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Graduate Connections

Finding the Edge

(August 29, 2014) Summer is when most students take a break from their studies and relax for a brief time before finding a job to earn money to return in the fall. Some are able to carve out a little time for a mission trip or visiting friends and family. For Allan Dunlap, it was time spent this summer pursuing his dream in the social media market as a student intern.

Allan's love for social media and internet marketing started in his teens when he was able to help a few local businesses address basic needs. This spring, as he approached the end of his junior year of college, he was introduced to representatives from Branch Creative Network, a division of Jackson Dawson Communications in Detroit, Michigan. Their specialty is digital marketing for businesses. A door was opened for him to join BCN this summer as an intern. It didn't take long to go from student to intern. After a quick tour around the facility, he was assigned a desk and given his first assignment. He was quickly immersed in the business world that required quick thinking and finding solutions on the go. His team was extremely helpful and answered questions that arose. After a of couple weeks, Allan become acclimated to his new environs and became a valued member of the team.

In the weeks that followed, Allan has been able to participate in a variety of projects. He worked with the BCN team doing research, creating proposals, and executing strategies. He learned how the world's most successful companies were using social media, email, and websites to capture their markets. In addition to digital strategies, Allan was exposed to marketing strategies used in today's business, attend meetings with various client teams, and gain valuable insight into how campaigns are run.

With the uncertainties in the world today, graduates need to have many opportunities to develop their strengths and broaden their skill sets. Participating in internships such as the one Allan experienced may give graduates the edge when searching for their first job out of college or admission into graduate programs for further education.

For more on Allan's story, go to My Summer at BCN.

Alumni Sets the Standard

(August 23, 2014) With the fall classes underway, it's time to get down to business. It's time for volleyball and the Lady Cougars are gearing up for their hopeful ninth consecutive NCCAA Division II national championship. But their foe on Saturday afternoon was not their typical opponent-it was eleven battle-scarred veterans of past CCC volleyball teams. They were the 2014 Alumni Volleyball team, and they came not to just play but to win!

Organized by alumnus Beka White ('06), this team of graduates played hard and earned a 3-2 victory over Dr. Denny's 2014 fall team. Coach Denny said "We had great support from alumni for today's game. Beka White did all the work in getting the girls to come and some drove a good distance to be with us. They gave us our first good workout of the season and they beat us. Hopefully, this will be an incentive for our team to improve as we enter our regular season schedule."

Being one of the first major activities of the school year, the gym was packed for the afternoon's contest and the enthusiasm for volleyball was great. We thank Beka for putting together this year's team and all the ladies who took out the time to play.

2014 Alumni Team (L to R): Suzy Llerena('93), Janelle Barnes ('05), Jenny Tyrpak ('05), Cindy Stenberg ('03), Rachel Gardner ('04), Kimberly Ponce ('14), Laura Marvin ('07), Danielle Heffernan ('11), Dana Medich ('14), April Whitehead ('07), Beka White ('06), Coach Denny

Borden Named VP at BBC&S

(May 27, 2014) 1991 business graduate Mark Borden was recently announced as the new vice president for business and finance at Baptist Bible College & Seminary in Clarks Summit, PA. To accept the position at BBC&S, Borden resigned his post as the Carson City (MI) City Administrator, a position he has held since 2008. Borden will assume his new responsibilities after June 1. Clearwater Christian College congratulates Mark on his new position.

Alumni Celebrate 20 Years

(April 25, 2014) In September, 1994, the Marsh Harbour Gospel Chapel on the tiny island of Abaco in the Bahamas opened the doors of Agape Christian School with twenty-seven students and three teachers for grades Kindergarten 3 to Grade 4. On May 24, they will celebrate twenty years of existence with 270 students, twenty-four faculty, four office staff, and administrative personnel. This is quite a feat seeing the population of Abaco itself is only 15,000 and rises only slightly when you consider the communities they also serve on smaller nearby islands. But God saw things differently, planted this ministry, and continued growing it into a successful and beneficial ministry of this church and community.

Cecile Albury

Key players in the growth of this ministry were couples Troy and Cecile Albury and Kevin and Kathy Sawyer. Cecile and Kathy both graduated from Clearwater Christian College in 1990 as Elementary Education majors. Today, Cecile is the school head administrator and Kathy is the high school vice principal. Two additional Clearwater graduates are currently on the faculty. Claire Sawyer Marshall ('03) and Farah Sawyer Cartwright ('00) are second and sixth grade teachers. The school has an excellent reputation on the island and serves as a hub for many local family and community events. In recent years, the school has been averaging 16 high school graduates.

Clearwater Christian College congratulates the Marsh Harbour Gospel Chapel and the staff and students of Agape Christian School on their twenty years of ministry. We commend Cecile and her staff, and pray God's warmest blessings for years to come. Click here for more information on Agape Christian.

Science Graduates Moving Forward

(April 21, 2014) The Clearwater Christian College division of science announced recent graduate school admission and employment decisions of several of its alumni. 2011 graduate Melissa Johnston of Margate, FL, was accepted into an accelerated nursing program at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, FL. The program will commence May, 2014, and conclude in the summer of 2015. 2012 graduate George Ghareeb will attend the Liberty University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Lynchburg, VA, beginning in the summer of 2014. Ghareeb was also accepted to Campbell University's School of Osteopathic Medicine in North Carolina. George is originally from Fairfax, VA.


