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Complied by Joey Nunez, a senior from Harrisonburg, Va.

WILMORE, KY—On May 9, 2009, the Consecrated Class of 2009 graduated. The 305-member class departed Asbury’s campus to pursue various summer plans before continuing further education or starting a career in the work force. In the next few updates, we will hear what our Consecrated alumni are up to these days, exciting changes in their lives and their memories from Asbury!

(6)-Joel-Charalambakissm.jpgJoel Charalambakis
I am currently studying Diplomacy and Economic Development at the Patterson School at the University of Kentucky (UK), and I am expecting to pursue law at UK next year as part of a dual degree program. Geopolitical Modeling is my favorite class. A former economic analyst for the Central Intelligence Agency teaches the course and uses a computer model to analyze the effect certain policy levers have on future political and economic trends.

My greatest appreciation of the program is the composition of my classmates. Everyone in the program of 35 students share an ambition and passion in common interests and studies, creating a natural bond among us. It has also been fascinating with the different opportunities that the Patterson School provides for learning. We have had conference calls with prominent thinkers and engaging speakers as Ehud Olmert, the former Prime Minister of Israel, and Charles Ray, the new U.S. ambassador to Zimbabwe. And this year, the school held a conference on the Middle East.

This past summer I spent my time working my way through a summer reading list for graduate school and working as a researcher for a project developed by Dr. John Charalambakis, Dr. Ken Rietz and Dr. David Coulliette. They have conducted a research project that examines the factors that lead to the creation of a middle class in countries across the globe. The project has been published in the International Journal of Business and Economics, and the professors have been asked to present their findings at the University of Venice, Baylor University and Oxford University.

My fondest memories of Asbury come from the social community and the education I received outside of textbooks. The community of friends that I developed through living on campus was a source of both relaxation and growth in my social identity. Dorm life is unlike anything else in life. But by far the best aspect of Asbury was the small group of professors who challenged students to think about who we are, whose we are and who we are supposed to be: whole, holy, thinkers and instruments of something greater than our own selves. They taught me how to think and harmonize every aspect of my life in a manner that aligns with Christ.

My advice for students today is to never be shy about dreaming of a limitless future. When we place doubts on what we can do, we start shutting doors in areas of our lives. But we have a role of preparing ourselves through the various means He has presented before us: service, academics, athletics and the other ways we occupy our time. God is the Master of everything; a failure to stretch ourselves in a whole way places limits on God, His relationship with us and the ways He can use us for the kingdom. We must embark on His purpose then with the utmost humility, which itself will “set apart” His people from the world.

Emily Barlage(7)-Emily-Barlagesm.jpg
A week after graduation, I went on a cruise to the Bahamas with three of my friends from Asbury! We had a wonderful time; it was a great way to celebrate the past four years! I also had the privilege of being a bridesmaid in the weddings of two of my closest friends. Watching those relationships begin, develop and culminate into Godly marriages has been one of my greatest joys.

I was also able to make a trip to Vermont to visit one of my best friends from my semester in Washington, D.C. In addition to traveling and spending time with friends, I worked at Connolly Construction Company in Marysville, Ohio. It was a truly a wonderful summer!

Right now I am in Columbus, Ohio, attending the Moritz College of Law at The Ohio State University. As a born and raised Michigan fan, the transition to cheering for the Buckeyes has been challenging, but I love going to school here. It is a great environment, with a good mix of big-city excitement and Midwestern friendliness. My classmates are intelligent, fun people and learning with them has been a privilege. I enjoy the intellectual challenge of law school, though I have spent more hours reading in the last two months than I did during my previous 18 years of education!

My time at Asbury taught me how to live in community and how to live responsibly. I am particularly grateful for the RDs that I had as an RA. They invested a lot of energy into mentoring us and showing us how to make wise decisions. The opportunity to develop relationships with them was one of the most valuable things about my Asbury experience. Entering a world without community standards, I am thankful for the solid foundation that was instilled in me as an Asbury student. I also hope that my experience on two Asbury Intramural Champion basketball teams will help me in the law school intramural league.

