December 10, 2009
Media Contact: Ann Marie Varga • 407-646-2159 • firstname.lastname@example.org
Winter Park, Fla. (December 10, 2008) – Since Charles Darwin’s study of the Galápagos Islands in the 19th century, the Islands’ unique flora and fauna have held great fascination for many the world over. The human population growth on the islands in the last decade prompted by the explosion of ecotourism, however, has created a great strain on the local environment.
“By creating and fostering relationships with the Islands’ local organizations and schools, Rollins hopes to engage its own students and the Galápagaño population together in environmental awareness,” said Denise K. Cummings, Assistant Professor of Critical Media and Cultural Studies and new member of the Galápagos ICE (Immerse Connect Evolve) board of directors. “The Galápagos Islands were chosen by Rollins because of their environmental sensitivity and for the opportunity to make a difference through teaching. Applied learning is central to the Rollins academic experience.”
In December 2007, Rollins partnered with Galápagos ICE, a non-profit organization based out of the United States that focuses on improving health and education in the Galápagos. Serving as the “capstone experience” for a fall term course called Activism 101, 29 Rollins students as well as faculty and staff traveled to Isla Santa Cruz, Galápagos, to engage in a 10-day service immersion trip teaching high school students at Colegio Miguel Angel Cazares.
The Rollins group taught the Galápagaño students English language skills and environmental conservation tips and instructed them in basic computer technology. “The great thing about this experience is that Rollins College is the first university to come to this high school and have this intercultural exchange with these students,” said Emily Pozo, president and founder of Galápagos ICE.
Rollins also brought 14 desktop computers, four laptops, digital cameras, games, network gear and other supplies to donate to the high school so that the students could continue what they learned once Rollins was gone.
Rollins is planning to return to the Galapagos for additional service learning trips in 2009.
Founded in 1885, Rollins College is Florida’s oldest recognized college, and is consistently ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of “America’s best colleges.” The College of Arts & Sciences offers full-time undergraduate programs in the liberal arts. The Hamilton Holt School serves the Central Florida community by offering exceptional undergraduate and graduate degree programs during evenings and weekends to students diverse in age, experience and professional development. The Crummer Graduate School of Business is consistently ranked by Forbes magazine among the best business schools for return on investment, and Forbes recently ranked the MBA program No. 1 overall in Florida.