Meet Tiffany Byers


When there’s something new to learn at Manchester, Tiffany Byers ’19 is never far from the center of things. So it made perfect sense that she chose to study away in Brussels, Belgium, in the heart of Europe and a short train ride to so many other places steeped in history and culture.

In more ways than one, Brussels is a long way from Tiffany’s hometown of Ligonier, Ind. She’s a first-generation college student who learned a lot about Manchester from the many teachers she had at West Noble High School who are MU alumni.

She considered going to IUPUI but the generous amount of financial aid that Manchester offered convinced her to come here. “I do like how small it is,” says Tiffany, adding that the friendly, welcoming community made it easier to transition to university life. 

Since she arrived on campus, Tiffany has made the most of her opportunities. She’s been to Washington, D.C., twice as an MU student – first at a conference about Palestine then as a participant in the historic Women’s March. A double major in peace studies and public relations, Tiffany has been involved in the Asian Awareness Association and Student Senate, too. “You can find your best friends,” she says, from getting involved and meeting people outside of your major.

On many Monday evenings she has enjoyed participating in the Kenapocomoco Coalition, an informal group of students who gather to discuss social, political, environmental and other issues of conscience. “I just like learning about all of these things that I never would have had I not been involved with peace studies,” says Tiffany.

While scholarships have made a big difference to Tiffany, she’s also worked hard to pay her expenses. In high school, she worked at Burger King and had a summer job rising at 6 a.m. to clean school buses. She’s worked two summers at Lippert Components Inc. and has had several on-campus jobs at Manchester, including as an assistant for the Office of Strategic Communications.

As a 2018 summer intern for OSC, Tiffany planned and directed the University’s annual Fourth of July celebration on campus – solid gold event-planning experience that she can put on her resume when she graduates in May.

But first, there’s her senior year. In the fall, she’ll live with a host family and study at Vesalius College in Brussels, an American-style institution that attracts students from around the world, many of them children of diplomats. With no classes on Tuesdays, Thursdays and weekends, Tiffany hopes to capitalize on Brussels’ central location and immerse herself in Europe as much as time allows.

She’ll also earn some of her spending money as a student storyteller for BCA Study Away, taking photographs that chronicle her European experience.

And when she returns to Manchester for her final semester she’ll join her sister, Nicole, who enrolled at Manchester this fall.

What advice would Tiffany give her sister? “I always tell Nicole she needs to talk to her professors right away.” Ask for help. Ask questions. Cultivate relationships with the people around you. Get involved, urges Tiffany.

After all, learning at Manchester is a holistic experience that comes from all kinds of people and in all kinds of ways. For Tiffany, the best place to do that is right at the center of things.

Melinda Lantz ’81