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27 students participate in Winter Term course in Ecuador

27 students participate in Winter Term course in Ecuador

For the 19th year, WKU’s Department of Agriculture sponsored a short-term study abroad course to Ecuador.

Participants in a WKU Winter Term course in Ecuador straddle the equator. Additional photos are posted on the WKU Facebook page at

Twenty-seven WKU students participated in the Winter Term class led by Kristie Guffey from the WKU-Glasgow campus and Dr. David Coffey from WKU’s Bowling Green campus.

While the major emphasis of the course was on food production systems and issues, the group participated in visits historical and cultural sites including the gold-leafed sanctuaries inside the churches of Old Quito, took a tram ride to 13,000 feet, and experienced scientific experiments at the Middle of the World.

Food and development issues in the Lowlands and Coastal areas of Ecuador included visits to and consultation from experts in banana and plantain production, oil palm processing, bamboo production, pineapple exportation, chocolate production and shrimp production. Marketing systems, globalization, biodiversity and sustainability were unifying themes. Two other highlights included walking through a Tropical Rainforest near Santo Domingo and exploring the culture of the Sachilla Indian tribe.

The group’s service-learning project was a dental sealant project in elementary schools and orphanages. Under direction of Dr. Rankin Skinner, representing Kentucky-Ecuador Partners of the Americas, WKU students and faculty applied free dental varnish to the teeth of about 3,000 children and provided each child with a toothbrush.

Students participating in the 2012 Winter Term course included: Madison R. Beach, a junior Biology major from Lebabon; Erik P. Brown, a senior Agriculture major from Edmonton; Justin M. Coffey, a junior Pre-Vet major from McCreary County; Travis K. Combs, a freshman Agriculture major from Elkton; Devin N. Cornwell, a sophomore Middle Grades Mathematics major from Scottsville; Chesley M. Craine, a junior Communication Disorders major from Scottsville; Vidal Dias, a senior Geology major from Dallas; Kaelin Ditmore, a senior Agriculture major from Franklin; Cory L. Dodds, a junior Political Science major from Smithland; Jake D. Downey, a senior Management major from Nashville, Tenn.; Lucas A. Fykes, a junior Economics major from Scottsville; Jessica C. Hall, a junior Physics major from Marshall County; Blake A. Jackson, a junior Health major from Smiths Grove; Ashley M. King, a sophomore Psychology major from Lawrenceburg; Emily R. Lewis, a freshman Pre-Dentistry major from Carrollton; Kaitlin R. Masterson, a junior Biology major from Elizabethtown; Morgan M. Murrell, a sophomore Biology major from Glasgow; Alexandria L. Pennington, a senior Agriculture major from Glasgow; Abigail R. Potter, a freshman Exploratory/Undeclared major from Bowling Green; Jo Shackelford, a doctoral student in Educational Leadership from Lewisburg; Hannah M. Simmons, a sophomore Agriculture major from Glasgow; Lauran M. Thomas, a freshman Agriculture major from Sonora; Robert Thomas, a graduate student in Agriculture from Sonora; Justin G. Vaughn, a sophomore Agriculture major from Franklin; Ellen G. Vice, a freshman Biology major from Flemingsburg; Christy L. Violette, a junior Elementary Education major from Scottsville; and Cameron B. Yundt, a sophomore Agriculture major from Brandenburg.

The department’s 2013 Winter Term experience will focus on issues related to food production and sustainability in the Amazon and the Galapagos Islands.

More: Photos from the 2012 trip to Ecuador are posted on the WKU Facebook page.

Contact: David Coffey,

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 Last Modified 3/6/17