Major Monday – Music with a minor in Theological Studies

Today’s Major Monday introduces you to Mr. Koopman.  He is a member of the theology department, teaches Music Seminar and A Capella, and is our campus minister.

1. What was your college major and where did you go to college?

I received a BA in Music (with an emphasis in vocal performance) and minored in Theological Studies from Hanover College in Madison, IN. I then went on to study for my MA in Theology at Ave Maria University in Ave Maria, FL. Finally, I just finished my Med in Secondary Education at Providence College in Providence, RI.

Harkins Hall - Providence College

Harkins Hall – Providence College

2. Was this your original major?  If not, what was your original major and why did you switch?                              

Music was my original major. My dad sat me down the summer before my senior year of high school and asked me what I would study if money was not the number one concern. Without hesitation, I said music performance. Knowing that I wanted to major in music played a large (but not decisive) role in my college decision. At the end of my undergraduate studies, however, I found myself at a crossroad, either pursuing music or pursuing theology, and I ultimately chose theology.

3. What made you choose your major?

I chose music because I loved music, especially singing! I wanted to know more about it: how to perform it well, what it was composed of, the historical aspects, and so on. I still love music, but I realized toward the end of college that, while I loved music, I did not want to dedicate my life to performing music. Through my studies, I had discovered an intense desire to study theology and to share it with others (to teach, I suppose you would say), which is why I sought the advanced degrees.

4. What were your favorite college classes?

I always enjoyed my music performance classes most, from our Chamber Singers to my weekly vocal lessons. As I moved along in my college career, I also discovered a passion I had not known before in my theology classes. In fact, to be quite frank, I would often neglect my music work (not the performance aspect, but the real academic work, such as my Music History courses), in order to read more materials for my theology classes. Even today, while I enjoy performing music, I enjoy studying theology.

5. What advise do you have for students who are looking to study your major?
Here is the advice I would give a student looking to study anything: Study what you love so you can do what you love! For those looking to study music specifically (or any of the performing arts), ultimately you have to decide what is worth more to you: finding a “comfortable” job or pursuing your life’s passion. What do I mean by that? No one can promise you that a life in the performing arts will be easy. It’s not that you can’t make a lot of money in the performing arts, but, at the end of the day, if you’re never “discovered,” you have to be satisfied with performing for people and to be satisfied with what you have as a result of that, both materially and non-materially. If you believe that you have been created to perform, why would you pursue anything less? The reason I chose not to pursue vocal music performance was closely related to that very question. While I loved to perform (and still love to perform when I have the opportunity), I discerned that performing was not what I had been created and called to do (though teaching sometimes feels like performing).
Thank you, Mr. Koopman for sharing your college journey with us!!!

Major Monday – Biology, Pre-Med track

Major Monday is back!  In our welcome back blog post, we hinted that we had a new idea for our regular feature.  This year we are looking to the LC faculty and staff and asking them some questions about their college majors.  Majors may be repeated, but you’ll see that every experience is different.  We hope you’ll get to know our staff members a bit better while learning about different disciplines.   If you have a question that you’d like us to ask in the future, please let us know in the comments section!

In our first Major Monday of the year, we asked Ms. Zaydon from the science department some questions about her college experience.

Boston College with Boston skyline1)  What was your college major and where did you go to college? I attended Boston College, and majored in biology (B.S) on the pre-medical track.

2)  Was this your original major?  If not, what was your original major and why did you switch? Biology was my declared major the whole time, from when I first submitted my application in high school to when I graduated college. I really dreaded taking Organic Chemistry, so there were times I strongly considered switching to an economics major, but in the end I never changed my major.

3)  What made you choose your major? I have loved science ever since I was in elementary school, and growing up I would visit my dad’s practice a lot. I got to witness surgical procedures and consultations when I was older, and, and nerdy as it was, I would often flip through his copy of Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine. I also grew up with a lot of devastating illnesses striking close to home, so I felt as though education was the best way to lead to understanding and healing.

4)  What were your favorite college classes? My all-time favorite class as an undergraduate actually had nothing to do with my major – it was Philosophy with Dr. Miles. My other favorite courses (a very close second and third) were Cell Biology of the Nervous System, with Dr. Williams, and Developmental Biology with Dr. Taghian.


5)  What advice do you have for students who are looking to study your major? For students looking to pursue the pre-medical track, I advise you to think very strongly about what you want the end product of your college experience to be. This is obviously very difficult to do as a senior in high school or a freshman in college, but you should get your gen. eds. (basic requirements of all students at the university) finished before declaring yourself as pre-med. At BC, you don’t even have to declare a major until the end of sophomore year! That’s plenty of time to pursue coursework in other subjects to get a feel for what you truly enjoy. Trust me, the workload of being pre-med is NOT worth the stress if you’re unsure of your goals, especially when you’re taking six or seven classes each semester while your friends are only taking four or five. That being said, if you know what you’ve signed yourself up for and are willing to do the work, being a pre-med student is incredibly rewarding. Although I didn’t end up applying to medical school (couldn’t really get behind the idea of another 8 years before a real paycheck), I am so grateful that I completed the pre-medical program under the guidance of some amazing professors.


Thank you, Ms. Zaydon, for being our first contributor!

50 Colleges, 50 States – Iowa

When we first started our running feature  “50 Colleges, 50 States,” I mentioned that part of our goal was to expose you to schools that you may not have heard of in places you may have never considered.  In our efforts to accomplish that goal, we counselors have learned SO much!  When I’m looking for a college to profile, I look up every college in a particular state and go visit websites.  I’m looking for things that make a school unique.  For this post on an Iowa college, I read up on the 60 schools in the state and was able to narrow it down to one, although it wasn’t easy!  My advice – Crusaders, don’t overlook Iowa!  There are so many amazing schools.  For the purposes of this post, we’ll be taking a closer look at Cornell College.

College in the Spotlight:  Cornell College

King-Memorial-Chapel (King Memorial Chapel, Cornell College)

Location:  Mount Vernon, Iowa (20 miles from Cedar Rapids – about a 4.5 hour plane ride from Boston)

Enrollment:  1,200 undergrads

Fast Facts

– There must be plenty of (understandable) mix-ups, because Cornell College comes out and reminds us on their website that they are not in Ithaca (the location of Cornell University).  The two schools are somewhat related – their namesakes were distant cousins.

– Cornell has a unique academic schedule called “One Course at a Time.”  Instead of semesters, students follow blocks.  During a block, you take one class for 18 days.  Class meets for about four hours each day, and everyone is done by 3pm, which leaves time for co-curricular activities.  There are 8 blocks during the academic year, so you take the same amount of classes as students at other colleges, but you get to focus completely on one class at a time.  Some classes take place entirely off campus – a recent Museum Studies Seminar was conducted in Chicago, and one Macroeconomics Seminar took a block-long tour of China.  At the conclusion of each block, students have a four day break before the next class begins.

– It doesn’t seem possible to be bored at Cornell College.  The Student Life Office maintains a great blog detailing all the fun and interesting things going on around campus.  One recent fun thing – Cornell did their own version of Cash Cab! Staff members picked up students dressed in purple and white (Cornell colors) in a college golf cart and offered them a ride to class.  Students were quizzed on Cornell trivia throughout the ride.  Get an answer wrong and you’d be kicked out, left to walk to class.  As long as you kept getting questions right, you’d be driven to your destination…and given a free pen (no cash!).

– We all know that college is expensive.  One of the things worth looking at when considering a college is their four-year graduation rate.  An amazing 93% of Cornell students finish their degrees in four years or less.

Want to learn more?  Visit