By Mary Burger – Staff Writer
If you are from Kentucky, then you know that many high school students participate in the Governor’s Scholars Program (GSP), a program designed to provide high school students with a college experience the summer before their senior year of high school.
But what if a high school student just wants to come to Centre College for the summer? And what if the students are not from Kentucky?
Thanks to Centre’s Summer Scholars Program, there is a new summer academic option available on Centre’s campus.
This program first began last year under the name of the Global Leadership Academy. It consisted of 24 students who lived on campus and took classes on leadership and global issues. This year, roughly 30 to 40 students will live in McReynolds and Wiseman.
“It is sort of like a shorter version of CentreTerm. The course is very interactive and students get out into the community,” Dr. Milton Reigelman, J. Rice Cowan Professor of English, Director of International Programs, and Special Assistant to the President, said. “Last year we initiated this program because we have this beautiful facility and we would like to be able to use it.”
The program is set up in three different tracks. One, taught by Dr. Lee Jefferson, Assistant Professor of Religion and the Director of the program, will discuss Global Difference and Cultures.
This course will be an introduction to world religions, complete with reading of various religious texts and then visiting sites such as Gethsemani monastery, a synagogue, and a mosque. It is a chance to see religion in action.
“All of the students want to be here. They are very high achieving, very engaged, and interested in all of the readings. It is a good environment and it is fun,” Jefferson said. “It is a positive program for the college.”
Dr. Benjamin Knoll, Assistant Professor of Politics, will teach his course on State and Local Politics. And The History and Production of Food will be taught by Assistant Professor of History Dr. Sara Egge. This class is one that all participants can relate to – all people eat. And in the age of foodies and Instagraming photos of meals, food is becoming an ever more interesting topic. Some fieldtrip locations for this class may include
Marksberry Farms and Cloverdale Farms.
“What Centre does is attract really high achieving students. So getting them even earlier and seeing them in the earlier stage and that whole process will be interesting … the fact that they will participate [in Summer Scholars] shows that they are interested in what Centre has to offer. Seeing the new generation and the potential out there is appealing,” said Dr. Egge.
There are a number of events going on around campus this summer that play into the Summer Scholars Program.
The Pioneer Playhouse will be running an original play about the finest moment in Centre’s athletic history, when the football team beat undefeated Harvard 6-0. Governor’s School for the Arts (GSA) will also be on campus for the first time.
The college will furthermore be hosting an alumni event, Take the Class You Never Had. Through this program, alumni from all ages are able to come back and take a class that they did not have the chance to during their undergraduate career.
Centre is also calling on some of its former professors to help teach classes. Professors such as Larry Matheny, a popular professor known for his Constitutional Law, have agreed to come back and teach another class for alumni.
Dr. Charles G. Vahlkamp, the professor for whom Vahlkamp Theatre is named, will return to campus to teach about what he considers to be the greatest film of all time, Casablanca. “It will be Vahlkamp in Vahlkamp,” Reigelman said. Having all of these different events on campus will increase the positive Centre energy over the summer.
The Summer Scholars Program is a great way for high school students to learn what it is like to go to Centre College on a small, personal level.