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Northwest geology students explored a variety of national parks, including the Bright Angel hiking trail in Grand Canyon National Park this summer. They were one of several groups that traveled the world to visit sites and engage with professionals to extend their learning beyond the traditional classroom. (Photo courtesy of Jeff Bradley/Northwest Missouri State University Department of Natural Sciences)

Northwest geology students explored a variety of national parks, including the Bright Angel hiking trail in Grand Canyon National Park this summer. They were one of several groups that traveled the world to visit sites and engage with professionals to extend their learning beyond the traditional classroom. (Photo courtesy of Jeff Bradley/Northwest Missouri State University Department of Natural Sciences)

Sept. 18, 2019

Summer travel experiences place Bearcats throughout the world

By Grace Niemeyer, communication assistant


Northwest Missouri State University faculty and students traveled throughout the world this summer with trips to China, tours throughout Europe and the United States.

“It is important for students to get out and experience the world,” Dr. Brett Chloupek, an assistant professor of geography who led a summer travel experience for history students, said. “Faculty-led trips are one of the easiest and safest ways for students to have such an experience while being guided by faculty who know the regions and, often, the languages.”

Here is a glance at some faculty-led travel experiences students enjoyed this summer.

History and Geography

Chloupek and Dr. Devlin Scofield, assistant professor of history, led 15 students through Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Austria as part of a European study abroad experience in May.

The group toured Wartburg Castle and Buchenwald Concentration Camp, and the Berlin Wall. They also explored the medieval cities of Prague and Bratislava.

“I hope that the opportunity to visit the actual sites associated with some of the most important events in European history will leave a lasting impression on students in a way that simply reading about them would not,” Scofield said. “I really hope they caught the ‘travel bug’ and will jump at the next opportunity to get out and explore the world on their own.”

Spanish

Eleven Northwest students joined Dr. Jose Palacios, an assistant professor of modern languages; Dr. Joseph Haughey, associate professor of English; Assistant Library Director Frank Baudino and recent Northwest retiree Dr. Martha Breckenridge in May on a tour to Cusco and Lima in Peru to study contemporary Peru and Inca culture.

“I think everyone would agree that the highlight of the trip was hiking Machu Picchu and seeing one of the seven wonders of the world,” Marie Palmer, a senior international business and Spanish education major from Corning, Iowa, said.

Recreation

Dr. Sue Myllykangas, associate professor of recreation, accompanied nine students to Colorado as part of the University’s Exploring Recreation Resources course. Highlights included visiting an engineering camp for kids, an indoor skiing and snowboarding lesson facility, and a three-tiered challenge course.

“Classes like this provide context, which makes learning and understanding what we are teaching in classes much easier,” Myllykangas said. 

Recreation students navigated a three-tiered challenge course during a two-week tour of recrational sites in Colorado. (Photo courtesy of Sue Myllykangas/Northwest Missouri State University School of Health Science and Wellness)

Recreation students navigated a three-tiered challenge course during a two-week tour of recrational sites in Colorado. (Photo courtesy of Sue Myllykangas/Northwest Missouri State University School of Health Science and Wellness)

Geology

Eight Northwest students joined Jeff Bradley, a senior instructor of natural sciences, on a tour through Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah and California. The annual trip is designed to give students a more thorough understanding of geologic history.

The group traveled to 12 national parks and monuments, including Grand Canyon National Park, Arches National Park, Death Valley National Park and a tour of Hoover Dam.

“The Colorado Plateau field trip was truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Sarah Evans, a junior environmental geology major and geography minor from Albany, Missouri, said. “Seeing geologic phenomena in nature is something to which a textbook image does absolutely no justice. The instructors are incredibly knowledgeable and passionate about what they are teaching, making this an incredible learning experience.”

Art

Eleven art students traveled to Europe with former Northwest art faculty member Christopher Graves. They toured museums and historical sites throughout the Netherlands, England, Germany and Paris to experience different cultures and grow as artists.

“Some of my favorite parts were seeing the changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace, going to Zaanse Shans near Amsterdam to see traditional windmills, a river cruise on the Rhine river, and being inspired by all of the amazing art at all of the museums that we were able to go to,” Ashton Henggeler, a junior secondary history education major and art minor said. “My favorite museum was the Musée d'Orsay in Paris that focused on impressionist art and was an old, converted train station.”


Media contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager | mhorn@nwmissouri.edu | 660.562.1704