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February 18, 2011
CONTACT: K.E. Schwab

Spring break study abroad trips attract 265 SRU students

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – “Classroom learning is excellent, but nothing beats actually being there,” said Pam Frigot, director of Slippery Rock University’s International Services Office, which is helping 265 SRU students spend their spring breaks studying in such places as Italy, France, England, Ireland, Spain, Costa Rica and San Salvador.

“In addition to our traditional international study programs that allow students to spend an entire semester or even an entire year studying abroad, Slippery Rock University also offered a dozen courses this spring semester that have a built-in international study component,” Frigot said.

“Students study the topic in their regular classroom on campus, then use spring break for an up-close-and-personal opportunity to study the subject in depth and from different cultural perspectives,” she said.

“Because of issues in recent weeks in Egypt, we were forced to cancel our program that would have taken students to Cairo during the break, but we certainly put our student’s safety at the top of the list. I know the students and faculty were disappointed, but hopefully, we will be able to offer that program in the future,” she said.

Students in a number of SRU classes will find themselves crisscrossing Italy as part of SRU’s March 7-13 spring break.

Thomas Como, associate professor of art, and Kurt Pitluga, assistant professor of art, will lead 30 SRU students to Rome, Florence and Venice where they will focus on art at the Galleria Borghese Roma, Bargello Museum, Piazzalle Michelangelo, Uffizi Gallery, Pitti Palace, Medici Tombs and Accademia Gallery.

Rachela Permenter, professor of English, and Mark O’Connor, associate professor of English, will be in Italy with 31 SRU examining the Italian Renaissance and how it influenced English Renaissance and contemporary literature. Some of the highlights of their trip will be opportunities to view Renaissance art in the Vatican and St. Peter’s Square, art in the Uffizi Gallery and an architectural tour in Florence.

· Kimberly Smith, assistant professor of exercise and rehabilitative sciences, will take her “Exercise Science-Wellness Promotion and Programming” lessons for 19 SRU students to Rome, Florence and Pisa. The academic portion of the program includes visits and discussions with staff at the Italian Wellness Association and a lecture program at a sports and fitness center. The SRU contingent will also visit the Italian University of Sport and Movement in Rome. The group will have opportunities to visit the Pantheon, Piazza Navona, Trevi Fountain and the Spanish Steps in Rome and the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Pisa.

Another group of 27 SRU students, led by Nanette Solomon, SRU professor of music, and Colleen Gray, associate professor of music, will be in Italy to study the “History of Music.” Concerts, including The Sounds and Visions of Caravaggio in Rome, the opera “La Boheme” in Florence and the works of Vivaldi in Venice are part of the agenda. Students will join in free concerts at churches and cathedrals. There will be a walking tour of Ancient Rome, a visit to the Vatican, the Accademia Gallery and Uffizi Gallery. A tour of Venice, famous for its singing gondoliers, is on the agenda.

Eighteen SRU students will lean about the “Philosophy and Psychology of Coaching,” while in Rome. Joann Leight, associate professor of physical education, will lead the group. The students will tour the Olympic Stadium, attend basketball and football/soccer games and meet with Italian sports journalists. A lecture at Rome University is planned along with cultural events and a walking tour of Rome, including the Pantheon, Coliseum, Forum and Vatican museums.

Bruce Orvis, associate professor in SRU’ School of Business, will guide 20 marketing students to study sales management in Italy. The group will meet with the U.S. Commercial Service at the American Embassy in Rome to learn about doing business in a foreign country and Italy in particular. The group will visit a glass factory and winery to learn how such companies approach sales and marketing and visit major historic sites.

Nola Nolen-Holland, assistant professor of dance, will take 24 of her students to Paris to participate in four dance classes, tour the Paris Opera and attend a Dressage event at Versailles. A Seine River cruise and visits to a variety of museums and other Paris attractions are planned. Plans to attend a Hip-Hop Festival and an Afro-Cuban dance workshop are being finalized.

Carena Winters, assistant professor of exercise and rehabilitative sciences, will take 15 “Exercise Physiology” students to Ireland where they will spend three days at Dublin City University to learn about the exercise science program and cardio facilities there. Students will present their research work. The group will visit the Guinness Brewery, Trinity College and the Book of Kells in Dublin. Out of the city, they will see Wicklow, Glendalough, Trim Castle (Braveheart) and the New Grange Megalithic Tomb.

Also headed to Ireland are 17 SRU physical therapy students led by Nancy Shipe, assistant professor in SRU’s School of Physical Therapy. The students will study in both Dublin and Limerick, including visits to a general and children’s hospital to learn about facilities and services as well as share research under way there. They will also spend a day with colleagues at the University of Limerick, one of SRU’s exchange partner universities, to compare and contrast how they study and train for PT compared to students in the U.S. The students will offer presentations, then join in cultural visits that will include the Cliff’s of Moher and the Clonmacnoise Monastic Site.

Diane Galbraith, assistant professor in the School of Business, will lead a dozen SRU students to London to learn about organizational leadership. The group will meet with “Visit London,” a major tourism organization, then with the Fulham Football Club for a game as well as program on athletic leadership. The group will meet with Metropolitan Police to learn about how they view leadership and spend a day in Oxford learning about educational leadership. The group will also visit the Houses of Parliament, Buckingham Palace and Tower Bridge.

Environmental topics will be highlighted when Tamra Schiappa and Jack Livingston, both associate professors in SRU’s department of geography, geology and the environment, lead 18 students to Nassau and San Salvador. In San Salvador, they group will study and handle research at the Gerace Research Center.

Jodi Katsafanas, assistant professor of special education, is taking 20 SRU students to Costa Rica to study how special education is handled in a different culture. The SRU contingent will visit a Costa Rican school, a private international school and listen to lectures at the University of Costa Rica. The group will tour San Jose, then visit a rain forest, a volcano and a beach.

The annual student leadership trip will take 14 SRU to Spain to learn about programs at universities in Madrid and Seville. Constance Foley, SRU vice president for student life, and Brad Kovaleski, director of SRU’s Center for Student Involvement and Leadership, are leading the group. They will also explore museums and art galleries as part of their trip.

Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.