Alumni

Distinguished Alumni Award

April 28, 2014

InterVarsity president Alec Hill and his wife Mary have been honored with the 2014 Distinguished Alumni Award from Young Life, an organization with a rich history of ministry to high school and middle school students. The award is given annually.

Alec was a volunteer leader for Young Life at a Seattle’s Chief Sealth High School for three years, while attending Seattle Pacific University. He later wrote, “Those years changed the trajectory of my life.”

Mary was active in Young Life as a student at Ingraham High School in Seattle. It was during that time that she became a follower of Jesus Christ.

This is the second alumni honor for Alec. In 2012 he was named Alumnus of the Year by Seattle Pacific University.

From Oreos to Justice

Lisa Rieck
March 11, 2014

“I never thought that marketing could free the oppressed,” said Sheeba Philip, Vice President of Global Marketing and Public Relations at International Justice Mission (IJM) and an InterVarsity alumna.

What she knew from experience was that good marketing could help the world fall in love all over again with Oreos and Chips Ahoy! brand cookies. For ten years Sheeba worked in the corporate world, serving as the Senior Director of the Global Treats Brand Platform for Mondelēz International and Kraft Foods, and as Global Marketing Director for Oreo, a $2 billion brand known in over 100 countries.

She had essentially reached the pinnacle of her career and was thriving in her work. Why would she choose to leave a great boss, exciting growth opportunities in the corporate world, and the chance to market the darling of the cookie world?

Are You a Disciple for Life?

Lisa Rieck
February 7, 2014

What does it look like to experience God’s faithfulness and to love his purposes in the world in real time, over the long haul?

Though alumnus Neal Jordan would point to the lives of others as models—to classmates of his in the fifties who went on to serve in Africa or work with children in Appalachia or do lay ministry for international students—his own story offers a compelling picture of God’s faithful care and direction for his disciples over a lifetime. (Watch the video of Neal sharing at InterVarsity’s 2014 National Staff Conference below.)

The College Years: Growing in Mind and Heart

A college freshman at Cornell in 1950, Neal was hopeful. “Times were good,” he said. “After the deprivations of the Depression and of World War II, the focus was on the material. College men were optimistic that they could find good jobs.”

Making Space for God’s Renewal

Kathryn Brill
January 15, 2014

The relationship between God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit—the Trinity—is a mystery that most of us will never come close to fully understanding. But the Trinity does show us something very clearly—community is at the center of the universe.

InterVarsity alumnus Michael Tso has been captivated by the mystery and beauty of the Trinity, “not so much as a doctrine, but as a way of living in community.” In a variety of places, times, and careers, Michael has placed true community—messy and difficult yet crucial—at the center of his life, and seen the ways it has transformed his life and the lives of those around him.

Discovering Community

Jesus in the Clinic

Kathryn Brill
December 9, 2013

Healthcare professionals are often closest to some of the most intense physical suffering and pain. Because of this, Christians in healthcare have a unique opportunity to model Jesus’ incarnational love, being his hands and feet in a visible, tangible way. Heather Cutillo, a registered nurse and InterVarsity alumna, has had firsthand experience with living out her faith in the nursing world, and has seen the ways that the love of God still shines brightly in the dark places.

As a graduate student at Rush University, training to become a pediatric nurse practitioner, Heather heard a call from God to work in the field of urban health ministry. At the time, she was responsible for a patient with many financial and other difficulties, whose only support was the health clinic where Heather was working. Seeing how urban health centers could be a support network for those without one opened her eyes to the ways God could use her through urban health work.

Listening on the Margins

Kathryn Brill
November 15, 2013

God commands us to care for the most vulnerable, but this can often seem like an impossible task in our daily lives. Anthropology PhD student and InterVarsity alumna Almita Miranda of Northwestern University discovered that her life experiences, her research skills, and her faith could all help her advocate for a group on the margins: undocumented immigrants and their families.

The Best Story of All

Lisa Rieck
October 14, 2013

What makes a good story?

Author and InterVarsity alumna Yangsze Choo clearly knows. Her first book, a novel called The Ghost Bride about the Chinese world of the dead, has generated quite a bit of praise. Oprah.com picked it as a “Book of the Week”—in other words, a book they “couldn’t stop reading.” And USA Today called it a “beguiling tale.”

Living Without Regret: How One Alumnus is Fighting Injustice

Kathryn Brill
September 16, 2013

“Even before I started following Jesus, I always had a heart to serve others,” said Azikiwe Calhoun. But during his years at City College of New York, Azikiwe found a deeper relationship with the God who came to serve—as well as new dreams for what his own service could look like.

By connecting with Christian nonprofits and service organizations in his community, Azikiwe was able to invest more fully in those around him while being mentored by other leaders. He also discovered that he could partner with others in service to accomplish much more than they could do individually. “If it wasn’t for InterVarsity, I wouldn’t know that so many people were with me on these issues,” Azikiwe said.

Words of Truth

Lisa Rieck
August 12, 2013

Into the chaos of the 1960s—The Vietnam War, assassinations, drugs and sex—the InterVarsity chapter at Pomona College spoke words of truth for student Victor Pentz. Those InterVarsity days would set him on a path of speaking God’s Word week in and week out in pastoral ministry.

College and Calling

Faith was an important part of Victor’s growing-up years, having given his life to Jesus as a young child. But at 18, he wanted an intellectual argument for his faith. “After considering a number of Christian colleges I attended a secular one, Pomona, one of the Claremont Colleges,” he said. “Amidst the upheaval of the 1960s I didn’t know what hit me. I could have gone either way. But in InterVarsity, at last I discovered a God who was a match for Philosophy 101. InterVarsity played the critical role of giving me an intellectual basis for my faith.”

Journalists and InterVarsity

Gordon Govier
July 25, 2013

The world of journalism is changing rapidly as technology and social changes revamp the way people get their news. But six journalists who have excelled in the journalistic world believe there’s still a place for Christians in journalism, as long as they understand that the news media is a fluid environment.  And each credits InterVarsity for influencing their careers in surprisingly different ways.

Russell and ML Chandler For Russell Chandler, InterVarsity shaped his Christian faith. A student in his Stanford University Logic class invited him to an InterVarsity meeting. There he met students who prayed and talked about Jesus as a living person. “It wasn’t about an organization, it was about a relationship with God, through Christ,” he recalled.

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