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Menno Simons College Celebrates Accomplishments of 66 CRS and IDS Graduates

On June 9, 2011, Menno Simons College celebrated the achievements of 66 Class of 2011winter and spring graduates in Conflict Resolution Studies (CRS) and International Development Studies (IDS). The Menno Simons College (MSC) celebration was held in UWinnipeg’s Convocation Hall, following the morning convocation services.

MSC 2011 graduate Jared Wheeler, BA 3-Yr, CRS/IDS Double Major, and Dr. Ray Vander Zaag, Assistant Professor and Program Coordinator of International Development Studies

Menno Simons College is the downtown campus of Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) and is located at and affiliated with The University of Winnipeg.

“We gather to acknowledge years of hard work, laughter, and friendship at this celebration of light and hope,” says Dean of Menno Simons College Dr. Richard McCutcheon. “We are proud of our graduates and we want to welcome them into our Menno Simons College alumni group. We look forward to following their careers in peace and justice work, international development, and conflict resolution.”

In the tradition of MSC past graduations, students and families shared a luncheon meal followed by a graduation program. Among the year’s graduates were seven MSC students with majors in CRS or IDS who in total earned nine medals at UWinnipeg’s morning convocation.

The MSC program opened with a heartfelt invocation by Dr. John Derksen, Associate Professor, Conflict Resolution Studies, and opening remarks by CMU President Gerald Gerbrandt, who expressed his confidence in the Class of 2011 having “a passion for issues of justice and mercy, and skills to make a difference in the world.”

Guest speaker Lois Coleman Neufeld, Executive Director, Mediation Services, remarked, “I believe you have learned the basics of leadership through your courses, and have the skills of leaders.” She highlighted having a profound respect “for the other” as being of great importance, along with the qualities of passion and compassion. “Take the best of what you have learned and use it for others,” she advised the graduates.

Sharing student reflections were graduates (Roberta) Bobbie Whiteman, 4-yr. IDS and Human Rights graduate, and medal winner Zoë Gross, 4-yr. CRS graduate, majoring in Women’s Studies.
Whiteman expressed her appreciation for MSC tuition and travel awards that helped the single mom complete her education. Gross commented, “What is special about MSC is that even if you don’t enter with a concern for conflict resolution and justice, you leave with passion and hope for a (better) world.”

Academic Advisor Gina Loewen, Associate VP Ruth Taronno, and Dean McCutcheon. presented the 2011 Graduating Class.

Graduate Jared Wheeler (3-Yr., CRS/IDS Double Major) originally expected to take one course at MSC as an option. Says Wheeler: “I was hooked on the program right from the introductory course. MSC offered such a welcoming environment. And happily, that first course led me on to International Development Studies. It opened to me the thinking that we could change the world. It is possible.”

In addition to MSC’s graduation class of 66 students, CMU earlier this spring graduated 78 students at its southwest Winnipeg Shaftesbury campus, for a total of 114 graduates. An additional 64 Outtatown students completed international programs, returning from sites in South Africa and Guatemala.

Menno Simons College is one of the world’s largest centres for peace and justice studies. The College provides education flowing from Anabaptist Mennonite understandings of faith, peace, and justice while engaging other religious traditions and intellectual perspectives. MSC fosters a learning community that prepares students from diverse backgrounds for participation and leadership in local and global communities. Considered a pioneer in International Development Studies and Conflict Resolution Studies, MSC offers a wide range of courses and experienced faculty in these areas, along with practicum opportunities and supporting scholarships.

Canadian Mennonite University offers undergraduate degree programs and two graduate degree programs. CMU has over 1,700 students at its Shaftesbury campus, downtown MSC campus, and in its Outtatown international program. A member of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC) , CMU operates a number of schools and institutes, including the Canadian School of Peacebuilding.

