Posted by cservaes on June 19, 2012 in "adventures in faith", Alumni, "Current Students", Events, "Online Education", "The College", "University of Kentucky"
“God puts people in your path for an absolute reason,” University of Kentucky Athletic Director and OU alumnus Mitch Barnhart says. “He doesn’t make mistakes. Failures. Disappointments. Losses. It’s all for a reason.” That is part of the message that Barnhart shared with Ottawa University students in February during the annual Adventures in Faith event. He was one of seven speakers to visit campus February 1-3, 2012, for the occasion.The event provided students and the Ottawa community with insight into each of the speakers’ careers, overall life and faith journeys. All seven of the speakers were alumni from OU’s various campuses. While on campus, they visited classrooms and organizations and participated in two open discussion sessions, allowing students and the public to hear from each of them. Mitch Barnhart ’81 Athletic director at the University of Kentucky, Barnhart has managed to develop a top athletic program while maintaining integrity of character and faith. Connie (Brown) Barnhart ’81 A former Ottawa University basketball and volleyball player, Barnhart currently works as a physical therapist. She and Mitch have served among the poor in Appalachia. Pamela (Anderson) DeFries ’75 A 7th grade language arts teacher in the Topeka Public School District, DeFries has taught all levels of elementary school students. She has also taught high school English for seniors and college-level speed reading classes. She was selected as Distinguished Staff Member in 2009 and is department chair at French Middle School. She is married to S. Lucky DeFries ’75. Wayne Koons ’56 A retired Lieutenant colonel with the United States Marine Corps, Koons spent more than 20 years working for NASA before retiring in 1983. Koons was the pilot who retrieved astronaut Alan Shepard, the first man launched into space, and his Mercury capsule. After retirement, Koons moved back to his hometown of Lyons, Kansas, where he farmed for more than 15 years. Jakoma Machok ’11 ’12 KC One of the Lost Boys of Sudan – a group of about 27,000 boys from Southern Sudan who lost their families to genocide in the 1980s and 1990s – Jakoma lost the majority of his family at the age of five and spent the next 13 years of his life living in refugee camps. Today he lives in Kansas City, Kansas, where he is a supervisor at a Costco. Carlos Martinez ’05 IN An accomplished musician from Managua, Nicaragua, Martinez began playing the piano at the age of five and joined the National Conservatory of Music at the age of seven. He has eight years of teaching experience, teaching at the Baptist Conservatory in Managua, Nicaragua, and the Nicaraguan Christian Academy. He currently serves as music teacher at the Bowling Green Christian Academy in Bowling Green, Kentucky, and as a minister of music at Grace Community Church, but will be returning to Nicaragua with his family in the near future.