Uncovering Vocation is a partnership between Campus Ministry and the Christensen Center for Vocation at Augsburg University. Every 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month, a member of the Augsburg community is invited to share a component of their vocation story. It has become a way of building community, becoming reacquainted with one another, and celebrating the diversity of people and vocations that make Augsburg University the beautiful place it is.
On September 12, 2023 Dr. Jennifer Bankers-Fulbright from Augsburg’s biology department shared her story, “Vocation Favors the Prepared Mind (or ‘How I Got to Augsburg’)”. Enjoy a video of her talk and the transcript below.
Vocation Favors the Prepared Mind (or “How I Got to Augsburg”)
by Dr. Jennifer Bankers-Fulbright, Biology
If you ask any scientist how they became a scientist or any university professor how they became a university professor, the vast majority will say they don’t remember ever wanting to do anything else. That is not my origin story. When people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up when I was little, I gave them a whole list: singer, dancer, actress, mother, (and when my mom told me I could check boy careers too) fireman, doctor, police man – I checked all the boxes ☺ Except scientist. Or teacher.
And this continued, though not with much thought, throughout my childhood until …at the end of 9th grade, I knew exactly what my ultimate goal was – my vocation. It was time to register for HS classes, and my future was spelled out in all the electives that were now available to me, a high schooler!! Finally!! The next 3 years were going to be amazing, because I was going to register for every elective that would prepare me for my chosen career: THEATER!
I giddily gave my 10th grade registration form to my parents to sign, and family lore recreates this moment like this:
Me: “Here’s what I’m taking in high school next year! Isn’t it great?!”