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GOINGPLACES Baylor University Center for Global Engagement

Account Executive and Creative Director: Mathieu Hodnett Staff: Kaitlyn Harp, Kiara Nowlin, Amanda Piker and Jennifer Janicki

Fall 2016 Baylor University Center for Global Engagement

New Director 3 New Space 4 Eric James 5 Robert Verrill 7 Mohit Parmar 9 Joining the U.S . Army 11 Briana Fisher 13 Leticia 15 Megan Sarsfield 17 Favorite Local Hot Spots 19 Photo Contest 21

Bo White became the study abroad director at Baylor University on Oct. 10, 2016. Coming from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champagne, Mr. White brings with him high expectations and plans for the future. “My expectation is that we try to be among the best and not necessarily the biggest international education team in the country. It’s not sacrificing [quality and quantity] or one over the other…numbers are the fruit of something being done well,” said White, “so I think that we want to do things so well, that people want to be a part of it.” Baylor University, compared to larger public institution, has a smaller program. However, the Christian focus on service which is integrated into every program at Baylor, provides a unique advantage. “An advantage of being at Baylor is that we can be intentional about integrating study and service. And to be responsible in our cultural engagement, I think is important. Being responsible in cultural engagement should be part of the DNA of what we do” said White. Mr. White wants to lead the study abroad program at Baylor to be one of the top programs in the nation and has the full capabilities to do so. “As director, I just hope that we continue to be guided by national and international best practices and we get a reputation for doing things really well” said White.

Story by: Amanda Piker 3

Students coming and going; the chatter of conversations in a variety of languages fill the air. A sight and sound which was not associated with the Center for Global Engagement before this year. Formally in Poage Library, the Center for Global Engagement relocated to Hankamer on Aug. 5, 2016, providing the department with more space and opportunities than before. “We are still close together but we each have our own offices and so I think people are a bit more productive than they used to be,” said Erin Thoes, Coordinator of Faculty Led Study Abroad Programs, International Travel, and Communications. The new space has facilitated relationships between U.S. and international students without influence from the faculty and staff of the Center for Global Engagement. “To see the students have a big lobby where they can converse, even the U.S. students meeting international student,” said Melanie Smith, International Student Relations Coordinator, “now we’ve seen a whole gambit of the U.S. and international base that we serve on campus and that I think has been exciting.” Overall, the move to Hankamer has given the Center for Global Engagement the ability to give international students a space for themselves on campus, to be a home in a place so far away from their home. “The student lounge is a place where international students can bring their friends or just go and study” said Smith, adding “the central location, is a place where we can display international flags or décor that would make an international student feel like this, this is my home on campus.”

Story by: Amanda Piker 4

Story by: Mathieu Hodnett Photos provided by: Eric James


ERICJAMES All around is the sound of a bustling crowd that is rushing to make it on time. People are shoving, there is hardly room to move. An unfamiliar language fills the air as Eric James makes his morning commute to his university campus. He pushes his way through the dense crowd, it is Tokyo rush hour. The scene is overwhelming, but James is ecstatic to be in the city he’s dreamed of visiting. Eric James, a junior Asian Studies major, discovered his desire to visit Japan while playing video games. “The thought of Japan intrigued me, seeming so different from American and European cultures,” James said. He continued to research Japanese culture and his interest in studying abroad began to grow. One of his Baylor professors even encouraged him to study not one semester, but a full year. “My professor, Perfume-sensei, has always been a constant source of guidance and support. I’m looking forward to returning to Baylor next year because I miss

her and Baylor’s Japanese program,” he said. After his initial interest in Japan and the support of his professor, James went to a Japan-American Student Conference to prepare himself for his year abroad. The conference included 30 students who came from different countries. They traveled for three weeks throughout Asia and formed some great friendships. “My experience with the conference helped to prepare me mentally and emotionally for my year abroad. It allowed me to make some close friends in Japan that I can spend time with and rely on when I need help,” James said. James’ year abroad will help prepare him for his future job in Japan. Since James is an Asian Studies major, he plans on pursuing a career in Tokyo. “In a way, this year is like a trial run for me of what it will be like after graduation. I’ve had to leave Baylor behind, along with all of my friends from back home, and become reasonably independent, integrating into a new academic institution, learning


