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Ivy Tech students volunteer in Mexico during spring break

March 8, 2011

Bloomington, Ind. – At the end of the week, 14 Ivy Tech Community College Bloomington students – ranging in age from 18 to 38 – will travel to Calnali, Mexico in the state of Hidalgo for Ivy Tech’s Alternative Spring Break (ASB) service trip, March 11-19. This is the fourth year that Ivy Tech has hosted ASB in Calnali.

Students will spend several days of their spring break mixing and pouring concrete in dirt floor homes for families, putting up siding and building cinder block walls. Students will also spend time interacting with kids in schools and will travel to an indigenous village to make charitable donations. Students are traveling with bags of shoes and clothing to donate when they arrive in the village: two bags of shoes for girls, two bags of shoes for boys, one bag of clothing for girls and one bag of clothing for boys. In addition to clothing items, Ivy Tech will donate other items including crayons, children’s books written in Spanish, and soaps.

Chelsea Rood-Emmick, Director of the Center for Civic Engagement at Ivy Tech, says that this trip is not just about the impact we make on the rural area of Mexico, it is about the education of the students on service and international issues. “What makes our program special is that this program is not just for traditional college-aged students or students with the money to pay for a trip to Mexico,” Rood-Emmick said. “We take a wonderfully diverse group representative of the Ivy Tech demographic and do not turn away students who cannot pay.”

This year two faculty and two staff will go on the international service trip. Robert Soto is a professor of Sociology, Donn Hall is a professor of history and ASB veteran, Sarah Alvarez is Assistant Director of Marketing and will create a photo documentary for display at the Ivy Tech John Waldron Arts Center, and Chelsea Rood-Emmick, who teaches the one credit class, “Critical Thinking: Alternative Spring Break.”

“Alternative Spring Break” is a one credit hour class and students will write four journals and read articles including “The Economic Lives of the Poor” and “Behind Globalization’s Glitz, which is about the people who work in tourist areas in Central America. Students will also participate in at least one event when they return, where they will present what they experienced and learned about the program. Rood-Emmick and one student will present the ASB program at the 18th Annual Midwest Institute for International Intercultural Education, in Ft. Meyers, Fl. the week following the service trip.

Ivy Tech ASB 2011 students and programs of study

Eric Crow, Criminal Justice

Desiree Fredrick, English

Rachel Gluesenkamp, General Studies

Victoria Kirts, Paralegal Studies

Melissa Mitchell, Respiratory Therapy

Madelyn Nahas, Transfer Student

Ashley Parrott, transfer student

Lisa Skeen, Liberal Arts

Rachel Smith, Pre-Nursing

Naomi Spiering, General Studies

Daniel Stec, Pre-Nursing

Elizabeth Strother, General Studies

Larry Weaver, EMT

Jerrilyn Zeigler, General Studies

Ivy Tech Community College is the state's largest public postsecondary institution and the nation's largest singly accredited statewide community college system serving nearly 200,000 students annually.  Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana. It serves as the state's engine of workforce development, offering affordable degree programs and training that are aligned with the needs of its community along with courses and programs that transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association.