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A Mission to Serve - A Journey from DePauw to Ethiopia - Nate and Cheryl (Noel) Ross '90

When Nate Ross and Cheryl (Noel) Ross met in a calculus class at DePauw University in the late 1980s, little did they know they were beginning a relationship that would eventually lead them to live and work in Africa.

“In the summer between my junior and senior years, I stayed on campus and worked with Dr. John McFarland, chairman of the Chemistry Department,” said Nate Ross. “He asked if I would be interested in traveling to West Africa with him and two other faculty members, Dr. Paul Kissinger, chairman of the Physics Department, and Dr. Chuck Mays, chairman of the Biology Department, during Winter Term of my senior year.”

Nate had already completed three Winter Terms to fulfill his graduation requirement and wasn’t planning to do another, but he had decided to apply to medical school and wanted to improve his chances for getting recommendation letters from the three science department chairs.

“With very selfish intentions, I went to Sierra Leone” Nate said. He achieved his goal and more. He fell in love with the country of Sierra Leone, its people, culture and food and knew then he might want to return to Africa someday.

Nate ’90 earned a bachelor’s in psychology from DePauw, while Cheryl ’90 double majored in political science and communication. Nate went on to medical school at Indiana University and then decided upon OB-GYN as his specialty area. He has delivered close to 4,000 babies in his 20-year career.  Cheryl attended Indiana University for a master’s in higher education/student affairs and earned her doctorate in leadership at Creighton University. She served on the staff at Fullness Christian Fellowship for 14 years, and taught leadership & communication at Southeastern Bible College and Creighton University.

Residents of Birmingham, Alabama, for more than 20 years, Nate and Cheryl have traveled to Africa several times since their first service mission to Ghana with a church group in 2004. Their experiences led them to consider more long-term service in Africa. After much research, the Rosses settled on Ethiopia for the combined reasons of tolerable climate, ideal service opportunities, and the running culture that appeals to the couple who are marathon runners. Nate, an obstetrician-gynecologist, will train and mentor medical professionals and provide patient care at Soddo Christian Hospital while Cheryl, a professor of leadership studies, will teach at Wolaita Evangelical Seminary.

“We will be going to Colorado in July 2018 to do some required missionary training.  In August we will get on a plane with six large suitcases and leave for Ethiopia.  We will be doing language school for three months and then begin serving in Soddo, Ethiopia by the end of 2018,” said Cheryl.

“This journey began 28 years ago at DePauw,” Nate said. “DePauw has been such an integral part of both of our lives. I’m the seventh person in my family to attend DePauw, including my parents, my grandfather, and my uncle Herold Ross (Class of 1918) who helped found WGRE and was Chairman of the Communication Department for years. Of course, I met my wife at DePauw and got married soon after graduation. We are so grateful to DePauw not only for an outstanding education, but also for providing a place where we met and then began along a path that is leading us to Ethiopia.”

Nate said he is thankful for the Winter Term experience that allowed him to visit Sierre Leone and open the door to the idea of serving overseas. He also appreciates his leadership experience in the Greek system and said Sigma Nu made a large impact on him. Cheryl was very involved with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship which she said provided many of her important memories from her DePauw years.

Nate and Cheryl are loyal contributors to The Fund for DePauw. “We both know and understand the importance of helping a DePauw education be accessible to those who need some additional assistance,” Cheryl said.

Classmates can follow Nate and Cheryl’s adventures in Ethiopia via their blog: https://nateandcheryl.wordpress.com/.

When Nate Ross and Cheryl (Noel) Ross met in a calculus class at DePauw University in the late 1980s, little did they know they were beginning a relationship that would eventually lead them to live and work in Africa.

 

“In the summer between my junior and senior years, I stayed on campus and worked with Dr. John McFarland, chairman of the Chemistry Department,” said Nate Ross. “He asked if I would be interested in traveling to West Africa with him and two other faculty members, Dr. Paul Kissinger, chairman of the Physics Department, and Dr. Chuck Mays, chairman of the Biology Department, during Winter Term of my senior year.”

 

Nate had already completed three Winter Terms to fulfill his graduation requirement and wasn’t planning to do another, but he had decided to apply to medical school and wanted to improve his chances for getting recommendation letters from the three science department chairs.

 

“With very selfish intentions, I went to Sierra Leone” Nate said. He achieved his goal and more. He fell in love with the country of Sierra Leone, its people, culture and food and knew then he might want to return to Africa someday.

 

Nate ’90 earned a bachelor’s in psychology from DePauw, while Cheryl ’90 double majored in political science and communication. Nate went on to medical school at Indiana University and then decided upon OB-GYN as his specialty area. He has delivered close to 4,000 babies in his 20-year career.  Cheryl attended Indiana University for a master’s in higher education/student affairs and earned her doctorate in leadership at Creighton University. She served on the staff at Fullness Christian Fellowship for 14 years, and taught leadership & communication at Southeastern Bible College and Creighton University.

 

Residents of Birmingham, Alabama, for more than 20 years, Nate and Cheryl have traveled to Africa several times since their first service mission to Ghana with a church group in 2004. Their experiences led them to consider more long-term service in Africa. After much research, the Rosses settled on Ethiopia for the combined reasons of tolerable climate, ideal service opportunities, and the running culture that appeals to the couple who are marathon runners. Nate, an obstetrician-gynecologist, will train and mentor medical professionals and provide patient care at Soddo Christian Hospital while Cheryl, a professor of leadership studies, will teach at Wolaita Evangelical Seminary.

 

“We will be going to Colorado in July 2018 to do some required missionary training.  In August we will get on a plane with six large suitcases and leave for Ethiopia.  We will be doing language school for three months and then begin serving in Soddo, Ethiopia by the end of 2018,” said Cheryl.

 

“This journey began 28 years ago at DePauw,” Nate said. “DePauw has been such an integral part of both of our lives. I’m the seventh person in my family to attend DePauw, including my parents, my grandfather, and my uncle Herold Ross (Class of 1918) who helped found WGRE and was Chairman of the Communication Department for years. Of course, I met my wife at DePauw and got married soon after graduation. We are so grateful to DePauw not only for an outstanding education, but also for providing a place where we met and then began along a path that is leading us to Ethiopia.”

 

Nate said he is thankful for the Winter Term experience that allowed him to visit Sierre Leone and open the door to the idea of serving overseas. He also appreciates his leadership experience in the Greek system and said Sigma Nu made a large impact on him. Cheryl was very involved with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship which she said provided many of her important memories from her DePauw years.

 

Nate and Cheryl are loyal contributors to The Fund for DePauw. “We both know and understand the importance of helping a DePauw education be accessible to those who need some additional assistance,” Cheryl said.

 

Classmates can follow Nate and Cheryl’s adventures in Ethiopia via their blog: https://nateandcheryl.wordpress.com/.