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Volume 99, Number 1

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20 Ways Messiah College is making the world a better place (continued)


10. Urban school educates against poverty of the mind

Norma (Helfrick) Mateer ’68, mathematics

Superintendent, Steelton Highspire

School District

In an urban school where 67 percent of children qualify for free lunch, poverty brings its attending problems into the classroom, says Norma Mateer, who holds a Ph.D. in educational administration. In her second year at the helm of Steelton Highspire School District, Mateer continues working to create “a warm and safe place for the children to come and learn” by establishing procedures that support teachers and reward positive results.


11. Students power organization’s array of global outreach projects

Children operate a water pump in Mali

The Collaboratory: School of Mathematics, Engineering, and Business; Messiah College

To install a solar plant that powers missions facilities in Mozambique . . . to identify water purification needs in Honduran villages . . . to provide assistive technologies for disabled people in Burkina Faso. . . . Have you ever considered the logistics required to implement these initiatives? 

Enter a multidisciplinary group of Messiah students who comprise the Collaboratory for Strategic Partnerships and Applied Research, a student-run, campus-based organization established to support working solutions to actual problems in real-world communities. 

Using faculty advisors as consultants, Messiah students administer a long list of programs in collaboration with local and international organizations. Accounting students propose and track budgets, provide reports, and allocate funding to each team sent out by the Collaboratory. Computer science students run the organization’s server and database and design web-page information. Journalism students write grant proposals; human resources students establish human resources policies; and business administration students manage passports, visas, airline tickets, and packing lists.

According to David Vader, Messiah’s faculty director of the Collaboratory, “Their work is vital to everything we do,” while also providing a rich, real-life context for their classroom experience.


12. Small loans make a big difference

Peter Greer ’97,

international business;

French minor

President, Hope International, Lancaster, Pennsylvania

“Some call microfinancing ‘banking for the unbankable,’” says Peter Greer, who holds a master’s degree in public policy from Harvard University. But of the 120,000 loans that HOPE International has given to 62,000 people who initially had no income or collateral, 99 percent of those loans have been repaid. Greer says, “HOPE gives these people a chance to break the cycle of physical poverty and to learn about a loving God who wants to free them from spiritual poverty.”


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