One thing you need to know about Joe Stockton is that he isn’t what he seems. A computer science major and mathematics minor going into his senior year at the University of Michigan, one might think that Joe is not concerned or intrigued by creativity. Stereotypes might make people assume that Joe wouldn’t have any interest in participating in Crossroads, but that is not the case. Part of what Joe likes best about computer science is the creativity involved.
“I enjoy programming. It’s a hybrid between creativity and science thinking. I can do both of those things. I enjoy using both sides of my brain.”
After college, Joe would like to be a software developer. He even expressed interest in getting his Master of Business Administration after being in the workforce for a couple of years in order to obtain a management position. He thinks he would like a management position because it would allow him to “have one foot in the technical world and one foot in the working-with-people-and-helping-them world.”
Working with people and helping them is one of Joe’s passions. He thought he wanted to be a teacher for a brief period in high school as he worked as a math tutor, which he’s continued doing into college.
“I enjoy trying to teach things in different ways. People think math is really hard but I disagree. Maybe someone just needed to take some time to explain it.”
It is this caring nature that led Joe to apply to Crossroads. As he was going into the second half of his junior year, he was pressured to find an internship with a big software company. However, Joe knew that he wanted to take a summer and use his skills solely for God. There is a great need for technical computer work in the creative industry, especially in one centered around ministry. Joe sees this need as an opportunity to use his gifts in fulfilling the Great Commission.
“I make it [do what I do] so when non-Christian people are looking into Christian things they aren’t turned off by the website. I feel like that’s hugely important, even for things like churches. The same goes for IndyCC; having a good website is important in getting people to come.”
And Joe has definitely been doing his best to make IndyCC appealing while he’s been at Crossroads. His main priorities this summer are constructing the Crossroads website and blog (the site on which you’re reading this right now), the IndyCC website and the first-ever IndyCC app. These three projects have kept him extremely busy, but he’s thoroughly enjoying what he’s doing. Before joining Crossroads, Joe didn’t have a huge background in web design. “I’d never taken a class on it. Web design is just learned through practice,” he says.
Although Joe loves the fact that he’s greatly improved his web design skills through his participation in Crossroads, one of his favorite parts of interning here has been the opportunity he had to be in a short film. When asked about his experience, he lit up immediately.
“So I’m a computer science major and do technical things. But last week I got to be the star actor of a film. It was one of the best days of my life; I was a diva and everyone was serving me. For a hot sec, I considered dropping out of school and moving to California to pursue acting. It was so much fun.”
The initial choice of coming to Crossroads instead of interning at a big software company was a big step for Joe in learning to trust his future to God. Since being in Chicago, he’s been growing even more in this area, along with making close connections with people that will last for years to come. Joe couldn’t even put into words how this experience has been so far. To avoid talking my ear off, he just said it’s been “good.”