Marlboro College

NewsPress Release: 3/18/02

MARLBORO, VT - China, Costa Rica, Cuba, and South Carolina are the destinations of 41 Marlboro College students during spring break from March 18 to 31. Collectively, they are pursuing research and fieldwork, performing modern dance and songs, working on community service projects, improving their white-water paddling skills, and living in homestays to learn about other cultures.

Eleven of the Marlboro students are dancers and singers who are traveling with faculty and staff to four cities in China to perform a repertory of modern dance and songs with American roots, to teach dancing and singing workshops, and to immerse themselves in the culture. They also hope to perform a collaborative dance with their Chinese counterparts. Assistant Professor of Asian Studies Seth Harter and Professor of Dance Dana Holby are leading the group of students. Also accompanying the students are Associate Dean of International Studies Louise Zak and Digital Arts Assistant Hilary Baker. The trip to China has been made possible by a recent $423,635 grant from the Freeman Foundation to strengthen the college's undergraduate curriculum in Asian studies.

In Costa Rica, 13 Marlboro College students are honing their white-water paddling skills, living in homestays, and providing volunteer assistance with community service projects. The students are based out of the rural mountain town of Turrialba on the east slope of the volcanoes. Before returning to Vermont, they will have time to debrief and relax at Cahuita beach near Puerto Viejo. Accompanying the students is trip organizer Randy Elliott-Knaggs, Marlboro's director of Outdoor Programs.

Ten Marlboro students are traveling to Havana, Cuba, to conduct fieldwork to support their independent research projects, under the direction of Marlboro faculty members Carol Hendrickson (anthropology) and Kate Ratcliff (American studies). Students prepared for their trip by broadly studying and discussing the past century of Cuban history, including Cuban education, healthcare, religion, film, women, national identity, political figures, Cuba's role in global politics, and Cuban immigrants in the United States. The students are planning to present their findings to the Marlboro community in April. Also going on the trip are ceramics faculty member Michael Boylen, Total Health Center administrative assistant Megan Littlehales, and Marlboro resident Dan McArthur.

A group of seven Marlboro students are spending spring break in South Carolina, working with a relief center to help renovate homes for the elderly in rural and poverty-stricken areas. The student volunteers are prepared to work 10-12 hours per day with the United Methodist Relief Center (, whose mission is to address the problem of substandard housing and the underlying causes of poverty in rural areas of South Carolina. Accompanying the students is trip organizer Carrie Weikel, Marlboro's director of community service and career development. She and the students will be living in a house provided for volunteers by the relief center. Students from Auburn University in Alabama are sharing the house and the volunteer experience with the Marlboro students. The trip is being sponsored by Marlboro's Career Development Office, Student Activities Office, and the Community Service Committee. Donations of tools and other supplies have been provided by True Value Hardware on East Main Street in Wilmington, Vermont.

Founded in 1946, Marlboro College offers undergraduate education in the liberal arts and, since 1997, graduate study focused in Internet technologies. Its 300 undergraduate students enjoy a 7:1 student-faculty ratio, a voice in governing the community, and individualized courses of study on a 350-acre campus in the hills of southern Vermont.

For more information about Marlboro College, call (802) 257-4333 or visit the college online at

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