Working to advance Cornerstone University's identity, mission, and vision, the President's Cabinet includes the following leaders who serve to represent distinct areas of the institution: Dr. John Verberkmoes, Dr. Peter Osborn, Dr. Shawn Newhouse, Marc Fowler, Dr. Gerald Longjohn, Bob Sack, Lisa Link, Chris Lemke and Emilie Azkoul.
Dr. Joseph M. Stowell III
Dr. Joseph M. Stowell III serves as the President of Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He loves students and desires to provide an educational experience in which they are intellectually and spiritually stimulated to engage their world with the love of Christ.
An internationally recognized conference speaker, Joe has also written numerous books including The Trouble with Jesus, Following Christ, Simply Jesus and You, and Redefining Leadership. He also writes devotionals for Our Daily Bread. His life is marked by a deep love for Jesus, which is reflected in his desire to value people regardless of gender, race, or class; to aid the poor and marginalized; to build a strong and vibrant community where the presence of Christ is evident; and to govern and lead in ways that engender mutual confidence and trust.
Dr. Stowell has a distinguished career in higher education and church leadership. He served as senior pastor of Southgate Baptist Church (Southgate, Ohio; 1970-76), Bible Baptist Church (Kokomo, Indiana; 1976-81), and Highland Park Baptist Church (Southfield, Michigan; 1981-87). From 1987-2005, he served as President of Moody Bible Institute, with oversight over the Undergraduate and Graduate Schools, Moody Publishers, and the Moody Broadcasting Network. Following his time at MBI, he served as Teaching Pastor at Harvest Bible Chapel in suburban Chicago, prior to assuming the presidency at Cornerstone in February 2008.
Joe also serves on the Board of Wheaton College. He is a graduate of Cedarville University and Dallas Theological Seminary and has been honored with two doctor of divinity degrees from The Master's College (1987) and Huntington University (2011). He and his wife Martie have three adult children and ten grandchildren.
Dr. John VerBerkmoes, executive vice president for academics, has served Cornerstone University in various administrative roles since 1986. In over 30 years at Cornerstone, John has served as a resident director ('86-88), director of student financial aid ('88-91), director of admissions and enrollment services at GRTS ('91-98), associate dean at GRTS ('98-02), and academic dean at GRTS ('02-present). In 2009, he was promoted to vice president and academic dean, and in July 2015 his role expanded to become the chief academic officer for the university.
John is a double graduate of Cornerstone University, completing a Bachelor of Religious Education (BRE) in 1985 followed by a Master of Theological Studies (MTS) at GRTS with an emphasis in Systematic Theology in 1988. Subsequently, he completed the Doctor of Philosophy degree in Higher Education Administration at Michigan State University in 2006. His research interest is focused in the areas of assessment and evaluation, particularly in assessment of student learning. He routinely teaches courses in organizational leadership and adult education at GRTS.
In addition to his work at Cornerstone, John serves member schools of The Association of Theological Schools (ATS) through workshop presentations and assessment coaching. He and his wife, Kelly, have two children, Jason and Leslie.
Dr. Peter Osborn, vice president for adult learning, has served Cornerstone University in various administrative and faculty roles since 1999.
In his years at Cornerstone, Peter has served as the director of graduate admissions and marketing ('99-03), associate dean of students/assistant professor ('03-09), adjunct professor ('09-11), associate professor/associate dean of online ('11-14), and associate professor/associate vice president of adult learning ('14-15). In July 2015, he was promoted to vice president of adult learning providing leadership to Cornerstone's Professional & Graduate Studies, CU Online and ABTS programs.
Peter is a graduate of Cornerstone University, completing a Master of Arts (MA) at GRTS with an emphasis in Educational Ministries in 1999. Subsequently, he completed the Doctor of Philosophy degree in Higher Education Administration at Michigan State University in 2006. His research interest is focused in the areas of online learning and organizational change. He routinely teaches courses in research methodology and spiritual formation at GRTS.
In addition to his work at Cornerstone, Peter assists non-profit organizations in staff transitions and resolving conflict. He and his wife, Karen, have four children, Zach, Sawyer, Jake and Issi.
On July 15, 2015, Dr. Shawn Newhouse began her tenure as vice president for traditional undergraduate academics, and she brings a unique blend of professional experience and academic achievement to the position.
Prior to service at Cornerstone University, Shawn served for over 14 years as a business manager in corporate contexts and in organizational leadership roles in non-profit organizations. Since 2008, Shawn served as a professor in Cornerstone University's Division of Business where she taught marketing and international business courses. She was the recipient of Cornerstone's Teaching Excellence Award in 2011 and granted tenure in 2014. Her entrepreneurial spirit and leadership capacity were evident in the development and launch of Students in Free Enterprise (now Enactus) and in the short-term study abroad trips she initiated to Dubai, United Arab Emirates and the Netherlands.
Shawn is a double graduate of Taylor University where she completed both the Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and the Master of Business Administration. In 2014, Shawn completed the Doctor of Business Administration in Marketing at Anderson University. Her research interests include consumer behavior, international marketing, and cross-cultural competency.
Shawn and her husband Peter have three children, Megan, Isaak, and Sophia. She enjoys spending time with family, hiking, reading, and serving on her church's leadership team.
Marc Fowler, executive vice president and chief operations officer, joined Cornerstone University in August 2000. He has held various cabinet level positions including, vice president for business, vice president for operations, senior vice president and CFO, senior vice president for strategic initiatives and assistant to the president, and since October 2008, executive vice president and chief operations officer.
