Sarah Quinn studied abroad in Rome, Italy for four weeks through Duquesne's Maymester program. She was enrolled in two courses – Art History and Faith & Reason. The former allowed her to tour beautiful Roman churches and admire the work of the Baroque masters. The ancient paintings and architecture gave her new appreciation for artistic mediums besides photography. Sarah’s study of theology encouraged her to reflect on her spirituality. The readings and class discussions opened her eyes to different practices and strengthened her faith. Sarah also traveled to Sorrento, where she toured an organic buffalo cheese farm and witnessed how much hard work goes into the Italian food staple. She spent a weekend in Florence, were she explored a foreign city. Sarah seized every opportunity she could to converse with the locals and make connections with people from different backgrounds. She attempted to learn as much about the Italian culture as possible - practicing the language, tasting new foods, familiarizing herself with the cities, and doing what the Romans do. Sarah made a point to keep a journal during her stay in Italy, filling new pages every night with her new experiences and knowledge. She also spent numerous hours photographing the life around her, doing her best to document her journey through still images. Studying abroad in Italy increased her awareness of the various connections that her home country shares with the world. Sarah’s unforgettable international experience has fueled her desire to experience and from foreign cultures.
On the evening of Tuesday, February 18th my fellow cohorts and I held our community engagement experience at Duquesne University. We began the night by introducing ourselves and providing a brief introduction to the award-winning “Miss Representation.” We decided to screen this documentary as it illustrates the under-representation of women in leadership positions, and challenges the media’s portrayal of females. My cohorts and I encouraged our peers to help themselves to complimentary food and refreshments as we watched the film. Afterwards, we posed questions to the audience in order to stimulate reflection and discussion about modern gender roles. It was clear to us that our peers truly enjoyed watching the documentary and learning more about what it means to be a powerful woman in today’s society. By screening “Miss Representation” and reflecting on the film’s key messages, we enhanced our knowledge of gender misconceptions and brainstormed ideas about how to change them.