Wabash Men Ready for Immersion Experiences

by Howard Hewitt

March 3, 2011

Students Reflect on Life-Changing Trips

Vienna, the Amazon, and the Virgin Islands are just a few of the locations where Wabash students will get educational experiences outside the classroom over Spring Break, March 7-11.

Immersion learning trips are now occurring throughout the calendar year but have long been a fixture over Spring Break. Students are given the chance to travel the U.S. and abroad to study ideas and concepts beyond the classroom. The trips are free for students, with the exception of spending money, and is incorporated into their required coursework.

Most all of the groups will be updating blogs throughout the week. Students will be writing about the education experience, many will be abroad for the first time, and we're sure to have lots of photos.

Biology Professor Eric Wetzel will be leading a group of Bio student to the Peruvian Amazon. “We'll spend the week sampling different rainforest habitats for invertebrate diversity -- from the free-living to the parasitic, from soil communities to canopy communities (thanks to some recent treefalls!),” Wetzel said. “It should be quite an adventure.”

Another group of students will be off to the Virgin Islands for an English Department Travel Writing class. Professor Eric Freeze will lead the students on visits to Salt Pond Bay, National Park Reef Bay, and other key locations. The students will also volunteer with Friends of the Virgin Islands National Park. They’ll participate one day in park maintenance helping maintain trails and beautifying colonial ruins.

Each afternoon time is set aside for the students to write about their morning experiences.

Immersion learning veteran Professor Greg Redding will lead a group of students from his German 202 class to Vienna, Austria. The students will spend the week exploring the city’s museums, music, and old world culture.

Professors Peter Mikek and Ethan Hollander will take a group of Economics and Political Science students to visit Brussels and Frankfurt to study the European Union. The students will visit the U.S. Embassy, visit with the European Commission, and then on Wednesday take a train to Frankfurt, Germany. While in Frankfurt, the students will visit the US Consulate General, the Money Museum at Deutsche Bundesbank, and the European Central Bank. The Austrian trip is sponsored by the Rogge Fund.

Wabash sports teams will be on the road. The Wabash baseball team will play seven games during its eight-day trip to Los Angeles, beginning Saturday afternoon at Chapman University. Puerto Rico will be the Little Giant tennis team's destination, with competition scheduled against Sacred Heart, Minnesota State-Mankato, the University of Connecticut, and the University of Puerto Rico Mayaguez club team. The Wabash golf team will hone its skills on several courses around the Phoenix, Arizona area before competing on Wednesday against Mesa Community College at Longbow Golf Course in Mesa.

There will be non-immersion trips as well. The Glee Club will have its annual Spring Break Tour kicking off Saturday, Mar. 5 in Louisville, Kentucky, and will perform concerts in Washington, D.C.

Wabash men also have a history of doing community and mission work over break. More than 20 members of Wabash Christian Men will be headed to Florida after raising all of their own funds through a series of fund-raising events and even spaghetti dinners.
Wabash Christian Men will be taking 20 men to Panama City Beach for what is known as "Big Break," said Evan Johnson '13. "While on the Florida coast we will be worshiping Jesus and learning more about Him from different speakers throughout the week. However, the main part of the trip (and the mission part) will be devoted to reaching out to people on the beach. We will spend most of our time meeting people on the beach and telling them about what Jesus has done for them and for the world. For the entire week sharing the Gospel will be our mission."
A group of 13 Wabash men and two professors, Rick Warner and David Maharry, will join a group from the First Christian Church of Crawfordsville to return to New Orleans for the fourth year. They will be building a house in the ninth ward which suffered the worst devastation in Hurricane Katrina. This also is a self-funded trip.

The scheduled Glee Club performances include:

Saturday, Mar. 5, 7:00 PM concert
The Episcopal Church of the Advent 
901 Baxter Ave, Louisville  KY  40204

Sunday, Mar. 6, 1:30 PM concert
Jacobs Chapel United Methodist Church  
4725 Charlestown Rd, New Albany  IN  47150 

Monday, Mar. 7, 3:00 PM concert (20 minutes)
Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
400 Michigan Ave, NE, Washington DC  20017 

Wednesday, Mar. 9,  2:00 PM concert
Georgetown Retirement Residence
2512 Q Street NW, Washington DC 20007

Wednesday, Mar. 9, 7:00 PM dinner
Dinner with the Washington DC Assoc of Wabash Men
Capitol City BC Restaurant
2 Massachusetts Ave NE, Washington DC 20001
(to make dinner reservations, telephone R. Scott Medsker at 202-879-3837) 

Thursday, Mar. 10, 6:15 PM concert
Hermitage Retirement Community 
5000 Fairbanks Ave, Alexandria  VA  22311

Saturday, Mar. 12, 11:00 AM concert
First Congregational Church UCC
444 E Broad St, Columbus  OH  43215


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