This I Believe: Honoring a professor for shaping a life

I believe in Dr. Mary Hembrow Snyder.

With so many pundits, politicos and everyday people out there shouting information at us about what to believe and all the varying religious and non-religious faiths, it is sometimes hard to find our way in such a fast-paced world.

For me, going to Mercyhurst was about enriching my own personal knowledge and to find the answers to questions I had. With the help of both the English department and the Religious Studies department and their wonderful faculty, I was given more questions than answers. My search for meaning and an answer to God with the Religious Studies department challenged me to think outside of my own world view and to think on a much larger scale.

The one class that made me struggle with the concept of the world view would have to have been Dr. Mary Hembrow Snyder’s Liberation Religion and Theology class, where she posed a simple, but for me a life-altering, question when confronted with reality: “Qui Bono?” This simple phrase that means “To Whose Benefit” would shatter many preconceptions that I had and would force me to question the things around me more closely.

This was probably the most influential moment of my life that from that point on would shape who I would become.

There are hidden motivations for people, governments and corporations, and with asking this phrase I can cut through the propaganda to determine if what they are saying is legitimate. That also spurred my belief in seeking out knowledge and doing the right thing. We can’t merely do the right thing because we believe that there is a God watching us. We can’t do the right thing for any goal other than because it is the right thing to do. Humanity is in this together and we need to be able to help out those that are less fortunate by recognizing the dignity and respect they deserve.

With the guidance that Dr. Hembrow Snyder, along with the rest of the Mercyhurst faculty, I have realized that knowledge is something that can never be taken away and that we should do the right thing for the sake of doing the right thing.

Dave Suscheck graduated from Mercyhurst in 2007. He double majored in English Literature and Religious Studies, and is currently a graduate student at Gannon University studying English. Dave claims that his favorite aspect of Mercyhurst was the breadth and depth of the faculty, whom he believe gave him a learning experience that he would not have been able to receive anywhere else.