New Kensington campus celebrates Ireland and Great Britain

October 10, 2012

Penn State New Kensington continues its countries of focus program with a musical performance at noon on Wednesday, Nov. 7, in the Forum Theatre. “Road to the Isles” performs pipe and fiddle music, dance and folksongs that celebrate the culture and heritage of Ireland and Scotland.

The musical entertainment is a part of "Countries of Focus: Ireland and Great Britain," the year-long, campus celebration of international cultures. The show is free to the public.

The celebration of our neighbors across the pond began Sept. 18 with author Tony Hawks who discussed his book, “Round Ireland with a Fridge.” Hawk chronicled his quest to hitchhike around the circumference of Ireland in 30 days while, as the title says, accompanied by a refrigerator.

Hawks’ book was the selected book for the Freshman Summer Reading Program at the campus. The program was instituted at the campus in 2005 to encourage reading and critical thinking and to provide a shared experience among new students. First-year students at the campus had a homework assignment over the summer -- read the book, chosen by a committee of campus faculty and staff and prepare to discuss it during orientation. Small group discussions are slated with fellow students, faculty and staff throughout the semester.

For the past six years, the campus has embarked on the promotion of greater awareness and understanding of world issues, international trends and global policy debates. Each year, the campus adopts a country or region of the world to inspire teaching and scholarship. Students, faculty and staff will explore and reflect on various aspects of Ireland's and Great Britain's history, culture and economic, social and political reality.

During the 2013 spring break, the campus is sponsoring a weeklong trip to Ireland The itinerary, March 2 to 9, features visits to the cities of Dublin, Killarney, Cork, and Kilkenney in the Republic of Ireland, and Belfast in Northern Ireland.

“The trip to Ireland is a great opportunity for students who have not traveled internationally before,” said Amy Rustic, reference librarian at the campus’ Blissell Library and a member of the International Trip Committee. “The trip will include many interesting stops and will be a great introduction to the culture of Ireland.”

Since 2004, more than 130 campus students have traveled to Spain, France, Italy, China, Greece, Peru and the Galapagos Islands. In conjunction with the trips, students are required to take a related course that enriches their understanding of the destination and its culture. Upon return, participants present their experiences through narratives and slideshows to the entire campus community. These presentations both enable others to share in the immediate travel experience and help to generate excitement in students, as well as faculty and staff, to become involved in future trips.

For more information on the Ireland trip, contact Abhinav Aima, or Gary Heberling, via email.

For more on the country of focus program, visit online.


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Last Updated October 11, 2012