Editor’s Note: This is the fourth in a series of features on recipients of the Judith Oliver Brown Memorial Award. The award, named after the late 1963 Keuka graduate, is supported by Brown’s family and the Class of ’63. It is designed to assist students pursuing culturally-oriented Field Periods.
What began as a Skype session with high school students in Assistant Professor of Education Klaudia Lorinczova’s native country of Slovakia last year has turned into a Field Period opportunity for Keuka students.
The students will have the chance to travel to Slovakia, Czech Republic, and Austria during a summer Field Period.
Junior Tyler Kroon is among those who will travel to the three European Union countries.
“I’ve been fortunate to grow up as part of a family who places a high value on experiencing other cultures, so after reading about Judith Oliver Brown, I was excited to discover her love for travel, too,” said Kroon, a unified childhood/special education major from Canandaigua.
And while Kroon may be a seasoned traveler—he’s been to such countries as Italy, Fiji, and New Zealand, among others—he expects this Field Period to be “especially eye-opening.
“We will have the opportunity visit the high school we began Skyping with, so we will have the chance to interact with those Slovakian students,” he said. “This is particularly interesting to me because I believe that our education in the U.S. is narrowly focused. I would like to bring my experiences from schools in other countries into my future classroom to provide my students with a more culturally diverse education.”
Kroon and others on the trip will tour local landmarks, town centers, castles, and manor houses. The group will also explore the cities of Prague, Nitra, Banska Stiavnia, and tour the United States Embassy in Bratislava.
“Not only do I want to learn about the culture and history of the three countries we will visit, I want to develop the ability to function and interact with the people who live there,” said Kroon. “And I want to gain an understanding of important historical and political events that have helped shape Slovakia, Czech Republic, and Austria.”
Kroon is also interested in art, “so this trip will be an amazing opportunity to take photographs of castles and other sights unique to central Europe. I’m especially hoping for free time on this trip to people-watch and sketch scenes from the various places we’ll be learning about.”
Not just any old zoo will do. Nope. Janelle Davidson headed halfway ‘round the world to get an up-close-and-personal look at the kangaroos, wallabies, and other exotic animals at Sydney Wildlife World in Australia this month.
The Cortland resident was set to endure 20 hours of travel time before arriving in Australia just after the New Year’s holiday for a short-term tour of the country and its exotic wildlife. A senior biology major, Davidson was eager to get started on this, her first trip outside the continental U.S. She also planned to visit the University of Melbourne’s veterinary school to compare and contrast what those Down Under learn about animal diseases and care-taking.
“My hope with this Field Period is to see what it’s like working with those exotic, almost-extinct animals, and decide [a focus on small or large animals] by the time I go off to vet school in the fall,” said Davidson, who is interested in a veterinary career. “Right now, I have the most experience with small animals, but I’m really interested in zoo animals, such as tigers, lions, koalas, kangaroos – not ones that everybody gets to work with.”