BUIES CREEK — Kendra Erickson from the Office of Study Abroad wondered aloud whether Tuesday’s Missions and Service Fair — a first-of-its-kind event at Campbell and first-time collaboration between Study Abroad, Campus Ministry and the College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences — would attract a crowd during its two-hour window at the Rumley Center.
When the students started rolling in five minutes before the fair’s official start, Erickson smiled.
“Not a bad start,” she said.
Tuesday’s Missions and Service Fair included representatives from Americorps, the Peace Corps, the International Missions Board, Teach for America and other organizations which shared information about volunteering, service learning, missions and traveling the world. Study Abroad has hosted several similar fairs in the past, but this was the first collaboration with Campus Ministry and the pharmacy school, both of which send students to serve locally and abroad.
“These groups share many of the same interests,” Erickson said. “We all agree [missions and service] is a great way to take the information you learn in the classroom and apply it to real life. If you’re taking Spanish, you’re going to learn Spanish a lot easier if you’re staying with a Spanish-speaking family.”
The same applies for medicine.
On hand representing the College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences and new School of Osteopathic Medicine were Dr. Tina Tseng, founding chairman of the college’s public health department, and the med school’s Angela Westmoreland. Tseng point to her department’s recent participation in Harnett Smiles — an effort to provide dental care for underserved children in Harnett County — as an example of how local service can provide solid real-life experience for students.
“Many students will take their Harnett Smiles experience and do that same work in places like Honduras or other rural areas,” Tseng said. “What we learn and practice here, we’ll be doing many of those same things abroad.”
The fair was a valuable information tool for students like Valerie Barnett, a second-year pharmacy student from Asheville. Unlike most students who see “studying abroad” as a one-time college adventure, Barnett wants a career in pharmacy overseas, ideally in areas that are underserved medically.
“I’m here today to get some ideas and learn about some of these organizations,” said Barnett, who’s already well-traveled having taught English for a month in China, and been a part of choir and service trips in Germany and Zambia, respectively.
For more information on the information provided at Tuesday’s fair or on Study Abroad, contact Erickson at [email protected] or (910) 814-4786.
Story, photo by Billy Liggett, Assistant Director for Publications