how to navigate different forms of transportation and even setting up a bank account on my own,” James said. Not only will his year abroad prepare his future foundation in Tokyo, James hopes that it will help develop his sense of self. “I think studying abroad is one of the central parts of my educational experience, and I hope that it will give me the opportunity to develop myself as an individual,” James said. James hopes during his year in Tokyo, he will be able to unravel the gift the city is. He wants to analyze the historical culture for what it truly is as opposed to his preconceived notions of the city and he hopes to continue meeting amazing people who will make his year abroad excellent. “My hope is that during my exchange year and beyond, I will be able to dig deeper and separate fact from fiction about the real nature of life in Japan,” James said.

Robert Verrill’s stark white robes stand out against the green grass and the dark stone design of the Rosenbaum Fountain. As the water cascades and collects into the bottom of the fountain he speaks in a calm, collected voice. He speaks in a way that brings the listener into his peaceful world. However, his world has not always been peaceful and it took this friar a while to reach that sense of tranquility. Contrary to the belief that Verrill is a monk, he is actually a friar. Monks began around the third and fourth centuries when men went out into the desert and formed communities to live prayerful lives in isolation from the rest of the world. Friars, on the other hand, were founded in the 13th century and, although they live in religious communities, they engage with the outside world. “It’s a slightly different way of life between being a monk and being a friar, but it’s easy to get confused because we both live in religious communities,” Verrill said. Verrill is part of the order founded by Saint Dominic called the Dominicans. He first discovered the Dominican order when he was working on his doctorate in mathematics at Cambridge University. At Cambridge, there was a program that allowed students to live alongside the friars and learn from them. “At the time, it was a cheap student accommodation,” Verrill said. “You ate well, had a nice room and it was probably one of my happiest times while at Cambridge, just praying with the Dominicans and sharing their life.” After living with the Dominicans at Cambridge for two years, Verrill worked in computer engineering.

He enjoyed living with the Dominicans, but he was not drawn to religious life yet. One day he heard a BBC radio documentary about how religious orders in the United Kingdom were struggling for vocations. “This really got me thinking that some people have to live this life in order for this way of life to continue,” Verrill said. Even though Verrill enjoyed computer engineering and was successful at what he did, he decided to pursue religious life. “It might mean that I will have to rely more on supernatural graces rather than my own natural abilities,” Verrill said. “Just after thinking about that I thought this might be more fulfilling, not just a matter of duty, but it might be something I find life-enriching and enjoyable and give me sort of direction.” Verrill joined the Dominicans in 2006 and learned the ways of a Dominican friar. He began wearing the Dominican habit, got in the routine of prayer and learned about Dominican spirituality. Then, he made his simple vows of obedience, chastity and poverty. Since becoming a Dominican friar, Verrill has been ordained a priest, worked as a chaplain at Edinburgh University and worked in a hospital as a chaplain. Then, Verrill attended University of California, at Berkeley to get his masters in philosophy. “One of the characteristics of Dominican life is that we take a study as a part of our spirituality,” says Verrill, “After ordination, we have the opportunity for further study so I started my further study in philosophy two years ago.” Verrill is continuing his further study in philosophy and has made his way to Baylor University 7

Photos and Story by: Mathieu Hodnett to earn his doctorate in philosophy. He first heard about Baylor University at a conference in Edinburgh. “I met someone whom I told that I was interested in doing a doctorate in philosophy of science,” Verrill said. “I really wanted to study a philosophy of science from a Christian perspective.” He then learned about Dr. Alexander Pruss, who works at Baylor and has a doctorate in mathematics and philosophy. His background is similar to Verrill’s and this drew him to come to Baylor to continue his education. John Haldayn, who is another Baylor professor, is an expert on Thomas Aquinas. His expertise on Thomas Aquinas also convinced Verrill to come to Baylor. “It seemed like there was this combination of expertise that was a match for my area of interest,” Verrill said. Now that he is at Baylor University, Verrill feels a lot of support from the community. Even though he is apart from his Dominican brothers, he is involved at St. Peter’s Catholic Center that is close to campus. He also visits the Dominican community in Dallas once a month. “I love living in community, that’s one of the

