SUNY Plattsburgh Expeditionary Studies students prepare for Hong Kong internships
PLATTSBURGH, NY (July 20, 2009) -- It pays for students to keep connected to their professors.Just ask Aaron Hurwit '06, the first student to graduate from SUNY Plattsburgh's expeditionary studies program. He and the program's director, Dr. Lawrence Soroka, remained close after graduation, and when Soroka came across an ad last year for a position at Treasure Island, an adventure-based camp in Hong Kong, he forwarded it to his former student. Hurwit interviewed for the position and was hired.
"When I arrived in Hong Kong last June, I started thinking about the expeditionary studies program and how this might be an amazing cultural and work experience for students," Hurwit said. "I had an e-mail dialog with Soroka, talked with my boss and created a proposal. Although it was short notice, Soroka trusted me so he sent Gregory Young and Allison Thompson by July 1 of that same year."
Young '09 said the experience was invaluable.
"I gained a lot of experience in outdoor education, and I got the chance to work with international students," he said. "I was a senior group leader. I led groups of students in team building, group dynamics, kayaking and biking. This is an eco camp, so we teach students about their carbon footprints and the ecosystems around them.
As a result of the inaugural experience, the Treasure Island director, Adrienne Ng, made it a permanent internship opportunity for four qualified SUNY Plattsburgh students. Students meeting the criteria are nominated through the expeditionary studies program. Ng sends the nominated students an application they must complete and return to her to be considered for one of the slots.
This month, four new students will embark on their six-month Hong Kong odyssey, receiving formal training in outdoor pedagogy and gain teaching experience. In addition to the experience, students receive a stipend, airfare, room and board and 15 credit hours.
Soroka praised the program, calling it "a personal, academic, professional, intellectual, cultural adventure with amazing payback."
For more information on the expeditionary studies program at SUNY Plattsburgh, contact Soroka at 518-564-5292 or [email protected].