Archive for the ‘Feature Stories’ Category

Grace College Announces New Agribusiness Degree Program

Tuesday, March 7th, 2017



Grace College will offer a new agribusiness degree program.  Dr. Bill Katip, president of Grace College, announced the new program today at the Barn & Business Breakfast at the Manahan Orthopaedic Capital Center.   Beginning in the fall of 2017, an associate degree of applied science in agribusiness and a bachelor degree of science in agribusiness will be offered at Grace College in Winona Lake, Ind.  The curriculum will combine science, business and new agriculture courses to provide students with the competencies necessary to run farms and pursue a variety of agriculture careers in today’s marketplace.

“For more than three years we have researched and developed the agribusiness program to best meet the needs of our region and current economy.  We’ve long realized the importance and prominence of agriculture in our county and state; this degree program is our response,” said Dr. Katip.  “We want to prepare the next generation of farm CEOs, CFOs and independent farmers to amply feed of our state, nation and world from right here in Kosciusko County.”

According to the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, agriculture is one of the best fields for new college graduates, offering ample career opportunities, good pay and job satisfaction.  A significant deficit of graduates available to fill agriculture job openings currently exists and, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, “these jobs will only become more important as we continue to develop solutions to feed more than 9 billion people by 2050.[i]

Dr. Jeffrey Fawcett, dean of the School of Business at Grace College, led development of the agribusiness program.  In collaboration with several area agriculture professionals, a relevant curriculum was created for the current marketplace.  “The Grace College program is designed to educate the student with an agriculture background, such as a family farm, who wishes to return home upon graduation to run the family business.  It’s also geared to prepare students for an agriculture business career in jobs such as provider, processor and marketer,” he said.

To augment classroom instruction, a hallmark of the Grace agribusiness program will be real-world preparation through internship experience.  Unique to Grace College, agribusiness students will be required to complete three integrated internships – totaling seven months – to adequately experience the entire growing season.  “We believe it’s imperative that students graduate with a working knowledge of the whole crop cycle,” he said.

The associate degree of applied science in agribusiness will include 60 total hours while the bachelor degree of science in agribusiness will be comprised of 120 hours.  Both degrees will include courses from the liberal arts Grace Core, traditional business classes, science courses and new agribusiness classes such as Agricultural Economics, Ag & Commodity Marketing and Sustaining the Family Business.

“As with all programs at Grace College, our agribusiness program will prepare career-ready students through a Christ-centered curriculum,” stated Katip.  “We are eager to begin this new degree program in partnership with local farms and businesses as we seek to fulfill a significant need in our region.”

To learn more about Grace College and to apply, visit  For questions about the agribusiness program, contact Dr. Fawcett at or 574-372-5100, ext. 6090.


Grace College Awards $2.2 Million at Presidential Scholarship Competition

Monday, March 6th, 2017
This image pictures the high school students who participated in Grace College's 2017 President Scholarship Competition.

This image pictures the high school students who participated in Grace College’s 2017 President Scholarship Competition.


Grace College hosted its 14th-annual Presidential Scholarship Competition (PSC) on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 17 and 18. PSC is an invitation-only scholarship competition for qualifying high school seniors. Invitations are based on academic achievement, with awards ranging from $1,000 scholarships to full tuition. In all, 68 scholarships were awarded totaling over $2.2 million in tuition.

“PSC is one of our biggest events all year,” said Cindy Sisson, vice president of enrollment management and marketing at Grace College. “We enjoy hosting students and parents, helping to make Christ-centered, excellent higher education at Grace College attainable for families.”

Sisson went on to comment about the caliber of this year’s students.  “They were outstanding and impressive.  We had a vigorous competition among the students,” she said.  The contestants numbered 135 from 15 states and Austria. Their average high school GPA was 4.054 with a 1330 average SAT score and a 29 ACT score.

On Friday, participants enjoyed dinner and a program, followed by an opportunity to speak with faculty members. On Saturday, students competed for first prize through an interview and one-hour essay contest.

Six levels of scholarship were awarded.  The 2017 Presidential Scholarship Competition recipients are:

President’s Scholarship: full tuition

Kathryn Bradley of Milford, Ohio


Trustee Scholarship: $80,000 total ($20,000 per year)

Sydney Perry of Valparaiso, Ind.

Kira Riddle of Indianapolis, Ind.


Faculty Scholarship: $68,000 total ($17,000 per year)

Sarah Foster of Wakarusa, Ind.

Zacary Harley of Burbank, Ohio

Daniel Negowski of Bath, Ohio

Abigail Roeder of Sulphur Springs, Ind.

Adelaide Sutter of Springfield, Ohio


Achievement Scholarship: $56,000 ($14,000 per year)

Megan Cardin of Winona Lake, Ind.

Jonathan Clayton of Hartsville, Ind.

Lydia DeBoest of Warsaw, Ind.

Anna Edwards of Liberty Township, Ohio

Liesl Greider of Beach Park, Ill.

Houston Haney of Shipshewana, Ind.

Mackenzie Moeller of Barrington, Ill.

Nicole Samuelson of Wheaton, Ill.

Lauren Scott of Webster Grove, Mo.

Taylor Traut of Brownsburg, Ind.


McClain Scholarship: $48,000 ($12,000 per year)

Emily Anderson of Coos Bay, Ore.

Cooper Beer of Fort Wayne, Ind.

Ashley Beer of Milford, Ind.

Amelia Crabtree of Indianapolis, Ind.

Karyssa Davis of LaGrange, Ind.

