Headline: Biology student embraces a community of support
Sub headline: Amanda Six thrives amidst tragedy thanks to the support of faculty and students
When Amanda Six, Class of 2014, first stepped foot on the campus of Southern Nazarene University, she was excited about starting the next phase of her life like most of her fellow freshmen students. She was ready to take her love of nature that was instilled within her early in life and transform it into her future career. However, Amanda experienced a setback early on in her time at SNU that no student would ever want to face.
During her freshmen year, Amanda’s father passed away. Not only did this bring increased challenges to her family back home, but it was also a challenge for Amanda who was grieving while in the midst of her busy course schedule. Amanda said she could not have made it through that time if wasn’t for the support she received from the SNU community.
“Most freshmen come to college not thinking unexpected things will happen, but the professors were very supportive of me during my freshmen year,” she said. “It was great having a support system away from home here at SNU. That helped me overcome the loss of my father.”
As a result of the support she received from her community of professors and classmates, Amanda believes that she has become a better, stronger person that is now ready to move onto the next stage of education. She has taken that next step by applying to physicians’ assistant school at OU Health Sciences Center.
“I’m here at SNU doing what I need to do to become what I want to be and SNU is helping do that,” said Amanda.
Another way Amanda has benefitted from the sense of community at SNU is in the way students support each other academically within the science department. During her freshmen and sophomore years, Amanda said the support she received from juniors and seniors who were always quick to lend a hand during class or labs was vital to her success.
“SNU is like a community where everyone works together,” she explained. “I came to SNU not knowing much about lab work and students like Amy Madden who was a senior helped me in learning what I needed to know and how to do it when it came to labs.”
Amanda, who is a first generation Native American, grew up in Henryetta, Oklahoma loving nature and biology, but felt she was limited in what she learned in high school because of the limitations her school’s lab equipment and facilities. Coming to SNU was a welcomed change for Amanda as she was excited to have hands-on experience working on animal specimens and cadavers in her labs.
When thinking about future science students, Amanda wants them to have the same excitement when they first come to SNU and see the state-of-the-art facility that will result from the Campaign For The Sciences.
“Having a new science building with updated technology and equipment will help students learn all they need to learn to succeed,” explained Amanda.
Amanda is grateful for all the students and professors that have invested in her life during both the good and the bad times and wants to do the same for others as she moves forward in pursuing her career as a physician’s assistant. Her calling is to use her degree and go back to rural Oklahoma and work in the Muskogee Creek Nation, which is heavily underserved when it comes to healthcare.
“That community is like home to me,” added Amanda. “I understand them. I know them and I know that sometimes they have trouble getting access to healthcare and that’s where my heart is.”
In addition to the confidence she has in the educational training she received from SNU’s science department, she is also grateful for how she has grown in her faith in Christ during her time on campus. While so much of today’s society feels that it’s impossible for faith and science to coexist, Amanda said her time at SNU confirmed within her quite the opposite.
“I see nature and God at work together in harmony. Faith and science can live together,” said Amanda.
As Amanda prepares to enter her final semester at SNU, she is thankful for the education and spiritual growth she and her husband have experienced during their time at SNU. As a result, she intends to give back in any way possible whether it be financially or giving of her time to SNU’s scientific community that has come to mean so much to her.