There are five from the class of 2014 graduating next month from CCC pursuing various medical and business-related opportunities. Tori Hale of St. Petersburg Beach, FL, will also be attending Liberty University College of Osteopathic Medicine. Kara Lundquist of Bow, NH, will start in August at The New England School of Optometry in Boston, MA. Mara Rivera of Elida, OH, will begin this summer at the Edward VI School of Osteopathic Medicine in Virginia. Alli Avriett of Land O' Lakes, FL, and Paul Witmer of Clearwater, FL, have been recently hired by New York Life Insurance in Tampa, FL, as medical underwriters.



With the exception of Paul Witmer who will graduate with a Pre-Med degree, all these alumni majored in biology.


(April 21, 2014) Landing that first job can be a challenge. However, Lisa Dollenmayer from the CCC Guidance and Counseling Office makes it a little easier through her service and ministry to the student body. This month, Mrs. Dollenmayer has been preparing students to participate in the annual Career Expo Fair sponsored by the Colleges of Central Florida Career Consortium (CCFCC) and is comprised of a number of ICUF colleges in the Central Florida area. The fair was held at the University of Tampa across the Bay and over 64 companies from the Central Florida area participated this year. Nearly 300 juniors and seniors from participating institutions took part in this year's fair. Dollenmayer aided CCC students by aggressively promoting the event, providing free shuttle service to and from campus, and offering timely workshops prior to the actual fair to help students get a competitive edge.

In regards to the benefits of the fair, senior Criminal Justice major Josh Wheeler commented " I loved it (the Expo) because it provided an excellent way to network with various employers even though I still have a year left of school. I loved that even though I am a Criminal Justice major, many of the employers were still willing to talk to me about what they did and how I could get involved. I have certain ideas of where I want to be in life but not always sure how I am going to get there. The career expo provided me the opportunity to look at the different professions offered there to try and get a feel for what I might want to do after graduation."

In addition to career fairs, the Guidance and Counseling Office provides on-going workshops and seminars to CCC students, leads to profitable employment and internship opportunities, hosts prospective employers on campus, and offers one-on-one career counseling to those seeking assistance. Many students who avail themselves of these services find pathways to worthwhile experiences that aid in securing employment after graduation.

Music Alumni Shining in Community

Laura (Koelle) Pyle

(April 17, 2014) What is the best way for our professors to communicate God's work through the educational service they give to Him at CCC? By seeing Him work in the lives of their students through opportunities where they can share their gifts and communicate Christ to others. Two examples emerged this week that give us insight into what the Lord has been doing through the music education program at CCC.

On April 11, the fifth annual TEDx event opened its doors in the Greenville, South Carolina, area and featured among others a cello/guitar duet named WireWood. WireWood musicians include guitarist Keith Groover and cellist Laura Koelle Pyle from Clearwater Christian College's class of 2009. This duet plays instrumental versions of songs in our popular culture and their performances are described as light-hearted, fun, and quite energetic. Since graduating from CCC, Laura went on to earn her master's in music from Converse College and has become the cello professor at Clemson University. She also plays in the Spartanburg Philharmonic, the Hendersonville Symphony, and the Brevard Symphony. Laura is also the Artistic Director and Owner of Trio 864, an event music business serving Greenville and the surrounding area. For this specific event, TEDx chose a total of 19 participants from a nominee base of more than 150 people. Their event was held at the Kroc Center in downtown Greenville.

Two days later on Palm Sunday in the sleepy Pasco County community of New Port Richey, another group has just completed their major performance event of the year. The Richey Community Orchestra and Chorus perform numerous concerts each season but none as large or important to them as their annual Easter performance of Handel's Messiah. This concert has become its favorite since it is one that the orchestra loves playing, choral groups enjoy singing, and audiences flock to hear. The soloist spots are always the coveted ones for vocalists as they give opportunity to sing some of the greatest music written for this time of the year and taken from some of the greatest passages of scripture.

Hannah Schmidtke

This year the soprano solo spot went to none other than CCC's Hannah Schmidtke-senior music education major from Franklin, TN. Schmidtke is in her final semester of school, completing her internship at the Pinellas County Center for the Arts in St. Petersburg. She plans to march with the class of 2014 in graduation ceremonies scheduled for Saturday, May 3. Hannah has had a tremendous educational experience while at CCC performing in numerous school concerts and musicals, being named among the elite vocalists for the Michigan Youth Arts Festival, and a recipient of the David V. Jones Memorial Vocal Scholarship. Regarding her opportunity to participate in this opportunity, Hannah wrote "I was presented with the opportunity to be the soprano soloist by the conductor of the Richey Community Orchestra, who is a close friend and mentor. He believed the performance would help me to further my musical career, but it turned out to be much more valuable. George Frederic Handel's Messiah is a masterpiece oratorio that gives a complete picture of the gospel, drawing most of its text directly from Scripture. Everyone is familiar with the "Hallelujah Chorus," but the beautiful aria that follows is often overlooked; for me, "I Know that My Redeemer Liveth," which quotes Job 19, is the pinnacle of the entire work. We sing of His birth in "For Unto Us a Child is Born," mourn our separation from Him in "All We Like Sheep Have Gone Astray," and anticipate His return in "Hallelujah." But all of that will have been for naught if Christ is still in the grave. An elderly couple came to me after the performance and said, "You must know Christ as Savior. Your eyes lit up as you sang 'I Know that My Redeemer Liveth' because you knew it was true." I hope there will be many more opportunities to sing Messiah in my future, both for its musical value and its eternal impact." After graduation, Hannah is hoping to teach music in the Pinellas County school system.

