The Student Newspaper of Catawba College


Catawba Honors Offers Travel Courses

Shannon Wright, Writer

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Catawba College offers its students many opportunities to broaden their horizons from the world they already know by offering the chance to meet people from all over the world or to travel there themselves.

There are many clubs and societies at Catawba. Some, the students are asked to join and others they can voluntarily become a member. One such organization is the Catawba Honors Program, also known as CHP. When certain qualifications are met, students are contacted by sociology professor and program director Dr. Maria Vandergriff-Avery, and invited to apply to the CHP. “The mission of the CHP is to involve academically gifted students in a community of scholars who pursue challenging educational experiences with outstanding faculty,” according to Dr. Vandergriff-Avery. The CHP strives to provide its students with challenging yet engaging courses that encourage drawing upon knowledge of multiple disciplines to view the world. One way the CHP goes about achieving this goal is by providing its students with travel courses.

Dr. Vandergriff-Avery says, “we believe that it is important for students to not only gain knowledge and explore a topic in the classroom, but also out in the world!” Catawba College student, Michael Jones was a part of the CHP throughout his career at Catawba and agrees that the outside learning gained from the travel courses is something you simply don’t get sitting in a classroom. Last Spring, before graduation, Jones reflected on his time in the CHP, “the CHP definitely provided me with opportunities that I wouldn’t have otherwise, but more importantly, the CHP helped me to remember that everything is a learning opportunity and everyone I meet is a potential teacher.”

This year, the CHP is offering a total of six travel courses. Five of these courses involve travel within the United States and one course is an international travel opportunity. For freshman in the CHP, they have the chance to start their college career off with a bang by taking Professor Erin Dougherty’s FYS course on character creation which will travel to Atlanta to attend DragonCon. Other travel honors courses being taught this year include: Dr. Will Morris’ class “The History of Video Games” which is traveling to Rochester, NY to visit the nation’s largest videogame archive at the Strong Museum of Play amongst other adventures. While Dr. Julie Chamberlain and Dr. Maria Vandergriff-Avery are team-teaching a course entitled “Sounds of Silence: Music as Voice for the Oppressed.” The “Sounds of Silence” class will travel to Chicago to visit museums, go to blues and jazz clubs, and attend the musical Motown. In the Spring semester, Dr. Steve Coggin’s “Outbreak!” class is traveling to Atlanta to visit the Center for Disease Control and Dr. Kim Creamer’s “Greatness” class is traveling to Washington D.C. to visit the Smithsonian museums. Finally, Dr. ChaMarra Saner and Professor Meredith Fox’s “Cuban STEAM” class is where students will travel to Cuba to explore Cuban history and its impact on the country.

Reflecting on a larger trip to Germany and Poland from 2015-2016, Dr. Vandergriff-Avery reminisced on how the student’s knowledge “resonated in an entirely different way when they were given the opportunity to see Auschwitz and Dachau concentration camps in person and tour Oskar Schindler’s factory.” The CHP is all about providing opportunities for its students.
This doesn’t just include the travel courses, but also the convenience of applying for travel scholarships through the program where they can earn anywhere between $300-$1000 for a trip.
The CHP offers countless opportunities for its students, and many agree that the ability to travel is one of the best. Current students of the CHP encourage incoming students to take advantage of the wonderful opportunities!

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The Student Newspaper of Catawba College
Catawba Honors Offers Travel Courses