Page 1

Going Places Fall 2013

The Center for International Education Baylor University

lor l e c n a rr a Ch t S


Judge Ken Starr with Baylor student Abby Humphrey, a Buckner Project Go program participant.

As you well know, Baylor University’s mission is not only “to prepare our students for worldwide leadership and service,” but to welcome others from around the globe. In that microcosm of a global community, we learn from one another within the context of a “caring community.” The Center for International Education (CIE) offers abundant opportunities that are shining examples of global outreach. Throughout the year, our faculty and students travel to more than thirty countries. This has afforded our students an extraordinary opportunity to study other cultures and learn from colleagues around the world. CIE also offers valuable services to international students who choose to study at Baylor. This fall, our campus welcomed 624 new and returning international students – representing 73 countries. They bless us by calling Baylor their second home. Our motto, Pro Ecclesia, Pro Texana – for Baylor and for the world – echoes the Great Commission of Matthew’s Gospel: “therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” As a Christian institution of higher learning in this, the Global Century, our mission is more important than ever. Our University’s commitment to global education is ever deeper. We are grateful for the important work of the Center for International Education in fulfilling Baylor’s lofty mission. Yours sincerely,

Kenneth Winston Starr

TablE of Contents 1

3 Music Man





31 Athletics


Faith & Prison

Study Abroad


Japan Tsunami

International Students


38 Photo Competition

37 U.S.P.P.

The Middle


One Student s leads him

Parmida Schahhosseni Amjad Dabi’s first thought in the morning is for his family’s safety. “My parents are trying to survive,” Dabi said. “They still go to work, but getting out of the house everyday is a game of risk assessment.” With the civil war raging in Syria, Dabi left his home country behind to pursue his education. While many students find stress in the ordinary rigors of college life, Dabi has had to adjust to a whole new culture on top of that. And of course, he worries about the family he left behind. “How bad are the clashes today? Is it worth going out? Of course, it’s impossible to predict what could happen. It’s very difficult. Not the kind of life you would get accustomed to, living in fear constantly,” Dabi said. All these are questions Dabi asks himself on a daily basis. The pursuit of higher education led Dabi to Waco, but his journey began at home, in Syria when he met Bradley Bolen, who was holding a nonprofit music workshop for Baylor in Damascus. Dabi, a freshman piano pedagogy major, developed a bond with Bolen, who was leading the piano workshop. Dabi said he had often thought of leaving home to study before the war began in 2011, but the outbreak of fighting made that dream a necessity. Dabi said he still enjoys the support of the family he left behind; he credits his father with introducing him to piano.

Eastern MUSIC Man Desire for higher education far away from home

“Music has been a passion of mine for a long time,” Dabi said. “Thanks to my father who exposed me to piano lessons during my youth, my love for music grew and it became my passion.” The influence of music has been paramount in Dabi’s life. It makes a person more sensitive to the environment, allowing one to understand different perspectives and even impact others. Music is a common language that can be understood by all. “I want to use music’s ability to reach to other people,” Dabi said. “Music has power to communicate beyond obstacles like language, religion or race.” But while music may be a universal language, Dabi doesn’t live in a half-note-like-bubble. Instead, Dabi has had to adjust to American culture, something he admits he’s still getting used to. Particularly the lack of public transportation. Although the culture of Syria is different than America, he said, Syria is also a melting pot, influenced by both Christianity and Islam, in addition to Arabic, Roman and Greek cultural traditions. This has made it easier for him to adjust to America’s unique hodge-podge culture. It doesn’t hurt that he’s visited before, either. Despite it’s troubled present, though, Dabi said he is proud of his country and its rich and ancient history. For now, though, he plans to stay in the U.S. and finish Baylor. He hopes to keep his options open. Grad school is a possibility, he said. “Amjad is an extraordinarily bright individual who will be successful at whatever he chooses to do with his career,” said Bolen, who resumed his mentorship with Dabi upon Dabi’s arrival at Baylor. “He is a diligent piano student, and I very much enjoy having him as a part of my international piano studio.”

International Students strike up friendship of lifetime in Waco Four friends. Four journeys. One shared friendship. Baylor’s exchange program has had a profound effect on four international students, giving them an experience they said will last a lifetime. Anton Melin from Skara Sweden, Isabella Melano from Belo Horizonte in Minas Gerais, Brazil, Thábata Andrade from Sau Jose do Rio Preto of Sao Paulo, Brazil and EevaLiina Kyöstilä from Jyväskylä, Finland came to Baylor not knowing what to expect. They traveled thousands of miles from their homes, the distance offering them new perspective. And the opportunity for new friendships. “I’ve learned to respect and enjoy new cultures and different lifestyles,” Andrade said. “I expanded my worldview, making me a better person for it.” Upon arriving at Baylor, the four agreed none of them knew a single person. They took this as an advantage and began to open themselves up to other people. Andrade said she believes coming alone helped her become more independent and truly make the most of her experience. Baylor events aimed at getting international students involved in university life increase the interactivity of exchange students like the four. Three of the four friends met during welcome week activities, but Melano said she met her friends somewhere else. “I actually met Eeva-Liina at Wal-Mart and

