Author Tiffany Berkebile '10 and Lisa Ewing '10 study in Barcelona, Spain.

Author Tiffany Berkebile '10 and a
sister BCA student from Messiah
College pose in Paris.

Emily Ashbrook '10 at the Colosseum in Rome with the January 2009 class in Experiencing the Arts.

Dana Clousing '05 '06ma learned the folly of getting close to a spitting vicuña in Bolivia during a January 2006 class in Pre-Columbian Civilization.

COVER PHOTO from left: former and current faculty Kathleen Kamphoefner, Kim Duchane, Andrew Rich and Janina Traxler ’73 survey Israel from the Mount of Olives on a 2006 Plowshares trip to raise awareness of conflict-torn countries.

Jacquilline Nagila, director of multicultural services, leads
the biennial International Fair.

MC Connections
Manchester College Home
Especially for Alumni
Alumni Notes
Class Photos
Past issues of Manchester
Manchester print version
@Manchester e-newsletter
Manchester news
Giving to Manchester

Manchester magazine
Home Page

Inspiring world consciousness
How a small-town Indiana girl found her place in Spain,
and France, and Costa Rica, and Japan, and …

Professor James R.C. Adams and Thelma Rohrer ’84 have led many, many classes to
Peru and Bolivia. Behind them are ruins of Machu Picchu, Peru.
Related links:

The Waas experience sets pace for January abroad

Teaching the teachers: Transforming conflict into mutual respect

  International reflections
  Three receive Kauffman Awards for their first explorations off-continent
  January Session Photos

More pictures from this article:

MOST HOOSIERS WILL NEVER SEE THE GREAT WALL OF CHINA, study Spanish along the shores of the Mediterranean coast, or learn how to surf in Costa Rica. They’ll never look out across the Strait of Gibraltar to see the murky coastline of Africa, dim and hazy and full of expectation.

But what if they had those experiences? Who would they be today if they had traveled to Nicaragua, New Zealand, Ecuador … outside their comfortable boxes?

I’m writing this from an internet café in Barcelona, Spain, with a completely different future in front of me than the one I had before I stepped onto Manchester College’s campus. Three years ago, I had never left the United States and hadn’t even traveled much outside Indiana.

You can’t attend Manchester College without constantly hearing about studying abroad. I knew it was popular, but I had no idea how I would fit into that corner of the College culture, or why I should care.

Last January session, more than 100 students spread out across the globe. They worked side-by-side with alumni medical professionals in a makeshift Nicaraguan clinic. They walked Tiananmen Square and crossed the London Bridge. They traveled in Italy, Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany and Jamaica.

The College Catalog is full of international opportunities, too, with more than 20 campus-based courses related to globalization – from cultural
anthropology and Asian diaspora to world musics, international trade and teaching English as a second language.

And there’s more: An MC partnership with The India Foundation offers an intense three-week immersion in that country. Or I could explore vocations
(particularly theological and non-profit vocations) through the College’s Pathways program.

For me, the igniter was my Spanish professor, Dr. Ingrid Rogers, who urged our class to attend an informational session about her upcoming January
Session to Costa Rica. Suddenly, my Manchester intercultural experience was in motion. Beautiful beaches and classes held in outdoor bungalows: What more could I ask of an otherwise gray and cold Indiana January?

In Costa Rica, my Spanish improved. I worked at it. I studied the language every day and talked to the native Spaniards. I learned to surf, and zip-lined through the treetops. I made friends, danced salsa, and in the end, learned to open up.

Encouraged by my progress in the language, I declared a dual major – in communication studies and Spanish. Making up for lost time in Spanish coursework, I forced myself to buckle down, which opened up more
opportunities, and made me a better student.

Using my newly acquired worldliness and Spanish skills, I won an internship teaching English to Hispanics in the North Manchester area, dramatically
altering my perspectives on immigration, intercultural connections and friendship. I met people who had a completely different walk of life, who struggled and faced very real challenges, like losing their jobs.

My Spanish still needed work, and I searched for that big experience that would really mark my life. Thelma Rohrer ’84, director of international studies, pushed me to set my goals high. I took a deep breath (so did my family and close friends) and decided to spend an entire school year studying through BCA Study Abroad in Barcelona, Spain – far, far from my
northern Indiana hometown. I am among 19 MC students studying abroad, either for the whole school year or just a semester. We’re at universities in
England, France, Germany, Northern Ireland, China and Japan. Two of us are in Spain. (Last year, we had students in universities in Ecuador and Mexico, too.)

Here in Spain, I’ve learned so much about what it means to be “American” – the good, and the bad – from another culture’s perspective. I’ve learned the value of spending reflective time alone in amazing places like the massive la Sagrada Familia temple, under construction since 1882.

I find pride in passing a semester at the University of Barcelona completely in another language. Maturing from being completely lost in the language to understanding nearly everything has built my self-confidence. I trust myself now to find solutions to my own problems, to make my own path.

I’ve set out with new friends on adventures across Spain, and even to Paris. I get to see incredible things that I’d only studied about – the Mona Lisa, art by El Greco and Dali, the Eiffel Tower and the 14th century fortress Alhambra. I’m absolutely consumed by a desire to see more, discover more, feel more, accomplish more.

My Spanish professors tell me that the land shapes the people who live there, so if you know where someone is from, you know more about who they are. I feel so connected to so many different places now.

Even far from campus, I’m continually tempted by Manchester College international opportunities. I really wanted to join the A Cappella Choir on its spring tour with alumni in Austria, but couldn’t quite swing it. In January, I joined Professor Scott Strode’s intercultural theatre class in China and got my first glimpse of a non-Western civilization (and met up with Fulbright recipient Tim Polakowski ’08, who is teaching in South Korea.) Next, I’m hoping to serve as a translator for the January 2010 medical practicum to Nicaragua, helping MC pre-med students and alumni deliver supplies and aid deep within that very poor country.

