Tag: travel course

Travel tip: Course provides trip inside human body

UWGB travel course in GermanyIt was a return trip for UW-Green Bay Human Biology professors Amanda Nelson and Donna Ritch, but a whole new world for 17 UWGB Human Biology and Bellin College of Nursing students.

The group recently returned home from a summer travel course to Guben, Germany, and a chance to work with world-renowned German anatomist Gunther von Hagens — inventor of the preservation process plastination, now made famous by the Body Worlds touring exhibits.

The course is designed around the use of human cadavers in teaching and research environments, which includes the four-day workshop at the Plastinarium and a trip to Auschwitz. The students were able to meet and pose for a picture with von Hagens during a tour of the facilities.

The workshop led students through each step of the process of plastination, from autopsies to dissection to tissue dehydration to positioning to curing. In addition to completing a full dissection of two human cadavers, the UWGB students had other opportunities — injecting and positioning animal hearts and kidneys, among them.

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Human Biology senior Crystal Remsza and her roommate Bridget Schedler decided to explore the experience together.

“I figured any experience I can get will help me in the long run, but it turned out better than I expected,” Remsza said. “The plastinarium experience was incredible,” Remsza said. “Dr. Nelson told us before leaving that we would get a lot of hands on experience and she was absolutely right. Dissecting cadavers was something I never imagined myself doing, but I loved it. I was able to apply everything I’ve learned about the human body from my classes to a real specimen in front of me. The coolest part of my time at the plastinarium was removing all of the internal organs in one piece. There were four of us working on this and once we finally removed everything from the heart, lungs, intestines, etc. it was a proud moment!”

Schedler, a senior from Grafton, Wis., who hopes to be a physical therapist one day, said the experience was “amazingly unforgettable.” “I gained a unique perspective on human anatomy that cannot be taught from a book. It was much more intriguing than anything I thought it could be.”

Likewise, senior human biology major Kelly Strasser said that everyday the trip provided a unique experience.

“From your basic muscle dissection of human cadavers to an all-out autopsy, we were able to carry out tasks I had never anticipated would be possible as an undergraduate student,” Strasser said. “Most importantly, the freedom that we were given to explore and problem solve during our dissections was incredible. The staff encouraged us to figure out on our own which techniques were most effective for a given task. This helped to build our independence and confidence as students.”

The students’ enthusiasm is something Prof. Nelson, who was leading her third course to Guben, has come to expect.

“The students were very engaged in the process of plastination and their intense focus was palpable by the plastinarium staff,” said Nelson. “They were in awe of the hands-on experience they received. If they wanted to do something, they just asked and soon found themselves doing just that (i.e., using a saw to remove a human skull, witnessing the preparation of a lion display).”

“In addition to the content of the course, I always hope that the students immerse themselves in the culture of the countries we visit,” said Nelson, who has led her third summer tour to Guben.

The group enjoyed side trips to both Krakow and Prague, embracing the culture of Poland and the Czech Republic, according to Nelson, and visiting a concentration camp, as well.

“That visit prompted discussion of Nazi experimentation and the controversy regarding the use of the results of these experiments,” she said. “Prior to traveling, the students were required to give group presentations on similar topics, such as organ/body donation, eugenics, Nazi experimentation.

The experience will pay dividends down the road, when most of the students prepare for medical careers and graduate school.

“Without a doubt, this experience provides a unique talking point at a graduate school interview,” Nelson said. “Securing a seat in a professional program has become increasingly difficult and this course is a highlight on many of our students’ resumes.”

Remsza, who hopes to be accepted into dental school upon graduating from UWGB in May of 2016, said the experience have her a glimpse of a future in the medical field.

“This experience was important to me because it allowed me to really imagine myself with a career in the medical field,” she said. “I am even more anxious to go on to dental school and I’m curious to see what my future holds.”

Strasser, who will begin applying to athletic training programs at the end of this summer sees a direct link between this trip and pursuing her future career goals.

“I now have so much I can add to my resume for graduate school applications,” she said. “With programs being so competitive, it is important to participate in activities that make your resume stand out. My experiences in the plastinarium will certainly do that. I now have all these unique experiences I can draw from for my application and interview processes that will help me stand out and be remembered.”

Seventeen UWGB students get Plastinarium experience in Germany


Human Biology Profs. Donna Ritch and Amanda Nelson guided a group of 17 UW-Green Bay students on a study tour of Germany recently including a week at the famous “Plastinarium” in the city of Guben. (The Plastinarium is the place that produces the BodyWorks exhibit familiar to American museum-goers, made possible by techniques engineered there to preserve tissue and vital organs for anatomical display.) The two professors were interviewed by the local newspaper. If your German is passable, or you’d like to plug the text into an online translation utility, or you’d just like to see the photo, click here.

