Lake Superior State University
Lake Superior State University
 
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Alum Success

Ben Mitchell

Ben Mitchell
Mechanical Engineering '06

Ben Mitchell grew up in a devout household in the central Upper Peninsula of Michigan where emphasis was placed on helping others. He traveled with his father to places such as Kenya and Peru on short-term medical missions. When he was in Kenya, a missionary explained that engineers have the greatest potential to influence the largest number of people. During high school, Ben participated in a youth mission trip to Tijuana. A result of the mission trips, his family decided to adopt three Vietnamese children when he was a junior.

All of these experiences had a great influence on Ben’s outlook on life. He decided to major in mechanical engineering and enrolled at Lake Superior State University. Near the end of his senior year, he decided to volunteer for the Peace Corps to help others.

His two-year commitment began in the fall of 2007 and took Ben to Burkina Faso in western Africa. He resides in the village of Tansila, population 3,000, approximately 10 km from the Mali border. His host organization is the local cotton growers union. It works cooperatively with other villages to improve and expand their production techniques. He serves as an agribusiness advisor as a part of the Small Enterprise Development program which helps create market linkages and assists with the advancement of business skills.

Parents at Lake State

Students May Not be Able to Afford Public Service Careers

As record numbers of students become civically engaged, they may face some harsh realities when it comes to how much they can give back after graduation. A new report from the U.S. Public Interest Research Group entitled "Paying Back, Not Giving Back: Student Debt's Negative Impact on Public Service Career Opportunities" examines what careers college graduates can't necessarily afford to pursue. High among them are education and social work. Low pay in these fields coupled with burgeoning student loan payments is creating "unmanageable" debt–and students needing to think twice about pursuing their vocational dreams.

You can read more about it at http://www.pirg.org/highered/.

Graduate School Bound ...

Kim Churchill

Kim Churchill
Geology

"I've been accepted to Montana Tech's graduate school to pursue a master's degree in geophysical engineering. I have also accepted a full-funded graduate research assistantship to work with the Montana National Guard on developing magnetic techniques to detect unexploded ordinance. My summer internship with Geolex, a company under contract with the Guard, will study acquiring data, performing analysis, and offering interpretation on unexploded ordinance." [ more ]

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