McPherson College Graduates 153 in Class of 2016

By Jolyn Johnston-Myers
May 18, 2016

Circles, bowls, and an empty podium were the key images for the McPherson College Class of 2016 to take with them from Commencement.

On May 15, MC recognized the accomplishment of the 153 graduating master’s and bachelor’s students – a class 20 percent larger than in 2015.

Dr. Becki Bowman, associate professor of communication, was the first to address the graduates with the ceremony’s homily. Holding up a ceramic bowl, she shared two images from “Everyday Sacred” by Sue Bender – circles and bowls.

Circles represent how life is not linear so much as a series of circles, with each ending connecting to a beginning. She encouraged the graduates to allow themselves to get a little lost in their journey of discovery.

The symbol of bowls comes from Buddhist monks, who would rely on others to fill their bowls each day to meet their needs. Like the monks, she encouraged MC graduates to leave space in their lives for others to provide them with what theyactuallyneed and not just what they think they need. A master plan is great, she said, but a little uncertainty could be great, too.

“If you’re a little bit lost, or if you’re brave enough to walk out of here today with your begging bowl stretched out in front of you,” she said. “You may find there are things much greater out there in the world waiting for you than you can ever imagine for yourself.”

Next to give the graduates advice was Carol Leland, a 1974 MC alumna and a current member of the MC Board of Trustees. Leland has a decades-long career as a mental health counselor and clinical therapist.

She began her commencement address with – literally – an unconventional move, as she walked from the podium into the auditorium to address the graduates more directly. She started by saying she didn’t particularly care about the degree the students were receiving – though she didn’t mean to diminish the education they had received, the relationships they had forged, or the opportunities MC has created.

“But today is about something you’veaccomplished,” she said. “It’s not about who youare, and I care about who you are. I care about who you are going to continue to evolve to be, and I care about you being able to hear yourself think.”

She encouraged everyone to take a moment to pause in the everyday life and to reflect on important moments – today of all days. She also called on the graduates to work on their “self-talk” and always affirm the value and worth of themselves and others.

That’s the reason why she doesn’t particularly care about their new degree, she said, but what the degree represents in who they have become as a result of their college years at MC.

“Right now – before you ever walk on that stage,” she said. “You are enough.”

Graduates’ names and hometowns follow. Photos from graduation are available for download fromwww.flickr.com/mcphersoncollege. Information is also available atwww.mcpherson.edu/graduation, including a video of commencement ceremonies and graduates’ majors and minors.

Students who graduate cum laude (with honors) have attained a grade point average of 3.55; graduates with magna cum laude (with high honors) have attained a grade point average of 3.75; and graduates with summa cum laude (with highest honors) have attained a grade point average of 3.9.

Master’s of Education

Kellea Deann Allison, McPherson, Kan.

Abby Nicole Bradstreet, McPherson, Kan.

Robyn Lynn Bravi, McPherson, Kan.

Timothy Bruton, Galva, Kan.

Aric David Cherry, McPherson, Kan.

Colleen K. Gustafson, McPherson, Kan.

Joshua Glen Hubin, McPherson, Kan.

Hunter Russell Nolen, Moundridge, Kan.

Kelsey Elizabeth Otto, Galva, Kan.

Matthew Michael Pfannenstiel, Lindsborg, Kan.

Adam Christopher Pracht, Lindsborg, Kan.

Abbey Archer Rierson, McPherson, Kan.

Martin M. Sigwing, Halstead, Kan.

Brenda Jill Stocklin-Smith, Wichita, Kan.

Richard L. Tuxhorn, Inman, Kan.

Alexander Benjamin Wuest, McPherson, Kan.

Emily Katherine Wuest, McPherson, Kan.

Bachelor’s of Arts and Bachelor’s of Science

Megan Brittany Acklin, Tecumseh, Okla.

Rachael Danielle Anderson, McPherson, Kan.

Tessa Ann Armstrong, Loveland, Colo.

Michael Patrick Torres Barrett, La Mirada, Calif.

Kylan C. Bennett CUM LAUDE, Healy, Kan.

Jasmine Justine Benson, Lakewood, Calif.

Kenneth Eugene Berry, Jr., Lee’s Summit, Mo.

Bailey Jo Brown MAGNA CUM LAUDE, Glen Elder, Kan.

