Saturday, July 2

Author: Grace Beckner

Features Editor
Trevecca alum makes it to the Saturday Night Live Stage
Alumni, Features

Trevecca alum makes it to the Saturday Night Live Stage

By Grace Beckner James Austin Johnson, pictured fourth from left, during the opening of "Saturday Night Live" When Zachary Swafford, a senior vocal performance major, first heard the news, he was rehearsing for Trevecca’s production of the musical Freaky Friday. “We were at rehearsal, and they had announced that [James Austin Johnson] was going to be a new face on SNL,” said Swafford. One of Swafford’s professors told the group there was going to be a Trevecca alumni on Saturday Night Live, but Swafford had no idea that alum would be the first person he would see when the show opened--doing an impression of President Joe Biden, no less. Johnson starred in the opening sketch of his SNL debut on Oct. 2. He co-starred in three other sketches that night. “We just thought th...
Features

Religion professor serving community through foster care

By Grace Beckner Without the open heart and home of a single woman, Mary Schmitt, assistant professor of biblical studies at Trevecca, might not be here today. Schmitt’s grandmother was born to a mother who died not long after childbirth, and to a father who was unable to care for a newborn baby. The father put the child in a home with a family, and when he could no longer pay them to care for her, she was brought to an orphanage. Schmitt’s grandmother was taken in by a single woman who saw how sick she had become and thought she would not do well in the orphanage. So the woman, after gaining permission from the orphanage and the child’s father, took the baby home. “She was never allowed to adopt her, because she was a single woman, and you weren’t allowed to do that until ver...
Campus News

Enrollment exceeds 500 new students 

By Grace Beckner Student Orientation Day 2 at Trevecca More than 500 new students joined the TNU community this fall, marking a new milestone for admissions. Melinda Miller, executive director of undergraduate admissions, said there were a total of 501 freshmen and transfers enrolled this fall, with 425 of those being freshman and 76 transfers. In the fall of 2020, there were 350 new freshmen and 66 transfers. Miller said the admissions team was anticipating an increase in enrollment from the beginning of the recruitment cycle due to the new test-optional admissions policy. This meant students only needed a 2.5 cumulative GPA in order to qualify for admission, eliminating the need for a minimum ACT score of 18 in addition to a 2.5 GPA. “When our cabinet and academic council...
Trevecca marketing team gains new leader and vision
Campus News, Faculty

Trevecca marketing team gains new leader and vision

Trevecca will soon have a redesigned website under the direction of the new leader of the marketing department.  Mollie Yoder, who was hired in December to fill the vacant associate vice president of marketing and communications position, is four months into her new role and focused mostly on launching a new website for the university and building her new team. Yoder was hired after a months-long search to replace Matt Toy, who resigned from the position last year, said Holly Whitby, vice president of enrollment and marketing. Yoder has a bachelor’s degree in communication and public relations and a master’s in business management and leadership from Liberty University, where she worked as the director of marketing from 2009 to 2016. Most recently, she was the director of marke...
Admissions pushes through pandemic to bring in new students
Campus News, Coronavirus, Faculty

Admissions pushes through pandemic to bring in new students

Next year's freshman class is on track to surpass the numbers of the freshman who came to Trevecca in 2020. “Based on what I am seeing, it looks like the pandemic may have affected us more in the fall of 2020, than it is going to affect us in the fall of 2021,” said Melinda Miller, executive director of traditional admissions. Trevecca admissions officials say they have admitted 985 freshmen as of Monday, Feb. 22, while at the same time last year they had admitted 765 freshmen. They attribute this increase of admitted students to their test optional policy adopted for the fall of 2021. This fall, 350 freshmen and 66 transfers enrolled at Trevecca. That's about 61 fewer than the 392 freshmen and 85 transfer students in the fall of 2019, the year before Covid-19. For the coming f...
Walden celebrates Black History Month on campus
Events, Features

Walden celebrates Black History Month on campus

Walden, the student club on campus dedicated to building community around primarily African American and Black students, was determined to celebrate and share Black History Month with others despite barriers to planning events during the COVID-19 pandemic.  “Black history actually does exist here on Trevecca’s campus, and so I think it is important that we celebrate it,” said Lea Bryant, the president of Walden.  Walden held its first event of the month on Feb. 4 at Trevecca Community Church; a “get-to-know Black History Month” presentation for the students at KidPOWER, the on-campus after-school program offered free to families in the Napier-Sudekum Community.  “Going through all the classrooms, there were really good discussions being held and the kid...
Student retention holds steady despite pandemic
Campus News, Coronavirus

Student retention holds steady despite pandemic

When COVID-19 sent Trevecca students and faculty scrambling to figure out online learning last spring, Megan McGhee, the director of new student programs, said student development went into crisis mode. “In the spring, I think it was all so new that, to a certain extent, we were all just trying to survive,” she said. The crisis in question? Convincing students to return to Trevecca in the fall. Jeff Swink, the coordinator of retention and assessment, defines this problem as “trying to make sure that every student is retained at the university each semester.” Across the United States, the average student retention rate at four-year institutions is 81 percent. Trevecca’s average retention rate in the past has been 87 percent. This year, largely because of the pandemic, the ...
Campus News

Student led podcast to focus on fostering communication on campus

Allie Tooley and Kennedy Crider laugh and bicker back and forth as they brainstorm possible names for their podcast--a shared dream that has been several years in the making.   “Kennedy had this dream for a podcast that she had been talking about for a while, but it just kind of got to the point where we thought, ‘why don’t we just do it?’” said Tooley.  Crider lovingly referred to the project as her “four-year frustration.”   Podcast cover artwork, provided by Tooley and Crider. The podcast, which was eventually named “Loose Leaf Tea & You with Kennedy and Allie,” is meant to be a means of conversation and communication between the Trevecca students to the administration and faculty.   “We want to have a space for conversation where people from ...
Students learn to navigate music while socially distant
Coronavirus, Features, Music

Students learn to navigate music while socially distant

Choir rehearsal takes place socially distant. Photo provided by Trevecca Marketing. For Selah Torralba, a sophomore instrumental music performance major, her current experience as a member of the Concert Choir is miles away from what she remembers it being last year. “There used to be rehearsals with anywhere from 10 to 30 people in one rehearsal,” Torralba said. “And now, any sort of larger ensemble is broken up into smaller sections.” Trevecca’s music department has placed its focus on trying to be as prepared as possible for the complications of in-person learning this semester, said David Diehl, the dean of the school of music and worship arts. “We took a very research-based approach to figuring out the best way to offer a quality face-to-face experience that is safe,” D...
Freshmen adjust to campus life amidst a pandemic
Campus News, Coronavirus

Freshmen adjust to campus life amidst a pandemic

Freshmen Hannah Kleppinger, Alanna Ziegler, Taegen Gann and Destiny Noella attend club rush during Trevecca's traditional welcome week, wearing their masks. Photo provided by Hannah Kleppinger. Making friends, building community, being independent, staying healthy, finding an identity: These are just some of the struggles current college freshmen are facing, all in the midst of a global pandemic. Hannah Kleppinger, a freshman pastoral ministries major, said she is feeling the weight of everything that has happened over the past year.  “Basically the entire normalness of my life is gone,” Kleppinger said. Sara Hopkins, director of counseling services, reported seeing trends in the mental health research surrounding incoming freshmen. According to Hopkins, freshmen level...