through her, I met everyone else,” Melano said. Melano also credits the global community in Brooks Flats. All campus residence halls have programs throughout the year to encourage students to become engaged in their community. Melano said despite some of the inconveniences of dorm life, living in the dorm has allowed her to meet some great people. “The people were great,” Melano said. “I really liked the programs Baylor had in place for the exchange students such as the dinners and activities, because it allowed us to get to know one another. The community Baylor implemented made this experience enjoyable.” Throughout the semester, the students were able to visit cities like Houston, Austin and Dallas. It surprised Melin, who said each city in Texas is unique. During prolonged breaks, the exchange students would plan trips to places such as Las Vegas and New York. “Even though we went to Baylor, we still had the opportunity to see other cities in the U.S.,” Melin said. “It helped me appreciate the diversity of the States more.” The culture shock was minimal, they said, because all four are well-traveled. Kyöstilä said her previous travels made the adjustment period easier. However, there were times when she got homesick. “It was difficult at times, because my family and my boyfriend were both back home,” Kyöstilä said. “My friends did encourage me during those times, so it was OK.” The group said they took advantage of every opportunity Baylor has to offer, from Christmas on 5th Street to football games. “When I grew up, I wasn’t that big into sports,” Kyöstilä said. “It surprised me that I began to enjoy watching basketball and football. It’s incredible to continue learning about yourself. Being away from home really helped with that because of how different it is. I am continuing to grow and learn as a person.” While Kyöstilä, Melano and Melin only stayed a semester, Andrade stayed a full year. She was sad, she said. When the other three went back home, but it gave her the opportunity to make new friends with another set of exchange students. Andrade, too, is home now. The four friends remain in contact despite the distance. With the help of technology and social media, it’s easier than ever to stay in touch. They even discussed visiting each other during vacation or meeting up at a neutral site. In addition to learning about the American culture, Melin said gained other insights, making the experience invaluable. “I improved my English skills, and learned that there are no cowboys walking around the streets of Texas,” Melin joked. Melin said he advises others not to hesitate to participate in an exchange program. “It’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made because it challenges you personally. I’ve developed friendships that I otherwise wouldn’t have because of it,” he said.

Students serve tsunami victims in Japan It’s been two years since the catastrophic tsunami that hit the coast of Japan, causing thousands of deaths, billions of dollars in damage and a nuclear disaster that continues to haunt the small island nation. Recovery has been slow – many communities have yet to rebuild. Despite this, the vision of one Baylor professor has brought joy and hope not only to Japan’s northern region, but to the Baylor students who travel there as well. After the tsunami hit, Yuko Prefume, head of the Baylor in Japan program and a professor at Baylor University, said she desired to do something for those suffering the tsunami’s effects. With more than 20,000 people displaced, Prefume realized students in the Baylor in Japan program could both help the victims of the tsunami and experience the culture of Japan at the same time. This past summer was the second year Prefume took students across the Pacific Ocean to visit the devastation. This time, she said, she wanted to make a bigger connection. “Last year I had no idea what to expect so we went and visited schools and brought picture books for the kids and just did minor things,” said Prefume. “But this time, I wanted to do something more. This is part of a Japanese language class, and we have class in Tokyo before we go on these trips so they get credits. I wanted to incorporate their language learning to things that they could do when we visit these sites.” The desire to do more and incorporate the language element led Prefume to create a unique experience for the students in the program – reciting Japanese poems at the sites they visit. “I came across one of these poems that sounded really touching to me. So I used that. They studied it and did translations and I thought we could do another one, so I found another poem by the same writer. We did that as well,” Prefume said. She chose poems written by the late Japanese poet Shoji Miyazawa called “Good Deed” and “When We Walk Together.” Though she did not know it at the time, the chosen poems were brought to fame through use in tsunami relief commercials. Prefume emailed the poet’s son for permission to recite the poems. “In order to recite the poem in a public place I wanted permission, so I started searching and I found his son, and I emailed him to get permission to recite this poem in public.”

Prefume’s email opened doors for the students, who were then able to recite the poems to elementary school children in a town outside of Tokyo.

Prefume (front left) with students in Japan.

“They welcomed us with a ceremony and we brought English picture books and donated some of the books. So we visited the schools and the memorial and did the recitation of the poem,” said Prefume. The students’ contributions didn’t end there. After their experience at the elementary school, they traveled to northern Japan, the area affected by the tsunami. They helped with a children’s festival and cleaned up beaches, which, even two years later are still littered with trash. “When we cleaned up the beaches, the trash we picked up was not the trash you would see here,” Prefume said. “It was like cloth, blankets, little kids toys and shoes. It was things that were in people’s homes. There is still a lot of cleanup to do.” Although the students were able to help with the cleanup at the devastation sites, Prefume said she believed the students had a greater impact on the victims emotionally through the recitation of the poem. “This program is not about just learning the language. I want the students to interact with the people and learn the culture. Everywhere we went, we were so welcomed by Japanese people,” she said. The students were also encouraged by the impact they had on the people, according to Prefume. “When we recited the second poem, ‘When We Walk Together,’ it really touched them. Some people were actually crying. That really moved my students because they were able to touch the people and connect with them using the language they are learning,” she said. Additionally, reciting the poem – and seeing the reactions of the audience – increased the students’ understanding of the poem, she said. Prefume said she believes the Baylor in Japan program will continue to visit those affected by the tsunami devastation. She hopes their interaction with the people will enable a deeper relationship between her students and the country’s citizens, she said. “It was first hand experience and was great. I’m going to go back to the same place next year so that we know the people and can build a relationship with the people,” said Prefume.

Baylor in Maastrict: the program that lets you see the most of Europe

Thump. Tat-tat-ta. Thump. Tat-tat-ta. Thump. Tat-tat-ta. Annie Carr watched, with hundreds of people crowding around, as the Viking-clad throng marched towards her. Thump. Tat-tat-ta. The horns on their hats thrust upwards in defiance of the cold air as they pulled a village house along with them. Whole families decked out in furs filled the street. Thump. Tat-tat-ta. Carr was actually witnessing a group of Carnival celebrants in Maastricht, a city in The Netherlands. Carnival takes place annually in March as part of the city’s pre-Lent celebrations. The three-day long event includes a large parade held the Sunday before Ash Wednesday. When asked what her favorite memory of her time abroad was, Carr immediately replied “Carnival!” Leaving the Baylor Bubble in the spring of 2013, Carr traveled to Maastricht as a member of the Baylor in Maastricht program. She said she wanted to see as much of Europe as she possibly could, and knew since the program limited classes to Monday through Thursday, studying abroad would be her best chance to travel. Upon arriving at the university, Carr said her first impression was of the town itself. “I loved it! It was so cute,” she said. “It was fun and the people were so friendly. If they didn’t speak English they would go find someone who could translate.” Of the school itself she said: “I wasn’t expecting it to be as big as it is. 14,000 students, [and they] all come from different


Carr (oppostie page) on a trip to see the leaning tower of Pisa. Above left: paragliding in Switzerland, and above: Vikings Carr saw in Carnival.

