Joining BJU’s art faculty this semester, Freda Sue is one of the newest faculty members on campus.
Sue was born in Taipei, Taiwan, but eventually moved to the U.S. to attend college. At the time she was not a Christian, and she didn’t know much English. Although her original plan was to attend the University of South Carolina for a degree in psychology, that plan changed soon upon arrival in America.
Sue’s uncle, who lived in Greenville when she came to the U.S. in 2006, told her BJU had a summer art camp, and said it would be a good opportunity for her to learn English.
Originally, Sue hesitated because although she liked to draw, she had little experience with art in the Taiwanese school system. But the camp changed her life. While there Sue made two major decisions. The first, she said, was the most important. She accepted the Lord as Savior. Encouraged by the art faculty that she met at the camp, Sue also made the decision to enroll at BJU and pursue an art degree.
“For the first time in my life I thought, this is something I want to do with the rest of my life,” Sue said. “Growing up it was always people telling me what I should be doing.” After five years in the ESL program as a 2-D studio art major, followed by a graduate degree in printmaking from the Savannah College of Art and Design, Sue still has a clear passion for the arts that began years ago.
Teaching for Sue, however, was a different story. “It wasn’t until the last year of undergrad that I thought about being a teacher,” she said. And even after making the decision to attend grad school, she was still unsure whether she wanted to teach. After interning as a teacher at Bob Jones Academy, working at BJU’s summer art camp, and much prayer, Sue knew God was calling her to join the art faculty at BJU.
“I saw teaching as sort of a ‘holy’ position,” Sue said. “A teacher has so much influence.” Student interaction is Sue’s favorite part of teaching, especially seeing the satisfaction students have when they grasp a concept. Sue currently teaches three courses: Drawing and Structural Representation and Foundations II and III.
Sue said her future plans are undecided. “I’m here to support my department,” she said. “Whatever areas they need help in I will do my best.” But she also feels a pull toward Taiwan. “I have unsaved family back there, and God keeps bringing them back to my mind,” she said.
But ultimately, Sue trusts God to guide her life. “Whatever He opens the door to [I’ll do],” she said. “I desire to spread the Word, the faith, through what I love which is art, however He wants me to do it.”