The Collegian
Monday, May 16, 2022


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Sophomore scholars visit various cities and countries over Fall Break

Many students involved in Sophomore Scholars in Residence (SSIR) programs traveled to different domestic and international cities over Fall Break.

The travel location of each program depended upon the budget, course and existing partnerships with experts and organizations in the sophomores' areas of study.

The Business of Science program went to Santo Domingo, the capital of the Dominican Republic. During the trip, students worked with Esperanza International, a nonprofit Christian microfinance institution that gives small loans to help struggling individuals, said Lexi Caldwell, a student who went on the trip. Monika Payerhin also traveled to the Dominican Republic over break, and said she had learned more in five days than most would learn in a lifetime.

"You can sit in a classroom for days learning about microfinance and healthcare, but nothing makes it real like experiencing it first-hand in the Dominican Republic," Payerhin said.

The students in the Living a Life of Consequence: Self-Discovery and Social Change program spent their fall break in Vancouver. "For me, the most memorable part of visiting the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver was hearing the stories of each of the residents and seeing the hope that they had for their community," said Hira Siddiqui, a student who went on the Vancouver trip.

Jesse Woon, another student in the program, said, "Seeing the poverty, homelessness, and addiction in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver was really eye-opening for me, and it left me with a new sense of what social issues are important to work with across the globe."

The Technology, Cognition and Behavior program traveled to San Francisco. One thing they did was "meet with people at Microsoft, Euclid Analysis and GoGo Games," according to the Living and Learning website. Uthaipon Tantipongpipat, a student in this program, said he had enjoyed seeing the great impact technology has on the world today.

The Human Rights and Modern Day Slavery program traveled to Los Angeles. During their trip, the students "met with leaders at the Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking (CAST) to learn about their work," according to the Living and Learning website.

The SSIR trips were fully funded by the University of Richmond.

Contact reporter Mary Rossiter at

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