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Behind The Scenes: A Mini Episode


Mandy: Welcome to another art of relationships podcast. We are grateful for our listeners like you. Let's get right into it.

Chris Grace: Well, hey, welcome to another brief version of the Art of Relationships Podcast. Lisa, want to take this time to introduce our newest member of the CMR? And why don't you introduce all the listeners to our new podcast director.. 

Alisa Grace: Social media coordinator, extraordinaire. Yes, this is Ashlee Kyser. Hello, Ashlee. 

Ashlee Kyser: Thank you for the nice introduction. 

Alisa Grace: She's our new communications and marketing manager at the Center for marriage and relationships here at Biola University. She joined us as a student last May. Oh, my gosh, almost a year ago, and then worked with as part time until she graduated in December, got her degree in communications. And now she works full time with us and she engineers, our podcast for us. Welcome, Ashlee. 

Ashlee Kyser: Thank you. Yeah. 

Chris Grace: Not only are you working in an all areas for us with communication and marketing, but you also are dating somebody and you've been dating. So let's see, we'll have let's start backwards. You graduated in Biola? In December of 2020? 

Ashlee Kyser: Twenty two, yes. 

Chris Grace: And your degree?

Ashlee Kyser: BA in communications,

Chris Grace: BA in communications, and, and you've been working with us even before then as a student intern and then doing other things. Tell us now you're in a relationship too, how long you've been dating Connor? 

Ashlee Kyser: Just over a year and a half.

Chris Grace: A year and a half? So isn't this the best place to land? If you're dating somebody? 

Alisa Grace:That's great. 

Ashlee Kyser: Yes, yes.  It's been great.

Chris Grace: How does Connor feel about you being at the center for marriage and relationships, is it?

Ashlee Kyser: Well, he is a psychology major.  So he finds it very interesting. Every time he walks in, he like looks at the bookshelf. He's very, very into all of the studies and all that stuff. But no, yeah, it's been great. It's been really helpful. Just interacting with all the content you guys put out. And getting to just chat with Willa or Sarah,  our staff counselors, briefly and just getting to take advice and just learn in my my relationship with Connor but also in navigating what it's like to be away from home and graduated but close enough where I see my family and just all different areas of my life.

Chris Grace: Your family from this area, then yes, yeah. 

Ashlee Kyser: Yep. Orange County. 

Chris Grace: We got to meet them recently. You could tell you come from good stock. And your dad was a pastor for a while, or uh still is. 

Ashlee Kyser: Yeah, he still is. 

Chris Grace: Yeah, he's, where is he? 

Ashlee Kyser: He is the lead pastor at the village church in Irvine. 

Chris Grace: Nice. 

Alisa Grace: Village church in Irvine, CA. 

Chris Grace: So what's been the most interesting part of being at the CMR? For you? 

Ashlee Kyser: That's a good question. Um, I think being a Biola alumni, and then also starting as a Biola student, seeing the resources as CMR has, and learning more about the content you guys put out, but being able to interact with it in a unique way. And then also working here seeing how natural it is for you guys, just meeting with Alisa and just talking in our conversations naturally go towards advice, or just talking about relationships of seeing how the Lord is really at the center of that and how foundational that is to all the content you put out. 

Chris Grace: Yeah, and actually, one of the things that we asked you to do, of course, was to, in a sense, translate for us to I mean, you're about our age, you know,
that you can translate to a younger crowd.  Has that been? What do you suspect is happening with your your cohort of students? Right? I mean, those who graduated with the relationships, 

Alisa Grace: Yeah, roommates too.

Chris Grace: Are they able to take advantage of resources? Are they the kind that just wait till they're in relationship? Or what have you noticed that you're saying, I wish you guys knew this? Because these issues come up? Or they're, you know...

Ashlee Kyser: Yeah, I think, um, especially being at a small, private Christian College, that emphasis on just relationships in general can kind of get, I think, by the culture of students, kind of overwhelmed by like, dating relationships or marital relationships. But I think, working at the CMR, seeing how broad and different aspects of relationships, I live in a house with seven other girls, and so just like every one of them having different like, oh, I had this interaction with a co worker, or I'm having trouble with this girl I'm in a class with ... just being able to recommend resources in all different relationships. And for those in dating and serious relationships too just the variety and the depth of the content they can get as well. 

Chris Grace: Yeah, and I know you you have attended a couple of CMR events yourself.  Before you were here. Right?  What were those? What did you do? 

Ashlee Kyser: Yeah, I was at the Biola couples conference and then got to be a part of that this year. And then I have helped run some of the local church events that you guys have been at this year as well. 

