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By Heather Vanderborg ’10
Twelve William Woods University students traveled to
Europe to visit the sites of the Holocaust during their spring
break, as part of WWU’s distinctive Woods Around the
World program in global studies.
They were accompanied by the
Rev. Travis Tamerius
WWU chaplain;
Shawn Hull
, associate professor of
history, and
Michelle Kemp
, director of career services
and student success.
Students who made the trip were
Brittany Bailey
Indianapolis, Ind.;
Anna Bergman
of Waukee, Iowa;
Tiffany Bounds
of Kingdom City, Mo.;
Brittany Cox
Rolla, Mo.;
Emily Edens
of Lake Ozark, Mo.;
of Carrolton, Texas;
Emily Kime
of Cassville, Mo.;
Sydnee Kuster
of Bunceton, Mo.;
Jim Newsom
of Fulton,
Lacey Olin
of Pueblo, Colo.;
Courtney Wieberg
Rush Hill, Mo., and
Katherine Wortmann
of Mexico, Mo.
William Woods received a grant from the Oreon E. Scott
Foundation to take students overseas to study the Cold
War era in Europe and deepen their understanding of the
Holocaust by visiting many of the still-existing sites.
Newsom explained what he gained from the trip, “As a
history major, being able to tour the atrocity of the
Holocaust has broadened the scope of my
understanding of it.”
Hudson said, “(Touring) Auschwitz was the most moving of all the
adventures we had in Europe. It is still hard to grasp the idea of
how many people died there and the horror they went through.”
“It’s one thing to learn about the Holocaust in history class, or
seeing pictures in a book,” Kime said. “It’s another thing to
stand in a room where thousands of people were gassed.”
Tamerius prepared the students for the journey by offering the
“Woods Around the World: History of the Holocaust” course to
students interested in exploring the connection between Fulton’s
local history and the larger history of the 20th century.
“Before traveling to Eastern Europe, students completed a course
in social responsibility, gaining leadership skills in combating
violence and promoting peace,” Tamerius said.
During the nine-day trip, students toured some of Eastern
Europe’s historical landmarks, including the Brandenburg
Gate in Berlin, the Warsaw Ghetto and Gestapo headquarters
in Warsaw, the Wawel Cathedral in Krakow and Josefov, the
Jewish Quarter in Prague.
As part of the curriculum, Woods Around the World students
kept a travel blog documenting their learning before, during
and after the trip.
The blog can be accessed online at
WWU Students Tour Holocaust Sites During Spring Break
(Tour of the Fallen, Reminiscent of the Holocaust)