Mercer on Mission Announces Locations for Summer 2008

Building on the success of the last year’s program, the Mercer on Mission experience has expanded from three countries to five. The Mercer on Mission program blends service-learning with a studying abroad experience. Students spend two weeks in the classroom on the Macon campus and three weeks performing service projects in their designated country.

“Mercer On Mission experienced an incredibly successful first year and the expectations for the second year are even higher,” said Dr. Craig McMahan, university minister and dean of the chapel, who coordinates Mercer on Mission. “The program is expanding to include a much greater diversity of sites, ranging from Costa Rica to China and covering the continent of Africa from Liberia and Senegal in the Northwest to South Africa in the Southeast.

"A growing collaboration across the schools of the university — the College of Liberal Arts, the Medical School and the Law School — will cultivate an even more enriched environment for learning and understanding," he added. "As exciting as it was to launch Mercer On Mission last year, it is even more exciting to watch it taking off this year in so many unique and creative directions.”

The trips to China, Liberia, Senegal and South Africa will take place during Summer Session I, May 19-June 20. Students will travel to Costa Rica during Summer Session II, June 23-July 26. The deadline for students to apply for the Summer 2008 program is Dec. 7.

In China, students will visit Hong Kong and Beijing, during a trip coordinated with the Hong Kong Baptist Hospital. The academic portion of the program will consist of "Introduction to Global Health and Health Systems and Policy" and will be taught by Assistant Professor Gayle L. Bina, Instructor Frances Carter and Instructor Kathryn Martin, all of the Department of Community Medicine at the School of Medicine. Professor William F. Bina, Assistant Professor Fan Chen and Assistant Professor Yudan Wei, also of the Community Medicine Department, will assist.

Goodwill Industries and Iglesia Methodisto helped arrange the trip to Alajuela, Costa Rica. Associate Professor Greg Domin, of the Political Science Department, and Professor Robert Hargrove, of the Chemistry and Environmental Science Departments, both of the College of Liberal Arts, will teach two courses for this program: "Introduction to International Relations" and "Introduction to Environmental Science."

Students who travel to Monrovia, Liberia, will earn credit for three courses: "West African Christianity," with Adjunct Professor Olu Q. Menjay; "African Theology," with Professor Richard F. Wilson, chair of the Roberts Department of Christianity, and "Women in Developing Countries," with Assistant Professor Lori Johnson, of the Political Science Department, all of the College of Liberal Arts. The trip was coordinated with the Ricks Institute and Liberian Baptist Convention.

The Baobab Center assisted with the coordination of the Senegal program. Professor John Dunaway, of the Department of Foreign Languages, and Assistant Professor Randy Harshbarger, of the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies, both of the College of Liberal Arts, will teach "Challenges of Social and Economic Development in Senegal" and "World Literature: Senegalese Literature."

Students who travel to South Africa will be in Capetown. They will participate in two courses - "The Politics of Developing Countries: South Africa" and "Literature of Protest: South Africa" - taught by Professor Eimad Houry, chair of the Political Science Department, Professor Mary Alice Morgan, of the English Department, both of the College of Liberal Arts, and Assistant Professor Sarah Gerwig-Moore, of the Mercer Law School. The trip was coordinated with American Baptist International Missions.

For more information, contact Craig McMahan at or visit

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