NEW COLLEGES FORMED A plan to reorganize the College of Integrated Science and Technology into two colleges took effect July 1, 2012. The new colleges are the College of Health and Behavioral Studies and the College of Integrated Science and Engineering.
Dietetics Major, Rebecca Bourne, Serves as Alternative Spring Break Leader
By Amanda Rivera
Signing doctor’s orders-"Spread joy or chase your wildest dreams"- Patch Adams is anything but your traditional physician. Volunteering as a leader for an Alternative Spring Break (ASB) trip to Patch’s Gesundheit! Institute in Hillsboro, West Virginia, junior Dietetics major Rebecca Bourne was about to find this out first-hand. The Gesundheit! Institute was founded by Patch in 1972 with a vision to “provide compassionate healthcare” through the merging of conventional and alternative medicine treatments (History of the Gesundheit! Institute). Although the Institute is not currently accepting patients until the hospital is built, the faculty is devoted to teaching others, so that their practices are carried on through other communities. Even before leaving for the trip, Rebecca understood the gravity of their work: “It is going to be slightly different than the other trips by way of the ideas and visions of Gesundheit. Their outlook is that play and interaction with others is a healing in itself and this idea is foreign to many.”
As a two-year veteran of ASB trips, Rebecca was not unaccustomed to new experiences; however, she did admit that the trip was different as a leader. “It was a big responsibility to take…It was a lot more that my group instead of me [was] having the experience,” she says. While there, the group focused on maintenance work for the Institute, which is still under a transitional period of construction of a medical facility. Harmonizing with the Institute’s promotion of locally grown food, the group also experienced collecting sap and making maple syrup. And while Patch Adams was absent from the Institute during Rebecca’s stay, his presence was felt when the group went “clowning” at a local nursing home. Incorporating the visions of the Institute’s founder, the group used an activist approach to healing through dressing up as clowns. “You could tell that they enjoyed us being there,” Rebecca says.
Just recently receiving the job of ASB Coordinator, Rebecca will be participating, yet again, in a spring break trip her senior year. She also urges other students to jump on the ASB bandwagon. “It teaches you so much. You meet so many different people that you would never come across. It’s been one of the best things I’ve ever done here and I think everyone should experience it once,” Rebecca says.