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Students, faculty learn side-by-side around the globe

This spring, dozens of Ohio Northern University arts and sciences students left Ada to explore the world alongside their fellow students and professors. Here are two special trips highlighting ONU’s global outreach.

Musical theatre students sing in Mexico

Six ONU students went to San Luis Potosi, Mexico, in March to perform a concert, “The American Musical Theatre Songbook,” with six singers in Mexico before an audience of more than 1,600.

Singers were selected after an audition, which Butler conducted on campus and in Mexico with his colleague Kirsten Osbun-Manley, resident artist in music and co-director of the musical theatre program, who also served as vocal coach for the students.

“The value for the students was immense,” said Butler. “Not only was it tremendously rewarding musically, but culturally, as well. They had the opportunity to interact with many local San Luis residents and learn about Mexican culture. They also had a unique opportunity to share an artistic style that is truly American and share that with passion and pride.

Technological students study European industry

Meanwhile, across the globe, Dr. David Rouch, chairman and professor of ONU’s Department of Technological Studies, led a group of 10 students to Germany and Switzerland over spring break to get an up-close and personal glimpse of global industry. Dr. Richard Miller, visiting instructor in technological studies, and Douglass Degen, lecturer in technology, also accompanied the group.

Their travels took them to Switzerland to tour a nuclear power plant and IWCwatchmaking, then on to Germany where they toured KUKA Robotics, BMW, John Deere and historical sites such as the Dachau concentration camp, Deutsches Museum, Oberammergau and Bavarian castles. Rouch planned the 10-day trip with input from students, University colleagues and alumni.

“One goal was just to expose students to Europe firsthand, to see how other parts of the world operate and gain some confidence in dealing with people and cultures different than their own,” said Rouch.

For Corey Bettenbrock, of Pemberville, Ohio, a senior with dual majors in construction management and manufacturing technology, the trip was unforgettable.

“I cannot put a value on this experience,” he said. “For education, it was the best educational trip I could have taken. It is rare that we go a week now without talking about the trip. I think overall it gave us a new perspective of people and processes to use for management in whatever job we are able to attain, either in construction or manufacturing.”

Rouch said students are already talking about returning to Europe, and the recent trip opened up opportunities for student internships with KUKA< Robotics in Augsburg, Germany.