Nancy Waterstraat

Nancy Waterstraat 2013 was a long way from her hometown of Stralsund, Germany, when she first came to Morningside College. But it was easy to get involved in campus life, and before long Morningside felt like home.

"It's a very welcoming family atmosphere," she said.

Nancy got involved in lots of activities. Among other things, she joined the mock trial team and became a resident assistant. She also met regularly with the college president and her professors, discussing topics ranging from the Israel-Palestine conflict to what it is like to go to law school.

When it came time to apply to graduate school, Nancy had no trouble getting letters of recommendation. She applied to five different graduate programs and was accepted to every single one. Then the Morningside College community was there to help her make a decision.

"When your biggest problem is you don't know where to go because everybody accepted you - that is a luxury problem but it is still a problem - they helped me," she said.

In the end, Nancy decided to get a master's degree in peace and conflict management from the University of Haifa in Israel. She recently completed that one-year program, and she is planning to go to law school after she gets married. Eventually she would like to work for the United Nations or the European Court of Human Rights.

Nancy said the Morningside community makes her feel that she can do about anything.

"It makes you feel good about yourself when people say, 'You can do this,' " she said. "That was actually really incredible, and I'm very grateful to everybody who said it."