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Rutgers SPAA Professors Cleopatra Charles and Stephanie Newbold Lead Spring Break Study Abroad Course in Saint Lucia

Spring Break 2024

Rutgers SPAA professors Cleopatra Charles and Stephanie Newbold led an embedded study abroad course on Saint Lucia during spring break where students critically examined non-governmental organizations (NGOs) of the Anglophone Caribbean.

While on the island for seven nights, students attended interactive lectures with senior level scholars and practitioners involved in non-governmental organizations, participated in field trips, and had ample time for sightseeing, learning about the people and culture of Saint Lucia throughout their stay. Students were provided with a broad understanding of international nonprofits and social change abroad, helped to identify possible policy solutions for problems facing nonprofits in the developing world, and worked to understand how nonprofits on the island of Saint Lucia have been able to respond to global, national, and local issues facing the sector.

"Our field has often overlooked the value of international governmental organizations and international NGOs as a means to enhance our collective understanding for how public servants practice public sector management in comparative governmental environments," said Dr. Charles. "One way that we can prepare our students for this increasingly interconnected environment is by ensuring that every student who is interested in working across borders is prepared to appreciate and confront the challenges of implementing complex public service policies and programs in different international contexts."

Students participated in an agri-tourism experience entitled "In the Eyes of a FarmHER" facilitated by Helen's Daughters, a Saint Lucian nonprofit with a mission to amplify the role of agriculture and women in Saint Lucia and the wider Caribbean region.

Students visited the Pigeon Island National Landmark managed by the Saint Lucia National Trust.

Students had the opportunity to climb to the top of Fort Rodney.

Students visited the National Community Foundation, a philanthropic, nonprofit organization dedicated to providing direct support services to enhance the quality of life of the poor and needy and fostering self-development and social upliftment in Saint Lucia.