(Posted March 18, 2014)

The Supreme Court of the United States in Washington, D.C.

The Supreme Court of the United States in Washington, D.C.

As a member of the Juniata Concert Choir, we will have no time over this spring break to veg out at home watching Netflix. Instead, we will be on tour, singing in many different towns on the East Coast. Spring break is supposed to be a time to relax, but some students and faculty have other plans for the week, ranging from networking with alumni in Washington, D.C. to volunteering on a ranch that supports sustainable development.

Maggie Burkett '14, Granville, Ohio.

"I've helped to organize a trip with the JC Divers club. We're going to Georgia, Florida and the Florida Keys. While we're down there, we're helping two students in the club get diving certified. These students will have to do open water dives to acquire their scuba certifications. It's a really great bonding experience for us, especially when we are staying in tents. One of our main goals is to get as many certified student divers as we can to share the love of diving and the experience of the ocean."

Hannah Morris '16 Gloucester, Mass.

"We've spent $100 to stay in Washington, D.C. for four days, during which we'll meet with Juniata alumni, eat at their houses, and go to State Department and non-governmental research organizations. The trip is organized and sponsored by Juniata graduate, Seth Weil, and Emil Nagengast. We get to job shadow, ask questions to people who work in Washington, and experience what it's like to work and live in the District. It's primarily international studies and politics students who are going, and it's great to establish connections with Juniata people who want to help you. I am looking for direction in my career choice, and I see this trip as an opportunity to expand my options."

Jacob Malloy '16 New Gloucester, Maine.

"Our trip is for a one-credit class called "Natural History of Florida" taught by John Matter and Neil Pelkey. During the trip, we're stopping at Jekyll Island, in Georgia, at a sea turtle rehabilitation center, and then sleeping at the state park campground nearby. After two days there, we're heading down to the Everglades, where we'll spend a few nights exploring the park and canoeing. Since it's a natural history course, we're learning about the wildlife there, using field guides and nature journals. The terminus of our trip is at Key West, Fla., where we'll snorkel the crystal-clear water and examine the marine life off the Florida Keys. In between stops, we visit beaches and wildlife refuges, all in the sunny 75-degree Florida weather."

Abbey Baird, Director of Community Service and Learning

"Our trip is called "Spring Break Alternative," and it's a one-credit course. We're going to Perryville, Ark., to work on the Heifer Ranch, a group with a unique solution to ending world hunger through sustainable food sources. They provide animals such as chickens, cows, and goats to developing countries and teach people how to take care of them and raise them. We're going to volunteer on the range and also to learn about the Heifer solution and what we can do to help. It's great to volunteer and I think it's great when students choose to do something like this over something else during spring break. Some students really haven't experienced something like this before. We have three international students going along and that just adds so much more to our experience as Americans. These types of trips are just life-changing, and so I think it's a great thing for college students to do."

-Hannah Jeffery '16, Juniata Online Journalist

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Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.