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Year: Senior

Major: Intercultural Studies

Hometown: Murchison, Tx

Q: What led you to SAGU? 

A: I knew I wanted to go to a school with a Christian atmosphere and a good community, and SAGU had just what I was looking for. I had been on the SAGU campus for many North Texas youth events over the years, and the campus always felt like home. I had toured other college campuses, but none of them made me feel at home the way SAGU did. My senior year of high school, I was at another youth event on campus. I was in the Sheaffer Center when I saw the email that I had been accepted into SAGU. So, I found out that I had been accepted while I was on the campus. That was just the confirmation I needed to know that SAGU was where I was meant to be. 

Q: What have you been involved in on campus? 

A: During my time at SAGU, I have been very involved in SMA. My sophomore year, I went on a disaster relief trip to New Orleans with SMA, and from there, I knew I wanted to get involved more. I joined Unspoken, one of the prayer and advocacy groups, and now I lead that group. This past Summer, I went on one of the World Outreach trips to North Africa. I have also served on the SMA event team. Being a part of SMA has helped me to grow so much and has given me a community of friends that are like family to me. (Shout out to Maya, Jory, Grant, Alee, Maddie, Drew, Juan, Jacob, Jennifer, Mercy, Julia, and Kaitlyn.)

Q: How has your experience been with the classes you’ve taken as a part of your major?

A: The ICS professors make sure that the classes are engaging for us students, and the ICS classes have taught me so much about the purpose, methods, and practicalities of missions. As I am currently doing my ICS internship, I see how the concepts I have learned in the classroom apply to the field. Everything I have learned about cross-cultural service and strategies has helped me to adjust and to understand the culture around me.

Q: Have you had any professors who have positively influenced you during your time here? 

A: All of the professors at SAGU are amazing and invest a lot of time and prayer into the students. I would like to give a shout-out to Mrs. Rennae, Bro Nel, Mrs. Meredith, Dr. Owensby, Dr Savell, Dr. Roberts, and Dr. Otwell. All of them have encouraged, inspired, and taught me so much. 

Q: Tell us a little about the internship you’re doing in Panama City, Panama? 

A: I am curreåntly doing my 12-week ICS internship in Panama City, Panama. The focus of my internship is urban youth ministry. During my time here, I am volunteering at El Refuge, a youth center for young people to have a safe place to work on homework, play games, and build relationships. I am also serving in a local youth group. During my time here in Panama I have met so many amazing people, experienced many new things, and learned so much about missions.

Q: What drew you to your respective area of study / major? What professional aspirations and goals do you have for the future? 

A: Majoring in intercultural studies was the best route for me to gain the skills and knowledge that I will need to pursue the call of God on my life. I know God has called me to be a missionary, and I want to live out this call by doing youth ministry wherever He leads me. My desire is to be a light and represent Jesus in the best way I can to people who are lost and hurting. There’s so many people who need to encounter Jesus and experience the healing and hope that only He can bring.

Q: How has your faith impacted the way you view your education and in the personal goals you set for yourself? 

A: My purpose is to live my life in a way that brings glory to Jesus. Nothing that I accomplish has anything to do with me and everything to do with his goodness. I want someone to believe that God is good because they see the reflection of his goodness, love, and faithfulness in my life. The way I treat others, my grades, my ministry, my future, everything I do should all point to Him.

Q: What advice would you give to incoming freshmen? 

A: Get involved! Having a community to grow and do life with is so important. SAGU has so many things you can join; SMA, StuCo, Res Life, SAGU worship, and intramural sports. You can also get involved by going to events such as football games, battle of the dorms, all-night prayer, worship nights, and so much more. There’s always something happening on campus, and it’s a great way to make memories with your friends and meet new people. 

Shayla is receiving the training and support she needs to step into her God-given calling in Intercultural Studies. At SAGU, we believe that God has a specific calling for each and every one of us. Through our learning community, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge and real-world experience to foster your talents and pursue your purpose, just like Shayla! Click here to apply today!

As a leading Christian university, SAGU educates and prepares individuals who want to serve Christ and others. SAGU helps students discover and develop their callings in a Spirit-empowered learning community.

We believe in affordable tuition, made possible in part through the financial support of donors who embrace the mission of SAGU and the importance of affordable, accredited programs to train Christians for leadership in ministry, business, education, and service.

Most majors are available in person in Waxahachie, TX, and online through a wide range of associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees.

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