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Spring Edition
Volume 96, Number 4


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Politics alumna Ann (Derstine) Batlle '95 is a lawyer who represents tax-exempt organizations for the international law firm Morgan Lewis in Washington, D.C.
Politics alumna Ann (Derstine) Batlle '95 is a lawyer who represents tax-exempt organizations for the international law firm Morgan Lewis in Washington, D.C.
Gathering broad, deep knowledge

To broaden minds and deepen understanding, the School encourages students to explore diverse cultures, traditions, and academic disciplines—a background that Messiah communication alumnus Keith Blaisdell ’82 draws from as news director for Harrisburg’s ABC affiliate WHTM-TV. “Art, humanities, different cultures, and different religions—these are all things you deal with on a day-to-day basis in news,” he says.

To enhance academic learning, students immerse themselves in settings different than the ones to which they are most accustomed. Senior Spanish education major Jessica Hodges, for example, spent her junior year with a host family in Ecuador, teaching English in a school for orphans and taking classes at a nearby university.

“We want students to value their own heritages while still taking into account perspectives of other traditions,” explains Kim Yunez, associate professor of modern languages.


Connecting theory and practice

In every humanities major, both theory and practice are built into the curriculum. In Christian ministries, for example, students study in class how people have applied ministry models to real situations. “When students do their senior practica in churches or parachurch organizations, they’re applying the things they’ve learned about, talked about, and even practiced in the classroom,” explains David Weaver-Zercher, chair of the Department of Biblical and Religious Studies.

A talented Messiah faculty that includes several Fulbright scholars and distinguished professors encourages students to set and achieve goals and to engage opportunities off campus. It’s evident that Messiah students rise to the wealth of possibilities available; several, for example, have won Fulbright, Rhodes, or Truman scholarships while at Messiah.

“The professors help students identify their goals and what they want from their college experience. It’s very practically focused attention,” says politics alumna Ann (Derstine) Batlle ’95, a lawyer with the international law firm Morgan Lewis in Washington, D.C. While at Messiah, Batlle spent one semester interning at the World Bank in Washington, D.C., and another studying in Germany. “The experiences I had really integrated with what I was learning on campus,” she recalls.

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