News Release

Five prominent alumni on panel at Homecoming 2015

September 23, 2015 | Paul K. Logsdon


Join us on Thursday, Oct. 1 at 2 p.m.

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Five prominent Evangel alumni will participate in a panel discussion on the first day of the University’s Homecoming celebration, Thursday, Oct. 1, at 2 p.m.

The conversation will take place in the recital hall of the Barnett Fine Arts Center, and the panel will be moderated by Evangel’s president, Dr. Carol A. Taylor.

The event is free and open to the public.

The dates for Evangel’s Homecoming are Oct. 1-3. For more information, visit here!

 • Samuel Der-Yeghiayan, federal judge

1-Der-Yeghiayan '08The Honorable Sam Der-Yeghiayan (der-YEGG-he-in) is a United States District Court Judge for the Northern District of Illinois. His courtroom is in downtown Chicago.

Der-Yeghiayan was born in Syria and raised in Beirut, Lebanon. He graduated from Evangel in 1975 with a B.A. in political science, and received his Juris Doctor Degree in 1978 from Franklin Pierce Law Center at the University of New Hampshire Law School in Concord, N.H.

Der-Yeghiayan was nominated by the President of the United States as a Federal Judge and was unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate in 2003. He is noteworthy of being the first Armenian immigrant Federal Judge in the history of the United States.

As an all-American athlete at Evangel, Der-Yeghiayan excelled on the school’s soccer team. He was inducted into the Evangel Athletics Hall of Fame in 1991, and was awarded the Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2008. He is married to Becky (Wilson ’76), whom he met at Evangel.

Der-Yeghiayan is back this year to celebrate his 40th anniversary as a graduate, and to celebrate the first year of the newly revised intercollegiate soccer program at Evangel.

• Amanda Wachsmuth Heavens, V.P. of Morgan Stanley

2-Wachsmuth Heavens, Amanda, -200dpiAmanda (Wachsmuth ’00) Heavens lives in London and serves as a vice president for Morgan Stanley. Her current role is European Chief Operating Officer for Operational Risk.

Heavens was a highly motivated student at Evangel, earning two degrees — a B.S. in mathematics and a B.A. in English. Upon graduation, she began the simultaneous pursuit of two master’s degrees — an M.S. in statistics at Northwestern University, and an M.A. in biblical studies and theology at Fuller Seminary. She completed both programs in 2003.

During her five years at Morgan Stanley, Heavens has served in several positions in both New York and London.

While living in New York, she spent nine years leading the Center for Faith and Work’s financial services ministry, challenging Christians in finance to better consider the impact of the gospel on the marketplace. Her work included developing curriculum for a faith and finance leadership development program and writing a 40-part faith and finance devotional series.

Heavens is being honored at this year’s Homecoming festivities as Evangel’s Outstanding Young Alumnus.

• Dr. Linda Mintle, educator, author and therapist

3-Mintle, Dr. Linda '15-200dpiDr. Linda Mintle is the chair of the Division of Behavioral Health at Liberty University’s College of Osteopathic Medicine (LUCOM), in Lynchburg, Va. She is a licensed marriage and family therapist and a licensed clinical social worker.

Dr. Mintle is recognized as a national speaker and bestselling author with 19 book titles currently published, as well as numerous articles and textbook chapters. Her media experience includes seven years as the resident expert for ABC Family’s Living the Life television show.

She is currently the host of The Dr. Linda Mintle radio show, a blogger for BeliefNet and appears regularly as a national news consultant for various networks on issues related to mental health.

Dr. Mintle earned her Ph.D. in Urban Health and Clinical Psychology from Old Dominion University.

She also holds a Master of Social Work and Bachelor of Arts in psychology and communication, both from Western Michigan University. From 1972-1974, Linda (Marquardt) was enrolled at Evangel and transferred after marrying Norm Mintle.

• Dr. Norm Mintle, dean at Liberty University

Dean Mintle is photographed for new portraits and head shots at the LFSN Vines Center Control Room on January 15, 2015. (Photo by Kevin Manguiob)

Dr. Norm Mintle is the dean of the School of Communication & Creative Arts at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va. His school encompasses the “media arts” of film, television, radio, theatre, studio and graphic arts. Fifteen-hundred majors are taking courses in his area.

Dr. Mintle brought 30 years of professional media experience to the school, including service as the executive producer of the Christian Broadcasting Network’s “The 700 Club” TV program, and as V.P. of programming and marketing at CBN. He also served as the executive vice president and chief operating officer for the Total Living (cable) Network, and as president and co-founder — with his wife, Dr. Linda Mintle — of the Pure Media Group.

Dr. Mintle graduated from Evangel in 1974 with a bachelor’s degree in communication. He earned his master’s degree in interpersonal communication and mass media from Western Michigan University, and his Ph.D. in organizational leadership from Regent University. He was named Evangel’s first Outstanding Young Alumnus in 1987.

“My second happiest moment at Evangel was breaking the single-game soccer scoring record, previously held by fellow missionary kid, Rod Hoover, against ORU at Homecoming 1973,” he said. “I had six goals — a hat-trick in each half.”

And his happiest moment at Evangel…? “Meeting the love of my life, to whom I have been married for 41 years.”

• Steve Poppen, V.P. of Minnesota Vikings

5-Poppen, Steve '15-200dpiCurrently in his 17th season with the Vikings, Steve Poppen serves as the team’s executive vice president & chief financial officer.

In his role, Poppen is responsible for all financial aspects of the team, including business planning, budgeting, day-to-day financial and administrative operations, human resources, facilities and new stadium project financing.

For several years, Poppen played a lead role in the Vikings attempts to pass new stadium legislation. Since its passage, he continues to serve on the Vikings stadium team, assisting with the design and construction process. The stadium will be ready for the 2016 NFL season, and Super Bowl LII will be held there in February 2018.

A native of Watertown, SD, Poppen spent eight years as a certified public accountant in the business assurance group of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP in Kansas City before joining the Vikings.

Poppen earned his bachelor’s degree in accounting from Evangel University in 1991. He is married to Christy (Newby), who graduated in 1992 with a degree in elementary education.