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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Balancing studies and sports

At Wartburg College, faculty mentors support student-athletes

When Wartburg College, Waverly, Iowa, offered faculty an opportunity to mentor athletic teams, Lake Lambert III was excited. As a tenured member of the religion and philosophy department and an ELCA diaconal minister, he had an inkling of the connections he could make if he met coaches and players on their turf. He didn’t expect the impact it would have on his work.

Beth Schaufenbuel (left) and Jacie
Beth Schaufenbuel (left) and Jacie Smith of the softball team enjoy a dinner with faculty mentor Ann Henninger, a biology professor, during Homecoming weekend. At Wartburg College, Waverly, Iowa, faculty assist students in their academic and athletic pursuits.
“I’ve had a lot of fun, and it’s been great,” said Lambert, who mentors the football team with Susan Kosche Vallem, chair of the social work department. “I realized I didn’t really know any of the coaches, but they all knew who I was. Participating in this program, I’ve gotten to know them and hear what they’re interested in.”

Lambert, a member of St. Paul Lutheran Church, Waverly, went to football practices at least once per week, traveled to away games and attended home games with his family.


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