Sarah Bourdon found her way to Shippensburg University from her nearby hometown of Carlisle.

After graduating from Carlisle High School, Bourdon spent a year at another university before becoming a member of Ship’s class of 2020. Bourdon entered the Peace Corps Prep program after changing majors. This meshed with her pursuit of a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies and an International Development Minor.

“I was very unsure about a major going into college. I chose international studies because after two years of college I realized this was the program that best fit my interests and passions. I saw how a personal interest could actually become a major,” Bourdon said. “This degree has prepared me for my future by really refining what it is I want to do. I have discovered a strong interest in the educational rights of women and girls around the world, specifically those affected by displacement. Through the classes I have taken and my experiences, I have a much clearer vision of my career focus. I was also able to adapt my campus involvement to reflect these interests and became active in several related organizations.”

In addition to being a pole vaulter on the women’s track and field team, Bourdon found numerous resume-boosting opportunities. Among them are a service-learning project in the Dominican Republic, serving as a classroom facilitator with the Multicultural Student Association, and membership with the international studies honor society, the track and field leadership council, the National Society of Leadership and Success, the civility committee, and the Student Advisory Committee for the College of Arts and Sciences.

“Almost all of the opportunities I had at Ship can be attributed to the faculty with whom I worked closely. I value the fact that I can list out so many different faculty names as people who made my experience at Ship meaningful to me,” Bourdon said. “As I formed relationships with Ship faculty, I was able to get involved with more programs that I did not even know were options at Ship.”

Bourdon has also worked as an English language learning tutor and volunteered with the Pennsylvania Immigrant and Refugee Women’s Network.

Read more stories from the Class of 2020.