Student Spotlight: Brandon Way, interdisciplinary studies
Brandon Way, from Auburn, is an interdisciplinary studies student who is pairing psychology and human development and family studies (HDFS) to better serve people around the world.
Would you please tell us about yourself?
I’m from Auburn and have been here for the last 16 years. Growing up an Auburn fan and next to the university did not make it difficult to choose to attend college here. When I switched my major to interdisciplinary studies, I chose psychology because it was something I had always been interested in. Personality and how the brain works are topics that fascinate me. I also chose human development and family studies (HDFS) to aid in my endeavors in ministry after college.
What has your experience as a student at Auburn been like?
My college experience has been split into two halves (before and after I took some time off). My first half I was involved with AU Singers. I did show choir in high school and had friends who were in AU Singers and wanted to be a part of it at Auburn. I loved the three years I was involved with them and the community I found there. I have also been involved with a campus ministry, Auburn Christian Fellowship. Most of my best friends have come from ACF. The sense of belonging and authenticity I found there is unlike anything else I’ve experienced. I also spent a lot of time in college painting up for gymnastics meets as part of the group Gymnasty. It was one of the most fun, insane, and weird things I’ve done, and it was a great atmosphere to be a part of.
What has been your favorite class so far (or favorite professor?) And why?
I think the reason I chose psychology was because of my Intro to Psych class with Dr. Buskist. He made the field so interesting and was a highly engaging teacher. Since I've become an IDSC student, my favorite class has been Behavioral Neuroscience with Ryan Bird. I love anatomy, and getting to get down to the molecular level of how emotions and attitudes affect our brains is fascinating to me. Bird is also both passionate and vastly knowledgeable about the subject. It was one of the few classes in which I wasn’t looking at my watch to see when it would be over.
What do you want to do when you graduate from Auburn?
When I graduate, I am going to work in Ireland with an organization called Globalscope. They plant campus ministries around the world to bring the type of community I found at ACF to college students everywhere. I am planting the campus ministry in Ireland with five other people. We will be there for an initial commitment of five years, but maybe more!
Do you think your education and experiences in interdisciplinary studies have prepared you for success?
I think my experiences with IDSC have taught me perspective more than anything. The classes I’ve taken in psychology and HDFS have all contributed in some way to a broadening of my perspective to the lives people live outside of my own personal understanding. As I move forward, I hope to continue to learn from new perspectives as I navigate life in Ireland.
Is there any advice you’d like to share with new students?
Taking time to learn about time management will save you unnecessary stress, disappointment, and frustration. You’ll also find you have more time to do the things you love when you learn to manage the time you have each day. Also, school isn’t everything. College is about more than grades. If that’s all you concern yourself with during your time at Auburn, then you will have severely missed the point.
What is your favorite thing about IDSC?
My favorite thing about IDSC has been the freedom to take the classes I’m interested in rather than a course schedule that I have to follow by the letter. I was able to take classes that pertained to my career goals, and avoid having to take ones that didn’t serve that purpose.