We congratulate both Laura and Hannah on their selections for these opportunities and thank the Lord for the talents He has given them to honor and magnify His name.

Worthwhile Chapel

(April 16, 2014) The College family was honored to have in chapel today CCC alumnus Dan Emr, executive director of Worthwhile Wear. Dan was a business major at CCC and went on to a successful career in engineering and manufacturing after graduating in 2007. As a layman in 2010, he was moved by the testimony of a young missionary couple who described the plight of women forced into the sex slave market. The Spirit of God gripped his heart and led him to join in this effort to physically and spiritually free these individuals from the bondage of Satan and sin. In 2010 he started Worthwhile Wear, a company dedicated to a four-prong model of ministry that includes rescue, rehabilitation, prevention, and awareness. The manufacturing component of his company gives rescued women a place where rehabilitation can occur through evangelism, discipleship, and the opportunity of satisfying work that gives these individuals a sense of responsibility and worth, and helps them transition back into society as productive members of the body of Christ. It's a dynamic account of how one graduate is taking what God has given him to literally change the world one person at a time.

In his presentation, Dan stressed the importance of having a proper understanding of the realities of human trafficking and warns against 'passion without education.' Most victims are not those experiencing the consequences of bad decisions but are honest, hard-working individuals who are enslaved through trickery, intimidation, and fear. Through the help of local agencies and other professionals, individuals are rescued and invited to join their program which provides housing, timely counseling, and, if necessary, vocational training from caring staff, trained professionals, and a host of volunteers from the community. Worthwhile Wear is the manufacturing arm of the ministry and provides its vocational component. All staff members have the testimony of a relationship with Jesus Christ through salvation and are prepared to respond to spiritual questions and inquiries as the Spirit of God opens doors. Daily devotions and Bible studies, as well as loving care from staff, are often sufficient to create doors for sharing Christ.

One of the reasons Dan was at CCC today is because he is in the area investigating the potential of replicating his ministry in the Pinellas County area. Dan grew up on the mission field watching his father serve Christ in the Ukraine. Coming out of the business world, his dad understood the need of creating ministries that can replicate themselves in other places of the world. Though Dan's father is now at home in heaven, the ministries he started in the Ukraine are continuing and spreading to other parts of the region. Now Dan is using that model in his ministry with Worthwhile Wear.

It is a prayer of Clearwater Christian College that we can assist Dan with educating our Clearwater community regarding the problems of human trafficking and the opportunities that are there to show the love of Christ and share the message of ultimate freedom through Jesus Christ. Check out Worthwhile Wear for more information on Dan and this ministry.

Stimson Accepted to Pharmacy School

(April 3, 2014) David Stimson, generally known as T.J., recently announced his acceptance in the School of Pharmacy at Palm Beach Atlantic University and will begin his academic pursuits this fall. Stimson is a 2011 Clearwater Christian College graduate in the area of Biology.

After graduating from CCC, T.J. worked various jobs while looking for an entry level position in a career field suited to his undergraduate training. One of these jobs was with CVS Pharmacy one of the nation's largest community pharmacy chains. While pharmaceutical medicine crossed his mind briefly in college, it didn't take root until he began working at CVS. This job allowed him to understand better the relationship between biology and chemistry and gain a passion for pharmaceutical science.

In the fall of 2013, T.J. filed his application for graduate school through PharmCAS, the official college application system for this field of study, and waited for the results. He applied to five schools, and so far, he has been accepted by the schools of pharmacy at Palm Beach Atlantic (PBA), Nova Southeastern University (NSU) in Fort Lauderdale, and Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM) in Bradenton. He also was accepted for interviews at the University of Florida in Gainesville and Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) in Tallahassee. After much consideration, T.J. accepted the offer to attend PBA because of their smaller size, tight-knit community, and anticipated Christian worldview perspective.

When asked to comment on any possible attribute that he believed aided his acceptance into pharmacy school, Stimson said "I believe my experience at CVS helped, but it helped more that I did not withdraw from or have to retake any classes in college. I also believe the fact that I chose to do an optional research project my senior year spoke well of my interest, hard work, drive and determination. And although I haven't seen them, I must assume also that recommendations from my professor Dr. Peters and the pharmacist I worked for at CVS had to play a major part in their consideration."

Looking to help CCC alumni who might consider pharmaceutical sciences in the future, T. J. gave the following advice. "Be sure to take the PCAT before graduation and don't wait to apply-the sooner, the better. While in college, take advantage of all your opportunities whether they are leadership ones, pursuing research projects or internships, or taking non-required but challenging courses in your major or a related field of study. I found also that a number of schools are looking for courses in macro and micro economics as possible pre-requisites for admission. Also, listen to faculty members at your major's meetings. Much of what I learned was given to me then, but unfortunately it didn't always sink in. Build relationships with faculty knowing they will be the ones giving you those needed recommendations in the future. Help them speak well of you."

Presently, T.J. lives in Inverness, Florida, with his wife Britney where they are teaching at Inverness Christian Academy and he works part-time at his local CVS. We congratulate T.J. and join the Stimsons by praying for a safe and smooth transition next fall.

Luke to Receive PH.D.

(April 7, 2014) Upon successfully defending her dissertation, Sara Foskey Luke can finally breathe. From here until the end of the semester, she will be finishing mundane paperwork in preparation for that final walk across the stage to receive her Ph.D. from the University of Georgia's school of Education in Special Education. Her specialty is in the areas of early childhood, behavior intervention, and families.

