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Olivet College students to participate in Alternative Spring Break programs
Mar 04, 2010

Seventeen Olivet College students will spend their spring break at Heifer Ranch in Perryville, Ark. March 6 to 13. Heifer Ranch is a hands-on learning center that promotes sustainable solutions to global hunger, poverty and environmental degradation. The ranch is a project of Heifer International, a nonprofit organization dedicated to eradicating world hunger and poverty, headquartered in Little Rock, Ark. This is the 11th year Olivet has partnered with the organization as part of its Alternative Spring Break program.

The trip is coordinated by Mike Fales, director of service learning and campus ministries, and Maria Davis, Ph.D., professor of biology and Natural and Physical Sciences Department chair. Marco Wiedenhoeft, Ph.D., associate professor of physics and mathematics, will also attend.

Jean Paul Cortes, Olivets Michigan Campus Compact AmeriCorps VISTA, will host a second Alternative Spring Break trip to the American Eagle Foundation in Pigeon Forge, Tenn.

Students submitted essays and were chosen by Olivet College faculty and staff to participate in the service project to Heifer Ranch. Those attending the trip include: Erin Brown, a freshman from Marcellus; Megan Colby, a junior from Sparta; Lindsay Conrad, a junior from Freeland; Preston Fishnick, a freshman from Battle Creek; Alyssa Fredrick, a junior from Holland; Terra Gallihugh, a junior from Olivet; Adam Gross, a freshman from Marshall; Michael Harden, a senior from St. Johns; Matt Jenca, a junior from Lansing; Dominick Kuri, a teacher certification student from Lansing; Ashley Laprise, a junior from Allen Park; Taylor MacDonald, a freshman from Grosse Pointe; David Pearson, a sophomore from Livonia; Leah Shipherd, a senior from Pleasant Hill, Calif.; Matthew Siebert, a sophomore from Marshall; Patrick Sjolander, a freshman from Charlotte; and Judith Tellez-Gonzalez, a junior from Atlacomulco, Mexico.

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

Twelve students will accompany Cortes to the American Eagle Foundation. The second trip was coordinated in response to a high level of interest from students in the colleges Alternative Spring Break program.

The foundation specializes in the care, rehabilitation, breeding and release of birds of prey, and houses species ranging from small screech owls and kestrels to bald eagles and Andean condors. The organization also flies its eagle, Challenger, at major sporting events and hosts an educational program at Dollywood in Pigeon Forge.

Students attending the trip to the American Eagle Foundation include: Jason Christensen, a freshman from Marshall; Michelle Cooper, a freshman from Battle Creek; Josh DeWitt, a freshman from Marshall; Tracy Harmon, a senior from Olivet; Tara Leach, a freshman from Clinton Township; Marcee Lettinga, a freshman from Grand Rapids; Libby Lydy, a sophomore from Woodland; Kelsey Miller, a freshman from Eaton Rapids; Tabatha Morris, a junior from Lansing; Tanya Rentz, a junior from Pinckney; Eleri Thomas, a freshman from Bellevue; and Melinda Winnie, a freshman from Marshall. Frank Palacios, an Olivet community member, will also attend.

For more information, call Fales at (269) 749-7624 or Cortes at (269) 749-7127.


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