Shelbie Baker

International Experience Country:
Cohort Year:
Home Institution:

Washington & Jefferson College

Shelbie Baker is a sophomore double major, in English and Accounting at W&J College. She is an active member of her college chapter of Kappa Alpha Theta; she is also involved in the campus's improv and acapella groups. While studying on campus she also has a job at the campus library. During her free time, Shelbie loves to spend time with her friends on campus, listen to music, and work on crafts. Shelbie has been involved in theater for many years and hopes to be able to do more theatrical events on campus. The summer after her freshman year, Shelbie completed an internship at Bononi and Company Law firm. After being diagnosed in middle school, Shelbie has spent many years trying to teach others about the medical condition of PCOS and is working on creating a support and education groups on her campus for those with the disease and for those who wish to learn more about it.  
International Experience Summary:

Shelbie Baker studied abroad in Rome Italy. Shelbie studied Intercultural communication and an art class with the intention to focus on culture in Rome. Baker’s Heinz learning area was focused on learning and she purposely chose culture as her main focus during her time in Rome. Shelbie chose to go to Rome through International Studies Abroad (ISA) and took courses at the American University of Rome (AUR). During her time in Rome, many of Baker's classes had guest speakers who came to talk about their cultures and communication styles from all over the world. Baker hopes to go into the crisis communications field, which is a specialized form of public relations, so these courses were incredibly valuable for Baker’s growth toward her career goals. While in Italy, Baker traveled to Florence, as well as Pompeii, Sorento, and Capri as a part of her ISA program. In Florence Baker and her fellow ISA students were able to browse what once was the Medici Family’s personal art collection, as well as get to see the statue of David created by Michaelangelo. These opportunities are some that stand out the most for Baker as a chance to experience the culture of Italy. During her trip to Pompeii, Baker was able to see how similar ancient and modern times really are. It was in Pompeii that Baker learned how many techniques we continue to use in modern society that was developed by ancient societies. Baker thinks that her time in Rome has helped her grow significantly as a leader and as a person overall.

Community Engagement Experience Summary:

CEE Title: “Let’s Get in the Know, Discover the Secrets to Study Abroad”

Our CEE was a combination between an informative session and a panel of guests to educate our school community about the opportunities to study abroad and how students who have studied abroad have grown and changed after this opportunity. Our presentation began with each Vira student presenting about their own experience in their host country and giving an example of how they adapted to an experience that would likely not have been experienced in their own country. Each Vira explained to the audience what it meant to be a global citizen in their mind and how the Vira Heinz endowment allowed them to become a true global citizen. As each of our Viras traveled to vastly different regions of the world (Asia, Europe, and South America) we each were able to find something different in our experiences. After our individual discussions, we moved to a panel made of students who are studying abroad in America. We wanted to show how our experiences were both similar and different from their own. Each of our panelists discussed their experiences studying abroad from their home countries and expressed the growth that they experienced as well. As well as our panel we also discussed availability at our home institution that would allow students to travel abroad. As a smaller institution, there are not always as many informational sessions as you would see at a larger school, and we saw that there was an information gap for many of our students on campus.  We used our CEE to discuss the opportunities that our school offered such as semester-long study abroad opportunities, Jay- Term short-term trips, opportunities such as the Vira Heinz endowment, and our school’s Program known as the Magellan Program that can be used for studying internationally or within the United States.