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Scholar Highlights For Week Ending July 26, 2013

October 1, 2013

Lydia Ruffner

On Friday we went to the Harry Potter Studio, which is an hour outside of central London. This trip was phenomenal. It had all the different sets that were in the Harry Potter movies.  We took so many pictures and basically got a behind the scenes look at all 9 movies. They even had a green space where you could pretend to fly the flying ca, or ride on one of Harry’s broomstick with one of the Hogwarts uniform.  This was one of the highlights of our London trip because we all love Harry Potter. WE got to hear little speeches from the characters and see costumes from when they first started filming Harry Potter and the characters were 10 and 11 years old. 

DeShawn Samad

On Monday, I had a pretty normal day at work I began really putting together my paper and talking to my mentors about my results from all of my field campaigns so I know what to write about.  Tuesday my mentors decided to take me to one of their field sites by the beach just so I was able to see what the other sites look like besides the one I was working in.  I loved this trip because I was able to relate their larger projects to the one I am doing in the wetlands, but in a different ecosystem.  We were in an ecosystem that was somewhere between a desert and a grassland.



Marlissa Stalling

Just a few days ago, I was having thoughts during my break time at school of what I would tell my family, friends, church and school when they asked me about study abroad experience in Spain. My first initial answer that I thought of was to say  it was fun and exciting. But in all honesty, I knew that there should be more added to my answer. I decided that I would say instead that it was very challenging, stressful, life changing and adventurous. Those four responses mentioned above significantly sums up my abroad experience in Spain. I came into this study abroad program with so many assumptions of what I expected this program to consist of but little did I realize that this abroad experience would surprise me out of my wildest dreams. 

Chelsea Straughn

As we sat outside of the creperie, we noticed the Eiffel Tower was in the distance. The tower looked so close from the restaurant that we decided to walk and find it. To our surprise the Eiffel Tower definitely was not as close as it looked. The walk took about 40 minutes. However it was a great way to really see Paris and truly soak in the French culture. I noticed that the French love to people watch. As we walked by the cafes, almost everyone turned around to look at us walk down the street. I noticed this happened a lot during the trip as we walked through the city. Once we finally arrived at the Eiffel Tower I couldn’t believe my eyes! The tower was absolutely beautiful at night. Every hour there is a light show which lasts for about fifteen minutes. I was able to capture a lot of great pictures and videos to share with my family back in the states.

Ticara Wicks

We learned more about the apartheid and the impacts that it still has on the people in South Africa. It was nice to have already learned about the apartheid during the prep classes that we had to take before leaving Spelman. It was easier to understand and to put it into perspective because I already had some sense of what it was.



Charmiah Amie

The past week here in Munich has been very busy. Lab work has taken most of my time and on weekends I try to catch up on rest. When I am able I attempt to go out into the city to visit sites after work. I know that there are many more things for me to discover in Munich but I find it feeling more like home. I am often recommending places and giving directions to the newer students and its always shocking to me to see how far I have come over the summer. Although I was not offered the German class and I have no previous German language courses I am able to get by a lot better than I was before. I am beginning to recognize words and feel out conversations at times. 

Kevona Belcher

This week was truly a long one. I have felt my homesickness this week more than I have ever felt this entire experience. I am not sure if it is because of we are getting near to the end. But all I could think about this week is how I wanted to go. I have cried so many times this week from this homesickness it is ridiculous. I was stressed and down and only wanted my mother. But I had to tell myself that I am here and experiencing these things for a reason. I have to appreciate every single minute of this experience. Even if I do not like it at the moment, of I am having a bad, I must keep going and try my best to make my situation positive one.

Kierra Brown

Saturday the group went on a wildlife tour of Kruger National Park. In an open vehicle accompanied by a knowledgeable tour guide we went on a great adventure to find indigenous animals. Our first encounter on the tour was impala which are the most common animal in the park. The most exciting citing was of a leopard eating an impala in a chair adjacent from the open vehicle. In all we saw over 30 animals including giraffes, monkeys, zebras, elephants, hippos, and tigers. We had the opportunity to spend the night at the park as well and I enjoyed star gazing with my friends at the end of the day. Anyone that visits the Johannesburg area should visit this landmark.

Niwa scrubs


Niwa Coleman

It’s sad to see just how fast my adventures and experiences here in Cape Town have gone by. It feels like just yesterday I was getting to know the other IES students in Coco Wawa, the local coffee shop. Although I am saying goodbye to the friends I’ve made and the experience of a lifetime, I am excited to see my family and get back to some warm weather in the states. This past week I finished up my work for my IES class as well as my research. For my class we were required to submit an extensive portfolio that documented all of the work we completed during the course. Inside the portfolio was my reflection, research paper, class notes, projects, assignments, etc.

Jasmeka Colvin

Last week my direct mentor had me organize a PowerPoint Presentation of my procedures and results and explain them to her so that she could ensure that I understood the purpose of my research. It was very helpful and will guide me when I am writing my paper. I am going to take full opportunity to finish my paper before I leave so that I may have all questions answered and not have to worry about forgetting the information by the submission deadline in October.

