Pens have been put down, and exams are being marked. So what exactly does the EU over the summer break?
If you have ever found yourself asking that question, the answer is that quite a lot happens. There are faculty based days away and summer missions to go on. There are resources to produce for the year ahead. And one of the most sustained things that happen not just over summer, but all year round, is the EU’s ministry to postgraduate students and university staff (EPS). A fledgling ministry, the EU’s staff and postgrad community has had around 50 people in small groups this year, and another 40 people participating regularly.
Dr Nick Proschogo joined EPS six years ago when he started working at the university. He looks after $2 million worth of equipment in the Science Faculty, allowing 150 researchers to measure the heaviness of molecules. This can place Nick at the centre of high pressure situations when researchers struggle to get the results they’re searching for. But that doesn’t stop Nick from conducting his work in a way that is a little different in academia:
“I care about where people are coming from. I’m interested to ensure that research students are able to survive in a complex university. I try to take time to listen to people’s struggles – scientific and otherwise – rather than just ploughing ahead and getting the results.”
Nick’s efforts in this area were recently recognised with a Vice-Chancellor’s Award for his outstanding contribution to research excellence. But whilst the reward is a nice moment of appreciation, that’s not what motivates Nick’s work:
“The value is in working alongside researchers across different fields of the university and helping them understand more about the world God has made and the importance of doing this in an accurate fashion.”
For Nick this motivation leads him to being involved in the EU’s staff and postgrad community. For a few years now Nick has given up one of his lunch hours each week to lead a Bible study, and has taken part in EU activities like senior small group leaders training and Annual Conference. While this comes at a cost to his time, Nick gets involved for two reasons:
“I want to support research students and undergrads in their faith and show that belonging to Christ isn’t something you finish when you complete your undergrad studies. And I want to encourage staff and students to be faithful in following Jesus – particularly in an environment that is becoming increasingly baffled by and hostile to the gospel.”
Classes may have finished, and you don’t have to queue forever to buy a coffee. But ministry on campus continues. And God’s word continues to spread and grow among postgraduates and staff as their hearts and minds are formed more and more by the gospel.Back to News