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Head-first learning
Manchester students capitalize on experience-based opportunities

Cody Freels ’13 of Auburn, Ind., trains an
umbrella cockatoo at Black Pines Animal
Sanctuary in Albion, Ind. The future life sciences teacher also worked with lions, chimpanzees and sulcata tortoises.
Related links:
Merging coursework with real-world responsibilities
“I was able to become part of
the cure for leukemia.”
Are you LinkedIn?
  MU Career Services has connections

More pictures from this article:

Testing in progress! Signs outside
the psychology lab in the Academic Center encourage quiet during
student research.

Breegan Andersen ‘15 of Quincy, Ind., poses with a starfish in the Bahamas, where she researched the migration patterns of piping plovers for a 2013
January session class in ornithology.

First-year Pharm.D. student Sumer Hussein ’16 of Dearborn Heights, Mich., was introduced to Manchester’s Pharmacy experiential opportunities
at Walgreens in Fort Wayne, with preceptor Ryan Teagno.


“I NEVER EXPECTED to develop and run my own psychological experiment. As an undergraduate,
this was more than dipping my toe into my field – it was diving in head-first.”

Psychology major Courtney Mensing ’14 is doing serious research at Manchester University. For her PSYCH 341 class in Statistics and Research Design II, Mensing and her team explored the connection between audio cues and lie detection.

“By the time I graduate, I’ll have several research experiences under my belt,” says Mensing, of Fort Wayne, Ind. “Experience in esearch is one of the biggest things that graduate schools look at, and Manchester is well above the curve in helping us stand out.”

Head-first learning experiences play a critical role in Manchester’s curriculum. From research fellowships to internships and pharmacy practice, Manchester
students are capitalizing on experiential opportunities. What they learn over the summer, during January session and spring break gives them a leg up on their careers, valuable references for jobs, graduate school, grants and even more internships.

Such hands-on leaning often begins on campus and in the classroom with faculty-guided, side-by-side research. The annual Student Research Symposium shows off the wealth of faculty-mentored research offered at Manchester.

“The research experience is a strong plus for psychology majors because many undergraduates do not work in labs and learn the basic skills needed to run subjects,” says Brandy Leeper ’14, a research assistant for the Psychology Department.

Students at the College of Pharmacy participate in dozens of highly structured experiential practicums that interface with their classroom learning. “The ultimate goal is to build the knowledge and skills for students to make a positive difference in patient care,” says Pharmacy Dean Dave McFadden ’82, who also is MU’s executive vice president.

MU students are exposed to a range of real-world community, hospital and nonprofit pharmacy settings, beginning in their first year of the four-year
professional Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) program in Fort Wayne. The entire fourth year is filled with rotations of month-long experientials.

Off campus, Manchester undergraduate students secure an impressive collection of internships and research fellowships.

In the past academic year, chemistry major Lucas Lebbin ’15 assisted in leukemia research during a summer fellowship at the Cincinnati Children’s
Hospital, accounting major Nick Barbknecht ’12 served as Indiana’s youngest state delegate at the Republican National Convention and athletic training major Amanda Tassler ’14 helped Fort Wayne Ballet dancers with injury prevention techniques.

And more:

  • Kelsey Barta ’13 helped dreams come true for ailing children at Make-a-Wish Foundation. The English major from Hammond, Ind., coordinated travel itineraries for recipients of the Make-a-Wish grants.

  • Dylan Hiner ’13, a psychology major from Wabash, Ind., performed administrative and medical tasks for Wabash County Hospital.

  • Josh Vardaman ’13, an English major from Middletown, Ind., wrote donor stories for Northern Indiana Community Foundation.

  • Nick Salupo ’13, an athletic training and biology-chemistry major from Indianapolis, prepared and researched brain DNA samples at the Indiana Alzheimer Disease Center.

  • Kelly Iler ’14, a choral music education major from Kouts, Ind., will rub elbows with world-class musicians, dancers and artists this summer as a counselor at the prestigious Interlochen Summer Arts Camp in Michigan.

