Kierstianna Ballard


Kierstianna Ballard, Kierst to her friends, is a sophomore at Geneva who speaks English, Spanish, and is attempting to learn Arabic. Her majors in Spanish and International Business complement each other well and the opportunities they present excite Kierstianna. A Pittsburgh native, Kierst went to Baldwin High School and grew up in the city with her four siblings.  Her Uncle went to Geneva. His positive experience lead Kierst to add Geneva to her college search list. In the end, Geneva became her new home because of its beautiful, small, Christian campus.  With its proximity to Pittsburgh, it was just what she wanted. When Kierst started at Geneva, she had no idea where God was taking her, but throughout her two years here she has grown in many ways. 

At first she was unsure of what major she really wanted to pursue. As she went through her first year she did not feel at peace with her choice of major. After some “God moments” she met with Dr. Murphy-Gerber and changed her major to majors in International Business and Spanish. She loves both of her majors because the professors are invested and highly qualified.  Kierst remarks that, “Dr. Murphy-Gerber has worked in over 22 countries and brings in really helpful examples to her classes. I absolutely love my Spanish professor [Wendy Shidemantle]; she’s the best.” Kierstianna cites the students and professors in these departments as a major aspect in her wonderful Geneva experience. 

Outside of classes, Kierstianna is a part of the cross country team. She loves the coach and the positive environment of the team.  She is also the women’s cross country representative for Geneva’s Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), and a member of the Black Student Union. Becoming integrated with both the academic and the community of Beaver Falls is something she wanted to pursue while at Geneva, and her work study with TRAILS ministry in down town enables this integration.   

While she feels her time at Geneva is preparing her travel and work with an international company, one of the most valuable things she has learned is that “God has a plan for my life, and he will guide me in the ways he wants me to go.” 

~Jessica Wilson ‘20