Mind-Body Connections: Understanding Eating Disorders

On Tuesday, Feb. 24 from 7:00-8:30 p.m., there will be a panel discussion about eating disorders in the lobby of the Poling Center for Global Learning and Leadership at Spring Arbor University (SAU). Called “Mind-Body Connections: Understanding Eating Disorders,” the panel will feature four speakers.

Tammy Dindoffer, dean of the School of Human Services, will talk about her experience as a parent of a child with an eating disorder, and her daughter Emily Hervey will speak from personal experience as a sufferer of an eating disorder. Deb Varland, assistant professor of health, human performance and recreation, will explain how an eating disorder affects a person physiologically. Betsy Vickers, a therapist from Jackson, Mich., will speak about how an eating disorder occurs and community resources that are available to sufferers.

Sarah Soltis, academic advisor to the Department of Social Work, said that she has heard that eating disorders are a problem at SAU.

 “It’s definitely something that needs to be addressed,” said Soltis.

Ama Larsen, assistant professor of social work, said that anyone can benefit from attending this panel, including those who have dealt with an eating disorder, those who want to help sufferers and those who just want to raise their level of awareness about eating disorders.

The panel is sponsored by Love, a group for women of minority races at SAU, in partnership with the Social Work Association.

Larsen said that there may be similar panels about other topics, such as premarital sex.

“My vision is for it to be like a talk host show where people can really come out and discuss and make it something that’s not necessarily fun, but something that’s light, and just [something] that they can be a part of,” said Larsen.

If you have an idea for a panel topic, please email Soltis at Sarah.Soltis@arbor.edu or Larsen at Ama.Larsen@arbor.edu.

By Dana Van Doren

Date Auction

Around this time of year, the entire campus hears a silent call. This call is urgent, as the students know that soon spring will come, which means rings will follow. If you don’t have someone picked out yet, here’s an event for you.

The Puerto Rico mission trip team wants nothing more than to raise the money for their trip to serve God and His people, while also ending your quest for the one. This is exactly why they host the Date Auction every year. The event will take place in the Cougar Den on Wednesday, February 25th at 9:30 p.m.-11:00 p.m. There you will be able to bid on friends or potential soul mates.

The event will bring a mood of merriment with the MC/DJ styling of both Camille Hunter and Matt Burger. There will be banter, there wlll be bidding, and there will be dates set. Members of SAU faculty like our Chaplin Ron Kopicko will take a group to the Wooden Spoon for breakfast to no doubt start pre-martial counseling. You and your group or one-on-one date could travel to the neighboring town of Jackson to embark on a night out at a local business or kick it with Steve and Heather Castle for a game night. We will provide the date options and dates all we ask is that you bring your A game. But in all seriousness, this is a night of pure fun. The music is set, the dates are excited, and you will feel good about helping promote missions.

By Sarah Beardslee

An Unexpected Calling: John Volez of Westwinds Church

Photo via John Volez's Twitter account.
Photo via John Volez’s Twitter account.

Once a month, the communications department of Spring Arbor University (SAU) hosts a convention for its majors around key communication topics, often referred to as “Com Con.” The keynote speaker for the October Com Con was John Volez, pastor at Westwinds Church. Volez and his wife have been married 27 years and have three kids. He and his family moved here from California. He has always enjoyed public speaking and playing music in front of a crowd, but becoming a pastor was something he had not considered.

“I didn’t really know I was going to lead something until people started asking me ‘Have you considered this? You should pursue this.’ I started listening to them and thought it was something I could do,” said Volez.

Volez has had many musical and speaking engagements in the Jackson area. He is also an author, and has published several books with Abington Press the last couple of years. His most recent book, called “Quirky Leadership: Permission Granted,” was published last year. In his words, it is a “non-leader leadership book.”

“Really, what I want to do is empower people to lead in the place that they’re planted and lead in the way God has made them with their personality and quirks, as opposed to aspiring to be some kind of leader that they’ll never really be,” said Volez.

Volez leads a festival in Jackson called Folklore and an event with public schools called iCreate. iCreate hosts poetry writing contests within local schools. The teachers pick the winning poems, which are then given to Volez and other musicians and songwriters who turn them into songs.

“We get all the schools together and play the songs at the Michigan Theatre. We give away over $10,000 in guitars, guitar lessons, and art scholarships,” said Volez.

His biggest goal for Westwinds for the next ten years is for the church to have a face in the community and, most importantly, for Jesus to have a face in the community.

“I want everybody in the town to know who Westwinds is, what Westwinds is doing, and really by proxy, know what Jesus is doing and how he’s changing lives,” said Volez.

A young girl's poetry is honored in iCreate Poetry program, a celebration Volez helped found.
A young girl’s poetry is honored in iCreate Poetry program, a celebration Volez helped found. Photo via Mlive.com