Carr will graduate in May 2015 with a Bachelor’s degree in journalism and public relations. When asked about the educational aspects of the trip, Carr said: “It was education in a different way, the Baylor bubble versus meeting all these international students. You can meet [them] here, but meeting them while you are the international student is neat.” The program features a Monday through Thursday schedule which leaves students free on Fridays and includes a three-to-four week break to allow students to travel. In addition, the students receive a Eurorail pass. “Without a doubt, Maastricht” is the program that allows students to see the most of Europe, said Maxey Parrish, senior lecture in Baylor University’s journalism, public relations & new media department. Carr saw 15 different countries: Turkey, the Netherlands, England, Belgium, France, Spain, Italy, Croatia, Slovenia, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Luxembourg, Vatican City, Monaco and Germany. “During the last few weeks, when you don’t have class, we did the south coastal areas. I got to go in the Mediterranean Sea,” said Carr. Despite seeing all of those places, Carr’s favorite memory of the trip took place in Maastricht — Carnival. “On Friday you start to see some costumes, but Sunday is the big hurray. There is a huge parade and the costumes are incredible! You can tell that people have spent hours and months working on them [… ] It’s amazing and so much fun to experience,” said Carr. Her second favorite memory was Switzerland. “We were literally there for about 12 hours. We went paragliding over the mountains. It was incredible,” said Carr. The trip was part of an early birthday present from her parents and herself. “I think we spent more time traveling [to Switzerland] than we did in Switzerland,” Carr said. Now back at Baylor, Carr works in the Center for International Education. She said she gets to stay involved with study abroad programs and travel vicariously through them. “I would love to go back, but I probably won’t as a student. Maybe to visit or live somewhere over there and work,” said Carr.

answers revealed Maastricht Imagine the cold wind cutting through your clothes, ice falling from the sky around you as you ascend the sharp peak that is Diamond Hill. It wasn’t hailing when Jessica Korona and her peers started out into Connemara National Park in Ireland; however, half way up the mountain, the hail began. The late November day went from pleasant and sunny to having an icy chill. Despite the challenge —or maybe because of it — Korona said “getting to the very top of the mountain felt like a huge accomplishment. The view was definitely worth it.” Korona climbed the Irish mountain during her time studying abroad as a part of the pre-med Baylor in Maastricht program, which “really helped people to decide whether medical school was the right path for them,” Korona said. Korona, a junior biology major, said she heard about the pre-med Maastricht program while she was visiting Baylor as a senior in high school. She decided to apply her freshman year, since she knew the trip was only offered every other fall. After being accepted, she spent the fall of her sophomore year in Maastricht with Baylor professors Lisa Baker and Troy Abell.

Q. What was your first impression of the university? It seemed very homey and welcoming. It took me a while to find my way around the university and to class, though. There was about a 20-minute walk to class.

Q. How did studying abroad help you with your academic goals? The classes all built off each other, so we learned things more quickly. The professors work together, so if one thing is taught in one class, we don’t have to re-learn it in another.

Q. Describe one or two of your most memorable experiences. Ireland. We went to a national park [and] climbed this mountain. It started hailing half way up, but it was so much fun. We had a little cottage there and we made Thanksgiving dinner. That and Prague. I want to go back to Prague so bad.

Q. How much traveling did you get to do outside your studies? I went to England, Portugal, Ireland, Prague, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, France, and Spain. We went traveling every weekend we were there except for two.

Q. Do you plan on going back? I would love to, but it is really hard to fit in with biology. I am going to Kenya over the summer. My goals are to go to medical school, and then do mission work with Doctors Without Borders. I want to be a trauma surgeon and work in Africa or maybe South America.

d for study abroad cairo Have you ever tried to explain to someone what a Mormon believes? Have you tried to do it in a foreign language? A foreign language that you’re still learning? Garrett Shuffield has. A senior working towards a bachelor’s degree in religion and Arabic and Middle Eastern studies, Shuffield spent the fall of 2012 at the American University of Cairo. He said he first heard about the program from a professor while in class. Since he wanted to study Arabic abroad and see more of the world, he applied and took his first trip overseas. Shuffield and I sat down to discuss his experiences.

Q: What was your first impression of Cairo? The biggest culture shock was the size of Cairo. I wasn’t prepared for that, and the lack of Christianity in general after being at Baylor.

Q. How did studying in Cairo help you with your academic goals? I got a lot better at Arabic, and I became a lot more flexible and independent. I’m not sure how beneficial it was to deadlines though. Everything there is “if God wills.” Your professors would just say, “Turn in your homework on Tuesday if God wills.” You could turn it in on Friday and there would be no problem.

Q. Describe one or two of your most memorable experiences. One time I took the train to Luxor by myself. Coming back, I missed the train, so I had to ride a third-class train back. The third-class trains are way slower, but super cheap. I was the only non-Egyptian in my carriage on a 16-hour trip. I think my Arabic improved more in that train ride than in a year of class. This was while the U.S. election was going on, though. I kept being asked about Obama and Romney. I had to explain to one man in Arabic what Mormonism was and convince him that Romney was not a Jew. I was also asked to answer questions regarding America’s policy towards Israel. It was a thought-provoking time for sure.

Q. How much traveling did you get to do outside your studies? A decent amount. I went to the Red Sea, Alexandria, Jordon and Israel. The highlight of my trip was Jerusalem.

