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   7/8/11 Bookmark and Share

Summer Research into Globalization and Sustainability in Costa Rica

Fourteen Smith students are in the midst of a three-month seminar and internship program in Costa Rica examining how globalization is stressing the balance between development and environmental sustainability.

Students Dylan Farrel and Stacie Mansen checking the quality of roasted chocolate seeds at an organic chocolate farm in Limon

The Global Engagement Seminar is one of two offered by the college this year, a program designed to provide students an opportunity to participate in interdisciplinary faculty-led, short-term study away experiences.

“The seminars provide an intensive interdisciplinary experience for students who work closely with faculty from different fields,” said Marilyn Schuster, provost and dean of the faculty. “The experience this summer has been transformative for students and faculty members.”

Faculty members Gary Lehring, associate professor of government, and Amy Rhodes, associate professor of geosciences, are leading the Costa Rica exploration. Justin Cammy, associate professor of Jewish studies, Donna Divine, professor of government, and Suleiman Mourad, professor of religion, led an earlier seminar in Jerusalem.

“Costa Rica is held as a model of sustainability and eco-friendly development, with legislation and regulation integral to its success,” said Lehring. “Yet, there is tension between expanding development and globalization on one hand, and the nation’s desire and commitment to sustainability.”

Seminar students in front of active volcano  
Seminar students in front of active volcano Arenal in Alajuela  

Each student will complete an eight-week internship in the country during which they reside with a Costa Rican family. The internship positions range from teaching English in San Jose, to working with non-government organizations addressing issues such as the conservation of sea turtles, and assisting with trail building projects in the Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve.

Students in Costa Rica include Dylan Farrell ’12, Elizabeth Gillespie ’AC, Hannah Hastings ’12, Rachael Hoffman ’12, Suna Jo ’12, Vannessa Louchart Bustamante ’13, Lauren Magliozzi ’13, Stacie Mansen ’AC, Josseline Matute ’13, Nicole Miles ’12, Kayvia Pemberton ’13J, Neelma Qureshi ’12, Hayley Raetz ’12 and Mikaela Sanders ’13.

For details about their work, read the blog about their trip.

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