TCU offers spring break trips focused on cultural education, giving back

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While for many students spring break brings the promise of a beach and a tan, others students are choosing a different sort of spring break adventure.

Eight students enrolled in an Honors Cultural Memory class are going to New York. Students studying the Civil Rights Movement will be touring parts of the American South and some students have signed up for a community service trip to Houston to help Hurricane Harvey victims.

The Civil Rights Bus Tour travels to several historical sites in Mississippi, Tennessee, and Alabama, Professor Max Krochmal said.

“We look at the past to learn about the present and to help the students change the future,” Krochmal said.

The New York trip is offered for students looking to study memorials and further their education with first-hand experiences.

This year Professor Ron Pitcock is taking eight students from his Honors Cultural Memory class. These students will visit various memorial sites such as the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, the 9/11 Tribute Center and more specific, localized memorials.

Students on last year’s trip to New York. (Photo courtesy of Ronald Pitcock.)

“I have always been interested in studying the events of 9/11,”  Madison Johnson, a sophomore attending the trip, said. “Having the opportunity to travel to NYC to study the details right where the events took place is something I am very much looking forward to. Also, it’s not a downside we are getting to see Wicked on Broadway as well.”

Pitcock said this trip is beneficial for students because of its connection to the TCU curriculum.

“This is an opportunity for the students’ learning to be brought to life,” Pitcock said. “The work connects directly to the texts students are reading in the class and provides an experiential framework for students to understand the course materials.” 

Students who choose the community service trip will be traveling to Houston to help repair the damages left by Hurricane Harvey in the fall. 

TCU organized various relief efforts last fall when the hurricane initially struck the Texas coast and this trip will continue those services.

“Students will be restoring homes and community centers as well as working with social service agencies like food banks and soup kitchens,” said Professor Vanessa Roberts Bryan, assistant dean of student development. 

Bryan said students will be working with organizations such as Break A Difference and Rebuilding Together Houston to organize the logistics of their service sites and experiences.