reasons that drew me to the Dominicans,” Verrill said. “It is certainly a change, but I feel like everyone is giving me a lot of support.” Verrill continues to wear his Dominican habit, which is his white robes, around campus. He is easily recognizable as he makes his way to his classes everyday. Even though it is optional for Dominicans to wear their habit in certain situations, Verrill continues to wear his to stay connected to his community. “In a way, it’s part of a reminder of my identity as a Dominican,” Verrill said. “So I find it helpful for myself to remind myself of my calling.” As Verrill reflects on his time with the Dominican order, he is glad that he joined them. He feels that his life has been fulfilled and enjoys engaging in thinking about his faith. Verrill believes he has found a sense of peace which he has never felt before. “I didn’t have this kind of peace when I was working as a software engineer,” Verrill said. “Discovering that peace of life is something very special. That was one of the things that reassured me that I was in the right place.” 8

For most incoming college students, freshman year is a huge transition. People move away from their families for the first time and enter into an environment with new people, new places and new experiences. Mohit Parmar, however, is no stranger to adapting to his surroundings and came to Baylor University with a breadth of cultural awareness. Indian by citizenship and heritage, Mohit was raised in Dubai. By definition, he is a “third culture kid” or someone raised in a culture other than their parents’ for a significant part of their development years. After traveling to the U.S. for higher education, he has an understanding of the differences between the cultures. In his opinion, Dubai and India share several similarities but both are obviously different from the U.S. in many ways. “In India and Dubai, you see all types of people. So, compared to the U.S., it’s very different,” Mohit said. “You have people of all mindsets and everyone is

thinking differently so you learn to live with everyone.” This experience living in a diversified culture in Dubai and India and then living in a country where people are more steadfast in their opinions and views, has helped Mohit learn to bridge the gap among cultures. “Living in three different cultures has shaped how I look at things and view things,” Mohit said. “Every single person you meet has a different story, so if you don’t approach it with an open mind and try to understand someone’s point of view, you will not get along. That’s what I’ve learned here.” His adaptability has served him well at Baylor. After learning of the university through an admissions representative, he made the move to Texas to study business. Since starting in 2015, he has joined several organizations including the Driving Club and the Residence Community Council. Despite being half way around the world, Mohit has found the comforts of


home in Central Texas. not only makes him a “third culture kid” “One of my aunts lives in Dallas but also a person full of understanding for and her son, my cousin, goes to UT Austin those around him. so I’m right in between family,” Mohit said. “Also, I like the weather. Dubai is hot, so I’m very comfortable in this climate instead of some place like New York.” He plans to visit as much of the U.S. as possible while in school and even bought a car to help him travel. So far, he’s made it to California, Alabama and Florida. However, his love for traveling extends beyond the U.S. “One of the best things about living in the middle of several countries is the ability to see everything,” Mohit said. In addition to looking for internships, he hopes to spend a summer in China with Baylor’s I5 program. He is grateful for his travels and that he’s been able to go back home on major breaks. His unique situation and own good fortune, allows him to see the opportunities U.S. citizens have. “You all are very fortunate to have things the way they are. You can fight for something called freedom. That doesn’t exist in many places,” Mohit said. As he continues his time at Baylor, Mohit will keep learning about different perspectives and backgrounds. His significant experience with several cultures


