Ohio Wesleyan University students and faculty will be on the road again—and on the plane, bus, taxi, and train—with 13 Travel-Learning Courses to be offered during the 2014-2015 academic year.
OWU’s Travel-Learning Courses help students to link academic theory with real-world practice as they spend fall semester learning about a topic on campus and then travel with their professors in the spring. The students learn firsthand how their newfound knowledge impacts the lives of others around the word.
Ohio Wesleyan’s 2014-2015 Travel-Learning Courses are:
Art – Photography and the American Southwest
Taught by Jeffrey Nilan, MFA, students will travel through central New Mexico during spring break. Designed for students in intermediate and advanced photography, this course will examine art and archaeology and recreate a photographic tour of the American Southwest now housed in the Ohio Wesleyan library’s Special Collections. Students will learn historic photography and printing techniques and blend them with modern advanced ones.
Astronomy – Space Exploration: Past, Present and Future
Taught by Robert Harmon, Ph.D., students will travel to Florida, Texas, and Russia in May. This course will study the history of space exploration – rocketry of the 1930s and 1940s, the Cold War “Space Race” to the Moon, and the modern era of multinational and commercial space exploration. Students will visit Florida’s Kennedy Space Center and Houston’s Johnson Space Center to study firsthand U.S. efforts in space and to a similar training center outside Moscow.
Botany-Microbiology – Plant Responses to Global Change
Taught by Laurel Anderson, Ph.D., students will travel to Brazil for two weeks in May. This course will study how global environmental changes such as temperature, precipitation, and atmospheric composition affect plants and other organisms. Students will study three Brazilian ecosystems as case studies: Manaus, a city on the Amazon River; the Chapada savanna region; and an ecotourism lodge in the Pantanal, a wetlands area.
Black World Studies – South Africa: Two Decades after Apartheid
Taught by Randolph Quaye, Ph.D., students will travel to South Africa for two weeks in May. This course will analyze how South African society has changed since the end of apartheid. Students will travel to Soweto, Robben Island, and Cape Town. They also will read South African literature and examine policies and progress of the African National Congress regarding economic development, education, and land right.
Chemistry – Historical Roots and Modern Applications of Organic Chemistry
Taught by Mark Mitton-Fry, Ph.D., students will travel to Germany for two weeks in May. This course will focus on the science of organic chemistry and its roots. Students will visit Munich and Berlin as well as Würzburg and Giessen, university towns where organic chemistry was developed. They also will study how organic chemistry can be connected to issues of social relevance in contemporary society.
Education/Sociology-Anthropology – Social Justice and Activism Seminar
Taught by Paula White, Ph.D., and John Durst, Ph.D., students in education and several sociology-anthropology courses will be able to travel to Alabama over spring break. They have the option to travel to historic Civil Rights era locations in Alabama: Birmingham, Montgomery, and Selma. In collaboration with the Freedom Foundation in Selma, students will work with schoolchildren and the Random Acts of Theater Company and perform community service.
English – Slouching Towards Empire: The Literary Politics of Ireland
Taught by Nancy Comorau, Ph.D., students will spend two weeks in May traveling throughout the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. They will visit Dublin and Belfast and the border city of Derry/Londonderry and attend the Listowel Writers Week festival in County Kerry. The focus of the course is on 20th and 21st century Irish Literature, and in Ireland they will follow the paths depicted in several leading Irish novels.
French – Introduction to French Literature
Taught by Ana Oancea, Ph.D., students will spend one week in May traveling through France. This course will focus on study of French art, literature, and culture during the semester and touring Paris, Versailles, and Provins while in France. There they will look at the Eiffel Tower, Victor Hugo’s house, and other sites of cultural significance including the Louvre, Notre Dame, and the Pantheon.
Health and Human Kinetics – Exploring Mindfulness, Place, and Space in Health
Taught by Christopher Fink, Ph.D., and Nancy Knop, Ph.D., students will spend two weeks in May in Boulder, Colorado. During the semester, they will meet for two hours each week to develop personal mindfulness practices through yoga, hiking, and light labor. They will undergo immersion in different versions of these techniques while in Boulder.
Humanities and Classics – Elegance and Brutality: Topics in Modern Japanese Literature
Taught by Anne Sokolsky, Ph.D., students will spend two weeks in May in Japan. In this course, students will examine Japan’s literary and theatrical traditions of both sublime beauty and violence while they are on campus. After this, they will visit and explore the gardens of Kyoto as well as Hiroshima, Minimata, and, possibly, Fukushima.
Sociology/Anthropology – Cultural and Social Change
Taught by Alper Yalcinkaya, Ph.D., students will spend two weeks in May in Spain. In this course, students will study theoretical approaches to cultural and social change and relevant case studies on their practicality. They will examine the legacy of medieval Islam in Granada and Cordoba, as well as visiting immigration organizations in Madrid and Barcelona.
Zoology – Marine Biology: Combining Mathematical and Field Approaches
Taught by Amy Downing, Ph.D., and Craig Jackson, Ph.D., students will spend two weeks in the Virgin Islands during spring break. In this course, students will study marine systems and how understanding of these ecosystems can be improved with mathematical models. In the Islands, they will study ocean habitats, mangroves, sea-grass beds, and coral reefs as part of independent research projects.
Zoology – Island Biology
Taught by Shala Hankison, Ph.D., and John Gatz, Ph.D., students will spend two weeks in the Galapagos Islands and Ecuador in May. During the semester, they will study the natural history of the Islands and principles of island biogeography before tracing Darwin’s footsteps through hands-on study of mainland Ecuador’s cloud forest and then the island itself.
Read more detailed descriptions of Ohio Wesleyan’s 2014-2015 travel-learning courses. Read more about Ohio Wesleyan’s commitment to translating academic theory into real-world experience.