On June 1, 2013, a group of twenty-one individuals embarked on the School of Human Environmental Sciences Alumni and Friends Study Tour to Scotland. The trip marked the beginning of a new concept for HES that targets the non-student population of the university. Dr. Scarlett Wesley, associate professor and study tour coordinator, shared, “It was a really good group of people that meshed well together. They represented all aspects of the School.”
Planning for the trip began in August of 2012 with focus on incorporating the subject matter of all three of the departments within the School of Human Environmental Sciences in the study tour. Wesley shared, “It was challenging, but having the different aspects is what made the trip unique.” Focusing on all disciplines, rather than one, distinguishes the alumni and friends tour from the yearly student study tours offered through HES.
The study group followed a detailed itinerary highlighting historical and educational landmarks. The tour began in Edinburgh where the group visited the Edinburgh Castle, the Royal Mile, and the Palace of Holyrood. Following Edinburgh, the tour group explored Selkirk and Midlothian. On day four, they visited the House of Edgar warehouse, which is the home of the Scottish woolen UK Plaid.
The remaining days of the tour were spent exploring castles, visiting the Orkney Islands, and learning about other significant pieces of Scotland. Dr. Ann Vail, Director of the School of Human Environmental Sciences, described the visit to Orkney Island as a highlight of the trip due to the island’s historical significance. Dr. Vail stated, “The people on Orkney were friendly, passionate, and willing to share information about their country.”
The study tour provided the alumni and friends group with many opportunities to learn about various historical and modern aspects of HES in Scotland. HES alumnus Louise Zachary shared, “The trip to Scotland was one of the most enjoyable times I have had for some time. Dr. Vail and Dr. Wesley did a wonderful job of planning the trip so that we could go and truly enjoy ourselves.”
The School of Human Environmental Sciences will offer a second Alumni and Friends Study Tour with plans to travel to Italy in March 2014.