January 24, 2017

Katies abroad in J-term

Away we go: Professor Emily West (third from right, in blue) with Nepal-bound students. Photo by Jeff Johnson.

From Cuba to New Zealand... the opportunity to travel and learn is a can’t-miss for some, and this January, close to 200 St. Catherine University students are studying abroad.

Ryan Johnson ’19, an ASL/Interpreting major with a minor in photography, is among the Katies in Kathmandu Valley, Nepal. Her group, led by Associate Professors Jeff Johnson and Emily West, and sponsored by the Upper Midwest Association for Intercultural Education (UMAIE), is exploring “Hindu and Buddhist Art, Architecture and Mythology” through the study of ancient texts and shrine visits.

Thus far, they’ve visited more than 20 temples, including Dattatreya Temple, a three-story structure originally built in 1428 by King Yaksha Malla; Goraknath Temple, dedicated to yogi Matsyendranath who invented Hatha yoga; and Swayambhunath Stupa, or “Monkey Temple,” where holy monkeys are said to roam.

“We’ve had some shocking monkey experiences this time, but they are really wonderful creatures,” writes Professor Johnson on the course blog (https://kathmanduvalley2017.tumblr.com). This is his third trip to Nepal — but the first for all of his young charges.

In addition to local history, the students are learning about Nepalese food. A typical group meal includes "dal bhat, momos and big pots of black tea!”

Other undergrad and grad courses led by St. Kate’s faculty this J-term:

  • “Global Health and Populations in Mexico” — Jennie Whitehouse
  • “Perspectives of Health and Healing in India” — Laurie Anderson Sathe and Alvina Bruegemann
  • “Fashion Industry in India” — Anupama Pasricha and Kelly Gage; “We are having an exceptional experience as all our planned visits thus far have been phenomenal,” writes Pasricha, chair of St. Kate’s Department of Apparel, Merchandising, and Design; course blog: https://stkatesarinotsari.wordpress.com
  • “The Cultural Context of Leadership in South Africa” — Rebecca Hawthorne and Ariella Tilsen
  • “Social Determinants of Health in the Caribbean: An Inter-Professional Experience in the Dominican Republic and Cuba” — Mary Hearst and Kathleen Matuska
  • “Global Search for Justice (GSJ): Women’s Health and Work in Guatemala” — Vincent Skemp and Maggie Pharris
  • “GSJ: Women, Work and the Environment in India” — Deep Shikha and Robert Grunst
  • “GSJ: Dismantling Racism in Northern California” — Nancy Heitzeg
  • “UMAIE: Sustainability through a Business Lens in Chile” — Mary Henderson and Sarah Rand; “Chile has been great thus far!” reports Henderson, business professor. “Busy days packed with great content and adventures. Yesterday, we went from 9 a.m. until 1 a.m.!” The course blog is https://studyabroadchile2017.wordpress.com
  • “UMAIE: Resisting the Legacy of Colonialism in New Zealand”— Jane Carroll and Joanne Cavallaro
  • "UMAIE: Angels, Sirens and Warriors in England and France” — Geri Chavis and Amy Hamlin
  • "UMAIE: Hindu and Buddhist Art in Nepal” — Emily West and Jeff Johnson
  • "UMAIE: Chemistry of Brewing, Belgium and Germany" — John Dwyer and Eric Fort (St. Thomas)
  • "UMAIE: Americans Abroad, The Grand Tour in France and Italy" — Cecilia Konchar Farr and Kelli Larson (St. Thomas); “It's a very scenic trip; so lots of good pix,” writes Konchar Farr, chair of St. Kate’s English department. The class is posting on Facebook and Instagram with the hashtags #GrandTour and #mystkates.

Learn more about Global Studies at St. Kate’s.