Summer excursion takes Marietta group to Italy, Egypt and Greece

In three short weeks, a group of Marietta College students and faculty took in more than 1,000 years of history.

Their stops included the Vatican, the Parthenon and the Great Sphinx as Marietta College's leadership and education departments took 26 students and three faculty to study abroad in Italy, Egypt, and Greece earlier this summer.

"By visiting the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill in Italy, students were exposed to the center of power of the superpower of the ancient Western world," said Dr. Janie Rees-Miller, one of the faculty members to make the trip. "The occasion of the Pope's Wednesday message at the Vatican, with thousands of attendees from all over the world and the Pope's message delivered in more than 10 languages, brought home to students the universality preached by the Catholic Church."

The McDonough Center for Leadership and Business and the Education Department organized the study-trip under LEAD 350 (Leadership Study Abroad) and EDUC 457 (Educators as Cross Cultural Leaders: Study Abroad), a three-credit trip that allows faculty members to take a group of students to study countries experiencing significant changes.

"One of the most thrilling parts of our trip was the constant layering of experiences and the bonds of friendship that were formed," said MC junior Ashley Wollam of Westerville, Ohio. "Most importantly, I think that all of us came back to the United States a changed person."

In Egypt, students visited temples and tombs from Alexandria to Aswan and were confronted with ancient ideas of life and death, which are distinctly different of what Americans practice today. Modern Egyptian village life, as viewed from the Nile cruise and the Nubian Village in Aswan, contrasts sharply with the crowded, busy city life of Alexandria and Cairo.

In Greece, students visited the Acropolis and the ancient Agora, the birthplace of democracy. With more free time in Athens, some students also had the serendipitous opportunity to meet Greek university students protesting against the imposition of tuition fees for higher education and to discover ways in which Greek and American life compare.

Also the students had weekly class meetings that helped prepare them for their experiences on the trip. During the trip, students were asked to keep an ongoing academic journal of the sites explored and to analyze and make interpretations of their observations. Leadership academic journals were to be turned in to Dr. Daniel Huck, leadership professor, while education journals were to be turned in to Dr. Bill Bauer, education professor, and Rees-Miller, director of International programs.

Leadership students were put into pairs and given a site to be an expert on and present to the group. They also had to formulate a thesis and research was to be done prior, during, and after the trip concluded. Students are graded on classroom participation, "expert" presentation, thesis abstract, and an intensive research paper.

Education students will be graded on classroom participation, their reflective online portfolio of their experience overseas, an ethnic cultural identity PowerPoint presentation, and two book reports that deal with teaching styles in different countries.

Students on the trip were: Ashley Wollam (Westerville, Ohio), Craig Sundstrom (Mentor, Ohio), Michelle Lund (Bethel Park, Pa.), Samantha Jo Fuller (Belpre, Ohio), Justine Pagenhardt, (Oakland, Md.), Olivia Newsome (Jumping Branch, W.Va.), Chelsey Moore (Strongsville, Ohio), Annie Falatach (Berea, Ohio), Victoria Rhodes (Ithaca, N.Y.), Ludmila Simion (North Royalton, Ohio), Justin Rosenberg (Longport, N.J.), John Stack (Jacobsburg, Ohio), Matthew Williamson (Williamstown, W.Va.), Matthew Fuller (Toms River, N.J.), Eric Sikora (Hinckley, Ohio), Billy Tuttle (Akron, Ohio), Melissa Stutts (Canonsburg, Pa.), Tim Roberts (Worthington, Ohio), Alex Haskins (Jarrettsville, Md.), Sarah Salamon (Milford, Pa.), Melissa Isennock (Street, Md.), Becky Whitman (Doylestown, Ohio), Rachel Long (Hartville, Ohio), Carrie Mason (Parkersburg, W.Va.), Brittany Rogers (Cleveland, Ohio), and Greg Saxton (South Solon, Ohio).