After graduating from Clearwater Christian College in 2003 with her undergraduate in psychology, Sara and husband Chad returned to Georgia where he eventually became the youth pastor at Corinth Baptist Church in Loganville. Sara entered the field of education and for the past ten years she has teaching special education in the Gwinnett County School System. While she has enjoyed the experience, Sara is glad that trek in higher education is finely come to this pinnacle. What's next? For now, she loves teaching and will continue using her gift to help children learn the way God has designed for them. However, she is open to whatever the Lord would have for her and Chad.

Leenman Promoted to Captain

James with 'co-pilot' son Noah

(April 3, 2014) James Leenman was recently promoted to the rank of Captain in the U.S. Air Force. Leenman is currently assigned to Travis Air Force Base and serves as a C-17 Globemaster II commander pilot with the 21st Airlift Squadron (Bee-Liners). In 2013, Leenman completed his mater's in Leadership Administration from Liberty University and was named the Squadron's Junior Office of the Year. James lives in Fairfield, California with his wife Katharine and son.

Nicklas to Wyoming School of Law

At home in Colorado mountains

(April 2, 2014) Four months ago, Conner Nicklas finished his last undergraduate course and packed his bags to return home to Colorado. With his pre-law degree from Clearwater Christian College in hand and after a brief, but well-deserved rest, Conner went to work as a high-end residential security and AV installer to pay off a few bills while completing paperwork for his next great adventure-law school. For years now, it has been Conner's dream to become a water attorney. Growing up out west and in a small mountain community, Conner understands the challenges and politics surrounding one of the greatest natural resources to mankind. Without proper representation, small communities such as his hometown of Granby, just two hours outside of Denver, could easily find themselves in desperate straits. With his degree in hand, it is time to move forward with his dream.

The first step was to apply. Of the five law schools Conner made application to, all five of them offered him admission and at least a three-quarter tuition scholarship. Villanova University and the University of Wyoming both offered him a full scholarship. After further consideration and understanding the benefits of attending school close to home, Conner decided to attend the University of Wyoming. He will start classes in the 2014 fall semester. He is looking forward to obtaining the tools to make his dream a reality.

Conner with sisters Kaileigh, Ashleigh, and brother Ian

In contemplating the road that led him to this point of his life, Conner listed many things. His family tops the list as he gives his parents credit for his love of learning and strong work ethic. There were many friends within the college family and local Clearwater community that also encouraged him along the way. The college class of Skycrest Baptist Church in Clearwater led by the McCanns was always there to encourage him. While at CCC, Conner had given many hours in community service to the local Young Life organization and they reciprocated by helping him on numerous occasions, even giving him a needed home-away-from-home on weekends and during breaks. Faculty members such as Ms. Tanner, Drs. Linebach, McEntire, and Alejandro also contributed in various ways including providing valuable letters of recommendations. When identifying these individuals, Conner realized his success is a result of the efforts of many different individuals and acknowledged a fear he might leave someone out.

When asked about advice he would give to the next group of CCC graduates heading for law school, Conner encouraged them to work hard on their academic pursuits and do their best on the LSAT examination. He suggested they invest a lot of time and effort in studying for the LSAT because of its importance in the process and the challenge it can be even to the strongest academic student. Another piece of advice was to register early with LSAC or Law School Admission Council to benefit from their resources and strengthen one's chances for admission to the better law schools in our country. And finally, find something in life that you have a passion for and focus on that when applying to law schools. His interest in water issues and the manner by which he articulated that to the different admission teams seemed to have been greatly appreciated in his case.

The Clearwater Christian College family joins together to congratulate Conner on a job well done and will join him in asking the Lord to direct his paths in the days to come!

Taxing Internship

(April 1, 2014) With spring finally arriving, most students are outside enjoying the sunny weather and the beaches. But senior Matthew Ferguson can most likely be found at a local St. Petersburg YMCA, sitting across a table helping a local resident file their 2014 federal tax return. By the time April 15 rolls around, he will have spent nearly 140 hours in volunteer service with the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program (VITA). VITA is overseen by the Pinellas Prosperity Partnership (PPP) and sponsored by the IRS, PPP, Juvenile Welfare Board of Pinellas County, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, and other businesses in the community. It offers free tax help for limited income persons, individuals with disabilities, and those with limited English skills. Early in the school year, several business majors were approached by Lisa Dollenmayer, director of guidance and career placement, with this specific internship opportunity, and two, Matt and junior Fredi Baxcajay, decided to give it try. Matt said "I was already in a financial planning internship program with Northwestern, but thought this one in taxation would serve as a great compliment. This internship helps me understand better the tax implications associated with earlier investment decisions people might make."

After completing the required training sessions and obtaining many of the certifications available through VITA, Matt was ready to serve the public. Typically, VITA operates in the Tampa Bay area in 12 to 15 different locations, opening their doors for two to five hours at a time in community centers, area YMCAs, and anywhere else that would provide the needed space. When asked what were the benefits of this specific opportunity to him, Matt stated "When everything is over and done, I will have obtained several tax certifications that will come in handy in the future. I will have also strengthened my communication and social skills with people from various social and economic levels. It's been encouraging to meet folks who come from difficult backgrounds but are working hard to turn their lives around. In addition, I'm learning some great life lessons from others who still have a long way to go."

As a service to Clearwater Christian College, the Guidance and Career Placement Center receives notices about internship and job opportunities, and works diligently to inform and match these with qualified students. Typically, there are more opportunities than available students. Regarding Mrs. Dollenmayer' s efforts, Matt commented by saying "I vowed a year ago that if Mrs. Dollenmayer approached me with an internship opportunity, I would give it serious consideration since she has been proven right so many times when it comes to current hiring trends and skills needed to make an impact in the job market after graduation."

