It began as a one-time event, when GWC professor Christopher Wells presented an opportunity for students to discuss a single topic outside of regularly scheduled class time. On that day students brought their lunch and explored the work of eXXpedition, an all-female scientific research voyage that was traveling around the world. Since that inception the Lunch and Learn series as taken off and students have looked forward to weekly Wednesday gatherings where they engage with peers, share ideas and discuss innovative work. Topics are selected in advance and presented by students, faculty or guest speakers.
“The series builds upon classroom learning by providing a discussion forum that encourages and empowers students to take control of their learning,” said Wells. “The students are engaged in the process of research and learning, and make connections that allow them to expand their academic and professional network.”
This year’s highlights include underwater archaeology and Geneva Lake shipwrecks with maritime archaeologist Caitlin Zant; shark conservation with Dr. Mikki Kobza from the Ocean First Institute; professional networking; restoring the environment through permaculture; personality types; swimming programs for those with physical limitations led by Bruckner Chase from Ocean City Swim Club; how to apply for graduate school; and cleaning up the Mississippi River over spring break.
“My favorite aspect about the Lunch and Learn series is how untraditional it is,” said junior Baylee Hoff. “This is student initiated — we are able to lead discussions on topics that we are passionate about from various different spectrums allowing us to gain a momentous amount of knowledge.”