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2002 SHSU Puebla Field School Is a Success
The field school, which ran from May 30-June 26, is a yearly program offered each summer during the first summer session. It gives Sam Houston State students an opportunity to receive course credit while getting out of the country a month and experiencing the Mexican culture.
Courses were taught in the Colleges of Education, Business and Arts and Sciences. Forty students and six professors participated in the school.
The Department of Agriculture offered Range Management and International Agriculture, taught by Pat Bagley. Darla Chisholm taught an economics course on International Trade Issues and a course on International Finance.
The art department offered three courses: Beginning and Advanced Drawing, taught by Denise Lorenz, and Photography, taught by Tony Shipp. Kay Raymond taught Advanced Conversational Spanish as well as the Mexican Short Story, and Frieda Koeninger taught Intermediate Spanish I.
Classes were held on the campus of the Universidad Iberoamericana, where students had access to computer and photography laboratories as well as sports and academic facilities.
According to Koeninger, the program's director, half of the students chose to stay with Mexican families and the other half lodged at the Holiday Inn Centro Historico, a hotel that was originally a home built in the 19th century.
"Everything went very smoothly," said Koeninger. "There were no earthquakes, floods or volcano eruptions. Students adapted rapidly to the Puebla surroundings, made new friends from the beginning, and quickly began using public transportation to get around on their own."
Students had the opportunity to visit several archeological sites such as the Cacaxtla, Cholula, Teotihuacan and Templo Mayor. They also went on trips to places such as the stock exchange, the National Museum of Anthropology, Chapultepec Castle, Frida Kahlo's house, the Museo Amparo and the Fort of Loreto, the site of the Battle of Cinco de Mayo.
Maybe it wasn't the best time to be an American in Mexico, however. During the final week of the school, the World Cup soccer tournament was just beginning to heat up. Mexico's focus was on its game against the U.S. Despite their team's loss to the Americans, Koeninger said the locals were gracious losers.
"The greatest excitement this year was the World Soccer Cup, as the Mexican team did very well and the whole country was focused on the games," she said. "Our Mexican friends were good natured about losing to the U.S. team, but Sam students were gracious winners and avoided rubbing it in."
Sam Houston State administrators Richard Eglsaer, Mitchell Muehsam, Brian Chapman and Bill Green joined the group for a couple of days to take in the sights.
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