Prof Bikes, Walks or Takes the Bus

Nancy R. Heisey is being taken for a ride, but she’s not objecting.

Dr. Heisey, chair of the Bible and religion department, is "trying to do my responsible part" in caring for the environment by leaving her car at her home on Lee Avenue in Harrisonburg and getting to campus by other means.

EMU Prof Nancy Heisey
Nancy Heisey prepares to board Harrisonburg Transit bus #5 at the stop next to EMU’s Hartzler Library. Photo by Lindsey Roeschley

For two years now, she has committed herself to walking, biking or taking public transportation for the 1 1/2 mile commute to work. Often she’ll walk or bike in the morning and ride Bus #5 in the evening because of her teaching schedule.

Heisey, who is also president of Mennonite World Conference, "especially enjoys" taking the bus because "it makes me feel more a part of the greater Harrisonburg area. I’ve gotten to know some neat people who are regular users.

"I’m finding that too few [EMU] students are aware of the city bus service that can take them just about anywhere they want to go – at half the regular bus fee," Heisey adds. "I’m trying to be a bit evangelistic in promoting this handy, alternative form of local transportation."

At the same time, she notes, "It was a student of mine who chided me some time ago for not recycling my office copy of the daily newspaper. I’m doing that now. It’s no big effort to keep a storage container handy for recyclable materials."

EMU Prof Nancy Heisey
Nancy Heisey waits at the bus stop in front of Hartzler Library. Photo by Lindsey Roeschley

Heisey has been a devotee of the "More With Less" cookbook ever since Mennonite Central Committee released that publication through Herald Press in the 1970s. But, more recently, she and her spouse Paul Longacre have "recommitted ourselves to simplifying our diets, purchasing locally-produced foods whenever possible and planting a garden every year."

Heisey and Longacre are members of a local Voluntary Tax Group ( that calculates what should be a reasonable price for fuel and contributes to a fund based on the alternate figures.

They meet twice a year and support a charitable cause.

Unless the weather is bad, the couple usually walks to church – Community Mennonite at the corner of S. High and Water Streets – Sunday mornings.

"Practicing recycling and other simple efforts to help care for God’s creation can be a natural part of our daily activities," Heisey says. "It’s a matter of being willing to do some planning and be mindful of how our actions affect so many others."