Q. Do you plan on going back? Yes. As of yet nothing is set, but I’m considering doing my master’s degree there.

Before he entered the prison, he said, he was thrown into a tiny room. Windowless, airless — and with no running water in the hideous toilet by the corner. It was dirty. It smelled. Forty other men were squished into the three-by-five meter space, where bedbugs crawled the concrete walls. He would not be allowed to leave. Not to shower, not to change. But before he was forced into the lockup, the windowless room of horrors, Mulenga Chella gave a police officer the five dollars he kept in his pocket, for safekeeping, he said. Things were about to get worse. Those men saw him. They begged him for money. Once inside the room, they searched his person for any that might be left. And when they found he had none, they beat him. They threw him into the stinking toilet, where he would spend the next few miserable hours. “Why? Why have you allowed me to suffer like this?” Chella asked his God. “I have served you faithfully.” Chella prayed the entire night. His prayers drew the attention of some of the men who beat him, who came to Chella in his dirty resting place. The men gave him water to wash himself and asked him to pray for them. They were going to court the next day, they told him. Chella said he was tempted — so tempted — to pray “a dangerous prayer for their deaths.” But he didn’t pray for their deaths . He prayed for their release. And when they left the court the next morning, they were free men. Chella was not. He remained in the prison for two years, imprisoned for a crime he didn’t commit. Months before his arrest, three different people warned Chella of his impeding imprisonment. A professor, a friend and a televised evangelist whom he had never met all told Chella God would use prison to transform him into the man he was destined to be. Chella wanted to be a preacher. Like Joseph in the Old Testament, it was his experience in prison that would mold his future ministry. Chella said he was called to ministry in his last year of secondary education in Zambia, his native country. He was involved in different church ministries when church leadership saw the work Chella was doing and made him pastor of a small church. He soon saw the need to go to seminary and was offered the opportunity to enroll in a private college called Northrise University in Ndola, Zambia. One day in theology class, Northrise President Moffat Zimba looked at Chella and told him, “God prepares leaders for leadership in various ways […] God even uses hardships, difficulties, even prison. God can even take this one, Mulenga Chella, and lead him into prison in order to prepare him for ministry.” A few weeks later, Chella was praying with a friend when the friend turned to him and said, “Mulenga, I hear the Lord saying he is proud of the work that you are doing in the ministry. I hear him saying that he is going to send you into a foreign nation, and in that foreign nation you are going to suffer very much. You are going to be imprisoned. And after, God is going to bless you.”

Days after that, Chella was watching an evangelist speak on TV. Her sermon was about surrendering to God. She looked into the camera and said, “There is nothing impossible to God […] Surrender your life to Him […] even if God wants to use you by taking you into prison so you can teach the will of God there, surrender.” After hearing of his future imprisonment three different times by three unrelated people, Mulenga said he chose to surrender to his fate — whatever that might be. He said to himself, “God, if You need to send me into prison to do Your work, then thy will be done.” Nearly a year later, Chella met a man who claimed to be a missionary traveling to Tanzania. He invited Chella to join his mission. Chella accepted. They were arrested the moment they arrived in Tanzania. The “missionary” Chella was traveling with was actually an international criminal, and because Chella was a foreigner, the authorities automatically assumed he, too, was a criminal. The “missionary” tried to escape from prison multiple times, and when his attempts failed, he attempted suicide. The prison guards told Chella he should let the man die. After all, as was responsible for Chella’s imprisonment. The guards told Chella if he helped the man back to health, then the officials would assume Chella was guilty by association. Instead, Chella nursed him back to good health. He fed him, read scriptures to him, and even changed his clothes because the man was unable to take himself to the restroom. When the man was healthy again, he told the officials that Chella was innocent, and Chella was released. Chella said he realized afterwards that if he had not nursed the man back to health, he may have had to stay in prison for much longer. Chella learned things in prison he would have not learned anywhere else. He was forced to rely fully on God, he said. Chella said he believes if he hadn’t been imprisoned, he would not have had the opportunity to come to Baylor. David Garland, from Truett Seminary, and Wes Yeary, the Athletic Chaplain, visited Northrise University and were touched by Chella’s story after his release. Garland invited Chella to share his story at Truett Seminary, and there he was offered a scholarship. After graduation, Chella said he plans to return to Zambia and plant churches. He will also serve as a part-time lecturer at Northrise University. Caroline Brewton contributed to this article.

. . . . Baylor PAWS Cole Short said it was the pursuit of his passion for international culture that led him to one of his most memorable college experiences; participation in the P.A.W.S. program. People Around The World Sharing, or P.A.W.S., is a program that allows Baylor students to interact with and become a “mentor” to an international exchange student. For students like Short, a senior from San Diego, Calif., this is an opportunity unlike any other. Short’s passion for international students began in high school when he worked with international students through his church. He also traveled abroad multiple times with his father’s company to experience the culture the world has to offer.

However, it wasn’t until orientation day at Baylor that Short found his connection with the P.A.W.S. Program. “I was at Baylor and was here for orientation and my mom was like, ‘Hey come check this booth out.’ So I went over to the booth and there I met Melanie Smith and I learned about the program and about being a peer mentor,” said Short. Not only did Short sign up to be in the peer mentoring program, P.A.W.S., but he also registered for Baylor in Thailand, a program of which very few freshman are a part. Short said his love for travel has definitely helped him relate well with the international students. “It all depends on how we approach the international travel. If we approach it in a certain way, we are more willing to learn. We need

to recognize there is value in another culture. Seeing another culture, looking at their values, and respecting them for that,” he said. Short said he is able to find the connection between his traveling experiences and the experience of mentoring international students. “It’s helped me a lot by looking and saying, okay what is important to them so that I can understand how they live their lives,” he said. Furthermore, Short said he believes as a P.A.W.S. partner, he has to understand that each international student is different, and everyone reacts to a different culture in different ways. “The purpose of P.A.W.S. as being a peer mentor for international students coming to campus is saying, ‘Okay I’m here to help you adjust to the culture here,’” said Short. “I feel that my job goes as far as ‘How can I help you adjust to the culture here?’ So if a student finds a friend group and they seem to really be plugged in with that friend group, I’m not going to push them and say ‘Hey, we’re PAWS partners, let’s meet.’ I’m going to be like, ‘Awesome, they’ve adjusted’ and in a sense my duty has been completed there. And I’m always there as a reference if they ever want anything.” Short described his experiences, saying: “I had one partner who came from China and we hung out a couple of times and then he found his friend group. He just set off and set sail. And then I’ve had other friends who I have met with consistently, either ever other week, or even every week. And we’ve really grown a friendship.” Likewise, he said: “I’ve been with some students who immediately adjust, like they are at home just in a different place. And I have other students who are homesick. They miss their girlfriend, their family, or they wish they were somewhere else, so it’s about understanding them and their needs and how they can be encouraged with where they are.” However, for Short, it isn’t just about helping to be a mentor for the students —it’s about learning from them, as well. “I’ve learned patience. It goes back to the cultural perspective and recognizing the values of different cultures,” said Short. “I think it’s all about the approach. CS Lewis said ‘It matters less what you read, but how you read what you read,’ and I firmly believe that applies to every international experience.” Short said he has a passion for international students and culture. This passion is not one he plans on giving up after graduation. “This passion for working with international students is something that is very dear to me,” said Short. “I desire to pursue a Ph.D. in international relations and political economy, and with that I want to research and I also want to teach international students in the college and university setting. Even graduate students, depending on if I understand the material at some point. So I want to work with those students, most definitely. That peer mentorship, the framework P.A.W.S. has set is invaluable. It’s awesome, just being able to interact with students.” Short encourages all students interested in international culture to become a part. “It’s something I encourage students who are interested in international cultures to do. It is a unique experience and you’re getting a taste of other nations when you’re able to be here and be able to work with international students from places so far away,” said Short.

