Shannon Tacheny '18

Theology and Women's Studies, College for Adults

The fact that I went to a school that empowers women to achieve greatness makes me a better woman, wife, mother, daughter, and sister.

Interview by Amy Mullowney '19

Why St. Kate’s?

Shannon was first drawn to the flexibility in the College for Adults program. As a mother of three working full-time, the flexibility of hybrid and online classes, as well as compassionate professors, was important. For Shannon, the woman-centered mission of St. Kate’s provided a feeling of safety. Additionally, she loved the small class sizes.

“St. Kate’s gives every student the opportunity to not only share ideas and get to know their classmates, but to form good relationships with professors.”

Deciding on an Area of Study

For Shannon, the choice to major in Theology was more personal than professional. She has always been fascinated by religion and seemed to have never-ending questions about the topic. At St. Kate’s, Shannon feels like she has grown and made friends with people she might have previously thought she had nothing in common with.

“I have obtained a deeper respect for women from other countries and backgrounds different than my own. The fact that I went to a school that empowers women to achieve greatness in all aspects of their life, makes me a better woman, wife, mother, daughter, and sister.”

Building Experience

“The professors, the work, the books… I loved the entire program. The professors truly want you to succeed. My professors were always ready, able and willing to answer my questions, give me a guided hand, or send me in the right direction when I had no clue to what I should be looking for.”

One of Shannon’s courses required students to take part in a religious experience unfamiliar to their own. Accompanied by her husband and daughter, Shannon visited a Buddhist Temple and tried meditating for the first time. She describes it as an unforgettable experience, and as one she may have never experienced had she not taken the class.

Shannon was also a Summer Scholar, participating in a program that facilitates collaborative undergraduate research between faculty and students. Shannon worked with theology professor Dr. Elaine James on “Women and Biblical Law,” and traveled to Memphis, Tennessee in April of 2017 to present her work at the National Council on Undergraduate Research.

Today

Shannon decided to pursue a career in the nonprofit sector, where she started working just after graduation. “Working in the nonprofit sector, theology can come in handy when welcoming people who are going through a rough time and need something to believe in or become a part of, and quite possibly change their life.” Although theology is not the main focus of her work, Shannon still uses it in her day-to-day life and is participating in a Bible study which fosters an intellectual space encouraging new thoughts and ideas.

Advice for Students

“If anyone is considering Theology then St. Kate's is the right school. Best school, best programs, best professors ever!”

Shannon also recommends that all students pursue the opportunity to become a Summer Scholar. “I don’t know any other school where the professors are as engaged with their students. The professors care about more than just papers and presentations and getting your work in on time. They truly care about you, your life and how they can help you succeed.”