Science, Pre-med, 1992
Medical Missionary, International Missionaries of American Baptist Churches
What do you do in your current job and what do you enjoy about it?
I am currently working with over 70 medical, construction and evangelism teams to provide services to thousands of Haitian immigrant workers living in the Dominican Republic. I work with the Good Samaritan Hospital as a missionary with International Ministries and generally coordinate the work of mobile medical clinics to villages surrounding La Romana. There are almost 120 villages of Haitian sugarcane workers where we provide medical and clean water services as well as build churches and schools. We also work within the community of La Romana to provide health care clinics and specialty surgical clinics. In 2010, following the earthquake in Haiti, I helped to coordinate several months of ongoing medical care with volunteer teams and returned to help with the cholera epidemic later that year. I enjoy the contact with patients and getting to know them beyond their illness or injury. Taking that time to care for them and love on them a little bit makes all of the hard work worth it!
How did your Judson experience influence you professionally? What were your favorite parts of being a Judson student?
Judson was a great influence on my work ethic because I always had to work hard for every grade or every accomplishment. It taught me to value my education and also to help others learn. I had some amazing professors, like Dr. Rolf Myhrman, who took a personal interest in my life and had a genuine concern that I understood what he was teaching. He taught me to go out of my way to help others and to do it with a loving and gentle hand. My coaches, like Tory Gum, taught me to work hard and push myself to go beyond what I thought I could do. I still remember the 7-minute mile we had to run to make the varsity basketball team. He and several other players pushed me to shave minutes off of my time and to prove to myself I could do it. I was chair of the missions committee in 1991, which gave me my first taste of international missions. I met Dr. Scott Nelson (also an alum? What year?) who talked about his volunteer trip to Haiti and that is how I also ended up there, working at the same hospital for almost three years! The missions committee helped me to become comfortable with new situations, helping the poor and learning to listen to their stories. I remember thinking that there was nothing we couldn't do to help the needs of our community!
What are the strengths of your major/program at Judson?
I definitely think the strength of my major were the professors in the science department. I was not always the best student with the best grades, but each of my professors were willing to take extra time to sit with me and explain the concepts that I struggled with. When an exam didn't come out the way I wanted it to, they also encouraged me to keep trying, keep learning, and never give up. I will always value their belief in me even when I didn't think I could do it.
What advice can you give to current and prospective students about their time at Judson?
I think the best advice I could give students, both current and prospective, is to get involved in lots of activities and don't isolate yourself in only one area. When you have a tough major like chemistry or engineering, it's really easy to be completely focused on your studies and lose the opportunity to do other fun things around campus. I missed out on a Bulls game and the chance to see Michael Jordan play because I felt like I had to always study. Obviously, we are at Judson for a superb education, but there are social parts of campus life that should not be missed and students from other majors that you should get to know. Judson is a microcosm of the world with international students, second career students, young, old and in between from so many different backgrounds. As a student, I believe I owe it to myself to not only learn book knowledge, but to take the opportunity to learn about the world around me and understand how I can make a difference.