By JASE BRANDT, reporter
Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2018

The Sterling College Campus Activities Board will host a Water Pong event on Tuesday, Oct. 16, at 7 p.m. in Upper Wilson.

“We’re very excited about it. It’s supposed to be really chill but still inclusive,” said CAB President Brianna Chastain. “We wanted to get an event that kind of fits a lot of the student body.”

The game is essentially Beer Pong, but will be played with water instead of beer. This is a more tame event for CAB compared to their previous Color Wars event and their upcoming Halloween Bash, both of which are fast-paced and require a lot of work.

Water Pong will be a game of team elimination. Each team will be composed of two people. The first-place winning team will receive a $25 gift card to Applebee’s while the second-place winning team will win a $15 gift card to Subway.

“We try to do that on purpose to kind of give us a little break and be able to focus a lot on the crazy ones, which is nice,” Chastain said.

Now that Sterling College’s busy homecoming week is over, students will now have more time to attend extracurricular activities and events like the ones CAB hosts.

“We’re trying to figure out a way to bring more people to our events and a lot of times it’s really hard getting people to come,” said CAB Coordinator Patty Davila. “I know that this whole last week, theatre couldn’t go to any of the events for homecoming because of the musical. So, that’s a lot of people that we lost there. So, we’re trying to include everybody in our events.”

Sign-ups for Water Pong will be conducted outside the cafeteria during lunch hours for the rest of the school week.

The next event CAB will be hosting is their annual Halloween Bash on Oct. 25.

Friday, Sept. 21, 2018

Fall colors blurred behind crowds of red and blue at Warrior Fest Saturday, as local businesses, churches, and college athletes gathered on both sides of downtown Broadway Street to give and receive information about their programs. 

The festival lasted from 9:30 a.m. until noon, as families and students visited the athletic and business booths. Leather jewelry, pumpkins, print Warrior T-shirts, crochet hats, home baked goods, carved wood décor, and meals were being sold. 

The purpose of Warrior Fest is to give the college students an opportunity to get familiar with the downtown area and for the community members to greet the college athletes they’ll be supporting. 

“I enjoy seeing students in a different environment and getting excited about the fall athletics. It’s essential for a small town to connect with its college. They rely on each other. Neither would be the same without each other” said Mark Tremaine, assistant professor of criminal justice.  

The Sterling College football team and cross-country team signed photos, the soccer teams sold scarves, the golf teams directed a chipping game, the volleyball team offered serving for prizes, and the women’s basketball team hosted a BBQ sandwich sale. While the men’s basketball team played basketball with kids, the softball team did face painting, the baseball team led a kid’s pitching practice, and the cheerleaders performed stunts and cheers.  

“I enjoy seeing the town all come together. To interact with the community our team sells scarves, kicks the ball around with the kids, or we’ll juggle the balls. From my freshmen year to now, it’s really evolved and gotten bigger and bigger each year. It’s cool to see how they change it each year,” senior soccer player Haley Garcia said.  

The Chamber of Commerce sponsors the festival each September and welcomes people of all ages to participate in the morning’s activities.   

Wendy Calderwood, who graduated from Sterling College in 1989, said Warrior Fest was an exciting experience.  

“Today was my first time coming to Warrior Fest. I enjoy all the energy. Everyone is just excited about Sterling,” she said. “The community of Sterling does a great job of supporting the college and the college does a great job of supporting the community. So far I’ve participated in bingo, a bean bag toss, and now I’m going to get some barbecue from the basketball team. I will come back next year.”  

Warrior Fest finished with women’s and men’s soccer games at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. This was followed by a football game against Kansas Wesleyan at 6 p.m. For a full list of this year’s athletic events, visit

By HANNAH ABBATE, reporter
Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2018

Friday’s Convocation hosted a special guest speaker.

Bill Seely, who plays an important role in the Varsity Spirit organization, spoke during the Oscar Schmidt Lecture Series. Seely is from Memphis and recently served as the executive vice president for Varsity Spirit’s Training and Education division.

Seely took this time he had with the students and staff of Sterling College to share some of his own experiences growing up and his own trials throughout his life. Growing up with the wrong influences led him to live a life that often left Seely all alone. Sports also played a great role in his life, as he would not have gotten the scholarships he did without his athletic abilities, for which he credits God.

