SPINDALE – A history instructor from Isothermal Community College is headed to the Middle East in hopes of bringing home a richer cultural perspective to his students.
Dr. Brett Parker will travel to Jordan for eight days this month as part of an educator’s trip with the Duke-UNC Consortium for Middle East Studies.
Financial support for Parker’s trip was made possible when he was named this year’s Mary Hart Roberts Endowed Chair. There are several endowed chair opportunities for Isothermal faculty and staff that help them pursue learning opportunities for professional growth.
“The value of the trip to Jordan is that it will allow me to develop numerous modules and activities that will, in turn, serve the college in different areas,” Parker said. “For instance, I’ll create travel documentaries for the capital city Amman, the Dead Sea, and Petra — one of the Seven Wonders of the World and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This will allow students in our history classes to see both ancient and modern sites with great significance in Greek, Roman, Nabatean, Persian, Arab, Christian, and Muslim civilizations.”
Parker also intends to use his travel-based research to create capstone project opportunities for students who participate in the Isothermal Global Distinction Program.
“This will go a long way in helping to ‘meet the challenge of change’ in an ever-growing intercultural and interconnected world,” said Parker.
While in Jordan, Parker will visit Jerash, one of the largest and most well-preserved Roman ruins outside of Italy. He will also visit Mount Nebo, the reputed location of Moses’ death, as well as Bethany Beyond the Jordan, the site believed to be where John the Baptist famously baptized Jesus. He will tour a crusader castle in Karak and sleep in a goat-hair tent in the desert with Bedouins.
“It will be quite a trip and I’m looking forward to sharing it with the community when I return,” Parker said.