Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Local News

April 27, 2014

Goshen College celebrates 243 graduates; three heading to Cambodia

243 seniors turn their tassels, three are heading to Cambodia

GOSHEN

Goshen College commencement speaker Joyce Bontrager Lehman told graduates to make bold choices and not to be afraid to make career- and life-altering changes.

Sunday’s ceremony took place Sunday afternoon inside the Roman Gingerich Recreation-Fitness Center on campus.

Of Sunday’s 243 graduates, Lehman’s advice already applies to at least three of them. Sara Klassen, of Goshen, Audrey Thill, of Paoli and Henry Stewart, of Lancaster, Pa. have each signed up with the Mennonite Central Committee’s Serving and Learning Together program to volunteer in Cambodia for a year beginning later this summer.

The three are all familiar with Cambodia, having spent their Study Service Term in the country during the spring of 2013.

Why they all wanted to return to the country is somewhat difficult to put into words, according to Thill.

“We had really good experiences there on SST,” she said. “It’s just a really interesting country. I don’t know how to explain it. We just had a good time and having the opportunity to go back and stay there longer and form deeper relationships than we did and get to know Cambodia even more (is) a great opportunity.”

Thill said she will be working with a Cambodian organization that “identifies marginalized communities within Cambodia who have human rights issues.”

She said she will be writing and editing grant proposals and helping with other administrative duties.

Stewart will be teaching English at the Royal Institute of Phenom Penh, the capital of the country.

Klassen’s job will be compiling stories of peace practices that have come out of indigenous spiritualities and come across religious and spiritual divides.

“My senior thesis for my major focused on the value of community storytelling spaces as peacebuilding platforms, so I feel like my position will be taking that one step further,” she said in an email Saturday.

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