Mission Trip to Taos

I never expected to go on a Gardner-Webb sponsored mission trip. Yet here I was, on a plane to Albuquerque, New Mexico and then hopping on a van to drive up the mountains to Taos.

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I went on the trip to Taos because I wasn’t going to get to go on a mission trip with my home church to Memphis, Tennessee. I had been on the trip every year since sixth grade, so I was wanting to “fulfill my Christian duty” as I thought it were, by going on a yearly trip. I had also never been west of the Mississippi River unless you count a five minute stay in West Memphis, Arkansas.

On this trip I met some interesting people, including Benny and Edna Romero, two Taos Pueblo Indians who took a step of courage and instead of following their parents footsteps, started the First Indian Church of Taos, New Mexico.

I also met Glen Strock, pastor of the Pecos Valley Cowboy Church, a man who spent years as a wayward artist wandering around the United States until he felt God calling him to start a church for cowboys in the middle of nowhere in New Mexico.

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I built relationships and made new friends with my fellow Gardner-Webb students and leaders. We worked hard together, sweating in the Western sun, putting out mulch, painting sheds, cleaning a church, and moving that stupid washing machine (Kyle Medlin, you’ll appreciate this). 

We also hosted a worship time for children at the First Indian Church. While the kids were…let’s just say crazy, we had a lot of fun playing games, singing songs, and learning bible verses. In fact, one child gave his life to Christ that night, making it all worth it!

Going into this trip, I just thought I’d be doing another mission trip because I am a minister’s kid and that’s what I’m supposed to do, but I was able to forge relationships with my peers at Gardner-Webb and grow closer to the Lord. I loved it so much, I went back a second time!

If anyone at Gardner-Webb is cautious about going on a mission trip with the school, I say go for it! You’ll make new friends, meet interesting people and you’ll grow in your walk with God.

Romans 10:13-14 says “for, ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’ How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?”

Be the ones that go out and preach, because it may take a group of college students from a school in the tiny town of Boiling Springs, North Carolina going thousands of miles across the United States or the world to tell people the good news. 

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Richard Martin is a senior Broadcast Journalism Major from Gaffney, South Carolina. He is a volunteer student assistant with the Gardner-Webb football team, and is a member of Campus Ministries United

A Typical Student Schedule

Do you wonder what classes you’ll take in your first semester? If you haven’t declared a major, you’ll probably end up taking the core classes that every student must take in order to graduate. Gardner-Webb’s liberal arts curriculum allows you to take courses in a variety of interesting subjects, including art, religion, history, and music. Students must also complete four semesters of Dimensions, a weekly program that brings in outside speakers to discuss important topics in religion and culture. Here is an example of what your schedule might look like during the first semester: 

Monday, Wednesday, and Friday

8:00am-8:50am: New Testament 

9:00am-9:50am: Composition I 

11:00am-11:50am- Personal Health 

Tuesday and Thursday

8:00am-9:15am- Technology in American Society 

11:50am-1:05pm- Art Survey 

Once you have completed your first semester, you have a lot more freedom to choose the date and time of your classes. Some students prefer early classes to free up their afternoons, while others like to load up on Monday, Wednesday and Friday classes and take Tuesday and Thursday off. The beauty of college is that more often than not, you will have the flexibility to choose your own schedule!

Raygan Hall: Senior. Psychology Major. Youth Discipleship Minor. 

A Day in the Life of a Gardner-Webb Student

Life as a Gardner-Webb student is about more than going to class and doing homework.You have the opportunity to create incredible friendships, get involved in student organizations, and participate in on campus activities. Once your classes are done for the day, there is still so much to do! I love taking classes early, which leaves the afternoon open to do homework, hang out with friends, and participate in other aspects of campus life. 

Breakfast in the Caf is the best place to start your day. They have all the best breakfast foods, such as eggs, bacon, waffles, pancakes, hash browns, fruit and cereal. After eating a good breakfast, you are ready to conquer your classes for the day. You might go to three or four classes before lunch, depending on how your schedule is set up. Then, you can head to Chick-fil-A with a friend for lunch. After this, many students will go to Tucker in the afternoons to study and hang out with friends. Tucker has private study rooms and public spaces for everything from casual socializing to group study work. 

Tucker hosts many student activities events, like pumpkin painting in the fall or build-a-bear around Valentine’s day. You and your friends can go and participate in one of these fun activities together! Tucker is also the home of the Gathering, a weekly student-led worship service that takes place on Tuesday evenings. Attending the Gathering is a great way to meet new people and find opportunities to participate in campus ministry and community. 

