Past Travel Initiatives
McMaster School for Advancing Humanity
2015 - 2016 Trips
Students spent a week in Italy, visiting the cities of Milan, Venice, Vrona, Florence, and Rome. They explored the history, geography, climate, cuisine, sports, and religious significance of these areas of Italy. Portions of the trip included learning the soccer culture in Italy and participating in games against Italian opposition. They traveled with the returning men’s soccer players. The trip ran from August 4 - 13, 2015, and was led by Kathleen Westfall, Jordan Valentine, and Ryan McCormack.
- The Jamaican Experience
This was a one-week immersion into the culture of the island. The Defiance College Softball program, along with team personnel and friends, engaged in a service and volunteer experience, working with Christian Service International Ministries to mentor youth at the local orphanage and school. There were also opportunities to teach youth softball skills. The primary focus of this trip was cultural experiential learning. The group interacted with the environs and people that populate this rural region of Jamaica by exploring and engaging within the Jamaican culture, educational system, and religious beliefs through a variety of hands-on involvements. The trip was in November 2015 and was led by Jodie Holava and Kaycee Butt.
- Dublin 2016: 100th Anniversary of the Proclamation of the Irish Republic
Participants in this experience spent six days in Dublin during the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising, when Irish rebels proclaimed a free Irish republic. Travelers explored the city of Dublin, focusing on revolutionary Dublin; visited Trinity College, attended a performance at the National Theatre, spent an afternoon on a traditional farm near Kells in County Meath, listened to Irish music in a traditional pub, and conversed with a member of the Irish Parliament. Through these activities, they were given the opportunity to gain a better understanding of history, geography, economics, arts, culture and daily life, climate, food and drink, and music of Ireland. The trip is ran from May 9 - 16, 2016, and was led by Michelle Blank and Rena Rager.
- Honors International Study
A group of students in the Carolyn M. Small Honors Program traveled to Spain and Portugal while taking a course focused on the history, culture, architecture, and cuisine of the Iberian Peninsula. Participants visited Madrid, Toledo, Granada, Seville, and Lisbon, taking time to see the Alhambra Palace, Moorish Cathedrals, the tomb of Columbus, and the Monument to the Discoveries. The trip was during spring break 2016 and was led by Mary Ann Studer.
- Service Leaders: Nicaragua
A group of junior and senior service leaders will be traveling to Chinandega, Nicaragua to engage in service learning with Fundacion Chinandega a non-profit organization that runs a school from preschool through high school. Fundacion provides both academic and vocational training to hundreds of students. In addition they will be working with a rural community and an urban school in the region. This trip was during May 2016 and was led by Jordan Heiliger and Brad Harsha.
2014 - 2015 Trips
- Costa Rica
While the trip was open to any student at Defiance College, the men’s basketball team was given the opportunity to participate in international "friendly" competition with local teams of Costa Rica. This was an extremely rare experience within basketball and college athletics as a whole. The agenda revolved around team activities. Non-team members were offered additional cultural exchanges during team practices to enrich their experience, but all group participants attended games and the service project. Everyone engaged in a service and volunteer experience mentoring youth during a basketball clinic. Environmental issues specific to the rain forest were a primary focus. Travelers explored this habitat through a variety of adventures in rural areas of Costa Rica. The group will interact with the environs and people that populate this remote region of Central America.
- "I See London, I See…"
Spending a week in London, students explored British history and the royal family, immersing themselves in the British culture. Visits included the Tower of London, Tower Bridge, Big Ben, London Eye, and Westminster Abbey. The trip to London was made complete by viewing the royal landmarks of Buckingham Palace and Kensington Palace, along with the changing of the guard. A guided tour through the English countryside with a stop at the mysterious Stonehenge was also included. Students learned about the art, food and drink, customs, sports, and traditions of England. The trip was over spring break 2015 and was led by Kathleen Westfall and Chris Medjesky.
