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Florida Humanities Council - sponsored summer program finishes final year

Jul 19, 2019
by Jayda Barnes, '20

“Pirates, Protest and Preservation: Exploring the Stories of St. Augustine,” a Flagler summer seminar in partnership with the Florida Humanities Council, ran June 16-24. This residential program has hosted high school juniors and seniors on Flagler’s campus every summer for the past four years.

For one week, thirty high school students experienced the value of humanities-based learning by studying different perspectives on St. Augustine’s history. After attending academic sessions on campus with various professors, students enjoyed corresponding field trips to local historical sites as a way of interacting with their subjects of study. Some class and site pairings included lectures on indigenous and Spanish history with a trip to the Castillo de San Marcos and a study of gilded age architecture followed by a tour of the Ponce de Leon hotel. The program concluded with student presentations at the end of the week.

In past years, many students have applied to Flagler as a result of their experience with the program. After first-hand experience with the perks of attending a small, historical school, roughly two-thirds of program attendees each year have chosen Flagler to continue their education.

“The return on investment with the humanities is in your soul,” said program director Jay Szczepanski on the relevance of a humanities-based education. “The return is in your ability to understand who you are, what your place in the world is and what that place is, relevant to everyone else’s place in the world.”

While this was the final year for “Pirates, Protest and Preservation,” Szczepanski believes humanities is a powerful lens for viewing the world. He hopes for a potential revival of the program in the future and to continue introducing students to the power of the humanities.

To hear Szczepanski speak more about the program, listen to his interview on Flagler Footnotes on the Flagler College radio station WFCF here.


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