Loras College offers grad a well-traveled education

Triple major spends much time overseas -- in southern Africa and Taiwan -- while preparing to teach internationally.

The 173rd Loras College Commencement
Where: Rock Bowl Stadium Degrees conferred: 320 Undergraduate degrees; 17 Graduate degrees Speaker: Kevin White, Ph.D., vice president and director of athletics at Duke University, former Loras College director of athletics Valedictorians: The college does not have them

Memorable quote: "It has been a great winter in Durham, with the electricity of Krzyzewski-ville," said White, who called himself a "lifelong Duhawk." "But I can't tell you how excited I am to be back in Duhawk-ville. This place has its own magic."

In what Provost Cheryl Jacobsen called one of the warmest commencement ceremonies in memory, more than 300 sun-baked Loras College students received degrees Saturday.

Temperatures above 80 and a dearth of shade didn't deter Nicholas Satterlee, president of the class of 2012.
"Fear not," he told his fellow graduates during his presidential address. "Loras has given us all that we need. Seize the world."

Morgan Murphy intends to do just that. In a few weeks, the already seasoned world traveler will head to Mexico, to begin work as social-studies teacher in Queretaro. With a triple major in international studies, history and education, Murphy believes she is well-equipped for a career abroad.

"That's kind of the idea," Murphy said. "For at least the foreseeable future, I'd like to teach internationally."
Murphy has traveled through much of southern Africa while at Loras, and recently wrapped up a semester of student-teaching at a boarding school in Taiwan. While she didn't rule out an eventual transition to domestic education, Murphy said that, for now, she wants to pursue the unique challenges presented by teaching in unfamiliar countries and cultures.

"You really try to stay true to the native country but at the same time advance (the students') education so they're ready to go to a university in the United States," she said. "That's a tough balance."

Murphy, a native of Bloomington, Minn., followed in her mother's footsteps by coming to Loras, something she said she never really planned on doing. But Loras proved to be the right fit, Murphy said, because the college presented so many opportunities to stretch her international legs.

"I've always had a very big interest in the international community," Murphy said. "Loras provided a lot of opportunities to do that. That was really the thing that sparked my interest."

Murphy's time at Loras has been marked by personal, spiritual and educational growth, she said.

"I think the support that I have received in the Loras community has really helped me to flourish as an individual," she said. "This community has really supported and challenged me to be the best possible version of myself."

BEN JACOBSON TH staff writer
Telegraph Herald
Publication Date: May 20, 2012 Page: 11 Section:A
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