A passion for language and mental health come together

Serving disadvantaged communities is something many Berry students are passionate about.  That’s why Abby Newman (class of 2018) is headed to graduate school to pursue a master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling. Afterwards, she hopes to be a mental health counselor and advocate for Hispanic and Latino immigrants. During her undergraduate time, Abby was the student director and teacher for Berry’s English as a Second Language Program, which provides free English classes to Hispanic adults. She was also a part of the Ralph George Scholarship program which allowed her to conduct research about intrinsic and extrinsic motivation in native Spanish speakers learning English. She then presented her research at the annual conference for the Association for Psychological Science in San Francisco. Abby’s Spanish instructor and academic advisor, Dr. David Slade (class of 1997), has greatly influenced her with his passion for language and culture. “In every class I have taken with him and in the study abroad trip to Guanacaste, Costa Rica, he imparts his knowledge, wisdom, empathy, and cultural humility to his students and to everyone he encounters.”

Story by Saif Sarfani (18C)

An interest in immunology leads to a focus on public health

Finding what drives you is one of many reasons people come to Berry. Animal science major Alex Dhom (class of 2018) discovered his interest in immunology through his advisor Dr. Laura Flatow and his Berry College Integrity in Leadership mentor Dr. Tom Wilson, whose experiences and wisdom as a veterinarian greatly influenced him. During his time at Berry, Alex served as Vice President of Alpha Zeta (the academic honor society for animal science majors) and competed in the American Society of Animal Science Academic Quadrathalon. He also studied abroad at the University of Glasgow as an honors student. Now, Alex is headed to veterinary school at the University of Georgia, where he will focus on research and public health.

Story by Saif Sarfani (18C)

Pre-vet student works with elephants in Thailand

Dogs and cats and … elephants? Berry student Robert Stilz (19c) recently traveled to Thailand to work with rescued elephants in the Elephant Nature Park and with dogs and cats at Animal Rescue Kingdom shelter. It followed his work at the Berry College sheep unit and a local vet clinic.  “Both prepared me by teaching me how to work with animals of all kinds and teaching me about veterinary medicine,” he says. Robert is an animal science/pre-vet major with minors in chemistry, Spanish, and One Health. He plans to earn his doctorate in veterinary medicine and his master’s in public health after graduating from Berry in 2019. “I still cannot believe what an amazing opportunity this trip was for me,” Robert says of the Thailand trip coordinated by Loop Abroad. “I’ve made lifelong memories and friendships on this trip and I would encourage anyone interested to seek out the same.”

Story by student social media assistant Shannon Rainey.

Professor of Teacher Education Mary C. Clement

Dr. Clement was a visiting professor at Spice Mountain College in Beijing in July. She taught a graduate course for school principals titled, “Classroom, Program, and Schoolwide Assessment.”

Dr. Clement presented “A Dozen Things Successful Teachers Do” at the National Educators Rising Conference in Phoenix in June. She published “Why Combating Teachers’ Stress is Everyone’s Job” in The Clearing House (both online and in print) and “Women, Teaching, and Stress: Five steps for coping” in The Delta Kappa Gamma Bulletin Collegial Exchange.

World travels inspire work in local community

Laura Waitt (13C) is the ultimate people person, so it should come as no surprise that Berry provided the perfect college fit.  “Berry is an extrovert’s paradise,” she praised of a campus community that thrives on meaningful interactions between faculty, staff and students. Never one to stay inside her comfort zone, Laura jumped at the chance to enhance her Berry education through a study-abroad opportunity in Cordoba, Argentina, where the Spanish major sharpened her bilingual skills, forged lifelong connections and found inspiration for a career working with college-aged Latino students. Since graduation, she has served as a missionary in Peru and is now working on behalf of the Latino community as a Bilingual Prevention Educator with the Sexual Assault Center of Northwest Georgia.

Director of International Experiences Chris Borda

Chris Borda has been hired as the Director of International Experiences. He will direct Berry’s study abroad operations, as well as international internships and service opportunities. Mr. Borda comes to Berry from Grand Valley State University and has 10 years of experience in the field of International Education. His master’s degree thesis focuses on faculty-led study abroad programs, and his experience at both Grand Valley and Florida State University have prepared him well to lead Berry’s International Programs office.

Recent grad lands a career as an ER nurse

Natalie Tracy (16C) has a heart for serving others. Though she entered Berry as a math major, that desire to help people coupled with guidance from a caring faculty member convinced her that Berry’s baccalaureate degree nursing program was the ideal fit.

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Berry grad becomes an international teacher

Rhett Morrell (16C) found her love of teaching while at Berry, but it was her study abroad experience in Norway where she developed a passion for other cultures that led her to pursue a career overseas.

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