BU hosts study abroad trip to China for PASSHE Honors Program students

For immediate release: May 2, 2008

BLOOMSBURG — Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania will host Honors Program students from 14 universities on a study abroad trip to China this summer. Two students from each school in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) have received full scholarships to study the people, policies and preferences of modern China through the Summer Honors Program.

After studying at Bloomsburg University for several days in mid-May, students and faculty will leave for China, where they will participate in courses and fieldwork at Shandong University of Technology and Yunnan Normal University. Students will also be involved in fieldwork in Shanghai and Beijing and have the opportunity to explore lesser known areas of the country, including Tai Shan, Quingdao, Kunming, Lijiang and Dali. The program will last approximately four weeks.

Since 1985, PASSHE has provided Honors students with the opportunity to study abroad through the Summer Honors Program. Each student’s scholarship covers the cost of 6 academic credits, travel and room and board at the host university and abroad. The application process is competitive; students must complete a written application and be in good standing within their respective Honors Program to be considered for the summer program. They are selected based on academic achievement, service to the Honors Program and the university and their interest in the program of study.

BU faculty members participating in the program are Jing Luo, professor of languages and cultures, and Youmin Lu, professor of mathematics, computer science and statistics. Also accompanying the group to China are biologist Robbie Soltz, wife of BU president David Soltz, and Daniel Brown, a BU student from Howard, Pa.

Students traveling to China anticipate a unique cultural and academic experience. “I never thought I would have the opportunity to go to China as a sophomore in college. I’m really grateful that the Honors Program has made it possible,” said Sarah Beltz, an elementary education major from Perkasie, one of two Bloomsburg University students selected to participate in the Summer Honors Program. Maureen Dameron, a junior nursing major from Chambersburg, was also chosen.

The Summer Honors Program is an exceptional opportunity, according to students involved in past programs. “The chance to experience the cultural aspects of studying abroad gave me a new perspective and helped me grow so much as a student,” said Gina Connolly, a junior speech pathology/audiology major from Carlisle, who represented BU during last year’s program, hosted by California University of Pennsylvania. California’s program focused on the Reformation and Renaissance and involved travel through five European countries.

Students representing other PASSHE universities in this year’s Summer Honors Program are: Juliann Lacey and Joshua Scott, California University; Courtney Guy and Mawule Sevon, Cheney University; Kenneth E. Bonus and Bryce Davis, Clarion University; Leanne Fuller and Megan Groshner, Edinboro University; Samantha Hartman and Carolyn Jablonowski, East Stroudsburg University; Anthony Blair and Aleta Haflett, Indiana University; Samantha Kronstadt and Lauren Miller, Kutztown University; John Blough and Christopher Dubbs, Lock Haven University; Rachel Ballard and Michelle Giles, Mansfield University; Katherine Heldt and Lauren Hood, Millersville University; Joe Livingston and Catherine Putz, Shippensburg University; Jillian Clark and Rose Iksic, Slippery Rock University; and Stephanie Eckman and Jason Kolsevich, West Chester University.

Bloomsburg University is one of 14 universities in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. The university serves approximately 8,000 students, offering comprehensive programs of study in the colleges of Professional Studies, Business, Liberal Arts and Science and Technology.