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48 Gatton Academy students return from 3-week study abroad program in England

Forty-eight Gatton Academy students have returned home following a 23-day study abroad program to London and Harlaxton College in Grantham, England.

Forty-eight Gatton Academy students participated in a three-week study abroad program in the United Kingdom during the summer of 2016. (Photo by Tori Hampton)

Forty-eight Gatton Academy students participated in a three-week study abroad program in the United Kingdom during the summer of 2016. (Photo by Tori Hampton)

Accompanying the students on the trip were Professor Walker Rutledge, WKU Department of English, and Derick B. Strode, Tori Hampton, Chloe Muller and Alex Sorrels of The Gatton Academy.

The Gatton Academy has offered this study abroad program to rising seniors annually since 2011. Students who choose to go on the program take an Honors-designated section of English 200: Introduction to Literature course. The program is structured so students are in class one day studying a specific author and literary work and on a field trip the next day immersed in the literary setting of the piece, walking in the author’s footsteps.

Whether it’s through on-campus research with WKU faculty or study abroad, The Gatton Academy immerses students in experiential learning.  After this study abroad, students have a newfound appreciation for Shakespeare after seeing The Taming of the Shrew at The Globe Theatre, understand after visiting Newstead Abbey why Lord Byron was considered the world’s first person to have rock-star status, and understand Heathcliff better because they walked across the same moors that influenced Emily Brontë as she wrote Wuthering Heights.

The students spent their first week of the course in London. On days out from London, the class went to Chawton to see Jane Austen’s home, Winchester to see the Winchester Cathedral and riverside Keats’ walk, Bath to take in several Jane Austen sites, and Oxford for a tour of sites associated with C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and the Harry Potter series.

“The Harlaxton trip was unlike any other study abroad experience I have been on, and I wish we could have extended the trip for a few more weeks,” said Corbin senior Katie Ashley. “From hiking through the Moors to walking through the streets of Oxford, we had a truly amazing trip.”

Following London, the students were based at Harlaxton College for the final two weeks. This majestic manor allowed the students ample space to roam and interact during the times when class was not in session. From Harlaxton, field trips were taken to sites associated with John Bunyan, D.H. Lawrence, Kenneth Grahame, Shakespeare, Byron and the Brontës.

“The D.H. Lawrence Field Trip was one of my favorite field trips during the trip to England,” said Lexington senior Tyler Smith. “I am glad I was able to learn so much about an author that is quickly becoming one of my favorites, and I’m glad Professor Rutledge and The Gatton Academy chose this as one of the stops. I believe next year’s students will enjoy this trip as much as I did!”

The Gatton Academy will host four study abroad programs during the 2016-2017 school year — two study abroad programs to Costa Rica in January; a travel abroad program to Greece in January; and a study abroad program to England and Harlaxton College from in late July and early August.

The students who went on this year’s program to England include:

  • Ethan Abate (’17) of Florence and Randall K. Cooper High School
  • Tithe Ahmed (’17) of Cave City and Glasgow High School
  • Katie Alexander (’17) of Louisville and Louisville Male High School
  • Katherine Ashley (’17) of Corbin and Corbin High School
  • Alexander Banaszak (’17) of Crestwood and Oldham County High School
  • James “Matthew” Biddle (’17) of Vine Grove and Elizabethtown High School
  • Caroline Boone (’17) of Bardstown and Nelson County High School
  • Matthew Broadbent (’17) of Cerulean and Heritage Christian Academy
  • Katherine Brown (’17) of Louisville and duPont Manual High School
  • Mark Carrender (’17) of Somerset and Somerset Christian School
  • Amber Carroll (’17) of Russellville and Logan County High School
  • Maria Clark (’17) of Crestwood and South Oldham High School
  • Lea “Rhiannon” Connor (’17) of McKee and Berea Community High School
  • Matthew Courtwright (’17) of Campbellsville and Marion County High School
  • Makenzie Daniels (’17) of Smiths Grove and Edmonson County High School
  • Reese Danzer (’17) of Crittenden and Walton-Verona High School
  • Zechariah “Dylan” Daugherty (’17) of Madisonville and Madisonville North Hopkins High School
  • Alexa Davidson (’17) of Hazard and Hazard High School
  • Haley Dicken (’17) of Albany and Russell County High School
  • Parker Graff (’17) of Alexandria and home school
  • Ruth Hughes (’17) of Harrodsburg and Danville High School
  • Julia Johnson (’17) of Elkton and Heritage Christian Academy
  • Veronica Johnson (’17) of Bowling Green and Bowling Green High School
  • Cordelia Jones (’17) of Frankfort and Western Hills High School
  • Evan Kessler (’17) of Bowling Green and Bowling Green High School
  • Sherafghan Khan (’17) of Hopkinsville and University Heights Academy
  • Jonathan Kinnard (’17) of Hopkinsville and University Heights Academy
  • Aaron Kirtland (’17) of Crestwood and South Oldham High School
  • Elaine Losekamp (’17) of Bowling Green and Greeenwood High School
  • Jacob McDavid (’17) of Grayson and East Carter County High School
  • William “Mason” Miller (’17) of Harlan and Harlan High School
  • Samuel Newton (’17) of Elizabethtown and Central Hardin High School
  • Logan Parker (’17) of LaGrange and Oldham County High School
  • Clara Pozgay (’17) of Bloomfield and Nelson County High School
  • Ayush Prasad (’17) of Flatwoods and Russell High School
  • Eileen Price (’17) of Louisville and duPont Manual High School
  • Jenna Rowlett (’17) of Bedford and Trimble County High School
  • Sara Saeed (’17) of Louisville and duPont Manual High School
  • Taylor Senay (’17) of Elizabethtown and Elizabethtown High School
  • Tyler Smith (’17) of Lexington and Henry Clay High School
  • John “Caleb” Stickney (’17) of Irvine and Estill County High School
  • Patricia “Tricia” Thompson (’17) of Owensboro and Owensboro Catholic High School
  • Mia Weaver (’17) of Ashland and Paul G. Blazer High School
  • Jessica Williams(’17) of Florence and Randall K. Cooper High School
  • Gabrielle Witt (’17) of Alexandria and Campbell County High School
  • Elizabeth Yates(’17) of Lexington and Lafayette High School
  • Taylor Young (’17) of Benton and Marshall County High School
  • Amanda Zahn (’17) of Walton and Larry A. Ryle High School

About The Gatton Academy: Established in 2007, The Gatton Academy is Kentucky’s first residential high school for gifted and talented junior and seniors. The Gatton Academy’s students enroll as juniors and are full-time WKU students pursuing their interests in advanced science, technology, engineering and mathematical careers. The Gatton Academy has been named to the Washington Post’s list of top-performing schools with elite students for eight consecutive years and was named the number one public high school in the United States by The Daily Beast for three consecutive years – 2012, 2013 and 2014.

Contact: Zack Ryle, (270) 745-2971.

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