Meet the Lions

Meet the Lions

So many of our students have had positive experiences at Bryn Athyn College—from furthering their career aspirations, learning new skills, developing talents previously hidden, or furthering understanding of the world around us.

 DANAJA OVERTON

“I didn’t expect to have opportunity after opportunity. We get the experience of a lifetime here.”

Read Danaja’s story

 maia wyncoll

Through education about the world’s struggles, FeelGood made me a more compassionate human being.

Read Maia’s story

 Ed Higgins

The teachers and coaches really care about me and how I do. That’s what’s going to make me successful.

Read Ed’s story

 CHANTAL FARMER

“I’ve become more of who I am here. I don’t want to be a ghost writer for my life. I want to write my own story.”

Read Chantal’s story

 

DANAJA OVERTON

Danaja Overton

Class of 2021

I’m branching out because the faculty makes things so interesting.

Danaja Overton has been dancing for as long as she can remember. But she also dreams of attending medical school in hopes of becoming a pediatrician. When it came time to choose a college, Danaja was torn—should she follow her passion for dance or pursue her medical school ambitions? 

Thanks to the interdisciplinary (ID) major at Bryn Athyn College, Danaja doesn’t have to choose. The ID major lets students combine two interests into one major that works for them. This means that Danaja can major in biology and dance 

Bryn Athyn College also values hands-on learning. Danaja’s teachers have helped her create internships that support her dual focus.  

“The teachers here know you by name and know your goals,” says Danaja. “They make internships specifically for you to do what you want. I don’t think I would’ve gotten that at a big school.” 

Through an internship with Scribe America, Danaja shadows doctors during rounds. And not only does she perform in Bryn Athyn College’s dance concerts, she also teaches dance at two local studios. 

“I love learning,” says Danaja. “I’m like a sponge—I soak up everything.”  

Danaja chose Bryn Athyn College so she could major in biology and dance. But over time, her interests have expanded to include psychology and history. “I’m branching out because the faculty makes things so interesting.” 

Danaja’s favorite history classes are held in Glencairn Museum, the historic castle right across the street from the college campus. “It’s really cool to have so much history in one place and know that I’m a part of it.” 

Between her classes, her internships, and her performances, Danaja definitely has her hands full. But she’s loving every minute of it. 

“I didn’t expect to have opportunity after opportunity,” she says. “We get the experience of a lifetime here.” 

Bryn Athyn College’s focus on each student’s success is what makes these experiences possible.  

Danaja says this small college has made a big impact on her life. “I was always told in high school, when you go to college, they won’t really care about you.’ Now I can go back and say, ‘That’s not true. My school cares about me.’” 

 

maia wyncollMaia Wyncoll

Class of 2019

Being involved on campus is what made my college experience what it was.

Maia Wyncoll grew up in small town Pennsylvania. Her faith is important to her. So she came to Bryn Athyn College to continue her New Church education. 

As a way to make friends on campus, Maia got involved in several student life activities.  

Student life at Bryn Athyn College is more than joining clubs and organizing social events (even though we do that, too!) 

The service organizations on campus help students put their spiritual beliefs into practice. The on-campus chapter of FeelGood is no exception. 

FeelGood is a national nonprofit that aims to end extreme poverty by 2030. Simply by making grilled cheese sandwiches, FeelGood has been mobilizing students across the country since 2005. 

A leader on campus, Maia soon became president of the Bryn Athyn College FeelGood chapter. She says that her involvement in FeelGood not only created a new community of friends but also expanded her worldview. “Every individual has their own journey,” says Maia. “Through education about the world’s struggles, FeelGood made me a more compassionate human being.” 

Maia’s campus involvement didn’t stop with FeelGood. She also served on student government, held two campus internships, and worked as an RA. “Being involved on campus is what made my college experience what it was.” 

Maia graduated in May 2019 with a B.A. in business and a minor in communications. Her career goals are unconventional, but they’ve definitely been shaped by her experience at Bryn Athyn College: “Work hard and be kind.” 

 

 

ed higginsEric Higgins  

Class of 2020

The teachers and coaches really care about me and how I do. That’s what’s going to make me successful.

