Dr. Timothy Shea, associate professor of English, has recently joined the Global Education team. Find out more about Dr. Shea and what he had to say about his new position at Global Education.
When I was training to be a teacher at Millersville University back in 1987, I never imagined my professional journey would take me to over 30 countries where I would teach at various international schools, two of them for close to a decade. I could not dream of what it would be like to hike snow-capped mountains, walk the rim of an active volcano or dive with sharks on the Great Barrier Reef. I never imagined that I would make friends from all around the world, (one being my British wife). Most importantly, I do not think I could fathom how the decision to live in faraway places with global colleagues would shape me, both personally and professionally, but it did!
Now I have the privilege of working with a terrific staff at The Office of Global Education and Partnerships whose mission it is to inspire the next generation of travelers and explorers to experience the rewards of cross-cultural learning. Some would say I have the best job in the world and I think they’re correct!
Hearing stories from students whose “lives have been changed” by a study abroad experience, reminds me how valuable this job is. I love the challenge of helping both my colleagues and my students discover the joy of international study and travel. I hope to further expand international possibilities at Millersville through the following ventures: professor-led courses abroad, expanding our population of international students, and developing greater possibilities of international internships, including student teaching.
I look forward to seeing Millersville University become a leader in global education as it embraces the ways our curriculum and programs should prepare our students for our global community. Exciting days are ahead for us and I am happy to be a facilitator of this process!
If you are interested in learning more of what is happening here with Global Education, please stop by Cumberland House where you will learn the role YOU can play in cultivating both your own dreams as well as those of the next adventurous wanderer.
The Office of Global Education and Partnerships is pleased to announce the addition of Christina Accomando as Program Coordinator. She is eager to mentor students through the study abroad process so they can have incredible life-changing experiences. Check out the Q&A session below to find out more about Christina!
Hi Christina, how are you enjoying working at Global Education so far?
I really enjoy working at the Global Education Office and I knew I would when I interviewed.I sincerely believe in the magic of studying abroad and everything it can do for college students.I love interacting with the students, helping them discover their goals and navigating their options.Since I am learning a completely new field, I look forward to having a full academic cycle under my belt.I am excited for my first group of outgoing students to return to Millersville, so I can see their amazing photos and hear their stories!
What college did you attend and what did you major in?
I attended Connecticut College, which is a small, residential, liberal arts college in New London Connecticut.It has about 1600 undergraduates.I was a Fine Art major and a Philosophy minor.
Have you had any study abroad or travel experience? If so, where did you go and for how long?
I was fortunate to grow up with a family who loves travel, so before I entered College I had seen a lot of the world.I studied abroad in Florence, Italy and had the opportunity to visit Pisa, Lucca, Venice, Rome and Cinque Terre in Italy.During my semester I also traveled to Dublin, Ireland, Brussels in Belgium and the Netherlands. My only regret was not going to Prague in the Czech Republic.I was thinking about doing my semester abroad there.
What attracted you to apply to be a study abroad Program Coordinator at Millersville?
When I worked for the Office of Admission at Franklin & Marshall, I enjoyed speaking to prospective students about the potential opportunities they have to study abroad and the details behind those experiences.I was attracted to the Program Coordinator position because I really enjoy mentoring and guiding college students and I believe that Study Abroad can be a life changing experience.The Global Education position was perfect.
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
I’ve thought about this a lot since I started working here and it would be easier if I could give you a top five list.But, since I can only pick one, on the top of my bucket list is to see the Northern Lights.I would like to go to Sweden, Norway or Finland, cross my fingers and hope the lights will put on a show.I’d like to go there in the summer when the sun barely goes down, but apparently the time to go for the lights is September through March.I guess I’ll have to go twice!
What is a typical day like at the Office of Global Education?
Because we work around an academic cycle, no two days seem to be the same.I am learning so much about how the year progresses and what to expect around the corner.I can say we are always busy and the day tends to be too short.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I love the outdoors.I enjoy spending time with my family on walks and at the park or on hikes in the area.I love to garden and do projects around our house.Otherwise, I love trying new restaurants, entertaining friends, reading, going to the movies, sporting events and concerts.
What is an interesting fact about yourself that most people do not know?
Fun fact:I taught Taylor Swift horseback riding lessons when I was in College…she was about 10 years old.
Feel free to stop by our office and meet Christina! She would be happy to chat with you.
