Students use winter break for research, international programs

Publication Date
Winter break world map

The winter break between trimesters is an excellent opportunity for students to travel on a mini-term, participate in a fellowship or conduct faculty-led research in exotic locales. Learn about some of the experiences Union students are having this winter break.


Klemm Fellow Kelsey Brodie ’21 is in San Pedro, Belize on a public health internship. She is working with free mobile clinics that offer services such as blood sugar and blood pressure checks. She also taught school-aged students the importance of proper hand washing.


Students on the London theater mini-term program saw more than nine theatrical productions and performances in three weeks, while visiting markets, museums, parks and learning more about architecture and historic sites. Through backstage tours and professional workshops, students experienced the world of production from the point of view from the audience, performers, directors and more. Students on the trip included Kylie Alberts ’21, Emily Andrews ’20, Amber Birt ’22, Mandy Blakeman ’22, Philip Brown ’20, Dan Grogan ’20, Devon Hennel ’20, Sophie Hurwitz ’21, Savannah Jelks ’20, Mariam Musah ’20, Cat Rayhill ’21, Carly Ristaino ’20, Chloe Savitch ’22, Aly Silbey ’20, Helen Smith ’22, Sam Veith ’20, Mia Villeneuve ’22, Sandra Weinstock ‘22 and Emma Youmans ’20. Dan Venning, assistant professor of theater and dance, led the mini-term.

Galapagos Islands:

Klemm Fellows Cameron Bechtold ’20 and Rose Parisi ’20 are on San Cristobal Island studying giant tortoise and sea lion conservation efforts. They are working full-time with national park rangers to care for the giant tortoises as the national government works to restore their populations. They also are assisting in eliminating and controlling introduced plants and rat populations that could harm endemic species such as the tortoises and petrel birds.


Students on the mini-term through India are traveling through various cities and towns, studying Indian politics, heritage, history and culture. Students took a specific excursion to the Taj Mahal. The mini-term was led by Laurie Tyler, professor of chemistry, and Kristin Fox, professor of chemistry.


Fourteen Union students went on the Hillel Union-Dartmouth Taglit Birthright trip. The 10-day trip, underwritten by philanthropists, the Israeli government and Jewish community partners, is free to participants. Students traveled to Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, the Dead Sea and more. The trip is structured around four core conversations about Jewish identity to allow students to contemplate larger questions with their peers.


Klemm Fellow Eeshan Kumar ’21 is shadowing medical staff at the Shastri Central Hospital in Ulaanbaatar. While living with a host family, he is also learning the basics of the Mongolian language and has immersed himself in a new culture.


Students in the Biogeochemistry course travelled to Isla Colon to study the carbon cycle in mangroves, coral reefs, open waters, caves and canals. Students stayed at the Institute for Tropical Ecology and Conservation – a remote off-grid field station sandwiched between the mangroves and rainforest. The trip was led by David Gillikin, professor of geology, and Anouk Verheyden, geology lecturer. Students included Isabella Bergami ‘21, Stephen Camarra ‘20, Jaclyn Gehring ‘20, Arnold Moore ‘20, Blake Newcomer ‘21, Meghan Pearce ‘21, Laura Piccirillo ‘20, Elizabeth Pinchman ‘20, Emma Puhalski ‘22, Rohit Thota ‘20, Kaylee Velasquez ‘21, Imogene Welles ‘20, Elizabeth Whitney ‘20 and Kira Wilson ’20.


Students and faculty are traveling in Cordoba, focusing on cultural diversity in the context of technology through time.

Other Klemm Fellows are traveling in Ghana, Fiji, Madagascar, South Africa and Peru. Other Union mini term programs include Argentina, Egypt, New Zealand and several programs in the U.S.