Lily Jundi '03 IST not only speaks the language of computers--thanks to her Penn State education--but also is fluent in Spanish, Hebrew and several Arabic dialects, not to mention a good knowledge of Portuguese, Turkish and Italian. She adroitly switches between languages like a commuter switches trains. With her Penn State education, natural knack for languages and incurable travel bug, she's had no trouble finding work in far off lands from Delaware County.
Jundi, originally from Drexel Hill, Pa., currently teaches foreign languages at Fatih University and a school system in Ankara, Turkey. She also teaches English and information technology (IT) classes--offered in English--at a technical firm in the capital city. Prior to living in Turkey she spent several years teaching languages and IT studies at colleges in Kuwait.
Jundi attributes her love for cultures and languages to her mixed Middle Eastern heritage. She pursued that love at Penn State Brandywine, where she minored in international studies and traveled to Turkey, Spain, Greece, Italy and Egypt to complete several academic projects. She was a language tutor in the Learning Center, held student government leadership positions, helped shape the diversity initiative on campus and interned in the Information Technology Services department alongside the much-liked Gordon Crompton, who recently retired from the campus.
"Education-wise we were well prepped; the curriculum was great. As for my internship with computer services, I cannot thank them enough ... by the time I graduated, I had learned so much from them. My training was perfect. I'm very confident as to what comes my way ... whether it's a computer course or language course I'm asked to teach. It's like concrete ground I'm standing on," said Jundi.
"Working at the Learning Center gave me the opportunity to discover myself. Before that I wasn't even thinking of education or being a teacher," she added. "I wanted to be in computer systems and databases, since that was my major. I thought that was it; my future was set. But then working at the Learning Center I discovered something else in me. I wasn't limited to what I graduated with ... I have a lot more to offer."
Another international attribute of Jundi's is her nickname, "the peacemaker," a name Crompton gave to her during her internship days. Jundi explained, "Whenever there was a conflict, I would try to find the midpoint for people to meet in order to resolve the issue. I don't like problems. I don't like conflicts. I like people to work together. I like to work with people in peace. I don't like war--we talked about politics a lot especially the politics of the Middle East--which was one of the reasons I got that name ... besides just wanting to work and interact peacefully with colleagues in the department."
Perhaps diplomacy is in the bright future of this talented, multilingual Brandywine alumna. According to Crompton, "if there's going to be peace in the world, Lily will be part of it."
-by Nancy McCann, freelance writer