Photos from Florence

travel course to Florence

Music Prof. Sarah Meredith Livingston led a travel course March 13-22 titled “VOCALISSIMO: Tones of Florence.” Nine singers presented a concert of American music theater and opera arias on Thursday, March 19, at the Duomo Auditorium, a performing venue built by the DelBianco Foundation. The performers included two UWGB alumni, Kerry Kuplic, assistant professor at Dodge City Community College, Kansas and three of his students, and Tessa Wegenke, Minn., as well three UWGB Theater and Music students. Meredith Livingston has taken more than 100 students to Florence, Italy over the years. The DelBianco Foundation sets up a fantastic program for the group that includes Italian classes in the morning, afternoon museum visits and the performance.

travel course to Florence

travel course to Florence

Gallery: Students work with ostracized Roma during Slovakia travel course

A dozen UW-Green Bay students took part in a life-changing travel course this summer, working to bring improved health and critical education to the ostracized Roma people of Slovakia. Eight Nursing practicum students and four Women’s and Gender Studies students made the trek with Associate Prof. Janet Reilly and Prof. Sarah Meredith Livingston. They worked hands-on with residents of Roma settlements who were ailing or had health questions, and also organized educational opportunities for specially trained health mediators within each community. “People would come outside and they would ask about their blood pressure, their swollen legs, growth and development of their kids, parenting, polio, TB,” Reilly said. “I, in my 30 years of nursing, have not seen such young polio patients.” The trip was an at-times trying, yet eye-opening and rewarding experience, Reilly and Meredith Livingston said. You can read more, and check out a photo gallery — click here.
 

New video: Travel course students bug out in Panama forest

Students and staff at the Institute for Tropical Ecology and Conservation (ITEC) in Panama have put together a video documenting part of UW-Green Bay’s travel course that took place there in January. The four-minute video, posted to ITEC’s Facebook page, documents UW-Green Bay Prof. Mike Draney and class conducting a rapid assessment survey of insect, arachnid and millipede diversity in the forest. Draney, UW-Green Bay instructor Vicki Medland and St. Norbert College Assistant Prof. Carrie Kissman led the travel course, which enrolled nine UW-Green Bay and St. Norbert students. They are UW-Green Bay grad students Stephanie Beilke and Thomas Purdom, along with undergrads Jenna Harrington, Brandon Justinger, Robyn Nielsen, Linda Vang and Brian Yagle. St. Norbert students Adam Dziewa and Katie LaPlante also made the trip, part of the cooperative travel course organized and run through UW-Green Bay. See the video.

 

Students return home from body work at Plastinarium in Germany

UW-Green Bay anatomy and physiology students traveled 4,500 miles this summer to the Plastinarium in Guben, Germany for a chance to work with a preservation technique called plastination. (We featured a story on last year’s trip in the May issue of the Inside 360 print magazine.) The students and tour leaders, Human Biology Associate Prof. Amanda Nelson and Associate Dean Donna Ritch, worked side-by-side with German anatomist Dr. Gunther von Hagens, who developed the process for dissection and anatomical study of preserved corpses. We have photos — none too graphic — click here.
 

Health sciences students gain unique perspective on travel course

Plastinarium,  UW-Green Bay travel courseUniversity of Wisconsin-Green Bay anatomy and physiology students traveled 4,500 miles this summer to the Plastinarium in Guben, Germany for a chance to work with a preservation technique called plastination.

The students and tour leaders, Human Biology Prof. Amanda Nelson and Associate Dean Donna Ritch, worked side-by-side with German anatomist Dr. Gunther von Hagens, who discovered the process now made famous by controversial Body Worlds international touring exhibits.

The dissection and anatomical study of preserved corpses is clearly of value to medical science and education. UW-Green Bay students — many of them with successful health science and medical careers in front of them — benefited from the trip. The course adds a unique perspective to an already rigorous program at UW-Green Bay designed to prepare undergraduates for graduate schools or health careers.

“As it becomes more and more competitive to gain entry into professional programs in the health sciences, students are looking for ways to enhance their resume,” Nelson said. “Immersing themselves in this intense, hands-on anatomy experience can highlight a student’s already impressive academic career and provide a great springboard for discussion during an interview.”

Ritch said the experience is unlike any other.

“The students that participated in this two-week travel course had an amazing, unique experience that they could not get anywhere else,” she said. “They worked in Dr. von Hagens’ laboratory and had the opportunity to meet and ask questions of him. Their free time allowed them to experience the German and Polish cultures.” Side trips took them to the site of an Auschwitz concentration camp and the Krakow Main Square — the largest medieval town square in Europe, which dates back to the 13th century.

UW-Green Bay student Emily Brown said the experience was so impactful, she didn’t want to return home.

“Participating in the workshops at the Plastinarium was an unforgettable experience,” she said. “I learned so much from the employees and exhibits and gained so much experience; I never wanted to leave!”

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Photo: Music students in Brazil


In May, UW-Green Bay students traveled with faculty for a Music travel experience in Brazil. Lead organizer for the trip was Music Prof. David Severtsen. Faculty colleague Courtney Sherman was involved as well, along with Sarah Meredith Livingston. It was the second straight year for a UW-Green Bay Music connection in Brazil, a relationship fostered by a faculty Fulbright award. For a representative travel snapshot.

At least they had Paris: Students enjoy Packers/49ers game

Traveling abroad over the winter break, UW-Green Bay French 499 and HUS 499 students managed to catch both Packer playoff games telecast live while they were in Paris. We’re told the Vikings game kicked off at 2 a.m. Paris time, and the 49ers game started even later than that. Whether in Paris or Green Bay, the first game was a hit, the second game, not so much. But, as Prof. E. Nicole Meyer relates, “If you had to see them play poorly against the 49er’s, at least it was in one of the most beautiful places in the world, Paris.”