Centre News

From art in Antwerp to biodiversity in Borneo: CentreTerm abroad

January 10, 2013 By Elizabeth Trollinger       
Stanton Hales, Jr. This year’s CentreTerm trips abroad include such interesting
locations as Ghana, Borneo, Florence and Israel (above, at

Stanton Hales, Jr. CentreTerm study abroad options give students the chance to
have an international educational experience (above, students
spell out the name of their alma mater).

CentreTerm, Centre’s three-week winter term, is in full swing, and students are fully immersed in interdisciplinary learning experiences—both on campus and across the world. This year, faculty are currently leading classes in such varied places as Barbados, Paris, Antwerp, Borneo, Florence and Israel.

Associate Professor of Chemistry Jeff Fieberg and students are studying “Molecular Modernism: Manet to Matisse” in Paris and Provence. The course, cross-listed for both art history and chemistry, is exemplary of the interdisciplinary nature of many CentreTerm classes. Students will have the chance to visit art museums, conservation labs and painting sites as they learn about the role science plays in the artistic process.

In Malaysian Borneo, Assistant Professor of Biology Matthew Klooster is teaching a class in “Biodiversity and Conservation.” Stationed on Sarawak, the third-largest island and most bio-diverse region in the world, the class will investigate how human growth has affected the landscape of the area. On daily hikes, students will get to study plant and animal life up close, including orangutans, giant stick insects and the largest flowers in existence.

Students interested in the art world are learning firsthand about “Marketing Art in Bruges, Antwerp and Amsterdam” in a class led by Assistant Professor of Art History Jay Bloom. Looking at the relationship arts and economics have shared for centuries, students will study in cities portrayed by such masters as Rubens and Rembrandt while learning about how the art trade affected their work.

In the class “Ghana: Education in a Developing Nation,” led by Professor of Education Sarah Murray, students will not only learn, but teach. After researching an environmental topic relevant to Ghana, students will incorporate their materials into curriculum at a rural school. This trip also gives students a chance to truly get to know Ghanaian culture through homestays, living with local families throughout the trip.

Associate Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Neuroscience Melissa Burns-Cusato is leading a class on “Research in Primate Behavior” in Barbados. Burns-Cusato described the class in a Faculty Focus piece last year. “The island of Barbados is the perfect location for studying primate behavior because it is the home of an ideal population of wild vervet monkeys,” she said. “We spend many hours sitting quietly and waiting for them to enter the observation area. Sometimes they come one at a time over a three-hour period. Sometimes all 40 monkeys will come and go in less than 10 minutes.”

What better place to study Machiavelli and the Renaissance than in Florence? The class, taught by Assistant Professor of Government Chris Paskewich, gives students the chance to explore Tuscany in the context of the cultural rebirth that changed that area—and the world—for good. Visiting museums, churches, piazzas and bridges, students will experience the culture that influenced Machiavelli and his worldview.

Religion professors David Hall and Thomas McCollough are co-teaching a class in Israel called “The Holy Land: Historical and Theological Studies.” Traveling across the country, students will visit historical holy sites from several religions, learning about how they have been important in the past and continue to be so in today’s modern world.

Look for more stories about CentreTerm courses and student internships on the website in the coming weeks.

Have comments, suggestions, or story ideas? E-mail elizabeth.trollinger@centre.edu with your feedback.

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