MyMBU

MBU Senior Stories 2019

Get to know our MBU graduates

Jordan Foster

B.S. in Business Administration | Hometown: St. Louis

Sports/Organizations
MBU Institute for Leadership, Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE), Association of Black Collegians (ABC)
What does being a Spartan mean to you?
Being a Spartan to me means being part of this “Spartanhood” with people who want to see you succeed, you just have to get out there and find them.
What professors/staff inspired you and why?
Dean Brenda Bradford, CeCelia Bonds, Mark Pribonic, Dr. Jerry Deese, Dr. Tim Delicath, Dr. Andy Chambers, Dr. Alton Lacey, Lara Hines and Aaron Lumpkin. All were involved at different times in my collegiate career, and they’ve always given me the urge to push harder for greatness at anything I was doing and they were very supportive.
How has MBU impacted your faith?
MBU impacted my faith by seeing other side to Christianity and religion as a whole. I’m the daughter of a minister so faith was something that I was very familiar with. I think my college experience played a big part in me seeing how important it is to have faith in this process.
How has MBU prepared you for your future?
MBU prepared me for my future by commanding me to learn how to effectively express myself beyond cultural boundaries.
What are your next steps after graduation?
Next steps after graduation are to go into the world of finance and management as a trading services representative or event planning. After a much needed break I may go back to school to become an interior decorator.


Kristianna Pirrie

B.M.E. (Bachelor’s of Music Education) | Hometown: St. Louis, MO

Sports/Organizations: Choir, Opera/Theatre, MBU Ringers, NAfME, SWACDA, NATS
What advice would you give to your freshman self?
I would tell myself to be present in every moment instead of rushing from one event to the next. College flies by too quickly.
What professors/staff inspired you and why?
Dr. Jason Mallory and Dr. Jordan Cox have both inspired me to pursue the Lord’s calling on my life with tenacity and excellence.
How has MBU impacted your faith?
MBU taught me what it means for the Lord to be completely sovereign in His plans for us, and there is nothing I can succeed in or fail at that will separate me from His love.
How has MBU prepared you for your future?
The skills I have acquired and refined during my time at MBU are entities I am proud to offer in service to the Kingdom. These skills are unique to my training at MBU in all the ways the Lord needs them to be in order to fulfill His specific plan for my life.
What are your next steps after graduation?
I will be continuing to teach private voice, musical theatre, and acting at Gateway Center for Performing Arts, as well as preparing for a master’s degree in vocal pedagogy.


Pablo Hernandez

B.S. in Physical Education and Education K-12 | Hometown: Ames, Spain

What advice would you give to your freshman self?
Be open to people and get involved in the community. Get to know the people around you and let them get to know you. Build strong relationships and friendships — and MBU has a great and healthy environment for that. Get involved in the community here and the different activities that are offered. Also, enjoy every moment because four years of college go by faster than you think.
What are your next steps after graduation?
After graduation, I am going to go back to Europe and pursue a professional basketball career. After my professional basketball career, I would like to become a college basketball coach.


Haley Sandvoss

B.S. in Public Relations, minors in journalism and broadcast media | Hometown: St. Louis, MO

Sports/Organizations: MBU Spirit, Chorale, Chamber Singers, MBU Theatre, Food Service Committee, MBU Timeline Online, MBU Timeline Broadcast and Tech Crew for the Spartan Digital Network.
What does being a Spartan mean to you?
Being a Spartan means having a home to come to for the next four years. A Spartan to me gets involved on their campus and strives to help others and have fun while doing so. They welcome their fellow peers to talk with open arms and pray for one another in their time of need.
How has MBU impacted your faith?
MBU has given me faith. I came here saying I was a Christian but not truly knowing my Lord and Savior, not knowing how good and valuable he really is to have a part of my life. Going to chapel, hearing the message and talking and connecting with people on campus have really turned my life to the better. At first I was scared to come to school here for how I would get judged and looked at, now I am proud to attend here and love the school for how much I love the Lord and how he has a big part now in my life. Following the Lord has really calmed myself and put me in such a better place of mind and I am so happy to continue on with life knowing I have someone always there for me.
How has MBU prepared you for your future?
MBU’s courses have prepared me for my future by giving me real life experience. The upper level courses I took gave me the experience to not worry about what lies ahead. The communications department is full of teachers and professors that are willing and wanting to help you every step of the way in your education. The communications department has become a home for many students, welcoming us to come and talk about anything anytime and just speak what is on your mind. The friendliness of the communications department has helped me through my education to strive to never give up.
What are your next steps after graduation?
My next steps after graduation is working in the public relations field. I’ll be living in St. Louis and working in public relations, as well as planning events and doing video production.


