On December 27, the Portland Press Herald reported on USM students about to depart for a Winter Session trip to Cuba. Students and faculty from both the Nursing, and Tourism and Hospitality programs were interviewed as they got ready to take part in the first-of-its-kind trip.
Students in both undergraduate and graduate programs in Tourism or Nursing discussed their hopes of learning more about the recently opened nation’s growing tourism industry and well-regarded system of national health care. They also looked forward to experiencing life aboard the schooner Harvey Gamage, where they ate, slept and studied.
Tracy Michaud-Stutzman, who chairs USM’s Tourism and Hospitality department, said that Maine, long known as “Vacationland,” has a lot to offer other places breaking into or expanding their tourism offerings.
Nursing students such as Shawn Sullivan, who is a Biddeford firefighter-paramedic, spoke of the desire to learn as much as they can from a healthcare system that’s heralded for its universal coverage of citizens and its low-cost delivery of high-quality care.
“Rather than outreach, it’s us learning from them,” Sullivan said. “As citizens of the U.S., we are so used to teaching other people. But we need to be humble in this thought process where this is not us teaching them, this is us learning from them.”
Read the full Press Herald story here.