Following Her Heart
After graduation, Rebecca (Preusser) Tipton'08 got to fulfill a lifelong dream: traveling to Africa.
She served with Global Service Corps, a non-profit public health organization in which she was able to conduct research on women who are HIV positive in Tanzania (East Africa).
“We studied HIV/AIDS in a few classes during my educational experience at Malone and I became fascinated with the disease and all it entailed,” says Rebecca. “I wanted to help people and be on mission for my Creator Who gave me such ambition and passion for such an injustice.”
She says the education teams conducted weeklong trainings on prevention, contraction methods, and life after being diagnosis. At the end of the week, the Global Service Corps team brought in mobile testing equipment to test those who wanted it.
“It was a very humbling and emotional experience to be in the room when a young kid was told he was HIV positive,” says Rebecca. “I walked away from with scars still on my heart."
The most difficult lesson to grasp, she says, is the injustice in it all.
"Here are people who are diagnosed with a disease and can’t be treated properly because of insufficient resources," she says. "if they were in the United States, they would be treated right away, even if they were poor. We, as Christians, have a mindset that Christ came to save the least, the last, and the lost – why are we not doing more as human beings to protect and serve each other? Bono (lead singer for U2) once said, ‘Where you live should no longer determine whether you live.’ That phrase has stuck with me from the moment I read those words and has become my mission to the lost parts of the earth.”
Rebecca longs to return to Africa someday. In the meantime, she’s getting practical experience in the United States, where she is employed by Wellness Coaches USA. She works one-on-one with corporate employees on nutrition, exercise, smoking cessation, and weight management.
“Sometimes people just need to see the impact their current decisions will have over the future course of their lives,” says the former Malone basketball player. “I’ve been an athlete since I learned how to run – exercise and an active lifestyle has always come naturally to me. My passion for health came once I started studying it at Malone. Dr. Pam and Dr. Ken (Hoalt] presented the information in a fresh, exciting, and important way. As I became empowered by the education of health, I became more inspired to live it out. It is a daily decision I have to make, but if I am coaching others on how to live a healthy lifestyle, I better be doing it myself.”
Rebecca says her years at Malone University were a time of significant spiritual growth for her.
“I vastly matured as a woman and as a daughter of Christ!” She says. “Linda Leon was one important mentor for me at school – she challenged me in my faith and gave me the support I needed to grow. Dr. Pam & Dr. Ken challenged me academically and personally…they made education more than learning - they made it real and challenged us to use our degree and knowledge to go out and affect people. Dr. Pam became one of the most influential people ever to step into my life. She displayed grace, confidence, and elegance as a professional woman. More importantly, she dared me to dream and encouraged me to reach the world that is in desperate need of education, grace, redemption, mercy, and people…to make a difference with the abilities and gifts we’ve been given. Christ used Malone University as the vessel to strengthen my walk with Him. I will eternally be grateful for the experiences I had and the people I met along the way.”