For those of you reading this newsletter from the snowy cold north, summer may seem far away. Even for our students who are currently trudging through rain-soaked streets, the sun-filled days of June, July and August may be far off. Before we know it, however, the spring semester will be over and the last exam taken. But in the School of Liberal Arts, the traditional school calendar hardly ends our engagement with innovative education. In fact, as you will read in this month newsletter, along with last-year’s successful summer programs, we have added even more opportunities for exploration and imagination. For the first time, students can explore the New York art scene, investigate environmental justice in the Gulf South, or travel to Israel to get an on-the-ground introduction to issues surrounding Middle East peace. Others can follow in the footsteps of last year’s students, traveling to Hollywood to explore the film industry, or to Marksville, Louisiana to work on language revitalization with the Tunica tribe, or stay in New Orleans to study public policy and present their findings to committees in city hall.
As was true for those who made these journeys last year, the students who return in the fall will undoubtedly be changed by their experiences. They will gain a greater understanding of the world in which they live and through that knowledge, come to understand the power of their liberal arts education. Like us, I am sure you all look forward to reading of their experiences and seeing their SLA banners fly from the art galleries of Manhattan to the streets of Jerusalem. Even from the perspective of rain-soaked March, it is going to be an amazing summer!