Campus Life

UWF captures the spirit of summer

University of West Florida students are living it up this summer. Approximately 40 students are studying abroad, students enrolled in a public history course are traveling the famous “Route 66,” marine biology students are conducting research on a remote island in Indonesia and several students are participating in internships.

To capture the spirit of summer, UWF has launched a UWF Summer Experiences Web page. It features student blog rolls, videos, photos and a poll. The featured blog right now, “Concrete Street Dreams,” belongs to UWF senior and engineering major Lisa Vallin. She is blogging about her summer internship experience at Barclays Capital, an international investment bank in New York City.

On July 18, Vallin blogged: “It was cool to see how the technology is integrated throughout the foreign exchange and money markets. One thing I realized is there are lots and lots of databases. Friday I had a focus group where they asked us a bunch of questions, and we had to explain what we liked and didn’t like, how the program could be better and why this was worth doing over the summer.”

In addition to participating in internships, UWF students are studying in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, China, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Japan, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain and the United Kingdom through the UWF Study Abroad program.

“Summer Study Abroad programs offer students the benefit of studying for a shorter term and are less expensive than traditional semester-long programs,” said Sara Brake, UWF Study Abroad program coordinator. “Students gain so much from a study abroad experience. Not only do they earn academic credit, but they grow as individuals and gain awareness of new cultures.”

Marie Cecile, a senior majoring in history, is attending the Irish Studies Summer School at University College Cork this month. She is keeping a blog to chronicle her adventure. In one of her blog entries, Cecile wrote, “I am immersed in a new environment and culture and am accelerating my studies and experiences as a history student while preparing myself for a higher level of academics.”

Back in the United States, Public History students are traversing through the Atomic West this summer as part of the comprehensive public history course “Route 66 to the Atomic West” taught by History Professor Patrick Moore. Students are learning about the Cold War, urban and western history at the sites and locations where events occurred. They are recording, photographing and videotaping their experiences and posting them to the Public History Route 66 Facebook page.

Jordan Elenius, a UWF Public History graduate student, reflects on her journey:

“These days have been jam-packed with nature; whether it was nature affected by man, or just the change in dynamics of people and places,” she posted to the class Facebook page. “Touring the Canyon De Chelle through Utah to Monument Valley was a breathtaking experience seeing the nature of rock formations from centuries ago.”

To read more about UWF Summer Experiences, visit For more information about the UWF Study Abroad Program, visit or contact the Office of Diversity and International Education and Programs at (850) 474-2479 or e-mail For more information about the Public History program, visit For more information about research opportunities in the UWF biology department, visit

By Lauren Smith, University Communications