The ACU Study Abroad Program in Montevideo, Uruguay, is getting a new faculty resident after a family emergency required one professor to come home early.
Dr. Paul Roggendorff, instructor in the Department of Language and Literature, originally planned to spend the entire fall semester in South America with his wife and two children. However, when his wife became seriously ill, Roggendorff decided to return to Texas. His family returned to the States on Oct. 3.
It only took five days for the Center for International Education to choose a replacement. Dr. Ronald Morgan, a professor in the Department of History and Global Studies, will be the new faculty resident for the trip.
“I am on research leave, so it worked pretty well with my schedule,” Morgan said. “I am not teaching anything right now.”
Despite the change in personnel, the 11 students currently studying in Montevideo did not miss a beat. They continued their studies and live with two ACU onsite directors, Wimon and Rosalinda Walker.
“As the directors in Montevideo, Rosalinda and I can assure you that ACU and the Study Abroad office are working hard to care for the Roggendorffs and their needs,” Wimon Walker said. “And at the same time, we are all working hard to make sure that the students have the best experience possible.”
Roggendorff had not begun to teach his slate of classes at the time of his departure, said Stephen Shewmaker, executive director of the Center for International Education. Morgan will teach the classes Roggendorff was expected to teach.
Morgan has international experience as well as foreign language skills to seamlessly step into the role. He is fluent in Portuguese and Spanish and has spent the last nine years as Director of ACU in Oxford.
The hardest part of the transition for students and faculty involved will not be academics, but losing a part of the study abroad family to such a sad circumstance, Morgan said.
“Being there with (Dr. Roggendorff) and his family, they would have all bonded a lot,” Morgan said. “Since he has come home in a family crisis, the students are not only sad he is gone but also concerned for his family.”