On Fire, for Firewalls

During the season we will be posting weekly player profiles. Tyson Stakes is going to provide the family, friends, fans, and alumni of the Greenville Panthers a deeper view of some of our players. The fourth installment looks at SO LB Matt Schuman (Geneva, IL) and SR CB Chris Gunn (Jacksonville, FL).

In an ever changing world of technologies and communication, where does God fit in? This is the question that many churches and church leaders have been asking. Some have embraced technology, and used it to their church’s advantage. Still others find technology to only be a distraction; keeping us from God and His will.

As IT Help Desk employees and general computer science geeks, Greenville Panther footballers Matt Schuman and Chris Gunn believe that their love for computers and talent for solving complex technological problems was a gift from God. They both strive to implement their love for technology into furthering the Kingdom.

I had the opportunity to sit down with both Matt and Chris, and discuss their affection for the whir of the computer modem.

Tyson Stakes: What got you guys started doing computer stuff?

Matt Schuman: Well my mom is an IT person and that kinda got me started in 8th grade. 
 Chris Gunn: Wow you started early! (Laughs). I didn’t start getting into computers until I was a junior in high school and I had a computer class so I decided that I wanted to go to college and do computer stuff. 

MS: How’s that working out for you? 
 CG: It’s going pretty good! 

TS: So Matt, your mom is an IT person. Describe your first experience with computers. 

MS: I guess it would probably be with restrictions on my computer with stalling stuff. And I tried to get around it and started messing with computers and I wanted to see what I could do. 

TS: Chris, you said you had a computer class as a junior… What, in that class, sparked your interest? 

CG: I think it was the first few weeks and I didn’t get anything and the teacher came over and had to everything for me. One day I decided to pay attention and I actually did something myself. When I was finally able to do something myself, it ended up being the best program in class and I was so excited. It felt good. I felt accomplished.

TS: That’s a cool story. When did you guys start working at the IT Help Desk?

MS and CG: Last semester.
MS: We were new at the same time. We walked upstairs holding hands. (Laughs).

TS: Is it hard working at the IT Desk? 

CG: Not really, it’s cool. Majority of the time it’s just general stuff like changing passwords. 
MS: Yeah, especially at the start of the semester. For the most part it’s pretty easy. But some days, you get like ten things at once. Sometimes, I won’t say who, but some profressors… 
CG: Man… 

TS: I can understand that. Trying to work with people who have no idea what they’re doing is always frustrating. Does either of you guys get ragged on by the football team for being nerds?

CG: No… I usually get, “Fix my Xbox!” 
MS: I do at times. A lot of times, like when the projector isn’t working. Usually I just point at Chris!
CG: And I’m always like, “Hey, I’m not doing that!” Whenever there is a computer problem, coaches usually direct them over to either Schuman or I. 

TS: What do you see yourselves doing after you graduate with your Computer and Science degrees? 

MS: I want to do network security, like for companies and test their firewalls. 

TS: Like that Harrison Ford movie, Firewall? 

CG: I have a bunch of people telling me to send in resumes to places. My aunt works for IBM and she said that she could help get me a job there. I don’t really know what else I would do; anything that isn’t programming. Network security is fun though. 
MS: Over the summer I worked at my church doing IT. And I had to reinstall something on their computers and only one parent’s password had nothing to do with their kids. (All laugh)

TS: As IT geeks, how do you see technology as part of the Christian walk? 

MS: I think it can. It’s always interesting to find out how your career choice can be for God. Like finding how you play football for God. I think you can do that with computers. I’m not sure yet, how. But I feel like there’s a reason that God has given me these gifts and I feel that He is calling me down that path. I feel like there is some way that He wants me to further His purpose. 
CG: It was invented because God gave us the ability to do it. There is a reason that it is here. There should be people who embrace it a little more, and stop hating it. I feel like I should embrace it because God gave me the talents to use it. I think then I should use it for His name. 

TS: Well thanks guys for taking time out of your schedules to do this interview. 
CG: Anytime my good sir!

Greenville College Football © 2009 by Jered Schneider.