While backpacking through Europe, Nick Van Woert
’11 tried to leave others with a good impression of Americans.
At the same time, he was fascinated to learn how Americans are perceived
by Europeans and other travelers. “Listening to the different interpretations of
what an American is, was really eye-opening. One of my personal favorites is
that we sound like cats when we talk,” said Van Woert, who is
attending school in Malta near Italy. “It is hard to explain … but involves the
e-o-w sound from meow, which is overall pretty funny.”
Van Woert is
enrolled in a dual master’s degree in conflict resolution between the
University of Malta and George Mason University
in Fairfax, Va. At the end of the intensive, year-long program in
September 2013, he will have a master’s degree in conflict analysis and
resolution from George Mason and a master’s in conflict
resolution and Mediterranean security from Malta.
Woert earns his degrees, he has several options: working for the U.S. State Department as a
foreign service officer or for the United Nations in peacekeeping or peacebuilding operations,
or continuing onto a Ph.D. program.
A native of Hilton Head
Island, S.C., Van Woert said he didn’t think he would be in Malta
without the Model
United Nations class he took his second semester freshman year.
“I didn't realize it at the time, but when the class had come and gone and I
was no longer representing the Former Yugoslavia Republic of
Macedonia, I realized how intrigued I was with the world across the
pond,” Van Woert said. “It led me to taking the initiative to study abroad in
the ancient city of Rome for five months my second semester sophomore year.
“After going abroad once, I was craving to come back,” he said.
A history major with a minor in social sciences, Van Woert
found the undergraduate education he was looking for at Winthrop.
“I wanted a big school where I could meet new people, but at the same
time small enough, to be able to run into familiar faces from time to time,” he
said. “The location was key. With Rock Hill being right next to Charlotte, it
made Winthrop an even better decision, plus it wasn't too far from Kings
Mountain Complex and Historic Brattonsville, so I
could occasionally go take a hike and see some scenery.”
Woert’s Winthrop experience was rounded out by his work as a facilities
supervisor at the DiGiorgio
Campus Center; by his membership with Winthrop’s club lacrosse
team; as a creator of poddle-ball courts around campus; as a participant in
geocaching; being a huge fan of the band Polar
War, now Dunder
Chiefs; and as the founder of the Winthrop
“These were certainly some of the best times of
my life,” said Van Woert. “But with these experiences and
memories from Winthrop as a foundation of who I am, I will always know at the
end of the day that I am a garnet and gold Eagle.
Last updated 2/25/2013