Spring Break from North Carolina to Nicaragua, and Beyond

Students gear up for spring break trips that will help them strengthen their leadership skills outside of Gettysburg

Dominican Republic

Spring break does not always equate to palm trees, ocean waves, and lazy days by the beach. Several organizations on campus have planned trips that will counter the spring break stereotype and offer students the chance to strengthen their leadership skills outside of Gettysburg in a big way. This March, students will travel to locations as close as Washington, D.C. and as far away as León, Nicaragua.

CPS Immersion Projects

Shelsy Garibaldi ’14 will lead the Gulf Coast Rebuilding in New Orleans Immersion Project through the Center for Public Service (CPS). Students will work with the Grow Dat Youth Farm, where they will learn about the devastating effects of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, as well as the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The group will visit exhibits at museums and will participate in an environmental swamp tour. Students will also connect with Gettysburg alumna Samantha Greenspun ‘05, who will provide an educational driving tour of the city.

Nicaragua

Margaret Jennifer Johnson ’15 is serving as this year’s Student Leader for the Community Development in León, Nicaragua Immersion Project. Nine students will travel to Gettysburg’s sister city of León, Nicaragua to learn about social and economic issues of the region. In preparation for the trip, Johnson has been researching the history, culture, and social issues of Nicaragua and communicating that information to students who will be participating in the trip. Students will stay with Spanish-speaking host families in rural areas for the week.

“This project will give me the opportunity to be in an environment that is different from what I am used to,” said Johnson, a Health Sciences major with a Women, Gender, and Sexuality minor. “I am eager to learn and connect with people from Leon, Nicaragua.”

Now in its third year, the Fighting for Social Justice through Dominican Music and Ritual Immersion Project works with Rancho Campeche in San Cristobal, Dominican Republic. The organization is dedicated to educating vulnerable members of society, improving village infrastructure, and promoting the continuation of Dominican folklore and traditional music. Led by Elena Perez-Zetune ’14, this trip will allow students to learn about economic issues of the region and explore ways in which the music, dances, and rituals of Afro-Dominican culture have helped propel the fight against social injustices.

Eisenhower Institute trips to Washington, D.C.

Students involved with three semester or yearlong Eisenhower Institute (EI) undergraduate programs—Inside Politics, Women in Leadership, and Environmental Leadership—will travel to Washington, D.C. for three days over spring break. The trip will allow students to meet with Washington insiders, take behind-the-scenes tours of media organizations, and engage in networking opportunities. This year, students will visit NBC studios, the set of “Meet the Press,” C-SPAN, The Washington Post, The Daily Caller, Fox News, and CNN. Gettysburg alumni working in various positions on Capitol Hill will give a tour of the Capitol and students will meet with professionals such as Chris Matthews of NBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews and Fred Fielding ’61, a former member of the White House Counsel.

Washington

“It’s an incredible opportunity to make connections in D.C.” said Bryan Barth ’13, who went on the trip as part of Inside Politics last spring. “Instead of looking up news about Washington online or hearing about it on TV, you get to hear it from someone who has lived it, someone who has been there when it’s happened.”

This year, Barth will be attending the trip to assist with social media coverage. Follow along as he live-tweets some of the sessions from the EI Twitter account, @eigbc.

Sea Kayaking at Cape Lookout National Seashore

Wilderness Institute

The Gettysburg Recreational Adventure Board (GRAB) staff has been preparing for the 2013 Wilderness Institute kayaking trip to Cape Lookout National Seashore in North Carolina. More than 20 GRAB staff members will attend the weeklong trip, which will be directed by five student leaders—Ben Swanson ’13, Emily Kohlbrenner ’13, Haven Whipple ’13, Tucker Little ’13, and Emily Heeren ’13—and Director of Experiential Education John Regentin. Out of the five seniors leading the trip, three participated in the excursion as first-year students.

“The trip gives first-years the chance to come back three years later and offer a stronger foundation for mentoring and teaching,” Regentin said.

Emily Heeren, who participated in this trip as a first-year, is excited for the opportunity to revisit Cape Lookout in a leadership role. During her time as a student at Gettysburg, she has honed her kayaking skills through participation in several GRAB trips, including a four-week kayaking expedition in the Baltic Sea last summer.

“Last summer was more of a mileage game,” Heeren said. “On this trip, we’ll be practicing technique and looking at improving skills.”

In preparation for the 2013 Wilderness Institute trip, students have been learning about relevant topics such as tide and currents, astronomy, and edible plants. In addition, they have been working through a leadership development course and relating each of their individual disciplines to the upcoming excursion. 

World MUN Conference in Melbourne, Australia

The International Affairs Association (IAA) will send four students to this year’s World Model United Nations Conference, held March 18-22 in Melbourne, Australia. The annual conference, which takes place in a different city each year, attracts more than 2,200 delegates from over 65 countries. Jon Faul ’16, Alyx Heyer ’15, Brenden McMahon ’15, and Lincoln Fitch ’14, will be representing Uzbekistan in teams of two on the Disarmament and International Security and Social, Humanitarian, and Cultural committees.

Vancouver

IAA members have been training for the conference over the past year through meetings on campus and attendance at Georgetown’s National Collegiate Security Conference and the University of Pennsylvania Model United Nations Conference. Last year, five IAA members traveled to the WorldMUN conference in Vancouver, Canada (pictured above). Lincoln Fitch, who won a Diplomacy award at the 2012 conference, hopes to gain a greater appreciation for diversity at this year’s conference in Melbourne.

“I want to compete at the highest level with and against top students from across the globe,” Fitch said. “I hope to gain a broader understanding of different cultures and to see the world from other perspectives.” 

Founded in 1832, Gettysburg College is a highly selective four-year residential college of liberal arts and sciences with a strong academic tradition. Alumni include Rhodes Scholars, a Nobel laureate, and other distinguished scholars. The college enrolls 2,600 undergraduate students and is located on a 200-acre campus adjacent to the Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania.

Article by: Liz Williams '13, communications & marketing intern
Contact: Nikki Rhoads, senior assistant director of communications, 717.337.6803   

Posted: Thu, 28 Feb 2013

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