WhalenJessica (Swysgood) Whalen ‘11

Digital Media Producer, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, AR  http://crystalbridges.org/

“I was a double major in Intercultural Studies (ICS) and Digital Cinema. It’s obvious even from my job title that I use my cinema degree, but in my opinion I use my ICS education just as much. Every day I encounter new people from all over the world with just about every cultural background and mindset you can think of. The summer of 2014 alone, I visited over 10 cities and interviewed about 40 different artists collecting interviews for an exhibition. For every city–for every artist–I was stepping into a different culture. They all had different values, different views on time and communication, different passions based on where they lived and where they were from. Because of my ICS education, I am able to step in to any situation my camera gets me in and analyze it so that I can move past the culture shock/boundaries and get to the heart of the matter to tell the best story I possibly can.”


Ray ’97 & Laura ’98 Pittman

Sustainable Community Development workers, Fiji

“We have been doing missions work for fourteen years here in Fiji. We focus on community development as well as training/mentoring missions-minded young people through hosting internships, missions trips and study-abroad programs.  We started and direct Island Encounters www.islandencountersfiji.com  We have a fourteen acre farm in Sabeto, Fiji, where we house students and seek to demonstrate sustainable agriculture, aquaponics and aquaculture. Our heart is to reach out to the poor and to single mothers.  Our training at JBU gave us an excellent foundation to build upon as we headed out to Fiji.  We aim to do much more than just ‘projects’ here in Fiji; we seek to build a sustainable, transformative ministry through the tapestry of relationships around us, created by doing life together with the local people and overseas students.  It's great to be able to live out what we learned during our years at JBU!

Some other things our alumni have done:

  • English teacher in Harbin, China through English Language Institute -  China (ELIC) with the mission of placing Christian teachers in Chinese universities
  • Workers with disabled children in China
  • Missionaries in Africa with SIM and AIM
  • Sustainable development workers at Oasis Farm in Fiji, which demonstrates various farming techniques, such as aquaponics, fish farming, permaculture, and root crops, to visitors and locals
  • Video producers for a film-making ministry in Austin, Texas that makes short films to equip the church to spread the Gospel
  • Director of Programs and Planning at the U.S. Center for World Mission in Pasadena, CA
  • Founder of Haggai’s Harvest, a ministry of partnership through evangelism, discipleship, and counseling with the Church in Spain
  • Christian worker with the Shan people of Thailand through Overseas Missionary Fellowship (OMF)
  • Executive Director of Friends of Refugees (Clarkston, GA), an organization that works with over ninety people groups who have come to the U.S. as refugees
  • Children’s Ministry Coordinator at a large community church in Tulsa, OK
  • Immigration lawyer
  • English teacher in Bogota, Colombia
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