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Students, Educators Take Classes Worldwide During Break

Students on Four Continents For Learning, Teaching

UMass Lowell students at an orphanage
Nursing students make a donation at an orphanage in Ghana during a trip in January 2010.


Amanda Guest

This January UMass Lowell students can be spotted all over the world, opting to forgo winter break for a global learning experience — participating in community service missions, intersession courses and teaching projects across four continents.

Members of the Nursing Students Without Borders program are working long hours in impoverished conditions delivering care, supplies and compassion to Ghana, West Africa. The 10 senior nursing students, led by Asst. Prof. Valerie King, know that their 17-day mission will not only have a positive impact but will provide an unforgettable learning experience -- helping them become confident world-ready nurses.

"It takes a village to educate a student," said King, adding that after the trip she expects the nursing students will be "prepared to meet the health-care challenges of the USA and beyond."

Nursing Students Without Borders are conducting wellness checks, teaching workshops on disease prevention and delivering much-needed supplies to clinics, orphanages and villages throughout the Volta region. All the while King and students Jason Hebert, Lauren Horgan and Kimberly Cook are using blogs to share their experiences with friends and family back home and on campus.

For the third straight year they are accompanied by UMass Lowell alum, Maura Norton of Chelmsford.

The seniors making the trip this year are: Kelly Britton, Lorna Bratt, Alexandra Lamont, Melissa Bernier, Lauren Horgan, Jason Hebert, Laila Charmchi, Kimberly Cook, Erica Lavoie and Amanda Cincotta. Each has prepared for the trip by fund raising to cover travel costs, collecting donated items, and familiarizing themselves with the community.

Management & Entrepreneurship Asst. Prof. Steven Tello is also blogging over the break, following five UMass Lowell students taking the Technology Innovation and Entrepreneurship course at Bilkent University in Turkey. The students are gaining a true international perspective on business management, observing differences in how Turkish culture addresses certain aspects of entrepreneurship.

Elsewhere, UMass Lowell's Village Empowerment Partnership is back in Peru, upholding the University's commitment to providing sustainable energy to one of the most isolated regions on Earth, where previously there has been no electricity, telephone service or clean drinking water. The group, made up of volunteers and solar-energy engineering students and led by Prof. John Duffy, has made a profound impact on the villages they visit, developing their own professional and personal skills in the process.

Meanwhile, Computer Science Prof. Jesse Heines and students Zori Babroudi, Elad Shahar and Sreeja Kaimal are visiting India to share their web programming knowledge and experience as part of the Indo-US Collaboration for Engineering Education. The  students are assisting Heines in teaching Programming for the World Wide Web to 280 second-year students at K.L. University in Vidjayawada.