The Global Education program equips Jr. Bills with the tools to succeed in a world distinguished by interdependence, diversity and rapid change. It also provides them the knowledge and understanding of culture, language, geography and global perspectives needed to help others around the world.
Below, alumni share how SLUH Global Education expanded their college and career opportunities.
Leo Wagner ’21
Freshman, U.S. Naval Academy
SLUH’s emphasis on service and being a Man for Others motivated me to choose a college where service to my country and others around the world is the norm. Additionally, from the bonds formed with my Chinese teacher, Huang Laoshi, and Arabic teacher, Mr. Oqlat, I knew I wanted to enter a profession where I would get to work with and learn the stories of those different from me. The Naval Academy, offering me the opportunity to commission as an officer in the Marine Corps, allows me to do both.
My study of Arabic and Chinese at SLUH was a driving factor in helping me get into the Naval Academy. At the Academy, Arabic and Chinese are the only languages that are available as majors, so having experience in both languages helped my admission into the school. I look forward to continuing Arabic classes during my 3/C year and potentially even Chinese during my 2/C year. Looking ahead, the practical skill of speaking the native language of a region where I could potentially be deployed would be a tremendous asset.
Michael Meyer, PhD ’10
Mendenhall Fellow & Research Geographer
U.S. Geological Survey, Observing Systems Division (Madison, WI)
It’s an exciting time to be in computationally intensive environmental and aquatic sciences. We live in a time when there are more publicly available environmental data than ever before, and those data are capable of addressing basic and applied questions at previously unprecedented spatial and temporal scales.
What really drives me is making robust data pipelines that not only meet data demands but also work in a way that empower others to tackle scientific questions. Beyond the scientific potential, the push towards data-intensive and computationally based methods also allows for increased participation and inclusion in the sciences, especially for individuals of underrepresented groups and those with intersecting underrepresented identities.
I credit SLUH’s Russian program with laying the foundation for my current position. Following four years of Russian language training, in addition to the summer exchange program, I entered undergraduate training with a solid foundation for fundamentals. I also began to appreciate topics that were less familiar, such as formal presentation, accent reduction and truly sounding like a native speaker. While my career has benefited from advanced training and skill development, it would have never reached this level if I had not learned the fundamentals of Russian language at SLUH.
The SLUH summer exchange to Gymnasium 209 school in St. Petersburg was really a game changer for me. It’s the first time that I remember Russian starting to become more natural, where I didn’t need to think and translate in my head anymore. But it was also eye-opening to just know what I did not know, and made me realize how much more was out there. So, I completely credit the original “fire in the belly” for international work and collaboration to the SLUH summer exchange, which ultimately led to me working at Lake Baikal, which led me to Washington State University, which led me to the U.S. Geological Survey.
Dr. Meyer earned a Ph.D. in Environmental and Natural Resource Sciences from Washington State University.; and a B.S. in Biology, B.A. in Russian Studies, and B.A. in International Studies from Saint Louis University. He was a Fulbright Fellow at the Biological Research Institute at Irkutsk State University (Irkutsk, Russia) and Critical Language Scholar at the Institute for Humanitarian and Social Studies (Kazan, Russia).