Posted on 08 October 2014.
Posted on 01 April 2014.
As finals week approaches, most students are studying and thinking about summer break, but not music students. Since back from spring break, Indiana Wesleyan University’s Chorale, university signers, band, orchestra and members of the women’s chorus are joining the Marion community and performing in an Easter Pageant to celebrate the holiday.
The Marion Easter Pageant has been a Grant County tradition put on by local musicians since 1937 at the Marion Coliseum. According to Dr. Todd Guy, director of IWU’s chorale, its prime was in the 1940’s and 1950’s but the tradition stopped in 2003 when the Coliseum was remodeled into what is now the YMCA.
Along with the music, there will be actors interpreting what the choirs are singing.
“It is about Christ’s time during the Passion week,” Guy said. “There are people acting it out while the choirs are depicting what is happening.”
Guy said there are 25 pieces the choirs, band and actors are performing and are introducing 12 new pieces this year.
“The music has always changed, but it has not changed much in the 15 years,” Guy said. “We are trying to contextualize in the modern day culture so this generation will recognize some of the songs.”
Chorale member Jenna Truty (sr) participated in the pageant when it came back two years ago after the nine-year break. She said she thinks this will get viewers to look at the death and resurrection of Christ in a whole new light.
“It is nothing that I have ever seen before. It is one thing to know the story of Jesus through church, but it is another thing to witness His whole life right in front of you,” Truty said. “You can feel the pain of his death and you get to join in the gladness of his Resurrection.”
Students may feel they do not have time to go and see this performance at the YMCA April 15, but chorale member Mari Wilkinson (jr) said it’s worth putting aside time to see.
“We are in the season of Lent right now, and we can keep our focus on Christ through this,” Wilkinson says. “If they can come out and see this that is good to support the community and you are going to need a study break.”
Tickets are free but need to be picked up at the box office in the Phillippe Performing Arts Center as there is limited space in Marion’s YMCA gymnasium.
Posted on 17 February 2014.
Brenda Sloan’s office sits buried in the middle of the Burns Hall of Science and Nursing at Indiana Wesleyan University, a testament to the school’s successful history producing healthcare professionals.
IWU alumni perform better than the U.S. average on the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses. The NCLEX serves as a post-graduation test for nurses that determines if they move on in their career field. In 2013, 88.5 percent of IWU grads who took the test passed on their first attempt, compared to the national average of 83 percent.
Sloan apologizes for a “messy” desk that would put some of the most organized students to shame. A well-worn Bible leans side-by-side with nursing books. Pictures of past graduating classes hang on the wall. NCLEX books, study guides and review games line the assistant professor’s shelves.
“We are concerned about the NCLEX pass rate, and we have to be, because the state board mandates that we do,” Sloan says, referencing the increase in test standards and subsequent national drop in pass rates. “But when our pass rate drops, we feel badly because each one of those percentage points represents a student who did not pass.”
While 90 percent of all nursing hopefuls passed the NCLEX in 2012, that number dropped to 83 percent in 2013.
IWU nursing faculty aren’t the only ones thinking about the university’s above-average rate.
Meet Linnea Williams (sr), one of nearly 100 soon-to-be IWU alumni taking the NCLEX in the months following April’s graduation.
“For most students they look at graduation and it’s exciting, it’s over. But for nursing students, graduation is the beginning step of it,” Williams says. “It’s terrifying because four years of school comes down to this one test; you can graduate and get your degree and still waste that four years if you don’t pass.”
That’s something students like Williams don’t want to think about, so IWU’s School of Nursing provides multiple ways of testing to prepare its students starting freshman year. The goal, Sloan says, is that students will not “go to NCLEX and find many questions that they’ve never heard of.”
The nursing curriculum prepares students in multiple ways, including frequent testing, hands-on experience at medical institutions and practice exams known infamously to nursing students simply as “ATIs.”
Even after IWU nursing students graduate, the university provides one last assist. New grads can enroll in a three-day intensive class the week after graduation, spending six hours a day reviewing a four-year study guide.
Yet while Sloan’s office shows every indication of those vigorous preparations, she says the key to IWU graduates’ NCLEX success might go beyond standardized tests.
“Our faculty do an amazing job of keeping in touch with students,” Sloan says. “We meet with each student individually. Some we tend to mentor more than others, depending on the need we see.”
“This school prepares us really well for it, but there’s still a big aspect of fear,” Williams says, commenting that even now, she thinks about the NCLEX “all the time.”
Jordan Wible (alumnus ‘13) represents a recent success story in the nursing department who no longer has to worry about the NCLEX. Wible passed the test on his first try in late January, and commends IWU for its program.
“I think it prepared me pretty well overall. The NCLEX is pretty knowledge-based, and the knowledge you learn in school is pretty important,” Wible says, admitting he was still nervous going into the exam. “In general you don’t really know what to expect.”
But after all the exams, quizzes, studying and everything else that goes with preparing for nursing’s biggest test, Wible can say the words that make it all worth the work:
“It’s so nice to be able to finally call yourself an actual nurse.”
Posted on 23 January 2014.
Marion residents can now enjoy a tasty treat that’s served around the world at a new local restaurant.
Matt and Mary Stinson recently opened up Crepe Crazy, a cozy cafe that offers both sweet and savory crepes.
“[Crepe Crazy] fills a niche in Marion for both the independent food market and the dessert market,” Matt said.
Matt believes Crepe Crazy will be a standout among other restaurants in the city.
“Crepes are popular all over the world,” Matt said. “We wanted to do something that wasn’t being done here in Marion.”
The Stinsons have had their fair share of experience in the food business. From owning franchise pizza restaurants to frozen yogurt shops, Crepe Crazy marks the twelfth restaurant the Stinsons have owned.
Matt and Mary were missionaries in Brazil for 10 years before moving to Marion in 2008. After their move, the two opened up JuJu Berry, a self-serve frozen yogurt shop.
Crepe Crazy opened up Dec. 17, 2013 and the Stinsons are working toward making the restaurant better for the staff as well as the customers.
“We want everything to be as fast as possible,” Matt said. “Sometimes, people will eliminate you if you are slow. We make the food fresh when a customer comes in and orders, so we are striving to get orders out fast.”
The menu, designed by Matt and Mary with unique combinations, includes a choice of more than 20 different savory and sweet crepes. The savory flavors are served in a choice of panini or crepe.
Matt described one of his favorite flavors – the Mac and Ribs. It’s a crepe or panini filled with macaroni and cheese, pork, barbeque sauce and grilled onions. He said many of the combinations are designed to be classic favorites with a new twist.
“We want to find food that people like but put a different slant on it,” Matt said.
As far as the future for Crepe Crazy, the Stinsons said there may be new menu items as the restaurant gets more popular.
Mary described an idea of a crepe that would include frozen yogurt from JuJu Berry. She also mentioned other menu items may be featured weekly such as a pot roast savory crepe.
Crepe Crazy is open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.