FlipSide Face: Jeremy Poland

FlipSide Face: Jeremy Poland

Jeremy Poland, interim assistant chaplain, has thrown himself back into the community and his position with new perspectives.

“Jeremy has definitely gone out of his way to make real relationships at Simpson College,” junior Kayla Hamilton, RLC president, said.

A fairly recent Simpson graduate himself, Jeremy was preceded by his father and older sister as members of the Simpson community and also has two cousins who currently attend the school. When reminiscing about his days at Simpson, he most misses the late-night conversations with his peers, and the difficult and challenging ideas that were passed around among students and faculty on a daily basis.

After graduating from Simpson with degrees in religion and philosophy and a minor in art, Poland moved on to seminary at Drew Theological School in Madison, N.J. What brought him back to the Midwest was a great job offer at Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Urbandale. He currently divides his time between his duties there and his job at Simpson.

“Right now, my biggest challenge is trying to balance two very demanding schedules,” Poland said. “It seems like I’m always short on time.”

For Poland, however, the struggle has been worth it. He enjoys the chance to work with other young people by running the youth ministry at Aldersgate and working with students at Simpson. His goal for his time at Simpson is to assist students as much as he can as they deal with difficult situations and decisions.

“I feel very blessed by the opportunity to work with so many students who are truly passionate about their faith, particularly as they wrestle with really important life issues,” Poland said.

In addition to working with and assisting youth on campus and in Des Moines, Poland recently led the spring break service trip to Toronto, Canada. When he isn’t working hard to help others in the religious community wherever he roams, he enjoys spending time with his wife Kristin, playing with his dog, Gilbert, and reading a good book.

Hamilton, who accompanied Poland and several other students on the service trip, has very much enjoyed working with him and has been impressed with his work so far. She said he has been a great addition to the chapel staff and has formed a unique connection with students.

“Jeremy is incredibly personable, helpful and optimistic,” Hamilton said. “He really wants to know students and pushes us by asking hard questions sometimes.”

Poland seems to be a well-received member of the Simpson staff and has embraced the challenges of his transition back to campus. He said that the students and staff have been very supportive and helpful in this transition and is appreciative of the chance to work with them. He offers advice for those students sitting where he once did as they continue their journeys at Simpson.

“Look for joy in where you are already and don’t be afraid to struggle,” Poland said.