Only after hitting a low point in Seely’s life did he hear God and turn to the Bible. He began to turn his life around and truly saw the Lord working through him and his family, even through challenging times and difficult changes. Now, with Seely’s background in cheer, he has helped to start up USA Cheer as well as STUNT. It is now a fast-growing female sport and is even being considered for official NCAA sport status.

Seely closed off his message by saying, “Live, fight, love,” and even had the entire audience repeat this with him.

“Live a life worthy of your calling,” he said to the audience.

Sterling College President Scott Rich met Seely on stage afterwards and awarded him with a mini version of the campus’ Servant Leadership statue that is on display behind Cooper Hall, as a thank you.

By JASE BRANDT, reporter
Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2018

Photo by Jase Brandt

Friday night the English Blend held a chocolate fondue event at Dr. Mark and Laurel Watneys’ house where students and faculty alike shared their favorite literary works.

It was the English Blend’s first event of the 2018-19 academic year. To start things off, the attendees enjoyed chocolate fondue inside the Watney home while they socialized among themselves. This was followed by a campfire outside where everyone introduced themselves and shared some of their favorite writings. This included literature, poems, song lyrics and other various types of writing.

It is a yearly tradition of the Watneys to host the chocolate fondue event in their home and they both look forward to it every year.

“I love the chance to get to know people outside of the college,” Laurel said. “You learn things about people that you otherwise wouldn’t. Not too many people here were English majors. But they all had a love for beauty, and they all had a love for communicating and wanting to share. And I thought that was really cool.”

Photo by Jase Brandt

Unlike English Blend events in the past, the chocolate fondue event was open to all students and not just English Blend club members. Jesse Sheppard, the president of the English Blend, is working hard to welcome all students to join the English Blend events.

“We’re hoping we’ll get some more people to show up this year. I know last year we had a few issues like communicating it to the people,” he said. “We want to try to develop better events and have more people show up. And this year we’re focusing on developing that. We’re trying to have people who aren’t necessarily English people. We’re trying to take it away from just a Language and Literature Department event. We want it to be more inclusive to everyone on campus.”

This is one of the main reasons senior Kaitlynn Little joined the English Blend her sophomore year. She was looking for a strong group she could belong with.

“I’ve always felt safe there,” she said. “I think it’s very hard to be fake there or to feel the need to be something you’re not. You don’t have to be perfect or something like that. You’re actually talking about things that are important to you. And you’re trying to help others grow as well. You can’t really be fake about that. And I just really appreciate that.”

Photo by Jase Brandt

The English Blend is currently composed of four members: sophomore Jesse Sheppard as the president, sophomore John Mayo as both the vice president and secretary, senior Kaitlynn Little as the treasurer, and sophomore Bailey Gorges as the publicist.

Dr. Watney is a Language & Literature professor at Sterling College. He has a Ph.D. in Humanities (Literary Studies), a MA in English Literature and a BA in Social Science. His wife Laurel has earned a BA in Biblical Studies and a MA in Human Services. She began working in the Mabee Library in 2011 and became Director in 2017.

The next English Blend event is planned to be a Scary Story Time in Cornerstone on Oct. 29.

Editor’s Note: This story was updated on Sept. 20, 2018, to correctly identify when Laurel Watney became the library director. A previous version of this story said it was in 2011. We apologize for the error.

By JASE BRANDT, reporter
Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2018

Photo Courtesy of Kara and Mackenzie Photography

Sterling College staff member Micah Black married his college sweetheart Jordan Himes on Saturday.

Leading up to the exchanging of vow, Micah said he was experiencing several emotions.

“I’m stoked. I’m very excited,” he said. “I’m a little nervous. I’ve never gotten married before. So this will be a new experience for me. I’m happy, a little nervous, but I got faith that it’ll turn out just fine. And, at the end of the day, we’ll be married and there we go. New chapter.”

The wedding ceremony took place outdoors at the McGlynn Family Farm just a few miles north of Sterling. The couple were joined together by the groom’s father, Jon Black. They had some untraditional elements added to their ceremony, such as their decision to write their own vows and the act of them taking turns washing each other’s feet like Jesus did to His disciples in John 13:1-17.

