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Olivet College students spent spring break at Heifer Project International Ranch
Mar 14, 2005

OLIVET, Mich. Twenty-six Olivet College students spent their spring break (March 7-11) at Heifer Project International Ranch in Perryville, Ark. Heifer Ranch is a hands-on learning center providing education that promotes sustainable solutions to global hunger, poverty and environmental degradation.

Mike Fales, director of church relations and campus ministries, has coordinated the trip for six years as a service learning project for campus ministries. This is the largest group the college has taken to Heifer Ranch. Maria Davis, Ph.D., chair of the Natural Physical Science Department joined the group as the first faculty member to attend spring break at the ranch.

Students who participated in the Heifer Project International Ranch alternative spring break included: Michael Birdsley, a freshman from Owosso; Laura Brinkley, a senior from Lansing; Lauren Cowles, a senior from Eaton Rapids; Jeremy Droscha, a senior from Charlotte; Russ Fried, a junior from Grosse Pointe Woods; Joe Gorman, a senior from Gladwin; Nick Hannar, a senior from Dowling; Justin Hemmer, a senior from Ludington; Denise Jackson, a sophomore from Detroit; Amanda Johnston, a junior from Mt. Morris; Katie Kilmartin, a freshman from Wayland; Shane Koehler, a sophomore from Battle Creek; Hristo Kozhuharov, a sophomore from Svilengrad, Bulgaria; Simone McSparran, a senior from Los Angeles; Christina Pascale, a senior from Alpha, N.J.; Jessica Pletz, a sophomore from Lake; Elizabeth Rach, a sophomore from Bangor; Kat Roesch, a sophomore from Oakland Twp.; Steve Rumsey, a senior from Jackson; Alpha Sabbithi, a sophomore from Oaklawn, Ill.; Kari Searles, a senior from Marshall; Denise Uhl, a sophomore from Vermontville; Sally Vandemoortel, a 1998 alumna from Marshall; and Brandon Walters, a sophomore from Olivet.

Jasmine Hardy, a 2004 Olivet graduate from East Lansing, is currently completing an internship at the ranchand served as the group leader for Olivets students.

The ranchs living classrooms acquaint visitors with the Heifer Ranch’s mission and practices used around the world. Students learned about the root causes of hunger and poverty, and ways in which people and animals can make a difference.

I am proud of the students for giving up their spring break to help build a more equitable world, said Fales. The students had the opportunity to plant crops, feed and tend to animals and learn first-hand about hunger in developing countries.

The trip was funded by the Michigan Conference of the United Church of Christ.


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