Alumna Rachel Held Evans—published, working and improving

5 years ago Triangle 0
/ Photo courtesy Rachel Held Evans
/ Photo courtesy Rachel Held Evans

By Ashley Coker
Staff Writer

Though she could not attend homecoming due to a busy touring schedule, New York Times bestselling author and Bryan college alumna, Rachel Held Evans, told the Bryan College community about how her time as a Bryan student became an integral part of her career from her hotel room in Kentucky.

After graduating from Bryan in 2003, Held worked as a feature writer for the Chattanooga Times Free Press, then as a general assignment reporter for The Herald News in Dayton. While she did not want to make a career out of it, she said her time there was invaluable to her work as an author and blogger.

She is now successfully self-employed, has had two books published in the last three years and is currently working on her third book, which is still top-secret, according to Held.

Held may be a successful author in the midst of a promotional tour for her book “A Year of Biblical Womanhood” now, but a decade ago she was just a college student juggling classes, a social life and her work as editor-in-chief of Triangle.

It is those experiences (yes, even studying until sunrise) that Held said have taught her how to manage her career effectively.

Held said she is especially thankful for the professors that pushed her to become a better writer, namely Assistant Professor of Journalism John Carpenter and Dr. Whit Jones, professor of English.

However, Held said that all college students do not have to have their future figured out by graduation, and they do not need to tailor their entire college experience to a preferred career.

Held said she has drawn much of her inspiration from experiences that did not seem at all unique at the time.

“You might be surprised how seemingly unrelated experiences — student leadership, sports, a class you were required to take, a class you loved, a conversation with a roommate, a conflict, an internship, a chapel speaker — will help or inspire you down the road….even if it’s not in the plan,” said Held.

“A Year of Biblical Womanhood” was published in October 2012 and “Evolving In Monkey Town” was released in July 2010. Christianity Today named Rachel one of “50 Women To Watch” in 2012. She and her husband, Dan, live in Dayton.

You can find Rachel on her blog at rachelheldevans.com.