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Reflecting on 18 of the Last 9: Heath Ingram

Heath looks out into the distance

By Megan Schulte, Communications Specialist 

The next alumni to be featured in the 18 of Last 9: Global Impact series is lawyer, Heath Ingram. He spent a summer studying abroad at the Miami University Dolibois European Center (MUDEC) in Luxembourg, and although his time there was short, it had a great impact upon him. In our interview, he reflects on his love for the MUDEC program and how study abroad helped guide his career path. 

Studying in the Heart of Europe 

Something that is enjoyed by many MUDEC alumni is the ability to learn about European history so close to where it occurred, and Ingram was no exception. He also enjoyed being able to take unique classes while in the European academic environment. The program offered classes that pushed him outside of his comfort zone, as they were quite different from what he had studied in Oxford.

About this unique academic opportunity, Ingram said, “We had a class on Philosophy, Art, and the History of WWII. So studying those three issues in Europe, the heart of Europe at that, was a lot of fun. I remember with my art history class, with Professor Adams, she taught me how to read a painting, which I had never known how to do before. You read a painting kind of like how you read a book, and I didn’t know that. So when we went to the Louvre, I was looking at these paintings with a whole new perspective...studying in Luxembourg, so close to many of the sites of WWII, made the history class on WWII all the more impactful. And studying Philosophy in Europe, where a lot of these philosophers were borned and raised also helped make that class come to life.”

Connecting Luxembourg and Miami 

student poses with John DoliboisIngram also loved Miami's connection to the country itself. “It was really cool that they knew Miami and that they were familiar with our program and knew many former Miami students. I think that the Luxembourg community’s interest in the program was really powerful, for me. It helped me feel more connected to Luxembourg as a country,” Ingram said.

When speaking about Miami’s connection to Luxembourg, there is one name that always comes up: John E. Dolibois. MUDEC was founded by Dolibois, and he stayed involved with his home country of Luxembourg throughout his lifetime. Ingram had the rare opportunity to meet him in Cincinnati and described it as one of his top five Miami experiences. 

“John Dolibois is one of the more extraordinary Miami alumni. He’s a true U.S. patriot, and he, of course, created the program. Chatting with John about his experiences in WWII as an interrogator in the Nuremberg trials, and later his career as an ambassador to Luxembourg, was a real privilege, and I’m so grateful. And I think I can speak for all Miami alumni when I say we are so grateful for John’s efforts with the Luxembourg government to create the MUDEC program,” Ingram described.

Passion for International Law 

Like many who study abroad, Ingram’s professional goals were influenced by his study abroad experience as it gave him a global perspective for the first time in his life. “After studying in Luxembourg, I realized that I might want to have an international component to my career….so after Miami, I was lucky enough to go to Northwestern Law School, and because I studied abroad at Miami, I knew I wanted to have an international component to my legal education. So I did a program while I was there, in Africa, and then when I was looking for a law firm to join later, I chose one that had an international presence,” Ingram said. 

Ingram now works in an international office, and most of his clients are non U.S.-based. In fact, many have lived in Luxembourg themselves, and this shared experience is great for building unique connections.

After sparking an interest for international affairs in Luxembourg, Ingram continued his academic abroad endeavors with a project through Northwestern law in Tanzania. Ingram was responsible for helping to rewrite the Tanzanian Code of Evidence and Procedure. “Had you asked me when I was a Miami student that I would ever come out an expert on East African law, I would have told you that you’re crazy, and there’s no reason that I would have been interested in that or done that. But because I studied abroad at Miami and put myself out of my comfort zone, I was comfortable doing that again in law school. I had this tremendously positive experience working with the Tanzanian government, and it really shaped my legal education,” Heath said.  

Final Thoughts 

 


Interested in the MUDEC program? Applications to study abroad in the heart of Europe for Spring 2019 are open now. Applications close October 1st. 

Meet Heath

Current location: Washington, D.C. 

Study Abroad: Luxembourg 

Occupation: Associate, Sidley Austin LLP  

 Heath poses in front of flags

"When you graduate, your opportunity cost is higher when you try to run down a new passion. I think what I miss most about Miami is just the complete freedom to explore so many different interests."

- Heath Ingram