SU TRiO Students Travel to Cuba
SALISBURY, MD---Eight students enrolled in Salisbury University’s TRiO ACHIEVE Student Support Services program recently spent a week in Havana, Cuba.
“Many had never traveled outside the United States before and had little exposure to other cultures,” said Vivian Shannon-Ramsey, SU’s TRiO coordinator. The U.S. Department of Education project helps first-generation students, and those with financial need or disabilities, achieve their academic potential and goals.
“The experience, by all accounts, was transformative,” said Mentha Hynes-Wilson, SU’s associate vice president of student affairs.
The students explored Havana’s historic district and sites including El Capitolio and La Cabaña Fortress. They visited markets and museums, Revolution Square, a studio and gallery, an organic urban agriculture co-op, the Las Terrazas biosphere park and Santa Maria Beach.
They engaged with two grassroots groups dedicated to community enhancement: Espiral, which educates young people on environmental issues and sustainable development and Okan-Tomi, which promotes Afro-Cuban dances and musical traditions. They also learned about history and culture from a University of Havana professor and public health from a Cuban medical doctor.
“This trip helped to solidify my commitment to public health nursing,” said Shannon Jordan, a senior nursing major from Prince George’s County. “I will carry this experience with me throughout my nursing career.” She also said she enjoyed sharing in the “rich culture.”
Other attendees included psychology major Ariana Kitchens, social work majors Joseph Quinton Tynes and Danesha Owens-Harrell, respiratory therapy major Ashley Van-Veen, conflict analysis and dispute resolution major Gloria Chibueze-Azinge, marketing major Wahlia Walker, and corporate finance major Ebony Green.
Ramsey began planning the trip after traveling to Cuba with representatives of another institution last spring.
“I realized immediately that it would be a great opportunity for our TRiO students,” she said. “I wanted them to have a chance to interact with this country.”
She also saw the trip as way to give students, who may be nervous about being away from home, a taste of travel and the confidence to enroll in an official semester-long or winter/summer study abroad program.
For more information, call 410-543-6030 or visit the SU website at www.salisbury.edu.