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My Manchester Story

Shayla Welch

by User Not Found | Mar 07, 2022

What led you to Manchester University?  

When I was looking for colleges, I wasn’t sure where to start. I didn’t know if I wanted a small or big school, close to or far from home. I didn’t even know what programs to look for since I wasn’t sure what I wanted to study! These questions were answered quickly after I visited and went on a tour here at MU. My school was offering a visit to Manchester University as a field trip and I decided to go simply because I was excited to get a break from a day of classes. I didn’t know much about MU, just that my grandmother had graduated from then Manchester College in 1958. Just like many other Manchester students, as soon as I stepped on campus, it felt like home. Something about the small campus, beautiful trees, lively squirrels, and friendly faces told me immediately that I was right where I needed to be. I still applied for many other colleges and visited many other places, but my experiences at Manchester continued to show me that I would end up here.  


 At Manchester, not just my admissions counselors remembered me, but the professors that I met with before knew my name and recalled details from our past interactions. I could tell that here I was so much more than just another student to add to the recruitment totals. I was seen as a potential asset to the community. Someone who could make Manchester better and be made better by Manchester. Like so many other students who were inspired by their on-campus experiences, at the end of the day, my decision became easy. I wanted to go where I was wanted. Where I would thrive and where I knew I would be at home. 


Why did you decide to major in Peace Studies, Educational Studies, and Mathematics? How do you think those will correlate in your future career?

I came into Manchester as a mathematics major who also wanted to get all of the credits I needed in science so that I could eventually attend medical school. I had already completed two years of medicine related college courses while I was a high school student, and I completed two different licensure programs in the medical field, so I thought there was no way my major would change. However, once I began my first year, I found myself loving my mathematics courses and suffering through my chemistry course. My chemistry professor was amazing. She went out of her way to explain things to me and help me understand the content, but I just didn’t love it. Three more years of chemistry sounded like a nightmare to me, so my advisor helped me pursue other avenues. After an incredible January session trip with the Peace Studies Program that I attended due to my desire to travel, I decided to try a few education and peace studies classes alongside my math curriculum. I ended up falling in love with both programs and haven’t looked back since. 


What are your plans after graduation?  

I intend on going to graduate school for mathematics directly after I graduate. I am not sure where I would like to attend yet, but I am enjoying researching different graduate schools. After I finish my master’s, I would like to go into the Brethren Volunteer Service for a year or two. Service is a huge passion of mine, and this would let me do service full time! After I finish with BVS, I want to get my Ph.D. in mathematics and pursue my career goal of becoming a professor. I have a huge passion for math and want to be able to share it with mathematics students for years to come. My experience at Manchester has deepened my love for math and helped me recognize my desire to teach at the college level. I look forward to being able to use the techniques and information I learned here at MU in my future classroom. 


You’re a Spartan Ambassador. Can you tell us how you’ve been able to connect with prospective students with this position?  

As a Spartan Ambassador in the Office of Admissions, I can connect with prospective AND current students alike. I get the chance to give campus tours, participate in student panels, eat lunch with prospective students and much more! I love speaking to current students and my favorite thing to do is to hear all of the different Manchester stories from the people who come to visit. All of them are unique but share the common themes of community and comfort. Since I am the head ambassador, most of my days in the office are spent making schedules, communicating with other ambassadors and making sure each student who visits our campus makes some great connections with our current students. I love working in this office with so many great advisors and coworkers.   


Can you share what else you’re involved with on campus?  

Outside of my position in the Office of Admissions, I am very involved on campus. I spend some mornings lifeguarding at the local pool, and I am the co-treasurer of the Kenapocomoco Peace Coalition. I am not a member of the Church of the Brethren, but I am the co-treasurer of the Simply Brethren club on campus. I am a member of Students Today, Alumni Tomorrow as well, so I get to help work with fellow students on philanthropy and also interact with the community and Manchester alumni a ton during the year and at fun events like Homecoming, Giving Day, and Spartan Parents and Family Weekend. I also spend a lot of my time in the fall and some of my time in the spring golfing as a member of our women’s golf team. I love spending time with my teammates and coach during practices and weekend tournaments. If I could, I would be involved with so much more on campus as well, but since there are only 24 hours in the day, I go to other club events, like those held by Artists Anonymous and the Environmental Club when I can. 


Share your favorite memory at Manchester so far! 

Many of my favorite memories at Manchester University were during Camp Mack Day. Once every fall, we get a surprise day off from classes to travel to Camp Mack, where we have a day of food, activities and tons of fun. My freshman year, all of my friends and I rode together on the same bus and had so much fun, even before we arrived at camp. Once we got there, we made s’mores, went kayaking (my favorite outdoor activity), climbed the rock wall, got to know more students, played 9-square and gaga ball, beat our professors in the First Annual Honors Program Staff vs. Student Sand Volleyball Tournament, and so much more. It is easy to say that this day and subsequent Camp Mack Days have created the absolute best memories I have at Manchester and led me to meet new people and try new things that have made my experience on campus even more amazing.  

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