Story by: Jennifer Janicki Photo provided by: Mohit Parmar

Joining the United States Army is not an easy process. It takes hard work and determination to complete the rigorous requirements to become a soldier. However, once the training is finished, the sense of pride one feels from becoming a part of the United States Army is worth the sweat and tears. This is a feeling that Bulbul Ahmed and Shuyan Yan have felt since joining the U.S. Army. “It’s a certain kind of pride. I don’t know any other country, but the USA is really something else,” Ahmed said. Ahmed and Yan both joined the U.S. Army to become United States citizens. For Ahmed, he joined because he wanted to continue his research in geophysics once he graduates from Baylor University. After he gets his doctorate, he wants to work in a federal government-funded research lab. This is something he wouldn’t be able to do if he wasn’t a U.S. citizen. “You can say, as I’m getting my citizenship, I put my foot in the door for my dream,” said Ahmed. Yan wanted to get his U.S. citizenship because he has been in the United States for eight years. He has lived here since he was 17 years old, and has felt like a U.S. citizen for a long time. “I feel like I belong here,” Yan said. Yan also wanted to join the Army because he wanted to be a soldier his entire life. This opportunity was a way for him to follow his dreams. “I joined the Army for a lot of reasons,” Yan said. “I always wanted to be a soldier. I wanted to challenge myself, and I wanted to be a citizen.”


So far their experiences with the Army have been positive. For Ahmed it has been an influential part of his life. “I feel that I did something good,” Ahmed said. “It’s a really good testament for my life.” However, joining the Army is not for the lighthearted. Ahmed and Yan both agree that before joining the Army one should put some serious thought into it. “You have to be really motivated and have really good mental strength,” Ahmed said. “If you have these two then you can join the Army.” Yan believes that it is a good idea to consult someone who has been part of the military before joining the Army. It’s important to be sure that the Army is the right fit. “Talk to friends who have joined the program or who have military experience,” Yan said. “Make sure a life in the Army is what you want.” Ahmed also believes it is important to stay determined when joining the Army. Joining the Army is difficult, but Ahmed believes if one quits, they lose the work. No matter how difficult it may seem, it is important to keep moving forward. “You need to stick with it,” Ahmed said. “Then you get something really good that you can tell later.” Despite the Army being a lot of hard work, the reward is worthwhile. Ahmed says that there is no better feeling than the sense of pride he feels from being part of the U.S. Army. “Working for the Army, people will say to you, ‘thank you for your service.’ That’s really important and really motivating,” Ahmed said.


Story by: Mathieu Hodnett

“So, what are you doing after graduation?” is the daunting question that haunts all seniors in college. Employers demand an ever-growing list of characteristics in potential employees; it is as if they are looking to hire someone with all the experience already. That is just it, companies want to see real-life application and traveling abroad provides just that. With three sequential semesters spent overseas yielding lifechanging experiences, Briana Fisher graduated early from Baylor University and landed a competitive position with PNC Financial Services as an auditor field examiner. Once she arrived at Baylor as a bright-eyed freshman, she was ready to see the world, “and the

only thing stopping me was that I was a freshman.” After that, nothing stopped her from exploring 16 countries. First stop was Maastricht

in the Spring of her sophomore year. Located centrally in the Netherlands, a Eurail pass was the ticket to 13 countries and a truly eye-opening experience. Seemingly, every train station was in different

languages and Briana had to quickly pick up on how to communicate whether it be in sign language, body language, or practicing her French. Running from train to train, translating as you go, and asking for help from strangers all pushed her out of comfortability and into a stronger sense of self-sufficiency. Not yet satisfied, Briana jet-set to London with the CGE program. Briana landed an internship with VB Research. Saturated in the culture abroad, she was able to work with a diverse group of people from around the world. Her selling point: her French. Speaking another language is a highly sought after skill for employers, but moreover having an internship abroad and speaking another language, gave Briana two-legs up.

Briana hopped on yet another plane to attend Baylor’s pilot semester with Paris SAI. Briana took part in an exchange program where you live with Americans, but are able to mingle with the natives. Briana found that immersing herself in the culture and being able to speak French and English interchangeably was her favorite aspect. While many students find it challenging to get equivalent classes abroad, Briana hustled to find the classes for her major. With only an introduction to finance under her belt, Briana had no choice but to enroll in the next best alternative—a capstone finance class. Briana reckons that was the hardest aspect of her semester in Paris, but she learned to adapt and challenge herself. “If you put two Americans