I can honestly say that the longer I am away from Asbury, the more I miss it. I realize how blessed I am to have had such a unique undergraduate experience. My law school colleagues didn’t get to experience the joys of the Johnson Men caroling at Christmas, the TV drop or the Consecrated Class rendition of “Joyful, Joyful.” And, of course, I miss living on Second Glide. Life just isn’t the same when you don’t have 20 girls right down the hall to offer their opinions on your outfit! I truly believe that there is nothing else like the Asbury experience. I hold my memories from college close to my heart. If you are still a student, enjoy every second of it. You are experiencing life with some of the most loving people on earth, and you will miss them when you are no longer all together. Since starting school, I have made two trips back to campus to see friends. Asbury is one of a kind, and I treasure the time I spent there.

(8)-Grace-Marshallsm.jpgGrace Marshall
I spent the summer working for YouthWorks! with three other young adults leading weekly youth mission trips in Sault Ste Marie, Michigan (the Upper Peninsula). My main position was to connect the participants with daily ministry opportunities volunteering in the community and to maintain the relationships with the organizational and individual ministry partners. But through my many other tasks, I gained so much from this experience – skills in cooking, painting, networking in the community; building relationships with my team members, community members, youth and adult participants and deepening my relationship with the Lord. It was a trying experience but, as with many trying experiences, one where the Lord was able to grow me. The small town of Sault Ste Marie has found a special place in my heart, and I was able to create some lasting relationships.

After the summer I moved to Muncie, Indiana where I currently live with my sister, brother-in-law, and their four children. I right away got involved with their church: Urban Light Community Church, which is heavily involved in ministry in urban Muncie. I am interested in urban ministry, so this has been a great opportunity for involvement and learning. About a month after moving to the area, I got a job working as a child care specialist at the Youth Opportunity Center, a residential rehabilitation center for troubled youth. I work directly with the youth in their daily activities helping to maintain the schedule and deal with issues that may arise. But more importantly, I see myself as an extension of the light and love of Christ to youth who have been neglected, abused and who have lost sight of what real love looks like. The youth are rough around the edges and I must admit it is not easy work.

In fact this transition out of college has not been easy. I often reminisce about jumping across the hall to see friends, going to Chapel, playing Frisbee games – some of my favorite memories of my college experience. It may not be comfortable to be stripped away from what I have known for the past four years, but I am confident that the Lord has placed me where I am for reasons that I cannot always see fully or understand. God takes us through seasons to show us the beauty of each new phase, but as I look at the leaves falling outside, I am reminded that each season is also a preparation for the next. My college experience at Asbury was a season of preparation for the next – the job field, the real world or my vocation. I do not take this season for granted, but the leaves have fallen and I am in the midst of the crisp, and yet sometimes, cold transition into a life that will spring growth with a passion to be the Lord’s servant in the world.


Sam Pleasant ’09 Althouse
After graduation I moved into an apartment in Nicholasville and started working at Sears in Fayette Mall. I am currently researching graduate schools. I want to get my master’s degree in social work and business to open my own shelter for teenage mothers that have no place to go – to offer them assistance with job skills, parenting skills and to minister to their spiritual needs.

I got married on October 28, 2009! Matt and I are happily living our lives out with each other and with God, trying to glorify His name with every decision we make!

Asbury was a place that one could never forget, and I definitely miss it. Since I worked and attended classes full time, it prepared me to work hard and stay focused. My time at Asbury brought me closer to Abba and to a community of people that I know will always be there for me.

During my sophomore year, a few of my close friends and I went to Waffle House and ran through the fountains in downtown Lexington in freezing weather and raced against the clock to make it back to campus by community hour (which we were late for by 20 minutes)! I miss those crazy times with those crazy people!

(10)-Andy-Reynoldssm.jpgAndy Reynolds
I got engaged to my girlfriend, Faith, right after graduation.  My summer was spent giving tennis clinics in Lexington and planning a wedding with my fiancé. On August 1, 2009, we got married in Canton, Ohio.

Currently, I am still at Asbury. I am in my foundation year of the Master of Social Work program, and the classes and field practicum are giving me a great education. Asbury gave me four great years of my life, and each year was so unique and taught me different lessons. Every close friend and opportunity was worth the time, as mundane or important as they may have seemed.

Stay tuned for more updates and stories from other members of the Class of 2009. If you are a member of the Consecrated Class and would like to send us your update, contact Joey Nunez at