PHILIPSBURG:--- USM, Pond Island As USM seeks to strengthen its ties with global education partners, the Head of the General Arts Division; Ms. Patricia Arrindell visited the Tulane University in New Orleans from July 13th-14th, 2016. Prior to this visit, Dr. Myriam Huet and her team of students visited St. Martin and USM for a student exchange program. During their visit, they were engaged in cultural and social immersion activities which took place on both sides of the island. At Tulane University, Ms. Arrindell had the opportunity to meet with Dr. Narce, Director of the Public Service Center, Ms. Schwartz, Senior Program Coordinator and some other members of the staff and student body. In the words of Ms. Arrindell; “one of the most positive experiences of my visit, was being able to witness the heightened awareness of students in the area of community service. An entire center was dedicated to that and students could even get credit for their volunteer efforts”. Based on this experience, Ms. Arrindell hoped to be able to reintroduce the concept of volunteerism and community service to the USM campus.
Discussions at Tulane were primarily centered on how to engage students in experiencing the cultural, social and educational aspects of St. Martin/New Orleans, while engaging in community volunteer work. Some of the possibilities explored included but were not limited to: future Tulane University students’ exchange at USM in the summer semester 2017; USM students’ future involvement in similar exchanges at Tulane, as well as funding and sponsorship for the continuity of the exchange programs. Ms. Arrindell wishes to thank the faculty, staff and students of Tulane for their support during her visit, as well as USM for its support of her endeavor. Dialogue and planning will continue in September for an exchange program where USM students will go to Tulane for two weeks, for a similar cultural immersion experience.