Flames of the Torch

This week, we reported on the inception of the two-week long study abroad program to Cuba. The advent of this program is not only historical, but is also significant in terms of faculty involvement. Dr. Alina Camacho-Gingerich has spent years traveling back and forth to her native Cuba to develop the curriculum for this program. Though the travel ban from the United States to Cuba was lifted in 2010, it was only back in January when Americans began to be able to travel to the country freely.

The study abroad program is one that the Torch suggests all students apply for, if the circumstances are right. Not only is it a once in a lifetime experience, but it is extremely historical, given the U.S. and Cuba’s past.

Dr. Camacho’s dedication to the development of this program is the kind of spirit students always hope to see from their professors and administrators. Luckily, St. John’s is brimming with that attitude. Dr. Camacho is just one, brilliant example of the commitment to education that is embodied at SJU.

Recently, St. John’s announced the appointment of 39 new faculty members in the President’s Newsletter. The new crop of professors is an extremely diverse staff with varying backgrounds. We hope that each new professor will bring a fresh perspective to the educational atmosphere at St. John’s. Along with this, we believe each professor will draw on their backgrounds to further enhance the diversity on our campus.

The commitment of professors is crucial for student improvement. Sure, it’s beneficial to be attend class and listen to your professor; but a professor who extends their teachings beyond the classroom is one that is truly special. It can’t all be one sided though. The Torch encourages students to think beyond the classroom when it comes to engaging in their studies and with their professors.
The further you involve yourself in your academics, the greater the benefit is to your education. You never know when you’ll find yourself in a riveting conversation with a professor. Or maybe, you’ll find yourself on a new study abroad trip. Here at St. John’s, the possibilities are endless.