  • Ben Crim ’13, an accounting major from Dayton, Ohio, helped prepare fiscal statements for Crossroads Bank in Wabash, Ind.

The list goes on and on, semester after semester, summer after summer, January after January.

“Internship experience is invaluable,” says Tish Kalita, assistant director for internships for the MU Office of Career Services. “Internships allow students
to apply what they learn in the classroom to the work world and evaluate their skill sets.”

Networking is another huge benefit – some interns are offered employment opportunities or job leads, adds Kalita. More than 61 percent of employers
offered their interns full-time jobs, according to the 2012 National Association of Colleges and Employers internship survey. Moreover, the five-year retention rate is nearly 30 percent higher for employees with in-company internship experience.

Head-first learning also helps students weigh their options. Some learn “this isn’t for me” or that they need additional coursework or training.

“Internships are critical to students today, particularly in this economic environment where companies have pools of potential employees possessing significant work experience,” says Professor Tim Ogden ’87, chair of MU’s Department of Accounting and Business. “Internships allow students to test their knowledge, skills and abilities outside the confines of the classroom, and in many cases return to campus and do additional coursework in areas that they need to strengthen.”

Thomas Blake ’13 and Devin Jenkins ’13 secured full-time employment opportunities after interning with accounting firms last summer. Blake, of
Plymouth, Ind., interned with H.J. Umbaugh & Associates in Indianapolis and Plymouth, working primarily on utility rate and bond accounting. Jenkins,
of Niles, Mich., interned in the auditing department at Crowe Horwath in South Bend.

Both have full-time jobs waiting after graduation. Jenkins landed her internship with the help of the Office of Career Services. Last spring, Career Services coordinated an on-campus interview with Crowe Horwath. Both parties knew it was a perfect match.

“We are impressed with her level of motivation and desire to learn. We can’t wait to have her back,” said Jessica Haugen, senior staff auditor and enkins’
supervisor at Crowe Horwath.

Because Manchester’s accounting program is quantitatively and analytically demanding, it prepares students for success in the field. Excelling in the
rigorous program helps students land coveted internships and jobs.

Internships also provide significant value for employers, giving them a chance to “test-drive” job candidates before making hiring decisions, says
Ogden. Employers often use internships as a “pipeline” for entry-level employees.

Manchester’s undergraduate interdisciplinary core requirements develop students who can think critically. “In chemistry, a student might have an
undergraduate research experience where they work on a problem completely different from what they studied in class,” says Glenn Sharfman, vice president and dean for academic affairs. “However, they may find that what they learned as part of liberal arts applies in general, if not specifically, to their research.”

Head-first learning – in internships, research, practicums and experientials – provides practical applications to classroom and book study. And that, notes Sharfman, strengthens Manchester’s liberal arts Mission.


Merging coursework with real-world

Ramiro Arguijo '14INTERNSHIPS GIVE students opportunities to align passions with work experience. Ramiro Arguijo ’14 finds a winning combination at, a nonprofit organization in northern Indiana. partners with businesses and 17 area charities to conduct community outreach, a mission that resonates with Arguijo. "Helping people is something that is very close to my heart,” he says. “Coming from a working family, I have learned the importance of assisting people who are less fortunate.”

At, Arguijo writes news releases, maintains its social media presence and assists with community outreach. The internship merged nicely with Arguijo’s coursework as an MU communication studies major. Now he works parttime for, applying his MU public relations coursework directly to the real world.

“The internship has also helped increase my marketability for both my future education and career goals,” he says. “Not many students are allowed to take control of a business’ social media presence and suggest mprovements to the communication chain."

“I am extremely grateful that Manchester has given me opportunities to grow.”



“I was able to become part of the cure
for leukemia.”


Lucas Lebbin '15LUCAS LEBBIN ‘15 is only a sophomore, yet already he is researching treatments for an especially deadly form of infant leukemia.

