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 Nearly 175 SRU Students to Spend Spring Break Studying Abroad 




Contact: K.E. Schwab  -- 724-738-2199;  e-mail:


           SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – Nearly 175 Slippery Rock University students will spend spring break immersed in culture and learning at international locations, including some providing hands-on health care in rural portions of the Dominican Republic, as part of a joint effort by academic departments and the Office of International Initiatives.

          “We have been offering classes that include an international study component for 10 years,” says Dr. Donald Kerchis, International Initiatives director. “The program allows students to attend on campus classes at the start of the semester, then spend up to 10 days at the international site related to their course work.”

          Kerchis explains, “In a time when international students are having more and more difficulties obtaining student visas to study in the U.S. because of restrictions related to 9/11, it is even more imperative that American students, and our students in particular, have the opportunity to see firsthand the cultures and history of foreign nations. These study trips will allow students to expand their horizons and their world understanding.”

          A course added this year will see 31 students and preceptors travel to the Dominican Republic as part of SRU’s “Clinical Decision Making III” course. Students have spent the current semester gathering medical supplies to be distributed as part of the project in which they will work under the supervision of preceptors to deliver medical care in rural villages of the country. The project is being organized by Gretchen Schumacker, nursing instructor, and Kerry Risco, assistant professor of nursing.

          Four local physicians are preparing the SRU family nurse practitioner students to provide primary care as part of their trip. Service at the clinics will include health education and pharmacy as participating students have the opportunity to put their learning in to practice in a clinical setting.

           The popularity of art study in other countries prompted the creation of two separate sections of “Renaissance Tradition Art,” including a new section taught by Dr. Kurt Pitluga, assistant professor of art, in Madrid, Spain, and a returning course taught by Thomas Como, associate professor of art, offered in Rome and Florence, Italy.

    History Professor John Craig will lead a 25-student “Historical Methods” course to London, England, and
Dr. Robin Ammon, associate professor of physical education and sport management, will lead 17 students in a “Sport Facility and Event and Risk Management” course to sporting arenas throughout Italy for behind-the-scenes information.

           “Shakespeare” will be the principal topic for students led by Dr. Rachela Permenter, professor of English, in a course that includes study in Rome and Florence. Dr. Jack Livingston will lead eight students in an “Environmental Problems” course including study in San Salvador, Bahamas, and Dr. Tamra Schiappa, assistant professor of geography, geology and the environment, will lead her students in a “Historical Geology” course to the same country.

A “French Seminar” class will take students to Cannes, France, under the direction of Dr. Eva Tsuquiashi-Daddesio, professor of modern languages and cultures, where participants will be assigned to classes that accommodate their level of language skills for immersed study in the French.

          In a related trip, 12 SRU students in their first-year of studies will visit London led by Jessamine Montero, ACT 101 assistant director in Academic Services, and Connie Laughner, Academic Services instructor. The students will visit cultural sites and attend lectures related to English history and politics.



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