That’s a Wrap, Iowa!

smokey row

three stars



This post is coming to you live from St. Louis.  I’m on a three day visit to spend time with staff I supervise, connect with a GSF at Washington University and to work on staff recruiting needs here in town.  But… all that said, let me get to some unfinished business from my Iowa visit.  Let’s see, where was I?  The rest of the line up:  Smokey Row, The Stompin Grounds and Z’mariks.

Universities have connections with each other not only in sports conferences, but their academic departments too.  Creighton and Drake are a little like that.  Drake University has recently added Occupational Therapy to its College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.  Many of its new faculty and staff were formerly connected to Creighton’s School of Pharmacy and Health Professions.  A recent Creighton grad I posted about last spring has located in Des Moines as a new OTD – Caroline.  She actually has two jobs – one in clinical care the other in home health.  She’s very ambitious!

smokey row des moinesI met up with Caroline at Smokey Row.  I had the turkey panini in case you’re curious.  But the really interesting thing is Caroline’s sense of mission.  Within weeks of arriving in Des Moines, she’d connected with other Creighton OTDs as well as the undergrad InterVarsity staff.  “I thought it would be good to just start meeting OT students at Drake.  When they find out you’re from Creighton, they’re excited to meet you.  OT at Creighton has an incredible reputation.”

“So how did you meet OT students at Drake, Caroline”?

“It’s easy, they all like to hang out at the same coffee place.”  [You guessed it.  Smokey Row!]  “Liz and I prayer-walked the campus and ended up at Smokey Row.”

The Apostle Paul’s got nothing on Caroline.  If you recall his prayer walk through Athens (Acts 17) took him to the agora.  Caroline is writing her own book of Acts when you stop to think about it.  Pray for Caroline as well as every other professional student/alum you can think of as God places them in their first jobs.  Caroline’s vision for ministry is rooted in her vocational calling to Occupational Therapy.  “I want to work for five years, then teach, then be a department chair.”  Did I mention that she’s very ambitious!

Starbucks.  Dr. Timothy Welty

Before I left town, I got to meet up with a terrific InterVarsity alum who just so happens to teach in the Drake College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.  Tim Welty has a thick connection with InterVarsity.  His first contact with IV was at Butler University where did Pharmacy school.  InterVarsity continued to cross his path numerous times.  He’s been a significant ministry partner everywhere he and his family have lived.

Part of my desire to meet him was to help Caroline connect with his department at Drake.  Graduate Faculty Ministries till now has had no presence at Drake.  My suggestion was for Dr. Welty to collect a few other Christian faculty at Drake and meet up with Caroline for prayer and vision casting.  Maybe I got to witness the unofficial birthplace of a new GFM group in the coming days!  Pray for Caroline.  Pray for Timothy Welty.  Pray for GFM at Drake University!

Stompin Grounds

My last day.  Got to connect with another one of Tom’s faculty friends back up in Ames.  Don Beitz teaches micro-biology and food science.  Iowa State University is home to the Norman Borlaug World Food Prize.  Each year the winning scientist is invited back to ISU for the Borlaug Lecture.  Wouldn’t you know that Don knows many of the World Food Prize recipients including David Beckman.  I got to be a part of Tom and Don’s first conversation about bringing David Beckman to ISU next spring.  I’ll keep you posted on what takes shape in the coming months.

two stars

If it wasn’t for my last food stop on the way home to Omaha, I would have ended on a pretty disappointing culinary note.  Stompin Grounds barely squeaked out two stars!  And that’s only because Tom and Don had much better looking breakfasts than I did.  Thank you Z’marik’s for being an easy off/on from I-80 and for having not only great noodle bowls, but good salads!  Got my digestion back to three stars before I made it home!

This just in.  I’m on my today from St. Louis to Lawrence, then to Omaha tonight.  My dinner stop with my staff member at KU will go down at The Salty Iguana!

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