Faculty-Led Programs

  • Gannon students have the opportunity to participate in trips led by faculty members, some for course credit. Faculty-led trips vary from year to year; new trips are always in development and some past trips may be repeated in the future!

    Current Programs



    The Tropical Marine Biology (BIOL 383) travel study field course occurs yearly and is a special Spring Break program offered by Gannon University in cooperation with the Gerace Research Centre of San Salvador in the Bahamas.  The course centers around daily field trips to various habitats on the island including shrub lands, mangroves, caves, tidal pools, coral reefs, turtle grass flats, and inland ponds.  In these habitats, students will learn to recognize indigenous species and their relationships to one another and the environment.  Major groups of biota including plants, algae, invertebrates, and vertebrates will be studied.  Tropical Marine Biology is offered for three academic credits and is open to students of all majors. Faculty contacts are Dr. Greg Andraso and Dr. Michael Ganger.


    Edinburgh, Scotland


    Every three years, Gannon University’s award-winning theatre program is invited to participate in the International Collegiate Theatre Festival (ICTF) held in conjunction with the Edinburgh (Scotland) Fringe Festival, the world’s largest international/intercultural arts festival. More than 20,000 artists and 100,000 patrons from around the globe converge on the Scottish capital for performances of comedy, dance, music, and theatre. ICTF provides college and university theatre programs an opportunity to be a part of this exciting festival, performing in one of the premier venues, and given passes to enjoy other shows and venues. In addition, students tour Edinburgh, take a day tour to the Trossachs/lower Highlands and Stirling Castle, and enjoy an evening at the world-renowned Military Tattoo, an evening of pipe and drum corps performed at Edinburgh Castle.

    "Walking around Edinburgh in late July, you'll likely feel the first vibrations of the earthquake that is festival time, which shakes the city throughout August and into September. You may hear reference to an "Edinburgh Festival," but this is really an umbrella term for six separate festivals all taking place around the same time. The best-known and oldest of these is the Edinburgh International Festival. The festival was founded in 1947, when Europe was recovering from World War II. Festival founders believed that some event was needed to draw the continent together and "provide a platform for the flowering of the human spirit." In recent years, the festival has drawn as many as 400,000 people to Edinburgh, with acts by world-renowned music, opera, theater, and dance performers, filling all the major venues in the city. Edinburgh festival time can fill almost any artistic need...Edinburgh in August is an experience you are unlikely to forget!"
    -The new York Times
     Pilcher, Robin (2007-08-07). Starburst: A Novel


    Italy and Greece


    Come aboard the May 15-24, 2014 trip to Greece and Italy, led by Dr. Douglas King of the English Dept.  Enjoy the breathtaking art, atmosphere, and architecture of Rome, including St. Peter's Basilica, The Sistine Chapel, The Colosseum, and The Forum.  See the glories of Sorrento, Vesuvius, and Pompeii. Ferry into Greece, visit Patras, and consult the Oracle at Delphi. In Athens, breathe in the Parthenon, the Temple of Poseidon, and much more.  Crown the experience with an optional three day Greek and Turkish Island Cruise.  Students can receive Leadership Seminar credit for the trip. Contact Dr. King (king023@gannon.edu) for more information, or click here 

    Family, friends, faculty, staff, and students: All are welcome.


    Yellowstone National Park


    This course will examine many aspects of Yellowstone National Park. Topics to be covered include grizzly bears, wolf reintroduction, impact of fires, geysers and past volcanic activity, geological history including earthquakes, and the herbivores of the park (bison, moose, antelope, and elk). One day will also be spent at the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman reviewing their dinosaur exhibit and getting a behind-the-scenes tour. Professors David J. Gustafson and Steven J. Ropski will conduct the class.  The program will be joined by experts in each area who will spend time with the class. The tentative schedule includes Rick McIntyre, Yellowstone Park Ranger Naturalist (Wolf Reintroduction Program), and Maury Irvine, Resident Paleontologist, Museum of the Rockies. Limited space availability for non-credit travelers.



    Travel to Thailand, the Land of Smiles, with Dr. Kingston and Dr. Hartigan for three weeks in May to help students in the Catholic schools in Thailand learn to speak and understand English.  Gannon students develop and conduct an English camp in two schools, one in a small resort town on the beach called Hua Hin—the King’s summer home, and one in the vibrant capital city of Bangkok at St. Dominic’s school.  The Catholic schools provide our room, board, transportation, and site seeing.  There are so happy and appreciative of our work in their schools!   Site seeing includes such things as a Thai cooking lesson, visiting an elephant sanctuary where we feed, bath and ride the elephants, visiting temples, climbing waterfalls, and relaxing on the beach. Thailand is a very safe, beautiful, and interesting mix  of culture, religion, and food. This experience is open to all students from any major, and is a three week program in May after the end of the spring semester. For further information or to ask questions, feel free to contact Ms. Meagan McHugh at mchugh002@gannon.edu or (841) 871-5685.

    Future Programs

    Paris, Provence, and Barcelona

    In May 2015, Dr. Douglas King of the English Dept. will lead a wondrous trip to Paris, Provence, and Barcelona. The tour begins in Paris, including all the wonders of the City of Lights—the Louvre, Notre Dame, Arc de Triomphe, the Palace of Versailles, and much more. Take a TGV train to the Provence region, inspiration for centuries of artists, including Cezanne and Van Gogh. Walk across the stunning Roman bridge, the Pont du Gard. Cross into Spain and visit Carcassonne, before heading to beautiful Barcelona for two full days. Cap off the trip with an optional three day extension to Madrid. Students can receive Leadership Seminar credit for the trip. Contact Dr. King (king023@gannon.edu) for more information, or click here.   

    Family, friends, faculty, staff, and students: All are welcome.

    Past Programs

    Jordan: The Archaeological Expedition to Khirbat Iskandar and its Environs


    This trip took place between May 24 and June 29, 2013.  It was the ninth season of full-scale excavations at the site of Khirbat Iskandar, directed by Dr. Suzanne Richard of the Department of History and Archaeology.  A team of 35, including Gannon students and students from numerous universities across the country, excavated this Early Bronze Age (ca. 3500-2000 BCE) Canaanite site in the Plains of Moab--and had the adventure of their lives.  Students (some taking the field school for 3 credits) were able to hold the past in their hands (literally) as they trowelled through the various soil layers of the city, uncovering whole vessels, objects, and the debris of everyday life within the houses.  They learned to supervise, to excavate, to draw, to use the surveying equipment, all the while working very hard from 5Am – 12:30pm 6 days a week.  

    But, it was not all work.  The expedition is housed in a wonderful hotel (with swimming pool) in the small city of Madaba, about an hour south of the capital city of Amman.  Students got to know the city and its population very well, and freely explored this 5000-year old city, practiced their Arabic while ordering falafel, ice cream, and sometimes pizza, and had a blast.  Weekends were spent touring the major sites in the country like Jerash, Amman, the Desert Castles, Petra and Wadi Rum (of Lawrence of Arabia fame), and, of course, the Dead Sea, where they went for a “swim.”  At the end of the dig, this past year, our optional trip was a week-long tour of Turkey.  We will be returning in a couple of years – consider joining us!



    The ongoing Engineering and Biological Wonders of panama is a three credit course that includes weekly seminars and a travel trip over spring break in Panama. This course enables the student to explore the technical design of the world-famous Panama Canal and the diverse biological ecosystems found in Panama, including the rainforest and the waters and beaches of the Pacific Ocean. Participants stay in Panama City and travel on day trips to different locations within Panama. Faculty contact is Dr. Elisa Konieczko.