After graduation, Matt plans to continue his education on the graduate level studying business administration, finance, and even attend seminary. His desire is to position himself vocationally in such a way that he can use his business skills to open doors for ministry.

Johnson Attends CPAC

C.J. Johnson with Reince Priebus

(March 27, 2014) On March 6-8, the Conservative Political Action Conference or CPAC was held at our nation's capital. This annual conference typically draws the largest assembly of political activists and elected officers in the United States. The crowd for this year's event reached the 11,000 number. The purpose of this meeting is to rally political conservatives, identify important issues, and test the proverbial waters through straw votes of individuals who might be candidates for the highest office of the land - President of the United States of America. It is literally the "Who's Who" of the conservative political machinery.

Among this elite group was none other than Clearwater Christian College's Curtis Johnson. C.J., as he is known by his fellow classmates, is a senior majoring in Information Systems Management and currently student Body President. His invitation to CPAC came through his association with Turning Point USA - a group headquartered out of Illinois whose mission is to educate students about the importance of fiscal responsibility, free markets, and capitalism through non-partisan debate, dialogue and discussion. They extended the invitation for him to join them for this year's event to help at their exhibit and to be part of the festivities. When asked why he accepted the invitation, C.J. said "I always enjoy being in our nation's capital and networking with old and new friends. I'm able to get a feel for the temperature of the nation's direction and discover where and how I might fit into the process."

While at the conference, C.J. was able to meet a number of conservative power players. Among those he met were former Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich and his wife Callista, Donald Trump, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, and documentary filmmaker Dinesh D'Souza. In addition, C.J. had priority seating for the closing speech given by former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin and viewed live her parody of Dr. Seuss' Green Eggs and Ham. When asked how he perceived this year's conference, Johnson said "CPAC has shifted a bit where libertarian thought is starting to see an advance. There were a lot of younger voters supporting libertarian candidates and agenda. This is quite different than before."

Johnson is no stranger to political activity. Two years ago, he was featured on the national Fox News Channel in regards to the impact The Affordable Care Act was having on health insurance for college students. He also attended the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa as a delegate guest from his home state of Kansas. When asked if he has political ambitions for the future, C.J. stated "I'm unsure if I'll run for public office, but I definitely want to continue my involvement through supporting worthy causes."

Casarow Serves at Choral Event

(March 26, 2014) In addition to their ministry to their students, CCC faculty can be found serving the greater body of Christ through the specific gifts and talents God has given them. On March 11, Associate Professor Dr. Pattye Casarow participated as a choral clinician for the ASCI Northeast Regional Fine Arts Festival held in historic Lancaster, PA. Over 1,050 students from 40 different Christian schools were involved in this event which included both visual art and music. Dr. Casarow was able to work with a variety of different choirs helping them to strengthen their group performance skills and to encourage them to use their talents for the glory of the Lord. Regarding her opportunity, Dr. Casarow states "I was heartened by the enthusiasm and effort of the singers. I am thrilled that these young people are using their talents for God's glory."

Participation in events such as this allows CCC faculty members to share their gifts with the greater body of Christ by presenting fresh ideas, different perspectives, and needed confirmations from other professionals outside one's range of contacts. This variation brings excitement to one's ministry, insights from fresh voices, and great encouragement. In addition, it promotes the ministry of Clearwater Christian College to a group of students who are contemplating God's specific will for their lives. We applaud Dr. Casarow for her willingness to share her gifts and pray for these specific artists as they continue to use their gifts and talents for the glory of God and the Gospel.

Graduate Opens New Music School

(March 25, 2014) On February 19, the City of Pinellas Park celebrated the grand opening of Hoeft Music School on 5741 75th Ave. N. The owners of Hoeft Music School are 2009 CCC graduate Kendall McGuire Hoeft and her husband Michael. From this new location, the Hoefts plan to reach out and help people ages 8 and older to learn or develop their music and drama skills. Kendall holds a B.S. in Music from CCC and has numerous years teaching music through local Christian schools and businesses. Michael is an architecture and recording arts student at St. Petersburg College. Both have enjoyed a life-long love and participation in both music and drama performance. The Hoefts met in 2009 when they were attending the Harborside Christian Church in Safety Harbor.

The location for their new business is another interesting part of the story. Years earlier, the City of Pinellas Park started a major redevelopment effort to revitalize a once thriving area of their community called United Cottages. In its hey-day this area was a major hub of winter tourism and afforded residents a nice, cozy community where most services and businesses were within close walking distance. However, over time, the area fell into disarray and was considered a blight on the community. City efforts in addressing major infrastructure concerns and encouraging residents to revitalize their own properties are slowly having the desired effort. The Hoeft's new location is a newly developed two-story structure where they will operate their business on the first floor and live on the second floor above it. Such revitalization is attempting to recreate the feel from earlier days. In addition, this is the Hoefts' first house, which always adds an element of excitement.

For more information on this endeavor, go to or visit their facebook page

Valcin Commissioned in the Navy

Alumnus (Bo) Valcin

(March 7, 2014) CCC alumnus Bothvill (Bo) Valcin was commissioned as an Ensign in the United States Navy during a ceremony held in the C.W. Bill Young Joint Military Leadership Center located on the campus of the University of South Florida in Tampa. Valcin is a 2013 graduate of Clearwater Christian College where he majored in pastoral studies. Bo transferred to Clearwater Christian College while with the Marines to pursue his undergraduate degree and participate in ROTC. With his commissioning yesterday, Bo returns to full time duty and leaves for assignment at the Mayport Naval Station in Jacksonville, Florida, to assume his post aboard the cruiser USS Vicksburg.

