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       Send story and noteworthy ideas to Jessica Reyes, jmreyes@widener.edu.

      Spring Break at Widener

      From Italy to New Orleans, Students Experience Culture and Help Communities Grow During Spring Break

      Diamond Schuler, communication studies, '18

      Widener ASB in Greensboro

      Students partnered with Habitat for Humanity to help build homes on Alternative Spring Break.

      Building a Foundation of Service

      While spring break is often a time for relaxation, students at Widener stepped out of their comfort zones to spend time giving back to local communities across the country. More than 70 students participated in Alternative Spring Break, working with Habitat for Humanity in an effort to provide families in need with decent and affordable housing.

      In partnership with local Habitat for Humanity organizations, Widener students went to six different locations this year, including: Longmont, Colo.; Athens, Ga.; New Orleans, La.; Greensboro, N.C.; Clemson, S.C.; and Spokane, WA. Each group of students was guided by two Widener advisors.

      During the trip, volunteers helped build the foundation of houses. They contributed to all the aspects of building a house, from adding doors and windows, to putting on siding.

      “It was fun to see people who were using power tools for the first time realize what they were capable of doing,” Kayla Nelson, a sophomore civil engineering major, said. “Once they realize what they can do, they really start to enjoy it.

      Nelson has become a pro at such things as this was her second year participating in Alternative Spring Break. This year she went to Greensboro. “It’s great to see students make the connection between service and community. It’s really a fun experience, and not just something we have to do.”

      In Greensboro, students started a house from scratch. “Building the base of the house and knowing you’re starting something that other volunteers will come along and finish, is really rewarding,” she said. “Especially since we can track the progress on social media.”

      During the trip, students were able to meet the families for whom they were building houses.

      For more photos, visit the Widener ASB Flickr gallery.

      When in Rome

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      Widener Students in Italy

      Students on a trip hosted by the Center for Hospitality Management visited the Coliseum in Rome.

      This year the Center for Hospitality Management sponsored a trip to Italy where 12 students participated in an eight-day excursion. Students who went on the trip are currently enrolled in a three-credit elective, which was open to juniors and seniors of all majors.

      Led by Dr. Jeff Lolli, associate professor of hospitality management, and Dr. Adrienne Hall, assistant professor of hospitality management, the trip focused on tourism in Rome and Florence. During their time abroad, students took a tour of an Italian wedding venue, as well as other iconic sites such as the Vatican and the Coliseum. They also spent time learning secrets to the Italian culinary experience.

      Ashley Rundall, a senior criminal justice and political science major, resident assistant, and president of the Student Government Association, had a memorable experience abroad. “Even though I’m not a hospitality major, I learned a lot during this trip,” she said. “Being able to see so many breathtaking places, and be surrounded by such an amazing culture was unforgettable.”

      Brandon DeChirico, a junior hospitality management major and president of the National Association for Catering and Events at Widener, appreciated learning all the ins and outs of the global hospitality industry. “The interests of the Italians are so different from that of the United States,” he said. “The market is very diverse. I hope to make it back soon.”

      The group documented their trip with daily posts and photos on the Center for Hospitality Management’s Facebook page.


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