Alumni Profile: The Speakmans
April 8, 2016
Welcome to our newest Web series — “Alumni Profiles” — where we’ll share stories of alums who are utilizing what they learned at Asbury to help them impact the world for Christ. This article is a preview of the Spring issue of the Ambassador magazine, arriving in homes last week and this week.
Take a glance at the Speakman brothers’ job descriptions and you’ll see a pattern. Maj. Ric Speakman ’01 is an Air Force flight surgeon. Sky Speakman ’03 is a research scientist. Mark Speakman ’06 is a production engineer. Luke Speakman ’06 is a software engineer.
In addition to their STEM-oriented careers, though, the Speakman brothers share something else in common — four life-changing years at Asbury University. Through its commitment to whole-person education, tight-knit community and spiritual vitality, Asbury laid a solid foundation for success.
Now completing a residency in aerospace medicine in Dayton, Ohio, Ric graduated from Asbury with a Biochemistry major. Looking back, he says Asbury’s liberal-arts curriculum provided crucial context for his science classes.
“I had to take an ethics course in Biology — how cool is that?” he said. “Understanding worldview allows you to interact much more successfully with the marketplace after you graduate.”
Community has also been a core part of the brothers’ Asbury experience. Now with Nimble Storage in San Jose, Calif., Luke says Asbury’s faculty had a lasting impact on his approach to faith and science.
“The faculty understand how Christianity and science weave together to explain God’s creation,” he said. “Each of the professors I had when I was at Asbury had a dramatic impact on me.”
Faculty played a big role for Sky, as well. He began his Asbury career in computer science, but a few math classes with Asbury faculty convinced him to switch his major to Applied Math, with minors in Computer Science and Physics. The decision had a life-long impact. Through the Asbury Math Department, he met his wife, Megan Murphree ’04 Speakman, and honed skills he uses today with IBM Research in Nairobi, Kenya.
Spiritual vitality was one of Mark’s most powerful takeways from Asbury. With McLean Bible Church in McLean, Va., he still draws on Asbury’s culture of integrating faith into every aspect of life.
“My faith experiences weren’t just at Chapel, but in my classes and any activity I did,” he said. “This helped to lay a great foundation to keep Christ centered in all I do.”
Ric puts it this way: “Science and math without Christ is hollow. Why choose Asbury University? Because at Asbury you get it all.”
Previous Alumni Profiles: