In 2016, the largest gift in Longwood’s history created the Brock Experiences, a growing group of immersive, citizenship-focused courses at sites around the United States. Exploring the important issues of our time, new courses will be announced each fall and, after a development period, will be added to the slate of signature experiences available to students.
Begun in 2006, Yellowstone National Park has served as an unforgettable part of hundreds of students’ Longwood education. An intense, 2-week journey through Wyoming and Montana in the country’s most famous national park opens students’ eyes to the myriad of stewardship-related questions facing our society today that cannot be solved without bringing together different perspectives, from various academic disciplines to field practitioners, community members, and business leaders. As they gaze out at majestic mountains and lakes, students ponder what our responsibility as a country is to protect our precious natural resources while recognizing their value in driving commerce for thousands of communities near the park.
Dr. Alix Fink, professor of biology and dean of the Cormier Honors College for Citizen Scholars
In Virginia, proposed pipelines crossing the state have drawn the ire of communities and property owners whose lands would house the massive structures, but in northern Alaska near the Arctic Circle, pipelines are common sights—though not without controversy themselves. Students studying in the Arctic Circle explore firsthand the sociological, biological and societal impacts of pipeline construction and existence, all the while considering how citizens can serve as best stewards of our natural resources—in this case, oil and natural gas.
Dr. Phillip Poplin, associate professor of mathematics
Dr. JoEllen Pederson, assistant professor of sociology
Available Summer 2018
There is perhaps no more hotly contested issue in the United States today than immigration—who crosses our borders, and why do they make the journey to a foreign country to settle? How do they get here, and what challenges do they face once on American soil? Students studying in Arizona and Richmond experience will meet firsthand immigrant families, employers, and border security officers. Students will explore the extraordinarily complex issue of immigration alongside a team of scholars as they journey from the familiar—Richmond, Va.—to the unfamiliar—Tucson, Ariz.
Dr. Renee Gutiérrez, associate professor of Spanish American literature and culture to 1900
Dr. Connie Koski, assistant professor of criminal justice
Available Summer 2018
Building on a slate of programs and research projects already in place at Longwood’s Hull Springs Farm in Westmoreland County, the Chesapeake Bay experience offers students a unique perspective into the complex issues surrounding North America’s largest estuary system. At once a source of income for oystermen and fishermen, a rich historical landscape, and a polluted natural resource in need of cleanup, the Bay is the source of ongoing debate from a number of disciplines, including science, economics, public policy, and sociology. Students will use the Bay issues investigated as models for understanding how to critically evaluate and formulate solutions to contentious public issues in their local communities.
Dr. Mark Fink, associate professor of biology and chair of the department of biological and environmental sciences
Dr. Melissa Rhoten, professor of chemistry and director, core curriculum
Available Summer 2019
Urban areas are distinguished by the ways in which they reflect the arts and culture distinctive to their own regions and institutions. Boston is one of the most culturally rich cities in the United States, with world-class art museums and performing arts venues, as well as historical monuments and museums. Students who study in Boston will explore how the arts shape a community and dive deeply into the complex civic debate over how best to fund them.
Dr. Shawn Smith, associate professor of Renaissance literature
Available Summer 2019
Access to water—whether for drinking, recreation, or power generation—is one of the most pervasive problems in the country, and present in every community. Students who study water access issues along the Colorado River will trek from its headwaters in the Rocky Mountains National Park to its domestic terminus in Arizona, meeting with the farmers, residents, business owners, and preservationists who depend on the nation’s 5th largest river for survival and prosperity. Along the way, they will learn about the rich history of the river and the factors that threaten its continued existence—all the while considering similar issues in their home communities.
Michael Mergen, associate professor of art
Contact Josh Blakely, Director of Brock Experiences for Transformational Learning, at (434) 395-2691 or firstname.lastname@example.org