Walking around campus, watercolor painting on the Overlook, sculpting, drawing people, making lists, Orientation team, Core team, Art club, theatre department productions, talking to my sister a lot, observing the residence hall dynamics, taking other students to explore parts of my hometown (Chattanooga) and even my home and having the opportunity to share that part of my life with people, having deep and meaningful conversations with hallmates and friends at times when I probably should be asleep, and being given the chance to watch and see the gifts God gave each of his people here play out in life as they grow in understanding of themselves and the world around them. I’m not just talking about the student body either but EVERY member of this community. We’re all students here to some degree and it’s a beautiful thing.
Favorite place on campus
My favorite places would be Carter lobby/Craig M. Lyons Great Hall because of all the traffic they get. Every student, staff, faculty or member of administration and every visitor the school receives will pass through those two rooms at some point and it’s really fun to watch all the interactions that take place or to be part of many of them myself. In my opinion, those two rooms are consistently filled with the most life from sunrise to sundown.
Why did you choose Covenant?
I grew up around the Covenant community for most of my life. My dad has worked here since I was really little, and my mom took some classes from the Bible department at one point. We would have students over a lot, and I knew many professors from church. In high school, I would spend a lot of time on campus visiting students that I knew and enjoying the views. The mountain’s a different place than the valley and as obvious as that seems, there’s something rather profound to it. The Covenant community has simply been a huge part of my life, and I’ve loved being a part of it. I knew when the time came to start applying for colleges that Covenant was definitely where I felt I needed to go. Anyone who knows me knows how important this community is to me.
How is Covenant unique?
I’m going to answer the same way many people do. Covenant is unique because of its community. The student body has such an interesting dynamic of unity that I have not observed at many other schools. The faculty genuinely cares about the student body and provides a quality Christ-centered education filled with an application of scripture. The staff works hard to keep the school up and running, integrating students into that process and working closely with them. I know academically speaking, especially within my experience in the art department, I’m learning how to use the gifts God gave me to serve and worship Him and that’s a concept I had difficulty with for a long time.
What has been your favorite experience at Covenant?
I have a list that’s about eleven word-processing document pages long and I’ve only been here for two years...
What is your favorite class?
There are two but I’ll be brief. My favorite classes so far have been Sculpture II and Figure Drawing, both with Kayb Carpenter Joseph. In those classes, we draw and sculpt people. As a person myself, I deem that as rather important. And Professor Joseph spends a great deal of time on the theology of the body. As a figurative artist in training myself and more importantly a Christian, it’s so important for me to understand the body that I’ve been given but also the ones God’s given other people, as we’re all made in his image. In those classes, we learn to see the body not as a lustful object but rather a beautiful form that is filled with life, energy and movement. We spend a great deal of time learning the anatomy, both the bones and the muscles and how they are formed, how light interacts with them and how they fit together. We live in a culture where people do not understand their own bodies or how to take care of them, or even how to appropriately interact with other people. Many of the students here will go into ministry (either missions or the workplace) where they will be interacting with people. To understand other people as living beings with souls and beautiful image-bearers of God instead of objects is so crucial, especially for us as Christians. By the way, that was brief. If you are looking into studying art here, I recommend these classes.
What person at Covenant has had the greatest impact on you?
My dad. Beyond the fact that he had a huge part in my upbringing, if he did not work at Covenant, then I probably would not have known about it in the way that I do now. I would have seen Carter Hall as that strange building on top of the mountain that everyone can see but not really be aware of the community and relationships that it represents. I also still have the opportunity to see him around campus when he’s working and to eat the occasional lunch or two with him. He is also an artist and had a huge influence in my desire to pursue the arts in study. At the same time, I value all the relationships I’ve had here thus far because they all have had a great impact on me.
What are your post-graduation plans?
My eventual goal is to teach art (collegiate). That process is a little blurry to me at the moment but I know that an aspect of it will be working as an artist and producing a body of work. I’m thinking and praying into the possibility of getting either an MFA or an M.Ed. We’ll see. One never knows. For now, I need to focus on what’s going on here.
How is Covenant equipping you for the future?
It’s been doing that since I first started interacting with it. Then, I was being prepared for my time as a student here and now as a student, I am starting to understand the concept of community better but more importantly the community of believers as a whole. I can’t go anywhere in the country without seeing someone affiliated with Covenant, whether they be students, parents of a student, alumni, faculty, what have you. And that’s only a SMALL glimpse of what the bride of Christ is like. That’s an exciting thought! Another thing that has happened as a result of my time here is that I am becoming more aware of God’s work in my life and the lives of others. In a Christian artist’s perspective, to see and to interact with the Spirit’s work is a beautiful thing. It inspires, gives purpose, brings joy and fills with hope, even when we as humans label it bad or don’t understand it. That’s important knowledge regardless of what profession one goes into, and for me, that awareness is invaluable.