“This older woman put on her glasses, and she looked out the window. The smile on her face, it’s so incredibly difficult to describe. It’s almost as if she discovered a different world,” Professor Lee explained with a smile.
“I’m tearing up just thinking about it. It was as if her whole life was going to change because now she could see what she was doing. Those women needed reading glasses for more than embroidery. They needed them, simply, to see.
“I don’t know that there’s a kind of joy you get from just sharing an afternoon with a group of people. I got so much out of that one afternoon with those women. They got a pair of glasses, and I walked away with a feeling that I’d done something really good. It was the best part of the entire trip,” she said. “It was one of the most fulfilling experiences I’ve had.
“This experience demonstrates the need and reason for us to go to Swaziland. It shows how small things can make a big impact,” she added. “We’re so caught up in our own lives. But there’s so much more than that.”
It’s that type of meaningful experience she’d like Kelley Indy students to experience on a study abroad trip.
“Working with small businesses, developing social enterprises, meeting real people, and talking about real things—if our students can have moments like that, it will be life-changing,” said Lee. “I want Kelley students to not only do the technical things, but I also want them to experience being a vehicle for improving somebody else’s life.”
Professor Lee is proof that Kelley moments can happen anywhere, anytime. And not just to students, but for professors as well. They are moments that move you and make you better—that help you go from moment to momentum.