- Imagine London
For the students who really wanted to travel to London but were unable during Spring Break, this trip created a travel experience for students that otherwise could not afford to participate. Travelers spent time in London, exploring the city’s history, politics, art, theater, professional sports, climate, and daily life. The trip was in May 2015 and was led by Tina Mohring and Brad Harsha.
- Honors International Study
Through the Carolyn M. Small Honors Program, students traveled to Panama and Nicaragua, accompanied by an academic course focused on the various aspects of each location. The course and the travel engaged students during the spring semester 2015. The trip was led by Mary Ann Studer.
2013 - 2014 Trips
Ireland: Our Living Traditions & Enchanting Past
Travelers spent a week in Ireland exploring the cities of Cork and Dublin, visiting University College Cork, walking the Cliffs of Moher, visiting Trinity College, and kissing the Blarney Stone. They learned about and experienced the geography, history, climate, food and drink, culture and daily life, and sports and music of Ireland. The trip ran from March 7 - 15, 2014, and was led by Lois McCullough and Jenni Morrison.
- Honors International Study
This trip, through the Carolyn M. Small Honors Program, was accompanied by an academic course focused on the various aspects of Italy. The course and the travel engaged students during the spring semester. The trip ran over spring break 2014 and was led by Mary Ann Studer and Jeremy Taylor.
- Service Leaders in Peru
Service Leaders traveled to Peru to engage in service and volunteer experiences. They were given the opportunity to observe and engage in the culture and participate in service projects that included: helping children in local orphanages, working in local rural schools, working with special needs children, and promoting eco-tourism in rural areas. The trip was in March 2014 and was led by Jessica Myers.
- Alternative Spring Break Civil Rights Tour
Students traveled on a detailed journey where they were exposed to literature, music, and documentation relative to the Civil Rights Movement. The participants learned about the unsung heroes of the civil rights, equality verses equity, and the culture of the south. The trip ran from March 7 - March 14, 2014, and was led by Mercedes Clay.
- Social Policy and Practice with Special Populations
Students with an interest in how social policy and service strategies are influenced and developed at the national level journeyed to Washington DC. They visited and learned how the needs of special populations of veterans, the elderly, and victims of domestic violence are advocated for by major national organizations. Further, they learned how meeting those needs through the development of governmental and private programs grow out of both professional and political processes. This trip was in November 2013 and was led by Jeffrey Weaner and Alesia Yakos-Brown.
- Washington DC Trip
A select group of 25 students, with diverse majors from global studies, forensic science, criminal justice, accounting, and molecular biology, traveled to Washington DC. Students talked about Afghanistan with an army colonel at the Pentagon, walked around the White House, visited the House of Representatives and the Senate, had coffee with Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown, met with experts at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, visited Ford's Theater and the National Archives, and spent an afternoon at the Holocaust Museum. The trip ran from November 6 - 8, 2013, and was led by Elcin Haskollar.
- Imagine Philadelphia
25 - 40 students from Criminal Justice, Digital Forensic Science, and Forensic Science traveled to Philadelphia to observe major parts of the criminal justice system in operation in a metropolitan area and to take advantage of cultural and art opportunities present there. Tours included the Philadelphia Policy Department, the Philadelphia Medical Examiner’s Office, the Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility, the Philadelphia Regional Computer Forensics Lab, the Philadelphia Forensic Science Center, and the FBI. Also on the agenda were visits to the American Philosophical Society Museum, the Philadelphia Zoo, the Liberty Bell, the Museum of Art, and the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority. This trip ran from March 19 - 22, 2014, and was led by Don Knueve and Steve Sondergaard.
2012 - 2013 Trips
Cultural and Performing Arts – One Day Trips
Students were taken to view the play at the Cleveland Playhouse. This trip was on September 30, 2012, and was led by Barb Sedlock and Tim Rickabaugh.
- Toledo Museum of Art
This trip gave students the opportunity to see the permanent collection of art on display as well as the traveling exhibition of Edward Monet’s work. The trip was on November 15, 2012, and was led by Jason Stockman and Doug Fiely.