Cheyenne Ranae Browning CUM LAUDE, South Haven, Kan.

Matthew Robert Bryan, Victoria, Canada

Rafael Joseph Maria Bulnes, Rosmalen, The Netherlands

Kayla D. Burke MAGNA CUM LAUDE, Derby, Kan.

Carmen Miranda Carranza, McPherson, Kan.

Donna L. Clyborne CUM LAUDE, Hutchinson, Kan.

Dixon Alan Cooney SUMMA CUM LAUDE, Loveland, Colo.

Michael Thomas Cosby, Rockwall, Texas

James Alexander Covel MAGNA CUM LAUDE, Wichita, Kan.

Justin Crenshaw, Wichita, Kan.

Cecilia M. Cross MAGNA CUM LAUDE, Hutchinson, Kan.

Savana Jo Cross SUMMA CUM LAUDE, Wichita, Kan.

Amanda Nicole Darrow CUM LAUDE, Jasper, Mo.

Emily Sue Davis CUM LAUDE, McPherson, Kan.

McKenna Deckard, Hutchinson, Kan.

Micaela Rae Dimitt, Inman, Kan.

Simone Carey Donaldson CUM LAUDE, Halstead, Kan.

Emily L. Dumler, Hoxie, Kan.

Cami Nicole Engelbert CUM LAUDE, Beloit, Kan.

Andrea Nicole Falk, Cheyenne, Wyo.

Arelyn René Fallis, McPherson, Kan.

Levi Markus Fleming, McPherson, Kan.

Melicia Foster-Evans, McPherson, Kan.

Mallory Jean Fowler, Wichita, Kan.

Tiffany Nicole Fraser, Georgetown, Texas

Travis J. Gleich, Elkhorn, Wis.

Cora Reneé Gouldner, Andover, Kan.

Robert Alan Graham, North Newton, Kan.

Terrance Grant, South Bend, Ind.

Kristen Elizabeth Gustafson, Shawnee Mission, Kan.

Samantha Antonia Harrity, Saint Paul, Minn.

Alex Michaela Hennager, Elizabeth, Colo.

Tyler George Louis Henning SUMMA CUM LAUDE, Sedgwick, Kan.

Robert Edward Hespen, McPherson, Kan.

Nathan Edward Holthus MAGNA CUM LAUDE, McPherson, Kan.

Collin Robert Howard, Carlisle, Pa.

Michael Arthur Irwin, Wichita, Kan.

Danna Renee’ Jacks, Stafford, Kan.

Rebekah R. James, Moundridge, Kan.

Whitney Bre’ona Jefferson, Houston, Texas

Addie Roesch Johnson SUMMA CUM LAUDE, McPherson, Kan.

Alaina Dawn Johnson, McPherson, Kan.

Christian James Johnston, Lyons, Kan.

Timothy Louis Jones, Jr., Dunnellon, Fla.

Perry Cortez Joseph, Saint Petersburg, Fla.

Leslie L. Kagle, McPherson, Kan.

Alia Mariam Khalidi SUMMA CUM LAUDE, Augusta, Kan.

Nabeel Khokhar, Hutchinson, Kan.

De’Mario Qwontaye Kindred, Hutchinson, Kan.

Kaley Dell Kinnamon SUMMA CUM LAUDE, McPherson, Kan.

Lora Kathleen Kirmer, Holly, Colo.

Robert Allen Kliewer, Perry, Iowa

Michael Todd Kokmeyer, McPherson, Kan.

Kyle Wayne Lakin, Oklahoma City, Okla.

Sarah Arline Lanter, Wilson, Kan.

Elizabeth Marianne Lindsey, Kansas City, Kan.

Andrew James Lindstrom CUM LAUDE, Vulcan, Mich.

Ashley Frankenbery Long SUMMA CUM LAUDE, McPherson, Kan.

Andrew Michael Loy, McPherson, Kan.

Daniel Alejandro May Pérez MAGNA CUM LAUDE, Caracas, Venezuela

Troy L. McBroom, Manteca, Calif.

Megan McIntosh, Great Bend, Kan.

Kavoderic De’Anthony McIntyre, Dallas, Texas

Bailley Ann McKinley CUM LAUDE, Derby, Kan.

Rissa Dee McNichols, Olathe, Kan.

Whitney Marie Miller, Valley Center, Kan.