together, one from New York and another from Texas, they will figure a way to work together. But if you put two people from separate countries together, not so much,” Briana said in regards to how she learned to work with a variety of people. Being abroad is asking for a wild card

equipped to land whatever job she desired. In her last semester, she had 30 interviews lined up and a packed resume. Most importantly, Briana has become a cultured, selfsufficient, and curious individual who is confident she can make the best out of any experience. When applying to jobs, “Wow! You have been abroad 3 times,” was a common statement. For Briana’s current job as an analyst, she has to travel often. When inter viewing, she was able to discuss how she would pack up all her belongings in 15 minutes and within a few hours be settled in another country. of experience which caters many Adaptability is a sought an after transferable skills that employers skill and with the determination to are looking for: communication, see the world and all that humanity adaptability, being able to thrive in has in store, she was able to secure any situation. a job and set the record for most Briana was more than semesters abroad at Baylor.

Story by: Kaitlyn Harp Photos provided by: Briana Fisher

Getting an athletic college scholarship is a goal for most athletes but few actually achieve it. Going to the Olympics is something many athletes dream of, but that dream will remain an unattained aspiration. For Leti Cherpe De Souza, she has done both at the young age of 20 years old. Lucky for Baylor University, she will be representing the university at meets across the nation on the track team. Leti Cherpe De Souza recently made the journey from San Paolo, Brazil to Waco, Texas only two months ago to attend Baylor and be a part of its distinguished track team. However, just a few months prior to picking up and moving, she was representing Brazil at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Although many athletes train their entire lives to get to this point in their athletic career, Cherpe de Souza has only seriously trained for a few years to perfect her craft. “I started to train five years ago running one hundred and two hundred meters. Two years ago I changed my event and started to running 400 meters too, and my body reacts pretty well to this,” Cherpe de Souza said. “It is amazing to know that I am young, and I have so much to improve.” Going to the Olympics was always Cherpe de Souza’s dream, and being able to make the Brazilian Olympic track team when the Olympics were being hosted in her home country just further enhanced the experience. “I went to the Olympic Games, and it was the best experience of my life. Since I was a child, I had dreamed of the moment of the opening ceremony, and it was great to compete in my country, have the support of my family and the people I love so close to me and feel the energy of my home country cheering for us,” Cherpe de Souza said. Cherpe de Souza takes her training very seriously, even though it has not always been easy to do while keeping up with her academics. In Brazil, sports are not an integral part of any university like they are in the United States. “I was working hard in my university but [my training] was not in the same place, so I had to travel,” Cherpe de Souza said.


At one point in her training, she was traveling 1 1/2 hours from her home to her university, 1 1/2 hours from her university to the training facility and another 1 1/2 from her training facility back to her home. Now that she is in the United States, a country that allows athletes to compete for the university while being a student, it will be much easier for her to train. With the talented and experienced coaching staff at Baylor, she is sure to have much more success in her future. “Coach Hart always was the coach of my dreams. He had four Olympic gold medals in the 400 m and had the ex world record of 400 m,” Cherpe de Souza said. Cherpe de Souza has learned many lessons from competing in the Olympic Games. One of the most important of these lessons is knowing that the only difference between her and her opponent is the amount of work she puts in to her sport. “What I learned in the Olympic Games, seeing all the girls that I normally watch videos to motivate myself, is that everything is possible,” Cherpe de Souza said. “All those girls

are totally like me. They all warm up, stretch and practice like me. [They] have dreams like me. I know that if I keep my dreams and goals in my mind and work hard for them every single moment, I could be as [good as] my idols.” That is exactly what Cherpe de Souza plans to do. As she takes the next four years to train for the 2020 Olympic Games both here at Baylor and at her training facility in Brazil, she will not lose sight of how far she has come and how much more she wants to accomplish. Cherpe de Souza said, “I like the phrase that says ‘If your dreams don't scare you, so they are not big enough.’ I think that phrase describes me, here at Baylor with a new language, new culture and new way of life. Everything so different of Brazil. I am always struggling with a lot of different things, but I have a dream, and that dream pushes me…I am sure that I will work hard for it.”

