Twenty University of Mobile students encountered the legacy of liberty up close during a fall trip to Washington, D.C., as part of a course titled, “American Politics: Social and Religious Heritage.” The course was directed by Dr. Julie Biskner, assistant professor of political science; and Dr. Lonnie Burnett, professor of history.
In addition to touring the major monuments of the nation’s capitol, students heard from world-changing leaders in private meetings with Congressman Jo Bonner, Senator Jeff Sessions and Ryan Messmore of the Heritage Foundation.
Burnett said, “If we expect our students to one day change the world, we sometimes need to get them out of the classroom and into the real world. Dr. Biskner and I felt that our students needed to experience history and politics up close. What better place to do so than in Washington, D.C.?”
Included in the students’ itinerary were the Pentagon, the Capitol building, Arlington National Cemetery, the National Archives and several Smithsonian museums. Each stop conveyed a different part of American heritage and the foundation of liberty that pervades it.
Jessica Catlin, a junior political science major who plans to attend law school, said, “I loved being on the steps of the Supreme Court. It reminded me how close I am to entering that world, and encouraged me to keep preparing to make a difference there.”
For Joshua Barber, a junior theology major and history minor, visiting the capital city made the legacy of liberty come to life.
Barber said that visiting places like “the Lincoln Memorial, a monument to the exercise of liberty that we’ve been entrusted with; and the Holocaust Museum, which displays what happens when liberty is taken away, I was challenged to consider, ‘what are we going to do with our liberty?’”
Whether in the classroom or on the steps of the U.S. Capitol, these UMobile students are empowered through their education and Christian worldview to preserve the legacy of liberty in their future careers, homes and lifestyle.
Through visiting the monuments of the nation’s heritage, students were reminded that liberty itself is more than a monument – it is a movement that requires the devotion and active preservation by American citizens.
“I wanted to go because I cherish the liberty that I have, and I wanted to understand the responsibility we have as free men and women,” said Barber.
Students who participated in the course include:
Joshua Barber, a junior theology major from Decatur, Ala.
Alexis Barnard, a junior elementary education and history major from Santa Maria, Calif.
Walt Bedsole, a junior history major from Thomasville, Ala.
Kyle Bedwell, a junior history major from Mobile, Ala.
Jacob Brown, a senior history education major from Cullman, Ala.
VanScott Cagle, a senior history major from Semmes, Ala.
Ashley Caples, a junior political science major from Mobile, Ala.
Jessica Catlin, a junior political science major from Sylvan Springs, Ala.
Sarah Decker, a junior political science major from Magnolia, Texas.
Magen Englett, a junior history major from Theodore, Ala.
Dale Garvin, a junior theology major from Semmes, Ala.
Joshua Hembree, a senior political science major from Mobile, Ala.
Tiffany Howard, a senior psychology and history major from Tibbie, Ala.
Jessica Hughes, a sophomore music and education major from Fairhope, Ala.
Emily Jackson, a sophomore history education major from Mobile, Ala.
Benjamin Kiser, a senior history major from Graham, Ala.
Ashlee Lassiter, a sophomore history education and musical theatre major from Prattville, Ala.
Colin Smith, a senior history education major from Mobile, Ala.
Matthew Whitacre, a senior marine science and history major from La Porte, Ind.
Victoria Wilson, a senior mathematics major from Semmes, Ala.