Have you ever considered what Millersville University looks like from an international perspective? Ewan McCall, from the University of Strathclyde in Scotland, has been an exchange student at Millersville for the 2012-2013 academic school year. During his time at Millersville, Ewan has studied as a Music major, discovered tasty Philly cheesesteaks, and has even seen the Macy’s Day Parade in New York. He will soon be returning home to the University of Strathclyde , one of Millersville’s partner universities, and we will miss him dearly! Before he leaves, however, Ewan has graciously taken time to share his experience and impressions of Millersville with us—read on to see his answers!
The Basics –
Name: Ewan McCall Age: 20 Hometown: Dumfries, Scotland Home university: University of Strathclyde Field of study: Music Major
Fast Facts –
Instruments you play: Vocal (Baritone) and Alto/ Soprano Saxophone Favorite American food: Philly Cheesesteak, Cheesecake Factory, Wawa etc. Favorite extracurricular activity at Millersville: Keystone Singers/ Jazz Ensemble/ (my own funk band) Chaos Thompson!
Why did you decide to study abroad in the United States, specifically at Millersville University?
I decided to study at Millersville for several reasons. I knew that the Music department had just undergone a multi-million redevelopment and that several of the music lecturers at Millersville were highly regarded. Millersville was also well positioned geographically. It is so easy to get to and from Baltimore, Philadelphia, Washington D.C. and New York – and from the moment I arrived and was greeted by such friendly people, I knew I had chosen the right university!
What totally freaked you out prior to arriving at Millersville, but turned out to be no big deal?
I thought I was the only Scottish person coming to Millersville, but on arrival I found out that not only was everyone really warm and welcoming, but there were also 3 other Scottish students who had come over to MU from Strathclyde. This put me completely at ease about staying in such a beautiful, relaxed, and friendly environment.
What is something you tried for the first time while you were studying abroad in the States? Did you enjoy it?
Ranch dressing, frozen yogurt, Whoopee pies, Shoo-fly pie, authentic Philly Cheesesteak the Cheesecake Factory, Wawa, studying Solfege (intensive music theory) and wearing a tuxedo. I enjoy ANY food so these all of these went down a treat! I also loved looking very dapper in a Tux. However, with studying Solfege, funnily enough I wasn’t so keen… however, being educated in Solfege will be invaluable to me as a well-rounded musician.
What is the coolest place you visited while studying abroad?
Visiting California and New York (specifically the Macy Day Parade!). It seemed like everything was a new experience for me!
What did you experience in Millersville that would never have happened at home in Scotland?
MU homecoming, an American football game, seeing squirrels daily, singing in my first opera, and learning the American slang y’all!
The social aspect of being regularly and openly invited to other people’s houses, rather than going out on the town each time you wanted to meet up with someone.
What is the biggest cultural difference between Strathclyde and Millersville?
I think the way that MU students show that they are very proud of both their national and social heritage is the biggest cultural difference. Daily lives seem to revolve much more proudly and freely around university here at Millersville than back home. I think the British attitude to university is that it is a stepping stone in our lives, helping us get to where we want to end up, rather than an epoch. Everyone also drives on the wrong side of the road here at MU!
What are you most looking forward to when you return home?
Being able to socially drink again!
What did you gain academically and/or professionally?
I gained a tremendous amount of musical experience and new-found knowledge. I believe I managed to accomplish as much as I possibly could in the short year that I had. I tried to be as versatile as possible during my time here at MU, learning how to perform as a sound engineer, an entrepreneur, a musician, and an educator.
What did you learn about yourself personally over the past year?
I learned that I can be a more motivated, positive individual and become much more independent when I put my mind to it.
Many Millersville students embark on a once-in-a-lifetime study abroad experience, either through Millersville’s partner institutions or through a Non-MU program provider, supported by The Office of Global Education. There are many things for them to consider as they prepare to go abroad, and we had a chance to speak with Janelle Haupt — a Millersville International Studies major and Spanish minor — who flew around the world to Spain through a Non-MU program. We picked her brain before she left on what she expects from the trip and also got the chance to speak with her after she arrived in Spain to get her thoughts about her experience.
Name: Janelle Haupt Age: 20
Major: International Studies, Spanish minor
Study abroad host university: University of Salamanca through Academic Programs International (Non-MU program)
Study abroad host city: Salamanca, Spain
Year of study abroad: Senior
What about study abroad drew you to apply?
The biggest reason I want to study abroad is to improve my fluency in Spanish. I also have never left the United States, but have always wanted to travel, so studying abroad is the perfect opportunity for me to get travel experience while broadening my resume.
What do you foresee as the biggest challenge while abroad, and how do you plan to overcome it?
The biggest challenge I foresee while abroad is culture shock. I plan to overcome it by embracing it and reminding myself that I will be a better person for having lived in another culture.