I am so glad that international experiences are an affordable priority of the Manchester College academic experience – that scholarships, grants,
donors, enthusiastic faculty support and class credit arrangements like I have through BCA make it a possibility.

I am almost overwhelmed with all of the opportunities before me because of my MC international experiences. And I’ve a whole year left! My ultimate
dream: to emulate Manchester College graduates who have taken their own study abroad experiences to the max, moved to change themselves, and, perhaps, other lives.

The Waas international experience sets pace for January abroad

Professor David A. Waas '47 and
Becky Brightbill '46x Waas

at the Great Wall of China.

Professor Emeritus David A. Waas ’47 is the father of January term (January session to this generation of students), plane tickets in hand for its beginnings in 1966. Almost every January for 42 years, David and Becky Brightbill ’46x Waas took a Manchester College classroom overseas, visiting three-quarters of the countries on the globe.

More than 200 (maybe 300) students have experienced Africa, Western Europe and Russia the Waas way. For many, like George Boudreau ’87, it was their first international experience. So many years have passed, yet the professor remembers the northwest Indiana native’s hilarious attempts at French in Senegal. For sure, so does Boudreau, an associate professor of history at Penn State Harrisburg.

“It’s important that people see other cultures, in other ways than simply as a tourist,” says Waas, who has donated artifacts of many cultures to the College. Manchester’s up-close international experiences change perceptions, change viewpoints. “We have transformed some students,” Waas says with certainty.

For the past 18 years, alumni who missed out on January abroad as students have embarked on Waas-led ventures for adults through the MC Alumni Office. (More than 45 alumni and friends joined the couple on the Rhine last fall.) And the couple supports MC’s international consciousness, through scholarships and gifts.

Dusty detours, unplanned swims, flat tires, war breaking out … Waas has
a hundred stories of lessons by the side of the road, labeling some "horrendous but wonderful.” He recalls an instant itinerary detour in Ghana: a traditional doctor spotted alongside the road, dancing a ritual, in costume. Much conversation about medicine ensued.

Says Waas with a grin: “You have to take advantage of accidents.”

Teaching the teachers: Transforming conflict into mutual respect

Manchester College faculty listened intently to Fidel Castro’s city planner as he talked about the social and political dynamics of Havana. They met Nobel laureate John Hume in Northern Ireland. They sat in the twilight in
Bethlehem, talking to an Israeli and a Palestinian veteran, former enemies who have committed to peaceful resolution to their conflicts.

In three separate journeys, a total of 33 Manchester College faculty members – most with little international travel experience – embarked on a venture of a lifetime, supported by Plowshares (Lilly Endowment) grants for
travel to global conflict zones.

The goal was to broaden the world view of our teachers, to acquaint them with intransigent conflicts in the world and with resources in every field – social psychology, political science, economics, philosophy, education, science, language and the arts – to apply to solutions for persisting

Manchester’s faculty delegation was one of the last international groups to visit Cuba before the U.S. government ended educational travel to the island in 2004. (Access was restored in 2009.)

In Northern Ireland, James Skelly, resident director for Brethren Colleges Abroad, called on his associates in Belfast, Londonderry and Galway to give the Manchester delegation a thorough introduction to the troubles that
have plagued the area for centuries.

In Israel and Palestine, Elaine Lindower ’84 Zoughbi, who lives in Bethlehem with her husband and four children, presented a balanced program on peace efforts by both Israelis and Palestinians. Hostilities with Lebanon began just as the Manchester group was departing.

The Manchester international experience: on campus and abroad

January session 2008
“I took Comparative Civilizations for my senior year January session. It was one of the most amazing experiences that I have had at Manchester College. I never thought that I would have the chance to travel overseas. I got to learn and experience the cultures of many other countries, including
Ireland and England. It was a great experience and I will never forget it. If I could offer any advice to an incoming student, it would be to go on a January session trip if at all possible.” Lindsey Helstern ’08, management major

Plowshares faculty journey to Israel and Palestine, June 2006
“As I glanced at the fresh stamps in my first passport, I realized it was now official and undeniable: My first trip overseas would be to the Middle East. I had always assumed my international travel debut would be at Australia’s Great Barrier Reef or the cliffs and castles of Ireland, places I always dreamed of visiting. Yet there I was, traveling with 10 faculty colleagues through a world unlike anything I ever experienced … The faces, voices, sights and stories would broaden and alter my world view.“— Jill Lichtsinn ’79, MC associate librarian

Reflections of a northern Indiana student
“When I came to Manchester College I was not openminded, not at all. Being immersed in the intercultural community on campus has helped shape me into a better person. I’m not so narrow-minded anymore, I look at things more openly now.” — Anglett Wells ’13, biology-chemistry major

Reflections of an international student
"The 42 international students on campus remind others to look at the bigger picture. We are all essentially the same – young souls trying to figure out our particular callings for life through experience and enlightenment." – Tihitina Dagnew’10, political science major from Ethiopia

In this issue
We are in this together
from the president.

The Chime Inscriptions on the 10 bells continue to ring true today.

A legacy of Faith, Learning and Service
Remembering President A. Blair Helman.

International consciousness
Expanding MC horizons on campus and abroad.

The PERC pulses with activity
Bulging at the girders with Spartans, intramurals, classes.

Not your parents' P.E. class
Exercise and sport sciences bring new career opportunities.

Manchester in the spotlight
New initiatives put College in national media.

Profiles of ability and conviction


Alumni Office | 888-257-2586 |