- Fort Wayne Ballet
This single day excursion took students to Fort Wayne, IN to experience Tchaikovsky’s famous Nutcracker ballet accompanied by the Fort Wayne Philharmonic Orchestra. The trip was in December 2012, and was led by Andrew Schultz.
- Toledo Symphony Excursion
This trip will took students to the Toledo Museum of Art to experience one of the popular classical music works: Orff’s "Carmina Burana." Included was dinner and a visit from one of the symphony players for a questions/answer session. The trip was on February 9, 2013, and was led by Andrew Schultz.
- World of Business
This trip to Cincinnati, OH provided students with opportunities to expand on material learned in the classroom in an experiential fashion. The trip was in April 2013 and was led by Jay Page, Mike Wolfe, and Blen Solomon.
- Dayton Drumline Excursion
Attendees experienced the Indoor Drumline Dayton Regional Competition and had the opportunity to observe the marching band percussion ensemble working together to create a unique performance. The trip was on April 20, 2013, and was led by Andrew Schultz.
Cultural and Performing Arts – Multi Day Trips
- Alternative Spring Break Civil Rights Tour exposed students to literature, music, and documentation relative to the Civil Rights Movement. The participants learned about the unsung heroes of the civil rights, equality verses equity, and the culture of the south. The trip ran from March 8 - 15, 2013, and was led by Mercedes Clay.
- Summer Choir Tour 2013 was a nine night, ten day trip traveling west through major US cities to the final destination of Denver, CO. A typical day involved performing for high schools during the day and performing at a church in the evening. This included time for travel, sight-seeing, cultural activities, recruiting, and meeting with DC alumni. The trip ran from May 10 - 19, 2013, and was led by Andrew Schultz.
- Ann Arbor Film Festival explored a wide range of films from around the world, and let students attend lectures
about film techniques, and lectures and discussions with artists and directors. The
trip ran from March 22 - 23, 2013, and was led by Mary Catherine Harper and Todd Comer.
DC to D.C. / DC Edventures
- Battles in Pennsylvania - The Civil War & 9/11
Students assisted at the High Technology Crime Investigation Association’s annual training conference in Hershey, PA. They also explored historical sites in the area of the conference such as the Gettysburg battlefield and the Memorial site of United Airlines Flight 93 on 9/11. The trip ran from September 14 - 20, 2012, and was led by Gregg Gunsch and Tim Wedge.
- Meet Me in St. Louis was a cultural and historical sampling of St. Louis, MO's area nicknamed the “Gateway to the West.” It included a trip to the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial (Gateway Arch), the Museum of Westward Expansion, and the Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site, a settlement site of mound-building native cultures. This trip ran from April 4 - 7, 2013, and was led by Ken Wetstein.
- Criminal Justice, Digital Forensic Science, and Forensic Science traveled to Chicago to provide opportunities for students to observe major parts
of the criminal justice system in operation in a metropolitan area. The group toured
agencies such as the Chicago Police Department, the Cook County Jail, the Regional
FBI Computer Forensics Lab, the state Crime Lab, and the US Marshall Service. The
trip ran from March 20 - 22, 2013, and was led by Don Knueve.
- DC Paris Cultural Connection provided DC students with an international experience which engaged them in developing competencies in intercultural relations, communications, and sensitivity. In addition, it heightened students’ global awareness as they researched, analyzed, and presented information about Paris and their exploration. The Paris adventure ran from December 11 - 17, 2012, and was led by Mercedes Clay and Sandra Golden.
- London Heroes & Heroines was a fast-paced five day trip to London with the study of heroes and heroines (and a few villains!) as its framework. The participants used public transportation in London to visit museums and historic sights and spent the evening at the theatre. The trip ran March 8 - 13, 2013, and was led by JoAnn Burkhardt and Fred Coulter.
- Spain – Members of the DC women’s soccer team traveled to Spain for a cultural experience visiting Madrid and Barcelona. Included in the trip were stops at some of the most famous stadiums in the soccer world, as well as watching games. This trip ran in July 2013 and was led by Alex VanderSluijs.