Lindsey Winegeart ('10) | International Studies
International studies major/
political science minor
from Abilene, Texas
Spending part of her childhood in Germany instilled in Lindsey Winegeart a desire to promote intercultural understanding. As an international studies major at ACU, she has found numerous outlets to develop that interest.
Many of those opportunities have come through ACU's Service Learning program, which incorporates volunteer work into the curriculum. Students gain real-world experiences that enhance their academic learning while providing a tangible benefit for the community.
My ACU experience has shaped my faith in many ways. When you start to become more independent, your faith must become more of your own as well. ACU has allowed me to take ownership of my spiritual life.
One of her favorite service learning projects was in Dr. Caron Gentry’s International Relations class. Students volunteered with Abilene’s branch of the International Rescue Committee, which offers assistance to refugees who fled from war or disaster and relocated to Abilene. Along with two other students, Lindsey spent two hours every Saturday teaching a family from Burundi life-learning skills, American culture and English. Throughout the semester, the students kept field notes on their experiences.
Putting her degree into practice
The family, composed of a married couple and their two children, often brought friends and neighbors to the Saturday learning sessions, so there were different people each week, Lindsey says. To help the family learn and practice household words in English, the students covered the house with sticky note labels.
“This is really what I want to do; this is me using my degree,” says Lindsey. “This was my first experience to go out there and be on my own, interacting with people who really don’t know any English. It was a great learning and growing experience.”
In Dr. Carley Dodd’s Communication and Multinational Organizations class, Lindsey had another opportunity to learn while serving. Dr. Dodd asked the students to choose a non-profit organization in Abilene, conduct interviews, and create a cultural audit for the business. Lindsey’s group chose Hope Haven, a ministry to the homeless. After interviewing employees, her group brainstormed how different areas of the business could improve and presented their suggestions to the organization.
Lindsey also has volunteered with Eternal Threads and helped people prepare for different missions trips for service learning credit.
Global business skills
Last summer Lindsey returned to Germany with ACU's Study Abroad program in Leipzig. She and her classmates partnered with a women’s professional basketball team as marketing consultants, helping them develop a marketing plan. They interviewed local Germans, set up social media accounts and planned events for the team to attract and retain more fans. Lindsey was able to use her German-speaking skills to communicate with people around Leipzig. When the students finished creating the marketing plan, they presented their findings to the team.
Along with research, the trip allowed students to learn about international business operations through touring company facilities all over Leipzig, such as BMW and the German headquarters for DHL and Amazon.
“Study Abroad is an amazing blessing that allows you to get outside of your comfort zone and expand your horizons,” Lindsey says. “One thing that traveling and being a part of another culture always reminds me of is to be a good steward with what God has blessed me with and to take in every experience placed before me, allowing it to shape and mold me to be a better servant for the kingdom.”