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“The most fulfilling aspect of my career and personal life is experiencing God’s love and wisdom through his Son, Jesus Christ," said KyongJung Kim, a Mennonite pastor who serves at two churches and also works as a school bus driver for students with disabilities in the Waterloo Region. His spiritual awakening occurred after meeting Anabaptist Christians in Winnipeg from 1994 to 1997. Since then, he has continued his journey with Jesus and has remained committed to his faith no matter where life takes him.

“It has always fascinated me how beautiful and vast the universe is and how little we know about it,” said Angelica Lee, a fourth-year Accounting and Financial Management student at the University of Waterloo. Angelica, who lived at Grebel for two terms, was recently nominated for the Student Leadership Category for the Women’s Aerospace Network. The award highlights the contributions of students who demonstrate exemplary leadership qualities that enrich campus life and leave a lasting impact. Not only is this a remarkable feat on its own, but Angelica is also a non-Science, Technology, Engineering, or Math (STEM) student and is the only Canadian student nominee in this year’s competition. Her perseverance, self-determination, and love for space are inspirations to students pursuing unconventional career pathways.  

Ralph Torrie has over 40 years working as an analyst, communicator, and advocate for sustainability. He has been involved with several organizations to help create a greener future. After connecting with a classmate during a Peace and Conflict Studies class at Conrad Grebel University College, Ralph continued to find innovative and creative means to handle the environmental crisis. His consulting firm, Torrie Smith Associates, developed software to help local governments, environmental groups and Indigenous organizations take strategic approaches to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. He was a candidate for the Green Party in the 2008 and 2011 federal elections. He lives with his partner Judy Smith in Cobourg, Ontario and has two grandsons who live nearby. 

Grace’s experience is a part of an annual MDS student service trip organized by Grebel. In partnership with MDS, the College also offers a scholarship of $4,500 to students who volunteer for at least four weeks (between May and August) on an MDS Project, with the goal of promoting service and volunteerism. 

“Holding space to have difficult conversations can be incredibly difficult,” said Samantha Coelho, an Advocacy and Networking Specialist at Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) Canada. “But I think having these conversations can lead to more intimate and fulfilling relationships, allow us to build empathy, and remind us to have humility about the positions we hold.”  Supporting marginalized communities, working for justice, and exploring creative approaches to addressing world issues have become a regular part of Samantha’s life, but her introduction to advocacy, justice, and peacebuilding began a decade ago during her undergraduate degree at the University of Waterloo and Conrad Grebel University College where she studied Arts and Business with a major in Peace and Conflict Studies (PACS).

Meeting new friends, getting involved in school initiatives, and making life-long memories are made easier with a roommate. Having a roommate helps build an early support system for students transitioning into university life. For Alex Wind, a first-year student in Urban Planning, and Barak Kline, a first-year student majoring in Economics and Peace and Conflict Studies, having a roommate at Conrad Grebel University College has been a highlight experience. 

Brother William is a Franciscan friar with more than 30 years of service to the order. He loves combining aspects of creativity into his work and uses music to uplift his spiritual talks while engaging participants to use artmaking as praying. He studied Urban Planning at the University of Waterloo before going on to study Landscape Architecture at Edinburgh University and Religion and the Arts at Yale Divinity School 

“Hear with the ears, feel with the body,” said I Dewa Made Suparta, Artist-in-Residence of Balinese music and performing arts at Conrad Grebel University College. “You must use your eyes, your brain, and your heart. You must feel your surrounding players. If each player does not connect with the beat, the music cannot breathe together.” As Artistic Director of Grebel’s Balinese Percussion Ensemble course and Community Gamelan Warga Santi, Dewa is preparing for the 10th anniversary concert at the end of the term. The concert is a celebration of a unique branch of music that has flourished and grown within Grebel’s music community.  

Over the past fifty years, Conrad Grebel University College Professor Emerita Hildi Froese Tiessen has been a champion of Mennonite literature. She has authored over eighty contributions to the field of Mennonite writing, including over sixty essays and book chapters, more than a dozen edited collections of special issues of journals, and a host of scholarly introductions, reviews, and encyclopedia articles. Her book, "On Mennonite/s Writing", is her first collection of work, consisting of eighteen essays that detail her encounters with Mennonite literature across Canada and the United States, nuanced close readings of major literary figures, and late career reflections on the changing nature of the field itself.  

For Kalkidan Ararso, a second year Arts and Business student at the University of Waterloo, the transition to university life was grounded in support and community. “Once I got a glimpse of the people and support system there, I formed an instant connection.”