I am always encouraged when I hear reports from Global Scholars professors. When they share how God is using them in the lives of their students and colleagues, I thank God for your support of this work. You are making a difference!
Jason, one of our professors in South Africa, shared about a recent interaction with a student about plagiarism. In the midst of a difficult conversation, Jason modeled God’s grace and truth:
When Kungawo handed in a paper recently, it looked like a great improvement over an earlier assignment. I wrote encouraging remarks as I marked the paper. However, I noticed that he used some unusual vocabulary.
I used my scanner to digitize the paper and then ran a plagiarism checker. My hopes in Kungawo’s academic progress went from high to low in a millisecond. Lots of questions ran through my mind as it became evident that over 50% of the paper was copied from a single website. Did he not watch our orientation videos on plagiarism? Did he think I was a fool? Of course, the Lord was using Kungawo’s infraction for my sanctification, as well.
In accordance with the College’s policies, I had to inform the local campus manager, fill out some paperwork, and arrange a face-to-face meeting with Kungawo and an administrator. As our meeting went on, Kungawo learned the gravity of his theft of intellectual property. I saw how the Holy Spirit was convicting him of his sin, and how he was truly contrite. This was a pleasant surprise as I have had other students caught in the same web who have acted defensive and entitled.
Even before I explained the penalties for plagiarism, Kungawo suggested that he was willing to accept any and all consequences. He even thanked us and God for having uncovered his actions. This was certainly a time to see healthy discipline used in a way that brought consequences for wrongdoing, but also an exercise of grace in giving him a pathway to restoration.
Christian professors have significant influence on their students. I am so grateful that Jason was able to explain the importance of integrity while still showing kindness. And I heard from Jason that Kungawo turned in another assignment recently that was a significant improvement.
Thank you for investing in professors like Jason and students like Kungawo. You play a crucial role in “equip[ping] the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:12).
Italicized names have been changed to protect identities.
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