Case Closed

Jason osei

Blake & Sean Muir

Baylor Stadium

Football Profile

Football Profile

Tagive_ Peni

Andreas Stramatis

Football Profile

Basketball trainer



Standing amidst his fraternal brothers in Floyd Casey Stadium, David Bateman watched as Baylor battled Southern Methodist University on the football field. After arriving late with Baylor down by 14 points, Bateman could feel the excitement all around. The cool wind of a Texas October night struggled to defeat the Bears’ spirits, but the heat of thousands of screaming fans’ bodies warmed the crowd. “In the last second of the game, the most exciting game I have ever seen [...] Lance Mcllhenny fumbled the ball and Baylor recovered [...] We would say in my fraternity section—this is kind of blasphemous to say—but it was almost like the hand of God came down to smite the sinners and make them fumble the ball at the end of the game so Baylor could win,” Bateman said. That was over 30 years ago, in 1980. Bateman was in his sophomore year. Bateman went on to graduate in 1983, and then graduated from Baylor Law School in 1986. Once a bear, always a bear. Bateman is still an active participant in Baylor football. “We come [back] at least three times a year, sometimes four or five,” Bateman said, referring to his wife, Jacque Bateman, and himself. Bateman and his wife first heard rumors about the new stadium while Robert Griffin III was making his post-injury comeback. Bateman wasn’t the only one. “Seeing him recover from when I was a freshman, all the way up to my junior year when he won the Heisman. Seeing it, I feel like I grew up with him,” said Earl Rhee, a junior from Guam. The idea of a new stadium has been punted around for years, but only recently has it become a reality. Construction on the brand-new Baylor Stadium, which will bring football back onto campus for the first time since 1899, began after the ground breaking ceremony game against Sam Houston State University on September 15, 2012. The new $260 million stadium occupies 93 acres of land directly across the Brazos River from Baylor’s law school and will include 860,000 square feet of space, compared to Floyd Casey’s 410,000 square feet. The extra space is going towards increasing the number of amenities, kiosks and the size of concourses and walkways. “I think it is absolutely fabulous,” Bateman said of the new stadium. “I think a lot of people do not go to the games because it is away from campus, especially if Baylor does not have a really wonderful football team, which hopefully will never occur again.” “It’s cool,” echoed Rhee, “we don’t need to drive all the way out there anymore.” Nick Joos, executive associate athletic director for external affairs, credits the recent success of the university football program, “coupled with the generosity of our donors and a lot of hard work by a lot of people” with making the stadium a reality. The increased prominence of Baylor’s football program has done more than just allow for a new stadium. “Being a football school isn’t necessarily a bad deal,” said Rhee, [it’s] really being integrated on campus.” Rhee said students at his high school, Harvest Christian Academy in Guam, now know about Baylor, and consider Baylor’s new reputation

when applying. University officials hope that the stadium will further this goal of increasing Baylor’s reputation. “From a football standpoint, it’s going to help our program in terms or visibility. It’s going to help it in terms of recruiting and general interest in our program. But at the same time, I think for our university there are a lot people who came to games at Floyd Casey over the years who have never stepped on to our campus. Hopefully, it will afford anther opportunity to sell Baylor,” said Joos. Far from just impacting the Baylor community, the stadium project has been called the catalyst for change for the Waco Brazos Riverfront area. Situated just off Interstate 35, the stadium is expected to receive 42 million views annually from drivers and has been estimated to create 6,000 jobs in the Waco area. The design for the stadium includes a walking bridge to connect it to campus, a year-round restaurant and a marina, which has sparked fans to create a new tradition (and a new vocabulary word, “sailgating”). Avid Baylor fans are already calling themselves the Baylor Navy. “I think that [sailgating] is going to be a hoot. I can’t quite imagine how it’s going to play-out, but I think it’s a hysterical idea and should be a lot of fun,” said Bateman. In addition, the stadium will also host activities for the Waco community besides football games, including concerts and conferences. It’s the third university stadium to be built on or near water according to Joos, the first two being the University of Washington’s Husky Stadium and the University of Tennessee’s Neyland Stadium. Joos said football is a given and integral part of the university experiences for most domestic students, but it’s usually a novelty to Baylor’s international students. Rhee agreed: “I grew up playing soccer, and I thought I wouldn’t enjoy this sport. I knew what football was, I had just never seen it in real life.” “It’s a good way for them to get engaged,” said Joos.

On left (from left to right:) David Bateman, his wife Jacque, futue daughter-in-law Meredith Meece and son, Mathew, at Homecoming 2013.

The international nature of the sport has been growing in recent years. There have been American football games in the United Kingdom, and Baylor’s own team hosts several international players. “Coach Briles has shown since he has been here that he will go anywhere to get good athletes, good students and good people,” said Joos. While the upfront cost might seem daunting, “there are not a lot of new stadiums being built on college campuses today. This one will last at least 60 more years,” said Joos. Bateman came back to Floyd Casey for homecoming this year to witness the game against Iowa State University. He and his family will also be present at the sold-out match-up on December 7 against The University of Texas at Austin. The game will go down in Baylor for record ticket sales, but also as the last game played at Floyd Casey Stadium. Despite the sadness of saying goodbye to what has been the home of the Bears for 64 years, there is some sweetness mixed in. After the season ends the Bears will move to their new home in Baylor Stadium. “You can’t take football out of Baylor,” said Rhee, “It’s here to stay.”

