Berry opened Jordan Blackmon’s eyes to new passions

A passion for rugby is leading Jordan Blackmon to Chattanooga. The 2018 graduate will play rugby for the Chattanooga Rugby Club and work in the logistics industry as a national account representative.

“I came in [to Berry] such an organized and scheduled person, but following my freshman year I decided to try something new out. I saw a flyer for a rugby team in town, and a week later played my first game. Several years later and I’ve had the opportunity to travel throughout the southeast playing in different tournaments. The diversity and opportunities that Berry has opened my eyes to many of my deepest passions in life as well as taught me to enjoy the little things.” During his time at Berry, he was a part of multiple rugby clubs and played goalie for the Berry College Club Soccer Team.

Jordan was also a go getter from the very beginning, becoming a student leader in the men’s ministry through the Chaplain’s Office and served as the t-shirt committee chair for the First-Year Council even in freshman year. Jordan also worked as a Gate of Opportunity scholar all four years at Berry. He’s sure to take his achiever spirit wherever he goes in life.

Story by Saif Sarfani (18C)

Berry cultivates a passion for service

Sophomore Ei Noe (class of 2021) came to the U.S. from Burma with her family in the early 2000s. The psychology major comes from a family that helps the Burmese refugee/immigrant population settle in Atlanta.

At Berry, Ei works for the Bonner Center for Community Engagement for her Gate of Opportunity Scholarship and is a part of Emerging Leaders. These things have helped her become more service and leadership oriented. Ei hopes to go to medical school and eventually help low-income families, refugees and immigrants settle and offer the same assistance her family received.

Ei is a Gate scholar like her older brother Naing Oo, who also went to Berry. The Gate of Opportunity Scholarship Program helps financially-eligible students who will work hard – in the classroom and out. “The characteristic that led me to apply to Berry College was the first impression I had when I visited my brother when he was a student here,” Ei said. “The campus was breathtaking, and the professors and community were very welcoming.”

Story by Saif Sarfani (18C)

“Aha” moments lead to great things at Berry

Berry 2018 graduate Katie Doremus’s “aha” moment came during her junior year. She found a strong Christian community at Formation Weekend, which became the support system through the rest of her time at college. Chaplain Johnathan Huggins took Katie under his wing during Bible study, sharing with her his love of theology and guiding her plans for seminary. Dr. Jonathan Parker helped ignite her thirst for knowledge, teaching her to look at the Bible in a new way. “I…want to be involved in ministry, for, as Justo González says, ‘theology is best done with dirt under one’s fingernails’, meaning we can’t get caught up merely in the head knowledge.”

Katie is now pursuing a master’s degree in Biblical studies at Reformed Theological Seminary in Charlotte, N.C. After that, she hopes to pursue a Ph.D. in theology. During her time at Berry, Katie was a part of the Wesley Foundation, several honor societies including Sigma Delta Pi, Lambda Sigma, Phi Kappa Phi and the Honors Program. She also received The Daughters of Berry Legacy Award, The Olde Leafe Award and the Shatto Leadership Award.

Story by Saif Sarfani (18C)

Chemistry professors help 2018 grad achieve grad school dreams

Chemistry major Cleo Evans (class of 2018) is headed to Vanderbilt University to earn a Ph.D. in organic chemistry. Cleo credits her chemistry professors with helping her apply for her current job at Peach State Labs and the graduate school application process. She also credits Berry with helping her make great connections through the student work program. Cleo worked as Dr. Martha Tapia’s math contest student assistant, helping her write tests for competitions and keeping up with paperwork for competing schools. In addition, Cleo was the president of Berry’s chapter of the American Chemical Society, and she continually devoted time doing chemistry demos for the Berry and Rome, Ga., communities.

Story by Saif Sarfani (18C)

An interest in immunology leads to a focus on public health

Finding what drives you is one of many reasons people come to Berry. Animal science major Alex Dhom (class of 2018) discovered his interest in immunology through his advisor Dr. Laura Flatow and his Berry College Integrity in Leadership mentor Dr. Tom Wilson, whose experiences and wisdom as a veterinarian greatly influenced him. During his time at Berry, Alex served as Vice President of Alpha Zeta (the academic honor society for animal science majors) and competed in the American Society of Animal Science Academic Quadrathalon. He also studied abroad at the University of Glasgow as an honors student. Now, Alex is headed to veterinary school at the University of Georgia, where he will focus on research and public health.

Story by Saif Sarfani (18C)

Physics major heads to grad school

William Newman (a 2018 grad) knows a thing or two about physics. By the time he graduated, he had already worked with two professors on their research projects and contributed to two publications—the American Journal of Physics and Month Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. His work is set to appear in a third publication and he has one more project submitted for consideration. “I have to give thanks to Dr. Shawn Hilbert and Dr. Truong Le who have both mentored me as a student and employee. Without their advice, I would not be the student that I am today,” William says. However, it wasn’t all protons and electrons during his time at Berry. William was also an integral part of the Berry College Theatre Company from the beginning participating in multiple plays and the Alpha Psi Omega Honorary Thespian Society. Now, William is taking his well-rounded Berry background to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to pursue a doctorate in atomic and optical physics.