Carmen Moyer graduated from Fredericksburg Christian School in 2008, and went on to Bridgewater College as a Health and Exercise Science major, with a minor in Spanish. She finished her Bachelor of Arts degree in 2011. Following her undergraduate work, she completed a Master of Science in exercise and sports science at East Carolina University in 2014.
For Carmen, FCS played a critical role in preparing her for her college experience and propelled her into the career she loves today, working as a professor at Bridgewater College. As she reflects on the difference that FCS made in her readiness for college and her ability to think critically, she relates,
“Academically, I was super prepared, so much more than a lot of other students that I knew. While my friends struggled with the transition to college, I felt right on track.”
The groundwork for higher education that FCS provided allowed Carmen to excel and achieve real mastery in her field early on in her career, while other students struggled with the demands of college academic life.
Carmen also shares about the challenges of living a spiritually healthy life in the college scene. “Spiritually, FCS prepared me to know what to expect in college. It was a challenge in college, much greater than what I experienced in high school.” She feels that the teachers provided insight into the kind of pressures she would face in college, and the grounding that she received has allowed her to really focus on being the kind of professor who is now a role model and advisor for students.
Teachers helped prepare and challenge me.
Across the board, Carmen appreciates the level of education and leading example that her FCS teachers provided. A number of teachers stand out in her memory. “The English instruction that Dr. Barham provided had a big impact. She really pushed us to question, to understand, and to work hard. I learned from her that things in life were not going to come easy. This has created a lasting impact on me, and helped prepare me for the rigors of my academic career.” Mr. Schaefer taught Bible and coached basketball. He helped her to get beyond the surface of issues and find the heart. Carmen also appreciated Mrs. Turner, who not only taught chemistry but was also her homeroom teacher. She puts it this way, “Teachers were loving and encouraging, and placed the welfare of students first. They were there for the students.”
Carmen appreciated the atmosphere of the school, which was always positive, and of course, Mrs. Puhera, through her work in the front office, who stood out for all the ways she encouraged students.
Missions trip left a mark on my life.
“My first real missions experience as a young adult happened at FCS. I went with a team to Mississippi, led by Mrs. Puhera and Mr. Morgan. We went to help out after Hurricane Katrina. The opportunity to serve on a team, and to show practical compassion has stayed with me and has even influenced my thoughts about my future work.”
“FCS changed how I saw the world. I was more prepared to think critically and to understand the world”
My FCS experience has opened important doors.
Carmen now works as a professor at Bridgewater College, located in Bridgewater, VA. She teaches courses in health and human sciences, as well as exercise physiology, anatomy, and physiology. In the future, she is considering how she might participate in mission work, a legacy she received from her parents and from FCS. Those plans aren’t fully formed, and Carmen is enjoying the opportunity to positively influence students and collaborate with other faculty at Bridgewater.
When asked about the secular pressures on academics in the college setting, Carmen shares her determination in a way that should encourage both teachers and students alike.
“Never shrink back from how others may view you; stand for Christ and be who you are in him. I have found Christians where I work, and my work is now my mission field.”
Advice to parents from one alumni.
Carmen encourages parents to, “Send your kids. The quality of education that you receive at FCS is not something that you can get in the public schools. They are much more academically prepared for school and their future career. The combination of building both Christian character and academic excellence really makes a difference.”
Carmen shares from her personal experience that FCS can “help your students learn to look at the world through the eyes of Christ, rather than through selfish eyes. The expense of paying for private education is far outweighed by the benefits.”
Alumni have an important opportunity to support the mission.
Even at this early stage in her career, Carmen believes that it is important to promote the school with friends and family. She regrets that she hasn’t been able to attend homecoming, but has been committed to giving financially because she sees the FCS mission as vital.
“FCS put so much into my life; I want to support something like this. I know what the money will go for and how it will be used. It impacted my life, and I want to be a part of that in the lives of other students.”
If students could hear this Alumni’s heart.
Carmen would love to encourage students at FCS to study hard and work hard, but even more importantly to be confident in their relationship with Christ. In her words, “Everything that we do should bring glory to God. Whether in the field or in the classroom, you should have the mindset of bringing God glory.” She believes that this is more important than anything else you might do in life.