Elizabethtown College senior embodies “Educate for Service”
Elizabethtown College senior Josie Stommel has been passionate about service all her life, a factor that influenced her decision to come to the College since the College’ motto is “Educate for Service.” She grew up in Glenwood, Maryland, where she was active in Girl Scouts, Vacation Bible School and book clubs. Specifically, her work with Girl Scouts led her to pursue her career at E-town.
Stommel is a double major in interfaith leadership studies and Spanish, and she has a minor in international studies. She researched peace work in Somaliland and will give three different presentations at the College’s Scholarship and Creative Arts Days.
On campus, she works with the Office of International Students and Scholars’ International Leadership team and with the Learning Zone as a writing tutor. In her free time, she enjoys attending yoga classes, Circle K meetings and Spanish Conversation hours.
“I love planning activities for international students and initiatives to globalize our campus community,” Stommel said.
In addition to these activities, Stommel also studied abroad in Granada, Spain in 2018. She described the experience as being a life-changing opportunity to enhance her Spanish abilities, and expand her passion for interfaith engagement.
“Being exposed to and immersed in another cultural context on a daily basis is an indescribable learning opportunity,” she stated.
“I will always value the memories and friendships I made during my time abroad.”
Currently, Stommel is working on three capstone projects: one for her international studies minor, one for her Spanish major and one for her interfaith leadership studies major. The capstone project for her minor revolves around peacebuilding in Somaliland, which gives her an interesting case study to research because of the range of effectiveness of community interventions there. Her Spanish capstone project involves the meaning and presence of interfaith opportunities in Spain, which she finds fascinating because of its unique cultural context. Finally, she is writing a bilingual children’s book teaching the importance of interfaith for her project for interfaith leadership studies.
“Peacebuilding approaches within international contexts fascinate me and connect to my passions for peace education,” Stommel said.
After graduation in May, Stommel will be attending the University of Maryland College Park’s international education policy masters’ program while working as a graduate assistant in the Office of International Student and Scholar Services.