Editor’s Note: This is the seventh 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.
Some of senior Mattie Waldstein’s closest friends at Keuka are the students from Vietnam.
They have shared their culture and stories of life in Vietnam with her, and she “truly values” the friendships she has formed with them.
“One particularly close friend, Thanh, came home with me for spring break last year,” said Waldstien, an educational studies major from Needham, Mass. “Her family urged me to visit them in Vietnam.”
And that is what she is doing this month as part of her Field Period.
While staying with Thanh’s family just outside of Hanoi, Waldstien intends to learn about Vietnamese culture and apply what she has learned in her classes, particularly Sociology of the Family.
“I will also visit local schools, and volunteer at a preschool in order to observe the differences and similarities between schools in America and in Vietnam,” said Waldstien, before she left for Vietnam.
Waldstein plans to use the experience of “being a minority in a foreign country, with little language or cultural understanding, to gain a broader perspective on diversity, which can help me better educate my future students on cultural differences and the importance of inclusion.”
In addition to gaining education-based experience, Waldstien will have a chance to apply skills learned in her digital photography class when she takes photos to create a scrapbook of her time in Vietnam.
“I am certain this experience will change me in ways I cannot imagine long after I leave Keuka College,” added Waldstein.
Editor’s Note: This is the fifth 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.
To Britani Pruner, college is more than just an education— it’s about creating experiences that will influence her for the rest of her life.
So when the Pennellville resident enrolled at Keuka, she told herself two things: every Field Period would be a challenging and new experience, and she would take every opportunity presented to her.
I have the chance to do both when I will travel to London,” said Pruner before she departed for the capital of England. “Becoming more culturally aware is a component I wish to add to my experience. As a junior English major, I have the opportunity to explore London through literature.”
She is participating in Literary London, a two-week course offered through Cayuga Community College. The course examines London through selected samples of English literature. Pruner will have the opportunity to tour such iconic locales as Westminster Abbey, St. Paul’s Cathedral, the Globe Theatre, Windsor Castle, Tower of London, and walking along Fleet Street.
“Among my goals for this Field Period are to bring to life the words I’ve read in books,” said Pruner. “Many authors, such as Virginia Woolfe and Charles Dickens, have based their work in and around London. To be able to visit such influential places would add a beneficial layer to my understanding of literature.”
Through the course, Pruner will participate in tours, lectures, discussions and walks to deepen her understanding of the history, geography, and culture of the city. She will also attend theatre performances and visit literary-specific museums, including the Sherlock Holmes Museum, Dickens House, and Keats House.
Editor’s Note: This is the third 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.
For her Field Period, Katherine Kostuck is visiting several cities in Costa Rica and staying with a host family for two weeks
The junior occupational science major admits that living with a Spanish-speaking host family “will be exciting but challenging, as my Spanish could use some work around the edges. Living with them will teach me more about their culture first-hand and help develop my language skills.”
The Cortland resident is also taking a Spanish class.
“Being immersed in the culture will allow me to truly participate within it and come to appreciate everything it has to offer,” said Kostuck, before she left for Costa Rica. “I am excited to try the food and experience different customs. I believe this will be a life-changing opportunity.”
In addition to her Spanish classes, Kostuck will have the opportunity to visit volcanoes, rain forests, coffee plantations, hot springs, and gardens.
After Costa Rica, Kostuck will travel to Tacoma, Wash. and spend two weeks at Pioneer Place, an Alzheimer’s care center.
“My grandfather died of Alzheimer’s disease and when I was younger, I didn’t quite understand the disease, but I would like to,” said Kostuck. “This Field Period will allow me to better understand it by taking part in the patients’ daily activities. I intend to learn from the staff, as well as from the patients. I will not only take this knowledge into my occupational therapy classes, but also to the nursing home in which I volunteer in Penn Yan.”
Going to two different locations for her Field Period gives Kostuck “the opportunity to better understand other cultures. Everything I will experience on these trips will make me a better-rounded person. My brother and sister both had the chance to travel abroad and they told me how much they had learned and what they learned about themselves. Now it’s my turn.”
Editor’s Note: This is the second 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.
Junior Meghan Houlihan believes that choosing to pursue a major in criminology or law enforcement means you will deal directly with large cross sections of a diverse and global population.
She also believes that true multicultural experiences can only come from multicultural exposure.
To that end, Houlihan is completing her Field Period at Gallon Jug Community School/Casey Community School in Belize City, Belize.
“I have had the opportunity to travel before, and I believe my understanding of people in general has been broadened by cultural exposure,” said Houlihan, a criminology/criminal justice major from Elysian, Minn. “If you are entering the criminology or criminal justice profession, one important thing that you have to have in your back pocket is effective communication styles and skills.”
By having the opportunity to pursue a Field Period in a Third World nation, Houlihan intends to add to her communication skills, which she intends to rely on throughout her career.
“Few colleges have taken active interest in developing countries, so a Field Period like this puts Keuka in select company,” said Houlihan prior to her departure. “Developing an understanding for the underprivileged will allow me to stand out as I pursue my career.”
One of her goals while at Gallon Jug School is to study the socialization of youth in middle school, with a special focus on how teachers and school staff promote student success and respond to student misbehavior or deviance.
“With today’s increased mobility and the emergence of a global economy, a world view of educational systems is essential,” she said. “During my Field Period, I will work with children and adolescents who have diverse life challenges. I expect to gain insight into the basis for some of these difficulties.”
According to Houlihan, the country of Belize is “struggling economically, but filled with highly motivated people hoping to improve conditions there. It is my goal to use knowledge I have gained in my classes to help the kids and families I will meet.”
Editor’s Note: This is the first 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.
For senior Diane DePrez, her interest in Germany began when she was in high school.
“We had exchange students from Germany come to our school, and I always wanted to learn more about the culture of a country that—on the outside—seems so similar to our own,” said DePrez, a resident of Fairport. “It has such a rich history and I am curious about so many things.”
DePrez is satisfying her curiosity this month during a Field Period in Deutschland.
“Many people are under the misconception that Germany is all about the two World Wars,” said DePrez before she left for Germany. “This is something I would like to dispel. As a political science and history major, I am especially interested in how Germany’s history and political system have affected its modern culture. One of the ways I will learn about these is to talk to Germans about their country’s history.”
DePrez’s itinerary called for a trip to Museum Island, so called for the complex of five internationally significant museums—all part of the Berlin State Museums—that occupy the island’s northern half.
“While in Germany, I will stay in hostels, which I have been told is a good way to meet people from all over the world,” said DePrez. “One goal while conducting my Field Period is to immerse myself in German culture and to see how it compares to America. I will travel throughout Berlin and Potsdam, and tour many sites significant to German culture and history.”
DePrez says this Field Period “will provide me with the opportunity to learn more about Germany’s history through guided tours, as well as visiting museums and historic sites,” she said. “One of the places I will visit is the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, a damaged tower that is a symbol of Berlin’s resolve to rebuild the city after World War II and a reminder of the destruction of war.”
Added DePrez: “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and I am excited to learn all I can from the people, food, and culture of Berlin.”