Written by Lexi Baysinger. Media by Andrea Freeman.
Open your mind. That’s what Professor Georgann Kurtz-Shaw wishes for students that attend her COR 101 class. Prof. Kurtz-Shaw has been in and out of Greenville since 1991, only spending two of the years since then away- she and her husband went on sabbatical to Norway. She graduate from Greenville College and never thought that she would stay here to work, not that she had anything against the school or town, she always thought that it would just be the place where she went to school and then would move on from there. But Greenville College offered her and her husband, Brad Shaw, jobs that fit the both of them, so they both returned to Greenville. She is a bicyclist, her and her daughter have ridden across the state of Michigan in summers past, and avid reader, which suits her job perfectly.
Her current position is Head of Public Services and Librarian. Basically it means that she takes care of how the library interacts and serves the people who use it. She works on making that relationship as smooth as possible, and to stay in contact with students on campus, teaches COR 101 and other courses. In the COR101 classes, she focuses on Middle Eastern studies, wanting students to be able to see the world from a different perspective. She also constantly works at keeping her mind open to new possibilities and says that she often learns from students as she is teaching them.
Before her daughter was born, Prof. Kurtz-Shaw and Dr. Shaw would take students on mission trips and invite them to their house, but now that they have another schedule to work around, the only opportunity that she has taken recently is to travel to Israel with an Interterm group. On this trip, which she had taken as a student as well, she received the chance to explore Israel and learn about the history and geography of the country. One of the struggles that she had on the trip was the fact that, as a woman, she wasn’t able to go places alone. But she enjoyed going along with the groups of students who would explore the land when they had free time.
So how have students impacted her during her time? She sees the Lord working in their lives. She commented that when she sees how students transform, even during the same year, in the transition from the first semester to the second semester, it gets her to recognize that people can change. The transformation that she sees in students allows her to look at her own life and see that God is constantly working everywhere. The students also bless her with the ability to see things in a new way. She brought up the point that, after doing things a certain way for a long time, it becomes easy to think that it’s the only way of doing something. Working with students allows her to see what she’s doing in a fresh way. Something that she is very thankful for is the gift of laughter that her students give her. She greatly values laughter and loves it when students make her laugh.