Maria Lumpkin is the Director of Student Life and Engagement at Spelman College. Her husband, Corey, is the Program Manager of the Public Health Sciences Institute at Morehouse College. Together, they take students all over the world with EF College Study Tours.
Spelman and Morehouse colleges are part of the largest consortium of historically black institutions of higher learning in the world. Corey has taught courses in public health and health-care administration at the collegiate level. Maria has lectured in leadership and urban education administration.
On their next educational adventure, Maria and Corey (pictured above on their last EF tour to Egypt) are traveling with students to Japan. In the Group Leader Spotlight, Maria talks about providing travel opportunities to their students, how to recruit travelers and her ideal convention destination.
What inspired you to begin traveling abroad with students?
I have become increasingly focused on ways to encourage more African-American and other minority students’ access to international education. The unacceptably low levels of participation by African-American students (3.4%), Latino/Hispanics (5.1%), Native American (0.5%) and Asian/Hawaiian/Pacific Islanders (6.0%) is of great concern and motivation for me to launch a concerted effort to drastically improve areas of access, scholarship and programs to help disenfranchised students see the world.
Why do you think it is important for students to travel on an educational tour?
It is important to provide substantive opportunities for students to learn about the diverse cultures and values of the world, and to provide global experiences that will enable students to function in a multicultural milieu.
What kind of an effect does traveling abroad have on your students?
Traveling abroad provides exposure to living and working within an increasingly interdependent world by providing students with the leadership skills necessary to succeed in a global marketplace and helping them understand themselves as intercultural citizens of a global community.
If you could design one of the 2010 EF conventions, where would you go?
If I could design a convention, I would travel to the Holy Land because there are so many aspects of religious diversity and history to explore.
How do you incorporate your EF tours into your curriculum?
We offer pre-departure sessions with members from our faculty. We also conduct field trips that provide preliminary exposure.
Do you have any tips for recruiting students for your tour?
Book early, implement payment plans and take advantage of Facebook, Twitter and MySpace.
How do you get your students excited to travel and keep their excitement up until it is time to depart?
When we return from our trips, we have a post-trip session with food and music for the campus community.
Anything else you would like to share with our readers?
EF is a great company that provides a wonderful service. Working with EF gives you the ability to have a care-free travel experience!
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