Magazine On-line [spring 2008]
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Shane McGuire: Pre-med Studies With a Twist

Shane McguireShane McGuire had a pre-med course of study in mind when he arrived at Transylvania, and he soon settled on a biology major, a popular undergraduate route to medical school. But he was also searching for a way to make his Transy learning experience different in some meaningful way. He took advantage of the flexibility offered at a liberal arts college to make that happen.

“I originally had minors in both economics and religion,” McGuire said, “but I really liked the New Testament class because it came at the subject from a historical and scientific perspective. I got to see how other people approach the Biblical text.”

The junior from Lexington decided to pursue a second major in religion while still taking some economics courses. “I’m interested in how religion and science go together in our culture, since science deals with the natural and religion with the supernatural.”

McGuire went to Turkey and Greece with religion professor Paul Jones in his May term course, Paul and the Roman Empire, and found the learning experience memorable. “I hear about all those places in class, but when you see the professor give a lecture on the site, nothing compares with that.” He’s taking another May term travel course this year, Journey Through the Bible, which visits Israel and Egypt.

Even though religion has taken precedence as a way of adding variety to his pre-med studies, McGuire still values the economics courses he has taken. “It’s a great background to have, especially if I wanted to run my own practice someday or be more knowledgeable about investments.”

As for his overall learning experience at Transy, McGuire has found that the University’s small classes characteristic of a liberal arts college have several important benefits. He chose Transy after sitting in on a class at both a large, comprehensive university and at Transy.

“The small class challenges you more than a large class at a big school,” McGuire said. “You have to show up prepared, because there’s a good chance your professor will call on you. That pushes you to stay on top of things. It’s also easy to ask questions with only 15 people in your class. Usually, if you ask it, everyone else in the room is thinking it.”

Outside the classroom, McGuire is head resident adviser for Clay and Davis residence halls, a job that is giving him lots of leadership learning. After a year as a resident adviser, his management role now is to motivate the other advisers to do their jobs. It’s teaching him a lot about how to deal with people. “I have friends in every fraternity, and when something’s going down, I find those people and have them take responsibility for fixing it.”

McGuire also finds time to be pledge educator for his own fraternity, Delta Sigma Phi, and a member of Student Government Association and Transy’s NCAA Division III intercollegiate golf team.

“I’m still trying to figure out exactly what I want to do with my life, and Transy is helping me with that. A liberal arts education is very challenging, but it opens you up to a lot of new things.”

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