Their reception followed in Upper Wilson on Sterling College campus.

Micah and Jordan left on their honeymoon the day following the wedding. They were heading to Washington state for a week to do things such as hiking and exploring the area.

The newlyweds have already made arrangements to rent an apartment in Hutchinson and commute to Sterling for work. Micah will continue working as the Web and Visual Arts Specialist in the Sterling College Marketing Department, and Jordan will begin working as the Children’s Ministry Director at the First United Methodist Church on Oct. 1. Jordan is looking to help out in other areas of the church as well.

Micah grew up in McPherson and Jordan in Eureka before meeting each other at Sterling College. Micah graduated in 2018, and Jordan graduated in 2017. Micah majored in Communication & Media Arts with concentrations in Cinema Production and Multimedia Production while Jordan majored in Applied Vocal and Theatre Arts with a concentration in Performance. They were both active on campus. They were both involved in theatre, choir, and Highland Singers, and they made the Dean’s Honor Roll in spring 2015. Micah was also homecoming king his senior year and is a completer of the Honors Program.

Despite all those accomplishments, Micah says that his greatest accomplishments at Sterling College, include getting engaged to Jordan his senior year, was never pulling an all-nighter and building strong relationships with people.

“At the end of the day, I think that the most important thing is the relationships you develop that stick with ya,” he said. “Those are the good things: relationships that you have in context with God’s love. Love God, love others. Follow your heart unless your heart is dumb, then don’t follow it. And be kind and be consistent.”

By JASE BRANDT, reporter
Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2018

Photo by Jase Brandt

Kansas artist Caitlin Penny displayed her work and process of printmaking to Sterling College students and faculty on Friday in the Sterling College Art and Communication Building.

Penny began the exhibition by giving a presentation over her work that is currently hanging in the Art and Communication gallery before printing t-shirts and bags for those who attended. Each design is an animal or a couple animals that are currently endangered, particularly endangered animals that most people do not know about.

Photo by Jase Brandt

“I picked endangered animals but I also tried to pick pretty obscure ones,” she said. “Everyone knows tigers are endangered, everyone in the country. No one knows that the Hawksbill sea turtle even exists, which is, of course, part of its problem. No one knows it exists, no one cares, therefore no one tries to do anything.”

Because of this issue, Penny’s goal is to spread awareness of endangered animals through her printmaking. She also donates a portion of her proceeds to the World Wildlife Fund. More information about the World Wildlife Fund can be found at

Penny’s desire to use printmaking to spread awareness stemmed from the roots of printmaking itself.

“The nice thing about printmaking is printmaking has a history. Printmaking started as book-making. It was a way to spread information. The very first thing that was printed was Bibles. So, printmaking has a long history of spreading information. It has kind of an underground kind of feel to it, especially nowadays. It’s sort of a weird, analog way to spread word. It is handmade. That’s kind of what’s it’s become now,” she said. “We’re surrounded by information, just pointless information out there, news and social media and everything. So, to spread information this way, it’s like, ‘Here it is. It’s real. You can touch it. You can feel it. You can smell it.’ It has a different feeling. People are going to carry these things around and look at it everyday. I’d like to think that it sticks with them.”

Along with being a professional artist, Penny is also an adjunct for Friends University in Wichita. She graduated with her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Drawing from Kansas State University in 2011. After she and her husband moved to St. Louis, Penny completed her Master of Fine Arts degree from Washington University’s Sam Fox School of Art in 2015.

Penny’s exhibit entitled “Carved: A Printmaker’s Labor” will continue to be on display through Thursday.

To connect with Penny, you can check out her blog, follow her on Instagram, or check out her market on Etsy.

By Darren Porche (Photo courtesy of Startup Stock Photos from Pexels)   Sterling, Kansas — May 7, 2018, 10:00 A.M.