What are you most excited about?
I am most excited about being in a foreign country and being able to see the different landscapes, architecture, etc. that you find in Europe. I am also very excited to visit Paris and participate in several other excursions throughout Spain to experience the different provinces and cultures within Spain.
What courses will you be taking and why do you plan to take them?
One of the courses I will be taking is “The Arab World In Hispanic Culture”. I want to take this course because it offers a different perspective than you can get at MU and I also find culture studies to be very interesting. Another course I will be taking is “Spanish for Business”. This class appeals to me because I think it will be useful to me in the job market and it offers a different aspect of the language. The final course I will be taking is a mandatory Spanish grammar class. This class will help me adjust to the language when I arrive, while helping me to expand my vocabulary and continue practicing the grammar I have already learned in classes at MU.
What do you hope to achieve personally, professionally, academically while studying abroad?
I hope to gain confidence in my ability to speak Spanish, learn another culture, and get a new academic perspective. I also want to become more outgoing through my experiences while abroad.
Now That You’re There…
How are you adjusting to your life in Spain? What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome?
I am adjusting well to my life in Spain. The biggest challenge for me, other than speaking only in Spanish of course, was adjusting to Spanish meal times. Spaniards eat breakfast around 8am or 9am, then have lunch around 2pm, and then do not eat dinner until at least 9pm or later.
What is something you’ve done for the first time while abroad?
I rode a camel in Morocco! I have also eaten grapes right off the vine at a winery, climbed to the top of a cathedral, ate premade toast from a bag, and picked figs from a fig tree.
How are your classes going? Do you feel that these classes will be helpful to you for your future goals?
I love my classes. I definitely think these classes will be helpful to me because they cover a lot of important vocabulary, but also offer a lot of insight into Spanish culture.
What are you going to miss the most from Spain once you are back in the US?
Taking a siesta! Also, I will miss the “Menu del dia” in restaurants. The menu usually includes two main courses, dessert, bread, and a drink for a fixed price that can sometimes be as low as 8 or 9 euros.
Besides your host city, what other countries or places have you traveled to since you’ve been abroad?
I have been to Paris (France); Tangier, Chefchouhen, and Assilah (Morocco); and Santiago de Compostela, La Coruna, Barcelona, Madrid, and Toledo (Spain). I also visited my host mother’s house in Tamames, a small town about an hour outside of Salamanca.
Why should MU students study abroad?
It is such a great way to meet new people and make new friends from all over the world. You will look at the world differently after studying abroad and you will really grow as a person. Also, it’s just fun to have new experiences in a place you’ve never been before! I highly recommend that every student take the opportunity to study abroad.
How is your experience going to help you personally, professionally, and academically?
Personally, this experience has definitely given me more confidence in my abilities than anything else. Coming to Spain with a decent background in Spanish, I still was not sure how I would fare, but I have been able to communicate more or less and have learned so much already. I realized that I knew a lot more than I thought I knew.
Academically, my time here has really helped me to reinforce and expand upon things that I have learned in high school and at MU. I have learned so many things in my Spanish classes, but it is a completely different experience to have to speak it every day. You don’t really realize how much you know and how much you have yet to learn until you are forced to use it all the time.
Studying abroad will be a huge asset to me professionally because as the world is more interconnected it really lends credibility to your resume to have had a study abroad experience. Also, studying in Spain has really helped me become more fluent in Spanish, which will be a huge help when applying for jobs, and since I want to go into an international business, most jobs I would apply for are looking for bilingualism.
Each semester our study abroad participants are invited to submit their most impressive and impactful photos that encapsulate a unique experience abroad. The photos are judged within four different categories. The following are the Spring 2013 Winners, accompanied by excerpts from each student’s photo explanation!
“The photo was taken as I was crossing the Carrick-A-Rede, which is a rope bridge about 90 feet above water that basically connects a cliff to the mainland. At first, I was a bit apprehensive about crossing the bridge because I have a slight fear of heights, but the views on the bridge were totally worth it. The photo brings back wonderful memories of a great weekend in Northern Ireland, seeing absolutely breathtaking scenery, eating authentic Irish food, and enjoying time with friends abroad.”
“Where Else to Go”
I named this photo “Where else to go?” Because that’s what the day was like for me. I was adventuring the Hermosa! (Beautiful) City of Valparaíso with a sweet friend of mine, Sage Narbonne, who is from North Carolina. She and I would take turns at taking photos for each other. This particular day was the first time she and I went alone to some of these back streets of the city! We stumbled upon colorful houses, inspiring murals and stray dogs. All while trying to keep our tourist status on a less obvious note.
