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Media Memo: Student activities during Spring Break, March 16-20

TO: News/Assignment Editors and Directors

FROM: Judy Berthiaume, Director

DATE: March 9, 2009

SUBJECT: Student activities during Spring Break, March 16-20

Many UW-Eau Claire students will participate in a variety of learning and volunteer activities during the university's Spring Break week, March 16-20.

A few examples of activities that may interest you follow:

  • Katie Geary, a junior economics major from Eau Claire, will spend her spring break volunteering in an orphanage in Haiti. The 2006 Memorial High School graduate and other volunteers from her church will spend time with 75 children at an orphanage that is run by a Christian ministry. They will play with the children and help teach them skills that they can use to support and provide for themselves in the years ahead. You can contact Katie Geary at gearyke@uwec.edu or 715-577-2259.
  • Eight junior nursing students will spend their spring break at a free-standing birth center in Weslaco, Texas, (in the heart of the Rio Grande Valley) about 10 miles from the border of Mexico. The students will participate in a clinical immersion experience as part of one of their required nursing clinical courses. The group has met prior to spring break in seminar meetings to discuss various topics, such as American values, Mexican values and beliefs, especially related to health/illness, and cultural competence in nursing. During the week of spring break, they will stay at Holy Family Birth Center and participate in providing the care to women and families they serve. Holy Family provides comprehensive family-centered care from pregnancy, prenatal care, labor, birth, postpartum, well baby care, through the baby's first 8 weeks of life. The birth center is directed by a certified nurse midwife, and supported by nurses, a social worker, office staff and many volunteers. Ninety percent of the clientele served are Hispanic. After returning from the clinical experience, the students and faculty meet on a regular basis to reflect and process the meaning of the experience. For more information, contact Dr. Rita Sperstad, a clinical instructor of nursing, at sperstra@uwec.edu or 715-836-5502.
  • Twenty-four education students will spend spring break at the Lac Courte Oreilles Indian Reservation near Hayward as part of a pilot multicultural immersion experience. They will spend their days volunteering at the Tribal School, the Boy's and Girl's Club and the Head Start. They also will participate in a mini-course in Ojibwe history, culture and language taught by a faculty member in the Native American Studies program at the Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe Community College and in a cultural activity in the Cultural Center at the LCOOCC. For more information, contact Dr. Larry Solberg, associate dean of the College of Education and Human Sciences, at 715-836-3671 or solberlc@uwec.edu.
  • The Women's Concert Chorale will participate in a tour of South Africa March 12-22. The 69-member choir will be led by conductor Alan Rieck, associate professor of music, and joined by 11 other guests. Rieck said he hopes the trip will help students to see the world in a different way, challenge some of the pre-conceived notions, and help them see how others have worked through difficulties in their lives. The itinerary includes an exchange with the Stellenbosch University Schola Cantorum in Cape Town, a formal concert at St. Stithian School in Johannesburg and an informal performance at the historic Regina Mundi Church in Soweto. Non-musical events include a safari tour of Pilanesberg National Park, a visit to Lesedi Cultural Village and a tour of the Apartheid Museum. The group also will tour Robben Island, holding place of Nelson Mandela for 18 years. For details, contact Alan Rieck at 715-836-3634 or rieckaj@uwec.edu. To talk with a student who will make the trip, contact Emily Miethke at miethkee@uwec.edu.
  • Forty students will participate in a Civil Rights Pilgrimage to the South, visiting sites of historic importance to the U.S. civil rights movement. The March 13-22 trip will include stops at the birthplace of Martin Luther King Jr. in Atlanta; the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute in Birmingham, Ala.; the Civil Rights Memorial and the Rosa Parks Museum and Library in Montgomery, Ala.; the National Voting Rights Museum and other sites in Selma, Ala.; Central High School and William J. Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock, Ark.; and the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tenn. The trip also will include a stop in New Orleans, with a visit to the famous Preservation Hall, home of New Orleans jazz. While in New Orleans, students can participate in a service learning project to renovate a historic building on O.C. Haley Boulevard. To read students' personal experiences from previous trips, visit their blog. Among those going on the trip are three international students two from Thailand and one from Austria. The international students include Mutita Narkmuang (narkmum@uwec.edu), Noppawan Sangkhajan (sangkhn@uwec.edu) and Bettina Katharina Sorger (sorgerbk@uwec.edu). For questions about the trip, contact Jodi Thesing-Ritter, associate dean of students, at 715-836-2325 or thesinjm@uwec.edu.
  • Ten students enrolled in a geography capstone course will spend their spring break along the lower Colorado River on a water resources research-related field trip. Dr. Doug Faulkner, associate professor of geography and anthropology, and Dr. Garry Running, professor of geography and anthropology, will lead the trip, which will include field work at places such as Lake Mead, Grand Canyon and Glen Canyon. For more information, contact Dr. Doug Faulkner at 715-836-5166 or faulkndj@uwec.edu.

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