Alumni Story: Justin Rothshank


“PULSE helped create the environment for me to think my dreams were reachable.” 

Justin Rothshank, a nationally renowned ceramics artist, arrived for his PULSE year in 2000, ready to discover what life after college would be.

The opportunity to volunteer at I Design, a woodworking studio in the Strip District, and the ceramics studio at Pittsburgh Center for the Arts drew Justin to PULSE. He’d earned an art degree at Goshen College, and wanted to find out whether he could become a full-time artist.

Friendships fostered through the PULSE network put Justin in touch with other young creatives interested in art, faith and community development.

“It was during my PULSE year that I got connected to other people who were interested in pursuing art as a serious endeavor,” said Justin. “This came to fruition in the form of the Union Project.”

By the time he finished the year, Justin and several PULSE alums had started renovating a vacant Presbyterian church into the Union Project, a community and arts center. As the leader of the volunteer-driven restoration of the building, Justin helped transform the space from one of neglect into a beautiful, fresh place.

Once some of the biggest tasks for the building were completed, Justin became the manager of the ceramics program at the Union Project and worked there until 2009 when he and his family decided to move back to Goshen to start a ceramics studio.

Justin continues to work in Goshen, creating pottery and getting involved with the arts and community development there.

“PULSE encouraged me to pursue my interests in studio art/craft,” said Justin. “It was during my PULSE year that I bought my first potter’s wheel and decided that working in clay was something I wanted to pursue as a profession.”

Check out Justin’s artwork at his website:

Read more stories about PULSE Alumni. If you would like to learn more about the PULSE program, please visit our Serve with Us page.