Mount Union Students, Faculty and Staff Participate in Alternative Spring Break Trips
May 05, 2010
Dozens of Mount Union students, faculty and staff members chose to forego a traditional spring break to participate in a variety of educational and service learning experiences.
Dr. Ivory Lyons, assistant professor of religious studies, and Dr. Michelle Collins-Sibley, professor of English, took 18 students to Somerset Place in Creswell, N.C. to experience the life of a slave living on a 19th century plantation.
Students from 'Race, Culture and American Society,' taught by Lyons and students enrolled in Collins-Sibley's 'Imagining Slavery' course had the opportunity to do the same work that would have been demanded of a slave.
'Some painted fences; some cleared brush and tilled a vegetable garden; some worked indoors polishing brass or cooking a meal on an open hearth,' said Collins-Sibley.
Dr. Peter Schneller and some Mount Union education majors had the opportunity to put their skills into practice at the R.D.Schroder Middle School in Hollywood, S.C. They taught intensive language skills to sixth, seventh and eighth grade students enrolled at a school that has been declared an academic emergency for the past two years.
'Majors who participated in this trip reaffirmed that a teaching profession is their right choice of occupation,' said Dr. Pete Schneller, associate professor of education.
'Our middle school candidates bonded and realized that their lives as teachers will have tremendous meaning for themselves and others,' said Schneller. 'They concluded that there's no turning back now; they have been called.'
Marty CashBurless, chaplain of the College, Shana Blazer Hruby, director of community service and service learning, and Dr. Martin Horning, professor of economics, accompanied students who traveled to New Mexico to provide volunteer service at the McCurdy School.
'We worked really, really hard,' said CashBurless. 'Not only did we help to fix up the house of a school employee in desperate need, we helped out at the school, too.'
Mount Union students and staff have volunteered at the McCurdy School for seven of the past eight years.
'The people I met while in El Pital and San Rafael, the small communities in which we worked, were very grateful Mount Union representatives volunteered their time to help them,' said Ashley Crawford, a senior religious studies major. They felt it was a miracle that we came from North America to help them. They thought God must have sent us to them.'
Each year, Mount Union students, faculty and staff give up a traditional spring break experience to take advantage of service learning and educational trips. Many occur annually, yet in response to current events and changing needs, new trips are taken.