July 2017

My Internship at the State Department Consulate in Guangzhou, China

Posted July 26, 2017 by Hannah Streed '18

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hannah-streed-wheaton-collegeI chose to attend Wheaton to experience a community of believers that are passionate about serving Christ. Additionally, I wanted to go to a school with challenging academics, and Wheaton is definitely a challenging school. 

As part of my international relations major I am required to do an internship. I applied for an internship with the State Department in October, and after a lot of prayer and by the grace of God, I received an email asking if I was interested in the internship. I had only a vague idea where Guangzhou was in China at that point, but I was incredibly thankful for the opportunity to intern at the Consulate. 

I have been interning now for five weeks, and I have five weeks left. My internship has given me invaluable experience working in government, as well as a wonderful opportunity to experience life in a new country. I begin every day with fingerprinting people who come to the Consulate for visas. After fingerprinting I have lunch, which is one of my favorite parts of the workday, and not just because the food in Guangzhou is delicious! Usually I go out to lunch with a group of consular officers. I really enjoy getting to eat with consular officers, ask them questions about their work, and get advice for my future. After lunch I usually work on projects or shadow consular officers while they adjudicate visas. These experiences have been unique as they have given me insights into consular work.

I am really thankful for my experience at Wheaton in preparing me for this internship and my future career. Chinese classes have been some of my favorite classes at Wheaton, and studying Chinese has really helped me now that I am interning in China. Additionally, the support and encouragement from my international relations professors helped me prepare well for my internship. Wheaton has also given me a unique perspective on working in politics as a Christian that I’m sure will serve me well in whatever future career I pursue. 

Future Wheaton students should seriously consider taking a summer or a semester to experience life in a different country, specifically one with a vastly different culture from that of the United States. While it can be challenging at times, living in a different culture has helped me understand others better and have more compassion for those who are different from me.


Hannah Streed ’18 is an international relations major pursuing a minor in Chinese and a Peace and Conflict Studies certificate. Photo captions (from top): Hannah at the Consulate General's American Independence Day event; Guangzhou skyline with the Canton Tower and the Pearl River.

To learn more about Wheaton, connect with Wheaton College Undergraduate Admissions. Set up a visit, or apply now.

Wheaton College Science Station: in the Black Hills of South Dakota

Posted July 19, 2017 by Liz George '20

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This past month I experienced the blessing of studying at Wheaton’s Science Station in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Upon first hearing about summer programs in the Hills, I figured the General Education sequence would be an easy and fun way to satisfy my science requirements. However, my time at the Station transformed into something much more. 

The Black Hills provide an incredibly unique location to experience Christ-centered community, to learn from knowledgeable and loving professors, and to witness God’s provision and power firsthand in natural wonders. Studying at the Science Station allows for a range of educational opportunities, such as observing wildlife in Custer State Park and learning about the geological formations of the Badlands.

This summer, two classes were offered for the month of June: BIO 242: Diversity of Life and CORE 325: Nature, Environment, and Society. Biology professors led students in detailed study of local biological networks and organisms, and CORE offered us a chance to learn about environmental problems from a Christian perspective. After taking CORE 101: Living in God’s Creation during my first semester with Dr. Chris Keil, I opted to take Dr. Keil’s environmental science advanced seminar to engage in further study of creation care from a Christian perspective. 


Our class, composed of eight students, experienced a tight-knit community in which all voices were heard. In this science seminar, we applied our learning by discussing appropriate Christian responses to contemporary environmental problems. Alongside Dr. Keil and other classmates, I was led to consider very important, yet often ignored, ecological issues. These issues ranged from water rights for people groups experiencing water shortages to land rights for Native Americans who believe the Black Hills form a sacred space to proper wildlife management. 

Though the course content did not directly relate to my major or my vision to become a book editor, it reflected my motivation to attend Wheaton: to pursue an education for my mind, heart, and soul. Socio-environmental issues covered in the course refined my fundamental beliefs. Aware of contemporary issues yet encouraged in heart, I am emboldened to embrace Dr. Keil’s motto of “living simply” in order to reduce my footprint on the environment. Studying in the Hills ignited my desire to care for all creation as an extension of my love for God and neighbor. I am beyond grateful for this precious time that God granted me to appreciate his creation with brothers and sisters in Christ. May we all experience such a transformational education, characterized by a new understanding of Christ’s love for all creation.


Liz George ’20 is studying English Writing and took general education course requirements at Wheaton’s Science Station in the Black Hills during summer 2017. Photo captions (from top): Cliff jumping at Sheridan Lake with classmates; a view of Devils Tower; Wheaton in the Black Hills students visit Crazy Horse. 

To learn more about Wheaton in the Black Hills, visit their website. To learn more about Wheaton, connect with Wheaton College Undergraduate Admissions. Set up a visit, or apply now.

A Look Inside Wheaton’s Pilgrimage to Santiago Trip

Posted July 12, 2017 by Falecia Sanchez '18, Wyatt Anderson '19

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Falecia Sanchez ’18 and Wyatt Anderson ’19 traveled on Wheaton’s Pilgrimage to Santiago trip during summer 2017, and share some insights about their experience visiting Spain and hiking the Camino de Santiago trail in the blog post below. 

Falecia: After watching the movie The Way, visiting the Cathedral of Santiago, attending Pilgrim's Mass, listening to a Camino scholar lecture on the history of the Camino, and talking to pilgrims who arrived in Santiago de Compostela during the Wheaton in Spain study abroad trip in 2016, I found myself hoping to return one day to walk the Camino. Thus, when Professor Sharenda Barlar of the Modern and Classical Languages Department asked a year later if I would assist in her research of pilgrims on the Camino, my immediate answer was, "Yes!"  