Story by: Kiara Nowlin Photos provided by: Leti de Souza

College students often look for ways to expand their knowledge, not just in a classroom but outside as well. To find new ways to think and worldviews different than their own. This desire to broaden her horizons is what brought Megan Sarsfield from San Francisco, CA to Baylor University, and it is the reason she chose to study abroad. “I decided to attend Baylor because I wanted an experience that would be completely opposite from my experience in San Francisco, and I decided during my sophomore year that I wanted to study abroad to have an experience different than I was having at Baylor” said Sarsfield. Originally, Sarsfield only planned on doing the Baylor at St. Andrews program for the fall semester. However, she quickly realized that she wanted to stay the full year. “Honestly, I knew within my first two weeks at St Andrews that I wanted to stay for the full year” said Sarsfield. “I wanted to really immerse myself in the university, the community and the Scottish culture, which I felt I could do only do if I stayed a full year.” While studying abroad is an exciting and fulfilling experience, Sarsfield admitted that it came with its own challenges. “The most challenging aspect of studying abroad for me was learning to “adult” all on my own” said Sarsfield. “The most rewarding part of studying abroad was the connections I made with people during my year at St Andrews” said Sarsfield. “Not only did I become friends with an incredible group of people, but I also became close with several Baylor students and professors who came on the trip.” Expanding her worldview was something her study abroad experience allowed Sarsfield to do. “My study abroad experience has allowed me to think more globally…I would have discussions with students from all over the world about current events and politics, and I got to hear opinions that were not just liberal or conservative. This has allowed me to think through issues, especially huge political elections, like the US Presidential Election and Brexit, with an eye directed to global consequences.” Overall, studying abroad was an experience in which Sarsfield was able to learn and grow, and an experience which she will hold on to for years to come. “I really enjoyed my time abroad, and, in my opinion, everyone should study abroad if they can” said Sarsfield. “It was an incredibly rewarding experience that I will always fondly look back on.”

Story by: Amanda Piker Photos provided by: Megan Sarsfield



Moving to a new place can be daunting and it can be difficult to find places that can feel like home. However, the possibility of trying new foods and finding new places to hangout with friends can help cure that uneasy feeling. Uzuazokaro Anthony (who goes by Karo) and Mengzun Zhao took us around Waco to show us their favorite local spots to visit while away from home.

Mengzun Zhao, who is from China, transfered to Baylor University and loves it. She enjoys getting coffee at Common Grounds. It’s a nice place to go when she needs to study.

Story by: Mathieu Hodnett Photos by: Kaitlyn Harp 19

Karo, who is a student from Nigeria, LOVES coffee, but has never tried Common Grounds. She has heard great things and looks forward to trying their coffee soon.

Karo also enjoys getting dinner at George’s with her friends. Even though Waco does not have food similar to Karo and Mengzun’s cultures they both say it’s fine because they love to try new foods.

Mengzun loves to go to Olive Garden. It’s one of the first restuarants she tried when she came to Waco. She also enjoys Wako Roll. Both students also enjoy shopping at the Richland Mall. Even though they are both far from home they have found ways to make Waco more comfortable.

1st place ART & ARCHITECTURE Politics with Mirrors Joel Reid Baylor in Germany


2nd place ART & ARCHITECTURE Canal Cruising Courtney Mason Baylor in Maastricht

3rd place ART & ARCHITECTURE Muses at the MUCEM Valeria Brenes Aix en Provence



1st place PEOPLE Shop Keeper Timothy Hong FUA

2nd place PEOPLE Dusk’s Last Call Olivia Booth BaylorEducationinCostaRica

3rd place PEOPLE Chasing the Capri Sun Melissa Curtis Baylor in Italy



1st place LANDSCAPE DawnintheAmazonRainforest Danielle Prouty UFMG

2nd place LANDSCAPE City of Color Maggie Malone Baylor in London

3rd place LANDSCAPE Brazilian Utopia Rachel Southward Baylor in Argentina



never stop going places

Going Places Fall 2016  

The Going Places magazine is created by Baylor students for the Center for Global Engagement.