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WAVE+ A Passionate Advocate for Quality Study Abroad Programs

By Natalie Williams

A new collaboration between WAVE Magazine and student-led campus publications, including The Navigator and The Aquarian, WAVE+ features articles written by and for Jacksonville University students.

If you are a Communications student at Jacksonville University, you would definitely know or recognize the name Dr. Annmarie Kent-Willette.

There’s a great chance that you will be taught some form of Communications by her a few times throughout your journey through college.

Dr. Annmarie Kent-Willette is a professor of communications at Jacksonville University. She also serves as the executive director of global teaching and learning, making her a tenured professor at JU, as well as in Sorrento, Italy. She has led study abroad programs for more than a decade and a half.

In the following section, Willette shares her experiences as a study abroad expert and and explains the benefits of such programs.

Amalfi Cathedral, Province of Salerno

NW: What is something you’re passionate about as a professor?

AW:I am a passionate advocate for quality study abroad programs. Time and again, I witness the transformation that takes place when a college student steps out of the familiar and into the unknown.

NW: How did you develop an interest in global studies?

AW: As a small child, my beloved Aunt Margaret hosted international students. I have vivid grade school memories of cool college girls telling fascinating stories about far-away places.

NW: What is your advice to a student considering to study abroad?

AW: I recommend students talk to other students that have participated in study abroad. You’ll hear how it changes the way they see the world.

Blue Domes in Oia, Santorini, Greece

NW: What’s a typical day like for a student going into the Experiential Learning program in Sorrento, Italy?

AW: A typical summer day would include taking two classes in the classroom from 9am to 1 p.m. One day a week we do a field study excursion that takes students to places like Pompeii, Amalfi, and Capri. Students fill their free time cooking, hiking, swimming, just enjoying the Italian lifestyle in one of the most beautiful areas of the world. Weekends are free time and many students explore other areas of the country on their own.

“When done right, study abroad has the power to promote peace, replacing fear of the unknown with understanding, illumniating shared values, and cultivating respect for differences.”

NW: How can studying abroad benefit students?

AW: My students have used their time abroad to produce award-winning projects honored by the Florida Chapter of the Associated Press and the National Council for Undergraduate Research. It brings to life the education you’ve studied for decades and changes how you understand your place in the world. When done right, study abroad has the power to promote peace, replacing fear of the unknown with understanding, illuminating shared values, and cultivating respect for differences. Study abroad affords students the opportunity to experience engaged learning while increasing knowledge through understanding.

Students of Dr. Kent-Willette in Sorrento.

To contact Dr. Annmarie Willette-Kent, Professor of Communication and Executive Director, Global Teaching and Learning, call (904) 256-7396 or visit JU’s Study Abroad programs online.

From the archives: Marvin Wells, JU student & Navigator reporter, 1970

Dolphin Media is the student news site of Jacksonville University featuring all the latest news and student polls from The Navigator, a student-centric on-campus publication serving JU since 1957, and from Dolphin Radio and the Dolphin Channel. Students may visit Dolphin Media online to submit articles or photography. For additional comments or questions, contact The Navigator staff.