday and Friday, Dec. 8 and 9, from 12 – 4 p.m. at the Gordon Recreation Center, 100 Publishers Dr., Winona Lake.

Brittany Braun, a senior majoring in sport management, is the blood drive coordinator.  “The drive is open to the public,” said Braun. “Community members are welcome to walk in during our open hours and donate!”

Interested students are advised to sign up in Alpha Dining Commons on Tuesday, Dec. 6 and Wednesday, Dec. 7, during meal times. “Blood drive representatives will be present to help students get a time slot,” said Braun.

She encourages community members and students to participate. “This event helps saves lives,” Braun added.  “When one person donates blood, they have the potential to help save the lives of three others.”

The entire blood donation process takes about an hour; however, the donation itself will only last eight to ten minutes. Eligible donors are required to show a form of ID during registration. Next, certified individuals will check the donor’s temperature, pulse, blood pressure and hemoglobin levels. After the donation is complete, the donor can rest and enjoy a few refreshments before carrying on with their day.

For more information about the blood drive, contact Braun at biglerbe@grace.edu.

Grace College’s Night Market to Provide Alternative Christmas Shopping Experience

November 30th, 2016
The attached photo pictures Night Market 2015.

The attached photo pictures Night Market 2015.

Grace College is pleased to host its third annual Night Market on Friday, Dec. 9, from 2 – 9 p.m. in the Winona Heritage Room, 901 Park Ave, Winona Lake. Night Market is an alternative Christmas shopping experience. Many vendors will be present, including those from local businesses, non-profit organizations and independent artists. Items include home décor, jewelry, clothing, toys and much more.

“Night Market is unique because it allows the community to support local vendors, donate to a variety of causes and give one-of-a-kind gifts,” said Kearstin Criswell, director of student involvement at Grace College. “We’re looking forward to serving Warsaw and Winona Lake through the event again this year.”

Participating organizations and businesses include Grace Refuge Outreach Worldwide (GROW), Creative Women of the World and One World Handcrafts.  These vendors donate a portion of their proceeds to a variety of causes including sex trafficking victims, adoption funding and fair wages for workers.  Other vendors, including many Grace College students, will give a portion of their proceeds to Boomerang Backpacks, a food distribution program for low-income children in northeast Indiana.

Live Christmas music performed by student musicians from Grace will begin at 5 p.m. Rise’n Roll doughnuts will be sold by the single or dozen with proceeds to benefit Boomerang Backpacks. Additionally, individuals and families can pay $3 to pack a backpack for a student in the community. Packing stations will be set up at Night Market for this purpose.

“We encourage parents to bring their kids after school, grab a snack and enjoy the Night Market experience,” said Criswell. “It’s a very family-friendly event.”

For more information about Night Market, email Kearstin Criswell at kearstin.criswell@grace.edu. To learn more about Grace, visit www.grace.edu or call 574-372-5100.

Grace College Sport Management Program Leads to Unique, Fulfilling Career for Recent Grad

November 28th, 2016
Kiera Gray

Grace College graduate Kiera Gray


In the last six years, enrollment in Grace College’s sport management program has quadrupled in size.  While the program has existed for 20 years, in 2010 it joined the Grace College School of Business.  Dr. Darrell Johnson, professor and chair of the sport management department, attributes the program’s growth to diverse concentration options.

Grace’s sport management program focuses on applied learning to prepare students for a variety of career options. Areas of study include sport business, marketing, media, ministry, psychology and event management. “The wide range of study options is unique,” said Johnson. “By combining sports and business, students can pair the sport they enjoy with studies that will prepare them for a rewarding career.”

Kiera Gray, originally from Fort Wayne, Ind., graduated from Grace College in 2012 with a B.A. in Pre-Medicine and Biology. Initially, Gray planned to focus solely on her majors.  But when a basketball injury prevented her from finishing her junior season, Gray stay at Grace another year and earn a sport management minor. “I prayed long and hard for God to lead me in the direction He wanted me to go. It wasn’t until my physical rehabilitation that it clicked.” While completing the sport management program, Gray decided to pursue a career as a physical therapist. “It was my opportunity to combine what I loved: sports and medicine,” Gray said.

In pursuit of her B.A. at Grace, Gray worked in the Gordon Recreation Center on campus for her required practicum experience, as a volunteer for the NCCAA championship tournament in the Manahan Orthopaedic Capital Center and as an intern in a local physical therapy office.  Her course work and applied learning experiences prepared Gray for future success as a business woman and owner of a company.  “My work experience during college added to my resume tremendously and gave me the confidence to pursue the career of my dreams.”

Before graduating, Gray was hired by Concentra Physical Therapy in Michigan as a physical therapy technician.  She was transferred to Atlanta, Ga., a year later, and in total, worked for Concentra for three and one-half years.  During that time, Kiera started her own business, GCA Elite Sports Management, LLC. “My company runs and manages a number of sport and athletic programs, facilities and events in Fort Wayne and Atlanta,” Gray said.

“While my initial plan was to pursue a doctorate of physical therapy after working as a PT technician for a couple years, the profitability of my company shifted my focus to managing my business.  But I haven’t left PT behind for good,” she added.  “The relationships I built with physicians and therapists during my time at Concentra may allow me to add another sector to my business.  I’m excited to see where God takes me next,” Gray concluded.

Kiera Gray is currently pursuing a Master of Business Administration through Grace’s online graduate degree program and plans to complete her degree next year.  To learn more about Grace College’s sport management program, contact Darrell Johnson at dljohnson@grace.edu or call 574-372-5100 ext. 6263. For more about Grace’s online MBA, visit online.grace.edu.