It’s that time of the year when all homework is over, all quizzes are finished and all tests are done as well, but that means it is finals week. This is the week all college students dread mostly because they’re looking forward to the week’s end when they all can leave and go home. College students shut everything down for finals week and bury themselves in studying and trying to get that last grade to help them out for the semester. Now studying for finals isn’t a bad thing, but sometimes studying too hard can get stressful. To get over that stress I have some stress relief tips during finals week:

  • GET SOME SLEEP! – During finals week, students tend to stay up most of the night studying like crazy trying to “cram” before that exam. Staying up all night studying for the exam is not the best way to go because you’ll be way too tired to be focus on the test. I say “get you some sleep” every day leading up to the test that way you’ll be fully rested and ready to go.
  • Take Breaks – While studying, people like to keep going nonstop without taking a break. The brain of a college student isn’t meant to constantly be on one subject for long periods of time. While you’re studying you should take some breaks to get your mind off studying for a good minute or two.
  • Listen to Music – Find yourself a couple songs that you can listen to and go away into and be by yourself. When you’re listening to your song you can be calm and relaxed.
  • Hang out with friends – To get your mind off the long nights studying and relax, you can go the simple route and hang out with friends. You guys can go out, watch movies or do nothing together and have some laughs.
  • Just Stop!—Just stop the long nights, stop working yourself so hard you can’t sleep and just stop overwhelming yourself. No matter how much you overwork yourself it’ll hurt you most of the time and almost ruin your chances on that exam. If you just relax and trust your brain knowledge with the fact that you got this! Trust that you have what you need to pass that final and get this semester over with!!!!

By William Dutton   Sterling, KS – April 27, 2018 2:36P.M.

Daniel Swartz, department chair of Art and Design at Sterling College was pleased with what his four seniors displayed at their senior art show Thursday, April 26.

He noted, “Each group of graduating seniors is unique in their chosen mediums/methods, messages and personalities. It is always exciting to see them mature artistically from their freshman year through to this final project. All of them have grown in significant ways, and I think have found their unique, authentic voice for this season of life. I’m eager to see what they all do next.”

The show was advertised around campus as “Homeland.”

One of the four seniors, Astrid Moncada from Patterson, California shared why the title was chosen for their senior show, “The posters are called “Homeland” because all the seniors in the show come from different places and with that are displaying art that is very unique from each other.”

Astrid's Art.jpg
Astrid Moncada’s paintings. Photo by William Dutton

Moncada, a staple on Sterling’s ministry teams the last few years has always been intentional about building strong relationships within her family back home. Her senior project then, naturally included people.

She stated, “My senior exhibit includes three paintings that are portraits of my grandmother, grandfather and mother. I really enjoyed being able to tell a story about the different personalities that my family members are known for.”

Fellow senior and California native Brandon Peterson has usually been seen with a camera in his hands while at Sterling. For his final project however, he decided he wanted to add another element.

Peterson commented, “My senior art show is a collection of photo collages that tell the story of Christ’s love for the church, and how that love is mirrored in marriage and family. In this project I’ve mixed photography, which I’m so familiar with, and collage, which is a brand-new medium for me. It has been really enjoyable to see how these two art forms work together, and to stretch myself as a well-rounded artist.”

Olivia Dunning, yet another west coast student has always loved to travel. She brought that experience into her final project at Sterling.

Dunning stated, “I am doing a series based on National Parks and other beautiful landscapes on the American west coast. I love to travel and explore nature, so I really enjoyed getting to bring that experience into my art.”

Peterson’s male counterpart in the department is Jose Chavez. Chavez ventured away from the type of art most people think of and came up with combing graphic design and a passion of his together.

He shared, “I made a soccer magazine. It is based on the amateur soccer scene in the state of Colorado. What I enjoyed the most was getting to travel from city to city and learn more about the new leagues and teams. Also, the fact that I was mixing two of my favorite passions made it more fun.”

Anyone who attended the show may have been in awe of the final product they saw. The seniors, however, had to withstand multiple challenges along the road to get ready for the show day.

Peterson noted the end of the year busyness was tough to handle at times.

Brandon Talking
Brandon Peterson showing his photography collage. Photo by Micah Black

He said, “The most challenging part of putting together my senior art show was definitely the time constraint. My collection consists of around 30 individual pieces that all are meant to function individually but also as a part of a bigger picture. Pulling this off in three months, while still enrolled in other classes, was truly one of the most difficult projects I’ve ever tackled.”


