Lake Superior State University
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Alum Success

Ben Mitchell

Ben Mitchell
Mechanical Engineering '06

Ben Mitchell grew up in a devout household in the central Upper Peninsula of Michigan where emphasis was placed on helping others. He traveled with his father to places such as Kenya and Peru on short-term medical missions. When he was in Kenya, a missionary explained that engineers have the greatest potential to influence the largest number of people. During high school, Ben participated in a youth mission trip to Tijuana. A result of the mission trips, his family decided to adopt three Vietnamese children when he was a junior.

All of these experiences had a great influence on Ben’s outlook on life. He decided to major in mechanical engineering and enrolled at Lake Superior State University. Near the end of his senior year, he decided to volunteer for the Peace Corps to help others.

His two-year commitment began in the fall of 2007 and took Ben to Burkina Faso in western Africa. He resides in the village of Tansila, population 3,000, approximately 10 km from the Mali border. His host organization is the local cotton growers union. It works cooperatively with other villages to improve and expand their production techniques. He serves as an agribusiness advisor as a part of the Small Enterprise Development program which helps create market linkages and assists with the advancement of business skills.

Study Abroad

APPLICATION DEADLINE: September 27, 2013

DESTINATION:
Africa (South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, and Zimbabwe)

APPLICATION:
Download (pdf)

DESCRIPTION:
Explore the unique ecology, wildlife, and culture of sub-Saharan Africa during a 3-wk adventure through national parks and game reserves. Students will explore the dynamic city of Cape Town, sand dunes of Namibia, salt pans and wetlands of Bo-tswana, and the stunning Victoria Falls on the Zambezi River in Zimbabwe. The dramatic and contrasting ecosystems will pro-vide unique opportunities to explore local culture and observe wildlife. This trip is for the adventurous that are physically fitand ready to camp in remote areas, canoe the Orange River and Okavango Delta, and hike the Skeleton Coast, Etosha National Park, Table Mountain, and Victoria Falls. Be prepared to be amazed by Africa’s natural wonders!

DATES OF PROGRAM:
Spring semester & May 6-28 (travel), 2014

COURSES:
BIOL Elective (3 or 6 cr.) and Diversity Gen Ed (0 or 3 cr.)

PROGRAM FEE:
$4,150 Financial aid available

FEE INCLUDES:
Round-trip airfare
Lodging
2 meals a day
Park admission fees
Travel insurance

FACULTY LEADER:
Dr. Ashley Moerke
Associate Professor of Biology

APPLICATION DEADLINE:
September 27, 2013

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