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Students take advantage of WKU Study Away courses during Winter Term 2015

WKU students visited the International Hurricane Research Center and the Wall of Wind in Miami during Winter Term 2015. The Wall of Wind can produce Category 5 winds to allow structural studies.

WKU students visited the International Hurricane Research Center and the Wall of Wind in Miami during Winter Term 2015. The Wall of Wind can produce Category 5 winds to allow structural studies.

More than 65 WKU students put their winter break to good use through Study Away courses during Winter Term 2015.

WKU Study Away partnered with University faculty to help students take their classroom to other parts of the country and gain practical, hands-on instruction. Five courses were offered — Geographic Exploration in Hawaii, Hurricanes and Humans in Florida, Theatre & Broadway in New York City, Sundance Film Festival in Utah and Folklore Practice and Policy in Washington, D.C.

Hall Professor of Civil Engineering Warren Campbell said that there are aspects to Study Away courses that classroom instruction just can’t offer. “I can show a slide of the overflow spillways at Hoover Dam and say, ‘You could float a battleship in that,’ but it doesn’t have the same impact as saying the same thing while actually standing in front of Hoover Dam with the students,” he said.

Campbell led a floodplain management course called Hurricanes and Humans in Florida during Winter Term 2015. Students studied areas that face the possibility of hurricanes on a regular basis.

“Discussing hurricane damage in a classroom is not nearly as effective as being in the Florida Keys and studying the impact that a Category 5 storm could have on the area. Students can listen to first-hand stories from a professor who has flown 200 missions into the eyes of hurricanes. That’s not something you can get while in a classroom in Kentucky,” he said.

WKU Study Away Director Jerry Barnaby said that the goal of Study Away courses is to provide students with opportunities to enhance their academic achievement through unique experiences that aren’t available on campus.

“Sometimes the best way to fully understand a subject is to be in direct contact with people who live it every day. We want to help students take what they learn in the classroom and actually experience it in person,” Barnaby said.

Barnaby and his staff are developing new programs, including a new Kentucky Experience course that will be offered in the spring. Summer courses will take place in Chicago and Washington, D.C., as well as a special dual credit course in New York City.

For information about WKU Study Away, visit www.wku.edu/studyaway or the Office of Study Away at (270) 745-2231.

Contact: Jerry Barnaby, (270) 745-2231 or jerry.barnaby@wku.edu

 

 

 

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