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Parents Support Net - January 2014

Happy New Year!

After almost three weeks with no students on campus, it’s delightful to have them back. Their energy and enthusiasm motivates us to do our good work even better. Your sons and daughters are such an encouragement—bright, hard-working and fun-loving! My office window looks down on the President's Patio and the iconic fountain, and this beautiful space has become a place for rousing games of Frisbee golf, countless student conversations and lots of sliding down the outdoor banister. Truly I have the best view on campus!

Teri Bradford RouseAs the alumni and parent relations office begins 2014, we’re excited about the activities and opportunities ahead to see and interact with you. I encourage you to look at the parent page on our website for upcoming events that might interest you. We want you to feel part of the Westmont community, and we welcome your participation.

I hope you find the newsletter encouraging and helpful to you in your journey as a parent of a Westmont student. We are in this together, and I am thankful for yourpartnership.

Blessings,

Teri Bradford Rouse '77
Senior Director Alumni & Parent Relations

Parents Council Profile: Roxanne Packham

For the next few issues, we’re going to highlight our Parents Council members so you will get to know them better. This month we begin with Roxanne Packham, the new president. Read about her and her vision for the Parents Council below.

Packhams

As the new president of the Parents Council, I'm thrilled to share with you the role of the council and what we hope to do.The Westmont Parents Council exists to foster communication between the college and parents, helping to improve the quality of the college experience for Westmont students and their parents. The council also works to preserve and strengthen the broader mission of the college. Responsibilities include: ... attending biannual meetings; participating in Parents Weekend and Orientation; providing feedback and counsel to the college on significant issues; communicating with current and prospective parents; assisting admissions with recruitment when needed; and financially supporting the college commensurate with ability. It’s a wonderful group of parents dedicated to Westmont and to supporting current parents of Westmont students.

I serve on the Parents Council with my husband, Scott. I grew up in Newport Beach and went to USC. Scott is from Camarillo, and he attended UCSB and then UCLA for dental school. He has a private practice in Camarillo and founded Iron27.org, a father-son organization, with our 17-year-old son, Justin. For the past 20 years, Scott has gone on a dental mission with Heart of Hope Ministries International. I’ve been able to join him three times. But one of the most favorite things I’ve done with our daughter, Hannah, was to found Inspired31.org, a mother-daughter ministry! I also have an interior design business, very part time.

My love for Westmont, its people and its mission began at Hannah’s freshman orientation—she’s now a sophomore. At Orientation, we realized that Westmont was not just a Christian college but an institution that took its mission very seriously, serving “God’s kingdom by cultivating thoughtful scholars, grateful servants and faithful leaders for global engagement with the academy, church and world.”

We love the Lord and serve Him in a variety of ways, especially at Westmont. The college has all the elements I love, and the people we have met are a combination of very intelligent yet humble. I didn’t know a place like this existed for my daughter’s education, but it is clearly His divine providence that has led her here!

I hope this information helps you feel like you know a little bit about us and encourages you to contact us with any questions or concerns you have.

In His Grace,
Roxanne (Hughes) Packham

Westmont Summer Scholars

VideoIf you or your friends have kids, nieces, nephews, cousins, siblings or friends who are juniors or seniors in high school, Westmont Summer Scholars is a great program for them. Summer Scholars is a three-week, pre-college, summer experience at Westmont. Scholars take one general education course, earning four units of college credit. They live in a residence hall, being mentored by Westmont staff and current students, eating in the DC and enjoying Westmont’s beautiful campus and great recreational facilities. Summer Scholars is a great way to get to know Westmont and to get a jump on college. Click the image below to learn more about Westmont Summer Scholars.

Summer scholars

Westmont's Gaede Institute

Gaede Institute

 

Westmont Summer Scholars is just one part of the ongoing effort by the Gaede Institute for the Liberal Arts to strengthen the liberal arts in American higher education and to raise awareness of their value for prospective and current students and the wider society. This February the Gaede Institute will host its 13th Conversation on the Liberal Arts, an annual conference for liberal arts educators from colleges and universities across the country. This year’s theme, “MOOCing the Liberal Arts?” will explore the promise and challenges for liberal arts education posed by the massive technological developments in higher education. For more about the conference and the other programs of the Gaede Institute, visit www.westmont.edu/institute.

Off-Campus Programs

Your students may be participating in one of the two off-campus programs operating this semester. San Fransciso and Istanbul. In fall 2014, Westmont is tentatively scheduled to offer the following programs to your Westmont student: Westmont in Mexico, England Semester, Westmont in San Francisco andWestmont in Northern Europe. To learn more about all of these fantastic off-campus semesters, click here: http://www.westmont.edu/_offices/ocp/.

