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SAHE students explore the Yucatan

February 22, 2013

Five students from the Student Affairs in Higher Education program visited the Universidad Autonoma de Yucatan for an educational experience to learn about higher education in Mexico.

Students enrolled in the SAHE program are pursuing a Master of Science degree seeking careers in student affairs and higher education administration in a college setting.  The main objective of the trip to UADY is to expose students to an international experience and learn higher education in a different country.

In preparation for the trip, students were enrolled in a course titled Global Perspectives of Student Affairs. This three credit course was taught by faculty members from the program. During the course, students researched higher education  models, cultural norms, and heard from guest speakers who were from China and Mexico.

The UADY experience

The trip started with students participating in an array of cultural experiences.  Students learned about the Mayan culture by attending a new museum - El Gran Museo Del Mundo Maya. The museum included ancient artifacts, elements of language, and a comprehensive understanding of  Mayan life. Students also visited Cenotes, a ceremony recognizing the death of the founder of the UADY and socialist governor, Felipe Carillo Puerto. The cultural experience included visits to the three Mayan ruins: Chitzen Itza, Tulum, and Uxmal. 

As part of the students’ academic experiences, the students spent time visiting three types of universities - private, public, and vocational - as well as round table discussions of education in Mexico  with the secretary of Education. The trip also included presentations from the vice president of Finance and their vice president of Student Affairs. The experience included presentations on two master's programs at UADY as well as informal dialogue on student involvement and their program of study. SAHE students had an opportunity to present on classroom experiences, assistantships, higher education in the United States, and finance in higher education. The academic experience concluded with panels of student leaders and mentors as well as a visit to a high school that UADY provides oversight and one of their satellite campuses, Tizimin.

The students shared the trip as a life changing experience that will impact their personal and professional careers.  SAHE student Jose Pena stated, “I could see myself working at UADY and giving back to the community.”

Participating students, faculty and staff

The SAHE students participating in the experience were Sarah Stephens, Jenna Swartz, Ben Wurzel, Jose Pena, and Enrique Lara Nuno.  The SAHE faculty who participated were Craig Chesson, Paul Osincup, and Paul Giberson

The SAHE program is located in the School of Education within the College of Health & Human Sciences.