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Cathy Rodgers, vice president of global opportunities at IBM, sailed on the Fall 2013 voyage from Ireland to Morocco, and held a captive audience among our shipboard community during her talk on sustainability and global responsibility for the environment. Ms. Rodgers is a frequent speaker on SAS voyages and last sailed on the Spring 2013 Unreasonable at Sea semester.  During her talk to the shipboard community, Ms. Rodgers addressed the social significance of sustainable development as well as the impact it can have from a community to a global scale. In 2010, Ms. Rodgers founded Rooted in Hope, a nonprofit organization that plants trees throughout sub-Saharan Africa to promote the conservation and restoration of natural resources through reforestation, watershed protection, and  environmental education. The organization to date has planted over 40,000 trees.

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Eighteen students from the Fall 2013, 50th anniversary voyage received a special (and rare) opportunity to visit Geneva, Switzerland and attend the 24th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council. The students, who each submitted applications in order to participate, were among the first group of young people to actually sit in the actual council room and watch the Human Rights Council in session. Three members of the group also had the rare opportunity to make short presentations during a special side event on youth and the right to development. Several of the student participants share their impressions of one day at the U.N. that is certain to have many lasting memories.


SAS Fall 2013 student Mia Wetmore and voyage photographer Bryan Koop contributed to the audio editing and compilation of this podcast.
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Over the past 50 years Semester at Sea’s library has grown into one of the largest floating resource centers.  Open day and night, the library aboard the MV Explorer gives students access to thousands of materials ranging from reference books to fiction novels to UVa’s full electronic academic catalog. Listen to this podcast with Semester at Sea librarian Mary Johnston as she shares the importance of the ship’s library.

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The Fall 2013 Semester at Sea community had the pleasure of sailing with Dmitry Strovksy, a professor at the Ural Federal University in Russia, from Southampton, England to St. Petersburg, Russia. It would be tough to find one student or faculty that was not impacted by his presence, whether it was his enthusiastic Russian singing, his emotional personal stories, or his in-depth lessons of Russia’s past and present status.

 

Dmitry was a wealth of knowledge and a great resource for students to get advice before disembarking on their first in-port experience. He hopes to give students an education that exceeds textbook definitions of Russia, and instead give a taste of the real Russia he knows so well. 

 

+“Russia is full of our contradictions at the moment and people abroad have lots of stereotypes about this country. I would like to flesh out these stereotypes from the minds of the students and at the same time I would like to give them a more balanced understanding of Russia. This is my professional duty and my human duty.”

 

Not only was he crucial in the Cultural Pre-Port Lecture, but also his deep singing voice accompanied by his piano playing could be heard all throughout Deck 6, emanating from the Piano Lounge. During a visit to the Global Music course, he explained that Russian music gives the listener a taste of the time period that the song was written in. Comparing pre-Soviet music to the songs of the mid 1900s was a great lesson in the fact that history can be learned from all sorts of contexts and mediums.

 

Russia music symbolizes the very origins of this culture because songs illustrate how Russian spirit exists. Through the song it’s possible to better understand the Russian spirit, not only the mind of Russians but mostly Russian spirit. We would also come to a certain conclusion that the Russian spirit is somewhat different compared to the western spirit.”

 

Listen to this podcast to hear more about Dmitry’s experience on board the MV Explorer.

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When we discuss the economic problems in a country, we hardly consider the environmental impacts. Although Greece has been in a poor economic state since World War II, rapid urbanization and the Athens 2004 Olympic Games were some of the key factors pushing Athens to the brink of an environmental crisis. Today, Greece is marked with protests and strikes in the midst of a boiling economic crisis, and with the help of the media, the rest of the world is beginning to learn about these environmental issues.

Students taking environmental sociology onboard the MV Explorer recently had the opportunity to witness the current state of affairs in Athens. Listen to Brown University Professor Timmons Roberts and University of Louisville student Samantha Knight as they discuss the environmental effects and solutions that are at the heart of the economic crisis in Athens.

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The Union Seminar Series aboard the MV Explorer facilitates a discussion between students and faculty concerning major topics in the surrounding region. During the first installment of the series, panelists discussed the political and cultural uprisings in the Mediterranean world and the relevant current events taking place in countries on the Summer 2013 itinerary.

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The Union Seminar Series aboard the MV Explorer facilitates a discussion between students and faculty concerning major topics in the surrounding region. During the first installment of the series, panelists discussed the political and cultural uprisings in the Mediterranean world and the relevant current events taking place in countries on the Summer 2013 itinerary.

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"South Africa is a beautiful land.  It can become a paradise for all of us.  Please come to South Africa." -  Archbishop Desmond Tutu addressing the shipboard community.

As he prepares to leave the ship in Cape Town after spending 11 weeks sailing aboard the Spring 2013 Voyage, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu took the time to talk about his home country of South Africa.  In this audio recording of that eloquent presentation, the Archbishop recounts what it was like to gain freedom in 1994, ("How do you describe a rose to a blind person?"), and discusses how South Africa remains one of the most unequal societies in the world.

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Abby Aronson is a Consul of the United States of America as the U.S. Consulate General in Chennai who sailed as an Interport Diplomat on the leg between Burma and India, participating in classes, and talking to students about India, the foreign service, and many other topics.  This was not her first time sailing with Semester at Sea; Abby first sailed as a student in 1990.  Her experiences on the ship inspired her subsequent career in the foreign service.

In this audio interview, Abby explains how someone can join the foreign service, the value of a global education, as well as tips for the hundreds of Semester at Sea students descending into India.

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When he’s not sailing on Semester at Sea, Dean of Student Life Craig Hauser is the Director of Student Services at the American University of Antigua in New York.  In this audio interview, Craig describes the differences of living on a floating campus versus your typical land campus, as well as how he changes as a person every time he sails with Semester at Sea.

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