I still think about the time I spent in Long Beach, every day. I was a transfer student from Las Positas College, in Livermore, CA, so when I started at CSULB my junior year I really wanted to take in the college experience. I chose to live in the residence halls as a junior, which was a great way to meet new people and get really involved with life on campus. I was a psychology major with a minor in religion and could not have been happier with the experience I had in both departments. The faculty were brilliant and the classes were challenging and overall I felt really prepared for graduate school and eventually a career in ministry.
Which professor or staff member made an impact on your academic or professional career and why?
Linden Youngquist probably made the most impact on me. He taught a number of classes in the religion department and really taught me how to bring critical thinking to religious subjects. What he taught was really helpful when I attended seminary. Today, I'm an ordained United Methodist pastor and I am still influenced by what I learned in his classes.
What Activities/ Organizations were you involved in while attending CSULB?
I was really active in The Wesley Foundation, the United Methodist Campus Ministry, at CSULB. I was also on the crew team my junior year, which still serves as one of the most physically and mentally challenging experiences of my life, however, it was also one of the most rewarding.
What life events led you to where you are today?
During my time at CSULB I was exploring a call to ordained ministry. While finishing my degree in Psychology I really could not resist the call anymore and enrolled at Claremont School of Theology when I graduated from CSULB. I met my wife working for a summer camp during college and she also attend seminary with me and became a pastor. She's from Arizona so that's why we ended up here. For the past four years I have been working as the United Methodist Campus minister at Arizona State University. It's been great being on a college campus again and to be connected to academic life. It's really an honor and a privilege to help students develop not only academically, but also spiritually.
If you could give one piece of advice to students nearing graduation who might move out of the Long Beach/Los Angeles area, what would your advice be?
Don't pass up an opportunity to achieve one of your goals or dreams in your life. A lot of times we think that when we graduate from college you have to immediately get a job or start graduate school. If you have always wanted to travel the world, that time right after college is a great time to do it. You may never again have the opportunities you do, right after you graduate. If you have a crazy idea, try it out. If you fail, then learn from that failure and move on, you have an entire life of possibility in front of you!
How do you show your Beach Pride where you live?
I can often be seen around Tempe wearing my Dirtbags ball cap. I also try to make it to any CSULB/ASU sporting events when the opportunity arises. I'm usually one of the very few Beach fans in the stands, however, that doesn't stop me from cheering for my team, no matter how many strange looks I get.