The following story originally appeared on CSURams.com on Oct. 27, 2016, when CSU Athletics announced the Green & Global initiative. The story has been updated today to showcase the addition of a new video that previews the trip and to add the names of the student-athletes, staff and faculty who will embark on their journey on Thursday, May 18.
Student-Athletes: Taylor Chaffetz (Soccer), Deonte Clyburn (Football), Hannah Gerdin (Soccer), Zack Golditch (Football), Houston Haynes (Football), Myanne Hamm (Women's Basketball), Kelsey Lawton (Swimming & Diving), Emily Kolbow (Tennis), Carmen Mand (Swimming & Diving), Gianna Marconi (Soccer), Levi Osborn (Football), Nate Ryken (Football), Ronald Sayles (Track & Field)
Faculty/Staff: Dr. Blanche Hughes (VP Student Affairs), Dr. Albert Bimper (Sr. Assoc. AD), Kerry Wright (Academic Learning Coordinator), Alana Curtis (Asst. Video Coordinator).
Students who participate in athletics at Colorado State University will have an opportunity to take their education abroad with the first Green and Global service and learning experience in Jamaica.
CSU's student-athletes have seen their opportunities expand dramatically in recent years. The most visible expansion of the student-athlete experience has come in the way of investments in nutrition, facilities and academic support to further fulfill the department's mission to Educate, Engage and Excel.
Another important aspect of that investment has come in the area of diversity and inclusion, since the hire of Dr. Albert Bimper as senior associate athletic director for diversity and inclusion in 2013. Bimper, a 2006 CSU graduate and four-year starting center on the football team (2002-05), returned to his alma mater in this first-of-its-kind position in intercollegiate athletics at Colorado State to further enhance the academic and athletic experience for students. Bimper was a member of the Indianapolis Colts 2006 Super Bowl championship team and went on to earn a Master of Science degree in Sport Psychology from Purdue University and completed his Ph.D. in Curriculum & Instruction with a concentration in Cultural Studies in Education at the University of Texas.
The impact of his presence has been seen in the variety of programs and initiatives designed to expand students' learning opportunities, and that experience is now going global with the Green & Global trip.
"There has been an on-going national conversation about broadening the experiences for students participating in intercollegiate athletics beyond their on-campus academic and athletic pursuits," said Joe Parker, CSU's Director of Athletics. "Colorado State University is fortunate to have the expertise of Dr. Albert Bimper and the resources to design a high-impact program that allows our students to absorb the benefits of a service and learning experience aboard."
The 12-15 student-athletes who take part in this groundbreaking experience will travel to Petersfield, Jamaica from May 18-28, 2017, and experience cultural immersion, social action and community-based learning. Students are hosted by local families, with 2-4 students per home.
"We're extremely proud to launch our Green & Global initiative at CSU for our student-athletes," Bimper said. "I believe that this opportunity presents a transformative experience for each participant. This trip will be an opportunity for them to explore and be immersed in the rich culture, history and livelihood present in Jamaica while also challenging students to broaden their identities beyond sport. This initiative is about holistic development."
While Jamaica is known for its beach-oriented tourist attractions, program participants will live in the small, rural community of Petersfield, which offers a glimpse into a more authentic Jamaican culture, with its location in the heart of the sugar-producing regions of central Westmoreland Parish.
Student-athletes will meet with local community leaders, serve more than 15 hours on need-based service projects and explore the country and culture through field tours, presentations and community events. In addition to cultural immersion, students will explore Roaring River Park, Bluefields Beach, Savannah La Mar, Frome Sugar Factory and Maroon Village, and visit local schools. Cultural presentations will focus on Jamaican history and culture, youth development in Jamaica and culinary arts to gain a greater understanding of the region.
In partnership with the CSU Office of International Programs, Dr. Bimper and CSU's Student Athlete Support Services will select from a pool of interested students, sophomores and older, based on high-achieving academic standing and one's efforts to be engaged beyond their sport .
Constantly growing and evolving, Colorado State seeks to provide students with a transformational experience, and the 2017 Green & Global education abroad opportunity expands that reality beyond our borders.
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