This May, 51 Waynesburg University students will spend a portion of their summer break serving at domestic and international sites. University faculty and staff will lead five service trips covering a variety of academic and professional interests.
Students will travel to Mustard Seed Communities in Montego Bay, Jamaica; Rome, Italy; Camp Caribe in Salinas, Puerto Rico; Christ’s College in Taipei, Taiwan; and the Tuba City Boarding school in Tuba City, Ariz.
Mustard Seed Communities – Montego Bay, Jamaica
Fifteen University students will serve with Mustard Seed Communities (MSC) in Montego Bay, Jamaica, from Monday, May 4, to Saturday, May 9. MSC works to provide a caring, dignified living environment for disadvantaged citizens such as disabled persons and abandoned children. Students will work with the organization to complete physical labor tasks and provide companionship for residents of one MSC village.
Russell Schneider, resident director, and Mary Cummings, vice president for Student Services, will lead the trip. Schneider, who has visited the village before, hopes that serving in a culture different than Waynesburg will broaden students’ appreciation for service.
From Monday, May 18, to Wednesday, May 27, a group of 11 students will travel to Italy, touring historic and modern sites each day of the trip. They will gather photographs and create other artistic works that capture the essence of Italy. Upon returning to Waynesburg, the students will create an exhibit of their work to share with local elementary and/or high school students.
The exhibit will be displayed from Friday, September 4, through Friday, September 18, at the Artbeat Gallery in downtown Waynesburg.
Andrew Heisey, assistant professor of art, and Dr. Jacquelyn Core, University provost and vice president for academic affairs, will lead the students on the trip.
Camp Caribe – Salinas, Puerto Rico
In the town of Salinas, Puerto Rico, mission-oriented Camp Caribe awaits the arrival of nine Waynesburg University students who will serve there from Monday, May 4, to Monday, May 11. The camp is focused on helping children form a relationship with God. The University students will serve by laying cement and completing other physical tasks at the camp and in the surrounding community, and they will also interact with the camp coordinators and campers.
Dr. James Bush, professor of mathematics, and Maria Shepas, head coach of the women’s lacrosse team, will lead the trip. Bush believes the trip will lead to a heightened appreciation for service for the students participating.
Christ’s College – Taipei, Taiwan
Five Waynesburg University students will serve this summer in Taipei, Taiwan, at Christ’s College from Monday, May 4, to Thursday, May 21. Led by Richard Blake, a librarian and professor at the University, and Sandy Chen-Blake, translator, the group will minister to the Taiwanese at various sites associated with the College in Taipei.
Christ’s College is connected to a home for disabled and disadvantaged children and adults, and the University students plan to serve those persons by sharing faith stories and mission-oriented testimonials. Blake believes exposure to Christians in a foreign country will help the participating students to begin understanding religion in different cultures.
Tuba City Boarding School – Tuba City, Ariz.
Eleven students will travel to Tuba City, Ariz., to serve at the Tuba City Boarding School from Monday, May 4, to Sunday, May 10. The group will tutor Navajo and Hopi children at the school and assist in any housekeeping or administrative tasks needed by the school.
The trip will be led by Frank Pazzynski, associate professor of education, and Adrienne Tharp, coordinator of the Bonner Scholar Program. Pazzynski feels the University students and Native American children will be equally affected by the trip, as students grow in their faith and maturity and the children served will have an opportunity to learn about a culture outside of their own.
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Ashley Wise, Senior Writer/Editor
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