Huntington University’s Link Institute for Faithful and Effective Youth Ministry is partnering with YouthWorker Journal to sponsor the second annual essay writing contest, open to high school juniors and seniors.

Students are asked to submit a 1,200-1,500 word original essay on the theme “Reaching My Generation for Christ.”

  • First Place: The writer of the winning essay will be awarded a cash prize of $250, a $4,000 annual scholarship to Huntington University ($16,000 total), and the essay will be published in YouthWorker Journal.
  • Second prize: $150 and a $3,000 annual scholarship to Huntington University ($12,000 total).
  • Third prize: A cash prize of $75 and a $2,000 annual scholarship to Huntington University ($8,000 total).

Submissions must be postmarked by Jan. 31, 2010. Entry forms and additional information may be found on the Link Institute website. Winning essays will be announced by April 1, 2010.

newsboys_smallSTAR 88.3 and Huntington University have partnered to present an evening of music and message with the Newsboys at 6 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 18, at Fort Wayne’s Allen County War Memorial Coliseum.

The Newsboys, with new lead singer Michael Tait, have teamed up with Global Tribe to travel the U.S. to bring an event called “Reach” to various cities. “Reach” partners with local radio stations, community ministries and neighborhood churches to bring the Gospel message to towns across America and beyond. This ministry is wrapped up in a Newsboys concert that includes a Gospel presentation followed by a call for new believers to connect with a local church.

Seventh Day Slumber, Meinmotion, Bread of Stone, and In Honor of Him will join the Newsboys for “Reach’s” Fort Wayne event.

No tickets are needed for “Reach.” A suggested donation of $10 will be taken at the door, although no one will be turned away for the inability to give.

Organizers also will collect nonperishable food items for the Associated Churches Food Bank.

Newsboys has 14 albums, a score of Grammy and Dove awards, seven gold albums and 21 number one songs to their credit.

geer_valerie200.jpgHuntington University’s newly launched  Institute for TESOL Studies has hired Valerie Geer as associate director. TESOL stands for Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages.

“TESOL is a very specific field of study, complete with its own set of approaches and methodologies,” Geer said. “People might mistakenly think that, by virtue of speaking English natively, they can competently teach English to others. This is not the case. Huntington University’s Institute for TESOL Studies is offering a valuable training tool for many types of students and majors who might find themselves interacting with ELLs (English Language Learners).”

In her new position, Geer has designed courses for the TESOL/English as a New Language (ENL) programs and selected textbooks and library holdings related to the TESOL field. Her other tasks will include raising awareness about the institute, networking with organizations and agencies that work with ENL populations, communicating with current and prospective students, and teaching the Foundations of TESOL course.

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Huntington University has appointed six new faculty members for the fall of 2009.

bratt_jonathan.jpgDr. Jonathan Bratt accepted the position of assistant professor of physics. Bratt recently earned a Ph.D. in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He obtained Bachelor of Science degrees in physics and applied mathematics in 2003 from Geneva College in Beaver Falls, Pa. Bratt has taught courses in experimental physics, quantum physics and electrodynamics. His doctoral research was focused on the study of nucleon structure using lattice quantum chromodynamics.

shah_shahbaaz.jpgShahbaaz Shah will work with the digital media arts program as a visiting professor. Shah is a character animator whose experience includes such films as “Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen,” “The Legend of the Santa Claus” and “Horton Hears a Who!” as well as video games based on the movies Disney’s “Bolt,” and “The Bourne Conspiracy.” He earned a Bachelor of Arts in media arts and animation from the Art Institute of Colorado in 2004 and a diploma in advanced studies in character animation from Animation Mentor in 2007.

alexander_david.jpgDr. David Alexander accepted the position of assistant professor of philosophy. Alexander earned his Ph.D. in philosophy and Master of Arts in philosophy from Baylor University in 2008 and 2005, respectively. He has served as an assistant professor of philosophy at Calvin College and an instructor in philosophy at Baylor University. His areas of specialization include ethics and metaphysics. He also has achieved competence in the philosophy of religion, epistemology, the history of modern philosophy and medieval philosophy.

eilers_kent.jpgThe Rev. Dr. Kent Eilers will step into the role of assistant professor of theology. Eilers was awarded a Ph.D. in systematic theology from the University of Aberdeen in Aberdeen, Scotland. He earned a Master of Divinity degree at Denver Seminary in 2004. Eilers has served as an adjunct faculty member at Denver Seminary and Colorado Christian University. He also served on the pastoral staff of Woodman Valley Chapel in Colorado Springs. Eilers is the co-author of the forthcoming book, “Looking Back, Moving Forward: Evangelical Theologies of Retrieval” (InterVarsity Press).

