Students to Travel to Chile for Environmental Sustainability Class

by Public Relations | Mar 01, 2018

March 1, 2018

Chile Travelers

Fourteen Saint Vincent College students will participate in a week-long spring break study abroad program to Chile. The students will be traveling from March 2 to 10 under the supervision of Dr. Peter Smyntek, assistant professor of interdisciplinary science, and his wife, Alejandra Smyntek.

The students are Raymond Aguiar, a junior history major from Cheshire, Connecticut; Billie Bell, a junior marketing major from Mogadore, Ohio; Kelly Conaway, a senior anthropology major from Dover, Delaware; Cameron Ekiert, a senior communication major from Export; Marion Emerson, a junior English major from Clarksburg, West Virginia; Matthew Jodis, a senior psychology major from Latrobe; Connor Locklin, a junior management major from Champion; Cristy Marsh, a junior communication major from Latrobe; Rachel Mattica, a junior history major from New Brighton; Christina Senchak, a junior early childhood education major from Oakmont; Carson Snyder, a junior art education major from Irwin; Shalyn Vukich, a sophomore Spanish major from Beaver Falls; Jason Walko, a sophomore marketing major from Smithton; and Ashley Zolocsik, a sophomore environmental science major from Worthington.

The students, who are enrolled in Smyntek’s “Environmental Sustainability in Chile” course, will visit the cities of Santiago, Vina Del Mar and Valparaiso, as well as Quilapilun Solar Energy Park and La Campana National Park, to learn more about sustainable energy resources and the importance of sustainable transportation, agriculture, biodiversity and marine resources. Chile is one of the fastest-growing tourist destinations in South America, and is currently making huge strides toward developing sustainable energy sources. Currently, 45 percent of Chile’s energy usage is powered by renewable sources such as wind turbines, geothermal energy plants and solar energy fields. La Campana National Park is also home to the most extensive palm forest in Chile, one of the only two left in the country. Chile’s great strides toward sustainability and renewable energy make the country a great reference point for possible changes that could be made in southwestern Pennsylvania.

“I am hopeful that this trip to Chile will broaden the students’ perspectives on key environmental and sustainability-related issues,” Smyntek said. “I believe that seeing distinct approaches to these issues first-hand in a different culture can provide insight and spur reflection on our own strategies for improving environmental sustainability where we live.”

The students will consider the application of sustainable energy resources in southwestern Pennsylvania and will present their findings at the SVC Academic Conference on April 25.

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Photo: Front row, left to right: Matthew Jodis, Jason Walko, Kelly Conaway, Marion Emerson, Cristy Marsh, Ashley Zolocsik, Dr. Peter Smyntek. Back row: Raymond Aguiar, Connor Locklin, Shayln Vukich, Christina Senchak, Carson Snyder, Alejandra Smyntek. Not pictured: Cameron Ekiert, Billie Bell, Rachel Mattica

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