Shana Gleeson '07 | Medical Student
I am a medical student at Penn State. After my first year, I have a very strong sense that this is where God has placed me for my medical education. I'm learning so much, getting some clinical experience, and have plugged into the Christian Medical Society here, which has been a great way to meet other Christian med students.
Even though I love Penn State, school is really hard. It's just like we heard it would be--learning to memorize things on a whole new level. There is so much to learn and so many details. The volume and pace of information are overwhelming. I'm sure you've heard the "drinking water from a fire hose" analogy--it's a fitting description. It's mostly study, study, and then study some more. In a week we cover the amount of material that would make up an entire undergrad semester. It's pretty relentless, so you really learn to appreciate the (very) occasional breaks. I've developed a new threshold for what I consider a lot of work.
Though med school is much harder than undergrad ever was, but I was prepared well by Gordon. I had the requisite knowledge, study skills, and work ethic that I needed to start med school off well. At first, being from a small liberal arts college, it was a little intimidating to be with so many people who had gone to Ivy or almost Ivy League schools. Then I met one of the deans at orientation and we chatted for a few minutes. It turns out he went to a small Christian college for undergrad as well. He told me not to think that just because someone comes from any Ivy League university means that they have a big advantage. He was right--I've been getting honors in all my classes so far. I'm grateful to Gordon for preparing me to do that.
Amy Little '05 | D.V.M.
From the moment I stepped on Gordon's campus I knew it was the place for me. As I looked around the campus God's glory was seen through each beautiful flower. Take a walk on the trails by the pond and you will understand what I mean. The professors were excited about helping me to meld together what I know and see about science and the world around me, and what I believe and understand about its creator. My Biology classes and health profession seminars helped me to prepare for veterinary school, but it was my non-science classes that helped me to understand how career and family and faith all work together to create a fulfilled meaningful life. My call to become a veterinarian was confirmed as I saw how my love of medicine, compassion for animals, and passion for people could all fit together in veterinary medicine.
When it came time to apply to veterinary school my mentors sat down with me time after time, helping me as we went through my application material together, and conducting mock interviews. There were so many people on campus who were willing to help--from the career office to the writing center to my professors in the Biology department.
During veterinary school I felt well prepared and excited for the academics. Though challenging, Gordon's heath professions track had prepared me well, and I was not only competitive but excelled as one of the top 10 students in my class.
Currently I am finishing up my clinical year of veterinary school. I will graduate in May 2009, excited for what my future holds.
Amaris Miller '05 | Medical student
I initially chose to go to Gordon because I felt led by God to attend there. A scholarship and Gordon's strong biology department (my intended major) helped confirm that calling, and I had a sense of peace and surety about the decision. My studies as a biology major, pre-health professions concentration, prepared me well for my future studies, particularly as I learned to prioritize my learning as I studied and to recognize the impossibility of learning all the information presented to me. The course material itself--especially anatomy and physiology, biochemistry, and immunology--and the lesson in finitude helped me feel better prepared for the coursework and the harder work of balancing study with life than many of my fellow students upon starting medical school. On a side note, if I could do it again, I would also take microbiology.
Between Gordon's biology and biblical studies courses and a year of graduate theological education at Regent College (Vancouver, BC), I also felt prepared to make the effort to integrate my faith into my learning and my future medical practice. I seek, albeit imperfectly, to recognize God's hand at work in the wonders of His creation and to allow Him to continue to work through me to show his loving compassion to those hurting around me. Lessons in the importance of community have also led me to active involvement with and leadership of our Christian fellowship, which has repeatedly been a lifeline of encouragement and support to me. At this point, I am planning to do family medicine residency and long-term medical missions upon completion of my training.
Jon Lopez '03 | M.D.
Gordon was a natural choice for my undergraduate education. The excellent academic awards and financial aid first piqued my interest; however, I quickly realized that the level of scholarship among the professors in the sciences and, in particular, biology was far above other schools that I had applied to.
At Gordon, I resonated with the deep desire of my colleagues and teachers to be thinking Christians. This is what primarily attracted me to the pre-health concentration. Seminar discussions on topics in medical ethics would often continue long after the class sessions had finished. Gordon nurtured a passion for connecting my world view with the tenets of and developments in the sciences and for using my profession as a Christian witness. My major in Biology also cultivated an academic interest in the neurosciences. Outside of classes, the culture of participation in ministries at Gordon prepared me for a lifetime of serving the underserved.
Upon graduating I moved to Brooklyn, NY to start my medical degree at the SUNY Downstate Medical Center. Although I met with many challenges in medical school, I was well prepared--as a scientist, learner, and critical evaluator--for learning this profession. In those 4 years I saw the culmination of the seeds that had been planted earlier in my education. I became an explorer and a conscientous physician in a time when most people were just focusing on trying to pass. I attended a local church and had weekly opportunities to minister to Brooklyn's most underserved population. In my final year, I participated in cutting edge research on the molecular mechanisms of epilepsy.
It was then that I decided that I wanted to become a pediatric neurologist. More than just finding fulfillment in the scientific detective work required to uncover the pathology that underlies neurological disorders, I wanted to alleviate the suffering of the "least of these"- children with mental retardation, cerebral palsy, epilepsy and other debilitating conditions. Each of these children is precious in God's eyes. I am currently finishing my general pediatric residency at Loma Linda University Children's Hospital and will begin my neurology fellowship at Stanford University in July of 2009.
Charae Spuler '96 | Nurse Practitioner
Having attended public schools all my life, I chose Gordon because I wanted to surround myself with Christian classmates and professors who would challenge and encourage my faith to grow as I pursued what I felt to be a "calling" in healthcare. I knew that Gordon had an excellent academic reputation, but also chose it over other Christian colleges because the student life policies affirmed Biblical standards of living without legalism.
Initially I thought about transferring to a baccalaureate nursing program after my sophomore year, but decided I wanted four full years of preparation in Christian community and a bachelor's degree in biology, which would enable me to get a Masters degree in nursing instead. On this path, I had opportunity to pick up a minor in psychology and take other health related electives that allowed me to explore ethical issues, and wrestle with tough questions regarding the interface of faith and science.
Right after graduating from Gordon, I was accepted to a 3 year "direct entry" nurse practitioner program for students with non-nursing undergraduate degrees at the MGH Institute of Health Professions in Boston. Gordon prepared me well for the academic rigors of the program, but more importantly, for the interpersonal challenges of caring for the sick--witnessing suffering, reconciling issues of death and dying, working well with others in stressful situations. Ultimately, I didn't want nursing to be my "job" but my avocation and ministry...this is how my Gordon experience made the difference.
I chose pediatrics as my focus and have been practicing in primary outpatient care for the majority of my professional life since graduating in 1999. In 2004, I also began teaching at my alma mater, and currently hold part-time positions in both teaching and pediatric practice. One of the most wonderful aspects of my experience in teaching has been serving as faculty adviser to a small group of Christian students on campus, who are eager to discuss issues of faith within the context of their education and practice. I feel prepared to have those conversations specifically because of how well Gordon's curriculum focuses on the integration of faith and learning.
Jon Chang '69 | D.O.
I love Gordon, and have given much financially over the years to express my thanks.
I am someone with little ability, but Gordon took a chance on me. When I entered Gordon in the 60's, as an immigrant I was struggling with learning a new language, in addition to having a learning disability.
Despite these obstacles, I graduated from medical school with the Dean's Award. My many weaknesses gave God the opportunity to show His power. He can make something out of nothing. As a scientist, I consider this as evidence: all things are possible with God.