That’s a big statement coming from a guy who has taken countless photography sessions for weddings, senior pictures and other events over the past few years.

Dunning’s obstacle was different from Peterson. She sets the bar high for herself in most situations, and had a tough time feeling done as her final project wounded down.

She shared, “I am my harshest critic so coming to a stopping point is always the hardest part of any piece. I constantly see myself improving and sometimes I just have to relax and call a piece done.”

Jose Chavez explaining the soccer magazine he designed. Photo by Micah Black

Being a harsh critic is tough but traveling over a break from school and work can sometimes may seem tougher, but for Jose Chavez it seemed important to complete his project.

Chavez explained, “Getting interviews and photographs for the magazine was very hard. Colorado is quite far away and getting these things was not easy. I had to use my spring break to do all of that, and I ended up working during my break.”

Moncada shared a similar state of mind as Dunning as the process wound down.

Moncada said, “The most challenging part about my art pieces was knowing when it felt done. There was always something to fix or enhance in my portrait paintings. I also think the hardest part was not being afraid to paint something different. For example, my backgrounds changed a lot and I got comfortable painting with bright vibrant colors.”

Being Seniors these four have thought a great deal about the near future. All of them want to pursue art in their own unique way.

Moncada mentioned, “I will continue art by actually going to grad school in the future to study art therapy for children. I plan to have a graphic design job during this time as I pursue my education in art therapy and counseling. However, I will also make sure to strengthen all aspects of my artistic side such as music. I hope to also do mission work and use art as a means to share the gospel.”

For Dunning and Chavez using their graphic design skills seems to be an emphasis and desire of theirs for the future.

Dunning stated proudly, “I will definitely be continuing in art after I graduate. I will be working a job where I get to use my graphic design skills, and I will also be putting together an illustration portfolio with the goal of illustrating children’s book one day.”

Jose's Art
Jose Chavez’s graphic design display. Photo By William Dutton

Chavez, on the other hand, wants to use graphic design for his career choice.


He said, “I do want to continue, but mostly in graphic design areas and photography. I guess this has become part of me, and I want to continue doing it for as long as God lets me do it. To be able to find a job as a graphic designer and keep moving up the ladder and hopefully one day work for big design firms would be my goal.”

And for Peterson it seems to be a no brainer to stay with art.

He commented, “I absolutely want to keep pursuing art! I love traveling around the country to photograph weddings and connecting with people on that personal level. I hope to reach a point where I can actively do freelance photography full-time.”

With four seniors graduating in a department that’s not huge, what do they see for the future here after they graduate?

“I can definitely see that this art department will grow. We have so many gifted students who are pursuing art with a Christian-based faith and that for me is impactful! This department will keep preparing artists who will change the world around them by how they create,” Moncada declared.

Peterson echoed the same sentiments saying, “The future of the art department is bright. There are some freshmen and sophomores right now who are really talented. I know those students’ work will only improve in the next few years, and I’m excited to come back and see more senior exhibitions in the years to come!”

Chavez believes the department helps get students ready for the future.

He said, “I hope the department expands. This program does a good job to prepare students for a competitive world, and hopefully more students sign up to be art majors. But if more students come in, the building will need to expand too, and I hope that happens.”

Not only do these students see future success for the younger artists, they are leaving with thankful hearts filled with gratitude toward the people that got them where they are today.

Olivia Dunning at the art show. Photo by Micah Black

Dunning said, “Sterling offered me the opportunity to stretch myself as an artist. I got to try things I would never have thought to try before and gain experience with many tools and art styles that helped expand my ability as an artist.”




Chavez credited professors for his new skills.

“Having professors that care for your growth and success is what stands out the most. Also, learning more about artistic aspects in graphic design. I came to appreciate certain elements even more, like typography and the use of white space.”

Peterson had hills and valleys during his Sterling career, but he enjoyed the consistency he saw in people.

“My time in the Sterling College Art & Design program has been high and low, challenging and frustrating, but one consistent factor has been the intentionality of my professors. Every year, they have shown me that they not only care about my growth as an artist, but as a Christian,” he noted.

