This summer, four students and three faculty members from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville gained an enriching cultural experience in Cuba. The students who traveled to Cuba took coursework in Cuban History and Culture, and interacted with an additional 17 students who are taking a tandem online course.
The trip provided first steps for SIUE faculty and students to take part in the Cuban Academic Exchange program, which was established between University of Havana and SIU in late September 2012.
The four students who attended the trip were an undergraduate geography major; Allys Diaz, an undergraduate special education major; Dean Gunderson, a geography graduate student; and Roberto Saenz, an undergraduate historical studies major.
In Havana, these students were led by Larry LaFond and Wendy Shaw, who are instructors for the course. LaFond is the associate dean for student development and general education in the College of Arts and Sciences. Shaw is the associate dean for academic programs and faculty development in the College of Arts and Sciences.
Andrew Theising, political science associate professor and director of the Institute for Urban Research, also attended the trip to enrich his own cultural experience.
In Havana, the group visited sites of key importance such as the Museum of the Revolution and the Morro Fortress. In addition to field-work in Havana, students were able to visit the Che Guevara Mausoleum near Santa Clara, as well as the city of Matanzas and the Bay of Pigs. They also attended lectures and meetings at the University of Havana.
“This was the special kind of experience that travel study makes possible, and it is that kind of interaction that can lead to deep, memorable learning that goes far beyond the traditional classroom,” said LaFond.
The object of the trip was to gain a view of the political and economic culture of Havana, which the students and faculty gained from both their scheduled activities and the interactions they were able to have with Cuban people. The people in Havana were very open to their questions and willing to provide a more detailed glimpse into Cuban culture.
Some of the topics students studied while on the trip were agriculture, architecture and education.
Saenz, who visited Havana with an interest in architecture, is working on a paper about the restoration of buildings in Old Havana.
“The more we travel, the more we interact with people around the world,” Saenz said. “The more interaction we experience, the more understanding we gain, and with this understanding between cultures, we can really benefit from each other.”
Pharmacy Technician Certificate Program
Registration now is under way for St. Louis Community College’s new pharmacy technician certificate program. Classes for this short-term allied health program begin Aug. 19.
The program consists of 165 contact hours, during which students will be in the classroom for 105 hours learning the fundamentals of working as a pharmacy technician. This class prepares graduates for the PTCB and ExCPT certification exams. Students also will have the opportunity to complete a 60-hour externship in a retail or hospital pharmacy setting.
“It’s very important for health care professionals to get much needed hands-on training before entering the work force,” said Bree Abbas, student relations adviser with MK Education, a consulting company that specializes in health career training and curriculum.
“Employers are looking for individuals to come in with basic knowledge of real-life activities that would happen in a pharmacy setting. This program is developed with employer-requested qualifications in mind.”
The $2,100 tuition includes books, materials, lab fees and externships. Prospective students may register through the Office of Continuing Education at the Forest Park campus, 5600 Oakland Ave.
For more information, contact Diane Sterett at 314-539-5754 or visit www.stlcc.edu/ce.
Three new degree programs
University College, the adult, evening and continuing education division in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, has developed three new degree programs, including a master of science in statistics — the only one offered in the St. Louis area.
The other two new degree programs are a bachelor of science in communications and a bachelor of science in journalism. University College will offer the three degree programs this fall semester, which begins Aug. 27.
For those interested in learning more about the three new degree programs or other University College programs, a fall Preview Night is being held at 7 p.m. Aug. 8 in Holmes Lounge, Ridgley Hall, on the Danforth Campus.
The master of science in statistics prepares students for an information-rich, data-driven workforce that requires both general and specialized skills in statistical analysis.
The bachelor of science in communications focuses on theories and applications of communications — organizational, interpersonal, cultural, political and social — while the bachelor of science in journalism provides an academic and experiential foundation to help launch a career in print, broadcast and Web-based journalism and other news media fields.
For more information, visit http://ucollege.wustl.edu. RSVP for Preview Night at (314) 935-6700.