In addition to this outstanding achievement, we are thrilled to also announce that Megan is our very first ambassador to join our team at our Phoenix headquarters an Admissions Counselor!
Her recent award acknowledged Megan as a graduating senior who has excelled both in and out in the classroom, maintaining a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.75 while significantly contributing to campus leadership and service.
Megan Pitcher (center), Julie Beall-Marshall (left), &
Director of SIUE's International Programs Office, Ronald Shaefer (right)
Megan served as a peer advisor at SIUE alongside her CEA ambassador role, and was nominated for this award by her supervisor, Julie Beall-Marshall, the Assistant Director of SIUE's International Programs Office.
Megan submitted an essay for the award that described her "most outstanding intellectual endeavor at SIUE." In her essay she wrote:
As May 4th2013, or graduation day, quickly approaches I have spent a significant amount of time reflecting on my past four years of education at SIUE. I am amazed at just how much I have changed since the first day that my parents helped me move from my small hometown into room 295 at Bluff Hall. Everyone told me that the time would fly, but I never truly believed them until about a month ago when I was applying for graduation. It truly feels like yesterday that I was walking into my first college classroom, completely clueless as to how the next four years would shape my life forever. Over these years, I have not only gained the tools I need to succeed in this next chapter of life that I like to call “the real world,” but I’ve matured as a woman and as a student who is far more prepared to become a young professional. I have had many significant people and several memorable moments influence me in the past four years, but there is most definitely one decision that I made that will forever stand out as the most outstanding endeavor in my college career at SIUE. Ironically enough, it was when I stepped onto a plane that was headed to Europe, where I would continue my SIUE education on foreign soil.
It was the fall semester of my junior year that I decided to study abroad for a semester in Alicante, Spain. At the time I was a Spanish minor and hoped to become fluent in the language by being immersed in the culture that I had heard about in my classes. I did gain valuable language skills inside and outside of the classroom throughout the semester, but what I didn’t know is that this decision would help me grow and learn on many more levels. Those four months helped me gain a well-rounded education, changed my career path, and helped create solid life goals. Over the course of the semester I learned a set of skills that my parents or teachers could never give me. Traveling and meeting people from all parts of the world helped me gain a new perspective on American culture as well as a sensitivity and adaptability to other cultures, which in an era of globalization is increasingly important. I found myself in new places, meeting new people, and experiencing life like I never thought I could. These adventures helped me discover a sense of independence and self-confidence I never knew I had. In addition, I found myself using marketable critical thinking and problem solving skills in my daily life. It may sound cheesy, but the people I met, the relationships I built, and the knowledge that I gained during this seemingly short period of time in my college career truly changed me as a person forever.
Upon return, I decided to change my minor in Spanish into a second major, and to venture into a career path in international relations. I now intern for a global education company, work in SIUE’s International Programs Office and hope to continue with this path post-graduation. Without this semester abroad, I would only be graduating with a major in Speech Communication and a minor in Spanish Language and Literature, not knowing my true passion in life. As a graduating senior, I have found that this experience stands out on my resume and is something to reflect upon and build off of in the future. This experience is something I will tell my grandchildren about, and I will always remember that semester in Spain as a definitive moment in my life and my career at SIUE.
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