We Are Off!


The War, Peace, and Reconciliation class starts the year off with an adventure! While in Cambodia, the students will be visiting many sites, including the Silver Pagoda, Wat Phnom, the killing fields, Free the Bears conservatory, the Elephant Valley Project, Mekong Turtle Conservation Centre, the Irrawaddy Dolphins, Angkor Wat, Terrace of the Leper King, Terrace of the Elephants, Prek Toal Bird Sanctuary, the bamboo trains, and many other exciting places! Stay caught up in all the fun with these blog posts to see just how the 17 Luther students are doing!

While we are off and away, we will have two students blogging about the experiences shared in Cambodia. Jacqueline Congello and Wylie Cook will be keeping in touch to document our journeys. Before the class takes off on their adventure, let’s take a closer look at who the bloggers are.

Jacq Congello

Jacq Congello (she, her, hers) is a senior Sociology major. When she first began at Luther, she planned on becoming a doctor like her parents, Dr. Samuel Congello and Dr. Patricia Endress (Congello), but she ended up switching to Sociology after taking an Introduction to Sociology course with Dr. Char Kunkel. Now, she has taken most courses offered in the Sociology department and enjoys helping other students understand Sociology.

Apart from the classwork, Jacq is active in a lot of activities. She is the Founder and President of the Norse Knitters, an organization on campus that focuses on providing a relaxing environment and opportunities to share yarn art skills.  She is also a member of the Chi Theta Rho sorority where she was a Fundraising Chairman for a year who raised funds to raise awareness for service and philanthropy projects including sex trafficking and self-esteem in collegiate settings. Jacq has been an active member of Just Action, PRIDE, Animal Allies, Write On! and LAG (Luther Association of Gamers). She is currently in the Luther College Concert Band where she plays the bassoon and contrabassoon, as well as Philharmonia Orchestra.

When she is not studying or rehearsing, Jacq works as a Student Tutor and a Research Assistant. She tutors students in Paideia, Sociology and Logic in SASC located in Preus Library. For research, she currently assists Dr. Char Kunkel and Dr. Ron Ferguson with research focused on the racial attitudes and actions of Olmsted County in Minnesota. The research team plans to publish and present their results later this year. 

Jacq has been fortunate to travel quite a bit. Most recently, she studied in Ecuador for Luther’s J-Term class Ecology of Ecuador in 2015 where she was able to explore the Amazon rainforest, cloud forest, and Galapagos Islands and study the ecosystems and biodiversity. She returned to South America on her own in 2016 when she studied in Peru at Universidad San Ignacio de Loyola and worked at San Judas Chico, an orphanage for girls. She will be traveling to Spain in May with the Luther College Concert Band after this exploration in Cambodia.

After graduating in May 2017, Jacq plans on going on to law school.  She has been accepted to Widener, but she plans on waiting to hear from other schools before making her final decision.  She hopes to gain her JD in law as well as a Masters in Public Policy.

Wylie Cook

Wylie Cook (they, them, theirs or name as pronoun) is a junior Women and Gender Studies major with a concentration in social justice along with a minor in Africana Studies.

Wylie is involved in many organizations on campus. They are a Resident Assistant in Larsen Hall, Deacon of Worship for the Student Congregational Council, and a work study student for the WGST program. They are also involved in College Ministries, PRIDE, Just Action, and Black Student Union. They are also a tenor in Luther College's Collegiate Chorale.

Wylie anticipates graduating in May 2018 after completing a semester of internship and researching in Chicago. They hope to be accepted into a master and doctoral program at seminary while studying Religion and Society.

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