Prior to joining Cornerstone University, Marc served 30 years at the University of Connecticut Medical Center. While there, Marc held various staff positions in accounting, grants administration, capital projects planning, information systems project management, and served as Associate Vice Chancellor and Controller from 1987 to 2000.
Marc received his Masters of Business Administration degree from the University of Hartford (CT), Barney School of Business, in 1986. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in 1981 from Charter Oak State College (CT) in business administration with a human resources management major and psychology minor. He and his wife, Sheila, have been married since 1980 and have six adult children and twelve grandchildren.
Dr. Gerald Longjohn came to Cornerstone University in July 2008. As the vice president for student development, he oversees community life, athletics, student activities, counseling and health services, global opportunities missions trips, chapel and discipleship programs, and he collaborates with faculty and staff to maintain a student-focused, spiritually contagious learning community where Jesus Christ is central.
Gerald also serves as the Title IX coordinator at Cornerstone and an adjunct professor of organizational leadership and development in the Professional & Graduate Studies division. He holds a doctorate of Education in Ethical Leadership from Olivet Nazarene University, a master's degree in Christian Education from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and a bachelor's degree in Bible Theology from Moody Bible Institute.
Gerald previously worked in student development at Judson University in Elgin, Illinois, as the international and intercultural advisor. Prior to his experience in higher education, he spent ten years as a youth pastor, at First Baptist Church of Downers Grove, Illinois, and The United Christian Church of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. While in Dubai he also served on the council for the Dubai Evangelical Church Centre, a multi-user facility for several international congregations and developed an annual youth conference for students from all across the Arabian Peninsula.
Gerald was born in the UAE, to missionary parents from Kalamazoo, Michigan, and graduated from Kalamazoo Christian High School. In the church and college contexts in which he has served, Gerald has enjoyed countless opportunities to preach, teach, mentor, and lead missions trips to help equip students to passionately follow Jesus through their callings and careers. He and his wife, Beth, have two children, Owen and Micah.
Bob Sack came to Cornerstone in October 2009 as the executive director of marketing and communications, with oversight of the university's publicity and marketing endeavors. In June 2014, his responsibilities expanded to include advancement and enrollment initiatives in addition to marketing and communications.
Bob brings over 20 years of marketing experience to Cornerstone. He was the first executive hired by DP Fox Sports in 1995 to help launch the Grand Rapids Griffins as one of the country's most successful minor professional hockey franchises. Prior to working with the Griffins, he was the first-ever director of the Grand Rapids Jaycees' Senior PGA Tour stop. More recently, Bob spent three years as the chief operating officer of McShane & Bowie, a prominent Grand Rapids law firm.
Bob's undergraduate degree is from the University of Michigan Ross School of Business and his MBA is from Western Michigan University. He has been involved in numerous civic and charitable organizations in and around Grand Rapids. He is married to Debbie and the couple have three children—Lauren, Bryce and Taryn.
Lisa Link has served in the Cornerstone University Undergraduate Admissions Office since 2004. In her 10+ years at Cornerstone, Lisa served as an admissions counselor ('04-'07), transfer admissions counselor ('07-'09), and director of admissions ('09-'14). As executive director of enrollment, she is responsible for providing leadership and strategic planning to the undergraduate enrollment initiatives.
Lisa holds a Master of Science in Management from Cornerstone University, as well as a B.A. in Language Arts. Her professional interests include leadership development, strategizing, and communication. Additionally, she enjoys maximizing people's strengths by recognizing each person's unique talents and abilities. She's a member of the 2014-2015 CCCU Women's Leadership Development Institute and is an adjunct professor in the communication and media division at CU. In 2007, she received the Cornerstone University Outstanding Service Award.
Lisa and her husband, James, have two children: Levi and Ezra. As a family, they enjoy traveling, spending time at the lake, and family activities.
Chris Lemke, executive director of radio, serves in leading the mission and vision for Cornerstone University's radio ministry of WCSG, one of the most perennially successful Christian radio stations in the country. Both Chris and CU's broadcast ministries have received numerous top honors from the National Religious Broadcasters, Christian Music Broadcasters and Radio & Records.
He began his career in 1980 at WCSG while enrolled as a freshman of Cornerstone. He graduated with a bachelor in arts degree from Cornerstone University in 1984. Over the years, he served as on-air host, program director and WCSG's general manager. Outside of Grand Rapids, Chris has taught sessions at national industry conferences, written several articles for industry trade publications and presently serves on the Board of Directors for the Christian Music Broadcasters. He has also counseled other stations in their pursuit of excellence and has served on the Board of Directors for Grand Canyon Broadcasting.
He and his wife, Sue (CU '84), were married in August of 1987 and are the proud parents of six children. They attend Bella Vista Church in Rockford where Chris serves as elder and for 15 years served as a teacher in children's ministry. He enjoys cooking, gardening, traveling and music.
Emilie Azkoul has served as the director of human resources since 2008. Previously, she served at Cornerstone as the executive assistant to the president and then assistant director of human resources. In addition, she is an adjunct professor for the traditional undergraduate program in the Business Division. Before coming to Cornerstone, she worked in human resources at a local hospital.
Emilie has a Bachelor of Arts in Management and Organizational Development from Spring Arbor University and a Master's of Business Administration from Cornerstone University. She is certified as a Senior Professional of Human Resources (SPHR) and Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP). Emilie is a member of the TIAA Advisory Council, a nation-wide council for TIAA retirement plans.
Emilie is married to Jeff, and they enjoy spending time with their three adult children and seven grandchildren.