Alisa Grace: Did you ever take our Christian perspectives on relationships class?

Ashlee Kyser: You know, I unfortunately did not because my communication classes were always in that block of time. 

Alisa Grace: Ohh so sorry, we're gonna have to fire you. 

Chris Grace: I just changed your grades from, from nothing to an F.

Alisa Grace: Well that's worse. That doesn't help us at all. Let's see, no, 

Ashlee Kyser: But I've been loving sitting in and auditing it this spring has been really cool. 

Alisa Grace: That's true. You go every Wednesday night. 

Chris Grace: So, so far sitting in on the class, what would you say is,  have you had any of those kind of aha moments of "Oh, wow, that's interesting. Or I really needed to hear that," or just that any kind of aha moment? 

Ashlee Kyser: Yeah, I think, um, Willa William.s talk on family of origin. And just talking with her a little bit about that. And she touched on that at the couples conference as well, was super interesting. I grew up in an amazing family that I love. And so I don't think I've ever critiqued the way I grew up in a positive lens. Because I kind of assumed Oh, family of origin, that's like negative association with negative traits I grew up versus seeing, understanding your family of origin is more so understanding the makeup of what formed you, and seeing patterns in your life, whether that's a result of parenting or location, or vocation or whatnot. So it's really interesting getting to dive into that from a more positive lens and seeing just the ways that my family of origin has impacted me and the different factors. 

Chris Grace: That is way cool. You grew up such a great family and positive and now you get to interact with us with which is even I mean, more positive. I mean, just your I mean, you're being able to be around us, I'm sure is already rubbed off so many ways. 

Ashlee Kyser: Yeah. 

Alisa Grace: I wish there was a sound that went with your eyes rolling, right?She listeners can see.

Chris Grace: She actually is like, you know, Dad, Mom, you are great. But there's a new, you know, model for me in marriage. Well, Ashlee, thank you for joining us on this team. And for being part of this team, you know, kind of center the way in which we want to help relationships on this campus. So what's your plan, what do you look forward to? What's exciting about this the impact and and where do you think it could go as far as like helping people that you know, and friends? 

Ashlee Kyser: Yeah, yeah, I think it's cool to see your guys's model of relationships as discipleship. A lot of times we'll be talking and Alisa will say, "A marriage saved is a family saved," and that's so true. Just so many issues. And the way even in society, the things that we as Christians are under attack for whether it's socially, politically, whatnot, that you've see in culture, changing a lot of that stems from your family or your marriage. And also just the emphasis of scripture of the different metaphors of relationships. And so I think it's really cool to see the way in which the Center strives for relationships as discipleship, because at the end of the day, our first identity is in the Lord. And that impacts all of our relationships to the core. And so it's been really cool to see the way that the center uses that in every area. And it's been personally forming for me. And it's been cool to be in conversations with my friends, or explaining my work to people and referencing it. And explaining just the way that relationships can be seen as discipleship. 

Chris Grace: Yeah, it really is the key to what we want to do here, right? All the best advice, all the best psychology, all of the best understanding of therapy and communication is, is wonderful. But at the end of the day, if we don't have that kind of foundational understanding of how God loves us, how God forgives us, how he brings us from, you know, pain and shame, and brings us back to him. That's so key and so cool. And I just love that. You know, actually one of the things we're grateful for is your work here. We're looking forward to a whole long career with us. We already have a great retirement plan for you. And so we're looking for I know you're only 20 You know, how old are you? 22? 

Ashlee Kyser: Yeah, 22. 

Alisa Grace: We have a wonderful plan for you. 

Chris Grace: Yeah, forget Connor's plan. No, not really. We love Connor too, we'll have to bring him on. So Ashlee, thank you for joining us for this kind of short version. But you also introduced a podcast for us to that you mentioned Willa Williams in the family of origin, how it impacted you. And we'll bring her on what do you think for a podcast? 

Ashlee Kyser: Yeah, that'd be great. 

Chris Grace: Yep. So, Ashlee, welcome to the CMR thank you for doing all of the work behind the scenes sometimes it's good to get to hear your voice and have you with us. 

Alisa Grace: Yeah. Thank you so much for joining us on another episode of The Art of relationships podcast, and we'll see you next time. 

Ashlee Kyser: Yeah, thank you guys.

Mandy:Thanks for listening to the art of relationships. This podcast is only made possible through generous donations from listeners just like you. If you like it and want to help keep the podcast going. Visit our website and make a donation today.