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WKU students complete Study Away courses in Chicago, Los Angeles

Two groups of WKU students recently returned from Summer Study Away courses in Los Angeles and Chicago.

Seven WKU Honors students and two faculty members spent two weeks exploring the life and literature of Chicago in May 2012 through a Study Away course during Summer Sessions.

“Life and Literature of Chicago,” a two-week Honors colloquium led by Dr. Walker Rutledge and Dr. Lou-Ann Crouther, took seven Honors students through the Windy City to explore the city’s rich history, culture, architecture and literature. Students visited the birthplace of Hemingway, toured the Frank Lloyd Wright home and explored numerous museums and other significant landmarks.

“Western Kentucky University has never before offered an on-site course in Chicago, but I trust that this will be the beginning of other such opportunities,” said Rutledge. “[This] proved to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for students.”

Students in the Chicago course were Sydney Allen of Richmond; John Ballentine of Portland, Tenn.; Amy Dassow of Lookout Mountain, Tenn.; Fiona Mowbray of Lexington; Allison Randall of Somerset; Janet (Nikki) Seay of Crofton; and Jonathan Vander Molen of Franklin, Tenn.

Education students from WKU recently returned from a Summer Sessions course through Study Away. Students went to Los Angeles where they studied an effective, cutting-edge language, visual, dramatic arts and music teaching model created by an inner-city teacher.

Dr. Miwon Choe led “Art and Literacy in Los Angeles,” a three-credit hour course designed for visual art, elementary and arts & humanities pre-service teachers. Choe took students to Los Angeles to meet inner-city students from Hobart Boulevard Elementary School. Students at the school qualify for free breakfast and lunch, and many speak English as a second language, yet they excel far beyond their fifth-grade level. Their success is attributed to their teacher Rafe Esquith who has created an effective model of language, visual, dramatic arts and music, and WKU students explored his teaching methods and gained hands-on experience in his classroom.

“It was truly a life changing experience,” said Brittany Madden, an elementary education major from Leitchfield. “I have been in a lot of classes with some pretty fantastic teachers and peers, [but] none of them compare to the relationships that were built in this course. I am so thankful I was a part of it.”

Other students in the Los Angeles course were Catron Burdette, Gloria Carrico, Melinda Johnson and Meghan Ann Montemayor, all of Bowling Green; Lauren Graves of Elizabethtown; Haley Kirtley of Campbellsville; Tamara O’Nan of Rockfield; Leslyn Rushing of LaGrange; and Jessica Whitehouse of Central City.

One more Study Away course is scheduled for August 2012, wrapping up the second full Summer Session selection of Study Away courses. Additional details regarding WKU Study Away opportunities are available at www.wku.edu/studyaway. For information on WKU summer courses, visit www.wku.edu/summer.

Contact: Jerry Barnaby, (270) 745-2231.

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