If you go to bed early, this might be the end of the day for you, but if you’re a night owl, grab some friends and watch a movie in the lobby of your dorm or head out for a late night Cookout milkshake run. After a day like this, a good night’s rest is a must, so get some sleep and get ready for another full and fun day here at the Webb!

Raygan Hall: Senior. Psychology Major. Youth Discipleship Minor. 

5 Best Study Spots on Campus

Gardner-Webb’s campus has several places to get away and crack down on some of that homework you need to get done. It’s tempting to hang out with people and forget about your work, but there are some spots on campus where you can do both! 

1. The Library 

As the designated quiet area on campus, the library is probably the most obvious study space. What you may not know is that the basement of the library is one of the best places to go if you really need complete silence. The basement of the library is usually less crowded than other parts of the building, and has desks in the very back that are perfect to sneak away to. The study rooms on the top floor are great for group work as well. 

2. Tucker Student Center 

The Tucker Student Center is a great place to eat, hang out with friends, and study, though it’s not the most quiet place on campus. If you like to work and socialize, this is the place for you, but the study rooms on the top floor are a better option if you want a quiet place that’s still close to food and other people. This is great for longer study sessions, , because you can walk down a flight of stairs to grab some food if you get hungry. 

3. The DCC 

There are some tables and couches in the Dover Campus Center that are perfect for studying in the middle of a busy day. If you’re in between classes and don’t want to walk all the way back to your room, this small space is a convenient alternative. It’s also right next to Chick-fil-A if you need a quick bite to eat. 

4. Your Room 

While its certainly not glamorous, your room can be an ideal study space. I like to be social once I’ve left my room, so I take advantage of the time I do spend there to get work done. Hopefully you’ll be lucky enough to have a roommate who feels the same way so that you are able to study together! 

5. Outside 

It’s surprising how many students you will find sitting on a blanket studying in the middle of the quad during the fall and spring. It is so beautiful outside some days that even homework can’t stop you from taking it all in. Sometimes, the best way to get work done is a change of scenery.

Raygan Hall: Senior. Psychology Major. Youth Discipleship Minor. 

How I Picked my Major

Going in to college, the biggest question you often get asked is, “what do you want to major in?” It’s on every application you filled out, and it’s asked every time you step onto a college campus. The weight of that simple question seems to determine your entire future, and it can be challenging to find your niche. So, how do you figure out what major is right for you? 

First off, know that coming to college without knowing what you want to major in is perfectly normal and a lot more common than you might realize. Most college students will tell you that even if they came in thinking they knew what they wanted to major in, once they got here, they changed their mind once or twice. In high school, most of your classes are just general subjects, and even your freshman year of college, that can be the case as well. Because of that, it’s hard to determine what truly interests you until you’ve explored and experienced several subjects in more depth. 

Coming in to college, I was confident that I was going to major in psychology because I have always been interested in the way that minds work, but I had no idea what I wanted to do with that degree. I am now a senior, and I am still a psychology major, but in taking many different types of psychology classes, I have figured out the field of study in psychology that most interests me. To figure out what you want to major in, I would suggest looking at the things that interest you the most and following in that direction. Your major might determine what you spend much of your future doing, so you want to be doing something you truly love. That is the beauty of college - you get to choose what classes you take! 

So, as you think about what you want to major in, do some soul searching. Find out what interests you and what you love, and don’t be afraid to explore different options or even change your mind once or twice. Don’t feel pressured to know exactly what you want to do when you get here, because the purpose of college is to figure out your place through furthering your education in an area of study where you can thrive.

Raygan Hall: Senior. Psychology Major. Youth Discipleship Minor. 

Top 5 Tips to Be Successful in College

1.     Get a planner and use it.

Once you are in college, a well-organized planner will become your best friend. College professors have high expectations for you to be responsible, so it is important to keep up with all of your assignments and due dates. Writing them all down in a planner at the beginning of the semester is an easy way to look ahead and see what you have coming up - it can also prevent you from getting overwhelmed by the amount of work you have due. Planners help you get ahead and stay ahead. 

2.     Find friends you can study with.

Sometimes, it’s challenging to get focused and get your work done. Finding friends you can hang out with, but also study with, is the best combination. Having someone else around can keep you accountable for getting your work done and give you some new ideas on how to study more effectively. Being with other people not only helps keep you on task, it makes studying much more enjoyable!