What do hockey and history have in common? Eric Higgins excels at both. 

Eric transferred to Bryn Athyn College as a junior so he could play for the college’s NCAA D-III team. But he’s also a history buff who loves exploring primary source documents. 

“I like creating my own narrative,” Eric says. “If you explore cause and effect relationships, you can find a deeper meaning and connect with history on a personal level.”  

Eric’s a human society major. His favorite history course, “Reacting to the Past,” uses role-play to explore important historical events. “It makes history so much more than people, dates, and times,” he says. Eric also participated in a week-long educational conference in Colonial Williamsburg. The continued education seminars he attended count toward future graduate credit. 

“I’m becoming well-rounded,” says Eric. “That’s the best thing about my education.” 

At Bryn Athyn College, our athletes are leaders on campus. We want them to succeed in their sports, in the classroom, and in their lives. “The athletic program is always adding  new opportunities for the athletes, getting them involved on campus, and making sure they succeed in the classroom, too,” says Eric. “Hockey’s more than a sport. It’s a lifestyle.” 

Bryn Athyn College Athletics also partners with Athletes Helping Athletes (AHA). AHA connects student-athletes with local special needs athletes through on-campus sporting events. These events aim to promote friendship, compassion, and mutual respect. 

Eric says that the AHA partnership encourages student-athletes to think outside of themselves. When you consider others and the situations that they’re going through, it really opens your eyes to the bigger picture,” he says. “This school has helped me create connections with people I didn’t think I would connect with.” 

Eric hopes to combine his two passions as a high school history teacher and hockey coach. “The teachers and coaches really care about me and how I do,” he says. “That’s what’s going to make me successful.”

chantal farmerChantal Farmer

Class of 2020

I don’t want to be a ghost writer for my life. I want to write my own story.

“The only source of anyone’s true happiness is doing something useful.” -Emanuel Swedenborg

At Bryn Athyn College, we belief that living life for others leads to true and lasting happiness. In fact, service learning is so important to us that it’s part of our curriculum. Whether students join one of our student-led service organizations or volunteer at a community service event, they are gaining valuable experiential education and making an impact on the world.

“I value helping others,” says psychology major Chantal Farmer. “When I help someone else, it makes them feel good, and that makes me feel good.”

Despite this positive attitude, Chantal is no stranger to adversity. Growing up in the city, she experienced many hardships, including the death of her father. But she didn’t let these experiences change her outlook on life. Instead, she decided to make a difference.

“I was surrounded by trauma,” says Chantal. “I wanted to do something to make it better.”

Chantal is passionate about lacrosse. She felt that teaching the sport to inner city kids could provide them a healthy outlet and a place to escape challenging life circumstances.

In 2018, Chantal hosted an inner-city lacrosse camp for kids ages 6-14. This required a year of planning and fundraising, including a grant from Charity Works. Charity Works is a New Church organization dedicated to supporting young adults who want to use their talents in service to others.

Many of Chantal’s campers had only ever played basketball or run track. They appreciated the opportunity to try a new sport and looked forward to coming back the following summer. Says Chantal, “The amount of enthusiasm that the kids had for coming back to play lacrosse was great.”

Chantal says that she’s always loved helping others. She’s shown this through her on-campus roles as an RA, a Financial Aid Advocate, and a Peer Advising Leader (PAL). As a PAL, Chantal helps incoming freshmen navigate their transition into college.

As a psychology major, Chantal appreciates the wide variety of classes offered at Bryn Athyn College. “Psychology and Spirituality, which you aren’t going to find at many schools, broadened my knowledge,” says Chantal. “I’ve definitely become a more spiritual person.”

Chantal’s future goals, which include a graduate degree in clinical counseling, focus on improving the lives of others. “One of the things that I really want to do is work with people who have experienced trauma,” she says.

Chantal says her experiences at Bryn Athyn College have supported her driven mindset and positive attitude. Even when life presents challenges, she chooses to focus on what she can do to improve her circumstances and make the world a better place. “I’ve become more of who I am here,” Chantal says. “I don’t want to be a ghost writer for my life. I want to write my own story.”

 

 

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