Rebekkah Gresh will study abroad in Brazil during spring 2018 at Our Lady of Mercy School, a partner institution in Rio de Janeiro to student teach. Her project proposal is titled, Homage to the Natural World. Her mentor is Eileen Underwood, associate professor in biological sciences. Rebekkah will visit three cities, Fortaleza, Curitiba, and Rio de Janeiro, exploring and appreciating different aspects of the natural world, flora, fauna, geology and astronomy native to an area. Her first stop is Fortaleza where she will visit Cocό Park, which features threatened indigenous plants and animals and is considered an important part of Fortaleza’s natural and ecological heritage. She will also visit the Planetarium Rubens de Azevedo to view planetarium shows. As homage to the geologic world, she will visit Cumbuco, a small village 16 miles from Fortaleza, known for beaches and sand dunes. For the next leg of her experience, she will volunteer with Experiential Learning International (ELI) Abroad, a non-profit organization that will enable her to volunteer at in a Wildlife Sanctuary, which is closed to the public and home to a variety of endangered animals. She will help plant native species of plants, feed the animals, aid in breeding programs, and assist full-time biologists and researchers working in the sanctuary. In Rio de Janeiro, Rebekkah will hike in Tijuca National Park, which features a forest filled with native plants, animals, and interesting geologic features, and also Sugarloaf Mountain, a well-known geologic site in Rio de Janeiro. Finally, she will visit the local planetarium, Planetarium de Rio.
Ashley Mitchell will be study abroad in Japan as an exchange student for the 2017-2018 academic year at Kobe College. Her project proposal is titled, Cities, Shrines and their Coexistence. Her mentor is Akiko Jones, director of Asian Studies. Ashley’s guiding question for her project, which will be completed between February and April of 2018 is, what role do shrines play in the lives of modern Japanese, with the influx of Western influence and the emergence of the technological era? She will visit large cities throughout Japan, including Sapporo, Tokyo, Kyoto, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, where she will take pictures, draw illustrations to capture the shrine’s intended purpose, and observe and interact with people that visit each location. Ashley will also explore the surrounding city and document with photography. The culmination of her work will combine photographs, illustrations, commentaries on the existence of the shrines in those cities.
Mikayla Mueller will study abroad in England as an exchange student for the academic year 2017/2018 at Keele University. Her project is titled, Exploring Nature Therapy. Her mentor is Marlise Rene Lonn, assistant professor, School of Intervention Services. Mikayla’s creative project is to gain further knowledge and experience in the budding field of ecotherapy, also known as nature therapy. The Hoskins Global Scholars Program will allow her to apply and build on the knowledge she gains at Keele University. Keele University is one of the few universities that has a professor who focuses on ecotherapy, Dr. John Hegarty, a senior lecturer at Keele University. Her project will allow her to build relationships and seek guidance from an experienced researcher and engage with Dr. Hegarty and other faculty at the university. She will also gain information to a real-world application through volunteering and taking part in the Tour du Mount Blanc, a hiking/camping experience in three countries: France, Switzerland, and Italy. Mikayla will use a combination of written and photo/video journaling to present a 360 perspective of ecotherapy. Her presentation will include the professional psychology perspective, the program facilitation view and her own personal nature experience. Her end goal is to develop three potential research questions and will conduct research upon return during her senior year.
Mckayla Raines will study abroad for the 2017/2018 academic year in Europe, first in the fall at The Paul Valery University, in Montpellier, France, followed by a spring semester on the BGSU Salzburg program. Her project proposal is titled Mentoring Refugees and the Understanding of the Refugee Crisis in European Context. Her mentor is Dr. Kristie Foell, associate professor of German. During a two month winter break, McKayla will complete her project in two parts: service-learning and conducting research. From mid-January through February, she will work with a non-governmental organization (NGO), Give Something Back to Berlin (GSBTB) that supports refugees in Berlin, Germany, by providing English and German language instruction to refugees and mentoring and tutoring at a girl’s club. GSBTB is one of three NGOs that she plans to collaborate with during her year abroad. She will also connect with an NGO, facilitated by l’Université de Montpellier, in France and an NGO in Austria to contribute to the second element of her project which is research-based. Through her NGO work and observations, McKayla will obtain knowledge and information to be used for her senior thesis. She will write about the relationship of France, Austria, and Germany’s history and the way they (NGOs, governments, and societies) accommodate refugees.