Hometown: Dayton, TX
Majors: Psychology and Spanish
Senior John Bartee has been involved with campus life from the beginning of his college career. As a “self proclaimed extrovert,” Bartee worked with the campus activities board from his freshman year until halfway through his junior year.
As of senior year, Bartee has been working for the University of Dallas office of admissions. He has gotten more involved with campus ministry since UD welcomed FOCUS missionaries to campus this August.
“Fun Fact: I live on a cattle ranch with my family,” he said about his hometown of Dayton, Texas. “We have a bunch of Angus cows and one donkey. It’s a weird life back home, but definitely fun.”
Bartee enjoyed foundations of psychology in his freshman year, particularly when he read “Man’s Search for Meaning” by Viktor Frankl. He said, “I loved how UD’s take on psychology was humanistic.”
He continued taking classes in psychology and declared his major after his 2018 fall semester in Rome.
In his first semester at UD, Bartee took an upper-level Spanish class. He reflected that it was the “first time I had taken a Spanish class entirely in Spanish, and I was so nervous.”
Bartee was lucky enough to participate in the last iteration of UD’s Spanish study abroad program in Ecuador. By the end of six weeks in Ecuador, Bartee was comfortable speaking Spanish and even defaulted to Spanish while going through customs back in the United States. Bartee had planned to work for St. Therese’s’ Catholic camp in Wasilla, Alaska in the summer of 2020, but the pandemic altered his plans. His group was able to get approval from the bishop to do mission work with local youth instead because the camp canceled all of its programming.
This opportunity was Bartee’s first experience as a missionary.
Bartee and his associates also repaired the campgrounds during the shutdown. “We had a summer of mission,” he said.
Bartee credits his trip to Alaska for his commitment to mission work.
“It introduced me to this life of mission. I figured that’s why things happened the way they did.”
Everything came into FOCUS at the start of his senior year. His participation as a student in the FOCUS ministry this past school year was instrumental in his decision to join as a missionary himself. Bartee reflected on the positive impact of ministry on the attendees and on himself:
“It’s been good for me spiritually to lead other men in reading scripture,” he said.
Bartee is thankful for the efforts UD has made to maintain an in-person community on campus and the success of COVID-19 protocols that have allowed for in-person Bible study.
With the semester coming to a close, Bartee is wrapping up his psychology thesis on the phenomenology of loneliness. He feels that it is “relevant for the world we’re living now, just with COVID and all of the stay-at-home restrictions that we’ve kind of lived through and some people are still living through.”
Bartee chose to research loneliness to bring mental health into the conversation about the pandemic. “I feel that we are forgetting that we are social creatures,” he said.
Bartee is open hearted and vivacious, which may explain why his classmates voted him as the Groundhog King 2021. He said “it was an honor” and that he would keep that fact “ in my pocket for a little icebreaker in the future.”
Bartee will begin training on May 26 to become a FOCUS missionary. From there, he will be assigned to work either at Ave Maria or the University of Mary, and his charisma will surely be appreciated at other universities as it has been at ours.