Editor’s Note: As we countdown to the nomination and selection process for the 2017 Young Alumni Award, we will be highlighting the finalists from the 2016 Award over the next few months and the work they are doing in the world. The text for each finalist is courtesy of their respective alma maters.
Katelyn Beaty, Calvin College (’06)
After Katelyn Beaty graduated from Calvin, she spent a capstone semester abroad at Oxford University to study theology in the rarefied air that C.S. Lewis once breathed, and to contemplate the course of her career. Upon her return, her job search quickly yielded a ground-floor editorial assistant position at Christianity Today, the flagship evangelical periodical published in Carol Stream, Ill.
Little more than five years later, at the age of 28, Beaty was appointed in October 2012 to the post of Christianity Today’s managing editor, becoming the first female and youngest-ever to oversee the publication’s daily editorial operations.
Beaty is trying to attract a greater number of next-generation and female readers and writers to the magazine, developing an editorial approach that sets a “thoughtful and charitable tone” and encouraging the publication to “continue being a big tent with wide boundaries” for evangelical readers.
She co-founded the heralded website Her.meneutics with Sarah Pulliam Bailey and serves as editorial director of This Is Our City, another site that documents the ways Christians are contributing to the flourishing of their cities.
Beaty credits her dynamic Christian college education for giving her the foundation and the language to do ground-breaking work at Christianity Today.
“Calvin’s commitment to a robust liberal arts tradition taught me that every dimension of human life and human inquiry fell under the Lordship of Christ,” she said. “That everything from Latin American history to astronomy to pop-culture studies could reflect the glory and grandeur of God, and move His people to praise for His provision and creativity. I have distinct memories of leaving classrooms feeling as if my mind and heart were filled to the brim with inspiration and awe.”
Beaty is currently working on a book about vocation called A Woman’s Place: A Christian Vision for Your Calling in the Office, Home, and the World.
David Bowden, Oklahoma Christian University (’10)
It was Open Mic Night at a dive in metro Oklahoma City. David Bowden was the only Christian in the room. He wasn’t intimidated. He was inspired. And his spoken word poetry brought light into that dark place.
David Bowden graduated from Oklahoma Christian University in 2010 with a degree in Bible. He came to OC with dreams of being a preacher and writing books on theology. But God had other plans for him.
David’s career as a spoken word poet began when he and other OC students organized art shows and poetry slams to raise money to drill clean water wells overseas. His service with OC’s chapter of Wishing Well led to his first commissioned work – a poem for the New York City world premiere of “One Drop,” a film that chronicled the group’s clean water initiative in Rwanda. He went on to partner with Tom’s Shoes and Christian artists like the Newsboys, Phil Wickham, and Derek Webb. He regularly ministers to huge crowds at conferences around the nation, and his spoken word videos have been viewed more than four million times online.
But his work is more than words. David’s heart for the needy took him and his wife Meagan to the Philippines with the Give a Goat organization he co-founded at OC. “My wife and I knew we had to do something about this problem, and that giving goats was a wonderful solution,” David said. “Time after time, we heard story after story about how goats are changing people’s lives for the better. We saw sons providing medicine for their parents, parents providing education for their children, and families providing resources for their communities, all through the gift of a free pregnant goat.”
Since David returned from the Philippines, God has blessed his work as a full-time speaker, writer and artist. He continues to create videos to share with the church, and he works with conferences, events and congregations to create Gospel-centered messages. He is also author of the forthcoming book When God Isn’t There: Why God Is Farther Than You Think but Closer than You Dare Imagine.
Chad Bullock, Nyack College (’11)
Chad Bullock was recognized as as Nyack's 2012 Young Alumnus of the Year following several years of notable accomplishments, which reflect one of Nyack's five core values--social relevance.
The communications major was the first and only non-celebrity to win the 2008 Teen Choice Award that aired on Fox Network, which included a prize of $100,000 for his anti-tobacco activism. In 2010, he won the top prize of $250,000 from the Pepsi Refresh Project for the same initiative that has been his passion since he was freshman in high school.
After losing his grandfather to lung cancer, the Durham, North Carolina native successfully petitioned a major tobacco company to end a multi-million-dollar campaign targeting minorities and fought to make the historic Durham Bulls Athletic Park one of the first 100 percent tobacco-free baseball stadiums. His motivational speaking has empowered over 70,000 youth nationwide to get involved in their communities.
The Nyack alum interned at MTV and Nickelodeon and has been featured in segments on NBC News and “Positively Black.” Currently, he is president of Forget Tobacco, the nation’s largest youth-led anti-smoking campaign.
Chad currently resides in Austin, Texas where he is employed at C2, a internal marketing agency for the global investment bank Charles Schwab.
Read more about the 2016 Alumni Award Winner Steven Grudda (Houghton College), Runner-Up Hallie Darphin (Mississippi College), and Runner-Up Damilola Junaid (Gordon College).