Always Guilfordians, Even Down Under
When Becca Dozier ’13 went on a summer trip to the School for Field Studies in Australia, she ran into Nick Forman ’11, who was working there as an intern and research assistant.
Becca made the trip as part of the College’s Environmental Studies Distinguished Scholars Program, just as Nick had years earlier. The distinguished scholars program awards merit-based scholarships for study abroad thanks to a 2009 gift from the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation.
“It was so much fun to work with Nick,” said Becca. “We definitely both had a little bit of Guilford with us that no one else understood exactly. … We taught the other people in the program what ‘Quaker hands’ are.
“It might sound cheesy, but I think Guilford gave us a unique perspective. Maybe it’s because of the Quaker values, or all the group work, or maybe a combination of everything at Guilford.”
Nick reflected on how Guilford students often work with the School for Field Studies.
“SFS frequently has Guilford students, and working with some of these students while with SFS really impresses on you how Guilford prepares students as well as other larger universities that some of the other students went to,” he said.
“This is especially reassuring when you think about how some of these large research universities have all kinds of money going into student research.”
Becca, who was looking for a great study abroad experience and expecting to learn a whole lot about the rainforest, was satisfied with her experience.
“I definitely got what I was expecting out of it plus so much more,” she said. “I learned so much, in the classroom, in the field and outside of the official lectures. I learned much more than I was expecting.”
What was her favorite part of the experience? “The entire trip was my favorite!”
Nick, who held a year-long position which ended this August, reflected on what he got out of his work.
“My favorite part of what I did with SFS was waking up every day to a morning chorus of rainforest birds, and the walk down to the center building through the rainforest that was part of my everyday routine,” he said.
“Nothing could replace living in the rainforest for a year and becoming a part of the small rural communities in the Atherton Tablelands, the people there became like family.”
Upon returning from their study abroad, Environmental Studies Distinguished Scholars demonstrate further good stewardship by interning with an environmental group in the local community, sharing their knowledge and experience from abroad, thereby completing a circle of learning, experience and application.
Associate Professor of Political Science Kyle Dell, who is a coordinator of the Environmental Studies Program, said environmental studies is fortunate to be able to provide support to students for such activities.
“I wish every program at Guilford had the ability to help students do this,” Kyle said. “We need to help students get over the financial barriers to get them to do the things they need to do to be successful.”
Story by David Pferdekamper ’12