Jon Host ’15 ~ Graduate Student, MLA Program
As a busy healthcare professional, husband, and father to three sons, it took strong family support and precisely the right program for Jon Host to add “graduate student” to his list of responsibilities.
Host, director of decision support for Providence Hospital in Mobile, Ala., had been away from the education environment for 17 years, but found Spring Hill College’s Master of Liberal Arts (MLA) degree track to be the perfect fit for his return to higher education.
“Whether on-campus, online, or hybrid, Spring Hill College’s courses and curricula have been designed to work with and for the non-traditional student,” says Host. “My classes have been large enough to ensure intellectual stimulation from multiple perspectives, and small enough to guarantee plenty of attention from my instructors.”
From his first day as a graduate student at Spring Hill College, Host found the campus environment to be one of respect, engagement, and inclusion. He’s particularly enjoyed the professors who actively challenge him to think beyond the easy, obvious, and comfortable answers.
Director of Spring Hill’s liberal arts program, Dr. Alexander Landi, speaks highly of Host’s open and active participation in his Modernity class.
“Jon has a strong interest in the world of ideas. He has a marvelous sense of humor and is a strong contributor to classes, both in face-to-face classes and in online discussions,” says Dr. Landi. “He is completing the graduate certificate in leadership and ethics as part of his degree program, which should enhance what he brings to his work both now and in future positions.”
Dr. Matthew Baugh, S.J., assistant professor of political science and law praises Host as a student indicative of the Spring Hill College mission: Forming leaders engaged in learning, faith, justice, and service for life.
“Jon is naturally very bright, but what makes him such a wonderful student is his humility and openness. He befriends others and wants to be taught by them,” says Dr. Baugh. “In our medieval course, this was especially true of St. Hildegard von Bingen, an author that many students find challenging, but that Jon quickly came to love, and within that love, learned a great deal from.”
Host’s wife also helped pave the way for a smooth return to school. Lydia Host, an award-winning painter and instructor at Bishop State Community College in Mobile, Ala., received her MLA and a graduate certificate in studio art from Spring Hill College in 2010.
“I am truly fortunate to have a wife who is as excited about my education as I am, and who has sacrificed much for my benefit,” says Host. “She had a great experience at SHC, and her success inspired me to return to college for my degree.”
Host shares another family connection to Spring Hill College. His brother, Tim, also earned his bachelor’s degree from SHC in the ’80s and went on to work in Spring Hill’s admissions office as a recruiter for several years.
On track to graduate from SHC in the spring of 2015, this summer, Host is currently enrolled in the Transatlantic World of Benjamin Franklin with Dr. David Head, after finishing a fine arts course in ceramics with Dr. Peter Favier.
“Overall, it’s been a great experience, well worth the time and effort,” says Host. “I’ve grown personally and professionally, and most importantly, have found universally-applicable quiet confidence that comes from being challenged in a supportive environment, and enormous value in being able to find a true voice in the context of diverse perspectives.”