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Dear Class of 2008,

Spring has sprung in my neighborhood! While enjoying the blooming trees, baby birds and intermittent April showers, I am looking forward to celebrating enduring life and the birth of the Christian church, next week at Easter.

In the spirit of new things, our Westmont connections can be a great resource for us in our careers, ministries, and friendships. I'd like to invite alumni to serve as resources for one another by sharing our skills, contacts, and the opportunities we know about, with other alumni.

So, if you're looking for employment or Christian networking opportunities, reply to this email with your information.

For those of you who know of a job opening at your or a friend's organization or church, etc, please send that information in as well. I'll collect your responses and put them in our next newsletter. Remember, too, that the Westmont Office of Life Planning is a place to find or post job openings for Westmont graduates.

This month I'd like to share with you an update from our classmate Matt Blickendorf. If you want to write a blurb for our next class newsletter, let me know!

Blessings,

Cora Rose, Class Agent for 2008


Matt Blickendorf

Photo of Matt

Hello Westmont Class of 2008! Can anyone believe that it's been almost three years since we were all together?! While some memories are so tangible that it seems like just yesterday, I'm struck by how much life I (and I assume most of you) have crammed into the last three years. I've long thought of Westmont as a "launch pad"--it was truly an incredible four years that we had together, but the true purpose of that time is manifest in the decades that follow. I think about the scenes from the movie Apollo 13 that attempt to capture the enormity, power, and potential of the shuttle prior to launch--pretty incredible. But those scenes pale in comparison to witnessing all that potential being put to use during lift-off.

During the past year I have been honored to represent alums like you on the Bright Hope for Tomorrow fundraising campaign. Hearing stories of the impact alums young and old are making on the world around them has been inspiring. I've been asked to write a quick update about what I've been up to since "launch day"...

Before starting medical school at THE Ohio State University, I spent the summer of 2008 working as a raft guide on the Arkansas River in Colorado. It was the perfect "work vacation" before starting the not-so-enjoyable first year of medical school. The vast majority of my first two years of medical school were spent with my books in various coffee shops, bookstores, and libraries around Columbus. A definite highlight was cheering on the Buckeyes in "The Shoe"--our famous football stadium that holds 106,000 loyal fans. Watching Westmont beat up on Biola in Murchison Gym doesn't quite live up to watching Ohio State trounce Michigan in the 'Shoe'.

I'm currently finishing up my third year of medical school which has consisted of rotating through various specialities. So far I've worn the hat of cardiologist, neurologist, psychiatrist, surgeon, emergency physician, family practioner, and pediatrician. I plan to pursue a career in emergency medicine with an eye toward international emergency medicine.

I continue to return "home" to Nicaragua where I've spent all three of my spring breaks so far reconnecting with the people and culture that I love so much. I have worked with a couple of Nicaraguan doctors these past three years to bring much-needed care to the 1400 children we sponsor in Managua. It has been exciting to notice my relationship with Nicaragua change as I move closer and closer to becoming a physician. Instead of "Mateo", I'm now referred to as "Doctor Mateo." Although I can definitely say I'm not quite ready for that title, it has been incredible to begin to live out the dreams I shared with many of you during my years at Westmont.

Grace and peace,

Matt Blickendorf


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