After studying at Harding University in Florence (HUF) in the fall of 2012 and getting a taste for Italian culture, 2015 Harding graduate and Harding native Grant Schol is returning to HUF as assistant to the director.
Schol said he is eager to begin the position and, though nervous about the transition, is excited to help students learn and experience things beyond Searcy, Arkansas.
“(Searcy) is not the whole world,” Schol said. “There’s this huge world out there with billions of people and hundreds of countries, each with their own set of beliefs and cultures. They’re all so different from ours, and I want people to experience something beyond what they’ve known their whole life.”
Dr. Jeff Hopper, dean of International Programs, said Schol brings many strengths to the table for this position. Hopper highlighted Schol’s creativity, hard-working spirit and connection with people as essential to his new role.
“I think that Grant (Schol) has the ability to read people — to understand their motivations and their challenges,” Hopper said. “He will understand when a student is having a hard time and be sensitive to their needs. I expect that everyone who leaves HUF will have Grant as a mentor and a friend if they will just allow it.”
Schol’s experience as a photographer and his roots in communication are also important skills to have as assistant to the director, according to Robbie Shackelford, director of HUF.
“(Schol) is a talented photographer and will help us in the visual advertising and promoting of the HUF program,” Shackelford said.
Schol said he looks forward to bringing those photography, communication and design skills not just to HUF, but all of Harding’s European programs.
“My skills will allow me to tell the story of HUF like I don’t think anyone else has ever done before,” Schol said.
Both Hopper and Shackelford commended Schol’s participation and involvement while a student at HUF and said that those experiences will prepare him for connecting with students and fulfilling his duties as assistant to the director.
According to Shackelford, Schol’s role is demanding but fun and will allow Schol to be involved in all facets of HUF — orientation, on-site classes, travel, cleaning, speaking and more.
“In going to HUF as a student and learning so much about the world and myself, I became a more comfortable and confident person,” Schol said. “The experience just molds you and shapes you into somebody that is changed, and I think that I was changed for the better.”
Schol said that this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity is one he knew he could not pass up, and he is ready to help students grow and learn while at HUF.