What inspired you to become a theology major?
When I started my education here, I was completely undecided in my major. However, I did come to CSB/SJU with a love of spirituality and a zeal for the Father's heart. Prior to having settled on a major, I was actually kind of wary of the theology major because I wasn't sure if it would enjoy looking at my faith through an academic lens. That all changed after I took my Introduction to the Biblical Tradition class with Charles Bobertz where we read a book about the historical Jesus. I had already fallen head over heels in love with Jesus before embarking on my theological journey here, and while reading this book I thought to myself, "why would I not want to spend the next four years studying this?" From that moment on I was a theology major, and the next four years of my life would be lived in pursuit of learning about what I love.
How do you anticipate using your theology degree after you graduate?
As of right now I plan on taking some time off and volunteering after I graduate. Since I am also pursuing a second major in Asian Studies and a minor in Japanese, one of the avenues that I have considered taking is teaching English in Japan after I finish school here. Another thought that has danced across my mind is to travel to another country and volunteer by helping with church building efforts. Right now my future is a blank page waiting to be written, and I wouldn't have it any other way! I am not sure what I am going to fill it with, but the theology major serves as more than merely an academic discipline in that it leaves its imprint on your life in molding your thoughts, hopes, and beliefs. My beliefs are going to end up guiding my decisions for the future, and because of theology's hand in stirring my heart to action, I know that it will play a part in all of my pursuits here in this life.
What has been the highlight of your experience here at CSB/SJU?
I have had so many experiences at CSB/SJU that are worth mentioning, but one of the highlights that I think is incredibly special and a beautiful testament to our schools is the fabulous relationships that I have formed with the faculty members and professors here on campus. The support system that I have been able to establish here is absolutely incredible. My bosses from my campus student employment positions, my financial aid advisor, the sisters and residential life staff in my residence halls, and my professors all serve as valuable resources who advocate for me on a daily basis. My academic advisor, Martin Connell is another person who plays such a role in my life here on campus. He has supported me through letters of recommendation, by helping me select classes, and by providing me with mentorship both academically and on a personal level. He also serves as an amazing friend to me, where we even enjoy catching up over dinner at the Reef from time to time. The support system that CSB/SJU has provided me with has definitely exceeded all expectations that I had when I enrolled here, and forming relationships with the fabulous professors and faculty here has been one of the highlights of my experience at CSB/SJU.
What advice do you have for future students at CSB/SJU?
The only advice that I can think to offer is to pursue what you love. I knew that I was in love with my major when I pulled the course registration booklet out of my mailbox and ran into the dilemma of wanting to take more classes than my schedule would allow because they all just sounded so interesting! Last semester I even got excited about writing a paper for a class because I was so passionate about the topic! I want feel a fire in my bones when I learn, and both of my majors here at CSB/SJU spark this in me. This is what college is supposed to be like, so chase what you love and the rest will unfold itself beautifully.
Are you involved in any other activities at CSB/SJU?
Here at CSB/SJU I am very involved in the faith community. I attend Praise in the Pub every Wednesday, participate in a women's Bible study, and lead a Bible study for first-year students called "Booyah." I have also been a leader on the First-Year Retreat through Campus Ministry. In addition to the faith community, I am also involved on campus as a student ambassador, a participant in intramural soccer, and a member of Japanese Corner, a group that meets weekly to practice speaking Japanese. Overall I love participating in and attending campus sponsored events, and even like to instigate some of them myself (such as Relief for Relief, a fundraiser for the Red Cross in support of Japan in the wake or the recent earthquake, that raised around $800 with the help of the Cultural Affairs Board, the Asian Studies Department, Campus Ministry, and SJU Dining Services)!