Rachel Delsarte

This week was our last week in London, at the Royal Veterinary College, and in the laboratory. Although it is a bittersweet feeling that we are leaving so suddenly, I am ready to go back home! Throughout this entire experience, the Arcadia and RVC staffs have been so accommodating and nurturing to us through their advisement and support. I will miss each and every person that I came into contact with, as well as, the beautiful, fast-pace city of London.

Kameron Duncan

Work at the Royal Veterinary College this week was simple. I was granted the opportunity to discontinue all lab work and work strictly on my presentation. Constructing my powerpoint was much different than the way I would at Spelman College. At my home school, they require us to prepare our Powerpoint slides with minimal words and verbally present the necessary details. At the Royal Veterinary College, Dr. Liam asked me to structure my slides more constructively; filling the slides with meaningful data and using my speech to strictly elaborate on the slide content. He said that the slides themselves should teach the audience my topic and my purpose for presenting should be to add structure to their understanding. I loved this new way of presenting! Although it was different, my fear of delivery was overtaken by confidence the morning of my performance. 

Tayler Elam

I love to learn and excel.  Me working hard now is only going to carry over into the semester to follow, and I am expecting great performance for this coming academic school year.  I am still going to do my very best with studying and working to get better grades in my classes for the time remaining.  I want to make sure that my research continues to progress as well; remaining positive and faithful in all things to come.

Asha Farmer

My last week in London was definitely bittersweet. We completed as many things as we could around the city in the short time that we had. Counting down the days felt so surreal, and it was definitely a week of reflection. This past weekend we attempted to go somewhere new and flashy for nightlife, but things didn’t work out the way we had hoped. So instead, we spent time reminiscing together during our last full weekend. I also got a chance to finally visit the infamous Camden Market, where I purchased souvenirs, and a few things for myself. I wish I had gone sooner, because it was definitely overwhelming and I couldn’t capture or look at it all. After we left the market, I could not help but wonder if America has markets similar to that. I’m definitely going to make it my mission to find one!

London girls

Syundai, Lydia, Asha, Chelsea, Kameron, Rachel

Kalah Haley

Week nine was as good as any other week.  This past Saturday, we had a farewell dinner for a friend who is going to Sydney for about a month; I won’t be able to say goodbye to her before I leave for the States.  We went to this Indian restaurant called Ceylon (?) I think.  We had some wine and dove into some amazing curry and Nan.  It was a sad moment for me as reality started to set in that I would be next to go.  Yes, I have had my good weeks and my not-so-stellar weeks but overall, my time in Australia has definitely helped me mature as a person.  I’m not sure if the Spelman legacy has ever been as far as Australia, but hopefully the world has been a better place because of knowing that there are very intelligent black women who have high aspirations.  

Brittany Jackson

I have to start by mentioning last weekend in Morocco was amazing! I am so glad that I decided to participate. I learned so much about culture, made friends from many different countries, and even got to learn about their views of Americans!

Syundai Johnson

My last week in London was bittersweet. I was happy to be completing my project, but I was very sad to go. That week was a little hectic. I was thinking that I would be able to finish my project in time to be able to have a day or two to practice my presentation, but that was not what happened. In situ hybridization takes about 5 or 6 days to complete. In order my mine to be done in time for my presentation I had to come in on Saturday and Sunday morning. It was a little weird coming in on the weekend because the lab was so empty and I was used to it being full of people. 

Jasmine Mason

Yoga in the park on Friday was so relaxing! It was nice to gather with so many new faces for a new experience here in Cordova. After yoga in Cruz Conde Park, we headed to “la sierra” (mountain range). Hiking a total of 9 km in the dark through the mountains of Cordova was certainly an adventure! The night weather was perfect and the smell of fresh parsley was in the air. The view of the city from the top of the mountain was breathtaking. We didn’t finish the hike until 2AM, but I can’t imagine a better way to have spent my Friday night. I am in the process of training for my first half-marathon, so this was a great cross-training opportunity as well as a wonderful cultural immersion experience.

Albryona Pope

I personally do not think I could have grown up this fast and this much under any other circumstances because not only have I had to learn how to grocery shop and navigate my way through a new city alone, I have had to do all these things in a language completely different then my native tongue. It has been an extremely difficult but extremely rewarding journey and I am and will be eternally grateful for the opportunity that Spelman G-Stem and the AGMUS program have given me.

Kwan and elephant


Kwan Rhea

This week was filled with adventure and life-long memories. So far, this has been the best week of the trip. This was our first full free day and I must say that our social committee did a wonderful job planning a fun-filled action packed day. We traveled to Blyde River Canyon, the third largest canyon in the world and the Moholoholo Wildlife Rehabilitation Center.

Gabrielle Richardson

I have learned so much this summer while working with Dr. Sancho. I like to think that I am now a FACS and Flow JO expert having worked with them so much this summer. Because of this experience, I am now confident of my research abilities and eager to look more into research opportunities. Though initially the research internship seemed daunting, I soon began to feel comfortable with all of the equipment and procedures. I am so grateful that I was able to work in this lab this summer in such a beautiful city.

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