3.     Create a schedule and try to stick to it.

Being away at school, you have a lot more freedom to choose what you do with your time. If you aren’t used to this, it can be really easy to get distracted by all of the fun things and forget about school and homework. But, if you create a schedule for yourself during the school day and try to stick to it closely, you are able to actually rest on the weekends instead of constantly worrying about class and assignments.

4.     Don’t overcommit.

It’s really tempting to try doing everything you’re interested in once you are at college, but your best option is to explore for a while, then choose to invest in a few things that stick out to you. If you’re being pulled 100 different ways, the feeling of over commitment can be terrible - so, take the time to figure out a couple of things that you are really passionate about, and focus on those! It is better to invest deeply than to spread yourself thin.

5.     Rest.

Don’t get so caught up in school, class, work, or fun that you forget to rest and take care of yourself.  Sleep is crucial to your college survival, and while it may be tempting to cut some of it out to make room for more fun things, it isn’t worth it! Make sleep a priority, and take the time to rest and do things that rejuvenate you. Sleep is the perfect cure for just about any problem college can bring.

Summer Scholars Program

The Gardner-Webb University Undergraduate Research Scholars program funded a total of 10 students during the summer 2017 term to participate in the Summer Scholars program. This represents the greatest number of scholars in the program’s history.

 As part of their research project, scholars will spend five weeks on campus working on his/her topic for 40 hours a week. At the same time, students will be mentored by a dedicated faculty member providing information and guidance to ensure a successful research experience for the scholar.

The program is directed by Dr. June Hobbs, who oversees GWU Undergraduate Research and serves as a professor of English for the Department of English Language and Literature.

Caroline Burnette is one among the 10 that participated this year. Her plan, to examine the correlation between gender roles and the treatment of mental illness in women in the Victorian Era through critical analysis of Charlotte Perkins Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper."

Her mentor will be Dr. June Hobbs. Caroline is a senior majoring in English literature with a pre-law concentration.

Caroline answered a few questions about her experience.


How did you pick your faculty advisor? 

I transferred to Gardner-Webb as a Junior, and one of the first classes I took at GWU was with Dr. June Hobbs. She became my favorite professor instantaneously, and when I heard about the Summer Scholar program, I couldn’t think of anyone with whom I would be more delighted to work with. At the time, I had no idea how involved she was with this program; I ran to my favorite teacher and asked her to work with me. As my study progressed through the summer, however, I found it was incredibly beneficial to work not only with a brilliant scholar, but also with the woman who designed this research program. The amount of insight she had to offer on both these levels was incredible. 

How did you pick your research topic? 

Because of my interest in gender studies and women’s issues, this topic had been in the back of my mind for a while, just waiting for an excuse to be fleshed out and researched. I knew I wanted to examine hysteria and The Yellow Wallpaper, but as the project progressed, I was amazed to see how it quickly became so much more than the simple idea with which I started. 

Why was this topic important to you? 

As a feminist and an academic, I feel that this topic has not only personal but universal significance. To examine the history of hysteria is to examine a societal history of degrading and demeaning women, a malingering practice that still exists in various forms. Though the threat of institutionalization is less common, women who display strong emotion or challenge socially acceptable gender roles still run the risk of being labelled “crazy” or “hysterical,” and subsequently dismissed—particularly in academia. It is for these reasons that I feel this topic is deserving of extensive research and increased awareness in society. 

What do you feel like you learned the most from your research? 

Having learned so much through the course of this program, it’s difficult to pin down a single most beneficial experience, but I would have to say that aside from learning so much about a fascinating topic that interests me, as well as more information about future research practices, I also learned a lot about myself. In fact, prior to the start of this project, my future plans were geared toward becoming a defense attorney. 

I was interested in this career path because I’m passionate about social justice, but also because of my love for reading, research, and debate. The Summer Scholar program helped me to realize that I would actually find the most fulfillment from a career in academia and research. 

What did you enjoy the most about your research? 

The uninterrupted time to research! During the semester, so many things pop up that I would love to research further or spend more time learning about, and I can never do it, because of the constant deadlines in my classes. Getting to spend time away from all the distractions of college life and focus on study was amazing, and showed me that this is what I want to spend the rest of my life doing. I also loved having an opportunity to work so closely with someone as incredible as Dr. Hobbs. Anyone who is serious about research and academics should have this opportunity; It will change your life.