Robert Glass '08
"During the past two years, I have had the opportunity to get to know an entire village in Nicaragua. As we all know, building new relationships is difficult, especially when there are language and cultural barriers to cross. At times I struggled. However, through my Thiel background both as a student and an athlete, I was able to find the bond with people in my community that was necessary to achieve success and fulfillment.
At Thiel I studied Environmental Science as a non-traditional student, and I didn't feel that I had the time for extracurricular activities. During my last semester, however, I decided to try out for the soccer team. Coach Andy Hoggarth gave me a chance, and I was a starting player by the second half of the season.
Following graduation from Thiel in 2008, I relocated to Nicaragua on a Peace Corps assignment, to live in a small village of Rio Grande. Due to my Thiel education, I was assigned to teach science in the local public schools and assist in community gardening projects as my primary objectives.
One day, the local soccer team, which had some good players but was quite disorganized, saw me playing in the street with some kids and invited me to play with them in the official league in a nearby city. A lifetime of playing soccer and my recent training at Thiel meant that I was playing the best soccer of my life.
We eventually won the league, not because of my level of play, but rather because the local youth in the village suddenly became interested in learning and organization. They wanted to do drills in order to become better players, so I used the drills Coach Hoggarth had put me through just months earlier at Thiel. And we got better. The success we enjoyed not only kept me sane, but it earned me the respect I needed to succeed in my primary objectives at the local school and in the community as well.
Following the first season, more and more youth wanted to play soccer, and for the next year and a half we added many leagues in my village and teams competing in the city, not to mention increased interest in science and gardens. A group of girls even approached me about learning to play soccer. I organized a team and they practiced three times a week for more than a year, competing against the local boys' team and teams from the city - a major accomplishment, given that their culture still has well-defined gender roles.
The success I was enjoying was great, but to my surprise, it improved even more when I contacted Thiel about possible support. Coach Hoggarth and the Alumni Office were very receptive to the idea. They organized Community Soccer Day, an event to raise money for my girls’ soccer team, which was used to buy them shoes, as they had previously been playing barefoot. Coach Hoggarth also donated used equipment to assist in the development of our teams and leagues.
More than 100 youths (in a village of 500 people) have now participated in soccer programs that I have implemented. The things I learned at Thiel, along with the continued support I have received as an alumnus, were integral in helping these young people in Nicaragua feel good about themselves, stay healthy and realize that they can make a difference in their own lives."
- Robert Glass '08
Rio Grande, Nicaragua
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Shenango Valley Alumni Mixer
Thursday, Oct. 27 from 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Bella Cena Restaurant (3200 S. Hermitage Rd, Hermitage)
Join fellow alumni and friends for an evening of networking and socializing at Bella Cena, facilitated by Jerry Sovesky ’05, General Manager of Bella Cena!
Pittsburgh Alumni Golf Outing and Event
Saturday, Oct. 29
Tee times at 9-10 a.m.*
Cocktail Reception from 4-6 p.m.
Treesdale Country Club (One Arnold Palmer Dr, Gibsonia, PA 15044)
Join us at the beautiful Treesdale Country Club for a golf outing and cocktails and hors d'oeuvre reception kindly hosted by AJ Ray '00. All are welcome to join for one or both events! Foursomes or single golf reservations are welcome. *Golf fee is $50 per person.
Alumni Network Nights
Join current Thiel students, fellow alumni and special faculty guest Professor David Miller and President VanAken in your city for an evening of networking and socializing!
Erie, PA Network Night
Thursday, Nov. 10 from 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Oscar's Pub (2147 West 12th St., Erie, PA)
Cleveland, OH Network Night
Thursday, Nov. 17 from 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Mavis Winkles Pub (5005 Rockside Rd., Independence, OH)
Pittsburgh, PA Network Night
Thursday, Dec. 1 from 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Bar Louie Station Square (240 Station Square Dr, Pittsburgh, PA)
2nd Annual Dome Opening Celebration
Friday, December 9 from 6-10 p.m.
Celebrate the Dome reopening with us! More details to come.
Alumni Basketball Day 2012
Saturday, Jan. 28, 2012
All men's and women's basketball alumni are invited to join us for the day of festivities including the alumni game, luncheon, current Tomcat teams taking on Westminster and post-game reception. More details coming soon!
Winter Weekend 2012
Friday and Saturday, Feb. 10-11, 2012
Save the date to join us for a weekend of winter fun, including the Black & White Affair ball!
For more information or to RSVP to any events, contact Lauren Oman, Director of Alumni Services, at email@example.com or (724) 589-2042.