Joanna Barnhouse '11

Joanna Barnhouse '11Joanna Barnhouse '11

Alum balances office life with grad life — both at Messiah

Alumna. Staffer. Grad student. She proudly wears all of those titles at Messiah College. As a regional advancement representative for the Office of Development, Joanna Barnhouse ‘11 traverses the Northeast meeting with alumni, parents and other friends of the College. Her duties include finding new donors with a passion for Messiah and nurturing relationships with existing donors.

Her job requires travel, nights and weekends. But, Barnhouse says she loves it, because she gets to hear people’s stories. “Golden grads” describe what it was like to attend Messiah decades ago, and recent alums update her on what they’ve been doing since graduation.

With a B.A. in communication with a public relations concentration, she is pursuing a master’s degree in higher education with a concentration in fundraising management. She plans to graduate in 2016.

She says the bachelor’s degree equipped her with the foundational skills needed for her work while grad classes are providing her with a broader perspective of higher ed.

How does she decompress at the end of a long day? She looks for balance and stress relief — in the form of running. “I try to make time for running even though it’s just a 20- to 30-minute run most days a week to stay motivated to do my job and study,” said Barnhouse.

Other activities include listening to music — she has season tickets to the Harrisburg Symphony — and spending time with friends and family.

“When I see people get excited about supporting Messiah and when I see the impact that Messiah is having on students and graduates, I feel so privileged to be a very, very small part of that.”

— My Nguyen ’17