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10 Summer 2008
ive William Woods University students and two faculty
members traveled to Peru in March as part of the
Woods Around the World
global studies class.
While many students spent spring break in Panama Beach
or South Padre Island, a few Woods students chose to
explore Peruvian culture.
According to participant Michelle Profftt, "Woods Around
the World is unique in its focus on hands-on opportunities
and real-world experiences.”
During the semester, the students studied the history and
culture of Peru and wrote papers and journal entries. “Our
class aims at globalizing student education, so they gain
valuable knowledge about the world and are better equipped
for the future,” said the Rev. Travis Tamerius, WWU chaplain
and class coordinator.
“In the class and on the trip, we focus on what happens when
individuals and cultures encounter differences and consider
the possible outcomes of assimilation, annihilation or mutual
exchange and appreciation,” he added.
Students who traveled to Peru were Eric Dunn, an American
Sign Language interpreting/pre-med major from Bowling
Green, Mo.; Bryn Hudson, an equine administration and
theatre major from Carrolton, Texas; Katie Minnis, an
equestrian science major from Manchester, Mo.; Michelle
Profftt, a communications/pre-med major from Warren, Ohio;
and Jamie Strobel, a social work major from Berger, Mo.
Such trips serve “to enrich and enhance one’s knowledge of
another culture by interacting face-to-face with the people,
currency, language, cuisine—all aspects of life in a foreign
country,” Profftt said.
Hudson agreed, “The purpose of the trip to Peru was to get a
sense of different cultures and try to understand them. It is one
thing reading about it and another thing seeing it with your
own eyes.”
Paul Clervi, professor of art and chair of the arts and science division,
also accompanied the students. Dr. Aimee Sapp, associate professor
of communication arts, helped with the classes and planning the trip.
EF Tours made the arrangements.
“We chose Peru because it is home to the Inca Empire, one of
the most important civilizations in the history of the Americas,”
said Tamerius.
They hiked the Andes mountains; rode horses in the Incan
ruins; climbed Machu Picchu; toured some of the world-famous
cathedrals in Lima and Cusco; visited Ollantaytambo, an Incan
vestige that was a military, religious and agricultural center, and
visited Koricancha, the "Temple of the Sun."
“I did not have a favorite thing during the trip. I loved it all!" said
Hudson. “The entire experience was eye-opening.”
According to Tamerius, “The students gained an appreciation for
another culture’s way of life. Plus, they gained a new appreciation
for life in America.”
When the students returned from Peru, they continued working on
their fnal projects, which they put in a binder to be viewed in the
WWU library. They also gave presentations on their experiences.
Profftt said, “It was truly the most amazing week of my entire life.
Now, I’m so gung-ho about visiting foreign countries. I can't wait
get out there and expand my understanding of other cultures.”
The trip was made possible, in part, through a grant from the Christian
Church (Disciples of Christ) Higher Education Leadership Ministries.
By Bradley Dempsey ’08
WWU Students Experience
Peruvian Culture
WWU students and advisors pose at Machu Picchu (one of the newly named Seven
Wonders of the World) during their Woods Around the World trip to Peru. Left to right
are: Jamie Strobel, Travis Tamerius, Eric Dunn, Katie Minnis, Bryn Hudson,
Paul Clervi and Michelle Proffitt.