Nicole Summers can now add international ambassador to her resume after being chosen as one of 35 candidates for the Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst (DAAD) ambassador program.
Summers, a Clarkston native, is in her senior year of studies with a double major in German and psychology. She is the first student from Grand Valley and West Michigan to be named a DAAD ambassador, also known as a German Academic Exchange Service ambassador. DAAD, an independent organization of higher education institutions in Germany, provides students with information and opportunities for international research and study.
Summers, who was president of the Grand Valley German Club for two years, an active participant in study abroad fairs, and a vibrant student interested in other cultures, studied abroad in Munich, Germany, from March to July. She participated in a German government-funded psychological research project that provided statistical evidence to support changes in German legislation to allow fathers more custody rights.
As a DAAD ambassador, Summers traveled to New York for a three-day seminar. She and fellow ambassadors received training on creating scholarship and study abroad options for students within their own universities. “We learned on how to act as an aid for other students,” said Summers. “I feel like my German club experience, along with studying abroad has helped me greatly.”
Her ambassador work at Grand Valley includes creating awareness for study abroad programs and fairs, promoting the German Club, hosting international film nights and hosting other international events on campus.
Upon graduating in April 2011, Summers hopes to attend graduate school for cross-cultural psychology. In her free time, she enjoys traveling and hopes to visit Mexico or Jordan in the near future.