Huntington University is on the 14th season of NBC’s The Voice. Christiana Danielle Hicks, a 2017 graduate in sociology, was the first contestant in the March 5 blind auditions. Three of the coaches buzzed in on her–Adam Levine, Kelly Clarkson, and Alicia Keys. She chose to be coached by Alicia Keys.

On campus at Huntington University, students gathered in the HUB for a watch party with each broadcast (the blind auditions were also held February 26 and 27).

2016 Homecoming king and queen Christiana Danielle Hicks and Andrew Dean.

Christiana was an outstanding student and athlete at Huntington University. She was a member of Joyful Noise, the worship team that led chapel services. She was the 2016 Homecoming Queen. And she represented HU as a Frontline Forester, a select group of students who represent the university in various contexts.

Christiana holds several HU track-and-field records. She was an NAIA All-American in the triple jump in both 2016 and 2017. She holds the school record in the triple jump (indoor and outdoor), and the indoor record in the 60 meters and 200 meters. She competed in the NAIA national meet all four years.

For the blind audition on The Voice, Christiana sang Drake’s “Hotline Bling.” Adam Levine, Alicia Keys, and Kelly Clarkson all praised her as they pled to be her coach. Levine, who buzzed in almost immediately, described Danielle as “one of the greatest gifts we have been given on this show.”

Said Keys, “I cannot even contain myself from the way that you make us feel. It is crazy. What you just did was so exciting for music. I feel like you just brought Ella Fitzgerald in with you through Drake….I would love to be your coach. It would be a dream come true.”

Clarkson said, “It does not matter who you pick, you can win this show.” Christiana chose Alicia Keys, who was also a coach on seasons 11 and 12 (and won season 12 with Chris Blue).

There’s still a week of blind auditions, so Christiana won’t be seen for a couple of weeks. If she keeps advancing, viewers will eventually be able to cast votes for her.

Christiana is from Fort Wayne, Ind., as was Addison Agen, the previous season’s runner-up.

Members of the Huntington University women’s softball and women’s soccer teams spent a week helping build a community center in La Mision, a town located on Mexico’s Baja peninsula. The community center, which is attached to a medical center, is scheduled to open this summer.

There were actually two trips. Seven members of the softball team went January 6-13. Then 17 soccer players went January 13-20.

Spearheading the trips, and taking part in both along with her husband and sons, was Amanda Burge, coach of the women’s cocer team.

The teams also spent time ministering to people who live in a dump in Tijuana, and participating in a church service at a wall separating the US and Mexico.

You can read more about the trip here.

Shushan Richardson uses a vowel sound dominoes game to teach pronunciation during a monthly English Teacher’s Round-table event hosted by the U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou, China.

A Huntington University graduate is among 140 persons selected by the US State Department for a ten-month English Language Fellow project. Shushan Richardson is spending the 2017-2018 year training English teachers at South China Normal University in China.

Richardson graduated from HU in 2016 with a master’s in education and in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages).

Since 1969, the English Language Fellow Program has been a premier international exchange program. Through projects developed by US Embassies in more than 80 countries, Fellows conduct teacher training, teach English, develop resources, and organize events and conferences.

“Teachers of English are often viewed as ambassadors of their cultures, countries, language, and more,” said Shoshannah Hernandez, Huntington University’s Director of the Institute for TESOL Studies. “This opportunity puts Shushan in an official role as a representative of our country and our university. We are proud to have her represent us through teaching English and training other teachers during this year as a Fellow.”

Lori Culler coaching her team.

Lori Culler, coach of the Lady Foresters, has been cited as the winningest active women’s basketball coach in NAIA Division II. She has accumulated 560 wins over the last 31 years for a win percentage of .607. She has now begun her 31st year as coach, and the team is off to a 4-1 start.

L-r: Garry, Lois, and Bobby Culler.

Lori is the daughter of Rev. Garry and Lois Culler, a long-time ministerial couple in Pennsylvania. Garry is currently Congregational Care Pastor at Mount Pleasant UB church in Chambersburg, Pa. Lori’s brother, Bobby, is youth pastor of Mount Pleasant.

Lori’s teams have racked up these accomplishments:

  • NCCAA national championships in 1991 and 1992.
  • 23 winning seasons, with an average of 18 wins per season.
  • Seven conference titles, with five teams going undefeated in the conference.
  • Six trips to the NAIA national tournament, finishing in the Sweet Sixteen three times.
  • 29 players named as NAIA or NCCAA all-Americans.
  • 70 players named to all-conference teams.
  • Two conference Players of the Year: Amy Bechtel (1999) and Miranda Palmer (2017).

In addition to coaching, Lori Culler has been the Huntington University athletic director 1995-2001 and 2009 to the present. She graduated from HU in 1986, having starred on the 1984 NCCAA national championship basketball team.

Twice, Culler was named NCCAA National Coach of the Year, and she has been the conference Coach of the Year nine times. In October 2006, she was inducted into HU’s Athletic Hall of Fame.

David Phelps, winner of multiple Dove and Grammy awards, will perform his Classic Christmas concert on Friday, December 8, at Huntington University’s Merillat Center for the Arts. Phelps is best known as the tenor with the Gaither Vocal Band. He has performed at numerous prestigious venues across the globe, including the White House, New York’s Carnegie Hall and the Sydney Opera House in Australia.

The Classic Christmas concert is one of more than a dozen Phelps and his seven-piece musical entourage will make during November and December. This musical event will be a special evening of worship and will feature many of the songs included on Phelps’ O Holy Night recording, as well as his recently released Freedom recording.

