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Thursday, March 3, 2011

THREE PITT-BRADFORD STUDENTS RECEIVE TRAVEL AWARDS

THREE PITT-BRADFORD STUDENTS RECEIVE TRAVEL AWARDS

BRADFORD, Pa. -- Three students at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford have received travel awards to enable them to participate in the Maya Archaeology Spring Break trip to Mexico, March 5-12.

Kelly DeRolf and Sharie Wallace will each receive a $500 stipend, thanks to the generosity of Kong Ho, associate professor of art, and Dr. Martie Geiger-Ho, instructor of art.

DeRolf is a biology major interested in evolutionary ecology and is a member of the Art Club, the Green Team, the Literary Club and The Zombie Squad. Sharie Wallace, a human relations major, has taken many anthropology courses, including Mesoamerican Archaeology, and is currently a nontraditional student.

Katie Zapel, the third award winner, received the $1,300 travel award given annually by Brian Calhoun, a 1998 alumnus of Pitt-Bradford, and a regular participant on all the Mayan Spring Break trips.

Zapel is a human relations major with a deep interest in Latin America, having already studied in Ecuador and in Costa Rica. This year’s trip centers in the tropical Calakmul Biosphere Reserve, exploring the following Maya sites: Calakmul, Kohunlich, Dzibanche, Chicanna, Balam Ku, Becan, and Xupil. It also includes the shrine of the Talking Cross, the beaches of Playa del Carmen and Tulum, a boat ride/float trip through the coastal Sian Ka’an Reserve, and a private tour of Latin America’s largest botanical garden.

“These trips are not just for archaeology students, but are designed to appeal to those in environmental studies, in tourism, in history or current affairs, or many other disciplines,” explained Isabelle Champlin, assistant professor of anthropology, director of the international studies program, and organizer of the annual archaeology trips.

“It’s a fantastic way for students to enhance their studies. There really is no substitute for actually climbing the ancient temple steps yourself, or tasting nance fruit. And not just students, but alumni, faculty, staff, family and friends of the university come also.”

This trip will be the last that Champlin will make as a Pitt-Bradford professor since she will be retiring in May, although future trips might be arranged through the Division of Continuing Education. The current trip is booked full and closed.

This trip is not sponsored by the University of Pittsburgh.

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