Wyatt: This summer, we walked across Spain, along an ancient pilgrimage route called “El Camino.” We first flew to Madrid, and toured many of Spain’s northern cities including Pamplona, Roncesvalles, Leon, Santo Domingo, Burgos, and Astorga. In each city, we took in the history, culture, and cuisine, visiting everything from museums and cathedrals to restaurants. We then left from Astorga, and began the long walk of 273 kilometers to Santiago de Compostela.


Along the way we learned a great deal, though exactly what we learned varied depending on who we met and what we saw. One of the people I met was Tania, a middle-aged woman from Germany, who didn’t know what to think of religion after some deaths in her family. My friend Eric and I walked with her for 10 km. It is amazing the subjects you can cover in a 10k conversation. We talked about everything from siblings to faith, and we were all able to talk about what we believe and why. In the end, I gave her my fidget spinner, given to me by a man named Tony the previous day, and told her to pass it along to someone else in the spirit of the Camino.

Falecia: In the future, I hope to become a professor of either philosophy or Spanish literature, and Wyatt’s conversation with Tania is a perfect example of why this trip was a wonderful opportunity for me to apply the knowledge gained from my study of Spanish and philosophy at Wheaton. My Spanish courses have provided linguistic, historical, and cultural contexts to better understand and connect with Spaniards and other Spanish-speakers while my philosophy courses have provided a logical foundation to tackle the hard questions that many pilgrims on the Camino are asking, such as: What is my purpose in life? Does God really exist? If He does exist, why is there so much suffering?


Wyatt: As a biology major, I paid a lot of attention to the woods along the Camino, and I think I found my biggest takeaway in the woods of Galicia. They stirred in me a nostalgia, but I had never seen them before. They reminded me of stories I read when was young, but I wasn’t sure which one. They reminded me of someone I once knew, but forgot. They reminded me of home, but again, I had never set foot there before. The conclusion I came to was that these longings betrayed my longing for God. And I recognized that my longing is part of His story of redemption that runs through all cities, suburbs, farmlands, and forests, if we only take the time to look.


Falecia Sanchez ’18 is studying Spanish, and Wyatt Anderson ’19 is studying biology, Spanish, and chemistry. They both traveled on Wheaton’s Pilgrimage to Santiago trip during summer 2017. Photo captions (from top): Wyatt and Falecia in front of a statue of Santiago el Peregrino (St. James, the Pilgrim); a walking path along Molinaseca, Spain; Falecia overlooking the morning fog along the Galician mountains; The woods of Galicia.

To learn more about Wheaton’s Pilgrimage to Santiago trip, visit their website. To learn more about Wheaton, connect with Wheaton College Undergraduate Admissions. Set up a visit, or apply now.

Chi-Town to Atlanta: My Internship With Reach Records

Posted July 5, 2017 by Brian Connelly '19

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Before the idea of attending Wheaton College had even crossed my mind, I was already dreaming about one day interning at Reach Records in Atlanta. In addition to being a long-time hip-hop fan, I also have a passion for impacting culture through art, so working for Reach has always been an aspiration of mine. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the brand, Reach Records is an independent record label that was started by Grammy-award winning hip-hop artist Lecrae. The label originally catered to a primarily Christian audience, but over the past few years it has started making moves within the mainstream hip-hop industry in an effort to leave a lasting impact on culture. Lecrae, and other Reach artists like Andy Mineo, have started working more frequently with mainstream artists and producers like Ty Dolla $ign and Metro Boomin, all while continuing to be open about their Christian worldview. I’m grateful for the opportunity that I’ve had to help out with new music releases from the artists at Reach, no matter in how small of a role.

Picking up food for artists, transcribing new music, and modeling to promote merchandise is a small part of what comes with the “intern” job title at Reach Records. I’ve also had ongoing opportunities to learn more about how the label operates in ways that are tailored to my specific interests and strengths. Given that I’m interested in pursuing a career in art direction or creative marketing, I’ve had the pleasure of designing marketing materials for new music releases and participating in brainstorming sessions for marketing ideas. Thankfully, I can look back at my Wheaton experience over the past two years and feel like I’ve been sufficiently prepared for maximizing this internship experience.


I’ve never taken a class in creative marketing, art direction, or even graphic design, but I’ve felt prepared for this internship based on my involvement in different student leadership roles at Wheaton. Throughout the roles I’ve served in on Student Alumni Board and Freshman Class Council, I’ve been able to develop and practice my inclinations toward design and marketing, and I’ve learned how to effectively work as a team member. I’m grateful for these opportunities that I’ve had on campus, and I encourage current students to take advantage of the numerous student leadership opportunities available to them.

Interning at Reach has been an unforgettable experience thus far, and with only half of it under my belt there are still plenty more music releases to come. In the coming weeks I look forward to designing more email/social media campaigns and executing creative marketing ideas for upcoming albums. I’m thankful for this opportunity I’ve been given, and I’m continually thankful for the way Reach is impacting the music industry.


Brian Connelly ’19 is double majoring in business/economics and art history and is an intern this summer at Reach Records in Atlanta. Photo captions (from top): Brian standing in front of the backside of Reach's offices where you can find a mural depicting the cover art that appeared on Trip Lee's latest album; Brian working on his laptop inside of Reach Records’ studio complex which consists of four studios, a bunkhouse, and showers--visiting artists frequently claim that it's the nicest studio that they've ever been in; Brian sitting on a truck that appeared on the cover art for Andy Mineo's debut album. The truck was designed and photographed in Seattle, and was recently relocated to Atlanta after Reach opened up their new office and studio complex during summer 2016. 

To learn more about Wheaton, connect with Wheaton College Undergraduate Admissions. Set up a visit, or apply now.

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