J Jason Osei Jason Osei never visited any of the schools recruiting him. At the time, he didn’t even have a strong background in American football. Yet, here he is, a member of Baylor’s record breaking football team. His parents were born in Ghana, but relocated to London in the 70s, where Osei and his siblings were born. He got his start in martial arts and other combat sports when he was 14 years old, and was only introduced to American football later, when he was 19. Osei said he was uninterested in the foreign sport at first, but felt drawn to it after having tried it. Three years later, Osei was staying with relatives in Finland and found himself passing time playing American football. “It was something fun to do in the meantime. I had no idea it would help me come to Baylor,” he said. Osei uploaded clips of himself playing to YouTube. That’s when the phone calls from American recruiters began to flood in. During phone interviews, Baylor offensive line coach Randy Clements struck a chord in Osei, offering him a no-frills testimony of what to expect at Baylor. Osei said Clements’ honesty impressed him, and the rest is history. “Everything Coach Clements said has been true,” said Osei. “Baylor feels like home.” Osei said coming to Baylor taught him to recognize and embrace new experiences, both globally and in his own community. “You can’t hang on to what you know, you have to have an open mind,” he said. Looking back on his transition from London to Waco, Osei has just one regret. “I definitely should have packed more shorts!”

B&S w M nSean

l - Bay

T ou o chd

u ir

r o




a e

-F d lo n y a d n


- Foot ba ir


Mu ir













ke la




S y - e an




Sean Muir

With sweat rolling down their faces and forming puddles on the ground, the linemen take their stance, staring down the defender, waiting for the snap. “Hut,” the quarterback yells, and the 300-pound defensive linemen charge toward them. Australian natives sophomore Blake Muir and freshman Sean Muir both couldn’t resist the opportunity to play football at Baylor University. And although the brothers aren’t facing defensive behemoths yet, they may soon. This season is a learning opportunity as the brothers sit out and try to learn the system. Blake Muir, a transfer out of the University of Hawaii, has to sit out this season to satisfy NCAA eligibility requirements, and brother Sean is redshirted. “Right now, we’re on the scout team and trying to help out the guys that are playing as much as possible. I just have to wait until next year and Sean is the same,” Blake Muir said. Each sibling had a unique journey to Baylor. Baylor recruited Blake while he was at the University of Hawaii and Sean received a scholarship offer prior to his freshman year. The chance to play side-by-side was an offer neither brother could resist. The brothers said they are enjoying their time at Baylor, but the transition wasn’t always easy. In addition to adjusting to the time zone change, learning how to drive on the other side of the road wasn’t a cakewalk either. It’s typical for there to be early growing pains, but the brothers have adjusted well to life as Baylor Bears. “It’s seems like a better school, a better environment to be around,” Blake Muir said. “The football team is obviously doing pretty well.” Blake and Sean didn’t pick up American football until later in life, but the brothers never shied away from sports. Prior to American football, they played rugby and Australian football, in addition to swimming and surfing. While they said they do enjoy participating in other sports, right now, their hobby is football. With only a few more games left until this season ends, the brothers will be counting down the days until its their time to step on the field as they focus on their future. When asked about their future plans, the brothers made it clear they are going to compete. “It would be to try and get a starting spot for next year. It’s going to take a lot of work, but it’s a good goal to work toward.” Sean said as Blake nodded in agreement.

P Peni Tagive As he stands on the practice field, staring at the sunset with a fierce look on his face, redshirt freshman defensive end Peni Tagive can’t help but be excited about his opportunity to complete for a spot on Baylor’s football team. Tagive, born in Camperdown, New South Wales, Australia, came to the states to play football. After sending his tape, Baylor gave him a scholarship and the rest was history. In Australia, rugby’s popularity can be compared to U.S. football. Prior to playing football, Tagive excelled in rugby. In fact, he played for the National Rugby League in Australia for five years. Tagive finished his career with Newtown Jets and retired from rugby after winning New South Wales Cup grand final. Rugby and football are different, but Tagive said he is adjusting well to football because the two sports do have a few things in common. “It’s a lot more technical and more explosive,” Tagive said of football. “The physicality, to me, is the same. It’s just I’m wearing pads this time.” With hopes of eventually becoming a starter, Tagive said he is continuing to learn the game. He accepts this year will be a year of growth. He has seen minimal playing time and has three tackles to show for it. Growing up Tagive was active in many sports, but it was the physicality and the competition that led him to pursue rugby and later, football. His competitive nature has fueled his need to be successful, he said. “I don’t like to lose,” Tagive said. “I’m not a bad sport. If I lose I will try and come back bigger and stronger.” With competition comes motivation. Tagive’s desire to succeed has fueled a fire inside of him that can be translated on the field and off the field. Faith, family and success are a few things motivating him to do his best, he said. And while he is pursuing a degree in exercise physiology, Tagive also hopes to continue his involvement in athletics after Baylor. Tagive’s mother comes from a family struck by hardships, which gave him a sense of compassion, he said, because he understands what it’s like to struggle. With that in mind, he continues to be opportunistic — and takes everything in stride. Including his move to the U.S. Tagive said he did have to make some adjustments when he arrived. The heat was a big factor because he wasn’t used to it. Adjusting to the food was difficult because he didn’t really like it at first. Tagive credits his teammates for making the transition easier. Once he began to get used to everything, adapting wasn’t a problem, he said. The Baylor community has been his favorite aspect of living in the U.S. As a man of faith, Tagive embraces the Christian environment, but he also enjoys getting to know people. As a former big-city dweller, Tagive is embracing the smaller Waco because he said it allows him to focus on school and football. Fortunately, Tagive isn’t the only Australian. Sophomore offensive lineman Blake Muir and freshman offensive lineman Sean Muir are two other Australian players on the team. “We didn’t meet until a few months before because we knew all three of us were going to be over here,” sophomore offensive lineman Blake Muir said. “We did some training together back home. We’re the only three Australians on the team, so we try to look out for one anther.” Off the field, Tagive’s hobbies include playing video games, watching movies and talking to his family.

