Degree/Year: B.S., Religious Studies, 2005
Current Employer: Bell+Howell
Title: Customer Service Engineer
Ever since reading “Autobiography of a Yogi” by Paramahansa Yogananda and “Zen Flesh, Zen Bones” by Paul Reps and Nyogen Senzaki during my sophomore year of high school, I have had a continual interest in Eastern philosophy and religion. Shortly after making the discovery that Bradley would allow me to pursue interest in Chinese culture and religion while minoring in Asian Studies, I came into contact with Bradley’s resident Buddhism scholar, Dr. Daniel Getz. We discussed at length my desire to obtain a degree. Within days of this conversation I applied to Bradley and was attending classes.
My desire to acquire a religious studies degree was based purely on self-interest and personal achievement and not upon my line of work. At the time of my enrollment I had worked in the high-tech mailing industry as a field engineer for 25 years, so benefits of employment was not a motivator. Bradley gave me the opportunity to fulfill my dream of obtaining a formal education in the field of Asian Studies. For me, graduation day was a self-fulfilling achievement, a day that brought me greater appreciation for the diverse cultures, languages and religions of Asia.
As a non-traditional student, I enjoyed the regular schedule of attending classes and have fond memories of those days, especially the engaging discussions with my professors. The academic rewards that come from such relationships is uplifting to those of us with a thirst for knowledge and understanding. But what I think I cherish most about my years at Bradley are the personal relationships I developed with professors; they are invaluable. Aside from attending a local community college, I have also attended a state school and do not remember experiencing the same level of attention to students. For me, those days were more than memorable; they were important, not only to me, but also to my family, as both of my sons are graduates of Bradley’s engineering college.
Bradley was an immeasurable experience for me (as I am sure it was for my two sons), one that was filled with special moments of discovery. For a current or future student of the program, it does not matter your interest, whether it is Middle Eastern religions or Far Eastern religions. Know that the faculty at Bradley are some of the most knowledgeable in their fields. Just take the time to participate, engage in dialogue and make the most of this opportunity. As a Bradley alumnus, I can say, “You will be richly rewarded in your endeavors.”