Justin Rothshank ’00

Major: Art, with focus in ceramics and sculpture

Now: One of the founders and current Associate Director of Union Project, an Urban Pittsburgh, Pa., organization created to restore a historic neighborhood church, provide gathering and working space for artists, community builders and people of faith. The Union Project is creating a coffee shop to be run by area high school culinary students, holds a weekly summer farmer’s market with children’s activities and holds courses to restore stained glass windows.

What are the most challenging and enjoyable aspects of your job?

I enjoy my work because it is challenging. My job combines my passions of community development, art and faith. Every day is different, and I like the possibilities that come from this. It is very challenging to learn how to communicate ideas that are so personal to me with people who have different backgrounds, values or beliefs. Yet, these challenges can often lead to new friendships or learning something new.

How has your Goshen College experience shaped and prepared you for what you are doing now?

The relationships that I made and witnessed at Goshen have inspired me to really value my neighbors and learn from them.

What are your vocation and life goals?

I am working long term towards a vocation as a studio artist.

How has Goshen’s motto, “Culture for Service,” impacted the way you choose to live and pursue your vocational calling?

“Culture for Service” has had a large impact on what I do. Volunteering and service learning are not only a huge part of my work, but are also a major way for me to learn about what is happening in my community. As an artist, I often feel that by working for arts organization, I’m actually receiving more than I’m giving. The skills I’ve picked up, connections I’ve made and activities I’ve been able to participate in as a “volunteer” have benefited me professionally.

Goshen College’s SST and other cross-cultural experiences have been beneficial to me as I come into contact with people of different backgrounds.