Some students might say the global pandemic put an abrupt halt to their plans, but for transfer student Carson Sloan, he utilized that time to reflect and reassess what mattered most. His faith.
“When I graduated from high school, renewing or growing my faith wasn’t my first priority,” he said. Instead Sloan headed south to attend college in San Diego. There he was disenchanted by the secular and jarring culture. A friend introduced him to the Newman Center where he encountered a very devout and faithful community that led him to attend regularly, eventually converting to Catholicism. In March of 2020, the pandemic sent him back to Roseville to finish his semester online. “I definitely was not happy with online school,” the extrovert said. As a result, heading back to San Diego was no longer an option.
Jessup soon became the logical choice to continue pursuing his education in an environment that supported his faith journey. It also made sense because of the robust theatre program. Sloan is no stranger to the stage with a love for performing that began as young as third grade when he portrayed the sun in a play about the solar system. The experience led him to community theatre programs where he spent much of his time learning to act, sing, dance and find his niche among his peers. “For me, I liked how close-knit the theatre community was and that it was easy to make friends, make people laugh and express myself,” he said. “Over the years, I’ve learned what I love most about theatre is that it’s a great medium to tell powerful stories.”
His audition at Jessup earned him a theatre scholarship (in addition to the academic and transfer scholarships he received) and later a lead role as the Cowardly Lion in Jessup Theatre’s fall production of “The Wizard of Oz.”
“The theatre community here pushes me,” Sloan said. “I’m required to think outside the box and adapt on the spot. Theatre Chair, Jennifer Jackson is great at helping students understand the story their show tells and how each of their characters contributes to the larger narrative.”
Planning to pursue the field of nutrition, Sloan is a biology major who understands the impact of being known both in and out of the classroom. “My experience at a state school felt impersonal. Jessup is much more personal,” he said. “The smaller class sizes encourage more meaningful discussions and my professors take a genuine interest in who I am. The first day of class I found myself letting my guard down as soon as my instructor started the class off with prayer. I felt welcomed spiritually.”