For the first half of her life, a softball field, a basketball or tennis court,…
McPherson, Kansas – Each year, Central Christian College of Kansas honors its young alumni by presenting eligible alumni with the Outstanding Young Alumni of the Year (OYAA) award. The OYAA honor was initiated upon the recommendation of the College’s Alumni Association Board of Directors in 2004 and recognizes a Central Christian young alum for their success following graduation. Central is pleased to announce that four alumni have been named the 2021 (OYAA) recipients: Louis “Lou” Collins (CC ’08), Nathan “Nate” Oswald (CC ’10), Mayuko Shono (CC ’17), and Kelsey Vine (CC ’11).
Dr. David Ferrell (CC ’75), Executive Director of the CCCK Foundation, had this to say about this year’s OYAA recipients,
We are proud of these four alumni! They are making their mark in the world. Each of these alumni represent the best of Central Christian College of Kansas as they make a positive impact for God’s Kingdom.
Louis “Lou” Collins (CC ’08)
Pastor Lou Collins is a native of Los Angeles, CA. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology at Central Christian College and after graduation, was on the Resident Life staff as well as Assistant Men’s Basketball coach for four years.
He was called into ministry in 2009, received his Master of Arts degree in Children and Family Ministry from Southwestern Assemblies of God University, Waxahachie TX, in 2011, then a second master’s in Practical Theology in 2014 from Liberty University, Lynchburg, VA. Today he is busy planting a City Pentecost Church in Houston, TX while pursuing a Doctorate of Ministry degree from Liberty University and plans to graduate in spring of 2023.
Pastor Lou is a favored speaker around the country at various men conferences, young adult retreats, youth explosions, college campus events, conventions, and convocations and has published two books, “A Preacher’s Struggle” which details the struggles of his life as a rejected youth and his second book “Home Again: Reclaiming yourself after years of fighting against yourself.”
Planting a church, working towards his doctorate degree, and writing two books are just part of Pastor Lou’s current story. He recently started a non-profit urban ministry called The Hearth Room Project, Inc. in which he conducts conferences and seminars on relationships, purpose, spiritual and secular growth. He attributes most of his success to the mentoring and counsel he received while at Central Christian College of Kansas.
Nathan “Nate” Oswald (CC ’10)
Nate Oswald attended Central because he saw it as the best place to further his education and open new opportunities to serve God. In 2010 he graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management and Organizational Leadership. Achieving his degree greatly impacted the way he serves his family and community today.
Nate is a leader on the council of Bethel Mennonite Church in Inman. In his professional life, God has enabled him to lead within several amazing companies such as Hospira Pharmaceuticals, Siemens Wind Power, and IdeaTek, a broadband service provider with the mission of “fighting for internet freedom.”
Over the past 6 years, Ideatek has seen substantial growth, which Nate believes is due to the work of the team and how the company serves others, “Our team at IdeaTek passionately seeks to foster strong fiber optic and wireless broadband communication to underserved communities within the state of Kansas. The majority of our efforts are aimed at servicing those who do not have what the FCC defines as the minimum standard of broadband speed. Day by day, our passion is to design and implement creative solutions that enable us to deliver high-quality internet to Kansans left in the technology gap. The training, relationships, and equipping God gave me through my Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management and Organizational Leadership from CCCK has greatly influenced my daily life both personally and professionally. I could not be more grateful for my time at CCCK and those who invested in me so that I can now invest in others.”
Mayuko Shono (CC ’17)
Mayuko Shono grew up in Tokyo, Japan, and studied in the United States as an exchange student from 2009 to 2017. She became a follower of Christ when she was a senior in high school in 2011 in Portland, Oregon.
She was a member of the volleyball team at Central Christian College and graduated with a BA in liberal studies, in Art & Psychology in 2016.
In 2018, Mayuko went back to Tokyo and is now working as Christian Artist. She started her missional business called “LYN (Love Your Neighbor)” to share the gospel through her art in Japan.
Art is her way of expressing her relationship with Christ. All her art pieces have their own testimony and are created with an abundance of prayer.
She believes that art is one of her special gifts from God to share His love with people. Her motivation is to change the wrong understanding of Christianity in Japan through Arts especially with the younger generation.
“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms” – 1 Peter 4:10
Kelsey Vine (CC ’11)
Kelsey Vine was born and raised in Kansas and graduated from Central Christian College of Kansas in 2011 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Pastoral Ministry. While at Central, she also took several painting courses from Professor Naomi Ullum, reigniting Kelsey’s childhood passion for art. In 2012, Kelsey launched her business, Things Unseen Fine Art (2 Corinthians 4:18), as an avenue to share the gospel and encourage other believers.
Her colorful oil paintings start conversations that lead people into a deeper revelation of Christ and provide opportunities to encounter Jesus in a tangible way. Many illustrate specific verses so that Scripture comes to life, “As God fills my imagination with pictures of Himself and His Kingdom,” says Kelsey, “I want to paint them so that others can see Him more clearly, too.”
In addition to painting, Kelsey is passionate about mentoring and ministering to women, particularly those who have experienced trauma or abuse. She served as a missionary with Harvest Home, Inc. in Missouri from 2012 to 2015 and currently continues both her ministry to women and her artwork in McPherson, KS. Kelsey enjoys gardening, hiking the national parks, and in her free time spending time with her nephew.
To see past recipients or to nominate a future recipient of the Outstanding Young Alumni Award, go to www.centralchristian.edu/alumni.
ABOUT CENTRAL CHRISTIAN COLLEGE OF KANSAS
Central Christian College of Kansas is a regionally accredited institution offering undergraduate and graduate-level programs. Central strives to offer Christ-centered education for the whole person – heart, mind, soul, and strength. Its history dates back to 1884, and it is located in the friendly town of McPherson, Kansas. Central is a strategically small college that offers over forty areas of residential study and a thriving online program for non-traditional students. To learn more about Central go to centralchristian.edu/about. Visit the Foundation of Central Christian College to see what projects and events are coming up.