TAKING A CHANCE PAYS OFF
Just outside of Ica, Peru, is an archaeological dig site where Purdue faculty and
graduate students are digging up pottery sherds and other artifacts left by Early
Nasca peoples long before Europeans ever set foot on the continent.
Mike Lockman, a senior double majoring in anthropology and psychology,
knew about the site because he had taken a class with Kevin J. Vaughn, the
associate professor of anthropology who was working the site. As Lockman was
planning his study abroad experience in Lima, just 200 miles away, a thought
occurred to him—one he was sure would be shot down.
Maybe, he thought, Vaughn needed some help at the site, or would at least
entertain the idea of having Lockman come by to soak up whatever experience
he could. “I didn’t know if he even remembered me,” Lockman says about
sending that email. But he sent it anyway. “Why not?” he thought.
Much to Lockman’s surprise, Vaughn did remember him, and he did need
some extra hands about the time Lockman would be finishing up his time in
Lima. “The stars aligned just right,” Lockman says.
But there was more to it than that. Lockman had laid the groundwork for his
involvement with the dig without even realizing it.
“Quite honestly, Mike was a great student in my class. He stuck out and I
remembered him well,” says Vaughn, who is now associate dean of academic
affairs at the University of California, Los Angeles Extension and a visiting
associate researcher in UCLA’s Department of Anthropology. “If you’re a good
student and make an impression, there are opportunities out there. Talk to your
professors. Don’t just sit there in class. If you don’t ask, the answer is no.”
Lockman found himself outside a small town where the Andes Mountains
shoot out of the ground from the desert plains. He spent five weeks with a team
unearthing artifacts and getting a potent dose of hands-on experience most
students his age only dream of.
“That’s really the reason I chose to come to Purdue—that willingness to get
undergraduates involved in research,” Lockman says. “That’s something I wasn’t
seeing at other universities.”
Change of focus
When she got back to Indiana, she looked around and
wasn’t sure that the Jill Bosserman she had been, whose
last several years had been spent working so hard toward a
single goal, was who she wanted to be anymore.
Since then, Bosserman has dropped the idea of law
school altogether. She’s looking at a master’s program in
humanities because it is so wide ranging. Her passions right
now center on theology, history, and literature, with the
goal of pursuing an academic career. But she admits that
may change, and she’s fine with that.
“Study abroad gave me a chance to refine what I wanted
to do,” Bosserman says. “It was the nail in the coffin in my
plan to ‘get the perfect job in seven years’ with something
like law school. I realized I have so many more interests
than I even knew I could have when I came to college. In a
weird way, it has helped make me a much happier person.
Instead of being so laser-focused, I am zooming out and
seeing more of the world.”
Encouraging others to study abroad
What Bosserman experienced—the change in how she
sees the world—is exactly what Mary Findling hopes
students will find when they travel the world. That’s why
she established the Mary Findling Liberal Arts Scholarship
A 1972 graduate with a bachelor’s degree in German,
Findling will match up to $1 million in scholarship funding
through the challenge. Half of that will be used for study
abroad scholarships, while the other half is earmarked for
Findling grew up on a farm in Daleville, Indiana,
and spent several years teaching German at a high school
in Muncie. She’s now a successful medical malpractice
attorney at Findling Park & Associates, PC, in Indianapolis.
At Purdue, Findling took advantage of study abroad to
travel to Hamburg, Germany, in the early 1970s, and called
the experience one of the best of her life. It opened her
mind, she says, to other ways of living, thinking, and being.
She thinks that the 19 to 23 age range is the perfect time
to open the mind and see new things. “It’s a time when
you’re very impressionable and you’re going to start making
Travel CONTINUED FROM PAGE 10
St. Rule’s Tower rises behind the ruins of St. Andrews Cathedral in Scotland.
Photo courtesy of Jill Bosserman.