New Campus Associate Pastor

Pastor Bender is now serving as the new associate pastor on campus at Concordia University of Wisconsin.

Douglas Bender, who graduated from CUW seven years ago, has followed God’s path for him by returning to his alma mater.

Pastor Bender spoke to God for guidance and put aside his own wants.

“It was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do in my life,” Pastor Bender said.

Pastor Bender will be working with Pastor Smith, helping to take on some campus ministry responsibilities.

“Having someone specifically devoted to campus ministry to work with me is fabulous. It helps to fill out our team,” Pastor Smith said.

Although the two do not read over the other’s sermons, they work as partners to come up with new ideas.

“We have the opportunity to bounce ideas off each other all the time,” Pastor Smith said.

While Pastor Smith handles anything that falls under campus ministry, Pastor Bender has taken responsibility for Haven, mission trips, Students for Life, and men’s ministry.

“It’s important to keep growing with the students because we have more students and a bigger variety,” Pastor Smith said.

The Lutheran denomination and students’ backgrounds have evolved. Pastor Smith said he hopes that the addition of a younger pastor will help to connect with students.

“I relish the chance to be back with this team and work with people that I’ve learned so much from,” Pastor Bender said.

Pastor Bender said his main goal is to help show students what faith in Christ looks like, while continuing to grow the campus ministry program.

“I am looking forward to the influence we will have on each other and on Concordia,” Pastor Smith said.

Locker Room Renovations

The men’s soccer and basketball locker room renovations are now completed at Concordia University of Wisconsin.

The renovations consisted of replacing the flooring with carpet, removing and updating lockers, adding new locker brackets and name tags, installing an air conditioner and updating the lighting.

According to men’s soccer head coach Tom Saleska, he hopes to have showers added to the locker room in the near future.

The locker room renovation has been an ongoing process.

“Every year there is another project to work on to make it nicer for the teams,” men’s basketball coach Shawn Cassidy said.

The last updates to the locker room took place more than six years ago when the metal lockers were replaced with wooden ones.

Cassidy said while he hopes the renovations improve recruiting efforts, it is not the main goal.

“The primary goal of the renovations is to make it a better experience for student athletes and make it a place that they can be proud of, a place they can call their home during the seasons,” Cassidy said.

Saleska agrees that keeping current players satisfied is what matters most. Between the two teams, the locker rooms are used almost year-round.

“We thoroughly enjoy having this place, and so do the players,” Saleska said.

Cassidy also said he is optimistic about finding more ways to make an even better experience for student athletes.

“Hopefully it impacts the pride we have in the school and having the opportunity to wear the Concordia jersey,” he said.

Zoey’s 5th Birthday and New Comfort Dog Initiative

CUW students love the on-campus comfort dog Zoey. As Zoey celebrates her 5th birthday, a second comfort dog will be a part of campus.

Bringing a canine friend for Zoey to campus is being headed up by CUW’s newly formed Comfort Dog Club. Samantha Stohlman is one of the club’s executive board members, and has been excited to work on fundraising for the expenses of the new dog.

“We’re getting the new comfort dog for the Health Sciences department. It’ll be different than Zoey’s role, she’s specifically designed to be here to help the students and work in the counseling center. The new one will be awesome for health majors, developing their program, and helping them get certified in comfort dog training, and use that in their practices,” said Stohlman.

The new comfort dog will work with the campus’ Health Sciences clinic, and fundraising has been successful.

“We did a crowdfunding site online, and people donated. We went to the Residence Halls on campus so that the different halls could compete to raise funds. Additionally, one of Zoey’s dog food providers doubled the money, so that if we reached $10,000, they’d give us $10,000 more. So, we already reached our goal, and will be using the extra for program development,” said Stohlman.

According to the CUW website, Zoey has done exciting work with CUW recently. Zoey traveled to Sandy Hook Elementary in late 2012 to aid victims of the school shooting and Orlando in June 2016 to comfort victims of the Pulse Nightclub shooting.

Although the club has reached the initial goal for the main fundraiser, they are still accepting donations. According to Stohlman, the club would love to send students along on trips with the dog, or expand the comfort dog program.

Donations can be made through an online platform called Crowdrise, with this link:

Challenges and Opportunities for Sodexo

Sodexo Inc. USA has been the primary food provider for CUW since 2004, and some students are not satisfied with the food service.

According to the conversations between the author and students, Sodexo is being criticized for lacking in improving their service at CUW for students. The author spoke with 15 students, and the results were unanimous. At one time, each student, expressed disappointment in Sodexo.

“I’ve been here for three years and Sodexo has only gotten worse. For example, the Nest used to be one of my favorite places to eat, but ever since they changed their menu, I can’t eat that food anymore,” student Connor Larson said.

Sodexo has also faced scrutiny from students for their service being inconsistent. Some students said the food quality fluctuated each day.

“I can’t tell you how many times I have gone to the cafeteria for lunch, and I get a nice meal, and the very next day I’ll go and my food will be dry and tough to eat. Same goes for the nest. I just feel like there isn’t any consistency when it comes to the food here,” student Jason Van Beek, said.

Sodexo General Manager, Angela Jensen sympathizes with the students.

“We understand that some students may not be satisfied with our service, and we want to make things better. We welcome any feedback you have, whether it’s through surveys, social media, emails, or face-to-face interactions, we appreciate it,” Jensen said.

Sodexo has a face-to-face opportunity for students to interact with Sodexo workers.

“We have the Dining Service Committee meeting on Monday November 13, and we invite students to come and share their thoughts and opinions,” Jensen said.



Two Degrees, Four Years

For students in the Business Scholars program at Concordia University Wisconsin (CUW), one degree just wasn’t enough. In this accelerated dual degree program within the School of Business Administration at CUW, a select group of students are earning their undergrad degrees in Business Administration as they simultaneously earn their MBA.

Students in the program complete both degrees in four years, which means many students graduate with a Master’s degree at age 21. For most seniors in college, finishing one undergrad degree is a major challenge, but these Business Scholars go above and beyond bearing the usual college workload.

Students are taught by business industry professionals who are “dedicated to leading others in their field of expertise. (In CUW’s MBA program) you will receive the benefit of worldwide practitioner instructors, individualized programs that start at your convenience, and unique perspectives from a diverse student body,” according to CUW’s website.

Scholars can add to their educational toolbox by studying topics from real estate investment to securities analysis and risk management, and become prepared for many positions within the business sector.

Highly qualified incoming freshmen are admitted by the School of Business administration into the Business Scholars program, and are full graduate students throughout their junior and senior years as they begin graduate course work starting in their third year. Business Scholars are required to maintain a 3.5 GPA, and complete internships related to both their undergrad and graduate degrees, according to the CUW academic catalog.  By taking a heavy load of credits every semester (at least 18) some Business Scholars don’t even need to take summer or interim classes.

Seniors in the program like Micah Wheeler are seeing their hard work pay off.

“It’s so exciting to have almost completed the Business Scholars program at CUW. I can’t wait to enter the workforce and put the knowledge gained from my MBA classes to work,” Wheeler said.