Summer has come to an end, and the ACU campus is again bustling with activity. While some students took time off to relax with their families, many Wildcats spent their summer serving and learning.
Here are just a few of the activities our students engaged in over the summer, ranging from international mission trips to experiential learning opportunities to helping their neighbors here at home.
A group of Abilene refugee children spent a week playing, making friends and learning new skills during a free soccer camp on campus, thanks to a collaboration between Play4More Soccer, ACU women’s soccer team, the International Rescue Committee and local volunteers. The camp was started in 2019 by Drs. Jason and Heidi Morris, both professors at ACU, as a way to engage Abilene’s population of refugee children. This year’s camp was followed by an afternoon workshop in the ACU Maker Lab, where the children were allowed to design their own soccer balls.
Rebekah Mullins, instructor in ACU’s School of Nursing, led a group of nursing students to the Rwanda Children campus in late May. They served for several weeks in the health center and also taught health education classes to the children. “God is truly moving and working through Rwanda Children, and witnessing and partnering with them in this work was a powerful experience,” she said. “We definitely felt like we were partners in ministry, and watching the Holy Spirit move and work through this partnership was awe-inspiring.”
Nursing students also partnered with Camp Able of Buffalo Gap to help with their therapeutic horseback riding program. These ACU volunteers functioned as side walkers and leaders, helped with sanitation and health screenings, and interacted with riders as they participated in therapeutic riding sessions. Occupational therapy students also worked with the special needs children at Camp Able this summer.
A group of agriculture and engineering students traveled to Nicaragua to work with Mision Para Cristo. The agriculture students taught raised bed gardening and performed soil mitigation to address high arsenic levels in soil, while the engineering students introduced “rocket ovens” for in-home cooking, which reduce smoke inhalation and fuel consumption, and increase cooking speed.
Seven multimedia majors traveled to Los Angeles in June for a first-of-its-kind filmmaking workshop course. They partnered with students in the Department of Theatre to produce a short film and spent time connecting with the community of Christian filmmakers in Hollywood.
Speech pathology students worked with Hope Speaks in Uganda creating sight boards to aid in therapy with non-verbal students and instructing local providers in their use.
Business students gained practical experience in Guatemala as they assisted local residents by creating business plans and ideas for expansion of their Business as Mission (BAM) efforts. BAM refers to a business that practices corporate social responsibility but also incorporates the Great Commission and Great Commandments into their mission.
Students in the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication traveled with several of these groups using their skills to document the trips, and received internship credit toward their degrees. [Read two of their stories here and here]
And, of course, there was plenty of studying abroad. After a pandemic-year break, Study Abroad resumed at ACU’s three hub locations in Oxford, England; Montevideo, Uruguay; and Leipzig, Germany. This summer about 110 students participated on departmental trips: art and design in Oxford, Vienna and Florence; College of Business Administration in Oxford, Scotland and Montevideo; communication and sociology in Oxford; language and literature in Oxford; engineering, psychology, pre-health and communication disorders in Leipzig; and nursing in Montevideo. The Oxford program also celebrated the opening of a new facility. The historic North Oxford home can accommodate more than two dozen students and faculty, with eight bedrooms, six bathrooms, two kitchens, five reception rooms, a studio, outside deck and backyard.
– Robin Saylor
Sept. 6, 2022
Learn more about mission opportunities for students at ACU
Journalism major and volleyball player Londyn Gray tells of a breakthrough moment she experienced in Cambodia: Read her story here
Journalism major Emily Shafer reflects on the importance of a simple touch, a lesson she learned working with Hope Speaks in Uganda: Read her story here