Senior Spotlight: Emily Harris
And here she is! The beautiful, charming, and breathtakingly stunning daughter of God – Emily Harris – ready to graduate and step out into that mysterious world of post-college. Serving others is her delight and loving is her talent, making her one of the most exemplary of students claiming the title of Regent graduate. An English major, Emily not only formed her own concentration in Cross-Cultural Communication, but she also helped found the first English Honor’s Society at Regent, traveled abroad to London and Paris, and served as a Life Group Leader.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Emily Harris and asking her a few questions about her time here at Regent University. When asked why she chose Regent, she smiled and said, “I really wanted the college experience with people who were serious about their faith.” Apartment-style living, the superb locale near the beach, and Regent’s emphasis on beauty, goodness, and truth were also important factors in her decision to choose Regent as her academic and spiritual home for the past four years. I asked her what had sparked the interest in English, and her response was delightfully honest. “Well, I didn’t have a specific career in mind. I knew I wanted to be a mom, and I was good at English in high school, and I thought I’d get good at one subject that I could teach my kids.” An English class with Dr. Elam inspired her to start thinking about her passions, gifts, and interests, and she formed for herself the Cross-Cultural Communications concentration to compliment the main English program. Emily’s favorite classes at Regent were ENGL 102 and Art of the Essay with Dr. Mattix. “I was able to write in a non-academic way, and that was fun. The professors really pushed me, and I learned a lot from them.”
Emily also had the opportunity to participate in a 10-day class excursion led by Dr. Fraser to London and Paris. Some of their stops included Westminster Abbey, the home of C.S. Lewis at Oxford, and Kensington and Buckingham Palaces. “It was amazing! Very well organized. Wasn’t go, go, go but had a good flow with some days having an official tour guide, and other days to just walk through a museum. I think every student should try to go.”
I asked Emily what prompted her to take on the position of president in the first English Honor Society’s Sigma Tau Delta chapter here at Regent. She laughed and said, “Oh my, I was terrified. But it was a good experience and a challenge, and I knew it would grow me as a person. And I wanted the chapter to be here.” Sigma Tau Delta serves the English department at Regent by providing a community of students who love to read and write and who seek to honor the English department faculty. “As a busy person I wanted there to be the opportunity for there to be a more low-stress, community-driven honor’s society and wanted to foster the love for reading and writing that’s often lost in the academic side.”
Besides her many academic endeavors and busy schedule, Emily served her Regent family even further by serving as a Life Group Leader. I asked her what made her desire to minister to others in this way, and she replied, “Well, I also didn’t want to do it. I was terrified and worried about being insufficient. But I also felt that God made it clear this was what I needed to do.” I asked her what her own takeaways were, and she said, “I think just really reliance upon the Lord and prioritizing people over the task. There are so many beautiful people who love the Lord. The girls taught me so much. I went in thinking I’d teach them, but they taught me.”
Lastly, I asked Emily what she would tell her freshman self. Her emphatic response, “Chill out!” sent us both into laughter. “It’s not all about you. Your worth is not in your grades. People are more important than projects. Taking care of your relationship with the Lord is more important than school.” A beautiful answer from a beautiful woman of God.
I have so loved getting to know Emily Harris personally and am honored to call her one of my dear sisters in Christ and a wonderful friend. Thank you, Emily, on behalf of all of us here at Regent, for lifting our spirits when we were down and shining bright upon us the warmth of our Savior. May the Lord keep you as you embark upon your new adventures!
Emily Boulter is a staff writer for The Daily Runner.