Value of Learning Off Campus
Kelsey Winsor ’07J traveled to Ambergris Caye, Belize,
last summer to teach local children about the habitat and
biology of the coral reef there as part of the Coral Reef
Ed-Ventures program, she gained insight about the region and
about humans’ environmental impact that is hard to come
by in the classroom.
After spending two summers as
a volunteer teaching English to middle school students in
Xiaoshicun, China, Rebecca Heeb ’07 was inspired to
refocus her academic goals at Smith toward a career in international
On Tuesday, Nov. 7 (Election
Day), Winsor and Heeb will join 20 other Smith students in
discussing their experiences learning beyond the classroom
during the Smith Elects the World Conference in the Campus
Center. The conference was established to explore the relationship
between formal classroom education and learning that takes
place in off-campus programs, such as Praxis internships,
study abroad, and community service.
In five concurrent panels beginning
at 4:10 p.m. in various Campus Center rooms, students will
describe how their studies at Smith have shaped their off-campus
endeavors and how those experiences have enriched their academic
programs at Smith.
Emily Orzech ’07 will talk
about her experience working with Tibetan Buddhists in China.
Fadzai Chinyengetere ’07 will discuss her volunteer
work at a hospital in Zimbabwe. Others have traveled to El
Salvador, eastern Europe, Madagascar, as well as New Orleans
and New York City in a range of programs and internships.
Just as important, many Smith
students remain close to home, tutoring elementary students
at the Gerena Community School in Springfield, for example,
or assisting students in inner-city Holyoke.
These students’ stories
underscore the significant contribution their off-campus learning
experiences have on their liberal arts education.
The student panel will be followed
by a faculty panel at 5:10 p.m. in the Campus Center Carroll
Room, featuring Al Curran, professor of geology; Sam Intrator,
associate professor of education and child study; Leslie King,
associate professor of sociology; and moderated by Maureen
Mahoney, Dean of the College.
A reception, open to all, will
follow the panels at 6 p.m.
Smith Elects the World is sponsored
by the Office of the Dean of the College, the Office of the
Provost and Dean of the Faculty, and the Career Development