The Global Citizen Project (GCP) provides an opportunity for SU community members to travel abroad during spring break in a group-oriented and faculty-led experience
The 2012 Global Citizenship Project participants are inching closer and closer to their travels abroad over spring break. On Thursday night, the first group (Wales) will depart on their journey, and the rest of the trips will follow suit on Friday, March 9. This year’s theme, (r)evolution, focuses on both on revolution and evolution within the foreign countries of Indonesia, Mozambique, Serbia, Trinidad & Tobago and Wales.
Through GCP, the university removes all barriers to participation in traveling abroad, and expenses are paid apart from incidentals, the institution handles logistics, and anxiety is reduced with group-oriented, faculty-guided travel.
Michelle Brown, trip leader for the group headed to Trinidad & Tobago and assistant professor of English at Shenandoah University, is looking forward to sharing her love for culture, literature, theatre, food, history and art with others in the SU community.
“This is my first GCP experience and my worldview has already changed through the relationships I’ve made with Trinidadians in trip planning and with my travelers in our pre-trip meetings. I can’t wait to see how much more closely we will gel together as a group in-country, and also what more we’ll learn, see, eat, smell, and experience in person, on the ground, rather than in the photos and informational tidbits we have shared here,” said Brown.
Fellow Trinidad & Tobago traveler Nicholas Petrilla, an undergraduate student, is ready to experience a change in environment. “Growing up in the Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania, even though I did migrate slightly south to SU, I am really looking forward to the tropical environment of Trinidad & Tobago. The different environment, animal life – especially the nesting turtles – and the culture that I will experience I believe will be the highlight of this journey,” said Petrilla.
While many GCP participants have experienced some aspects of travel before, some are embarking on travel “firsts.” “I am so thrilled at the opportunity to travel to another country, but at this point I am most excited about the plane ride,” said Sarah Walls, an undergraduate student and Indonesia group member.
“I know that may sound odd, but for someone who has never been on one it is an adventure in itself! GCP is an amazing program, it has given me the opportunity to do something I have never done before, and quite possibly would never have been able to do on my own. I am looking forward to learning about Indonesia through the culture, food, people and the environment. I feel that this trip will open my eyes and mind to another part of the world,” said Walls.
In addition to seeing the sights and learning about the countries they’ll be visiting, some groups will also have a chance to do some outreach while abroad. Diane Painter, head of the Special Education Teacher Licensure program at SU and Mozambique group member, is looking forward to visiting rural schools on the coast of Mozambique.
Painter has gathered various teaching supplies to give to schools in need, and faculty at Shenandoah’s School of Education and Human Development (SEHD) have given her teacher education books to take to Amado Mucambe ’08, who trains Mozambicans to become teachers.
“Amado will be our in-country host so it will be nice to spend time with him to learn about African culture and to meet Amado’s students in their teacher preparation program in Maputo,” said Painter.
John Copenhaver, Mozambique trip leader and chair of the Religion/Philosophy department at Shenandoah, is ready for a more immersion-based experience than he has had in past travels. “I am looking forward to living in the moment, immersed in a new culture and environment,” he said.
“I have traveled to Africa three times – once to Ghana and twice to South Africa – but I always lived at some distance from the people, on a ship or in a hotel. This time, I’ll be living closer to the people and that will be a radically different experience. I’m looking forward to being somewhat disoriented in my new setting and not being sure how to act.”
The Global Citizenship Project was inspired by long-time friend and former trustee of Shenandoah University, Dr. Nancy Larrick Crosby, who charged the university to find a way to impact across the institution in some significant way and consistent with our mission. Dr. Crosby was a tireless advocate for literacy around the world. Her model for engaging communities in the global context set the stage for what inspires with our students and community today, the Global Citizenship Project.
For more information on the Global Citizenship Project, click here.
Keep up-to-date with the 2012 GCP groups via their trip blogs below, visit the SU Learning Abroad blog, or keep up with theGlobal Citizenship Project on Facebook!
Complete 2012 GCP Group List:
Indonesia (led by Bethany Galipeau-Konate) – Christopher Ham, Rebecca Lovell, Samantha Allen, Lauren Elizabeth Drebing, Alissa Hansen, William Kennard, Kevin Schaeffer, Sarah Semelsberger, Johanna Stevenson and Sarah Walls
Mozambique (led by John Copenhaver) – Diane Painter, Linda Burrow, Devin Bowers, Cansu Kalaycioglu, Aubrey Lawrence, Jolene Lewis, Donnie McKinney, Mark Sipe, Lauren Walker, Lenzie Weicht and Jay Hanke (travel coordinator and honorary group member)
Serbia (led by Julie Hofmann) – Scott King, Sarah McComb, Krysta Fogel, Emily Klug, Kylie Pooler, Mitchell Schroeder, Emily Stack, Brittany Stewart, Kristina Troxel and Carolyn Wessel
Trinidad & Tobago (led by Michelle Brown) – Todd Telemeco, Valerie Taylor, Amanda Djubek, Sarah Lahasky, Layna Lamons, Rosa Lee, Erin O’Malley, Nicholas Petrilla, Michael Williams and LaVonda Wright
Wales (led by Bryon Grigsby) – Rebecca Falter, Debbie Boyce, Vitto Amnathvong,
Caitlin Beare, Rose Coates, Chelsa Lachance, Matthew Martz, Victoria Thomas, Haley Waggener and Ashleigh Walker