This fall we had the opportunity to visit many cultural sites and companies. It was fun to learn about the Oldenwald forest, Philosophenweg, Heidelberg Castle on the Neckar River, SAP headquarters, the Audi Neckarsulm plant, the Mercedes Benz Museum, Berlin, Roman ruins, Strasbourg, the interdenominational city Worms, the Karlsruhe Supreme Court, Frankfurt, and the Deutsche Bundesbank to name a few.
We were dedicated to our volunteer course at the Patrick Henry Center at Heidelberg’s refugee center. It is one of 16 asylum centers in Germany where refugees temporarily stay while their applications for citizenship are processed. European Study Center Students and I, with support of Caritas, played with refugee children in the Kids-At-Play (KAP) program created by Dr. Karen Becker, associate professor, marketing & Interdisciplinary business, by teaching through games, coloring, and sports.
In today’s world where we are “shutting our doors” to immigrants in the USA, our students reached into their hearts for children from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Kurds in Turkey, and North Africa. Shout out of thanks to TCNJ’s students Rachel Smith, Sean Cuddy, Molly Muha, Jiachen Chen and Rosa Morales (Averett University), Tom Sagaser (U of S. Florida), Tyler Schmidt (Michigan).
A vital part of KAP was the fundraising campaign. Monies were used to support supplies such as arts & crafts, playground balls, books, and classroom accessories. This year students, Sean and Tyler introduced music and guitar playing. This was a big hit with the children and will be a dedicated addition this Spring. With the fund raising we donated guitars and children’s percussion instruments. Playing soccer (football) was a weekly hit along with two parties.
Our students presented their work at an EU funded event on cross border relations in Strasbourg, France. Their work at the Center highlighted our students as ambassadors and positive change agents. The unique conference was composed of faculty and international students from the US, EU, and China.
These notes are dedicated with love to Carla Faust. We will all remember her as a “super” ambassador who inspired and challenged us to do our best.
Susan Hume, PhD
Associate Professor, Finance