A Christian foundation for the sciences
“I chose Geneva for its distinctly Christian attitude towards education,” says junior biology major Angelica Mazzarini. “I knew that my education only had worth if Christ was in the center, and I wanted to learn from professors who shared a passion for both the Lord and His world.”
Geneva College constantly seeks to make Christ the pivotal point of every major, program and campus activity. While this is easier for some disciplines than others, all the professors understand the importance of training students in a Christian worldview.
Dr. Daryl Sas, a biology professor at Geneva College since 1988, says, “In our department, we take integration of faith and biology very seriously.” To achieve this end, all first semester freshmen biology majors are required to take the BIO 100 Transition to College Biology class. This course utilizes The Outrageous Idea of Academic Faithfulness, a book written by Geneva College’s professor Dr. Don Opitz, to show that faith and academics, far from being independent, are complimentary.
To complete their degrees, graduating biology seniors are required to compose a paper that applies Christian faith to a current biological issue, such as embryonic stem cell use or health care reform. “We work to give God the credit He deserves for the marvels of His creation,” says Dr. Sas.
When Angelica came to Geneva College, she already knew that she wanted to be a doctor, and a Christian one. Because her younger brother has lived with the effects of Spina Bifida all his life, Angelica was already familiar with the stress and trials that accompany illness. “I am pursuing this career so I can take part in easing the confusion and struggles, as well as participate in the restorative and healing work begun by Jesus Christ. There is a great need for good doctors in both in America and overseas.”
Since becoming a licensed Emergency Medical Technician her senior year of high school, Angelica has experienced the joy of being about to help others. While there are many things that she enjoys about serving on an ambulance team, she is looking to continue her education by being admitted into medical school after graduation in 2010. Angelica says, “Geneva has helped me to root my faith in the scriptures and appreciate the evidence of His handiwork throughout the human body. Having a Christian worldview will help me to better interact with my patients, promote ethics at the hospital where I will work, and promote Christ in my conversations.”
Angelica is not the only Geneva College student to benefit from the school’s uniquely Christian perspective. Many students graduate with science degrees each year and continue on to serve the earth’s Creator in various ways. Senior Brian Dvorsak, a graduate of Blackhawk High School, has been admitted into the Veterinary Science program at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, which is equivalent to the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree in the United States. He plans to begin his studies in 2009. Kristen O’Roark is also pursuing a career in caring from animals. She is interviewing at the Veterinary School at the University of Tennessee. All three of these students, and many others, have been affected by Geneva College’s emphasis on Christian faith impacting the study of biology.
Because Geneva College believes that all areas of life can be redeemed through Christ, the school works hard to provide all kinds of science classes to its students. Included in the biology major are programs such as pre-med, pre-nursing, and biology education. Additional programs like pre-physical therapy and pre-optometry work to prepare students for continued education and training. Geneva College has also recently added a Master’s Degree in Cardiovascular Science program.
Because the school takes the integration of faith and learning seriously, all parts of the science majors and programs operate from a Christian point of view. As Angelica Mazzarini says, “God’s truth touches every part of life, and my career is going to be one of the ways in which I can worship the living God.
Angelica Mazzarini will represent Geneva College at the Beaver County Woman of the Year Awards on April 30. For more information call 724-840-2334.
– Bonnie Smith ’12