A life of service at home and abroad

Lydia Aiken has had a longtime interest in other cultures and compassion for people from different backgrounds. And when she graduates from Missouri S&T, she hopes to carry that compassion and understanding into a career with the U.S. Foreign Service.

Lydia Aiken 

The U.S. Foreign Service’s 15,000 professionals carry out the foreign policy of the United States and aid U.S. citizens abroad.

Aiken, a senior in psychology with an emphasis in leadership, says that Missouri S&T has prepared her well for her post-college life and career.

This past July, she participated in a two-week study abroad trip to Nicaragua. During the trip, Aiken took immersive Spanish language lessons from Nicaraguan instructors and listened to guest lectures by local experts on Nicaraguan culture, history and technology. She even helped build a cooking oven for the local community. The trip was a requirement for Aiken’s global studies minor.

“If I can get on Facebook and chat with somebody that’s on the other side of the world, shouldn’t I know something about them and their culture?” Aiken says.

For her capstone course, Aiken took Cross-Cultural Psychology with Merilee Krueger, associate teaching professor of psychological science. The course reinforced Aiken’s long-held belief that just because some people are different than you, it doesn’t mean you should fear them.

“My mom always said that I had no fear of people who were different,” Aiken says. “Your differences make you unique, so we should always try to learn those first.”

Aiken realizes that the world is getting smaller, and wants to do her part to make it a more peaceful and understanding place.

“We are an increasingly global society,” she says. “I hope that sharing my experience will encourage more students to study abroad.”

Around the Puck

“Forged in Gold: Missouri S&T’s First 150 Years”

In the 1870s, Rolla seemed an unlikely location for a new college. There were only about 1,400 residents in a community with more saloons than houses of worship. There were no paved streets, sewers or water mains. To visitors, there seemed to be as many dogs, hogs, horses, ducks and geese as humans walking the dusty streets.

[Read More...]

By the numbers: Fall/Winter 2019

[Read More...]

Bringing clean water to South America

Assessing water quality, surveying mountaintop locations and building systems to catch rainwater — that’s how members of S&T’s chapter of Engineers Without Borders spent their summer break.

[Read More...]

Geothermal goals exceeded

After five years of operation, Missouri S&T’s geothermal energy system continues to outperform expectations. S&T facilities operations staff originally predicted the geothermal system would reduce campus water usage by over 10% — roughly 10 million gallons per year. The system, which went online in May 2014, cut actual water usage by 18 million to 20 […]

[Read More...]

What happens in Vegas…may appear in print

In his latest volume of Las Vegas lore, historian Larry Gragg says it was deliberate publicity strategies that changed the perception of Sin City from a regional tourist destination where one could legally gamble and access legalized prostitution just outside the city limits, to a family vacation spot filled with entertainment options and surrounded by […]

[Read More...]