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Rebecca Lott: Beginning Her Academic Journey of Critical Thinking

August 01, 2019 - 3 minute read

What led you to Concordia University Irvine?

I wanted to attend a Christian university and I appreciated Concordia’s Lutheran ethos alongside its lack of a behavior contract or chapel attendance requirement—I felt that going of my own accord made it more personal and real to my own faith journey. From visiting on an open day, I also felt that the history department was a welcoming place to study and was interested in their focus on the Great Books. I also liked the smaller class sizes and the opportunities that would afford to get to know the professors and other students. All three of these factors ended up being valued parts of my Concordia experience.

What influenced the choice of your major?

History was always something I’ve been interested in, particularly because it combined other peoples’ stories and life experiences with writing. On a visiting day I attended a talk with the then-head of the department and loved his enthusiasm about the topic and was therefore excited to study history at Concordia. I thought that I wanted to teach at the secondary school level, so I did a combined history major with the education credential track.

Where have you experienced growth as a student?

At Concordia I began my academic journey of critical thinking—in a history context, this took the form of understanding how to use and understand sources by determining their perspectives and biases through careful reading and consideration. I most experienced this through taking part in the President’s Academic Showcase, as it provided an opportunity to work on a larger piece of work and to learn new skills necessary for later academic endeavors.

Which faculty or staff member do you most admire?

I admire CJ Armstrong both personally and professionally; in the classroom, he combines teaching at a high standard with earnest pastoral care, which I hope to emulate in my own teaching.

What sticks with you from Enduring Questions & Ideas?

Q&I taught me about finding the harmony in different subjects, as well as prompted thinking from different perspectives in order to understand both the academic topics as well as overarching questions relating to Truth.

What do you consider your greatest achievement so far?

Broadening my worldview and ability to be compassionate through listening to others’ experiences—both in my historical sources and in "real" life—particularly as I’ve lived abroad.

How do you define vocation?

I thought about this a lot through various Concordia courses, which were very formative. I think that vocation is God working through you and your gifted skills at the place you are and in what you are doing.

What is one thing you have most valued about your time at CUI?

I most valued the opportunities for maturity that Concordia provided. It opened my world to include both Christianity and intellectualism—a pairing that is often at odds in today’s evangelical churches and even at some Christian universities. The theology classes, chapels, events with professors, my course work, participation in the President’s Showcase, and teaching at BCIS in China all worked together to help shape my worldview and led me to continue in academia.

What is your favorite Concordia tradition?

It’s a tie between Concordia Christmas and Kindergarten Day in the cafeteria. With Concordia Christmas, I loved how it provided an opportunity leading up to finals to take a breath and enjoy some fun activities with friends near to the end of the semester. And Kindergarten Day was always just fun for students and professors and provided a bit of levity in the midst of a busy day.

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