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Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2019:09:23 08:18:22

PHOTO COURTESY OF SAM CORREA Beth McGrew, academic advisor for online students, is presented with a gift from CSU President Jim Lytle for completing 35 years of service at that university.

S. ABINGTON TWP. — Twelve employees and two trustees received awards for milestone years of service at Clarks Summit University’s Employee and Trustee Dessert. The night started off with a time of mingling while enjoying desserts. Jim Lytle, CSU president, began the ceremony and announced each award, gifting every recipient with a token of the university’s appreciation.

Recognition for five years of service went to Jenny Johnson, Ryan McKeen, Ken Pyne, Adam Schwamb and Erica Young. Recognition for 10 years of service went to Patience Schwamb, Sharon Wilson and Jeff Howell. Recognition for 15 years of service went to Ronnie Chastain. Recognition for 25 years of service went to Dena Cambra and Paul Golden. Recognition for 30 years of service went to David Harris and Bill Park. This year’s longest-serving milestone award went to Clarks Summit resident Bethel McGrew for 35 years of service at the university.

Prior to McGrew receiving her award, Lytle read a memorable statement by Dr. Bill Higley, CSU’s vice president of academics and McGrew’s supervisor:

“I thank God that I can work with Beth because of her love for God and her love for people. Beth has demonstrated over and over again her willingness to use whatever gifts and abilities she has to serve the people and mission of CSU. She has worked in multiple departments in her 35 years at CSU. And no matter where she is, she does it with a professionalism, kindness, integrity, perseverance and with desire to serve, whomever she is working with. Beth is an example to all of as someone who fulfils the instructions of Colossians 3:23, ‘Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord’.”

McGrew graduated from CSU in 1983.

She says, “As I graduated, I heard of an opening for a secretary. I interviewed, and I was absolutely certain this is what I wanted to do. The degree of certainty was remarkable. Looking back, I see this was God’s way of getting me where he wanted me to be.”

What started as the secretary for the Christian Service office grew into a position in the Ministry Development program where the majority of her time on staff was spent. She then held a position within the Department of Music. McGrew was honored with an Alumni Award for Outstanding Service in 1998.

She currently serves as academic advisor for online students, bringing unique insight because of both her long history with the university and her current experience as an online student herself. She is earning her master’s degree with a focus on counseling at CSU.

McGrew works closely with adult students who need a flexible path to reach their career goals. She guides students through course sequences for online undergraduate and graduate programs. With sessions beginning every eight weeks, online students can progress quickly to meet their goals and earn an online degree in as little as two years. Having someone like McGrew to help students plan ahead, customize the program to match career goals and make the most of their courses is a helpful component of the online program. Mentorship is a hallmark of a CSU education, and McGrew helps bring that benefit to the online environment.

“She has been there for me through everything and has continued to believe in me even when I didn’t believe in myself,” 2018 graduate Mariza Fleming said of McGrew, crediting the employee for helping her reach graduation.

Emily McCarty agrees, stating, “Beth McGrew has been amazing with all my questions over the last year. From the first email to the last phone call, she has been a true encourager for me. I will be forever grateful for her loving heart that so shines through her work.”

CSU’s online study is available in four associate degree concentrations and eight bachelor’s degree majors, plus master’s degrees in fields of counseling, education, literature, organizational leadership and biblical studies. Baptist Bible Seminary’s online degrees include both master’s and doctoral programs that are saturated in both sound theology and practical ministry applications. A unique degree completion program allows adults to finish the bachelor’s degree they previously started—completely online. High school juniors and seniors can take online courses to earn college credit while fulfilling high school requirements in CSU’s High School Dual Enrollment program.

More information about CSU’s online programs can be found at