Jonathan Nathaniel

B.S. in Sport Management | Hometown: Chicago

Sports: Track & Field
What advice would you give to your freshman self?
To my freshman self, I would say don’t be afraid to try new things because you never know who you will meet and what opportunities will be given to you.
What does being a Spartan mean to you?
Being a Spartan means you are held to a high standard and you should present yourself with integrity and honor.
How has MBU impacted your faith?
MBU impact my faith by being consistent for me. Being away from home made it easy for me fall out of faith, but being around a faith-based community help me continue to be strong in my faith.
What are your next steps after graduation?
My next step after MBU is to find a full-time job in the recreation or sport field.


Dani Jo Stevenson

B.S. in Communication Studies, minors in journalism and public relations  Hometown: O’Fallon

Sports: Women’s Tennis
What professors/staff inspired you and why?
The whole MBU Communications staff is incredible, but Dr. Staggenborg and Dr. Means in particular had a large impact in my life. I have Dr. Means to thank for discovering my love for journalism, and fostering and encouraging that path and passion. Dr. Staggenborg has been such an inspiration and asset in my college career. She not only impacted me academically and mentored me in my field but also shed a light on what I wanted to do as in the future well as prepare me for stepping out into the professional world. I have learned so much from both of them and I am so thankful for the time and dedication they give to their students and classes.
How has MBU impacted your faith?
At MBU, I had the ability to be around people who strengthened my faith. From teachers and staff to peers and teammates, being surrounded by people who had similar beliefs as me and were there to support, challenge, and better me was invaluable. Having that kind of community is so important and not many people get that in college.
What are your next steps after graduation?
I will be working full time after graduation (currently deciding between several different offers) and I begin attending graduate school for Speech Language Pathology in the fall.


Chance Ludy

B.S. in Business Management | Hometown: Foristell, MO

Sports/Organizations: MBU Basketball, Resident Life, Student Government Association, Barista at thePerk
How has MBU impacted your faith?
MBU has impacted my faith so much it’s hard to describe. I grew up in the church but quickly fell out and since coming here and the people I have met, I am now a true believer and follower of Christ who is now a member of a church and baptized within the past two years.
How has MBU prepared you for your future?
MBU has prepared me for the future in a lot of ways they gave me knowledge I can take into the real world but most of all, it gave me a place to be proud of that I went there and it gave me lifelong friends.
What are your next steps after graduation?
My next steps after graduation would be getting a job somewhere in hopes to eventually start my own restaurant in St. Louis.


Faith Strautmann (Reynolds)

B.S. in Psychology, minor in Ministry and Leadership | Hometown: High Ridge, MO

Sports/Organizations: Cross-country, Track and Field, Resident Assistant for 3 semesters
What professors/staff inspired you and why?
I have had wonderful professors at MBU, and it is hard to just pick one to write about. The ones who have influence me most are Dr. Brand, Coach Goodwin, Dr. Puls, and Dr. Grossmann. Dr. Brand helped shape me into the Christian woman that I am today. She has given me and so many others such insight into living life with Christ at the center. The things she helped prepare me for the most in her class called Personal Adjustment was marrying my amazing husband! Coach Katie Goodwin has had a huge impact on my life. She is someone who inspires me to never give up and to run towards the goal set before me. I admire that she cares about every athlete. She is just as excited if our number one girl has a good race as she is if another girl breaks her personal record but gets last place. I admire that my coach does not just see a bunch of athletes on the team, but instead she sees precious individual lives.
How has MBU impacted your faith?
MBU has had a strong impact on my faith. I have grown closer to God through the influence and light shown from people at MBU. It is amazing how staff and good friends want to really know how I am doing, and show me the love of Christ in what they do and say. It is wonderful to have professors, coaches, and friends encourage me to walk closer with God and get to know Him more. I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to be a part of the MBU family.
What are your next steps after graduation?
I will be looking for a job as a social worker at a non-profit organization.

Read the full Senior Story Q&As here