Civil engineer forges new path as Globalscope exchange intern
When civil engineer Heidi Wallace learned about Globalscope’s exchange semester program at a board meeting of her college campus ministry, her initial reaction was disappointment that she didn’t know about it when she was a student.
“Serving abroad with a Globalscope ministry during college was definitely something I would have considered,” she said. “After a couple years of looking back and wishing I’d had the chance, I started to wonder if this was still something the Lord wanted me to do.”
After considering the options, Heidi made the out-of-the-box decision to spend 18 months as an exchange intern with El Pozo in Puebla, Mexico, while pursuing a master’s degree in civil engineering at the Universidad de las Américas Puebla.
A home of believers
Heidi grew up in Owasso, Oklahoma, and credits her family, church mentors and teachers with her commitment to Christ, and her campus ministry, The Table at Oklahoma State University, with her dedication to Christian community.
“My parents actually met at the same campus ministry when they were at OSU,” said Heidi. “So that made it even more meaningful to me.”
She graduated from OSU in 2016 with degrees in civil engineering and Spanish. While in college, she had the opportunity to volunteer in Honduras a couple times with the university’s Engineers Without Borders student chapter.
“The highlight of that trip was attending the local church and having the opportunity to translate the sermon into English for our group,” she said.
A new path
Heidi now works for a civil and structural engineering firm in Tulsa but had toyed with the idea of getting a master’s before she heard about Globalscope. But the idea of serving while learning was just the incentive she needed to make the decision.
“The main reason I decided to pursue my master’s degree at this time was because of my interest in campus ministry,” she said. “I limited my degree program research to locations with Spanish-speaking Globalscope campus ministries.”
Her bosses at work have graciously agreed to hold her spot in the office while Heidi is studying and serving abroad.
“I recently became a licensed Professional Engineer, and I’m looking forward to continuing that career, and perhaps teaching college courses somewhere down the road,” she said.
But for now, her mind and heart are firmly fixed on Puebla, Mexico, and she’s excited to begin this new chapter in a new community.
“El Pozo combines three of the things that I love — campus ministry, academia and Spanish,” she said. “There’s just something about being deeply involved in a community that enriches your faith in a way that isn’t possible in isolation!”
Top photo: Heidi Wallace took a spring break mission trip in 2015 with The Table campus ministry to Albuquerque, New Mexico.