Olivia Schafer, along with eight other University Honors Program students traveled to Accra, Ghana, in December 2011, on a trip led by Carolette Norwood, an assistant professor in Africana Studies. The seminar examined women, population and development in developing countries – emphasizing the political and economic underpinnings of population policies and their consequences for women in poor countries.
“This topic appealed to me mostly because of my current involvement with a nonprofit organization, Building Walls of Wisdom,” says 19-year-old Olivia, a second-year middle-childhood-education major from Bond Hill. “Through eradicating poverty by providing accessible education, Building Walls of Wisdom raises the funds to build schools in underdeveloped countries, and their most recent schools have been built in northern Ghana. Since I am in the process of establishing a student branch of BWoW here on campus, I thought the course would be complementary to my involvement with BWoW and provide some good background knowledge.”
Olivia is not new to international experiences. “I actually grew up outside the U.S. My parents are both international educators, and their jobs took our family overseas. We lived in Saudi Arabia for six years and Abu Dhabi for another six before returning home to Cincinnati during my high school years. Living overseas brought much opportunity for travel, which my family did often!
“My first honors seminar on the Renaissance in Italy with a study trip to Florence and Rome last spring. Since that first seminar, I have been so thankful for the opportunities offered through the Honors program here at UC. The seminars offered each quarter have diverse topics that appeal to all different types of learners, and the ones that include travel components are always varied.
It's incredible to me that so many seminars are made available, because it gives students the opportunity to branch outside their majors and study concentrations to focus on areas we find interesting, giving us an expanded education that would be hard to achieve elsewhere. In addition, the study trips offer the opportunity to experience firsthand what was learned during the course, which is valuable beyond words.”
The University Honors Program comprises the top 7 percent of UC undergraduate students from across colleges and disciplines. University Honors focuses on unique and challenging academic and hands-on experiences that reflect the themes of community engagement, global study, leadership, research and the creative arts.
Olivia Schafer at Cape Coast, Ghana.
University Honors Program students in Ghana.
University Honors Program students with Ghana residents.