GMercyU Honors Convocation GMercyU Student Christina Harris with Family

Meet Christina Harris

Human Services, 2016

Current Position: School Counselor in Pennsylvania

Story Last Updated: June 2016
Current Position Updated: March 2019

I never expected coming here to change me so much. I left high school thinking I knew myself, knew where I was going, and what I wanted to do. A semester later, all of that had changed.

When I started at Gwynedd Mercy University, I had a heart for health care and wanted to ensure that individuals had their physical needs met. I quickly learned though, that I was more concerned about caring for people’s emotional needs. It is really important to me that people are looked at as holistic individuals and are supported by someone who cares about them.

I recently graduated with a bachelor’s degree in human services and plan on pursuing my master’s degree in counseling next year. I love the human services field. I would encourage anyone who has a heart for serving others and their community to pursue this work. It is a broad field that allows you to do a lot with your degree. What I like about human services is that it combines academic coursework with service, and teaches students how to directly work with others in need. No matter where your passion lies, you can use human services to serve individuals who have been challenged by injustice or are in need of support. The human services program at GMercyU beautifully mirrors the University’s mission that embodies the mercy tradition of caring for others.

I had a wonderful experience in my classes that allowed me to engage in self-evaluation and reflection. I learned a lot about myself that has benefitted me in my personal and professional life.

During my academic program, I completed an internship in health care at Lehigh Valley Health Network in Allentown, Pa. This internship helped me to realize that we don’t always have to have our plan figured out right away. This is college: the opportunity to explore and try new things without a plan in place, and with nurturing support from others who will encourage you when you feel defeated and help you find direction when you are lost.

I completed my second internship at Elm Terrace Gardens, a Continuing Care Retirement Community in Lansdale, Pa, where I was privileged to serve as a chaplain and counseling intern. I have a heart for working with older adults and am grateful for my internship experience. I have been fortunate because many of my experiences at GMercyU have allowed me the opportunity to work with individuals across the life span. 

In addition to my internships, I also had the opportunity to serve as a Griffin Ambassador and participate in many service projects during my time at GMercyU. As a Griffin Ambassador, I gave campus tours to prospective students and their families. It was a great opportunity to meet new people and welcome them to our GMercyU community. I often encouraged students to make sure the school felt comfortable, and that they could see themselves on the campus. Whenever asked about my experience at GMercyU, I always shared that we have a lot of people who care. Our staff, faculty, and students want you to succeed and bring your best all the time. The sincerity and compassion of the campus community is what makes GMercyU an enriching learning environment that creates caring, competent, and cognizant professionals, and strong leaders with morals.

Being a part of the GMercyU community helped me to understand what being a Distinctive Mercy Graduate means.  I think GMercyU prepares graduates to always carry their values, be moral and practice ethically, and most important, to be socially responsible people.

*Gwynedd Mercy University's Human Services program is no longer enrolling new students. You can learn more about similar programs on the School of Arts & Sciences page.