Manchester’s Matheny is headed abroad
as the College’s 19th
As a Manchester College student, Wendy J. Matheny learned about politics
in West Africa, where she worked to help women break their cycle of
poverty. After graduation, she studied Capitol Hill politics as an
intern for U.S. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.
with a full-ride Fulbright grant, the Peoria native will research
politics at the seat of the European Union and NATO – in Brussels,
Belgium. Matheny, a 2005 cum laude graduate, is Manchester College’s 19th
Fulbright in 11 years. Her scholarship is for the 2006-2007 school year.
As a graduate student at the Université Libre de Bruxelles, she will
study the political impact of the increased involvement of women in
Belgian-European politics. “The idea came to me when I was in Togo –
seeing women at the bottom of the political food chain,” said Matheny,
who volunteered for six weeks in West Africa with ECHOPPE Inc., which
helps women start their own businesses and individual
initiatives for economic improvement.
The political science and French major studied abroad at the Université
de Strasbourg her sophomore year with Brethren Colleges Abroad, and
spent a month in The Hague at the International Symposium on Negotiation
and Conflict Resolution. She also served as a conference translator in
Kenya and traveled to Ecuador on an environmental learning tour – all
through her Manchester College connections.
And after her Fulbright year in Belgium? “I love the political game and
want to continue that in some form, whether on the domestic front or
internationally,” said Matheny. “I’d love to work on the Hill again,
but I also want to do grad school.” Undoubtedly, she will continue to
focus on the role of women in the international political arena.
Matheny came to Manchester because it is a Church of the Brethren
college, and for the College’s historical reputation in peace studies
and study abroad opportunities. (She was raised in the Peoria First
Church of the Brethren.)