Honor’s College Freeman Research Journal


Wuxia Zhang

Date of Award

Spring 5-2021

Document Type




First Advisor

Ayodotun Sodipe


I know my choice of thesis question seems strange for a biology major. Like many of my Honor College brothers and sisters, I could have chosen to stay within the lines of my degree focus. I am admittingly noting that my thesis borders dangerously on a philosophical or moralistic debate. Refreshingly, I hope to defend neither nor endorse a particular sway of opinion. I am simply using this vehicle as a measuring device that challenges and explores an unavoidable dilemma faced by any scientific professional of faith, presumably. I pose this question in terms of Christianity simply because it is relative to my own beliefs. Still, I would assume the same question could be applied to any religion-related to a believing professional regardless of their belief structure, presumably. I hope it stirs an accounting in all that read it regardless of our differences of beliefs or lack thereof. As you will see later, I believe it is our “why” that will be most challenged, and in this area, there are significantly few physical benefits that may be adequate to sustain us in this path, in light of the pandemic effects on our fields. Since we have addressed the elephant in the room, I will continue. I am sure by now you all realize I don’t always follow the crowd. This subject is close to my heart because my ambition is to become an Optometrist and use my skill and influence to help my community and the world. As a strong female and dedicated student, I hope to show you that I can deliver a professional and articulate thesis on this subject in a respectful way. iii The world has changed. It is safe to conclude that our daily lives and status quo changes have been altered irrevocably in many ways. I am sure on this point we can all agree. Our children attend school remotely. We now have to rethink how we meet and socialize. Rethink how we celebrate birthdays and anniversaries. Even our bucket list of travel has been altered or reorganized and, for some, eliminated. Our older parents and younger children need extra protection from the world outside our doors. Many of us have lost someone close or been touched by a villain that we can neither see nor feel, but we all must live with its presence and be aware and purposeful in our avoidance of it. In this time of uncertainty, many aspiring health professionals face the reality of entering fields or career paths that would place us on the vanguard of the battle with this and future pandemics. As someone aspiring to be a medical professional, possibly for the first time in history, we are faced with evident and prevalent negative cons to pursuing such a field. Gone are the days of telling friends and family that you will provide medical professionals and receive enthusiastic cheers. Now we face raised eyebrows and a mix of pity and real fear for our safety and their safety. If we were doing this for the money or because our parents predestined a career in medicine, then this path’s value may fade in its luster. We are leaving you to consider your ‘why'. We see the nurses exhausted and discouraged on the news daily. Now more than ever, you must have a calling, a passion, to do this work. The coronavirus pandemic has changed the dynamics of the healthcare system in countless ways. At times like these, many of us have relied on something more profound than the degrees and diplomas we hang on our walls. For some, it comes down to protecting those they love. For others, it is the pursuit of regaining a new normal. For some, it is a faith of some type that inspires them to go on and continue to rise when the world is falling apart. iv My thesis expounds that, within the context of proper application and the regulating core desire to provide beneficial medical services to all people, Christian faith and science are not in conflict and are complementary traits. My goal in this thesis is to conduct a respectful investigation of these two core elements and the effectiveness of their existence as reflected in the performance and professionalism of noted people and organizations who confidently affirm their faith as part of their profession. Using this methodology, I have supported my conclusions.



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