Clarks Summit University Students Travel for Professional Intensive

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Clarks Summit University students traveled to Orlando, FL, after being selected to participate in the Reclaim Today 2023 Professional Writing and Design Intensive. 80 students from nearly 160 member institutions of the Association for Biblical Higher Education across the United States and Canada applied for the program. Three of the final 30 students selected were from CSU.

Lydia Peters, of Allentown, PA, and Josh Fowler, of Chillicothe, OH, both participated in the writing portion of the intensive while Sam Ford, of Montrose, PA, participated in the design portion. These students received a three-year contract to submit work to Reclaim Today with the opportunity to have their work published.

Part of Our Daily Bread Ministries, Reclaim Today appeals to the Gen Z and Millennial generations by providing biblical truth and encouragement that allow readers to “connect with God in the ordinary, extraordinary, everyday moments of life.”

CSU Associate Professor Sarah Scranta was instrumental in assisting the students during the application and travel process for the Intensive. She says the Intensive poured into the lives of young people who will build the content that points people to Christ. Reclaim Today plans to have two more years of the Intensive in partnership with ABHE.

Peters, a sophomore Communications-Writing major with a minor in Youth Ministries, has a heart for missions and a desire for her words to encourage and help others. Peters is an editor and a writer for “Vantage Magazine,” a digital magazine for creative expression, career preparation and community interaction, produced by CSU students. She particularly enjoys writing poetry. 

Scranta said, “Lydia is dependable, flexible and open to challenges in her academic pursuits. She is a careful thinker and highly regarded by her peers.”

A sophomore Accelerated Counseling major, Fowler writes to encourage and to provide hope. Fowler writes primarily journalistic nonfiction pieces and devotionals and is a contributing writer for Vantage Magazine.

He said, “I love using my writing to help other people. I want for my creative pieces to teach lessons that you do not hear very often. I want my journalistic nonfiction pieces to inspire those who are going through hardship. I want for my devotional pieces to challenge people to grow in their relationship with Christ.” He continued, “the conversation on mental health is growing in popularity, and it is important that the voices involved in the conversation are speaking the truth of the gospel.”

Fowler aspires to use his writing and his counseling training “to publish material in the future that would help families and churches grow in their ability to converse on difficult topics like grief, brokenness, sexuality, forgiveness and identity.” He said, “I believe that I can use my skills to ask questions to bring about discussion, which in turn could bring about change.”

Scranta said, “[Fowler] is dependable, flexible, willing to take on learning and writing challenges and is a source of encouragement for his peers.”

Ford, a junior Communications major with a minor in Pastoral Ministries, believes design is the best way for him to communicate a message of hope to a culture hungry for it. 

He said, “I really enjoy design, because although it is a very corporate branch of art; it is effective in its reach, as it can be printed onto anything. A painted canvas in an art gallery is beautiful, but we only view it occasionally; whereas a design, printed onto our favorite item, we will see daily. In summary, ‘art communicates.’”

Ford works at CSU’s Underground Café. He served as an intern and produced digital designs for Lincoln Lake Baptist Youth Camp. He also designed his residence hall’s apparel. Scranta said, “[Ford’s] sense of humor and creativity contribute to his academic success. He is also a careful thinker who seeks to serve others through his design work.”