For MSC information, contact:
Ruth Taronno: r.taronno@uwinnipeg.ca ; tel. 204.953.3846
http://mscollege.ca

For information on MSC award-winning students, contact:
Gina Loewen, Academic Advisor: g.loewen@uwnninipeg.ca
Menno Simons College Tel. 204.953.3848

For CMU information, contact:
Nadine Kampen, CMU Communications & Marketing Director
nkampen@cmu.ca ; 204.487.3300 Ext. 621

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Articles Graduates 2011 Video

Alumni Profiles – Rebecca Reesor (CMU ’11)

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This video features Rebecca Reesor (CMU ’11) at In Gratitude, April 16, 2011, a CMU graduation weekend event at which class members share their experiences through spoken word or musical performance. The event brings together family members, graduates, students, faculty, and staff.

Rebecca Reesor, piano
Scarbo fromGaspard de la Nuit, Maurice Ravel
Bachelor of Music, Concentrations: Performance, Music Ministry

Video Production: Laura Tait, CMU Communications & Media Student (2011)

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Articles Graduates 2011

Alumni Profiles – Christy Anderson (CMU ’11)

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This video features Christy Anderson at In Gratitude, April 16, 2011, a graduation weekend event that celebrates CMU graduates by inviting class members to share their experiences through spoken word or musical performance. The event brings together family members, graduates, students, faculty, and staff.

Christy Anderson
Bachelor of Arts, 4 year, Major: Communications and Media

Video Production: Laura Tait, Communications & Media Student (2011)

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Articles Graduates 2011 Video

Alumni Profiles – Alexandria Eikelboom (CMU ’11)

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This video features Alexandria Eikelboom at In Gratitude, April 16, 2011, a graduation weekend event that celebrates CMU graduates by inviting class members to share their experiences through spoken word or musical performance.  The event brings together family members, graduates, students, faculty and staff.

Alexandria Eikelboom
Bachelor of Arts, Honours, 4 year, Majors: Biblical and Theological Studies, Psychology

Video Production: Laura Tait, Communications & Media Student (2011)

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Alumni Profiles – Chelsea Froese (CMU ’11)

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This video features Chelsea Froese at In Gratitude, April 16, 2011, a graduation weekend event that celebrates CMU graduates by inviting class members to share their experiences through spoken word or musical performance.  The event brings together family members, graduates, students, faculty, and staff.

Chelsea Froese, mezzo-soprano with Henriette Schellenberg, piano
Una Voce Poco Fa from The Barber of Seville, Gioachino Rossini
Bachelor of Music, Concentration: Comprehensive

Video Production: Laura Tait, Communications & Media Student (2011)

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Articles Graduates 2011 Video

Alumni Profiles – Jenny Hiebert (CMU ’11)

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This video features Jenny Hiebert at In Gratitude, April 16, 2011, a graduation weekend event that celebrates CMU graduates by inviting class members to share their experiences through spoken word or musical performance. The event brings together family members, graduates, students, faculty, and staff.

Jenny Hiebert
Bachelor of Arts, 4 Year, Major: Psychology

Video Production: Laura Tait, Communications & Media Student (2011)

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Articles Graduates 2011 Video

Alumni Profiles – Joshua Ewert (CMU ’11)

YouTube Preview ImageThis video features Joshua Ewert at In Gratitude, April 16, 2011, a graduation weekend event that celebrates CMU graduates by inviting class members to share their experiences through spoken word or musical performance. The event brings together family members, graduates, students, faculty, and staff.

Joshua Ewert
Bachelor of Arts, 3 Year, Major: Business and Organizational Administration

Video Production: Laura Tait, Communications & Media Student (2011)

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Articles Graduates 2011 Video

Alumni Profiles – Erin Weaver (CMU ’11)

YouTube Preview ImageThis video features Erin Weaver at at In Gratitude, April 16, 2011, a graduation weekend event that celebrates CMU graduates by inviting class members to share their experiences through spoken word or musical performance. The event brings together family members, graduates, students, faculty, and staff.

Erin Weaver
Bachelor of Arts, 4 year, Major: International Development Studies

Video Production: Laura Tait, Communications & Media Student (2011)
 

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Articles Graduates 2011 Video

Alumni Profiles – Amanda Bruneau-Schroeder (CMU ’11)

YouTube Preview ImageThis video features Amanda Bruneau-Schroeder at In Gratitude, April 16, 2011, a graduation weekend event that celebrates CMU graduates by inviting class members to share their experiences through spoken word or musical performance. The event brings together family members, graduates, students, faculty, and staff.