Clearwater Christian College was well represented during the commissioning ceremony. CCC alumnus Carl Martin ('77) joined Bo's wife Jennifer to pin on his bars. Dr. Martin was also given the privilege of giving the benediction at the conclusion of the ceremony. Registrar Tom Cannon officially represented the college. He serves as academic liaison between CCC and ROTC detachments at USF.

Bo excelled while at Clearwater Christian College in many ways including being recognized eight consecutive times on the PresidentÕs Academic List honoring students who earn a GPA of at least 3.90 for the given academic term. In addition, Bo was awarded the highest honor any CCC student could be given - the coveted Arthur E. Steele Award for exemplary character and dedication Š at the 2013 Commencement service on May 4.

Rays Chaplain Addresses Student Body

Alumnus Gio Llerena

(March 7, 2014) When one considers MLB's Tampa Bay Rays, names such as David Price, Ben Zobrist, and Sean Rodriquez may come to mind. But what about Gio Llerena? Few recognize this name, but Gio is a vital part of the Rays organization. In 2005, Gio joined the staff of Baseball Chapel as the director of Latino Ministries with responsibilities in countries such as Venezuela, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic. But in addition, he is Chapel Minister for the Tampa Bay Rays, one of the hottest teams in the eastern division of MLB's American League. Gio is also a 1994 graduate of Clearwater Christian College where he majored in Business.

Gio's journey after graduation led him into a successful business career in Tampa and his hometown of Miami, and then on staff at Clearwater Christian College. He later accepted a call to full-time ministry to serve as youth and Spanish ministry pastor for the New Testament Baptist Church in Largo, Florida. From there, the doors opened for an opportunity to join Baseball Chapel to minister to an exclusive group of young men and their families who happen to be members of one of America's favorite past times.

Gio was invited to be the chapel speaker during our 2014 Spring Student Athlete Days. This admissions recruitment event targets young men and women who want to participate in intercollegiate athletics while attending college. Gio's appearance in chapel on this day stresses an important distinctive of CCC- athletic participation is a means to glorify God by allowing the gospel to permeate our entire being in such a manner that we speak it openly through our lives and witness to others. In his message, Gio compared the world's view of success to that spoken of in the Bible. The world views success through victories won and personal statistics. The Bible views success in how one honors and magnifies the Lord Jesus Christ. In addition, Gio gave three marks of the Gospel-centered athlete-humility, passion for God, and self-control-through specific scripture and examples from his ministry in major league baseball.

Klem Announces Kellogg Scholarship

Dr. Klem presents award to Matt Kellogg

(March 6, 2014) Statements such as 'hard work pays off' can be realized in so many different ways. Today in chapel, President Klem shared with the student body one way that involves a CCC faculty member.

Just moments before our morning speaker was to preach his message, Dr. Klem invited Professor of Education Dr. Matt Kellogg to the platform. Dr. Klem proceeded to inform the student body that a scholarship program in his honor will become available beginning this year. The scholarship was established by donors in recognition of Dr. Kellogg's impact on students through his teaching, discipleship ministry, and willingness to go the extra mile for his students. The scholarship, named the Matthew Kellogg Scholarship for Teachers, will award $2,500 to an eligible education major, with preference given to mathematics education majors. The scholarship is intended to be renewed each year until the recipient graduates from CCC. More info...


Gio Llerena, Steve Cone and Nathan Buchanan

(March 5, 2014) At the spring meeting of the board of directors, numerous individuals, including a good representation from CCC alumni, were invited to attend as their first introduction to this vitally important component of the college organization. The purpose for this effort is to fortify the board of directors and to increase the number of men and women who can contribute to the ministry through their expertise, experience, and resources. The list of invitees was generated through the efforts of a board ad hoc committee comprised of board member Kathy Hildebrand, advisory board members Thomas Bates (committee chairman) and Nathan Buchanan, and faculty representatives Kris DeWitt and Ben Puckett. More info...


(February 28, 2014) Tuesday night fine art events typically include a dramatic presentation or vocal or instrumental performance by some outside accomplished actor or musician. But this Tuesday's concert is a special one. It features one of Clearwater Christian College's own - Ryan Blakemore.

Ryan followed his brother Andrew and sister Gracelynn to CCC to study with Dr. Craig Ralston and left in 2010 with a B.S. in Music (all-in-all, there are five in the Blakemore family who are alumni of CCC!). After CCC, Ryan continued on to Florida State University and earned a Master's degree in Piano Pedagogy studying under Vicki McArthur, Joshua Pifer, and David Kalhous. He also taught on the undergraduate level, served as a practice coach, and lectured during their summer piano camp. After FSU, Ryan kept excelling. He enrolled at University of South Carolina studying under professors Charles Fugo and Scott Price. Also at USC, he taught class piano, presented a session at the SC State Music Teacher's Convention, and accompanied for the University Chorus and undergraduate vocal auditions. In July, Ryan moved to Orlando and joined the Orlando Music Institute and the teaching faculty of CCC. A long list of musical accomplishments follows him wherever he goes. And wherever Ryan travels, he finds himself a part of a local Bible-believing church, investing his talents for the Lord's use in that local assembly. More info...


