March Means Service, Learning-Based Trips

Terriers: volunteering break week? Staying put? We want to hear from you.

group of BU students on wheelchair ramp they've built

Last year, a group of BU students in the Community Service Center’s annual Alternative Service Breaks program built wheelchair ramps in Nashville, Tenn. Another group will travel to Nashville tomorrow on an ASB trip. Photo courtesy of Brianna Kincaid (CAS’18)

March 3, 2017
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We may have been teased by some unusual 70-degree weather recently, but this year’s spring break arrives just as another cold snap descends on Boston. Some students will escape the cold as they head to sandy beaches. Hundreds of others embark tomorrow on service trips across the country and in Canada and Puerto Rico to volunteer in the Community Service Center’s Alternative Service Breaks (ASB) program. And scores will join service- and learning-based trips across the globe.

Students in Questrom’s MBA Global Experience course Innovation Ecosystems will travel to Israel with Ian Mashiter, a Questrom senior lecturer in strategy and innovation. The course bills Israel as the “start-up nation,” and students will visit a variety of companies in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem to explore firsthand what makes for the successful launch and growth of a tech start-up. They’ll have some time for sightseeing, too, with a tour of Jerusalem and stops at UNESCO World Heritage Site Masada, the Dead Sea, and the Yad Vashem Holocaust Remembrance Center in Jerusalem.

Questrom’s undergraduate Global Management Experience class will once again travel to Beijing and Hong Kong. Last year Gregory Stoller, a Questrom senior lecturer in strategy and innovation, took 16 undergrads on a kind of master class in conducting business globally. This year’s class will again visit government leaders, business executives, and entrepreneurs in both locations to see how management strategies and principles are applied in the global business realm.

Students in Sargent College’s International Service Learning Program will take a faculty-led trip to Guatemala, which has one of the highest malnutrition rates in the world, to study the country’s social, environmental, and economic issues by examining them through a lens of food systems and production.

For a second consecutive year, the student-led initiative Timmy Global Health @ BU, which addresses pressing global health challenges by expanding access to health care, is sending 16 BU undergrads and a faculty chaperone to Mao, Dominican Republic, to provide primary care and medical resources to the community.

Many School of Law students will once again spend their spring break fanning out across the country to team up with various local organizations to provide pro bono legal work. This year, they are traveling to Portland, Maine, Harlingen, Tex., Detroit, Mich., Miami, Fla., Philadelphia, Pa., and New York City. As well, some will stay in Boston to volunteer at the Center for Law Education, the Court Service Center, Project Citizenship, the Volunteer Lawyers Project, and the Greater Boston Legal Services Consumer Rights Unit. Students on the Harlingen trip will work on immigration cases at the Mexican border.

A select number of College of Communication seniors and graduate students, chosen on the strength of their application and GPA, will spend the week in New York City touring various PR agencies, where they will have an opportunity to hear from CEOs. They’ll also network with alumni and learn more about internships and full-time professional opportunities.

Back in Boston, the School of Public Health’s Activist Lab is hosting its annual Spring Break Challenge: SPH students will team up with students from the School of Social Work and Sargent College to work with the local community on public health issues. This year, they’ll work with the Blackstone Community Center and Lenox-Camden Housing Development to address how to increase the involvement of adults and children from Lenox-Camden in Blackstone’s health and wellness programs.

BU Today would like to hear how you are spending spring break. Send us a photo on Instagram or Twitter, using #BUSpringBreak, by Monday, March 13, and it could appear as a BU Today “Close-Up” in the coming weeks. Be sure to include your name, the school you’re enrolled in and graduation year, and a short caption to run with your photo; you should also identify any students (name, school enrolled in, and anticipated graduation year) or faculty (school and position) in your photo.

However you’re spending the time off, we hope you have a great week.

Mara Sassoon can be reached at

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March Means Service, Learning-Based Trips

  • Mara Sassoon

    Senior Writer/Editor Twitter Profile

    Photo of Mara Sasson, a young light-skinned woman with turtle glasses. She smiles and wears a black shirt with ruffly sleeves.

    Mara Sassoon is the editor of print and digital publications for the College of Fine Arts, the School of Hospitality, and the College of General Studies. She also writes for a variety of magazines for BU’s other schools and colleges, as well as for Bostonia and BU Today. Originally from South Florida, she’s not sure she’ll ever get used to Northeast winters. Profile

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