Emma Neishloss, '09
Emma Neishloss, a 2009 graduate who majored in Christian Education, came to Muskingum from Canonsburg, Pennsylvania. Neishloss chose Muskingum in part because of its ties to the Presbyterian Church. She adds, “Visiting campus sealed the deal for me. There was just something that felt ‘right’ when I was on campus for the first time.”
Immediately following graduation, Neishloss moved to Princeton, New Jersey to study at Princeton Theological Seminary. She graduated in 2012 with her Master of Divinity, then began working as the Director of Youth Ministry at Level Green Presbyterian Church, northeast of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She is responsible for all of the programming for youth in sixth through twelfth grades.
Of her classroom experiences at Muskingum, Neishloss says, “Muskingum absolutely taught me to think for myself. I know that I have to be able to make choices and decisions and form opinions for myself rather than let other people influence me. I had professors push me to think harder and open my mouth and speak. It was really empowering for me to learn that my own thoughts mattered.”
The close-knit community at Muskingum also influenced Neishloss. She says, “No matter where I went, I had people there for me – professors, students, administrators – people that would fight for me and wanted me to do well. I knew that I could walk into the chapel or the history suite or the BOC and find a friend. That kind of environment made me want to learn and to become the best person I could be.”
Neishloss is able to offer sound advice to high school students not just because of her own higher education experiences, but because of her current work with young people. She says, “I would encourage graduating seniors to remember that the world is a wide and bright place. Take some time to explore your options and see what is out there, and never feel bad about not knowing what you want to do right away. The best advice I ever got about planning what is next is ‘to do something life-giving.’ You find something that gives you life, makes everything worthwhile, and it won’t matter how tough it is or how tired you are or what other people think of it, because you are doing something life-giving.”