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Professors’ Breaks Include Research, Travel

Education and Service Keep Instructors Busy Over Summer

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Prof. David Lewis, back, third from left, visited a Burmese orphanage this summer, one of several volunteer and research efforts by professors over break.

By Julia Gavin

From Virginia to Burma, this summer brought University educators to many new places for research and fun.

Business Prof. David Lewis traveled to several countries for business and pleasure. He spoke with international business students and non-profit fundraisers in Burma, gave a series of talks at transfer partner AURO University in India and consulted with Save the Children in Bangladesh. Lewis also volunteered at a Burmese orphanage, fit in tourist visits around business meetings and traveled to Hong Kong.

“I love to see the world and help out,” says Lewis, who made his international connections with the help of colleagues in several departments. “Consulting and lecturing were the professional parts, which were fun for me and helpful for the organizations that I visited. It was also fun to see tourist sites and interact with locals in several countries.” 

Closer to home, Environmental, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences (EEAS) faculty members Lori Weeden and Kate Swanger began their summer on a trip with students to Arizona. Hiking in Zion National Park and visiting the Grand Canyon gave the students a new appreciation for their classes and the instructors a front-row seat to their educational experiences. 

“I’m more focused on science education than scientific research, I leave that specialty to Kate,” says Weeden.  “So I enjoyed the trip for the opportunity to give the students a hands-on experience they couldn’t possible get anywhere else. You can see the comprehension on their faces when they put the pieces of the puzzle — from lecture to real-world examples — together.” Learn more about their trip on the EEAS blog. 

English Assoc. Prof. Jonathan Silverman wrapped up his summer break as a John H. Daniels Fellow at The National Sporting Library & Museum in Middleburg, Va. Silverman, co-director of the American Studies program, spent time researching his forthcoming book, “Pride Up the Backstretch: Horse Racing in American Culture.” 

“I’m researching the impact of horse racing on American culture, and the National Sporting Library has an impressive collection of relative materials in the United States,” says Silverman, who will return to the library in December to continue his research. “I was able to look at a lot of periodicals from the nineteenth century devoted to horse racing, as well as many books about horse racing and horses. The fellowship was fantastic and a great opportunity.”