By Janel Shoun on 6/6/2011
(Note for Bison Tracks readers: Click here to see the article on Wade May.)
The Office of Global Learning offers a range of study abroad opportunities during the year, from semester programs in Vienna, Austria, and Santiago, Chile, to short-term trips to Italy, London and Greece. Past opportunities have featured learning about nutrition and French cuisine in France, studying the graphic arts in Berlin and walking the steps of the Bible in Israel.
In addition, many of Lipscomb's graduate programs include an international or domestic travel component, including the sustainability institute's annual trip to Vermont and the doctoratal education program's international study class. And this fall offers a first-time opportunity for rising freshmen from DLHS who will attend Lipscomb to tour London with the university president.
Where will your next adventure begin?
Sustainability students head to Vermont, the birthplace of the conservation movement
What if you could travel to a land of visionary leaders, enjoy majestic views of a great inland lake, walk across the fingerprints of an ancient glacier etched on the rocks of a deep gorge and eat fresh cheese and Chunky Monkey ice cream – all in one week?
Graduate and undergraduate students from the Institute for Sustainable Practice (ISP) experienced all that and more during the “Roots of Sustainability” tour of Vermont July 9-14.
“Sustainable practice is a diverse and growing field that our students need to appreciate and experience in real application,” said Dodd Galbreath, executive director of the ISP. “The people of Vermont live with a quality of life unrealized in most of our nation. To sustain the lives they love and enjoy, they spend and invest locally. All future sustainability professionals need to know that these concepts are real, successful and are achieved through intentional investment and effort.”
Although students can select from more than eight academic concentrations – from creation care to green business operation, sustainability majors in any area benefitted from the trip to Vermont, where earth stewardship has become more than a crusade – it has become a daily way of life for many Vermonters.
“Vermont residents – they just get it. It’s second nature to them,” said Hayley King, a Nashville student earning her master’s in sustainable practice with a concentration in green building. “I had never been to Vermont before and wanted to expand my cultural knowledge. I learned what it is like to be around people who have already won the battle that I’m constantly fighting; they appreciate everything they have.”
Among those who modeled daily sustainable living and business operation were the residents at the Cobb Hill community, a cohousing establishment and cooperative of artisan cheesemakers located on a 260-acre farmstead. The community operates Cobb Hill Cheese and Cedar Mountain Farm (a community supported agriculture venture), and includes other agricultural enterprises such as maple sugaring, raising sheep and pigs, harvesting eggs and beekeeping.
Other places visited during the trip included the famed Ben and Jerry’s ice cream company, well-known for their environmental leanings and their funky ice cream flavor names; the Vermont Institute of Natural Science, a non-profit organization dedicated to rehabilitating avian wildlife and education; and Shelburne Farms, a 1,400-acre farm, historic site and environmental education center built by Dr. William Seward and his wife, Lila Vanderbilt Webb, the granddaughter of Cornelius Vanderbilt. The ISP group participated on a guided tour of the farm led by Marshall Webb, a descendent in the famous family.
|Cobb Hill Community
|Vermont State Capitol
Land management and creation care were highlighted with a group devotional at the bottom of the beautiful Quechee Gorge and a visit to Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park, created in 1992 as the only national park to tell the story of conservation history and the evolution of land stewardship in America.
The park is located on the boyhood home of George Perkins Marsh, one of America's first conservationists, and later the home of Frederick Billings, a conservationist, a pioneer in reforestation and scientific farm management and a railroad builder, who extended the principles of land management first introduced by Marsh. Today the park seeks to put the idea of conservation stewardship into a modern context, interpreting the ways humans can balance natural resource conservation with the requirements of our twenty-first century world.
“I wanted to see how sustainability can really work as part of the community as opposed to operating in addition to community,” said Jay Saar, an undergraduate sustainable practice major from Bellevue, Tenn. “My most memorable part of the trip was seeing how the people at each location weren't so much wanting to scream about the benefits of sustainable living, but had ingrained it in their lives, and wanted to explain calmly with the hope that the ideal would stay with us.”