Category – Marauders in Action
“Petting the ‘electric mower’ in Lochness”
Fort Augustus, Scotland
This picture was taken on a day trip to Lochness, in Scotland. Our tour guide, Gary, got special permission to take us to a property in the area not open to the public. The woman whose property we went to had the most gorgeous house right by the lake, with woods nearby. She also owned three horses, but she did not refer to them as horses; she called them ‘electric mowers’ and said they cut the grass on her whole property. Going to her place in Lochness was really special to me because it was different and not the typical area people go to see when they go to Lochness. Plus, Lochness is one of those places you must go to at least once while you are in Scotland because everyone wants to know whether you have seen the “Lochness monster.”
“Top of the World Facing Our Fears”
Portillo Ski Resort, Chile
This was photo taken on the Andes Mountains at the Chilean Ski resort in Portillo. It was medium alright…. This was a very unforgiving next level up from the baby beginner slopes, but we braved it! This day was breathtakingly gorgeous and the nature of skiing opened my eyes to many life analogies, one I am willing to share is: nothing is TOO HARD FOR GOD! He made all of these mountains and so he can surely help me figure out my way in life! I will ALWAYS remember this day! There were points on that very slope I felt like I am absolutely NUTS for coming up here but I HAD TO make it down alive so I pretended to be brave. A day to always remember.
I encountered this view of King Ludwig’s castle on purpose. One of my traveling companions I had met earlier in the day heard that there were fantastic views of the castle from a bridge crossing a ravine. We walked about ten minutes from the actual castle to the bridge and I was taken away by the beautiful views. I had seen this view of the castle in travel documentaries and photos of Europe and Germany but seeing it in person was such an experience, one that I will never forget. The view from this bridge is so great that you forget that this little metal bridge is all that stands between you and the rocky ravine below. In fact, I tell everyone that coming here is something you should strive to see if the means and sense of adventure allows.
“This City is Beautiful”
“This City is Beautiful” was a curious walk I went on with my friend Sage. We wanted to go to parts of the city that were not mainstream so we headed a las Colinas (to the hills)! Here we found many small item grocery outlets in which to purchase Palta or avocado as we know it! This photo brings back some of the sweetest memories of my life thus far. The people of Chile are a special people that know what it means to deeply enjoy life through the things that really matter: family, friends, love.
I came across the local Scottish band after a long day in Edinburgh. It was the first day I visited Edinburgh while in Scotland, and the bus tour I was on met near the National Gallery in Edinburgh at the end of the day. The Scottish band was playing right next to there, so I listened to them before I left Edinburgh that day. It was a really interesting experience to listen to an authentic band from Scotland, and they were actually really good. I very much enjoyed listening to them, and I honestly wish I could have listened to them longer. The photo brings back wonderful memories of experiencing my first day in Edinburgh, which happens to be my favorite city in Scotland, and listening to the band was a very good end to a very good first day there.
“Ready to Dance Hyuano”
This picture is so special to me because the dance performance helped me wrap up my time in Chile and reminded me why I decided to study in Chile. The first day of orientation a group of Chilean students danced traditional dances for all the exchange students. Throughout the semester I took a course on these traditional dances and learn the history behind each. It was a class I will never forget because I have always loved dancing and the professor made me even more interested by showing me new dances. At the end of the semester the professor asked other students and me if we would like to perform for the Chilean students as a way of thanking them for their hospitality. I immediately said yes as I knew it would mean a lot to the Chilean students and faculty. I danced to two different dances, one being the national Chilean dance and wore the traditional outfits. After the performance I had Chilean students, faculty, staff, and even just guest at the university thanking me for embracing their culture that it really showed me how much it meant to them. Who knew that a simple performance would mean so much. Dancing for the university will always mean so much to me.
