Explore the splendor of the Amazonian region of Peru in this challenging, service-focused program.
- To provide students with an opportunity to examine human-environment interactions in urban and rural settings.
- To employ experiential learning (City as Text) as a means to understand the dynamics of place and community.
- To analyze leadership practices in an international setting.
- To develop students' field research skills through individually designed projects.To provide students with an opportunity to engage in service learning
Machu Picchu Extension (additional cost)
- January 12 - 16
- Download Information Sheet
The Program Leaders
- Dr. S. Kay Gandy has taught in the School of Teacher Education for 11 years and has worked with International initiatives for many years. Dr. Gandy has traveled extensively abroad and has led a Fulbright Group Projects Abroad to South Africa, taught a semester at Harlaxton College, trained Chinese teachers to meet Kentucky teacher standards, and presented teacher workshops in six countries. She co-taught the study abroad trip to Peru in January 2012.
- Dr. Jane Olmsted has a Ph.D. in English. Her primary fields of training are multicultural literature and feminist studies. She is department head of Diversity & Community Studies, the director of the Gender & Women's Studies Program, and coordinator of the recently approved master's degree Social Responsibility & Sustainable Communities. She has been to this area of Peru three times, most recently in 2012-13, co-teaching with Dr. Gandy and with our co-leader Dr. Devon Graham, president of Project Amazonas. This trip represents her primary international focus, though the department has other study abroad projects in the works, including an ongoing one in Belize.
- Devon Graham is an instructor in The Honors College at Florida International University (FIU) where he currently co-directs the FIU Amazon Study-Abroad Program and also teaches an interdisciplinary course on the Florida Everglades. A tropical biologist/ecologist by training, Dr. Graham received his PhD from the University of Miami in 1996 and conducted his dissertation research on seed dispersal of understory plants by flycatchers and manakins in Costa Rica. He completed a MS in Marine Biology in 1988 at Walla Walla College, Washington, and a BS in Zoology at Andrews University, Michigan in 1983. Dr. Graham has worked in the Peruvian Amazon with the non-profit organization Project Amazonas since 1994 and has served as President and Scientific Director of Project Amazonas since 1997.
- Christian Ryan-Downing is the Sustainability Coordinator for Western Kentucky University and works with students, faculty and staff to advance sustainability in university culture, operations, and academics. She received her B.S. in Wildlife Conservation and Management from Missouri State University and upon graduation, worked for the National Park Service as an Interpretive Park Ranger for several years before earning a M.S. in Biology/Ecology at WKU. She is presently a doctoral student in the WKU Educational Leadership program, focusing on post-secondary education. Ms. Ryan-Downing is certified by the Commonwealth of Kentucky as a Non-formal Environmental Educator. She is a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Accredited Professional.