Other stops included the Vermont capitol building; the Vermont Historical Society Museum; The Intervale Farm, a nationally recognized center for sustainable agriculture; the New England Culinary Institute; and the Vermont Environmental Law Program. The group also traveled outside Vermont to see Walden Pond, the legendary home of Henry David Thoreau, located in Concord, Massachusetts.
The 23 students who participated in the ISP travel experience also completed assigned book readings and coursework tailored to their sustainability majors. Students served as guides on the trip by providing a pre-researched overview of each activity’s significance and chronicling the day in photos.
The sustainability master’s programs require attendance on this trip or an international trip relevant to the specific course of study. Graduate students can choose to focus on green building and development, sustainable food systems, clean energy technology and climate change, faith-based creation care, green business performance and more. Undergraduate students can choose one of three majors: sustainable practice, environmental management and technology or conservation and sustainable ecology.
“Sustainability managers and leaders are becoming much like information technology officers are in the business world today: companies and organizations of all sizes are gradually depending on new practitioners and leadership. The Vermont experience shows how crucial awareness of the fundamental culture of sustainability is to society or a corporation,” said Galbreath.
“In the long run my goal is to try to gain a seamless integration of sustainable practices into American life,” said Saar, “and the way that Vermonters have accepted many of the principles is a great model.”
|The view of Lake Champlain from Shelburne Farms.
|Vermont Environmental Law Program: Law school done the Vermont way.
Seven students study abroad in new semester program in Santiago, Chile
In spring 2011, the global learning program opened up the Southern Hemisphere to Lipscomb by sending seven students on the first semester-long study abroad opportunity in Chile.
The students spent about three months in Chile studying Latin American history and culture, as well as the Spanish language and an environmental biology course designed specifically for the Chilean landscape, said Val Prill, special assistant to the provost for global learning.
Special trips to Easter Island, Chiloe Island, Patagonia and the Atacama Desert were a big hit among the participants. Those students who participated were: Katherine Akre, Nick Doty, Matt Filchak, Kelsey Ford, Ashley Guinn, Kelcee Hopkins and Sarah Watwood.
“The Santiago Semester is the
first in a series of new semester experiences we will be opening in the next few years. Currently we are working on another semester program in Athens, Greece,” Prill said. “Other locations under consideration are Hong Kong, China, Africa, a new location in Europe and Australia or New Zealand. In addition, we are also continuing to add new short-term global learning travel courses to places like Florence, Italy; Israel, Honduras and London.”
Lipscomb has offered a semester-long study abroad trip to Vienna, Austria, for a number of years, but Watwood, a Spanish major, was excited to have the opportunity to study a Hispanic culture.
“As opposed to the other study abroad language immersion trips offered through the (Council of Christian Colleges and Universities’ Best Semester program), Lipscomb in Santiago really offered the opportunity to see and experience an entire country as a whole while also learning Spanish,” she said.
“One of the things I liked the most about Santiago is that you don't hear much English on the street or in the stores, and most everyone there is very patient with people who are learning Spanish,” Prill said.
“I learned a lot about not only Latin American history, but also our own (history) and how they relate to each other,” said Guinn. “It was interesting to see both sides and compare the usual biases each country’s (people) have for themselves.”
The Santiago Semester study abroad program will be held each spring semester. Spots are still available for the next opportunity in spring 2012, and those who apply before June 30 recieve $200 off the cost of the program.
Doctorate students in education head to Paris and London to learn about how other nation's approach education reform
Doctorate of Education Official Site
Lipscomb University’s first cohort in its education doctorate, launched last year, will be heading to England and France July 15-24, to study other nations’ education policies and processes of education reform.
On the group’s agenda is attending in Paris the third annual International Conference on Education, Economy and Society, a four-day conference attended by hundreds of educators from around the globe; visiting London’s Quintin Kynaston School, which completed the process to become aSpecialist Technology School in 2008; and meeting with officials of Ofsted, the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills in England.
Coordinators in the College of Education felt the doctorate students should explore a country involved in education reform, and England certainly fits the bill, said Deborah Boyd, associate dean in the College of Education and the instructor of the international education course for the doctorate program.
Quintin Kynaston is a Community Foundation School in London. Its Technology School status means that the school raises standards across the whole curriculum but especially in the specialist subject areas of design technology, mathematics, science and information technology. The school is committed to ensuring that all students are taught in the most technologically advanced environment possible.
