The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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History professor Reynolds to take students on winter Caribbean cruise

On a two-week cruise during the upcoming winter intersession term, CSUN history professor Bradley Reynolds will continue his tradition of taking students directly to the places he is teaching them about in textbooks.

This time, it’s the Caribbean.

“I do it in part because it’s fun and enjoyable, but more – importantly, I do it from an educational standpoint,” said Bradley Reynolds, CSUN history professor. “I think it’s good for students to be exposed to other cultures (and) to have the opportunity to experience some of the things that they are learning about in their history classes.”

Four three-unit courses will be offered during the cruise, including Western Civilization I and II, U.S. History and Latin American History.

The “Norwegian Jewel” cruise plans to sail out from Miami on Jan. 8, 2006. The ship plans to dock at four Caribbean ports: the Great Stirrup Cay in Bahamas; George Town on the Cayman Islands; Ocho Rios in Jamaica; and Roatan on the Bay Islands of Honduras. The ship will sail to Antigua, San Juan in Puerto Rico and St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands on Jan. 16.

Reynolds said he has organized several group trips for almost 25 years to different countries throughout the world, including all islands in the Caribbean, Europe, Mexico, Central America, and South America. In January 2004 he went with students to Hawaii.

“I try to (have) my classes (go) to places that have relationships to the materials that students have been learning,” he said.

Before the trip, the classes meet to go over the materials students will have to view at each city. Abroad the ship, students will listen to lectures pertaining to the cities they visit. When students return from the cruise, they will meet to discuss what they saw, learned, and experienced about the places they have been to. Additionally, students have to read textbooks, take two examinations and write a paper on the history of the places they traveled to.

“Each trip has its own experience,” Reynolds said. “Each group has its own personality, just like the class. Some classes are lively.”

Reynolds said he tries to encourage students to visit other countries by drawing back to his own experiences.

“I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to travel to other countries when I was in college,” Reynolds said. “I think that it is part of the reasons I want to share the (cruise) experience with college students.”

For a one-cruise trip, Reynolds can take up to 50 students, and some of the cruise trips are open to anyone.

Briana Pacey, senior business administration major, is going on the January trip. She has already gone on three trips to Hawaii and Europe this summer with Reynolds. She said she learned about the cruise trips two years ago when she took one of Reynolds’ classes.

“The most attractive thing about the programs with Professor Reynolds has to (be) the price, as well as the opportunity to see what you’re learning, rather than reading about it in a text book,” Pacey said.

The “Norwegian Jewel” cruise costs $499 per person, per week.

Thomas Maddux, chair of the History Department, said the department has been taking students to research field activity since the early 1980s.

“We think it’s very valuable to students, not only to read history books about the past, but to also go to do primary archival research as well as visit the historical sites,” Maddux said.

Reynolds said he has traveled to 76 countries.

“I want to visit 100 countries before I die,” he said.

Aya Oikawa can be reached at

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