A Andreas Stamatis Imagine moving to a different country, leaving friends, family, and everything you know behind. But throw in a Big 12 Championship and a chance to work with Britney Griner, one of the biggest names in women’s basketball today, and suddenly, this daunting move becomes a dream. Andreas Stamatis, conditioning coach for the Lady Bears basketball team and Ph.D. candidate, left his home and family in Athens, Greece in pursuit of better opportunity. “All my family is still in Greece,” said Stamatis. “My sister my brother and my parents. It is hard but it is what it is, right now we are in the middle of an economic crisis and there are not the same opportunities over there right now.” Although he started out as a strength coach for a professional women’s basketball team in Greece, Stamatis knew he needed more. “I was the strength coach in Greece for women’s basketball so when I decided that it was time to go, I said I have to go to the best,” Stamatis said. That led him to Baylor. But that opportunity comes with a price. Between school and coaching, Stamatis admits things can get a little hectic. “School was difficult. I mean, time wise, I don’t have a lot of time, but I did it. I am also currently working on a study in physical activity and mental toughness and how they correlate.“ It’s a price, though, that he’s happy to pay—when it comes to the team, Stamatis said he puts all that aside and focuses on their goal “I do strength conditioning with the women. Conditioning, running and lifting. We are doing training, so we produce better athletes, not just players,” said Stamatis. Stamatis said he has full faith in the team and the effort that they are putting forth, with high hopes for the team in the upcoming season. Especially since last season the team didn’t achieve the ultimate goal of a second national championship. “We are trying to prove a lot of things this year. Last year we didn’t. Hopefully, we will this year,” Stamatis said. “Hopefully, we achieve a lot and impress a lot of people who think we are done. The style we play is going to be way different, since we don’t have Griner.” Stamatis described his experience at Baylor as a game changer. Although he has coached on the professional level in Greece, he believes that Baylor is on a whole different level. “We don’t have the college level in Greece. If you are good enough, you go pro. But I could easily compare our team to professional in Greece. We have a lot of resources and are organized. We have everything we want, especially this team. This team looks like a professional team and works like a professional team,” said Stamatis. For the future, he said, he is wide open to any possibility as any unguarded player on the court. “I have three years to finish my Ph.D., so who knows what will happen after that. I know I won’t go back to Greece,” he said. “But I am not opposed to moving.”


Students: acomplishments

Dual Perspectives First international law student unites Chinese American Problem solving

To Yuqi Cai, small is a couple of million people. Cai was born and reared in a town on the outskirts of Shanghai, China. There “the town is small, but it would probably be considered very big here,” she said. The first international student in Baylor Law School history, Cai can’t help but stand out among her classmates. “I feel different from everyone else,” she said. Yet Cai said she uses her unique perspective to her advantage every time she sits down to solve a problem. “In class, I ask myself ‘How would a Chinese student view this problem? How would an American student?’”

When Cai was just 15 years old, her parents encouraged her to leave China behind and receive an American education. Cai briefly attended high school in Michigan before pursuing an undergraduate degree from the University of Nebraska. Then, it was on to Baylor for the next step “I didn’t want to hang around in Lincoln anymore,” she said. “I can’t stand snow. I really wanted to be in Texas.” Cai said she enjoys the low student-to-faculty ratio offered by Baylor Law School. Small class sizes afford her the opportunity to get to know her professors, something she’s never had before. The Chinese education system is very different, she said. There, during her first year of high school, Cai was just one of more than 700. Furthermore, Cai said she found the curriculum rigorous. “Chinese high school students don’t have any free time. Well, I don’t have much free time now that I’m in law school, but I love what I do,” Cai said. With her background, it’s no wonder Cai became interested in law; her father is a practicing lawyer and her mother is a retired judge. “We would argue in the house all the time,” she said. “My dad always won.” Although her parents still live in China, Texas is where Cai intends to stay. Both Cai and her parents hope she can find work in the U.S., although she said returning to China to practice international law is one option. The first year law student is uncertain of how she wants to use her degree upon graduation, but she is sure of one thing: “Not criminal law.” She explained lawyers in China don’t have the privilege of specializing in a field of law as those practicing American law. Cai said she s still adjusting to life as a law student. “Learning case law is totally different from learning anything else,” she said. Nevertheless, Cai said she has faith the best is still before her. “Everything comes with time!”

American Dream,

Realized Chamath Chandrasekera was born in a country torn apart by war: Sri Lanka, an island of almost 22 million off the coast of India in the Indian Ocean. The war provided the background of his childhood; it ended right before he left for the United States at age 20. Chandrasekera’s first visit to the United States made quite an impression on him as a 10-year-old who spent most of his childhood playing with chemistry sets and microscopes. He was always enamored with physical and natural sciences, he said, but he first really felt his calling while volunteering at the National Diabetes Center in Sri Lanka when he was 19 years old. “After a week of interacting with patients, I became more attuned to the importance of medical intervention,” he said. “I realized doctors and scientists are needed to improve treatments, design new drugs and search for cures for diseases like diabetes.” With his purpose in mind, Chandrasekera considered his future. “I knew American universities were equipped with state-ofthe-art laboratories and afforded many research opportunities to undergraduate students,” he said. From there, the decision was easy. “I wanted to pursue my higher education in the U.S.” Chandrasekera said he was initially attracted to Baylor after surfing the university website, where he learned Baylor is a private Christian university with a reputed pre-med program. He applied late and found out only after his acceptance that Baylor is the largest Baptist university in the world.

“All the other schools that I applied to fell through for one reason or the other, and I ended up at Baylor,” he said. Nevertheless, Chandrasekera said he is confident Baylor is where he was always meant to be. Chandrasekera is Baylor’s first pre-med student from Sri Lanka. “I guess you could say Baylor chose me in more ways than one,” he said. Throughout his time at Baylor, Chandrasekera said the Center for International Education community has been a source of strength and inspiration for him. Also helping is the fact he finds Baylor students enthusiastic about meeting international students. “Almost everyone has at least one friend who is an international student,” he said. Chandrasekera said the hardships he experienced growing up in Sri Lanka enabled him to better relate to others, helping him to make friends in a new environment. “My background gives me a chance to meet different personalities and find common ground with them,” he said. Graduation is in sight for Chandrasekera, who intends to complete his undergraduate degree in December 2013. He said he plans to “enroll in an M.D./Ph.D. joint-degree program since I want to become involved in the field of medical research and this will provide me with the best training to become a physician scientist.” His advice? “You cannot truly grasp the magnitude of a problem or see its effects unless you witness it firsthand. Study abroad,” he said. “Exposure to different cultures helps students become informed citizens as they step into their professional fields.”

