Clearfield campus freshman Kilee Dyke demonstrates tooth brushing to children at the Cieneguillas Community Center.
LOCK HAVEN, Pa. - Dr. Amy Way, professor of health science at the Lock Haven University Clearfield Campus, accompanied 15 Clearfield students on an alternative spring break trip to Zacatecas, Mexico. Lock Haven University is a member of the Pennsylvania State
System of Higher Education (PASSHE), the largest provider of higher education in
the commonwealth. Its 14 universities offer more than 250 degree and certificate
programs in more than 120 areas of study. Nearly 405,000 system alumni live and
work in Pennsylvania.
They learned about Mexico's decentralized form of healthcare, paying particular attention to healthcare access in urban vs. rural areas of Mexico. While there, they interacted with over 600 Mexican children, teens, and women. As part of the experience Way’s students provided information about various areas of healthcare to the Mexican children and adults, including the importance of proper hand washing, tooth brushing, nutrition, early detection of cervical and breast cancer and infant care. The course was team taught with Pam Finalle, assistant professor of nursing at the LHU Clearfield campus.
Way describes the service-learning trip as a “remarkable experience.” “Our students,” she said, “were excellent representatives of Lock Haven University. They were attentive, polite and articulate. They immersed themselves in this international experience.”
Clearfield students who participated in the service learning project in Zacatecas were Jamie Benedek, Melinda Brown, Alice Crock, Elizabeth DiGilarmo, Kilee Dyke, Charles Gerst, Amanda Hendricks, Harriet Irwin, Danielle Lidgett, Elizabeth Richmond, Brandon Ruiz, Casey Sabella, Lisa Shifter, Jodie Stamm and Andrea Wisor.
Way said that the students, many of whom had never flown before, had the opportunity to interact with students from LHU’s partner school as well as with local residents in the communities surrounding Zacatecas. “As you can imagine,” she said, “we saw some surprising sights. Our students handled these with sensitivity and professionalism.”
In an LHU spring break service learning project to Tighfist, Morocco, students from the LHU Clearfield and Lock Haven campuses provided a health clinic and health education for the community, while undergraduate students engaged in community mapping and video documentation projects. LHU students also traveled to Long Beach, Mississippi to do housing reconstruction and community development work in post-Hurricane Katrina Gulf Coast communities.
The service learning programs were coordinated by LHU’s MountainServe Center for Global Citizenship.