yan_yu.jpgDr. Yu Yan will serve as an assistant professor of mathematics. Yan holds a doctorate in mathematics from Stanford University and a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Fudan University in Shanghai, China. She has served as an assistant professor at Houghton College and a postdoctoral lecturer at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. Her research has been published in Mathematical Research Letters, Communications in Contemporary Mathematics and the Pacific Journal of Mathematics.

leone_rick.jpgFather Rick Leone has accepted the position of visiting instructor in psychology and sociology. Leone has taught at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne in the Human Services Department, at Ivy Tech in the Sociology Department and has worked at SouthernCare Hospice providing pastoral care, social services and bereavement services for clients and families. He also served at Crossroad Children’s Home as the director of pastoral care, as an outpatient therapist for TriCity Mental Health Care in East Chicago, Ind., as well as part of the Intensive Outpatient Program and an inpatient therapist for Charter Hospital in Hobart, Ind. Leone received his Bachelor and Master of Social Work degrees from Valparaiso University and Loyola University in Chicago, respectively. In addition, he holds a Master of Divinity degree from California’s Anglican Theological Seminary. He pastors Our Glorious King Anglican Church in Huntington and the Anglican Fellowship of Fort Wayne.

For the 15th consecutive year, U.S. News & World Report listed Huntington among the top-tier schools in the region. This year, we moved up one spot to #6 among the “Best Baccalaureate Colleges in the Midwest.” As the lowest-priced Indiana college in this category, we also earned recognition as one of the Top 5 “Best Values” in the region.

Again this year, The Princeton Review listed Huntington University among the “Best in the Midwest.” According to officials at The Princeton Review, schools in this category were selected “primarily for their excellent academic programs.”

For the second time, Huntington was ranked among the Top 100 colleges in America, according to Forbes.com. This is a tough list to make, as the competition includes both private colleges and public universities. Huntington was one of only two intentionally Christ-centered campuses among Forbes’ Top 100.

College rankings are often controversial and their methodologies and merits subject to debate. However, we do feel honored to have been recognized by such prestigious organizations as US News, Princeton Review, and Forbes. I am very grateful to the Lord and His people for helping Huntington University to be a school recognized for Christ-centered excellence.

For the second time, Forbes.com included Huntington University in its list of America’s Best Colleges.

Huntington was fifth among Indiana public and private colleges and universities and the second highest-ranked Indiana member of the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities. The list:

32: Wabash college
42: DePauw University
50: Notre Dame
91: Earlham college
97: Huntington University

Of those, Huntington has the lowest cost: $29,390 (followed by Wabash Collage, at $37,750).

In addition, Huntington ranked No. 86 on Forbes.com’s list of America’s Best Private Colleges.

“We are honored that Forbes has chosen to list Huntington University among the top 100 institutions in the country for the second consecutive year,” said Dr. G. Blair Dowden, president of Huntington University. “We understand that college rankings are subject to some controversy and debate; however, we feel privileged to be recognized by a highly-respected company such as Forbes.”

You can read more about this on the Huntington University site.

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Huntington University and Global Ministries are partnering to send a team of academic consultants and language conversationalist to provide teacher training to nearly 200 Chinese English teachers and 300 students in aouthern China July 9 — August 2, 2009. This is the third year the invitation has been extended by the Zhuhai Department of Education.

You can follow the team’s activities on their blog, Zhuhai English Camp 2009.

About 30 people representing Huntington University are conducting teacher training in the city of Zhuhai, China. Half went last week, and the others will leave this weekend.

The China Team has a blog which already has a number of entries (plus many photos) about what they’re doing.

Jeff Bleijerveld, Director of Global Ministries, leaves for China tomorrow morning (July 17) to take part in the second stage of the teacher training program. His college-age son, Jason, is going with him.

Donna Hollopeter originally planned to go with the first group, but a diagnosis of bronchitis killed that idea. However, she’s feeling much better. She left today for Detroit, where she will catch a plane for China tomorrow.

Huntington University is co-sponsoring an August 7 concert with MercyMe in Fort Wayne, Ind. It’ll be held at Parkview Field, the new ballpark which is home to the semi-pro TinCaps baseball team.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m., and the concert begins at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets for ages six and older are $11 in advance or $16 at the door and may be purchased at the Anchor Room Bookstore in Fort Wayne. You can also order tickets through Trinity Communications.

Also performing is Attaboy, an alt-pop band which includes two Huntington University alums, Amos Caley and Jeff Edgel.