(February 27, 2014) Brooke Begemann graduated from Clearwater Christian College in 2010 with a degree in Mathematics, a commission as a 2nd Lieutenant with the United States Air Force, and the prospects for great things in the future. But no one knew exactly what those prospects would be. As with most graduates, she obtained the academic training and spiritual influence to impact her world for Christ. But the role she would play in the future would be determined as she applied them to life and walked through the doors God opened for her along the way.

Fast forward three years later. It is now Captain Brooke Lake. A marriage to Andrew and a promotion are the cause for these changes in her life. But another change has come for Brooke through the Air Force. In 2013, the Air Force commissioned a feature they call '28 Days in the Air Force Global Strike Command' where a journalist, photographer, and videographer travel to several bases around the United States covering the airmen of Global Strike Command. Global Strike Command is one of the most vital arms of the USAF. GSC provides combat-ready forces to conduct strategic nuclear deterrence and global strike operations in support of combatant commanders. In this feature, Brooke takes center stage as we discover her role as trainer is revealed. Brooke is on the forefront of the world against global terrorism and has a front row seat in training others to effectively serve their country.

With assistance from the USAF, we are able to share aspects of this story with our CCC family. Click on Video to see and hear Brooke, Life of a Missile operator, and Photos for related stills.


(February 25, 2014) The college family was informed of the homegoing of Catherine Anthony, former professor in the Division of Humanities, on Sunday, February 23. Mrs. Anthony came to CCC from Washington Bible College in 1995 and continued until her retirement in May, 2012. Kitty, as she was often called by her fellow teachers, was known for her scholarship and kind spirit. Humanities Division Chair Dr. Daniel Hurst stated "Kitty's actions caused my wife and me to come to Clearwater. The president discussed the need in the English department with her, and she discretely called us when we were working in South Carolina. She asked whether or not we had names to consider for the position at Clearwater. We did submit a name. Then we thought that God might mean for us to apply, so we did, and now over fifteen years have elapsed in our work here. Kitty had wonderful self-possession and a lively sense of humor. She was widely read and brought all of these qualities to work harmoniously in the English department. She might have been the most urbane person with whom I have worked closely. I think that she could talk to kings without being intimidated. Her extensive travel leant authenticity to her discussion of literature. I would love to overhear her as she reviews her fervent reformed position now with the One she would declare to have been its Author." Assistant professor of English and Literature Kim Tanner and one of Mrs. Anthony's students stated 'Kitty was so kind and helpful to me when I came to Clearwater to teach. She gave me stacks of books, videos, and anything else she thought might be useful, not to mention a lot of excellent advice about planning study tours. I appreciated her when I was a student at Clearwater, but I appreciated her even more as a colleague. She is missed.' A memorial service will be held at Clearwater Christian College on Monday March 17 at 10:00 a.m. in the Gospel Center Memorial Chapel.


(February 24, 2014) It all started as a simple trip to China for a teen seeking an experience of a lifetime and resulted in a lifetime experience for the entire family! This is the gist of what alumnus David Altman shared in chapel with the CCC family - but there's so much more to the story!

In the summer of 2011, Katie, the oldest daughter of Pastor Dave and his wife Teresa, travelled to Maria's Big House of Hope in Luoyang, China, to minister to special needs orphans. This care center is owned and operated by a Christian organization out of Franklin, Tennessee, called Show Hope started by recording artist Stephen Curtis Chapman and his wife Mary Beth. These children have been abandoned by their Chinese birth parents, given loving treatment by the gracious staff at MBHOH, and made available for adoption to Christians living in the USA. More info...


Student Stacie Brandt(center) with Cynthia Bartal(left) and Jody Dorris

(February 21, 2014) Each year, the Education department sponsors a recruitment conference targeting the educational and ministerial needs of Christian organizations throughout the United States and even into different parts of the world. In recent years, between twenty and twenty five Christian ministries, most being Christian day schools, come to campus to find graduates who can fill positions they anticipate open for the coming school year. While teachers are among the chief hires being sought after, many ministries also come looking for other non-teaching employees such as assistant pastors, accounting and business personnel, facility managers, and other vocational specialists who desire to invest their training in full-time Christian ministry.

Among the recruiters attending this year's conference are CCC graduates are Stephanie Kuhn Bruns ('04) elementary principal at Lakeside Christian School in Clearwater, Jody Cloud Dorris ('96) middle school language teacher from Hendersonville Christian Academy in Tennessee, and Sarah Bartal ('05) music teacher from Barnabas Christian Academy in Port St. Lucie, Florida. We welcome all our guests and especially our alumni back to campus.

Congratulations to the education department for another great conference. For more information on employment opportunities linked through CCC, click on jobs.


(February 19, 2014) Carl Martin ('77) is featured by Tyndale House England on their News and Publication website link from an interview conducted last fall before he returned to the states. Founded in 1944, Tyndale House is an independent biblical studies library that provides specialist resources in support of research into the Old Testament, New Testament and relevant historical backgrounds. Its research services and resources have aided Bible scholars in their personal study and completion of advanced degree projects. Many well-known evangelical and contemporary Christian thinkers and authors from our country and abroad have availed themselves of the resources and fellowship available through this society of learners. Carl has had the privilege of utilizing their resources in his most recent doctorial pursuit where he has been directing his academic thoughts toward the Gospel of John. Click here to read the full interview.


