Senior Salute 2014 - Tanja Manley
“The students, teachers, and staff transform Wittenberg into what we know it as: a great place to learn that prepares us for all the challenges we have yet to face in our lives.”
Hailing from Berlin, Germany, Tanja Manley knows that geography is about more than just maps.
“I was inspired by Mohsen Khani, my former geography professor, to pursue a degree in this fascinating field. He showed me that Geography is not just finding places on a map. Geography is life. He teaches with such passion that I instantly fell in love with this discipline.”
During the 2013 spring semester, Manley and her husband celebrated the birth of their “wonderful and occasionally ornery” baby girl, but with the support of faculty, Manley was able to maintain her academic standing.
“I worked hard and had to sacrifice, but in the end it was worth the effort. I could not have done it without the support of the faculty. Dr. Kathy Rowell, Dr. Olga Medvedkov, and Dr. Ralph Lenz supported me and went out of their way to help me achieve my goals.”
Reflecting on her accomplishments, Manley recalls that her professors were not just supportive, but inspiring.
“The people who inspired me the most are some of Wittenberg’s great professors. Olga Medvedkov encouraged real world application of Geographic Information Systems for Springfield’s Promise Neighborhood. To work on a project that would help raise funds to improve the overall quality of life of children was empowering and provided me with excellent skills for my future job applications.”
As she looks toward the future, Manley considers pursuing additional studies in geography.
“Eventually, I would like to get a Master’s Degree in Geography and to work in GIS. However, for now my husband, our 13 month-old daughter, and I are preparing for a move to Germany. Over the summer I am excited for traveling opportunities and, mostly, to have time to just be a mom.”
Her message to future students: “If you are looking for a university that has small class sizes, a devotion to developing practical knowledge, and professors who care about the success of their students, Wittenberg is for you. Wittenberg has more to offer than just a beautiful campus. The students, teachers, and staff transform Wittenberg into what we know it as: a great place to learn that prepares us for all the challenges we have yet to face in our lives.”