During spring break 2014, many SMU students, faculty and staff are using their time off to serve communities around the country, to study issues such as civil rights and human rights, and to experience the great outdoors. Trips during the March 8-16 break include:
SMU Civil Rights Pilgrimage: This year marks the 10th anniversary of the SMU Civil Rights Pilgrimage. The eight-day bus journey takes students, faculty and staff to visit the American South’s civil rights landmarks and leaders in the movement. The group’s stops include Little Rock Central High School in Arkansas; the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama; Montgomery’s Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, where Dr. Martin Luther King served as pastor; the campus of Ole Miss in Oxford; and the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, where Dr. King was assassinated. Read their blog.
University Honors Program in Virginia: Students in the Honors history class “The Founding Fathers and Slavery” are immersed in colonial Virginia during spring break. Highlights of the trip include visits to Alexandria, Colonial Williamsburg, Washington, Charlottesville and the plantations of George Washington (Mount Vernon), Thomas Jefferson (Monticello), and James Madison (Montpelier).
STEMPREP Project at SMU in Puerto Rico: Thirty-five SMU science and engineering students are spending spring break in San Juan, Puerto Rico, where they are attending the Minority Trainee Research Forum. Students will present 15-minute research presentations at the scientific meeting. Participants are members of the STEMPREP Project at SMU, a mentorship and internship program for minority students interested in S.T.E.M, medicine and biomedical research careers.
Alternative Breaks: SMU has participated in Alternative Spring Break for 27 years, with students serving community organizations while learning about issues such as the environment, poverty, public health and education. In partnership with the Community Engagement & Leadership Center, students, faculty and staff this year are traveling to 11 cities, including New York, San Francisco, Taos and St. Louis.