The Office of Global Education & Partnerships has been sending students around the world for many years, and we are proud to say that 100% of our participants would study/intern abroad again and recommend other students to study abroad as well. This is a sample of what recent participants commonly state about how meaningful a study abroad experience was for their undergraduate career at MU:
“The most rewarding aspect of studying abroad was definitely becoming fluent in a language that I have been studying since high school. I have also met so many friends from around the world that I will continue to stay in touch with. Making friends and learning the language were definitely the top rewarding aspects of my experience. Oh, and traveling the world!” – Justin Abell, Universite de Caen in Caen, France: Spring 2013
This was a wonderful and life-changing experience and I am so glad I had the opportunity to do it! I can’t wait to go abroad again.” Melinda Hatt, Queen’s University in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Summer 2013
“I enjoyed being part of the South African community the most. I thought getting to know the students on campus and traveling to their home towns was the most amazing part. I had the chance to explore the entire country and it was endlessly beautiful and full of surprises.”– Dillion Payne, University of Kwa-Zulu Natal in Durban, South Africa: Spring 2013
“Studying abroad was the best experience of my life and I think it has had positive impacts on all aspects of my life. I would encourage every student to take the opportunity to study abroad. Meeting new people from around the world and having interesting and unique conversations with those people was probably my favorite part of my experience. Although studying abroad can be somewhat expensive, I like to tell people that I would spend 3x the amount that I spent to have the same exact experience, because the people you meet and the new and unique experiences you have are absolutely worth it.” -Kevin Koehn, University of the Sunshine Coast in Maroochydore, Australia: Spring 2013
“I expected to go off to study abroad and come back with a feeling of how incredibly small my place in the world is, but it’s the exact opposite! I learned that people from all over the world can easily come together and collaborate on amazing things. The globe is indeed shrinking. It gave me the ambition to do so much more than just sit at home—I can’t wait to see where this takes my career.”-Kerri Milliken, University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland: Spring 2013
What do a cultural dinner, exceptional faculty and staff, and a hands-on world map have in common? All of these things could be found at the 4th Annual Celebration of International Education at Millersville University on May 9, 2013. This annual event was hosted by The Office of Global Education & Partnerships and The International Studies Program. Among those in attendance were faculty and staff from the two aforementioned programs, international exchange students, scholarship donors and recipients, and past study abroad participants. Highlights of the evening included a humorous and insightful guest speaker, a ceremony to honor outstanding international student work, and an emotional farewell to the Director of Global Education and Partnerships, which made the evening one to remember.
Guest speaker of the evening, the Honorable Jordan Harris (Millersville University ’06) gave an invigorating speech on the value of international education for undergraduate students. Representative Harris was elected to the State Legislature in Nov. 2012, representing the 186th Legislative District in Philadelphia, and he credits his success in large part to his experience at the London Metropolitan University as a study abroad student. Representative Harris claimed he “achieved the impossible” when he studied abroad, which gave him the confidence and motivation to push himself to achieve great things, such as becoming the youngest elected official in the House. Because of his experience, he encourages all young people to push their own international boundaries, which will challenge and benefit them in the future.
Later in the evening, Dr. Kirsten Bookmiller, Director of Global Education & Partnerships, spoke on her decision to step down as director and move on to other exciting, international education ventures. Having held the position of Director for 16 years, Dr. Bookmiller has impacted many students, faculty, and staff, and has been a driving force behind the study abroad programs at Millersville. Study abroad participation has increased significantly since she began, and the number of Millersville international partner programs has increased from three to eighteen partners. Dr. Timothy Shea, associate professor of English at Millersville, has joined the Global Education staff as the Director of the Office of Global Education and Partnerships . The Office of Global Education will miss Dr. Bookmiller dearly, but its staff is also excited about and looking forward to the positive energy this transition will bring!
In addition to Dr. Bookmiller, several other international faculty and staff members also moved on at the end of the Spring 2013 semester. Dr. Dominic Scott, Chair of the International Studies Curriculum Committee, is retiring from Millersville. Ms.Emma Weber, Program Coordinator at the Office of Global Education for 12 years, is moving on to pursue other ventures.
Several students were recognized for their exceptional dedication to international study. Dr. Robert Bookmiller, Director of the International Studies Program, and Dr. Scott inducted five students into the Gamma Phi chapter of Sigma Iota Rho, the International Honors Society of Millersville University. Dr. Kirsten Bookmiller and Dr. Shea recognized nine students as the 2013 Millersville University Global Education Ambassadors. The Global Education Ambassadors program was developed as a creative outlet for returned study abroad students who wanted to share their experiences and passion for the program.
In addition to these students, several select students were recognized as the 2013 Study Abroad Scholarship Recipients. These scholarships are made possible by the donation of generous benefactors. Below are the scholarships awarded and their respective recipients:
James E. Harf ’61 PhD, Study Abroad Scholarship, awarded to Marie Friesleben (Italy)
Jackson Family International Education Scholarship, awarded to Jessica Hernandez (Colombia)
Dr. Erik & Mrs. Jeanne Nakjavani Award for International Study, awarded to Kimberly Gardyasz (Costa Rica)
University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) Fall 2013 Exchange Program Scholarship, awarded to Julia Schmutz (Australia)
Overall, the evening was filled with good food, great speakers, and was a celebration of all things international!