From the Amazon to Machu Picchu: Community, Place, and Leadership
Explore the splendor of the Amazonian region of Peru in this challenging, service-focused program.
This collaborative course that includes a second fall bi-term course with Winter Term travel component, The program is designed for doctoral students in the EdD in Educational Leadership and Master's students in Social Responsibility and Sustainable Communities. Both programs are firsts at WKU. And research-focused undergraduates are invited to participate.
The SRSC is the first interdisciplinary Master's program devoted to sustainability and community leadership. The EdD in Educational Leadership is the first stand-alone doctoral program at WKU. Both programs seek to prepare "students to be productive, engaged, and socially responsible citizen leaders of a global society." These courses will provide students an opportunity to include an international aspect in their program of study and the opportunity to meet with international leaders and work in international communities.
Bi-Term + Winter Term Package
Graduate students would be enrolled in a Fall 2013 Second Bi-Term course. The program fee includes 3-credit hour tuition and the Peru winter program costs. You will complete the course requirements in the Iquitos, Peru travel component.
Full-time undergraduates would also be enrolled in the Fall 2013 Second Bi-Term course within your full-time semester course load. The adiditional program fee includes the Iquitos, Peru travel component. If you are considering this program, please contact Dr. Olmsted right away to discuss the course requirements.
If you are a part-time undergraduate, please contact Dr. Olmsted right away to discuss course credit options.
Service learning component
The Orosa River, a tributary to the upper Amazon River, is home to several small communities. Project Amazonas, a non-profit organization that works to serve the people of the Amazon and conserve the rainforest, has established a field station in this area and is currently working to build a health clinic to serve the local communities. Doctoral student and course intern Christian Ryan-Downing is working with Project Amazonas President Devon Graham to identify and coordinate a serve learning project to be completed by the winter 2014 study abroad class. Evidence of well-intended but unsuccessful projects in these communities illustrates the importance that the project be truly helpful to the local communities, as well as meaningful to students. Ideas presently under consideration include recycling and composting workshops (to complement a new waste program being initiated), fundraising for procurement of solar chargers and water purifiers and workshops on how to use the equipment, and installation of composting toilets for the community schools.
Machu Picchu Extension
An optional extension to the program will be offered at an additional cost. Learn More...
- 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
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.
The Program Leaders may determine other eligibility requirements, but at a minimum, all applicants shall meet these requirements:
- Graduate student: good standing (Graduate Catalog p.30)
- Undergraduate students: 3.2 cumulative GPA or good standing in the Honors College
- Permission of instructor(s)
- Current WKU student eligible to register for WKU courses. Students from outside WKU may participate as visiting students.
- 18 years of age or older at time of departure (parent/guardian permission for anyone under 18 at time of departure).
- Possess passport valid for at least six (6) months after return date.
- No current disciplinary sanctions as verified by Judicial Affairs.
- Full payment prior to departure.
- Completion of all pre-departure orientations.
- Completing the Study Abroad & Global Learning application process prior to being registered in this course. We suggest you start this application process immediately and respond to all emails promptly
- The first days of the course are based in the city of Iquitos, Peru, which is the largest urban center in the western Amazon with a population of approximately a half million, yet with access only by boat or by air. An additional days will be spent on the Amazon River and at the Madre Selva Biological Station, followed by wrap-up activities and project presentations in Iquitos.
- The program begins at December 28 in Iquitos and ends in Iquitos on January 12, 2014.
- The Machu Picchu Extension would take place from January 12 to 16, 2014. While the extension is highly encouraged, it is NOT part of the required program, therefore, each participant will be required to confirm his/her acknowledgment of independent travel.
- Independent travel (before and/or after the programs start and end date) is permitted, but each participant is required to confirm travel with program leaders since there would be medical insurance requirements.
- Graduate tuition for 3 credit hours ($1,401+ value for resident graduate students – see details of value)
- Accommodations and some meals in Peru
- Course-related in-country transportation
- International medical insurance
- Not included in program fee
- Transportation from U.S. to Iquitos and return from Peru to U.S.
- Cost of independent travel (non-program travel)
- Airport taxes (payable only in cash locally):
- Domestic airport taxes: $10-12 per flight
- International airport taxes: $30-$35
- International and domestic flights
- Meals & Services and beverages not mentioned in the program
- Personal expenses such as laundry, phone call, internet access
- Travel insurance (not international medical insurance)
- Tips for guides and drivers
- Machu Picchu Extension
- The optional extension to Machu Picchu will be offered at an addition cost. The final package will be made available as soon as possible.
- Final program fee subject to change due to travel arrangements.
- Study Abroad courses are not eligible for employee tuition waiver.
|December 27||Program Leaders depart US for Iquitos|
|December 28||Program Starts in Iquitos. Check in at La Pascana Hostel; Orientation; Welcome Dinner|
|Decemer 29||City as Text assignments; Presentations and discussions of readings|
|December 30||City as Text assignments; Presentations and discussions of readings|
|December 31||City as Text assignments; Presentations and discussions of readings|
|January 1||Research/Service projects, Lecture|
|January 2||Presentation at Organization de Pueblos Indigenas del Oriente; Lecture|
|January 3||Visit to the Instituto de Investigaciones de la amzonia Peruana (IIAP); Lecture|
|January 4||Leave at noon; overnight on riverboat Nenita; Lecture|
|January 5||Arrive at Madre Selvas Biological Research Station; Orientation; Field Exercises|
|January 6||Visits to Santo Tomas and Nuevo Israel communities|
|January 7||Research/Service projects; Presentations|
|January 8||Research/Service projects; Presentations|
|January 9||Visits to Comandancia and Yanishi communities|
|January 10||Leave at noon for Iquitos|
|January 11||Monkey Island, Arrival in Iquitos, Wrap-up for Final Presentation|
|January 12||Final presentations, Awards Lunch, Leave in the evening for the U.S. or optional trip to Machu Picchu in Cuzco|
|January 13||Orientation and time to adjust to difference in altitude|
|January 14||Exploration of Cuzco and environs (City as Text); guest lecture on area history|
|January 15||Exploration of Machu Picchu|
|January 16||Machu Picchu Extension ends. Depart Cuzco. Return to Nashville|
* subject to change
The schedule is subject to change due to educational opportunities that may arise unexpectedly, the vagaries of weather, and other factors beyond the control of the course instructors and staff.
- Fall 2013 Second Bi-Term Course
PLUS Winter Term Obligation
- ICSR 570
- EDLD 796
- Fall 2013 Second Bi-Term
PLUS Winter Term 2014 Obligation
- GWS 470 (Honors)
- Dr. Jane Olmsted
- Dr. Kay Gandy
- Local Contact - Peru
Dr. Devon Graham
- Iquitos and Madra Selva Biological Station, Peru
- Cuzco - Machu Picchu, Peru (optional)
- Fall 2013 Second Bi-Term
October 17 - December 13
- Winter 2014
December 27, 2013 - January 12, 2014
- Machu Picchu Extension
January 12 - 16, 2014
- Course Package: $2,399 - $2,599 (estimate)
- Machu Picchu Extension: $TBD
- Syllabus (tentative)
- September 9 - Priority application deadline with deposit
- October 17 - Bi-Term begins
- December 27 - Depart for Peru
- January 12, 2014 - Return from Iquitos
- January 16, 2014 - Return from Cuzco
- January 31 - Post-program assessment online
(subject to change)