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


Power of Attorney (pdf)

Power of Attorney

Do I need a Power of Attorney while I am studying abroad?
The Study Abroad Office recommends that all students studying abroad select a person to take care of their financial affairs while they are out of the country. This is done by assigning a Power of Attorney. Some instances when a Power of Attorney may be necessary are:

  • to receive checks made payable to you for educational expenses
  • to sign and deposit checks made payable to you
  • to handle issues related to your financial assistance
  • to access information in your student account and/or financial assistance files
  • to process banking transactions
  • to process insurance transactions
  • to pay bills

What are the steps to assigning a Power of Attorney?
Assigning a Power of Attorney is a legal process that involves the drafting of a document which assigns another person to act as your legal representative in specific situations. To arrange a Power of Attorney, complete this form (pdf)and then have your signature notarized. Note: the Power of Attorney document must be signed by you in the presence of a Notary Public.

What is a Notary Public?
A Notary Public is a person who has been designated by the government to confirm that a document is legal. Most banks and post offices provide this service. We also provide this service on campus by visiting the Human Resource Office or Scott Korb in the Housing Office.

Who should I ask to be my Power of Attorney?
You should select a person you consider trustworthy to make decisions in your best interest and sign on your behalf. Most students select a parent, significant other, or long-term friend. A casual acquaintance is NOT recommended. University staff may NOT act or your behalf. Always ask the individual before appointing them as your Power of Attorney.

For what period of time should I have a Power of Attorney?
If you plan to travel prior to and/or after your study abroad experience, the Power of Attorney should include the entire time you plan to be away.

How far in advance should I begin arranging for Power of Attorney?
You should take care of arranging your Power of Attorney well in advance of your departure. Give the completed and notarized original document to your Power of Attorney and keep a photocopy for yourself.

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