In a culture that prizes achievement and success above all else, college can seem like a cutthroat competition to be the best at everything, regardless of the cost. As believers in academia, we have a unique opportunity to counter this trend by demonstrating Christ-like love and humility as we interact with students. In this talk, I will share my experiences as an astronomy and physics lecturer and the influence my faith has had on how I encourage my students to grow, not just intellectually, but also on a more personal level.
I am an astronomy PhD student at UCSC, and I investigate how galaxies change over time using large observational datasets. After I graduate, I plan to become a college instructor. I have had the opportunity to teach both astronomy and physics courses at UCSC, and the experience has been incredibly rewarding. Since becoming a believer, I have sought to cultivate a grace-filled classroom culture that encourages students to learn without succumbing to the “rat race” mindset that pervades much of academia.