Get to Know Study Away's Student Staff!

Lisa Buck

Lisa BuckLisa Buck’s first time abroad was a Short Term Faculty Led program in Spain the summer after her freshman year at Missouri State. During this program, she fell in love with the Spanish language and culture. In addition to working toward her degree in Dietetics, Lisa decided to major in Spanish. She completed her degree by spending five months in Costa Rica with the SOL Study Abroad Program, during which she traveled to Nicaragua and Panama and spent over a month working at an organic farm and sustainable living center. She also was able to combine her love of Spanish and Dietetics by attending the Spring Break Malnutrition in Developing Countries program to El Salvador. This summer will be her third trip to El Salvador and Costa Rica, where she has conducted nutrition assessments, research, and education in rural areas. Lisa also spent a month backpacking in both Haiti and Mexico after graduating with her undergraduate degrees.

Lisa recently completed her Dietetic Internship at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in St. Louis. She is looking forward to starting her Master of Public Health program this fall and plans on working in the area of international health in the future. In her free time, Lisa enjoys running, hiking, biking, camping, and all things outdoors. She is excited to serve as the Study Away Graduate Assistant to help provide students with life-changing study away adventures!

Emily Wheeler

Emily's BioWhen Emily Wheeler was a kid her family would vacation once a year in Mexico, which began her passion for international culture. When Emily was in high school she knew that she wanted to do some sort of study away program during college. Upon entering Missouri State, Emily began planning her first education abroad experience. Emily’s family guided her to select a semester abroad option and this was the greatest decision she has ever made.

Emily spent four months in Costa Rica her sophomore year completely immersed in the culture. She learned so many new things while improving her Spanish language skills. During her time in Costa Rica, she was provided the opportunity to participate in cultural immersion opportunities that provided her the opportunity to expand her cultural awareness and make life-long friends. Emily’s time abroad afforded her the opportunity to visit Nicaragua as well.

As an International Business major and Spanish minor, Emily is hoping to double major. After graduation Emily would like to work in Spain or Europe, hopefully finding a job that combines her International Business degree and passion for travel!

Auston Weldy

AustonAuston Weldy is a senior and is majoring in Kineseology. Auston formerly studied in Den Hague, Netherlands for a semester through the Missouri State University Study Away office. Where Ashley Ryan was a big influence and motivation for Auston to put all doubts aside and go for it.

Auston has always wanted to go out and travel and grew up knowing he wasn’t meant to stay in one place.

Auston’s passion for traveling grew more and more the older he got when he started making trips to other states such as: going to Colorado with his grandpa to go camping in the Rockies, going hunting in South Dakota with a group of guys, going on family vacation.

Felicia Baltzell

FeliciaThis is Felicia Baltzell’s senior year at MSU and she feels that her degree programs have prepared her for traveling the world and working as a Global Ambassador with the Study Away team. She is majoring in anthropology and French with a minor in international relations, so she has an interest in all world cultures and the political news around the world.

Felicia discovered her love of traveling when she was 16 and went to Europe for the first time. As most of her time was spent in France on this trip and was guided by her own high school French teacher, she followed her passion for French after she returned and chose this as one of her majors once she enrolled at MSU. She has also traveled returned to Europe to visit Scotland, England, and Italy to meet new people and explore different cultures.

Her most recent adventure was during her semester abroad in Ile de La Réunion in the Indian Ocean. Here she was able to expound upon her French while learning about a culture that was true mélange of people, religions, and customs. While she misses the beaches and the mountains of beautiful La Réunion, she is glad to be back at MSU to help send other students to their dream destinations.

When Felicia is not working or galavanting around the globe, she enjoys doing anything outdoors, volunteering at Ozarks Food Harvest, or hanging out with her friends and boyfriend. She is looking forward to her next adventure to the Czech Republic in Summer 2017!

Meredith Breckner

MeredithMeredith Breckner is a senior majoring in History and Chinese. Exploring the world, learning Chinese, and getting herself out of her comfort zone are three reasons why Meredith decided to study away for a year in Qingdao, China through Missouri States China Programs. Qingdao is a huge seaside city full of culture and history. Language is a large part of the Chinese experience. She did not speak a word of Chinese when she first arrived but after spending eleven months immersed in Chinese culture and taking intensive Chinese language courses, she was able to communicate with the Chinese and learn more about their culture using Chinese.

Besides the language aspect, she also had the opportunity to travel around China with new international friends. From the northern areas in Harbin and Inner Mongolia to the southern areas in Kunming and Guilin, Meredith was able to see several different sides of China and learn that this vast country is full of a variety of cultures and people. She also had the opportunity to visit Malaysia and South Korea while in China.

For Meredith, her study away experience was not just about experiencing one new culture and language but having the opportunity to interact with people from all around the world and see the world not only as an American but as a part of something bigger. After graduating, Meredith plans on going to law school in the US or Europe."

Emma Farley

EmmaEmma Farley is excited to be joining the staff of the Study Away office. Her major is Global Studies with a focus area in political, social, and environmental issues. Her minors are Latin American Studies and Spanish. Emma studied abroad during summer 2015 in Heredia, Costa Rica with SOL education. Her love for the Spanish language, culture, and people began in her childhood when her family adopted three children from Bogota, Colombia. Emma spent her summer volunteering in Peru, teaching English to local children. Her favorite hobbies include traveling, running, singing, and playing intramural soccer. Emma can´t wait to begin helping other students have the same amazing Study Away experience that she did!