SRU embraces spring break ‘learning’ fever

group of Slippery Rock University students in London

Lorrain Craven (far right), director of first-year and transfer student experiences, escorted a group of Slippery Rock University students through London as part of a 2013 faculty-led spring break trip.

Feb. 26, 2016

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Imagine the educational value of touring the ancient ruins of Rome, studying art in Peru or conducting oceanography research in the Bahamas.

Those destinations and more await more than 300 Slippery Rock University students who have opted to spend their March 7-11 spring break studying abroad. The 21 trips, led by SRU faculty and staff, will provide students with the opportunity to combine their academic programs with an international travel experience.

Learning will come alive as students hear from their professors and see sites related to their fields. Art students will study sculpture in Italy; business majors will examine the economics of sustainable development in Costa Rica; exercise science majors will explore wellness in the Czech Republic, and communication majors interested in social media will learn the ropes from a London blogger.

Courses range from photojournalism, to business, art, history, dance, music, exercise science, communication, education and geography, geology and the environment.

Natalie Burick, SRU interim director for faculty led programs, said SRU provides significant support for the educational initiatives that offer students enrichment on several fronts.

While the trips primarily focus on academic elements, "they do have some cultural, fun activities built in," Burick said. "Their days are jammed packed full of activities and events."

Burick said a group traveling to Italy would focus on human rights and diversity. Students will visit the United Nations Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and the Vatican.

"For many of our students, this is the first time they are traveling abroad," Burick said. "These trips provide an amazing experience."

Students have acquired their passports and registered their names with the U.S. embassies in the countries they will visit. English speaking tour guides and translators have been lined up, as well as travel and lodging. "The only thing left is for spring break to arrive," Burick said.

The study abroad trips and faculty/staff include:

Kurt Pitluga, assistant professor of art, will teach "Pre-Columbian Art" in Peru;

Bruce Boliver, assistant professor of hospitality, event management and tourism, will teach "Resort Recreation Programming" in Italy;

Bruce Orvis, associate professor in the School of Business, will teach "Retail Management" in Italy;

Jeremy Lynch, assistant professor of special education, will teach "Interventions in the Inclusive Classroom in Costa Rica";

Colleen Cooke, professor of parks and recreation, will teach "Recreational Therapy for Individuals with Psychosocial and Mental Disorders" in Canada;

Mark Chase, professor of communication, will teach "Photojournalism" in Italy.

Nancy Shipe, assistant professor in the School of Physical Therapy, will teach "Musculoskeletal Physical Therapy II" in Spain;

Tamra Schiappa, professor of geography, geology and the environment, will teach "Field Studies in Oceanography" in San Salvador, Bahamas;

Douglass Strahler, assistant professor of communication, will teach "Social Media;" England

Thomas Como, professor of art, will teach "Selected Topics: Greece" in Italy

Michelle Amodei, assistant professor of early childhood education, will teach "Leadership, Advocacy and Program Development" in Italy;

Melanie Anderson, associate professor in the School of Business, will teach "Management Seminar" in Spain

Lorraine Craven, instructor academic services and director of first-year and transfer student experiences, and Corinne Gibson, director of Office of Intercultural Programs, will teach "FYRST Seminar" in Italy;

Alice Del Vecchio, assistant professor of interdisciplinary programs, will teach "Civic Engagement" in Spain;

Diane Galbraith, associate professor in the School of Business, will teach "Management Seminar" in Spain

John Golden, assistant professor in the School of Business, will teach "Economics of Sustainability Development" in Costa Rica;

• Bonnie Siple, professor of exercise and rehabilitative sciences, and Marketa Schublova, assistant professor of exercise and rehabilitative sciences, will teach "Education, Wellness and Prevention" in Czech Republic;

Kim Smith, professor of exercise and rehabilitative sciences, and Barb Billek-Sawhney, professor of physical therapy, will teach "Wellness Promotion and Programming" in Czech Republic;

Linda Zane, associate professor of early childhood education, will teach "Theory and Practice in Early Childhood Education" in Sweden;

Colleen Gray, professor of music, will teach "Applied Performance Voice" in Italy; and

David Jordan, associate professor in the School of Business, will teach "International Health Care Systems," in Ireland.


MEDIA CONTACT: Gordon Ovenshine | 724.738.4854 | gordon.ovenshine@sru.edu