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Marquis Scholar Lindsay Hannum ’07 (North East, Md.) is experiencing the learning process in unique ways, half a world away. She is one of 13 Lafayette students spending this semester abroad in Brussels, Belgium, in a program led by William Hornfeck, professor of electrical and computer engineering.

While studying at Vesalius College, Hannum is studying French, Sociology of Work, art history, and Strength of Materials, the latter of which is taught via satellite by Roger Ruggles, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering.

Hannum, a mechanical engineering major, says she enjoys the opportunity to learn outside the classroom. As part of her art history course, she will tour cities including Brussels, Gent, Brugge, and Antwerp, Belgium and Trier, Germany. The course also includes overnight trips to Amsterdam and Paris.

“Being away, there are several things that you must get used to,” she says. “The hardest for me has probably been the time difference. As I go to dinner, my friends go to lunch. As I go to bed, my friends at home are thinking about dinner and going out.

“The Internet has enabled me to stay close to everyone back in the states though, which has made my experience easier in many ways. I am slowly learning cultural and regional differences among people and gaining a new perspective on the United States.”

Attending Carnival in Koln, Germany, was “quite a cultural experience,” says Hannum. The Lafayette students spent three days in Koln for the traditional celebration.

“I cannot compare [Carnival] to any American tradition, except maybe a Lafayette-Lehigh game, but everyone is rooting for the same team, wearing ridiculous costumes, and it consists of an entire city,” she says. “It is very different to be in a country where you do not understand the language or customs and then have to figure out where you are going and what you are doing.”

Last summer, Hannum worked as an intern for Fair Hill Nature and Environmental Center, a nonprofit in Elkton, Md., serving students and adults from the tri-state area of northeastern Maryland, southwestern Pennsylvania, and northern Delaware. Supported by Lafayette’s William A. Kirby ’59 internship endowment, Hannum gained valuable insight into the work of nonprofits through teaching environmental summer programs, developing technology programs, and assisting with program research and development.

“My internship was an amazing opportunity that I am thrilled to have been able to take advantage of with the help from both the college and individuals,” she says.

“After one year at Lafayette, I would have to say that the biggest strength of the school is the personal attention,” she adds. “Career Services worked with me and for me to make this internship possible. The personal attention that I receive goes above and beyond the typical education. I’ve even found myself being taught how to climb the rock wall in the gym one night by my engineering professor. Experiences like these make me realize that I really am at the right school for me.”

Hannum serves as an executive board member for Lafayette’s student chapter of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. She is a member of the Dance Team, Arts Society, and is an Arts House resident. She is a graduate of North East High School.

Chosen from among Lafayette’s most promising applicants, Marquis Scholars receive special financial aid and distinctive educational experiences and benefits including a three-week, Lafayette-funded study-abroad course during January’s interim session between semesters. Marquis Scholars also participate in cultural activities in major cities and on campus, and mentoring programs with Lafayette faculty.

Categorized in: Academic News