BETHANY, W.Va. — Students from a variety of Bethany College clubs and organizations recently completed spring break trips March 9-18 to destinations such as the Florida Everglades, Puerto Rico, Boston, Italy and London. The trips were designed to provide service-oriented and educational opportunities that enhance traditional classroom learning.
Alternative Spring Break
Six students led by Dean of Students Gerald Stebbins and Director of Student Activities Amy Colantoni participated in Bethany’s second annual Alternative Spring Break. Students Annie Grogan, Heather Hamm, Tiffany Henderson, Chloe McClung, Princess Serrano and Katherine Warren traveled to Homestead, Fla., where they worked at Biscayne National Park and The Everglades National Park. The trip was sponsored by Bethany’s Student Activities Council.
Participants met other student volunteers from across the globe as they completed projects to strengthen the local ecosystems. Workers removed marine debris from the shorelines of Elliott Key, providing sea turtle nesting beach restoration; collected garbage across Biscayne Bay; and removed an exotic plant from around the Flamingo District, helping to restore the diversity and health of the Everglades.
The Everglades National Park is world-renowned and well-known for its immense biodiversity, which includes alligators, wading birds, mangroves and sawgrass.
Taking a ferry ride across Boston Harbor, shopping in the historic Faneuil Hall Marketplace and riding the subway were other memorable activities noted by the group. Students also met with Bethany College alumnus Frank Gomez ’10, who is in his second year of veterinary medical school at Tufts University. McDonagh, president of Tri-Beta, and her parents treated the travelers to a dinner of fresh lobsters at their home in Hull, Mass.
Students participated in various activities, including a visit to the Eye, the Tower of London and Buckingham Palace, and a cruise down the Thames River in the U.K. In Germany they enjoyed a cruise down the Rhine River and visited the Christmas shops in Rothenberg. In Venice they visited St. Mark’s Square, the famous Rialto Bridge and enjoyed a gondola ride. They also visited Juliet’s famous verandah and the Roman arena in Verona. In Lucerne they enjoyed the walks alongside Lake Lucerne and visited Mt. Piatus, 7000 feet above sea level. In Paris the students had the opportunity to visit Notre Dame, the Eiffel Tower, Champs Elysee and the Louvre to see the famous Mona Lisa, Venus De Milo, the statue of Nike and the ancient Egyptian collections. They concluded the trip with a final cruise down the River Seine.
Bethany's German Club explored the northernmost section of Italy during their Spring Break study trip. While spending the majority of their time in the bilingual Alto Adige/Südtirol region around the towns of Bolzano/Bozen and Bressanone/Brixen, the group also found time for day trips to Venice, Milan and Verona. Among the group’s many activities were visits to the Archeological Museum in Bozen, where "Ötzi" the iceman (the 5000 year old mummy discovered in 1991 in the Ötztal Alps) found his permanent home. Other highlights were visits to the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice, a day of skiing in the Dolomite Mountains, the Roma Arena and Juliet's House with the famous balcony in Verona, and the Neustift Monastery and winery in Vahrn, near Brixen.
Attendees Alexander Delgiorno, Valerie Flatley, Katie Hathaway, Amanda Hineman, Alix Lilly, Catherine Papp, Meghan Philp, Tyler Rhoades, Hannah Sweetser and Lauren Townsend, led by Club Advisor Dr. Harald Menz, enjoyed the opportunity to observe and participate in a functioning bilingual and bi-cultural society and to experience both affordable and sustainable ways of traveling.
The Spanish Club, led by Club Advisor Dr. Joseph Lovano, experienced an eight-day cultural and educational excursion to Puerto Rico. Participants were: Jenna Clancy, Nici Rea, Francis Ríos, Chelsea Sebetich, and Candace Williams.
Club members visited the historic center of Old San Juan, the Bacardí Factory, the Old Town Market, San Sebastián, The El Yunque National Rainforest, Luquillo Beach, the Bioluminescent Bay of Fajardo, and the city and surroundings of Ponce on the Caribbean Sea. They enjoyed honing their Spanish-language skills, learning “on-the-ground” about Puerto Rican history and culture, and experiencing first-hand the natural beauty and hospitality that Puerto Rico has to offer.
Bethany College is a small college of national distinction located on a picturesque and historic 1,300-acre campus in the Northern Panhandle of West Virginia. Founded in 1840, Bethany is the state’s oldest private college.