"I just go where the road takes me," says engineering major Ray Smith about riding his motorcycle. "Of course, I′m always a little nervous, but that′s what makes it fun."
This free-spirited philosophy permeates every facet of Ray′s life, including his education and career decisions. This same optimism and adventurous spirit that led Ray to purchase a motorcycle also brought him to Geneva College-along with prayer and a "can do" attitude.
"When I was in high school, people would always encourage me to become an engineer," said Ray. They recognized his ability to think logically and his efficiency in completing challenging tasks. "I didn′t know what it was until halfway through freshman year at Geneva," he says. But listening to those who suggested engineering as his career path and trusting in the Lord were definitely good decisions.
"It was phenomenal," he says about his favorite engineering class, Digital Systems taught by Dr. Tanyel. He even raved about this class with such excitement that a friend of his decided to take it as an elective. Ray is full of gratitude that the Lord has called him to this rigorous, yet rewarding major.
However, this is not all that Ray has been called to do while at Geneva. In his time here, he has also immersed himself in many of the diverse opportunities that are available to students, even while managing the busy schedule of an engineering student at the same time.
As if completing an engineering degree in four years, playing on the roller hockey club, volunteering for Habitat for Humanity, riding his bicycle, taking his motorcycle out for spins and teaching at an after-school ministry, aren′t enough, Ray is also completing three minors: math, physics and youth ministry.
"If you manage your time right, there is time for everything," he says.
The amount of math and physics classes engineering students are required to take are enough to earn two minors alongside their degree, without having to take additional courses. Ray′s third minor, Youth Ministry, is close to his heart and exemplifies his diverse interests.
He grew up with vacation Bible school in his own backyard because his parents volunteered with CEF, Child Evangelism Fellowship. He now partners with this same international organization at Big Beaver Elementary School. Every week, Ray enjoys teaching children the love of the Lord and being an active male Christian role model.
This exercise in time management is excellent preparation for Ray′s next adventure, which will begin after graduation-serving his country in the Air Force. During his sophomore year of college, an Air Force recruiter visited Geneva′s campus, and Ray was accepted to the Air Force Technical Degree Sponsorship Program. He enlisted as an Airman First Class (E-3) when he was still a sophomore, which has helped offset the cost of his education. Ray′s duty is to complete his degree in electrical engineering and then serve four years as an officer in the Air Force, which will guarantee him employment in the engineering career field. After graduation, he will be moving wherever the Air Force sends him to work as a project manager.
And although Ray says he′s a little apprehensive because "I′ve never lived anywhere else," he′s ready to go wherever the road-and his Lord-take him.
-Lynsey Auell ′14