The magazine of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Lutheran, recently featured an article covering Augsburg College’s River Semester. The River Semester program found a dozen students, two professors, and two wilderness guides using the Mississippi River as a classroom as they traveled its length by canoe and bus. The article includes statements from a number of students about their experience and from Joe Underhill, the political science professor who worked for 15 years to make the trip a reality.
The article quotes student Noah Cameron ’17 as saying of the trip’s appeal, “We could be learning about these places and things in a classroom, but out here makes it much more memorable.”
Ricky Taylor ’17, who documented the trip through photography and video, spoke about the difficulty of balancing his coursework with canoeing and filming the trip. “It wasn’t easy, but through it came some of my most exciting moments from the trip,” he said. “In those split seconds, I got to capture something beautiful, amazing or just down-right fun.”
In addition to studying the ecology, history, and political importance of the river, the experience brought the group together and offered lessons in self-awareness. Hannah Arvold ’18 explains in the article, “We had such a variety of people — students with majors from political science, to film, to biology. We had a blast learning about each other, which in turn helped us learn a lot about ourselves.”