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Interim Term Students Learn Importance Of Service

From Italy to Hawaii, Ecuador to the Philippines, 70 LaGrange students expanded their view of the world during Jan Term while building classrooms, working with the homeless, leading youth camps for children and offering health care for the needy.

On campus, 673 scholars explored topics like “Tolkien and the Middle Ages,” “Korean Culture,” “The Civil War” and “The Culture and History of LaGrange.” Internships, independent studies and shadowing medical professionals also offered students real-world experiences.

Dr. Sarah Beth Mallory, Associate Provost for General Education and Global Engagement, said she was thrilled with the diversity of subjects offered during this year’s Interim Term.

“We had a ‘Bible in Action’ class taught by Dr. Greg McClanahan (Professor of Mathematics) where students spent part of their time working in local soup kitchens and on a field trip to explore Biblical history,” she said.

“Professor Alvin Lingenfelter (Assistant Professor of Religion) led his ‘Shelter’ class through study and service in an investigation of homelessness and poverty, working in Metro Atlanta shelters.”

Dr. Melinda Pomeroy-Black, Associate Professor of Biology, took students to Hawaii for ecology and culture study, where they also worked in soup kitchens and provided other service in environmental projects.

Professor Cindi Bearden, Assistant Professor of Business and Accountancy, accompanied students to Ecuador where they joined Servants in Faith and Technology in construction projects and led Bible schools for children.

The travelers to the Philippines will be the last to return on Monday. They worked with the homeless in Manila and conducted ecological studies on a neighboring island. Professors who led the Philippines group called it the best one yet.

“The students say they have been deeply transformed by their experience and want to recruit friends for the next time the course is offered,” said Dr. David Ahearn, Chair of Religion and Philosophy. “Two of the students say they will pay theirownwaytocomeback.”

A diversity class with Education graduate students participated in a poverty simulation sponsored by Circles of Troup County. The exercise required them to role play what it would be like to live in poverty for month.

MAT student Kadeshia Brown was particularly moved.

“It was very eye-opening,” she said. “I was a 16-year-old girl and it was very frustrating to want to help my family financially but not have the means to do so.”

She learned that students who are the eldest child in their family are often under a lot of pressure.

“Schools send home letters asking for money for various events, projects and supplies, and sometimes a student’s family might not have the funds,” she said. “This can make a student feel guilty or ashamed. I’ve learned how I can help families experiencing poverty, and I’d recommend that teachers, social workers, police officers and politicians complete this training.”

Graduate student Colin Ross was impressed with the work of Circles of Troup.

“They have a fantastic grasp on what it takes to create positive changes in the lives of individuals and families who are suffering through poverty and are excellent leaders for change within the community,” he said.

Service is a large component of most of the Interim Term courses, Dr. Mallory said.

“We always get high praise from our students on national surveys about their opportunities for service,” she said. “Service is one of the reasons our students come here and one of the main reasons they stay. Our Interim Term is a perfect time to devote themselves to learning to help others.”

Interim Term students learn importance of service From Italy to Hawaii, Ecuador to the Philippines, 70 LaGrange students expanded their view of the world during Jan Term while building classrooms, working with the homeless, leading youth camps for children and offering health care for the needy.

On campus, 673 scholars explored topics like “Tolkien and the Middle Ages,” “Korean Culture,” “The Civil War” and “The Culture and History of LaGrange.” Internships, independent studies and shadowing medical professionals also offered students real-world experiences.

Dr. Sarah Beth Mallory, Associate Provost for General Education and Global Engagement, said she was thrilled with the diversity of subjects offered during this year’s Interim Term.

“We had a ‘Bible inAction’ class taught by Dr. Greg McClanahan (Professor of Mathematics) where students spent part of their time working in local soup kitchens and on a field trip to explore Biblical history,” she said.

“Professor Alvin Lingenfelter (Assistant Professor of Religion) led his ‘Shelter’ class through study and service in an investigation of homelessness and poverty, working in Metro Atlanta shelters.”

Dr. Melinda Pomeroy-Black, Associate Professor of Biology, took students to Hawaii for ecology and culture study, where they also worked in soup kitchens and provided other service in environmental projects.

Professor Cindi Bearden, Assistant Professor of Business and Accountancy, accompanied students to Ecuador where they joined Servants in Faith and Technology in construction projects and led Bible schools for children.

The travelers to the Philippines will be the last to return on Monday. They worked with the homeless in Manila and conducted ecological studies on a neighboring island.

Professors who led the Philippines group called it the best one yet.

“The students say they have been deeply transformed by their experience and want to recruit friends for the next time the course is offered,” said Dr. David Ahearn, Chair of Religion and Philosophy. “Two of the students say they will pay theirownwaytocomeback.”

A diversity class with Education graduate students participated in a poverty simulation sponsored by Circles of Troup County. The exercise required them to role play what it would be like to live in poverty for month.

MAT student Kadeshia Brown was particularly moved.

“It was very eye-opening,” she said. “I was a 16-yearold girl and it was very frustrating to want to help my family financially but not have the means to do so.”

She learned that students who are the eldest child in their family are often under a lot of pressure.

“Schools send home letters asking for money for various events, projects and supplies, and sometimes a student’s family might not have the funds,” she said. “This can make a student feel guilty or ashamed. I’ve learned how I can help families experiencing poverty, and I’d recommend that teachers, social workers, police officers and politicians complete this training.”

Graduate student Colin Ross was impressed with the work of Circles of Troup.

“They have a fantastic grasp on what it takes to create positive changes in the lives of individuals and families who are suffering through poverty and are excellent leaders for change within the community,” he said.

Service is a large component of most of the Interim Term courses, Dr. Mallory said.

“ We always get high praise from our students on national surveys about their opportunities for service,” she said. “Service is one of the reasons our students come here and one of the main reasons they stay. Our Interim Term is a perfect time to devote themselves to learning to help others.”