Last summer, the biology-chemistry major from South Bend worked alongside groundbreaking pediatrics researcher Ashish R. Kumar, M.D., Ph.D., at the Cancer and Blood Diseases Institute of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

Dr. Kumar’s lab studies mixed lineage leukemia (MLL), which researchers have puzzled over for more than 20 years of clinical trials. Kumar is
targeting one of the genes that make it hard to kill the cancer.

“Researching at the nation’s third-ranked children’s hospital allowed me to go beyond studying textbooks,” says Lebbin. “I wasn’t an intern. I was a research fellow. I was able to become part of the cure for leukemia.”

The fellowship is opening other doors for Lebbin. During January session this year, he participated in a health sciences practicum in Zambia, Africa, where he assisted in hospital laboratory work. “I was shown to the lab, placed in front of a COBAS INTEGRA 400 Plus multi-analyte analyzer and started culturing patient samples,” he says. “Without my laboratory background gained from my time in Cincinnati, I would have been clueless (in Zambia).”

So what’s next for Lucas? This summer, he plans to return to Dr. Kumar’s lab to continue his leukemia research. “My goal is to provide a significant contribution to furthering the understanding of childhood leukemia.”


Are you LinkedIn?
Someone of ability and conviction wants to connect with you today
on LinkedIn

MU Office of Career ServicesSIMILAR NOTICES, WITH REAL NAMES, are popping into e-mail inboxes in increasing numbers.

And just like that – MU alumni and students have another new connection in the world’s largest professional network. LinkedIn has 200 million members, including hundreds of Manchester
alumni and students.

“Our mission is simple: Connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful” says LinkedIn. “When you join LinkedIn, you get access to people, jobs, news, updates and insights that help you be great at what you do.”

Past and present Spartans use LinkedIn to solidify connections made in internships, browse for job opportunities – and and meet MU alumni eager to share their connections and career advice with others of ability and conviction.

“LinkedIn is a valuable networking tool,” says Sandy Haist ’74 ’02, MU social media coordinator. “It is a great resource to make connections and find information about job and industry trends.

On the Manchester University Career Services group LinkedIn page, nearly 300 current and former students interact with MU staff, explore job openings and make new career friends. And, of course, hundreds of other MU alumni are interacting on LinkedIn outside of the group and the Manchester University Alumni Association group page.

What makes the Career Services page special is that it is interactive: Anyone can begin discussion “threads” on topics ranging from recent employment trends to common interview mistakes. Employers use the group to search for employees. It’s a virtual forum with a professional style.

Share your professional savvy with MU students and other alumni. Get LinkedIn now!


MU Career Services has connections


MU Office of Career ServicesNEED HELP LANDING your dream job? You’ll want to take full advantage of Manchester University Career Services. The office in the MU Union helps alumni seeking new career opportunities – including internships.

In addition to helping current students find interships and jobs, Career Services also offers alumni, with:

  • Personalized advising and mentoring
  • Resume writing
  • On-campus career fairs and presentations
  • Spartan Jobs, the official job search engine of Manchester University
  • Twitter updates via @MUInternLady.

The same doors Career Services opens for students are available for alumni, with advising appointments and employer introductions tailored to the applicants. Assistance in writing resumes and filling out the job applications are part of the service, if needed.

“We will even assist with drafting a proposal if the alum wants to propose an internship to a company or organization,” says Tish Kalita, assistant director for internships.

“We provide the same tools and appointments for alumni as we do for current students,” says Kalita. “Our website also contains a large number of resources that may be of assistance to alumni.”

Contact Career Services via the website at or
or 260-982-5242.



So many Manchester stories to share; what
are yours?

from the president

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The Spartan tradition: respect, accountability, commitment, focus ... and fun.

Head-first learning
Capitalizing on experience-based opportunities.

Bidding on memories
Alumni and friends gather for an auction and storytelling.

Philanthropy 101
Celebrating careers of Bob ’57 and Helen
Bollinger ’54 Hollenberg

Profiles of ability and conviction

“Hail to her majesty, Queen of the May!

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