Professors are also something that Moncada has really internalized during her time at Sterling.

Astrid Moncada telling the stories behind her paintings. Photo by Micah Black


“Something that stands out about my art education at SC is the fact that I have professors that push you to create outside your comfort zone. I am grateful that they challenge you to try new things in order to see you grow as an artist. However, what stands out the most is that I have professors that encourage and reflect a Christian lifestyle to their students in the class setting,” she said.


Professor Swartz talked about this specific senior class and said, “I think every graduating class has set the tone in some way. Each senior show has a way of helping expand the possibilities for the classes after them. I think it helps younger classes dream bigger by opening up new avenues.”

By Micah Watney and Jase Brandt Sterling, KS — April 25, 2018, 10:20 A.M.

If you are a student on the Sterling College campus, you most likely have heard bits and pieces of the campaign titled, “SterlingNOW.” However, there are probably many pieces to the campaign that you are unfamiliar with. SterlingNOW is being titled, “The capital campaign for Sterling College.” For those who are unfamiliar, SterlingNOW is not just another marketing campaign being done to gather donations from alumni. This campaign is a massive and ambitious endeavor to grow Sterling College exponentially.

The campaign is split up into three main goals for what needs to get completed: upgrade the science and academic facilities by building the Zaid-West Center and renovating Thompson Hall, Expand the Gleason Physical Education Center to meet the needs of growing academic and athletic programs and grow our endowment, guarding the College against volatility in the higher education environment.

sterlingNOW science building
The design for the Zaid-West science and research building featuring multi-use labs and a greenhouse.

The first and primary goal of the campaign is the construction of the new science and research building, Zaid-West. Placed between Cooper Hall and Kelsey Hall, Zaid-West will be a 34,000 square-foot, two-story building which will include, but is not limited to, brand-new science equipment, multiple-use labs, a greenhouse, as well as allowing for more classroom space on campus. The construction of Zaid-West will also include a new parking lot to complement it.

Currently, Thompson Hall is being used as the main building for science and research courses, however, with the Zaid-West construction plans, Thompson Hall will be renovated for new purposes as another step for the campaign. According to the SterlingNOW campaign website, Thompson Hall’s renovations will make it “look and feel like a brand-new building.” The renovation plans to add new offices, multipurpose classrooms, and improve the quality of the outside structure.

SterlingNOW gym
The plan for Gleason’s renovations which include new classrooms and an auxiliary gym.

Thompson Hall isn’t the only building on campus being treated to a renovation through the campaign. Gleason Physical Education Center needs more preparation for Sterling College’s first ever master’s programs: Master of Science in Athletic Training and Master of Arts in Sports Ministry. On top of the renovation, Gleason will also get an extension added to it. These new changes include new classrooms, an auxiliary gym, and overall improvement to the building. The renovation and the extension will cover a 33,000 square-foot area.

The final step of the SterlingNOW campaign is increasing the current endowment for Sterling College. With new funds, Sterling College will no longer have to worry as much about its financial dependency. A more secure endowment means better finances for the campus as a whole. This relates to scholarships, department funds, and student life which all increase enrollment and attract more students to Sterling College.

To help Sterling College reach their goal, the J.E. & L.E. Mabee Foundation is offering a grant for the SterlingNOW campaign, also known as the Mabee Challenge. If Sterling College can achieve $20 million of its $25 million goal by Oct. 10, 2018, the J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation will donate $2 million to the campaign. So far, the campaign has raised $17.45 million from 1,132 donations and pledges. If you are interested in contributing towards the goal, click here and follow the given steps to show your support and help them reach their goal.

As of right now, there is no solid timeframe as to when the projects will be completed once fully funded. However, according to David Landis, Vice President for Administration, “The architect and contractors are telling me that each project should take about 12 months. I am thinking more like 15-18 months per project due to weather delays. However, we might do more than one of the projects at a time. Most likely, the order will be: Gleason, Zaid-West, Thompson, and the Front Entry Parking Lot.” This means that not many current students are going to be seeing the full benefits from the physical structures of the SterlingNOW campaign.
For more information on the SterlingNOW campaign, visit or contact to see how you can help with the growth and future of this campaign.