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February 2012
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roberts fun facts:
From the years of 1942-1945 more than a dozen Japanese/American students attended Roberts Wesleyan College (Read more...)


alumni having an impact

Rob Arrendell'00 | Lavonne Johnston'82 |Scott Berry'93 |



Rob Arrendell'00 (BS in Biology) was recently awarded the News 8 Golden Apple Award for excellence in teaching. Rob teaches biology at the Leadership Academy for Young Men at Charlotte High School (Rochester, NY). He has spent his entire 10-year career at Charlotte, and loves the challenge of teaching these students. Rob was nominated by two former students who credit him with helping them get where they are today (both are attending college). One of the students also credits Rob with helping her find faith in God.

The Leadership Academy is a unique place. This brand new all-male school of 100 ninth grade students requires uniforms and disallows all forms of electronics. Local college professors give input on the curriculum, and students travel to local colleges for college experience. The boys learn the five basic values of the school: Respect, Integrity, Loyalty, Accountability, and Courage. The goal of the Leadership Academy is to produce high school graduates who are leaders in their work and community.

Rob has been humbled by the experience and is amazed at what God is doing through his teaching career. The joy he finds in teaching is clearly evident. His students are looking for guidance in education and in life, and Rob enjoys the opportunity to support these young men as they work through difficult high school years.

Rob wasn't always interested in teaching. He's originally from the US Virgin Islands and made his way north to Roberts in the fall of 1996. His goal was a career in bio research. However, after spending many hours in the lab, he knew it wasn't the right fit. Rob realized that working with people was his real passion, and that led naturally to teaching.

One of Rob's greatest points of influence at Roberts was then soccer coach Greg Gidman. Rob was a four-year soccer player, and he credits Gidman with modeling leadership and hard work. The first teams he played on struggled, but by the end of Rob's career at Roberts the soccer team turned things around and made consecutive appearances in the NAIA National Tournament. Rob has never forgotten Greg's lesson of not worrying about present situations, but instead concentrating on a clear vision for the future.

Rob is married to Tabitha Arrendell'99. They have two children Moises and Mya. The family recently returned from four months in Costa Rica where they were volunteering at a K-12 English-speaking school for missionary children. They worked hard on their Spanish and look forward to more opportunities to serve locally and internationally. Rob coaches the men's and women's reserve soccer teams and Roberts.

Congratulations Rob!

Click here to see Rob receive his News 8 Golden Apple Award.

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Lavonne (Baker) Johnston'82 (BS in Biology) grew up in a Free Methodist parsonages in South Canaan (Pa.), Willow Grove (Pa.), and Liberty (N.Y.). She came to know Christ at an early age. Roberts Wesleyan College was the only school she applied to. She wanted to be a serious student enveloped in a warm, Christian atmosphere.

Lavonne has many great memories of Roberts. Dissecting cats in anatomy lab was a highlight (a few were secretly stored in her dorm fridge/freezer for review at night!). The Math/ Science Club activities were always fun. Friends were more than willing to help with research projects - they actually changed their diet, ate horrible-tasting fiber, and let her test their results! She also remembers laughing like crazy with roommates and Davis Mountain Campus retreats at Bristol, N.Y.

After her first year in college, she was blessed with a Kodak scholarship for science majors. It enabled her to carry on at Roberts debt free. During her junior year, Lavonne was studying biology and intending to attend medical school. It was during that time that she learned about physician assistants. At the time, there were only about 50 programs nationwide.

Lavonne applied to Hahnemann Medical University (now part of Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pa.) and was accepted. Attending Hahnemann required her to leave Roberts after her junior year, but she was able to transfer credits back to Roberts to complete her BS in Biology. In 1993, she graduated from Hahnemann and 14 days later married her husband, Mark Johnston.

Lavonne's first job as a physician assistant was at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. There, she served in the pediatric bone marrow transplant unit. Lavonne said this was a very challenging and stressful role. They were able to save about one out of three children through their treatment program.

Lavonne and her husband moved to Virginia Beach. Mark worked as a gastroenterologist for the Navy and Lavonne served in Occupational Health for the City of Virginia Beach. Soon, the first of the Johnston's three children was born. It was a blessing that Lavonne could pull back from her work as a physician assistant during this time to raise Zachary, Luke, and Hope. As the children grew older, Lavonne started working part-time in Virginia Beach at a walk-in clinic. After nearly 10 years out of full-time work, Lavonne began an online masters program in Health Sciences through George Washington University.

Today, Lavonne and Mark both work at Lancaster Gastroenterology, Inc. in Lancaster, Pa. This is a practice that was started by Christians. Mark is a partner and they find it to be a great place to weave in faith and counseling, since the GI tract is so susceptible to stress.

As a family, the Johnstons attend Community Fellowship Church in Lancaster where Lavonne has been regularly involved in its worship and drama teams. Mark and Lavonne are also deeply committed to a medical mission in Albania that was partially funded by the royalties produced by a medical device created by Mark to treat Barrett's Esophagus.

Lavonne says, "I am grateful for my years spent at Roberts where professors and friends prepared me to serve Christ through faith and science."

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Dr. Scott Berry'93 (BS in Biology) is Chief Anesthesiologist at Lakeside Hospital in Brockport, N.Y. He grew up in the Rochester area and is a graduate of Northstar Christian Academy, Roberts Wesleyan College, and the New York College of Medicine.

Scott has quite the story of why he attended Roberts Wesleyan College and why he chose to be a medical doctor. Early in Scott's college career, his father became seriously ill due to a heart condition. Scott was attending a college in Pennsylvania at the time and wanted to come home to be closer to his parents.

Scott enrolled as a commuter student at Roberts. As Scott saw his dad struggling with his condition he felt a deep calling to become a doctor. Based upon that firm conviction, Scott was able to endure the long journey to become an anesthesiologist. He is grateful for the professors at Roberts that helped him prepare for medical school.

Today, Scott enjoys serving in a small, community hospital like Lakeside, where he has been for eight years. He is grateful for the professors at Roberts who helped him prepare for medical school.

Scott and his wife Krissy live in Spencerport with their three children – Scott (11), Alayna (9), and Gage (4). All three attend Northstar Christian Academy. The family attends First Bible Baptist Church in Greece. They are all very involved with the ministries of both the church and the school. Krissy is the daughter of RWC alum Bobby Bonner'89.

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