Brianna Murphy, '19

B.S. in Psychology

Do you feel like you made any concessions to come to a school that is reasonably priced?
I do not feel like I have conceded anything by choosing Grove City College. My three top choices (Grove City College, Gordon College, and Hillsdale College) were all very similar. In fact, I valued the fact that Grove City College, unlike Gordon College, does not accept federal funding. I also valued the Christian atmosphere here, which I felt more strongly at Grove City College than at Hillsdale.

How is faith incorporated in the classroom?
The Christian faith has been incorporated, at least in some aspect, in most of my classes. I appreciate this confluence of faith and academics, in part because our classes cover so much material already, but the professors take the time to discuss what truly matters. Yes, academics are highly important. But how we interact with the world, especially as Christians, is just as important. I will never forget the first several class periods when I took micro-economics as an elective. The professor discussed why economics is important to Christians and how Christianity has laid an important foundation and worldview for economics. I also remember in Foundations of Psychology, we had a second textbook dedicated to the interplay between faith and psychology and we had open discussions on the material in the book. These are just two of many classes that took time out of a busy schedule to look at the subject matter through the Christian lens.

What drew you to choose psychology as your major?
The summer before my freshman year, I became interested in possibly using my love for dance, art, and beauty as a possible therapy for teenagers. When I was considering this career path, psychology was the obvious choice for an undergraduate degree. As time went on, I was able to talk with one of my professors about some of my ideas and he was helpful in pointing me in the right direction as far as research into the field of dance movement therapy. In time, I decided against becoming a dance movement therapist. But I am thankful for his insight and guidance. Even though I am no longer interested in dance movement therapy, I am still a psychology major, and I am considering horseback riding therapy for children with special needs as a career.

What are some of the ways that professors ensure that students not only receive information but truly learn and understand how to apply that information?
The professors, outside the classroom, will take time to organize talks or attend a student-led event to talk on a subject they are passionate about. The subjects range all the way from missions to healthy emotional lives to politics to the concept of goodness, beauty, and truth. Grove City College also has one week a year called Focus Week with a theme (this year’s theme was Turning Down the Noise: Removing Noise to Make God a Priority), and many professors gave relevant talks during the week. I enjoy going to these events because not only do I learn so much from listening to them, but I love watching people talk about what they are passionate about. These talks always challenge us to either consider a new view or to seriously consider our current view.

What is your favorite aspect of Grove City College?
Perhaps my favorite aspect would be the strong learning ethic I am learning from my professors. Or maybe it is the social clubs I am a part of that have helped me meet many amazing and wise students. Or perhaps it is the rigorous academics that, even though school can get stressful at times, build my faith, my character, and my work ethic. Or maybe it is that in both academics and social activities, I really feel as if I fit; I am challenged yet not overwhelmed. I have also made so many friends here, more than I could have expected. Perhaps I can sum all these up: my favorite aspect of Grove City College is how God has used it as a blessing in my life.

How would you describe the relationship that the students have with each other on campus?
On the whole, students have good relationships with each other. Yes, there are the typical ups and downs and even rough spots, but we do pour and invest into each other. I have a lot of experience of this type of relationship in the partner dance communities on campus, the Swing Dance Club and the Ballroom Club. We always welcome new students to dances and lessons and help them as best as we can to learn both the dancing skills and the social etiquette that go with social dancing. I also joined a singing group as a sophomore, and the students there were so inviting and inclusive. It is attitudes like these that challenge me to do the same for others. 

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