People of Eastern: Dr. Eloise Meneses

      Dr.Eloise Meneses is a professor of Anthropology here at Eastern University. She has come a long way (literally) to be part of this community. Dr. Meneses was actually born to missionaries who were working in India, and spent much of her childhood there homeschooled by her parents. It wasn’t until Dr. Meneses was nine years old that she moved to the United States. Her parents had moved back for personal reasons, and this would prove a huge shift in the trajectory of her life.

      Moving to America, Dr. Meneses said she had to completely “relearn her place in society.” Entering into the public education system in the fourth grade would prove challenging, but as she will tell you, her whole life has been a “process of learning.” She would go on to do her graduate level work at the University of California in San Diego, where she received a PhD in the field of Anthropology. Her upbringing has informed her work, and her unique perspective influences the impact of her teaching here at Eastern University.

      Dr. Meneses explained how immediately after getting her doctorate, she would teach as an adjunct professor for a time, but she considered being a mom as her“full-time job.” Raising two kids with her husband, who was a minister at the time, is just one more thing Dr. Meneses can look back on in her long journey that brought her to Eastern.

      She began her career studying economies in her work Love and Revolutions: Market Women and Social Change in India. However, when she put letters out looking for a full-time teaching job, her interaction with Eastern University refocused her life in a new direction. In her own words: “The Lord lead me to Eastern. Not only could I integrate my faith into my teaching, but I had to.” Coming to Eastern allowed Dr. Meneses to fully explore what she believes to be the two most important aspects of her life, “faith and learning.” She pointed out how even though we believe different things about the gospels, Eastern is an “energetic Christian place,” where we can have those conversations.

      Anyone who has taken a course with Dr. Meneses has felt the impact of her life in the classroom. She is someone who is defined by both her accomplishments as an academic professor, but also the life she has lead, and she is an excellent example of how varied and deep each person’s walk with Christ can be.

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