President Beck A. Taylor

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Whitworth Home Page > President Beck A. Taylor > Inauguration >

Community of Courage – Sciences

Michael Sardinia, '87
Associate Professor of Biology

When I considered the idea of a "Community of Courage," the first thing that came to my mind was, "What compels me to teach at Whitworth" and that is our students. It's not the pay – sorry. And when I think about our students and I think about how special they are; special young people that were special in the ‘80's, as my classmates and are special now as our students. I see courageous students that do not disregard the outcomes. (It was not a willful disregard that we had in Mac.) It is the courage that comes from seeking God's will for their lives. To see what it is they are called to do and then taking the charge from the apostle Paul to use and to develop their gifts; to be prepared when they are asked and led by God in difficult situations.

Michael SardiniaI had a pair of married students that graduated and that had seen and done this. One served our country in the Middle East and came to Whitworth as a Biology major and his wife was a nursing major. She was a phenomenal student. I don't know how many "B's" she ever got; maybe one. FERPA says I can't tell you that. She went on to nursing school and prepared to be a nurse in the anesthesia.  Very prestigious and well paying, but it wasn't her calling. All the way to the end she prepared for this, until she discovered in her church refugees from Eastern European countries attending who were having problems getting their children vaccinated. When she saw this need in the community she said this is what I'm supposed to do. She now works in the public health department; no prestige, not the quiet precision of the anesthesia room, not the pay, but it is her calling. She was courageous in stepping out to do this and she didn't have to. (I and my wife were also courageous when this nurse poked us in the arm with a needle.) Her husband returned from Iraq and became a Biology major. He also could have taken the easier way out, but those of us who are married to teachers in high school know that teaching in high school is not the easy way out. He now serves in Idaho teaching young students about science and dealing with classroom management problems that Whitworth professors don't understand unless you are in the Education department or have done it before. I avoid it like the plague, my wife does not.

There are many many more stories like this and I know I'm supposed to stop talking so I will. But I could talk about students who are missionary's now who stepped out into Africa before they were trained and followed God's calling. So, when I think of courage I think of our special young adults, I think of our students. Whenever President Taylor is at a loss for why he came here or what it is all about I hope he spends some time with these very special people.