Summer Snapshot: Research, Teaching, Missions

Assistant Professor Meagan Medley shares the mix of things in her summer with readers in this Summer Snapshot [1]. Also check out Meagan’s Scholar’s Compass pieces here. Photo: New Orleans at Night, from NASA.

While many picture summer as a time of beaches, pools and binge watching the latest drama, God’s plans for me this summer involve a juggle of research, teaching, and coordinating mission teams coming to New Orleans. It’s such a blessing to have a full plate and to see impact in a tangible way as the typical semester seems much more mundane. 

On the research front, a great team of friends have assembled to work on a theoretical model in the field of education and are planning to test the theory in due time. It’s pushing me in the academic area to think about my practice and what I teach in a new way and it’s giving me a great opportunity to hang out with my research friends.

Teaching in the summer is a blessing as the bills still need to get paid. The courses I teach are all taught once a year and are much more fun for me and the students. I’m making a lot of assumptions about the students though. In the area of school psychology, crisis preparedness is always exciting for me to teach as students are innately captivated by the content. Perhaps it’s the traditional nightmare of being unprepared for a course that translates so well to the lack of preparedness for a crisis, but the students don’t need the normal polite shove into the content.

Coordinating with P2 Missions and World Changers, both of Lifeway, is one of the greatest pleasures I have. It provides a means to serve the New Orleans area and share the gospel in a much greater way than I could on my own. In meeting tangible needs in the city with construction and ministry projects and helping local church plants to serve their communities, the message of Christ’s love and grace is exponentially shared. Youth groups from all over the country come to serve selflessly and share the message of Christ in a community I love. It’s a beautiful thing to witness. The coordinating challenge is different every year but the result is exciting, even if it’s not seen. 

The coordinating team and 4 college students that serve all summer traveling city to city with P2 and World Changers, become a temporary family with a common purpose: to serve Christ by serving churches and each other well and to share the gospel wherever we go. My extreme nostalgia is made known to my new mission family in reminiscing of my years as a participant and a summer college student many years ago. As my role changes year to year, the mission is the same and I’m thrilled to meet new people every year who are embracing that mission or discovering Christ for the first time.

Each year with P2 Missions and World Changers, a theme and verse are presented for meditation and study. This year’s theme is “LIVE + LOVE + SPEAK BOLDLY” as in 1st Thessalonians 2:8 We cared so much for you that we were pleased to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own lives, because you had become dear to us.” It’s my prayer that I live, love and speak boldly and with ease in my professional and personal life. That I encourage others to do the same. And that I recognize opportunities in academia to do so.

Prayer Request: That Christ’s name is known through humble and bold lives, love and action on campus and in the personal lives of the Christian community of academia. That this summer is a time of learning, discipleship, and boldness according to the will of God. Specifically, that the partner agencies working with us would be able see Christ in our actions and that the people of New Orleans are open to Christ and we recognize opportunities. That the groups coming to serve will take what they learned, living, loving and speaking with boldness, to their home communities and families.

[1] In 2016, ESN shared “snapshots” from members of our network, brief reflections on one way the author was making the most of summer or learning something from God in this season. That could be a mode of rest/recreation, a way someone was growing in research, a new conference or collaboration opportunity, a challenge someone was growing through, a new event to celebrate, a way God was working in someone’s family, or something else. History graduate student Josh Shiver kicked off the series, which included The Discipline of Simplicity (Elsie Lee), Finding God When It’s Tough (Anonymous), Plan Long and Prosper (Tamarie Macon), and more. In 2018 we’d love to once again hear from the members of our network. If you have interest, please drop us a line. Thank-you. ~ Tom Grosh IV, Assoc. Dir., Emerging Scholars Network

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Meagan Medley

Dr. Meagan Medley’s school based work includes a focus in response to intervention (RTI), positive behavior intervention and supports (PBIS), crisis prevention and management, systems-wide data analysis, special education eligibility evaluation, and functional behavior assessment (FBA). Medley has published research concerning the response to intervention. Her current research interests include treatment integrity, educational practice with students with vision impairments and blindness, best practices in school-based service, school-based crisis, and international education. Medley spends her free time traveling, coordinating mission work with World Changers through Lifeway Ministries, and occasionally ringing a cowbell for her alma mater, Mississippi State University.

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