Salsa In The Old World

We all know that Yale University is getting up there at 311 years old, but it is young pup in comparison to where New Haven Promise Scholar Adisa John is studying this summer. She has joined Southern Connecticut’s study abroad program at the Colegio de Espana in Salamanca, Spain. That school was older than Yale is now when Christopher Columbus made his proposal for a western voyage to a council of geographers at the University. Queen Isabella would later agree to sponsor his adventure to the “New World.”

In the photo above Adisa is focusing on some of her class work. In this case, that includes improving her salsa dancing.


Where Kings Roamed

Where Kings Roamed

Fontaine Chambers’ amazing journey to London is nearing conclusion, but not before visiting Knole House, the 14th century estate of Henry VIII of England, who felt it his divine right to expand his empire. Referred to as a calendar house with 365 bedrooms, 52 staircases and seven courtyards, Knole House is surrounded by hundreds of acres of deer park. Out there in the fields in 1967, the Beatles filmed an early music video for Penny Lane.

Rain Catching In Brazil

Rain Catching In Brazil

There really is no keeping up with James Doss-Gollin, a rising senior at Yale University and proud New Haven Scholar. He and Wilbur Cross classmate Jordy Padilla — also a Promise Scholar — founded New Haven REACH shortly after heading to college with the goal of helping city students transition from high school to college.

But James is also a global citizen, who frequently ventures out into the world to apply his learning to real-world application. Currently he is serving a Yale Fellowship in Fortaleza, Brazil, working with professors and doctoral students in the Department of Hydraulic & Environmental Engineering at the Universidade Federal do Ceará. James is on the left in the photo alongside two doctoral students.

We’ll let him explain his mission:

“We’re trying to find more secure and more sustainable ways to ensure that people in this part of Brazil have reliable access to water. It’s the poorest part of the country and subject to frequent droughts. One of the solutions that the government has recently come up with is building big water tanks — cisterns — in backyards so that they can collect rainwater in the rainy season and store it for the dry season.

“At the moment I am writing a computer program to calculate the probability is of a rainwater cistern in any given part of the state running dry. The goal is to make sure that they’re building these cisterns in places where they will help people… and finding other solutions to help people where they won’t work. We’re also going to take climate change into account in the program.

“Although I’m having a lot of fun with this work, I want to get out into the country. You can learn a lot at a university, but it’s never the same as seeing them with your own eyes.

“I’m really excited to be here because it’s putting the math and science things I did in problem sets to work on this issue that I really care about. I hadn’t really realized how many scientists (and engineers!) work on things like this that are so connected to every-day life.”

Left unsaid is how excited James is to be in Brazil as the FIFA World Cup begins. Fortaleza is near the Eastern-most point of Brazil, far north of Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo.

Far Above Cape Town

Far Above Cape Town

For Kiya Kennebrew, traveling abroad wasn’t planned. At least not for long. She decided to apply for UConn’s 2014 trip to South Africa just two weeks before the deadline. “I had previously played with the idea, but never actually considered going abroad for a semester,” she said. “When asked why I wanted to go to South Africa I wholeheartedly meant everything I said. I want to make a difference. I want to learn, grow and experience the unknown.

“I thought a lot about my purpose and why I had decided to study abroad to begin with. Other than my advisor and my SSS (UConn’s Student Support Services) family pushing me to go, I wanted to study abroad to prove that it was possible. There are many young adults in both Trenton, N.J., (her hometown) and New Haven, Conn., that never get the chance to leave their birthplace, yet alone leave the country.”

Kiya did important work in Cape Town, interning three days a week with the Western Cape Network on Violence Against Women, focused on educating and advocating for the rights of women in South Africa. In her 15-week stay, she also spent time with children, including those from the Boys & Girls Club of Soweto. But she also experienced that great unknown… in the forms of para-gliding over Cape Town and riding a horse along the beach. (“Two things I could never imagine myself doing,” she said.)

In her words, the experience was “life changing.”

A rising senior at UConn, Kiya is a psychology major with a concentration in Industrial and Organization Psychology. With a focus on gender studies in the workplace and judgment and decision-making, she hopes to earn her Ph.D. in the field and become a personnel consultant.

Click here for other photos from her adventure (including riding that horse on the beach!)

Husky Pride

Husky Pride

“Yesterday I had the opportunity to visit Olympic Stadium in Stratford, England, where the 2012 Olympic Games were held. My fellow pairs and I came across a wall where you can physically write out whatever you desire. We choose, of course, UCONN, which symbolizes that no matter where we are, or how far we go, we are all UCONN students. We have admiration for the opportunities that UCONN has provided, especially studying abroad.” — Fontaine Chambers, New Haven Promise Scholar (and UConn proud)

Breathtaking Beauty

“Today we were able to visit Vatican City. The city is sovereign — it has its own laws and police. Vatican City is the smallest internationally recognized independent state in the world by both area and population and visiting was a unique experience that many others would love to do. I had the pleasure of visiting the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City. It was beautiful. The paintings — which are far more breathtaking in person — were all created by Michelangelo. Being able to see the actual paintings that I’ve read and heard about was an amazing experience that I won’t soon forget!” — Fontaine Chambers, New Haven Promise Scholar