University of Marlyand-College Park arrived last week. Early on Friday morning, the day after Drake University was on campus, I welcomed the group of 14 students and 3 leaders. When they got off the bus, we gathered in front of the Michael H. Eldon building at The University of The Bahamas (named after the first Bishop of Nassau).
I started to talk about how education abroad transformed my life, how excited the campus is to receive more international students, and shared some of the different directions that I have in mind for the newly Global Studies & Programmes department. (See the current direction taking shape!).
Students shared their research interests and what brought them into the Alternative Program (they will be doing critical reef restoration and other marine intervention projects in New Providence and Andros). All of the program leaders were students themselves and they did an incredible job!
From there, Mallory Raphael, a local marine biologist from a non-profit called BREEF gave a lucid presentation on the state of coral reef worldwide and in The Bahamas. Mallory was part of the filming crew of the Netflix documentary, “Chasing Coral.” Her discussion on the depletion of the reef, caused by rising seawater temperatures that are the direct result of global warming, carried an urgent cry for intervention. The presentation is echoed in the present program proposal that I am developing: “African Diaspora Studies & Climate Change: An Interdisciplinary Study Abroad Program.” UB is looking for a university partner from Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, or Rhode Island who would be interested in bilateral exchange around this program theme.
Thank you to all UM-College Park students for your visit and for carrying the commitment to preserve the reef to the UB campus!