Alexandra Moore, Junction City, Kan.

Cassandra Kyss Moreno SUMMA CUM LAUDE, Wichita, Kan.

Curtis Steven Smith Mullins, Hutchinson, Kan.

Daniel Matavaimovi Musika, Milpitas, Calif.

Louis Sylvestre Kevin Ndongo, Mobile, Ala.

Craig S. Nelson, McPherson, Kan.

Jayme Nelson, Sycamore, Ill.

Jacob Riley O’Gorman CUM LAUDE, Ennismore, Ontario

Darcy Nicole Oliver, McPherson, Kan.

Zachariah James Oller, Newton, Kan.

Crystal Jane Osner SUMMA CUM LAUDE, Conway Springs, Kan.

Gabriel A. Padilla, Wichita, Kan.

Durell Parker, McPherson, Kan.

Marissa Celine Patton CUM LAUDE, Tribune, Kan.

Wade Pederson, Overland Park, Kan.

Shon Michael Pinard, Sedan, Kan.

Shannon Leigh Popp CUM LAUDE, Galva, Kan.

Adam Keith Porter, McPherson, Kan.

Courtney Britt Postier, McPherson, Kan.

Thomas J. Potter, Dayton, Minn.

Laura Judith Puente, Scott City, Kan.

Geoffrey Sunrei Pugh CUM LAUDE, Ventura, Calif.

Michael Rick Anthony Ramos, Sachse, Texas

Jasmine Corrine Regehr, McPherson, Kan.

Hector Alberto Reyes, Lindsborg, Kan.

Brant Lee Rhoades, Burlington, Colo.

Rhonda R. Richardson, Haven, Kan.

Rea Nichola Gloria Samuels CUM LAUDE, Williston, Fla.

Kameron Sapp, Keytesville, Mo.

Coye J. Savell MAGNA CUM LAUDE, McPherson, Kan.

Austin Jacob Schad, Valley Center, Kan.

Courtney Ann Schueren, Hutchinson, Kan.

Kelcie Retha Scott, McPherson, Kan.

Dorian Shelton, Kansas City, Mo.

Sophie LaVone Simon, McPherson, Kan.

Jacob Klos Singley, Salinas, Calif.

Georgia Monique Smart, Ormond, Australia

Sunny June Smart MAGNA CUM LAUDE, South Coffeyville, Okla.

MaKenzie Shae Smith CUM LAUDE, Augusta, Kan.

Kayla Rae-Anne Snead, Las Animas, Colo.

Elizabeth Anne Stein, Spearville, Kan.

Seth Lawrence Sterling, McPherson, Kan.

Amy Marie Stockton, Manhattan, Kan.

Joseph Colter Streck, Woodland Park, Colo.

Jawaun Lateef Stuart, Elk Grove, Calif.

Clay Tarpley, Jr., Parker, Colo.

Corey Michael Taylor, Iola, Kan.

Miranda Clark Ulrich, Russell, Kan.

Sierra Lynn Ulrich, Salina, Kan.

Aaron Rene Vaughan, Salinas, Calif.

Maggie Vinduska, Lawrence, Kan.

Nicholas Oscar Voorhees, Culver, Ind.

Nichole Taylor Vorhees, Riverside, Calif.

John Waiters, Stockton, Calif.

Ste’fon Marcellus Walker, Mendenhall, Miss.

Sabrina Nicole Washington, Salinas, Calif.

Jacob Christopher Weigel, Berryton, Kan.

Deges Cole Wood, McPherson, Kan.

Collin Lance Wright, Montezuma, Kan.

Eric N. Youvan CUM LAUDE, McPherson, Kan.

Jennifer Lynn Zavala, McPherson, Kan.

Whitney Grace Zimmerman CUM LAUDE, Valley Center, Kan.

Contact:Adam Pracht, public relations coordinator, 620-242-0425, [email protected]

McPherson College, located in central Kansas, is a four-year private liberal arts college offering more than 20 bachelor’s and pre-professional programs. Throughout the curriculum, students are encouraged to explore their ideas, to learn through doing and to make a difference in the world. 

McPherson College, affiliated with the Church of the Brethren, is committed to the ideals of scholarship, participation, and service – developing whole persons, prepared for fulfilling life vocations.

Visitwww.mcpherson.edufor more information about McPherson College.  


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