“It’s difficult to recall who I was before I came to Geneva.”
Megan Summers isn't the only one. The people smiling into the camera flashes while accepting their diploma from the president are not the same ones who nervously disembarked from their parents’ stuffed-to-the-brim minivans four years earlier.
Megan graduated this past May from Geneva’s sociology program. In this study of human beings, as well as their groupings and interactions and customs, she has come to learn a lot about herself, her faith and the way those things have been shaped during her years at Geneva.
“The way I live my life has been re-ordered from when I first stepped foot on Geneva's campus,” Megan says. “These four years have changed the way I view myself, my neighborhood, the world and my Christianity.”
Like all areas of study, the field of sociology is susceptible to myriad interpretations and perspectives.
“Although this field can become extremely worldly and extracted from Christianity,” says Megan, “the professors have made it their responsibility to show both the Christian and non-Christian perspective throughout our study.”
But there’s more to this study than lectures and textbooks. After learning from great professors in the American context, she wanted to stretch her mind toward completely foreign cultures and customs. A true aspiring sociologist, she took her academic adviser’s advice and spent a semester abroad in Mukono, Uganda.
“It connected well with my sociology degree because I wanted to learn more about society and culture in another, completely different context,” she says.
This “completely different context” challenged her own habits and preconceptions on a daily basis. While in Uganda, Megan kept an online blog to reflect upon the many people she was asked to serve, crises she was asked to face, foreign cultural norms she was asked to follow and tough questions she was forced to answer.
Her February 16, 2006, entry reads, “Tuesday was another eye-opener for me. One of my Ugandan friends, Lisa ... told me that her uncle died last week from an ambush by the rebel group in the north, and when her cousin was taking him to be buried, she got shot and died as well. [Lisa] kept crying and asking me ‘Why? Why is God doing this to me?’”
Those were the times when Megan's Christian education proved invaluable: “The professors have had a balanced way of teaching us while still emphasizing that Christ is the only one that can ultimately change our broken society, and for that I am thankful.”
- by Brooke Prokopchak ('08)
Megan Summers is originally from Dallas, Texas, and graduated from Geneva on May 12, 2007. She is currently working as a counselor in the adult stabilization unit of Gateway, a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center in Aliquippa, Pa. She may eventually travel to do international work, but for now is enjoying her newfound passion for addiction rehabilitation.