Home Sweet IWU

(Originally from my magazine The Odyssey: A Magazine Presented by The Sojourn)

Since graduating in 1995, Robin Jewett has lived all over the country. Her and her husband have lived in Indiana, Tennessee, North Carolina and now Oregon. Even after many years, and moves, Jewett still feels very connected to the IWU community.

From Nashville to North Carolina to Oregon, Robin Jewett has lived in many different places, near and far, since her time at Indiana Wesleyan University.

Jewett graduated from IWU in 1995, with a bachelor’s degree in biology. While there, she helped start Friday Night Live, directing five of the first six shows.

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Robin and some of the original FNL cast for a reunion at IWU Homecoming 2015. Photo provided by Robin.

“(With FNL), we were looking for creative ways to get the people on campus involved in a local church ministry,” Jewett said. “We had chapel but a lot of (college students) just slept through on Sunday mornings.”

After graduation, Jewett took a job at the Wesleyan Church Headquarters in Indianapolis. She wrote youth group curriculum and served in several capacities of churches in Michigan and Indiana.

It was in Indy where she met a youth pastor, Ken. They connected very quickly and married one year later.

Her husband led her back to Marion and IWU in 1998. While he was the youth pastor for Lakeview Christian Church, she worked as a lab instructor and assistant lab manager at the school. With that job, she taught anatomy and physiology labs, did prep for general chemistry labs, worked on basic maintenance of lab facilities and assisted adjunct professors with their labs.

After working in Marion for five years, the couple moved to Nashville, Tennessee, in 2003. Jewett studied at Trevecca Nazarene University to participate in its physician assistant school. They stayed in Nashville for 11 years, where Jewett worked several jobs as a P.A., including teaching classes at Trevecca that led her to becoming the program director for the P.A. school.

During their time in Nashville, the couple also adopted two children from the Congo — Adeline and Palmer.

But in 2014, it was time for the Jewetts to move again.

Jewett said the Lord took them to Boiling Springs, North Carolina so she could help start a P.A. program at Gardner Webb University.

Jewett and her family didn’t live in North Carolina for long. Soon after moving there, they moved to Salem, Oregon, which is their current location.

“I began to realize that my family needed me closer. My kids were growing up without knowing their grandparents,” Jewett said. “So we moved out here to be closer to my side of the family.”

In Salem, Jewett works as a P.A. for The Doctor’s Clinic. Besides being interested in going into the mission field someday, their family’s plan is to stay in Salem so they can be with Jewett’s side of the family, who, she said, keeps them rooted in Oregon.

Even after graduating 20 years ago and moving several times, Jewett said she still remains very close with her friends from college.

“I think many of my friends that I’ve maintained over the last … 20 years have been from Indiana Wesleyan,” Jewett said. “I’ve moved to a lot of places and done a lot of things, but really some of the people that I still maintain the closest connections to are (my college friends). Even to this day, some of the people I go to for spiritual wisdom are friends that I made when I was at Indiana Wesleyan.”

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Jaena and Robin in 1998. Photo provided by Robin.

One of the strong friendships she has kept over the years is with Jaena Hardin, who graduated in 1993. They met at IWU, but actually became closer friends after college. Hardin worked at Lakeview while Jewett and her husband were there.

“We actually became better and better friends once we left college, which I think is usually backwards so we were acquaintances and friends but then when we left college, our friendship got better,” Hardin said. “She’s a lifelong friend.”

Hardin said if it wasn’t for IWU, they wouldn’t be such close friends today.

“It’s funny because I think you go through college and you have close friends and you think those are the people who you will always be friends with and so it’s kind of a gift that there’s this commonality that we went to school there,” Hardin said. “I feel like Indiana Wesleyan also gave us both the training and part of that journey to lead us to where we would need to be to eventually work on staff together or paths to cross in other ways.”

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Robin and Kari have remained very close even after being roommates in college. Photo provided by Kari.

During her senior year, Jewett lived with Kari Terhune (‘96), another close friend to this day. She was also able to work alongside Terhune during her time as a lab instructor at the university. Being science majors is one reason why they have stayed close over all of these years.

“Even if we don’t talk every day or every week, I know that I can just ask her a medical question real quick and we can discuss something scientific or just talk about whatever we need to,” Terhune said. “It’s doesn’t have to be that we keep in really close contact but we can pick up where we left off.”

Jewett has tried to come back to campus when possible, and was able to for last year’s homecoming for an FNL reunion.

“I was a little disoriented just from all of the new construction on campus, but I’ve just loved to see the fantastic growth of the university,” Jewett said. “How obviously stagnation is not an issue, but there are always new things being tried and new buildings being built and new programs that are coming about.”

Jewett said she also loved seeing Ott Hall because of her past experiences in IWU’s science department.

Because of her Christian college education, Jewett said the lessons she learned in her classes are still part of her life today.

“The most powerful devotion times I had were in my biology classes,” Jewett said. “Those lessons I really carried forward with me that my faith can be integrated in many parts of my life whether I’m teaching or whether I’m practicing medicine. That’s really stayed with me.”

Jewett also said how the most profound moments of her life when God gave her clear direction were her time in her classes, chapel and one-on-one time with professors talking about him.

Even though she lives about 37 hours away from Marion, Indiana, Jewett feels very close to the IWU community.

“I feel like I’m never really far, because (IWU) was so foundational to who I had become the rest of my life,” Jewett said.

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