Higher Education

After graduating in 2014 with a major in Religious Studies, Molly Walsh has continued a career path in high education, working as an Admission Liaison at La Salle University. On how her religious studies major influences her work she remarks:

I have been employed in Admissions at La Salle since graduating from Gettysburg in 2014, and plan to continue a career path in higher education. Connecting with students and helping them to access higher education are my favorite parts of my job. While studying Religious Studies at Gettysburg I was given many tools that help me in my profession. The most obvious would be the way I have been trained to look at the world—to think critically about what is in front of me, to question, but most importantly to understand and to be able to see from multiple perspectives. In my job, I work with students from all of the country who come from a variety of backgrounds. Without my degree in Religious Studies I do not think I would have the same understanding or ability to relate to a student who comes from a faith background that has drastically impacted their high school experience and will impact their college choice.”

After graduating in 2013 with a major in Religion major Kylie Wright went on to work as the Senior Assistant Director for Undergraduate Admissions at John Hopkins University. She is also pursuing a Master of Liberal Arts program while there. She explains the impact of her Religion major as follows:

I am the Senior Assistant Director for Undergraduate Admissions at Johns Hopkins University. I help to oversee all of the international recruitment and strategy for the JHU admissions office. Throughout the year, we travel all over the country and world to meet with prospective students and families, as well as secondary school counselors. I am also currently pursuing a Master of Liberal Arts program at JHU. I hope to use my work experience and professional degree to advance to dean or vice provost of a liberal arts institution. My experience as a Religious Studies major at Gettysburg provided me with so many valuable skills that I use constantly! First of all, it trained me to approach my work through such a global perspective. Through studying religions, I was exposed to so many different cultures, viewpoints, traditions, and ways of life. I honestly don’t know if I would be overseeing international recruitment now without such exposure through the Religious Studies department. I also truly learned how to communicate, both orally and through the written word. I was challenged to speak my mind in a new way, and this has directly impacted my public speaking skills. I am constantly presenting in front of large groups of people, and I felt very prepared with this aspect of my job thanks to my background at Gettysburg College. Finally, my major provided me with critical thinking skills that I use professionally, but also in everyday life. Through our many papers, conversations, and debates, I learned to synthesize what I was learning to take my academics to the next level. So many businesses and organizations are recruiting liberal arts students now more than ever because they bring flexibility and unique skills to the workplace, and I will be forever grateful for my Religious Studies experience at Gettysburg.”

Amanda Adair,who graduated from Gettysburg College with a major in Religion in 2008, began working at Gettysburg College as the Alumni and Development Coordinator with specific responsibilities with Major Gift fundraising and the Senior Class Gift Campaign. At the present time Amanda is the Special Projects Coordinator in the Development Office of Gettysburg College. Reflecting on her Religion major, she remarks:

I find myself using the skills I learned from my Religion major every day. My Religion courses taught me to write and speak persuasively and effectively. The Religion major introduced me to a wide range of cultures and traditions and exposed me to ideas outside of my own experiences. This gave me a much broader world view, and has allowed me to understand and relate to the perspectives of others, an ability that has proven invaluable when inter-acting with alumni, volunteers and co-workers. The professors in the Religion department were truly amazing, and constantly pushed me to challenge myself and become a more confident student and a poised speaker. I am grateful to them every time I have to make a speech or give a presentation.”

After graduating in 2004 with a major in Religion major William Searle coordinated the international admissions process for Gettysburg College for three years. He then enrolled in a master’s degree program in higher education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He is currently a research associate in the Office of Institutional Research and Planning at Cornell University, where he collects, analyzes, and disseminates data that is used for institutional decision-making purposes. Will explains the value of his Religion major in the following way:

There are several examples of the ways in which my religion major has been brought to bear in my life after graduation, but I’ll give just one. For my senior thesis, I examined several scientific theories put forth by young universe creationists to account for the existence of distant starlight (light that would take millions of years to reach Earth) in a universe they argue is on the order of thousands of years old. This somewhat bizarre choice of topics enabled me to fuse my interest in astronomy with the study of religion, and it gave me experience writing about complex, technical concepts for an audience for whom such information was not so familiar. I've learned that the ability to dish up difficult ideas in an easily digestible manner is crucial to my current position in which I write about various statistical analyses for individuals who are not experts in data analysis.”