Taking a bite of the Big Apple

Professor Kraig Archer,

Global Awareness Club adviser:

In New York City, I was most impressed by our students – Matt Boyd, Rachel Kobylas, Twana Pinskey, Ray Robison, and Liz Whittemore. Once it was decided the Global Awareness Club was going to New York, the students took the lead in arranging a multitude of details, such as where we would stay, transportation and the sites we would see. Their motto was, “we do the difficult immediately; the impossible takes a while longer.”

The John Lennon memorial, located in the Strawberry Fields portion of Central park, stands in memory of perhaps one of the greatest songwriters from the last century.

Photo credit Raymond Robinson The John Lennon memorial, located in the Strawberry Fields portion of Central park, stands in memory of perhaps one of the greatest songwriters from the last century.


Once in New York, they were all great representatives for our college. It was impressive how they asked Dr. Easterly – one of the world’s top authorities on international development and foreign aid – relevant questions.

Twana discussed her experiences in Honduras and plans to assist the women she has been working with there. Rachel told him of the college’s plans to send students to our sister college in Guatemala, and how we would like to work with their students to help the poor in their country.

Dr. Easterly was very impressed that students drove all the way from Michigan to see him, and that they shared their own plans for international development projects. He was humbled by that, and told them that he hoped that he would live up to their expectations as he answered their questions.

Our students also networked and established contacts with Columbia University’s chapter of Engineers Without Borders, the Peace Corps, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the State Department, the New York Police Department, the New York Fire Department and the journalism departments at both New York University and Columbia University.

Subway musicians are commonplace in New York. This gentleman earns money by playing his jing-hu, a Peking opera fiddle.

Photo Credit Twana Pinskey Subway musicians are commonplace in New York. This gentleman earns money by playing his jing-hu, a Peking opera fiddle.

On top of this they saw the United Nations, the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, the musical “Chicago” on Broadway, the John Lennon Memorial in Central Park, and the 9/11 Memorial at Ground Zero. They attended conferences on international careers through the government, as well as on the work of female documentary film makers. We ate great Italian, Thai, Turkish, and Cuban food. Although we didn’t get much sleep, we would all go back in a New York minute.

Matthew Boyd,

Global Awareness Club President:

The trip to New York was a great learning tool and we accomplished many goals.

Talking with Dr. Easterly and the Columbia chapter of Engineers Without Borders provided us with many ideas and options.

We were also thankful for the unexpected opportunities that presented themselves.

At a conference at NYU, we talked to the journalism department director. The director said he was “envious” of SC4, because NYU does not have an FCC license and cannot broadcast their radio station.

On the way to another workshop, we had we stopped and talked with an NYPD officer. He explained some of the NYPD’s hiring practices, and that they are currently hiring.

We learned a great deal, and we’re eager to share it all very soon.

Twana Pinskey,

Erie Square Gazette Editor-in-Chief

and Global Awareness Club member:

Visiting ground zero while in New York, I remember thinking of the beautiful, sunny day in New York, how solemn and revered ground zero felt.

Global Awareness students in NYC made contacts that will help set ground work for future humanitarian efforts in places like Chiquimula, Honduras, Africa or wherever the students and faculty of St. Clair County Community College feel compelled to answer the call to assist our global neighbors.

My proudest moment was when Adrian Mihai, Broadcast Operations Manager at New York University’s journalism department, commented SC4 has something we don’t.

You have an FCC regulated radio station?” asked Mihai.

He then went on to say how envious he was, because the students at NYU do not have a FCC regulated radio station. This felt like a confirmation that community college students can and do get what we need to compete in our chosen fields.

Ray Robinson,

Erie Square Gazette Managing Editor

and Global Awareness Club member:

The “City that Never Sleeps,” the “Big Apple,” the “City so Nice They Named it Twice” and “Gotham.” Each name invokes many visuals, but they all refer to New York City.

With its many burroughs, you can be there a month and still not enjoy every experience.

To stand in the heart of Times Square is almost overwhelming; the sights and sounds may be irritating, but in some ways flow like music.

New York City has many nationalities under its umbrella. Having experienced this world for the first time, I was impressed how it flowed as a single entity.

Liz Whittemore,

Erie Square Gazette Photo Editor

and Global Awareness Club member:

I’d never visited NYC before it became Ground Zero. Even knowing what had occurred, standing outside the construction of “Freedom Tower” felt ordinary, like any other construction site. It was disheartening to be where so much devastation occurred and feel nothing.

The WTC Tribute Center is truly remarkable. As the daughter of a history buff, that says a lot considering I cringe at the thought of a museum, due to a childhood of being dragged to them.

The museum has pieces of the wreckage, pictures, missing persons signs and even quotes of those that had been affected.

The Center gives visitors a realistic representation of what had happened. Nothing is sugar coated.

September 11 was nothing less than devastation, and walking away from the museum leaves you feeling heartbroken but inspired.

We may have lost 3000 lives, and our tallest buildings may have collapsed, but as a nation we are strong and unwavering.

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