Westmont in San Francisco 
San Francisco

Westmont in San Francisco is a living-learning community equipping students for Christian vocation and service, raising awareness of urban realities, and teaching competencies to thrive in a complex, globalized world. This program is available each fall and spring semesters. Learn more about here:http://www.westmont.edu/_offices/urban/

Westmont in Istanbul

Istanbul

Westmont in Istanbul is taking place for the second time. Parent Kelly (Nessen) Bagdanov ’81shares her perspective of this wonderful program.

Steve and I are Westmont graduates, our four sons are Westmont graduates, and our three daughters-in-law are Westmont graduates. You might say we are all fans of Westmont College. When we meet people who are unfamiliar with the college, it takes a while to explain why this small community nestled in the hills above Santa Barbara is unique. The combination of scholarship, faith and relationships creates a synergy between students and professors that is greater than its parts. I know my sons’ years at Westmont have changed them, and they treasure this time. ... This combination, which makes the Westmont experience distinct, may be best distilled in the off-campus programs the college offers. Our family has certainly been enriched by them. Steve went on the Israel semester in the early 1980s. Two sons traveled with England Semester (we have a lot of English majors), one went to Tanzania, and our youngest, Joseph, participated in the inaugural semester of Westmont in Istanbul.

In the spring of 2012, Joseph and 21 other students headed to Istanbul for a life-changing few months. All the students came home with an expanded view of the world and a greater appreciation for its various cultures. Learning about Islam and spending time with Turkish students challenged their understanding of Christianity. Spending time in Palestine and Israel gave them a fuller picture of the complexities of the Middle East. The breadth of their experiences and classes goes beyond the simple accumulation of credits. Heather and Jim (who lead the program) are not just experts in their fields who have lived in the Middle East and learned to love the place and people, they are accessible mentors who developed relationships with the students and managed to transfer much of their love of the people and culture to their students.

They enjoyed so many amazing experiences: living with Bedouins; riding on camels; meeting and interacting with politicians, journalists, and authors; volunteering time in a variety of venues in the city; hearing the daily calls to worship; shopping in the Grand Bazaar; getting scrubbed down in a Turkish bath. How do you sum it up? Friends of ours visited Turkey while Joe was there, and he spent a day showing them around. They related stories of him chatting in Turkish with cab drivers and waiters and noted his obvious love of the city and its people. I find this picture of Joe, someone who has discovered a new place where he feels at home, sums up the semester best.

When Joseph returned and I heard his stories, I was struck by the number of friends he had made. There was the shopkeeper in Palestine who shut down his shop to show him more of the city and take him to a place where locals eat. There are the Turkish friends who now make comments on his Facebook page and keep him in the loop about the recent political upheavals in Istanbul. There are the stories of the intense soccer rivalries that split the city into zones and going to local hangouts to watch games and cheer for their team.

All these stories helped me realize that Joe’s time in Turkey was so much more than just tourism. The program immersed students in the life of the city, where they resided in apartments or dorms, purchased food and interacted with neighbors. Joseph walked away from his semester with real friends and real connections. In fact, he immediately thought about returning and possibly pursuing work that would create greater understanding between Christians and Muslims. Since he's been home, I've observed him in conversations with friends and families, gently challenging their misconceptions about the Islamic world and its people. Even if he never returned to Turkey, what he learned there would continue to inform his worldview and color his conversations. I imagine the 21 students who traveled with Joe have all had similar conversations with multiple people, so the ripples that began during those months will continue to spread and influence people for years to come.

A year ago, Joseph applied to be part of the leadership team for the spring 2014 Westmont in Istanbul. When he learned he had been hired for the position, he went online to tell his Turkish friends he was coming back. Even though it was 1 a.m. in Istanbul, he immediately heard from everyone, and they made plans to reunite. As I said, he made real friendships. Last week, we put Joe on a plane to head back to Istanbul for another semester. This time, he isn’t a student. He’ll be in a position to assist and support this new group of students in a variety of ways. We’re so grateful and excited to see what God has in store for Joseph and the rest of the group over these next few months. I pray that their love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment.

IstanbulJordan

Operation Valentine

Valentine

OPERATION VALENTINE is back by popular demand! Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and our student-led Urban Initiative (UI) program would like to offer a special opportunity for you to make that day special for your son or daughter. The UI student team will deliver either long-stem premium roses or a valentine gift box full of wonderful chocolates—or both! A personalized message will be included with each order to let them know you are thinking of them on this special day! All proceeds go to Urban Initiative, a Westmont student organization whose primary aim is to promote discussion and understanding of issues that plague the inner-city, such as racism and poverty.

Click on the link here for the online order form for your son or daughter. Be sure to note the order deadlines: www.westmont.edu/valentine

Did You Know?

Impact Conference

 

 

 

 

Did you know Westmont is hosting a conference June 19-20? The Impact Conference explores ways in which you can make a difference both locally and globally. Hear from leaders in a variety of fields and industries and be challenged, inspired and empowered to make an impact. For more information go to www.westmontimpact.org.