Students left ‘devastated’ by mission trip cancellations due to Coronavirus

Students left ‘devastated’ by mission trip cancellations due to Coronavirus

Junior Savannah Rolston searches for words to describe her disappointment when the COVID-19 pandemic led to the cancellation of Lipscomb mission trips, including her own anticipated return to Equador. “Disappointed is not a strong enough word. I was devastated. All this time and energy our team has invested into this trip and these kids over there, for it to be gone just like that,” said Rolston. She said she was looking forward to returning to Ecuador during her second year with Lipscomb missions to serve a local children’s home, Hacienda of Hope. Now, like many other Lipscomb students, she is met with the fact that her mission work has been halted indefinitely. “At first, I was in shock. There’s no way they can just cancel our trip like this,” says Rolston. “But then borders were closing, countries were being locked down, big events were being canceled and I realized it was for the best that they just called it off.” In early March, Lipscomb’s missions and the Office of the President canceled all school-sponsored and non-essential travel due to the spread of the coronavirus. These restrictions ended more than eight international mission trips that were scheduled for spring break, including travel to Japan, Honduras, and El Salvador. The university noted its decision to cancel was based on guidelines provided by the CDC. Out of an abundance of caution, the university asked that anyone arriving from countries on the CDC’s Level 2 and 3 health warning lists or from a country that restricts travel, must self-quarantine. “On campus, we are working on a continuous basis to proactively anticipate whatever might...
Spring break mission trips canceled due to coronavirus concerns

Spring break mission trips canceled due to coronavirus concerns

All university-sponsored international travel this coming spring break is canceled due to the coronavirus. Domestic trips during spring break and summer are still scheduled as planned. Lipscomb Director of Missions Tyler J. Kemmerer informed the student population Tuesday via email. “As a spring break team leader, my heart goes out to all of you and the disappointment we are all experiencing,” Kemmerer wrote. “I understand that my words may be of little consolation to you, but please know that we have been closely monitoring this situation for several weeks and I assure you that we have not made this decision lightly.” Speculation over these cancellations began last week when fundraising deadlines were extended around the same time that the university relocated the students studying in Florence to Vienna because of the coronavirus cases in Italy. Barstool Bisons tweeted about the rumored cancellations Monday night in a since-deleted tweet, which sparked discussion across campus. Less than 24 hours later, Kemmerer sent the official cancellation notice, although many teams had already been notified by their respective team leaders. Belmont, Pepperdine, Trevecca, the University of Alabama and many others have all made similar decisions to cancel study abroad trips. Due to these cancellations being so last minute, with some teams having been scheduled to depart in less than 10 days, University Missions will have a number of situations to sort through, including financial concerns over the money that had been raised and was being applied to travel, lodging and food.  Kemmerer said the university will be looking for solutions that are best for both the community and students. “Financially, we have a lot to...
Global Learning alumni give their advice and personal experiences about studying abroad

Global Learning alumni give their advice and personal experiences about studying abroad

Brianna Burch is just one of the students who say the Global Learning Program has benefited them by offering opportunities to explore the world and enhance their educations in other cultures. “Studying abroad not only allowed me to travel to places I’ve always wanted to visit, but it also offered me opportunities to appreciate different lifestyles and cultures in a uniquely immersive way,” said Burch, of the program that takes students to 40-plus different locales. “My international experiences helped me develop professional skills and embrace my own independence, all while having the adventure of a lifetime.” Burch, an English literature and French major, has been to the UK, Italy, Ireland, France, the Netherlands, Belgium and Vatican City as part of the program. Kristen Hodge, a Lipscomb University graduate, went to Florence, Italy with the Global Learning Program, and “I loved every second of it,” she said. “Traveling with my friends is an experience I’ll never forget. Being able to explore new places and learn about new cultures is a beautiful experience.” While traveling abroad, students can take courses in other countries that relate to their majors. Trips vary in length and can go for a couple of weeks or for an entire semester. Not only does the Global Learning Program allow students to explore interesting places, but the trips also give a sense of global knowledge and experience. Florence, London, Vienna, and Costa Rica are a few of the many places the Undergraduate Programs offer. Graduates programs are offered in many other locations, including Germany, Hong Kong, The Netherlands, and Israel. If you’re interested in studying abroad, click here for...
Local Adventurer: Explore The Obed National Park on Labor Day Weekend

Local Adventurer: Explore The Obed National Park on Labor Day Weekend

For the past four years, I’ve run a travel blog on my own, but now I feel it is time to share my love for traveling with the community surrounding my home, Nashville and Lipscomb University. Every other week I am planning to share a location that’s not too far from Lipscomb and makes for a perfect-length weekend or day trip. This being a long weekend for students, I have picked a destination that’s a bit farther from Lipscomb, but still a perfect day trip. This week I would like to introduce, The Obed. The Obed National Park is located in Wartburg, Tennessee, a little under two hours from Gatlinburg. I had never heard of the park until a friend of mine shared a post on Instagram of a stunning view in the park. Obed is known most for its challenging whitewater rafting, rock climbing, camping and hiking trails. There are several trails at the park, including Lilly Bluff Trail, Emory River Nature Trail, Point Trail and the Cumberland Trail. Lilly Bluff is an overlook point of the Cumberland River Gorge, and the overlook trail takes you right to it. The overlook trail is only 0.3-miles long.   This next trail is my favorite and is called The Point Trail; it is a 3.8-mile round trip trail and a moderate to strenuous hike with climbing and the crossing of creeks. The Point Trail dips down into Melton Mill Branch and involves a moderate amount of easy climbing. Point Trail contains many turns and a beautiful scenic overlook of the gorge as well. The Bridge Trail is 0.5-mileslong and crosses the river through...