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Woods Around the World goes to Italy
By Jason Rose
William Woods University students
will expand their global knowledge by
spending their spring break, March
11-19, in three of the most influential
cities in Italy.
The trip is part of a cultural-
exposure class called Woods Around
the World. Students spend the
semester learning about a place and its
culture and they travel to the location
for firsthand experience.
The class, which is multi-cultural,
interdisciplinary,
collaborative and
service-based in its
curricular approach,
is taught by the
WWU chaplain,
the Rev. Travis
Tamerius. This is
the fifth year of
Woods Around the World, which has
studied Kenya, Peru, civil rights and
the Holocaust.
“An important part of a good
education is the ability to appreciate a
story other than your own,” Tamerius
said. “Woods Around the World is
designed to give students experience
in entering imaginatively into someone
else’s life and times, to help them
gain new perspective by sharing
perspective. This year, we are exploring
the Roman story and how that rich
tradition from the ancient world has
influenced our lives today.”
This is the largest group yet traveling
as part of Woods Around the World,
with 22 students going to Italy. Along
with Tamerius, the students will be
accompanied by Dr. Sherry McCarthy,
academic dean, Venita Mitchell, dean of
student life, and Paul Clervi, professor
emeritus of art.
While in Italy, the travelers will
visit Rome, Florence and Venice. In
Rome they will see
the Colosseum, St.
Peter’s Basilica,
Trevi Fountain and
the Pantheon. They
will also take a trip
to the Vatican City,
where they will
explore the Sistine
Chapel and the works of Michelangelo.
On the way to Florence, the group
will stop in Assisi to view such works
of art as Michelangelo’s David. Finally,
after a stop in Bologna, the group will
spend time in Venice, traversing the
city’s extensive canal network. The
trip ends with a watertaxi excursion
to the island of Burano for sightseeing
and dinner.
“My favorite part of the Woods
Around the World trip last year was
getting to talk to the locals and spend
time with them in an unstructured
setting. That was when I learned the
most,” said Katherine Wortmann, who
will be making her second WATW trip.
Darian (Lightfoot) Horn said, “I
have never left the country before,
so the whole aspect of getting to see
everything in a completely different
manner is what I am most excited
about. Just getting the opportunity to
be the foreigner is going to be great.”
According to Tamerius, the students
are studying hard in preparation for
the trip. They specifically are looking
at the history of the Roman world,
the legacy of the Italian Renaissance
and the art and architecture they
expect to see. The students are
exploring the various facets of Italian
culture through textbook readings,
online resources, guest lectures and
video documentaries.
“Our students have some fascinating
projects they are engaged in for this
particular class,” Tamerius said. “Some
of the subjects they are exploring
include the intersection of imperial
politics and religious ideology, the
cross-cultural experience of immigrant
Italians, the stories that are told in
canvas and stone and gender roles in
the ancient world.”
Mary Raines Scriber said, “I’m
really excited to learn all about
See Italy on Page 7