Ospreys Spend Summer Exploring the World
Galloway, N.J. - Hiking in the San Juan mountains in Colorado to reach the perfect rockhounding spot.
Reflecting on the deadly journey across the Atlantic Ocean forced upon enslaved Africans in Ghana.
Creating mock protest posters with local students at an art school in Jerusalem.
Following in the footsteps of ancient soldiers in Sparta.
These are a few of the unforgettable experiences Stockton students had this summer as they traveled around the world on faculty-led trips.
Geology Club: Utah and Colorado
Ospreys in Stockton’s Geology Club hit the road, driving 33 hours to Capitol Reef National Park in Utah to kick off their two-week trip. The twenty students camped under the stars, hiked up mountains to enjoy breathtaking views, visited gorgeous national parks, rockhounded around old mines and studied the unique geologic formations of Utah and Colorado.
Led by Matthew “Rocky” Severs, associate professor of Geology at Stockton, students explored the unique geography around Capitol Reef, Canyonlands and the Black Canyon of the Gunnison national parks. They made a pit-stop at the Crystal Geyser, a rare cold-water geyser driven by carbon dioxide. Every day, the group followed a new hiking trail, trekking high into the La Sal and San Juan mountains. They followed the Million Dollar Highway to learn about the old mining towns of Colorado. And no geology trip is complete without searching for minerals like quartz, pyrite and galena to take home.
“The Geology Club trip is not only an outstanding opportunity for students to learn about the natural environment around the country, but to learn more about the culture, history and differences that exist among Americans,” Severs said.
Severs said trips like this allow students to experience parts of the country they may never see otherwise. Next year’s trip to South Dakota and Wyoming will take place May 14-28, 2023. Besides this trip, the Geology Club organizes day trips throughout the year.
Africana Studies: Ghana
For 10 days, Ospreys in the West Africa Now and Contemporary African Culture and Business courses traveled around Ghana to learn about the country’s rich culture and history.
Donnetrice Allison, professor of Africana and Communication Studies, led the trip and said the experience was like “coming home.”
The five students spent time in Accra, the capital of Ghana, and visited the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park that honors Ghana’s first president. To learn about Ghana’s traditional chieftaincy and Ashanti culture, the students traveled to Kumasi. They toured the National Cultural Centre to experience dances, craft workshops and the Prempeh II Jubilee Museum.
Ospreys also got a taste for the business environment in Ghana. They visited local companies like the Kente Hub and Blue Skies Juice company.
The group explored Ghana’s most visited attraction, Kakum National Park, hiking through the virgin rainforest and listening to the 300 species of birds that live there.
"We experienced emotional visits to Cape Coast Castle and Elmina Castle where enslaved Africans were held captive until they were forced onto boats to cross the Atlantic,” Allison said. “Many students were brought to tears, as was I.”
After the emotional visits, students spent a day on Bojo Beach, jumping in the waves, taking selfies and having fun.
The Africana Studies program travels every other year to countries in West Africa. The next trip is being planned for Jan. 2024. Additionally, the program is planning a trip to South Africa in Spring 2023.
Office of Military and Veteran Services: Greece
As part of the Worlds of Homer class taught by Professor of Greek Language and Literature David Roessel, nine veteran and service-member students spent 11 days in Greece. The group visited ancient and historic battle sites, walking the paths of soldiers that came before them.
Each day presented different activities and opportunities for students. The group visited ancient cities, experienced historical sites like the Acropolis and toured museums. Other spots include Athens, Nafplion, Tiyans, Mycenae, Mistras, Sparta, Olympia and Ithaki.
“It was amazing to watch the veteran and service-member students that attended grow and discuss their personal journey and challenges,” said Michael Barany, director of the Military and Veterans Success Center.
By discussing how ancient Greek soldiers dealt with their time in combat and the transition back home, Barany said the students opened up about their military experiences in a way they wouldn’t have in a classroom.
This annual trip is part of the Troy to Ithaca: The Journey Home program offered through the Military and Veterans Success Center. This is one of the unique ways Stockton supports its military-affiliated students. The program helps veteran students examine topics related to war and their own military experience.
M.A. in Holocaust and Genocide Studies: Cyprus and Israel/Palestine
Four students — two undergraduate and two students in the Master of Art in Holocaust and Genocide Studies program — spent 12 days exploring the unique cultures and histories of two cities divided by more than just walls: Nicosia, Cyprus and Jerusalem, Israel.
Accompanied by Raz Segal, associate professor of Holocaust and Genocide Studies, and Professor David Roessel, the students toured, explored and examined the two cities from various perspectives. On one tour, Yonatan Mizrachi guided the group through the using archeology as a tool of Jewish settler colonialism and Israeli state violence in Jerusalem.
The students participated in various activities, like walking blindfolded through the streets of Nicosia to hear the differences in micro-sounds on both sides of the city. The group also toured the Musrara neighborhood and spent time in the local art school. There, they spoke with local students, discussed the protest posters exhibit they toured and created their own posters to present to the group.
To get away from Jerusalem for a day, the group took a refreshing dip in the Mediterranean in Jaffa, where they could also admire Tel Aviv from afar. To top off the day, the group enjoyed Arabic coffee and sweets. “It was a good day,” Segal said.
The Ospreys made new friends along the way. Five students from Cyprus and four Israeli students joined them on the trip, sharing dinners, laughs and memories to last a lifetime.
And they also caught up with old friends like Nicoletta Demetriou, a 2017 visiting Fulbright Scholar at Stockton. She showed the group around the old city in Nicosia for a day. They examined the buffer zone between the two sides of the city, a once bustling business area abandoned since fighting began in 1974.
Whether it's for a class, program, club or a semester abroad, Stockton offers students many opportunities to soar around the world and make memories they'll never forget. Visit Stockton's Office of Global Engagement for study abroad options, faculty-led programs and more.
Reported by Eliza Hunt
Photos provided by Stockton staff, faculty and students