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Lehigh Carbon Community College

After studying with Brett Mullinix, art students took their learned skills and applied them to a day-long water color seminar and lecture with art historian and water colorist Christopher Wright on the beach in Crete, Greece.

Reinhardt Assistant Professor of Theatre David Nisbet taught History of Greek and History of Greek Theaters this summer, while Mullinix taught Environment as Subject Matter and Minoan and Mycenaean Art and Architecture. Nisbet and Mullinix accompanied nine students, three art alumni included, to Greece May 8-25. Mullinix said this year, they visited 14 places to experience “historical, visual, cultural, archaeological and theatrical significance” with the courses, leaving plenty of time for exploration of contemporary cities and villages for themselves.

“I feel very strongly that a study abroad experience should not just be about, ‘I saw this, and I saw that,’ but more importantly, it should be about ‘I got to know about this and I got to know about that’ in a very personal way,” said Mullinix, assistant professor of art and coordinator of Reinhardt’s fine arts program. “This allows the students the opportunity to expand their intellectual view, not only of the world but also of themselves in the world.”

Mullinix noted people from the island of Crete, where they spent a majority of their time, to be particularly welcoming. While experiencing a new culture, Harmon felt the enhanced interactions with locals, remembering how one waiter lit up when they said ‘thank you’ in Greek and how excited their first tour guide was teaching them about the country

“They had so much pride in where they lived and wanted to share it with us the second we stepped off the plane. I felt so welcome with the people we met; the hospitality was amazing. I wasn’t concerned with where we were eating, where we were shopping or what we were doing the next day, I was just ready to experience it,” said recent graduate Carley Harmon. “It made me realize that life is about point of view. It’s your experiences that make you who you are, and I’m so happy and fortunate I was able to make this trip a part of that for me.”

The visit in Margarites, a notorious pottery village for thousands of years, was also interactive. Students not only learned about the heritage of the potters living there, but they also worked with Georgios Dalamvelas, who operates “Kerameion” with his family. Students learned how he makes clay from local sources and bakes pottery using a traditional beehive updraft kiln. The students made their own work in his studio, a place keeping the long tradition of pottery making alive.

Harmon enjoyed the hands-on portions, saying they aided in her learning process as a visual learner because she took pictures in a way that helped her remember different topics and viewed old architecture, locating similarities and differences in person, rather than solely out of a textbook.

“While photos in textbooks are great, they can never replace going there and experiencing it,” Harmon said. “Being able to walk around the old Minoan and Mycenaean pathways and almost see what it was like to live like them…being able to match information to an actual experience is so much easier than trying to cram information for a test and remember it past the final grade.”