Pat Lehman, professor of communication, is adding another set of responsibilities to her job as she anticipates leading the 2018 Spring and Summer Peru SST units.
Lehman will leave in mid-December for Peru to prepare for the SST, with students following in January for the spring semester SST.
She is looking forward to the upcoming trip.
Lehman said, “I’m excited about strengthening my Spanish…seeing some of the world-renowned sites like Machu Picchu…and working closely with Goshen College students in an SST experience.”
While she only recently visited Peru for the first time earlier this summer, this isn’t her first time leading an SST unit. In the summer of 2007 and fall of 2008, Lehman led SST units in Jamaica with Sheila Yoder and Theo and Leslie MacFarlane,.
After her terms in Jamaica, Lehman felt drawn to the Peru SSTs. She applied soon after returning from Jamaica, but it wasn’t until this year that she was able to do it.
“The need for leaders was clear this year and I was ready to go,” she said.
As a professor of communication, Lehman hopes to bring something new to the Peru SST. Lehman’s studies in the past have focused on intercultural communication, so she wants to use what she teaches at GC about communicating across cultures while in Peru.
“I think that will be a unique strength,” Lehman said concerning her specialty in intercultural communications. “I think all of that helps me to prepare for this [trip].”
Sylvia Shirk will be Lehman’s co-leader of the trip. Shirk is a former campus pastor of Goshen College, and has led several SSTs in the past.
In addition to traveling to Jamaica, Lehman has been to Africa four times, once to teach a public relations course to students and the other three as part of a video team. She has also visited Spain, Australia, and India for various purposes.
“This sums it all together,” Lehman said. “I have been…on every continent except Antarctica.”
Her trip to Spain in 2011 to study Spanish and culture seems to foreshadow the upcoming year.
“[This trip] really was part of the prep, knowing that I wanted to keep [a Peru SST] in mind,” she said.
Lehman received the position of SST leader about a year ago and then worked on the Spanish language last spring. She said that she took Spanish in high school and college.
“I would say that I have been gradually strengthening my Spanish over the years,” she said.
She does not consider herself fluent in Spanish but thinks she will be able to get by when she is in Peru. Her hope is to become much more fluent after spending both the spring and summer semesters leading SST.
The most challenging thing for her about going to Peru will be the high altitudes in places like Machu Picchu or the Andes Mountains. She took an exploratory trip to Peru in July to prepare for the SST and during her time she crossed the Andes Mountains in a bus at about 15 thousand feet above sea level. It will be a challenge, but Lehman says it is all part of the adventure.
A group of students is preparing go on the trip and the orientation meeting was held on October 24th.
Lehman overall loves to travel and learn about new cultures.
“All my life I’ve wanted to go to the next place,” she said. “I am fascinated by other cultures and how they enrich our own.”
After many years of waiting, Lehman is finally able to embark on another SST. She is more than happy to do it and hopes to use her passion for intercultural communication to enhance students’ experiences while in Peru.