Program provides Pathway between Nations How can you learn when you can’t understand? School is hard enough. What if those impossible-to-comprehend lessons were actually impossible to comprehend – because they were taught in a whole different language? The importance of earning a degree can become overshadowed by the difficulty of learning in a new language. But one program – and one woman – are trying to change that. Jessica King Gereghty, director for Admissions and Recruitment, said she always had a love for international opportunity. After graduating in 2012, Gereghty got involved in the U.S.-Sino Pathway Program. This program gives Chinese students the opportunity to receive an American education, starting with English lessons. Students begin by taking English classes in China to become acclimated to the English language. If students excel in this category, they move on to the next steps of attending American colleges like Baylor. These steps include maintaining an acceptable G.P.A. and picking out colleges they are interested in. “Students have to make good grades and take English tests along the way to keep advancing,” Gereghty said. There have been challenges with Chinese students that transfer such as adjustments with advanced readings in classes like English and religion. Also, “The paperwork is harder,” Gereghty said. Since the program works in foreign countries, the work that has to be done for transfer students is more complicated than it is in America. The program, though, has been able to overcome these challenge and more. The program particularly works with the Paul L. Foster Success Center. Here, Chinese students can receive advising from a Chinese-speaking individual, which greatly benefits the students. “I love the fact that we can have a global community in Waco, Texas,” Gereghty said. Gereghty said she believes this program and the success of transfer students so far has greatly enhanced Baylor University and will continue to do so in times to come.

Grand Prize Right - Una vista protetta by Cameron Strong Baylor in Maastricht - This photograph was taken about an hour before sunset on the western side of the Italian island of Capri. Along this rocky coast are several small forts (i fortini) from the age of Napoleon. The image looks south back at the island from within a small room in one of the remaining forts. Una vista protetta translates to ‘a protected view.’

Next Page: Left (3rd Place) - Quand je marche dans la rue by Abby Scheller (Universite de Caen) Right Top (1st Place) - Free thinking by Emily Evans (Baylor in Maastricht) Right Bottom (2nd Place) - The journey from plaftrom 93/4 by Kristine Turner (Baylor in Oxford)

Left - Under the Tuscan sun by Melissa Kasper Baylor in Florence -

While living in Florence, Professor Callaway made friends with a British couple on their honeymoon. They realized their hotel was across the alley from his apartment, so the morning after he met the couple, he called up to their window asking them if they’d like for him to take some portraits of them on the streets of Italy as a wedding gift. They obliged and I quickly ran across town to meet them and we got to photographing! There had just been a light rain, so the black cobblestone streets were slick and picturesque for the Italian street portraits we were capturing. It just so happened as we were shooting that this cook poked his head out of his restaurant to see what we were up to, making the shot a perfect depiction of Italian life. The couple was great, posing and being patient as we captured the new stages of their married life.

Staff Pick

Arts Architecture

Landscape Cityscape

People Previous Page: Left (2nd Place) - I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud by Kristine Turner (Baylor in Oxford) Right Top (1st Place) - Man on Lake by Tane Tatum (Baylor in China) Right Bottom (3rd Place) - Chilly Night for a Stroll by Brittany Lozano (Hosei University)

People: Top Left (1st Place) - The Beauty of Generations by Amy Lott (Social Entrepreneurship in Africa) Bottom Left (3rd Place) - Gone with the Wind & Go with the Flow by Derek Newberger (Baylor in Maastricht)

Right (2rd Place) - Street Painter by Marissa Marak (Baylor in Florence)

The Center for International Education consists of the International Student and Scholar Services and Study Abroad.

ut o Ab E CI

The International Student and Scholar Services provides orientation and immigration services for incoming international students and scholars, as well as facilitation of and advocacy for Baylor’s Study Abroad and Exchange programs. During 2012, over 623 international students and scholars from 73 countries were present on the Baylor campus, and during the past academic year, more than 820 American Baylor students participated in Baylor’s over 104 outgoing study abroad and exchange affiliate programs for academic credit. The Center is dedicated to the support and success of all Baylor students, abroad and here on campus. The Center’s mission of “bringing the world to Baylor and sending Baylor to the world” starts with the individual student. Each day, the Center’s staff strives to encourage the growth of tolerance, understanding, respect and compassion within each student by actively seeking to create opportunities for international and American students to interact.

Jo Murphy Chair in International Education Baylor University One Bear Place #97012 Waco, TX 76798-7012 Phone: 254-710-1461 Fax: 254-710-1468 E-mail:

The Center works to provide the most positive experiences for international students and faculty, and to emphasize the contributions of our international guests to the student body. By attracting top students from all over the world, both international and American students’ horizons are broadened beyond their immediate culture.

From left to right. Top: Karoline Argo, Courtney Carter, Hailey Cowan Middle: Parmida Schahhosseni. Katherine Davis, Emily Baker, Alex Alford, Ella Theuer. Bottom: Mellisa Laster, Yasmin Pouya, Alexa Hoisager

Kat Davis

Caroline Brewton

Designer, Writer, Photographer Marketing, 2013 Aberdeen, Scotland

Editor Journalism - News Editorial, 2013 Beaumont, Texas

Parmida Schahhosseini

Ella Theuer

Writer, Editor Public Relations, 2013 Houston, Texas

Writer, Photographer Journalism - Public Relations, 2014

PR en ci e





Special Thanks:

Curtis Callaway Kyle Beam Baylor Athletics

Hailey Cowan Alex Alford Emily Baker

Melanie Smith Lauren Phillips Marie Henry

where to next?

Going places  
Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you