Condolences go out to the family of Dr. James Munro who went home to be with the Lord on Thursday evening, February 13, 2014. Dr. Munro joined the CCC family in 1987 and served as vice president until his departure in 2002. Dr. Munro will be remembered for his warm smiles, humorous anecdotes, and genuine love of people. He leaves behind his beloved wife Reva, daughters Jody (husband Roger) and Jamie (husband Mark), and four grandchildren.


The College family sends its condolences to the family of B. Robert Biscoe who went home to be with the Lord on Wednesday, February 12 at age 89. Dr. Biscoe joined the college in 1992 and served the ministry for ten years as field representative and vice president for development. Dr. Biscoe was preceded in death by his first wife Mae and grandson Sgt. Allen James Dunckley and is survived by two daughters, five grandchildren, twelve great-grandchildren, and second wife Evelyn.


(February 14, 2014) The College family welcomed Bobby and Karen Williams, representatives of Camp Grace in Fairmont, North Carolina, to campus on this Valentine celebration. After graduating from CCC in 1984 in Physical Education, Bobby and his wife eventually became missionaries with Children's Bible Ministry (CBM) and moved to Robeson County in 1996 to begin a camp ministry. While CBM has been ministering in the area since 1955 with a unique ministry to the Lumbee Indian children through Bible clubs, it had never had an active camping ministry. The William's challenge was to find property, start a camp program, and expand this ministry to the churches and families of greater Lumberton area. The early years were difficult but over time the camp had blossomed in a tremendous outreach to their community. One purpose for their trip to CCC was one to recruit summer workers for the 2014 camping season.

Clearwater Christian College has had a small part in Camp Grace over the years. Bible professor Bob Carver has been a featured camp speaker since their inception. Current CCC students Matt Altman, Rebecca Luepschen, Matt Schisler, and Lydia Huguenin have all served on staff in the recent past. In addition, CCC registrar Tom Cannon and his wife Judy have led student work crews during spring break to help prepare for upcoming summer ministry.

Click on Camp Grace for more information.


(February 10, 2014) Twice a semester, faculty heads from the five academic divisions of the college sponsor what we call Major Meetings where pertinent information regarding the academic program, advising, and graduate school or vocational interest are addressed. Often these meetings include guest speakers who present a topic of interest or need for students pursuing specific career tracks. On this specific occasion, Clearwater Christian College students in the business division and psychology department were greeted by graduates Max Duchame and Jennifer Carter.

Max is a 2012 Business graduate and is employed by Cintas, one of the nation's largest suppliers of specialized services to the business community. In his address to the business division, Max shared the challenges of finding that first job after graduation and the important role internships play in the overall process.

Jennifer graduated from CCC in Psychology in 2011 and currently works as a family case manager for Devereux of Florida located in Palm Bay. Devereux is one of the leading nonprofit behavioral health organizations in the country that supports the most underserved and vulnerable members of society through their national network of clinical, therapeutic, educational and employment programs. Jennifer shared her journey through college into the mental health field, sharing many practical college and work experiences she had along the way. It was good also to hear both graduates remain active in a local church in their communities. Jennifer plans to travel this summer with a church mission team to minister at an orphanage in Ethiopia. Both graduates are experiencing success at their company and came expressing encouraging promise to CCC students who seriously consider their organization upon graduation.

CCC thanks Max and Jennifer for sharing their experiences with fellow alumni. Other alumni interested in participating in similar mentoring opportunities are encouraged to contact their Alumni Association.


(February 4, 2014) With word that the ministry Answers in Genesis (AIG) was planning to Livestream a debate between president/CEO Ken Ham and popular science educator/television personality Bill Nye (Bill Nye, the Science Guy) from their main auditorium in Kentucky, the CCC science department jumped at the opportunity to promote this once-in-a-lifetime event with the student body. While many Christians have been aware of creationism vs. evolution debates of the past and may have even seen one on a DVD, very few have had the privilege of sitting live during such a production. Since a trip to Kentucky was not practical, bringing the debate to the campus via Livestream became as a viable alternative, much like watching the Super Bowl from the comfort of your own home. Experiencing this event along with their students, professors Dr. Jonathan Henry and Dr. Helene Peters are in a great position to build on information communicated by the debaters in future classes and to engage students in meaningful gospel conversations. More info...

NORTH TO ALASKA: Reuniting with Mike and Michelle Hogberg

(January 30, 2014) The road we take after graduation can seem like a roller coaster. The pikes and valleys do not always represent good and bad times, but twists God places in our paths to lead us to His perfect will.

Such is the case for Mike and Michelle Hogberg. After graduation from CCC in 2003, the Hogbergs moved quickly into the flow of life. With his degree in Business, Mike had two loves that he wanted to pursue vocationally - aviation and law enforcement. The first turn was the successful completion of pilot training at the local St. Petersburg/Clearwater airport. With a move back to their home state of Indiana, Mike took his first position as a Trooper with the Indiana State Police department and Michelle began her career in education. In 2005, the Hogbergs returned to Florida so Mike could start a graduate program in aviation at Embry-Riddle University in Flagler County. Everything seemed to be moving along better than they could have dreamed.

But here the road took a sharp turn. More info...


In spring of 2012, Dr. Pattye Casarow and the Handbell Choir of Clearwater Christian College traveled to Turkey in what they called 'Bells for Bursa,' a ministry trip. This trip was unique in that they introduced handbell music to the citizens of that nation and obtained access for ministry to hundreds through public concerts and workshops. In addition, the trip enabled CCC students to build bridges of friendship that many have maintained to this day with fellow college students in Turkey. To state the trip was life changing would not be inappropriate at the least. More info...