Local students study in Sea of Cortez, U.K.

Two area students spent January studying far afield as part of a special program through Linfield College.

Arlington's Leah Rensel, a junior majoring in biology, took the college's class on "Literary Biology of the Sea of Cortez" at the Sea of Cortez in the Gulf of California, while Marysville's Peyton Mizell, a junior majoring in economics, took the college's class on "Creative Writing in the U.K." in the United Kingdom.

Leah Rensel is the daughter of Jack Rensel and Ruth Milner of Arlington, and is a member of the Zeta Tau Alpha sorority. She joined other students in retracing part of the 1940 voyage of the writer John Steinbeck and the biologist Edward Ricketts, who traveled to the Gulf of California to study seashore life. Students combined observation and identification with discussion of conservation issues along the coast of the Sea of Cortez.

Peyton Mizell is the daughter of Jim and Tara Mizell of Marysville, and is a member of residence life. She joined other students in traveling to the U.K. to visit historic and literary sites and towns and cities, in order to live inside a culture and language at once similar to and different from those of the United States. Students used the novelty of travel as an aid to daily attention, and used class meetings to understand and practice techniques of nonfiction, fiction and poetry writing.

Rensel and Mizell were among 130 students participating in on-site study programs through Linfield College's "January Term," a four-week period of concentrated study in which students and faculty focus their time and attention on a single course. Courses are available on campus or at off-campus locations in America and abroad. The program is designed to help develop global awareness and insights into major issues of the times, as well as broaden understanding of American society.

Eleven off-campus courses were offered this year and included travel to Costa Rica, China, Singapore, India, Trinidad and Tobago, Spain, Germany and the United Kingdom.

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