Rolling With the Earthquake

Study abroad students grab shovels to help after New Zealand disaster

Roy Robinson, CAFNR  study abroad director, is always proud of how flexible his students are when studying in foreign countries.

MU Student Rollie Britton took these photos of scenes from New Zealand after the earthquake.MU Student Rollie Britton took these photos of scenes from New Zealand after the earthquake.

He’s particularly proud of his students who, not 24 hours on the ground in New Zealand, grabbed shovels to help in the aftermath of a major earthquake.

The students are Rollie Britton, O’Fallon, Ill., a junior studying parks, recreation and tourism; Kelcie DeClue, a senior from Mexico, Mo. studying animal science; Andrew Ferguson, a Columbia, Mo. junior studying agricultural economics; and Maggie Lohmeyer, a senior from Washington, Mo., majoring in hotel and restaurant management.

Three of the four arrived in Christchurch, New Zealand the day of the earthquake to study for a semester at Lincoln University there.  The other came just after the quake.

Reuters reported that 113 people in Christchurch, the country’s second largest city, had died from injuries sustained in the Feb. 22 magnitude 6.3 earthquake, which centered very close to Christchurch.

The force of the earthquake pushed thousands of gallons of water and silt into the streets.

Roy Robinson connected with the students through e-mail, cell phone and text messaging, as those services were restored.

“I’m proud of the way that our students stepped into help a community where they only just arrived,” Robinson said.  “They could have stayed in their dorm and posted on Facebook all day, but they grabbed shovels and did what they could to help the devastated community there.”

Study Abroad Deadline: March 1

CAFNR’s Study Abroad program has placed students all over the world in various disciplines.

This year, students have or will go to Belgium to study European policies, Thailand to look at biodiversity and conservation policies there, the Czech Republic to learn more about the country’s agricultural economics, Scotland to take a close look at equine studies, and Germany to investigate food science research.