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Join the #GivingTuesday movement and help students like Tim and Troy Neptune

Join the #GivingTuesday movement and help students like Tim and Troy Neptune


#GivingTuesday is part of a national movement described as a “new day for giving back.” We hope you’ll consider including Otterbein as part of your end-of-year giving. Learn more about Otterbein's 2015 #GivingTuesday campaign by visiting www.otterbein.edu/GivingTuesday

By: Tabatha Piper ’15

Students constantly evolve due to life experiences. Tim and Troy Neptune are no exception. The brothers are not the same young men that first stepped off their family cattle farm in New Concord, Ohio, and onto Otterbein’s campus in fall 2013.

Now, with nearly two and a half years of university instruction and experiences under their belts, they are far more mature: travelling the world, making the most of their Otterbein careers while passionately pursuing their dreams.

“Everyone has an opportunity,” says Tim. “It comes down to if they want to pursue it.

Troy is majoring in both Zoo and Conservation Science and Art. His focus on Herpetology---a branch of zoology concerned with the study of amphibians and reptiles---is about as far from cattle farming as one can imagine. His added studio concentration in drawing makes him unique.

This past year has been full of experiences. In May, Troy went on a two-week snorkeling exploration to research the reef systems in Belize. A little over a month later, he travelled to Panama for six weeks to research red-eyed tree frogs with Dr. Sarah Bouchard.

“I know it’s a cliché to say that experiences like this are life-changing, but they truly are; it was full of incredible wonder,” said Troy.

Meanwhile, Tim is taking a more traditional path toward experiencing life. He is majoring in journalism and media communication while minoring in creative writing.

Tim found his passion by interning with Columbus Radio Group to working in-studio at Otterbein’s radio and television stations. By being deeply involved with his major, Tim has been able to attend broadcasting conferences in Seattle and Minneapolis. While attending the CBI conference in Minneapolis, Tim was able to lead a session educating students from colleges nationwide on promoting local music.

“By getting involved with student media here at Otterbein, I have been able to grow as a professional in my field,” said Tim. “Dr. Janice Windborne has made these trips possible for me.”

Tim and Troy say they owe most of their life-changing experiences to their professors.

“I would have never been able to afford these trips without professors helping me to find a way,” said Troy. “They provide me with opportunities to apply for scholarships and extra funds.”

Tim agrees.

“I learn so much from my professors in the small-classroom setting,” said Tim. “I am engaged and want to learn about topics in my profession. Otterbein professors really put in that extra effort, and for what? They don’t have to do that but they do. This is what makes Otterbein stand out and be special. They really push me to better myself and reach my goals.”

The Neptunes are just like typical college students with bills to pay and not a lot of extra cash lying around. In fact, even before coming to Otterbein, they were applying for scholarships to help pay tuition, room and board.

“We are the first generation to go to college from our family,” said Tim. “We are both paying for our education on our own. I had to learn how to take out loans and be knowledgeable in that sense.”

Troy adds, “It’s not that our parents are unaware, they are learning just like us. Most kids at Otterbein are in the same boat.”

Tim and Troy value their education and want to take full advantage of it. Along with extra trips, they are fully involved on Otterbein’s campus. Tim is the General Manager for Otterbein’s radio station, WOBN, and a production assistant for Otterbein’s television station, Otterbein TV. He is also a member of Sigma Delta Phi Fraternity, a resident assistant and previously a student orientation Leader.

Troy is a peer mentor in the Center for Student Involvement, a peer advisor in the Center for Student Success, a peer tutor in the Academic Support Center, Biology lab Technical Assistant, a previous resident assistant and volunteer with the Students Engaged in Ecological Development and Stewardship. He is the vice-president of the Otterbein Deaf Culture Club, a member of the Starving Artists, a facilitator for Safezone and a member of Alpha Lambda Delta Phi Eta Sigma Honorary Society.

Tim and Troy are breezing through Otterbein’s Five Cardinal Experiences started by Otterbein’s Experiential Learning and Community Engagement office. A cardinal experience engages students in real-life opportunities to apply the knowledge and skills they acquired in the classroom. A cardinal experience can happen in the community, on campus or across the world.

The Five Cardinal Experiences are: Undergraduate Research and Creative Work, Internships and Professional Experience, Global and Intercultural Engagement, Leadership and Citizenship, and Community Engagement.

“These experiences will be on our resume,” said Tim. “It’s great having them validated by the University because it shows that we are getting recognized for what we are doing.”

The brothers are taking full-advantage of their education and time at Otterbein. They have worked hard and are resourceful, always finding a way to accomplish their goals.

“If I didn’t have scholarships, I wouldn’t be here,” says Tim. “In many ways, we also owe our education to scholarship donors.”

Troy agrees.

“Students like us can’t afford a college like Otterbein,” he says. “But thanks to donors, professors and our family, we are able to make it happen.”

Otterbein’s annual fund and scholarships provide all students a chance to be able to take on life-changing opportunities. Tim and Troy are examples of what determination and hard work can help you achieve if you have the will to make it happen. They’ve come a long way from the cattle farms of New Concord.