Amanda Bruneau-Schroeder, soprano with Rachelle Reinhart, piano
The Girl in 14G Jeanine Tesori and Dick Scanlan
Bachelor of Music, Concentrations: Performance, Music Education

Video Production: Laura Tait, Communications & Media Student (2011)

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Outtatown Celebrates Experiences of Students Returning from International Sites

GuatemalaAfter three months of service and learning in some very challenging and rewarding situations, 64 Outtatown students and eight leaders returned home in April from South Africa and from Guatemala, completing a challenging and rewarding eight-month Outtatown program. They were joined by their families and friends and CMU staff during a weekend of dialogue and celebrations, closing with their Outtatown graduation service on April17 at CMU.South Africa

“Change was evident in each one of our students – change that went deeper than the tans and the smiles on their faces,” says Paul Kroeker, Dean of International Programs and Outtatown Director. “These students had been challenged deeply as they encountered beauty and brokenness in so many different ways along their journey. It was evident in their eyes as they began to share what they had learned and experienced.”

On the days following their arrival back in Manitoba, the teams and leaders took time to debrief and share their experiences.

“Their eyes glistened as stories began to pour out of them, sharing insights which had transformed them on this journey. They had stayed with families who lived in houses smaller than their bedroom back home, but who hosted them in that humble setting with love, joy, and acceptance,” says Kroeker. “This had been very moving to receive and experience. They saw extremes in wealth and poverty, and knowing which group they were in, had to ask some profound questions about international justice and the basic question that was once asked of Jesus, “and who is my neighbour?”

Kroeker notes that, for most of the Outtatown students, Christian community was the most significant part of the journey. It helped to define the transformational learning that had taken place. Within the context of a well mentored experience, each student had been challenged to new levels of self-acceptance, and accountability. “They had learned to deal with the issues of beauty and brokenness within, just as they were dealing with similar issues in the world around them,” says Kroeker. “This combination gave hope that the change was not superficial, nor momentary, but something which they would continue to process in the years to come.”

Graduation on Sunday, April 17 concluded the program’s debriefing process and gave opportunity for a celebration of learning and achievement. In addition to students and leaders, countless ministry partners across Canada, in Guatemala, and in South Africa were part of the journey.

“Through stories, music and in the spirit of the place, God’s grace and goodness was celebrated by parents and friends who came to the graduation,” says Kroeker. “They had been part of a large prayer support network throughout the year, and wanted to be part of the process as one story of transformation came to its conclusion, and the next story of God’s grace would begin.

The Outtatown Discipleship School is a unique and enriching program for students seeking a life-changing experience of adventure, travel, service, and Christian studies.

Outtatown’s mission is to inspire and nurture students in their life of discipleship with Jesus Christ… in a journey towards: Knowing God in truth and relationship; Knowing yourself in personality, character, abilities and gifts; Knowing the world in its beauty, diversity and pain. Outtatown offers two-semester programs at site locations in Guatemala and South Africa, for which students may earn up to 18 credit-hours, and new in Fall 2011, a one-semester program with a French Africa site location.

Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) is a Christian university in the Anabaptist tradition, offering undergraduate degrees in arts and science, and such disciplines as business and organizational administration, communications and media, peace and conflict resolution studies, music and music therapy, theology, and church ministries, as well as graduate degrees in Theological Studies and Christian ministry. CMU is a Member of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC). Located in Manitoba, CMU has over 1,700 students at its Shaftesbury Campus in Southwest Winnipeg, at Menno Simons College in downtown Winnipeg, and enrolled through Outtatown.

For information, contact:
Nadine Kampen
Communications & Marketing Director
Tel. 204.487.3300 Ext. 621
nkampen@cmu.ca
Canadian Mennonite University
500 Shaftesbury Blvd.
Winnipeg, MB R3P 2N2