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Whitworth University Costa Rica Center

Sabbatical

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Whitworth faculty are encouraged to consider taking their sabbaticals at the Costa Rica Center. Here, faculty members may take advantage of doing research in a Costa Rican context while they teach one course in a context of experiential learning. In addition, faculty members may choose to have immediate family members accompany them during their sabbatical in Costa Rica. Faculty members and their families can live in the Professor's Suite or apartment on campus, where they'll become members of the CRC family. Professor of Sociology Jennifer Holsinger was the first faculty member to take a sabbatical at the CRC. She and her family joined the CRC community as she researched immigration and taught an immigration-themed discussion group for Core 350. More recently, Professor of Political Science Patrick Van Inwegen and his family were at the CRC. Professor Van Inwegen taught political science courses and continued his personal research. Faculty members interested in taking their sabbaticals at the CRC should contact Director Lindy Scott (lscott@whitworth.edu).

Here is what Professor Holsinger had to say about her experience at the Costa Rica Center:

"The decision to spend a semester at the Costa Rica Center required some sacrifice. I had to figure out the logistics of educating a school-age child abroad, find time to study a region of the world I knew nothing about, give up some time from my own research agenda, and think through all that goes into spending three-and-a-half months away from home and the usual responsibilities. By the end of the semester, these sacrifices seemed minute in comparison to all that I took from this experience.

"During my sabbatical in spring 2011, I had the privilege of teaching Core 350 with CRC Director Lindy Scott. Costa Rica provides a natural environment in which to explore questions and issues of policies and ethics. From a week spent in a faith-based foster home in a neighboring socialist country to a weekend spent in a village of fishermen trying to protect the future of their trade, these contexts bring new insights to relationships and processes involving worldviews, social problems and community.

"A semester at the CRC afforded me many gifts. I had the privilege of accompanying students in an experience that has changed their lives. In addition, I was given the opportunity to do something that I love. I got to be a student again… of language, of culture, and of life. I got to hear stories and build relationships across many types of borders. I learned new techniques of teaching, new perspectives and new examples to incorporate in my classes. I was able to explore a beautiful country with my family and to see my children grow in ways made possible by this journey. I also had the chance to see roots planted for a campus that will continue to grow in the years to come."