Katlyn Downing of Reynoldsburg, Ohio

Brenna Garner of Bristol, Ind.

Kara Godsey of Reynoldsburg, Ohio

Madeline Kearns of Springfield, Ohio

Camryn Kline of Plainfield, Ind.

Elizabeth Manning of Garden City, Mich.

Alayna Maxwell of Buchanan, Mich.

Sierra Perdew of Pittsboro, Ind.

Anna Poel of Aurora, Ill.

Natalie Revesz of Richfield, Ohio

Hannah Rose of New Palestine, Ind.

Madalyn Schrader of Irwin, Ohio

Rachel Starrett of Milford, Ill.

Mara Swankler of Waynesboro, Pa.

Seth Tew of Dayton, Ohio

Katherine Walthour of Mansfield, Ohio


In addition, Winona Merit Scholarships of $4,000 each ($1,000 per year) were awarded to 30 students.

PSC is one part of the robust financial aid program at Grace College.  The college is dedicated to helping families make quality, Christian higher education affordable.  Ninety-nine percent of Grace students receive institutional financial aid.  Through the college’s comprehensive affordability and excellence program, Measure of Grace, tuition decreases by $500 each consecutive year of enrollment, all students receive free textbook rentals and have the option to earn a bachelor’s degree in any of Grace’s 70-plus majors in a three-year accelerated degree program.

For more information about financial aid and scholarships available at Grace, visit, call 866-974-7223 or email


Grace College Welcomes St. Joseph’s College Transfer Students

Friday, March 3rd, 2017


In response to the recent announcement by Saint Joseph’s College that the school will suspend all programs at is Rensselaer campus at the conclusion of this semester, Grace College welcomes St. Joseph’s students to apply to Grace at no cost.  Further, Grace College guarantees that the cost for St. Joseph’s students to transfer to and attend Grace next fall will not exceed their current student contribution to tuition at St. Joseph’s College.

“Grace College wants to help St. Joseph’s students make the fall, 2017 transition to continue their college education as seamless as possible.  We believe many St. Joe students could find Grace to be a familiar and encouraging place to do so,” said Cindy Sisson, vice president of enrollment management and marketing at Grace College.

Grace College is an accredited, Christ-centered institution of higher education located in the historic lakeside town of Winona Lake, Ind. (about two hours northeast of St. Joseph’s College).  Affiliated with the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches, Grace College was founded in 1948.  Today Grace offers more than 70 undergraduate degrees in both traditional four-year and accelerated three-year degree formats.  Grace also offers on-campus and online graduate degrees, associate degrees and a bachelor’s degree completion program.  Grace College commuter sites are located in Indianapolis and in Akron, Ohio.  For more information, visit or call 800-544-7223.  To apply, visit

Grace College Student Wins Institute of Internal Auditors Scholarship

Tuesday, February 28th, 2017
2017 Scholarship Winner - Noel Negowski

Stacey Strack, vice president, and Scott Brown, president of the Fort Wayne chapter of the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA), present Grace College student Noel Negowski with the 2017 IIA scholarship award.


Noel Negowski, daughter of Stephen and Denise Negowski of Bath, Ohio, was recently selected for a $1,000 scholarship at the annual Fort Wayne chapter of the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) student night. Negowski is a junior at Grace College, simultaneously earning her bachelor’s degree in accounting and master’s degree in business administration through Grace’s blended degree program.

This year, 12 students from area colleges competed for the IIA scholarship. “IIA invests in the scholarship competition because we believe it’s an investment for the future of our profession,” said Stacey Strack, senior security and controls adviser at The Mako Group in Ft. Wayne, Ind. Strack is the vice president of IIA’s Ft. Wayne chapter; she also organized the student night competition. “We hope the scholarship provides winners with opportunities they might not have had before,” Strack added.

“This scholarship is such a blessing,” said Negowski. “It couldn’t have come at a better time.” Negowski believes she was chosen for the scholarship because her essay accurately demonstrated her passion for a career in accounting. Negowski aspires to model strength and humility in a challenging work environment in the accounting field upon graduation.

During her time at Grace, Negowski has completed several internship and Applied Learning (APL) experiences. “I did two mini internships last summer at Shields-Blice CPAs, in Fairlawn, Ohio, as a payroll intern and at Lipkin & Co., in Akron, Ohio, as an accounting intern. These counted toward my APL credits,” said Negowski. “This past January, I started at Zimmer Biomet, in Warsaw, Ind., as an international tax intern.”

After college, Negowski plans to take the CPA exam, which will allow her to become licensed as a U.S. Certified Public Accountant. “Hopefully I’ll get to work for a big firm like Erst & Young,” she said. Negowski plans to graduate from Grace in May, 2018, with a bachelor in accounting and master in business administration.

Grace offers an innovative three-year bachelor’s degree program in each of its 70-plus majors which can save students a full quarter off their total college cost.  With the blended degree program, students like Negowski can earn both an undergraduate and graduate degree in just four years.

Career preparation is also a top priority at Grace; the Center for Career Connections at Grace has developed partnerships with more than 250 Hoosier businesses and organizations from which students may choose to apply their classroom learning and explore their desired career path. Using these resources, students complete 12 hours of APL credits necessary for all bachelor’s degrees at Grace. APL experiences help students shape their career aspirations and hone skills learned in the classroom.


Grace Prevails Past Taylor, Advances to Semifinals

Thursday, 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

Tuesday, 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

Tuesday, 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

Friday, 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

Thursday, 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

Thursday, 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