With summer often comes travel, and for 16 K-State faculty members, travel is certainly on the agenda as they begin to pack their bags to escort undergraduate students hundreds - and even thousands of miles - across the globe, all in the name of education and culture.
"Study abroad is an opportunity that I have always felt strongly that undergraduates should take of," said Armon Means, assistant professor and area coordinator of photography. "I was fortunate enough as a student to study abroad on multiple occasions and can honestly say that it opened my eyes to other cultures, ways of life and alternative means of thinking. It better prepared me as a student and individual for the rest of my college and post-academic career."
Today, as a faculty member, Means said he finds these trips just as beneficial.
As the faculty leader for a European photography trip, Means said the trip will allow him to seek out new information to share with his students back at K-State as well as allow him to pursue his own research endeavors as they relate to the area of study around which the summer course is structured.
Below is a list of this summer's faculty-led tours.
South of the border
Beginning this week Powercats are popping up in Central America as Linda Trujillo, assistant professor of elementary education, takes a group of students to Guatemala as part of a dual language practicum. Students will spend 52 contact hours with Guatemalan students who are English language learners to help K-State students develop a practicum portfolio, which encompasses methods, assessments, linguistics and multicultural curriculums and materials. The group is to arrive back in Kansas June 5. Trujillo has led study abroad programs since 2005, taking students to Paraguay, Mexico and Guatemala.
A picture perfect summer
Means is taking students on a European photography study tour in England and France May 23-June 20. The trip traces the development of the medium of photography into a commercially and artistically viable process. Aside from the United States, Means has exhibited his artwork in France and Hungary.
An equine excursion
Students can saddle up for a unique learning experience with Joann Kouba, associate professor of animal sciences and industry, as she leads a 16-day equine tour through Spain, Portugal and Morocco through June 2. The program focuses on production management practices, major breeds and uses, along with educational opportunities like trips to riding schools and equine breeding. The history and culture of each country will also be taught.
Benjamin Torrico, associate professor of modern languages, leads a language and culture study of Spain May 31-July 7. The tour includes visits to artistic and historically prominent cities within the country, and provides students with direct involvement in communicative situations. Torrico has frequently led student groups to Spain.
Linguistics in Leipzig
Jennifer Askey, assistant professor of German, is bringing the Cats on a five-week linguistic and cultural immersion course to Leipzig, Germany. The trip includes language instruction and a faculty-led tour of Saxony and Berlin -- during which time students can visit, experience, talk and write about important German cultural and historical sites. Upon their return, the students will be expected to relay their experiences through presentation and discussions in lower-level German language classes. The trip runs June 1-9.
An Italian education
Students traveling with Jon Mahoney, associate professor of philosophy, are spending May 27-June 28 in Italy, visiting the cities of Rome, Sorrento, Florence and Venice. The program, "Machiavelli and the Foundations of Modern Political Philosophy," is a chance for students to explore politics and human nature, power and the art of politics, forms of governance and the ends of political life. Mahoney has led study abroad programs in Italy and Turkey.
Viva la Wildcats
Running May 26-June 26, Robert Clark, associate professor in modern languages, escorts a group of Wildcats on an experience of the many cultural wonders of France, as his students participate in a month of cultural activities and excursions. Clark, who previously lived in Paris, has led this program for five summers.
An Indian summer
Purple Pride will arrive on the other side of the world as Sajid Alavi, assistant professor of grain science and industry; Hulya Dogan, assistant professor of grain science and industry; and Bhadriruju Subramanyam, professor of grain science and industry, escort students to north India. As one of the fastest growing economic powers in the world, K-Staters will learn about and experience the agricultural practices, food processing industry and university life of northern India, a country largely dependent on agriculture. This trip runs May 21-June 6.
Cats in the Kremlin
"Post-Communist Societies" is the topic of discussion and reason for travel for Laszlo Kulcsar, associate professor of sociology, anthropology and social work, and Nadezda Shapkina, assistant professor of sociology, anthropology and social work. For three weeks, the group will tour Hungary, Ukraine and Russia with the purpose to give students a sense of the social transformations in post-communist Eastern Europe. Visits to political institutions, local families and peer groups, as well as work for a nongovernmental organization, are the course work. This trip ends June 6.
Manhattan agriculture meets South African agriculture as David Grieger, associate professor of animal sciences and industry, leads a July 15-31 study to explore and experience the various aspects of African ag. Not only will Grieger lead the students to landmarks like the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve and Table Mountain, but the group will also visit local cattle and goat ranches, crop farms, a crocodile farm, an agricultural university and more. Prior to this trip, Grieger co-led a group to Costa Rica in 2007.
An Amazonian adventure
Faculty members Marcelus Caldas, assistant professor of geography; Martha Smith-Caldas, instructor of biology; and Elizabeth Dodd, professor of English, are the leaders of "Brazil: Development, Environment and Creative Writing in the Brazilian Rain Forest" May 24-June 3.
The program will take place in the Brazilian portion of the Amazon Basin. For geography and biology students, the program begins with several days of initial lectures and excursions, and then continues for several days on an Amazonian boat, where they will have the opportunity to interact with local college students while they visit the rain forest, old rubber plantations and various other locations that demonstrate the decision and reconciling environmental protection with economic development.