When Josh Baldwin returned to KWC as a member of the Admissions team in November 2019, he was flooded with memories of his experiences as a student. “I saw familiar faces and enjoyed catching up with folks,” he remembers. “My office is where Classroom 101 used to be and my desk is just about where it was when I took U.S. History with Dr. Dan Bradshaw.” He has also enjoyed working with people new to him, and appreciates updates on the campus since he left in 2005 – from the Luellen Pyles Enrollment Center to Winchester Center renovations to the addition of online degree programs.
Josh’s position as online enrollment counselor is a new one at KWC. He works closely with Dr. Rebecca Francis, associate dean and director of adult and online programs, and recruits online students, evaluates their transfer credits, assists with financial aid needs and serves as academic advisor in every online students’ first semester.
According to Josh, the oldest online KWC student is 49 years old, the youngest is 18 and the average age is 28. The nearest student lives one block from campus, while the student the farthest distance from campus lives in Seattle. “I love working with people who are ready to finish their degrees,” says Josh. “It is very rewarding to help them make their dreams a reality.”
He says 40% of the College’s online students dropped out of a college some years earlier and the remainder have transferred from another institution. Josh understands online learning. He will complete his M.A. in clinical mental health counseling from Walden University in an online format in May 2021.
Josh earned a B.S. in psychology at KWC and is grateful to Professor Emeritus Dr. Bernie Bettinelli for his guidance. “He put me on the right track for a career in counseling. He had a passion for the field of psychology and for his students and was always encouraging and helpful. His example guides me as I assist our students.”
A native of Hanson, Ky., Josh says Admissions Counselor Lairy Nofsinger (1936-2012) introduced him to Wesleyan. “I am so thankful for Lairy’s advice. The small school atmosphere was appealing, and it was close to home, yet far enough away that I was on my own.” He was very involved on campus and was a member of the Student Government Association and Student Activities Programming Board. “I got to know my professors, and I made lifelong friendships. KWC was a great fit and perfect choice for me.”
The summer before his senior year at KWC, Josh and other KWC students participated in a travel abroad experience in Nice, France. He worked with people from 50 countries in two international churches in English as a Second Language classes and outreach for the churches on the Grand Promenade. “The summer was eye opening and gave me a much broader perspective of the world, along with a passion for social justice issues.”
Josh was assistant manager at the Lifeway Christian Store in Owensboro for 12 years. He and wife Kristina, an acute dialysis R.N., closed on a new home the same day he returned to Wesleyan in 2019. “We have completely remodeled our house and did 95% of the work ourselves, with family help,” he shares. “So this has been an action-packed year; new job, new home, pandemic adjustments, studying. It’s been a rewarding year, too. I returned to my alma mater and get to support our students as they achieve their dreams and goals. Amazing.”