Lipscomb doctorate students will also meet with the managing director of inspections for Tribal Group, a company that conducts school inspections for Ofsted. Ofsted, an organization established by the Education and Inspections Act, promotes service improvement, ensures services focus on the interests of their users, and sees that services are efficient, effective and promote value for money. Tribal Group carries out hundreds of inspections and regulatory visits at schools each week.
They will also visit the Institute of Education at the University of London to discuss teacher education and preparation in England.
After taking the Chunnel to Paris, the group will attend the International Conference on Education, Economy and Society, where participants from countries such as Malaysia, Iran, Canada, Portugal, Peru, Australia and Taiwan will meet to discuss wide-ranging issues in education. Academic papers will be presented on topics such as service-learning, women’s studies, science education, collaborative teaching, ethical leadership, cyberbullying, diversity of faculty in colleges and reading strategies.
Half of the 22-person doctorate cohort are attending the international trip, and the other half will be participating with the travelers in two-person teams to make a final presentation on one aspect of education in these two countries as compared to the United States. Education issues explored by the students include equity of access, teacher preparation, teacher evaluation and immigration and its effects on education.
“Lipscomb’s doctorate of education is designed to develop leaders who can manage strategic change. Looking at other nations’ education policies and the success they are having with them is valuable to help these students develop analytical skills,” said Boyd. “Being able to research other options and to present their outcomes in a way that could have an impact on their own organization is an essential skill for a leader.”
The Doctorate of Education (Ed.D.) in Learning Organizations and Strategic Change is focused on preparing leaders for both academic settings and public and private organizations. It was the first doctorate offered by Lipscomb’s College of Education and enrolled its first students in fall 2010.
Rising freshmen from DLHS kick off college career with study abroad to London on personal tour with Randy and Rhonda Lowry
Going away to college is exciting enough when a student’s first class will be English 101. Imagine the excitement when a new freshman’s first course takes him all the way “across the pond” to London, England with the university’s president.
That’s the opportunity that 21 David Lipscomb High School graduates will receive July 23-31. These students will participate in London: City as Text, a study abroad course offered exclusively to David Lipscomb High School graduates who will enroll at Lipscomb University this fall. University President L. Randolph Lowry and his wife Rhonda will host the eight-day trip.
“Each year I think about how it might be difficult for the campus school seniors to imagine the college experience being much different from their high school because, after all, it is only across the parking lot,” said Lowry. “However, each year the DLHS graduates that choose Lipscomb for their college experience tell me how different the experience really is. Yet, attending here may not always be perceived as exciting as going away to college.
“So we developed a special experience we believe will start college for our high school graduates in an unforgettable way,” he said.
Along with the Lowrys, campus school teacher Karen Wood and her husband Bob, a Lipscomb board member, will chaperone the trip, which will include classic tourist stops such as Buckingham Palace, Tower of London and the River Thames.
However, it will also include many experiences designed to introduce the participants to college life, said Melissa Swann, site director in the global learning department who is coordinating the London trip.
They will be staying in the Imperial College dormitories, instruction by the Lowrys and other faculty will be held at Pepperdine University’s London campus, and students will tour the campus of the University of Oxford as well as hear a lecture by Dr. Michael Ward, a leading expert on the works of C.S. Lewis and chaplain of St. Peter's College, Oxford.
Michael Fernandez, chair of Lipscomb’s theatre department, will serve as lead faculty on the trip and will instruct students in British theatre as they attend performances of “Mousetrap,” “Billy Elliott” and Marlowe’s “Doctor Faustus,” performed at The Globe.
The students will also be among the first to be able to check out iPads for use during the trip from the Lipscomb technology center, Swann said. Other activities on the itinerary include touring the House of Parliament on the first day of Summer Opening, a once a year chance for non-UK citizens to tour the government building; a cruise on the River Thames; and a tour and lunch at Middle Temple.
Many parents of DLHS students saw the trip as a great opportunity for their children to start college with a truly unique academic opportunity. “We wanted to offer our newest students the opportunity to start their college experience with an academic adventure,” Swann said.