“In college I’ve become passionate about learning, especially learning the German language.”
Grace Wyatt ‘14 never really thought of herself as someone who had “her own thoughts and ideas.” Sure, she was a successful student, but she had a knack for memorizing content and retrieving it on command.
That all changed when her advisor, German professor Rick Weber, encouraged her to take an interdisciplinary studies course titled Further Engagements. The class focuses on significant works in the tradition of liberal education and strives to establish a leisurely, reflective atmosphere where students feel comfortable exploring the texts and sharing their interpretations.
At first Wyatt was reluctant. To her, it sounded like something “way out of my comfort zone.” But she agreed, and now she is a more confident student eager to express her opinions.
It’s that sort of personal engagement between advisor and student that attracted Wyatt to Transylvania in the first place. She has found that the “Transylvania professors really care about their students.”
When Wyatt arrived on the Transylvania campus, she wasn’t sure what major she would choose. But after her first day of German class, it was clear. Professor Weber made her feel welcome and encouraged her to speak as much German as she could. He also encouraged her to apply to live in the International House, which has helped her improve her language skills.
During winter term 2013, Wyatt will study in Regensburg, Germany. She claims that her passion for learning German was inspired by both Weber and German professor Stephen Naumann, who both encouraged her and pushed her. And she likes that at Transylvania she’s getting a well-rounded education that allows her to explore a variety of areas of study.
“I've always been passionate about random things in my life; when I was in middle school it was French and Paris, when I was in high school it was sewing and becoming a fashion designer. Now in college I've become passionate about learning.”