Cory Shoemaker came to Wittenberg intent on getting everything possible out of his college experience. He has done just that, taking a wide range of classes to fulfill his educational curiosity, matched only by the wide variety of experiences and academic opportunities he has thoroughly enjoyed.
"I have taken classes from biochemistry to ancient Egypt in locations varying from France to the boreal forests of Minnesota," Shoemaker said. "This vast difference of courses and locations has really allowed me to embrace the liberal arts goal of developing knowledge across the spectrum and using this experience to better understand the world around me."
Shoemaker took his educational pursuits abroad earlier this year when studied in France from January to May 2009. He studied at the Universite d'Angers, where he rowed with the Angers Rowing Club past castles and the French countryside. His rowing team finished fourth in the French University Championships at La Rochelle, and he also found time to cycle through the French countryside. In addition, Shoemaker traveled to Switzerland, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, and Finland.
Perhaps the most memorable experience during his semester abroad came during one of his daily rows with the Angers Rowing Club. Shoemaker and three teammates were overcome by a strong current that took their boat's oars and capsized the boat.
"We all grabbed onto the boat, and we found out that our Australian friend, Simon, couldn't swim," Shoemaker said. "We got him on top of the boat, but the three of us who could swim legs were getting numb so we had Simon call for help on top of the boat while the three of us swam and pushed our boat to shore. When we arrived to the shore, emergency vehicles were there to help."
Shoemaker felt well prepared to adapt to various European cultures thanks to his Wittenberg education, especially classes taught by Associate Professor of Languages Leanne Wierenga. Now back at Wittenberg as a senior, Shoemaker relishes another year making the most of his liberal arts experience.
"Wittenberg has allowed me to explore what I am most passionate about," Shoemaker said. "At a liberal arts school I could fully explore all areas of knowledge in ways unavailable to me at larger schools. This vast difference of courses and locations has really allowed me to embrace the liberal arts goal of developing knowledge across the spectrum and using this experience to better understand the world around me."
Shoemaker is a dedicated member and the current Logistics Officer of Wittenberg's Crew Club Team. He also is pledge educator for Wittenberg's chapter of Beta Theta Pi fraternity. He plans to attend graduate school to study wildlife ecology.
- Written by Trent Brunic '10
- Photo by Erin Pence