After graduating from Oakton High School, I moved on to Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I earned a double major in psychology and creative writing, with a minor in religious studies. Out of these three, I was most closely associated with the creative writing community and spent much of my time my senior year in the Gladys Schmitt Creative Writing Center. I was involved in a number of campus organizations and events: The Carnegie Pulse online newspaper, ALLIES (the gay/straight alliance), Spring Carnival (via ALLIES), the Unitarian Universalist Community on Campus (UUCC), Sexual Assault Advisers, Orientation, Dance Marathon, etc. … I kept myself busy. Feeling supported by the UUCC, I also explored Bible studies with CrossSeekers and InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, Bhagavad Gita study with ISKCON devotees, and Hillel Friday services. I also had great, eye-opening jobs at the Carnegie Mellon Children’s School, and (over summer vacations) with Georgetown’s Dr. Warren Reich and at an orphanage outside of New Delhi, India. These positions guided me toward work with youth and with my own spirituality. Over the course of college, I realized that I really love learning about religion, and decided that I would apply to graduate school in divinity studies ASAP (which, as it turns out, will be for the fall 2009 school year). As a bit of a start for ministerial work, I was the Student Commencement Speaker for the class of 2007. If interested, you can watch the video my friend Erin taped here.
If I could pull a Rusted Root’s “Send Me On My Way” and talk to my younger self, I would tell myself something like, “Maybe you should look at small liberal art schools, and not tech schools” or “You can study religion in college” or “Go study religion in college!!!” In its own way, Carnegie Mellon still helped me learn much about myself and what I want to do in the work, and I can quite honestly say I wouldn’t be where I am today without my experiences there.