News - From Burritt Hall to India, Thailand, Latin America and Beyond

From Burritt Hall to India, Thailand, Latin America and Beyond

From Burritt Hall to India, Thailand, Latin America and Beyond

Greenville College graduates are sometimes called to serve abroad as they leave campus with a new degree and a passion for global impact. Jennifer Alig '04 puts a new spin on international service as she connects students from around the globe to Christian education in the United States.

Jennifer graduated from Greenville College in 2004, with a dual degree in speech communication and Spanish. As a brand new graduate ready to make her first professional career move, she took a job as an admissions counselor at her alma mater. Jennifer was responsible for recruiting students from the United States as well as international students. Consequently, it was her work with international students that sparked an interest for travel and helping students abroad.

Jennifer pursued a master's degree in international relations from Webster University. With a new degree in hand and connections she made through networking in higher education, she was invited to visit a few companies in the Milwaukee area. "I fell in love with the area and was offered a job at another private university, where over time, I became the associate director of international admissions."

As a student, Jennifer sought out ways to immerse herself in culture, which led her to a semester abroad in San Jose, Costa Rica. "It was a life changing experience, through which now I have had the opportunity to use Spanish in my career."  Beyond that, it was faculty and staff that made Jennifer's experience at Greenville College so rewarding. She was encouraged to think deeply about her faith, pushed to pursue her dream of teaching at the college level, and given confidence to develop herself professionally.

During her time at Concordia University, Jennifer was able to travel to India, Thailand, the Middle East and Latin America. On one of her more memorable trips, she had the opportunity to present about the college to a large group of students in India. As a way of showing their appreciation, the school paraded Jennifer and other college representatives through the streets as a band played and crowds gathered. Jennifer recalls various students asking for her autograph. She was also gifted with a traditional Indian dress made by the mother of a student she had once recruited.

In 2012, Jennifer started a new job as the associate director of international education at Cardinal Stritch University, a Franciscan university located in Milwaukee, WI. She helps incoming international students and outbound study abroad students. She also works as an adjunct professor teaching intercultural communication, speech, and student success.

As for what motivates Jennifer on a daily basis (when she's not continent hopping), it is helping students. "My work is usually stressful and not always glamorous. As with most jobs, there is a lot of meticulous paperwork in my career. The positive thing is that my paperwork helps students from Ghana or Saudi Arabia pursue an American education, or students in the United States achieve their dream of studying abroad and experiencing the world." What can be better than that?

This story was published on October 29, 2012

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