A Living Brand: Our alumni live out our values every day in amazing ways

December 18th, 2019

The Staunton, Va.-based company Secure Futures has pioneered innovative collaborative approaches to affordable commercial-scale solar energy access across the Mid-Atlantic and South regions. Former EMU MBA program director and professor Anthony Smith (standing, left) is president and CEO; several other employees are EMU alumni, including (standing, second from left) Sam Stoner ’16, marketing manager; Andrew Yoder ’16, financial and technical manager; Hugh Stoll ’89, chief technology officer; Hannah Wengerd ’17, administrative assistant; (front row, from left) Thane Hostetler ’18, research project coordinator; Kelly McDonald MDiv ’06, senior software engineer; Lucas Miller ’19, customer solutions coordinator; Joseph Mumaw ’18, technical coordinator; Maggie Davison ’97, chief operating officer and (not pictured) EMU President Emeritus Loren Swartzendruber ’72, MDiv ’79, senior business development associate. 

Talibah Aquil MA ’19 has grown into her own ministry of healing, based on her life experiences and those more recently explored during her capstone research in Ghana while a graduate student at the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding. The former Step Afrika dancer and theater professional integrated stories of the African diaspora and her own ancestral connections into a riveting multimedia performance “Ghana, Remember Me.” Aquil, who hopes to continue her documentary work in the future, continues to be a leader and teacher in the field of historical trauma and narrative: she co-taught a CJP graduate class this fall, will lead an EMU cross-cultural to Africa, and is scheduled to perform at the CJP 25th anniversary celebration in summer 2020.

Connor Faint ’19, who earned two NCAA All- American honors and a nursing degree at EMU, guides elite Paralympian David Brown in the 400m at the 2019 World Championships in Lima, Peru. Faint is training with Brown, world record-holder in the 100m, for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics at the Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center in California. Running in an adjacent lane, he provides verbal guidance as well as physical direction through the use of a tether. The duo has to be in perfect synchronicity to compete with the world’s best. “I’m all about not sticking to what I do,” Faint recalled, of filling out the application and flying to the West Coast for tryouts. “I wasn’t very familiar with Paralympics, but I knew … this would be a great opportunity to learn something else and experience something totally different.” 

“My mission while borough manager is to lead with devout love. Before you roll your eyes, let me tell you what that looks like,” said Lorraine Armstrong Hohl ’17 this fall in her first address to the Greencastle, Pa. city council after being hired to the top management position. “It’s a devotion showing others you are unshakable, committed and determined for success. Every day it’s showing humility, not afraid to ask forgiveness when wrong. It’s recognizing when to ask questions and ask for help. This is the kind of love that shows grace and compassion for others because we don’t always know what is causing the pain or hurt or the irritation … I’m talking about the type of love that will insert itself into chaos in order to provide a glimpse of calmness. I’m talking about the type of love that may cause uneasiness because I have to do what’s best for the entire organization. It pushes others to be their best self regardless if they recognize it or not. Devout love protects, enables, listens and responds when needed …I thank you for this opportunity to allow me to be a mission-driven manager within the town I so reverently love.” Armstrong developed an early interest in political science and public service when she served her township’s municipal government as the student representative. At EMU, she was a captain on the soccer team, served in student government, and interned with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.