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Hendrix Students Spend Summer in Italy


CONWAY, Ark. (July 25, 2011) – Eight Hendrix College students are completing a month-long study program in Florence, Italy.

The Hendrix-in-Florence program is funded by the Hendrix-Murphy Foundation Programs in Literature and Language. Students study Italian language and visit the region’s significant artistic, cultural, and historical attractions.

Hendrix students participating in the program include:

  • Emilia Bussard, a junior from Austin, Texas
  • Ana Contreras, a junior from Houma, La.
  • Sara Hales, a sophomore from Conway, Ark.
  • Lindsey Jacks, a junior from Russellville, Ark.
  • Trey Kalbaugh, a junior from Mount Vernon, Mo.
  • Josi Robertson, a junior from Russellville, Ark.
  • Neelam Vyas, a junior from Little Rock, Ark.
  • Vicki Wood, a junior from Houston, Texas

The students were accompanied by retiring theatre arts professor Dr. Eric Binnie, who served as faculty advisor for the program.

“The Hendrix-in-Florence program has been absolutely amazing for me,” said Hales. “I experienced so much history and beauty through this program, through both studying the Italian language and living in the Italian culture.”

“Italian grammar is very complex, and since our professor at the Università di Firenze didn't speak much English, class was quite challenging at times, but we did gain a basic level of Italian skills,” she said. “Bridging the language gap with Professor Alessandro was a very rewarding process as well.”

“There is just nothing in the world like living in the city of the Renaissance,” she continued. “I love art and art history, so to stand before the original paintings of Raphael and Botticelli, and Michelangelo's David, was a dream come true. This city is so busy and alive, yet so traditional and home-like at the same time. I feel like I now have a second home in Florence.”

Hendrix, founded in 1876, is a selective, residential, undergraduate liberal arts college emphasizing experiential learning in a demanding yet supportive environment. The college is featured in the 2010 edition of the Princeton Review as one of the country’s best 371 colleges, was identified as the nation’s top “Up and Coming” liberal arts college for 2011 by U.S. News and World Report, and is ranked among 45 “Best Buy” colleges by the 2011 Fiske Guide to Colleges. Hendrix has been affiliated with the United Methodist Church since 1884. For more information, visit