"Sharing Our Story"
Mark & Gloria Shannon
Geneva College became a household term in our family four years ago. Our son Joel—now a senior writing major—began his college search in earnest during the summer before his senior year of high school. Joel’s serious search only included about five colleges. Geneva made it to that list for two reasons. First, he was friends with a few Geneva students—mostly recent homeschool graduates. Second, Geneva was in the general vicinity of another Western Pennsylvania Presbyterian college that he wanted to visit.
After making the trip to Geneva, it quickly became evident that God had big plans in mind for Joel’s experiences there. When he and his father stepped onto campus that August, they both felt that Joel had found his “home for the next four years.”
|Mark & Gloria Shannon|
Photo by Joel Shannon
Joel had articulated that he was interested in a college that was Christian-based, had a small student body and invested in its students. Interacting with both students and staff on those first few visits during his senior year in high school seemed to confirm these desires. And our family is grateful that those initial experiences have been lived out in countless ways during Joel’s experience at Geneva.
He has found that the size of the student body and the small student-to-professor ratio has allowed him to fully participate in a variety of ways in both the academic process and in life-skill acquisition. Professors have not only been approachable, but also encouraging and affirming. At the same time, he has been challenged to critically think within the context of a biblical worldview in his classes. Joel has even added some classes for their content, not because they are required for his major.
|Joel Shannon represented Geneva at the 2013 Undergraduate Research at the Capitol–Pennsylvania poster conference|
Some of the highlights of Joel’s extracurricular experience have been the freshman Honors Program, serving on the Honors student council, living and studying in Rome for a semester, working as a public relations photography intern, and tutoring for the Pendragon Writing Center and the ACCESS Office.
By far, he has spent the most hours in his various roles at the Geneva Cabinet newspaper, from a freshman staff writer to two years as the paper's editor-in-chief. As parents, we can both hear and feel the passion that he has had in contributing in a multitude of ways to the vision of the Geneva Cabinet.
Joel indicates that he feels the friendships made at Geneva will last a lifetime. And we are confident that after he graduates this May, he will be leaving with academic accomplishments, an employable skill set, and a sense of the need to apply faithful and fruitful Christian perspective to any situation he encounters.
Mark & Gloria Shannon