The doors will open for the event at 7:00 p.m. with the concert beginning at 7:30 p.m. Reserved-seating tickets are $18 and $25, and VIP tickets will cost $50. VIP tickets include dinner with Huntington’s President, Dr. Sherilyn Emberton, at 6 p.m., attendance at Phelps’ sound check, and a question and answer session prior to dinner.

Tickets are available by calling (260) 359-4261 or purchasing online at www.huntington.edu/BoxOffice.

Huntington University’s fall enrollment is the largest in its 120-year history: 1,321 students. It also marks four consecutive years of enrollment growth, and an increase of 21 students over the 2016 total.

Here’s how it breaks down:

  • 913 traditional undergraduate students at Huntington’s main campus in Huntington, Ind.
  • 87 undergraduate students at its Peoria, Arizona, location.
  • 79 adult students enrolled in professional programs.
  • 242 graduate students.

Looking a little deeper: the student body includes 131 ethnic minorities from the United States (12% of the total students), and 47 international students from 24 different countries.

With the launch of the Haupert Institute for Agricultural Studies in 2015, there are now 39 declared agriculture majors. In addition, 100 students are currently studying toward the Doctorate of Occupational Therapy.

“What a joy to see so many students and their families seeing the value of a Huntington University degree!” said Dr. Sherilyn Emberton, president of Huntington University. “This past year demonstrated a piqued interest in academic programs at Huntington, as evidenced by a 20 percent increase in campus visits. We look forward to continuing this trajectory and telling the Forester story.”

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Huntington University offers UB pastors and lay leaders graduate work at half-price:

  • Pastoral Leadership
  • Global Youth Ministry
  • Counseling Credential (12-hours)

Why Huntington University?

  • Shared mission and theological perspective with the UB denomination.
  • Online programs allow you the flexibility to continue serving in your local church.
  • Ministry programs may assist with ordination requirements.
  • Counseling Credential will enhance your ministry in your local congregation.
  • Ministry credits will be $200 per credit hour for fall 2017 and spring 2018.
  • An entire ministry program can be completed for less than $7,500.

Pastor Leadership Courses

  • Personal Spiritual Formation
  • Hermeneutics
  • Thinking Logically
  • Ministry Leadership
  • Pastoral Counseling
  • Homiletics
  • Theology of the Church
  • Worship
  • Qualitative Ethnographic Research
  • Christian Education

Global Youth Ministry Courses

  • Personal Spiritual Formation
  • Multi-Cultural Partnerships
  • Thinking Logically
  • Ministry Leadership
  • Pastoral Counseling
  • Foundations of Youth Ministry
  • Contextual Issues in Youth Ministry
  • Adolescent Development & Culture
  • Qualitative & Ethnographic Research
  • Intergenerational Youth Ministry

About 279 students will graduate from Huntington University on May 13. Commencement will begin at 2:30 Saturday afternoon in the Merillat Complex fieldhouse. This year will see the first graduates (32 of them) from the Doctor of Occupational Therapy program, which began in 2014.

Honorary doctorates will be conferred on two persons.

Ms. Kelly Savage (left), who chaired the HU Board of Trustees 2011-2015, will receive a Doctor of Commercial Science degree. As the Chief Human Resources Officer with Amway, she is responsible for the company’s more than 21,000 employees worldwide.

Savage is a member of Banner of Christ UB church (Byron Center, Mich.) and currently serves on the denomination’s Higher Education Leadership Team. She graduated from Huntington College in 1983 with a bachelor’s degree in Accounting, and in 1985 received a Master’s of Business Administration degree from Colorado State University. She served on the HU Board of Trustees for 14 years.

Steve Platt (right) will receive a Doctor of Humane Letters degree. He graduated from Huntington College in 1974 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and played four years of varsity basketball. He was Indiana’s all-time leading collegiate scorer (3,700) points, and was the national leading collegiate scorer in 1973 and 1974. In 1994, Platt returned to Huntington College and became the Forester’s head basketball coach. During his 14-year tenure, he compiled 329 wins against 143 losses for a .697 winning percentage, the highest in school history.

On the set of "The Amazing Mortimer."

On the set of “The Amazing Mortimer.”

Huntington University’s Arizona Center for Digital Media Arts is pleased to announce that its first short film,

“The Amazing Mortimer” won the Best of Fest award at the Southern Arizona Independent Film Festival. This is the first short film produced by Huntington University’s Arizona Center for Digital Media Arts. The film also won the Best Story and Best Advanced Student Film categories. The awards ceremony was held April 21-22 in Willcox, Arizona.

“The Amazing Mortimer” is a 14-minute picture which tells the story of a once-successful ventriloquist who finds himself at a crossroads in his life. Because his act no longer brings in huge audiences, Mortimer is faced with a loss of his home and his livelihood. As he reminisces about the glory days of the past, he is befriended by Thomas, a troubled young boy who is also facing a frightening future. Their newfound friendship prompts an act of sacrifice and generosity that gives them both hope for the future.

The script was written by student Joe Stone of Glendale, Ariz. It was produced and directed by Phil Wilson, Arizona Digital Media Arts Program Director. Fifteen students from the Arizona Center for DMA played key roles including script supervisor, grip, assistant camera, boom operator, audio mixer, composer, set designer, assistant editor, and production assistant.

Huntington University’s Arizona campus opened in September 2016 with 18 students. The spring 2017 semester had 47 students enrolled. The Center offers bachelor’s degree programs in digital media arts, with majors in film production, broadcast media, and graphic design.