Josh Duffie - Elementary Ed / Special Ed

Josh DuffieJosh Duffie is a junior Elementary and Special Education major at Geneva College. He is the oldest of four siblings and grew up in Canton, Ohio. “When I was younger, we would go to the middle school by our house and play baseball. My dad would pitch and one of us would bat while everyone else fielded the ball,” says Josh.

His dad works as an electrician, allowing his mother to stay home and raise Josh and his siblings and opening other opportunities as well. “I worked with my dad and learned new things,” says Josh. “It was great to spend time with him doing that. He is very disciplined in what he does, and that has taught me the importance of having a strong work ethic.”

Josh says one of the things that attracted him to Geneva was the community of people here. “I wanted to go to a school where I was surrounded by good people,” Josh says. “The community at Geneva really impressed me. It is a comfortable place to be because I don’t have to try to be someone I’m not. I can be myself without having to worry about trying to protect my image.”

Josh’s experience as a student throughout his life led him to the education program at Geneva College. “I want to be able to connect with kids and understand their experiences,” says Josh. “I want to make the classroom environment comfortable, and I want it to feel like a family. I don’t want students to come to school just because they have to; I want them to really enjoy learning and really be interested in the subject matter.”

One of the classes Josh has found most helpful was EDU 251 – Integrating the Arts in the Pre K-4 classroom, taught by Natalie Heisey. “It wasn’t about art alone,” says Josh, “but it was about how to integrate creativity in science classes, math classes, reading classes, etc. I enjoyed it because it opened my eyes to how to make classes really enjoyable to younger students.”

In his two years at Geneva, Josh has met a number of professors who have had an impact on him, but he especially looks up to Dr. Byron Curtis. “I took his Church History class,” says Josh. “Not many people I know get as passionate as he does when thinking about what Jesus did. It made it more real for me to see that in him. He is extremely insightful, and if you come to him with a concern he is very helpful and really cares about you and the work you do.”

Outside of academics, Josh is on the cross country team and the track & field team. He also works with Young Life, which is a ministry aimed at spreading the Gospel to high school students in Beaver Falls.

-Andrew Domencic '19