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UMobile Honors Students Explore Great Britain

University of Mobile honors students explored southern England on a tour that was the culmination of a course on John Henry Newman and the Oxford movement.

Dr. Ted Mashburn, associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, led the tour of 10 honors students. In addition to attending lectures at Oxford University, students rode through the Cotswolds to a Shakespeare play in Stratford, visited Cambridge for a punt on the River Cam, explored the city of London and journeyed to Canterbury Cathedral and the White Cliffs of Dover.

“Any time a person enters another culture, something wonderful happens. New ideas are encountered, perspectives are enlarged, and one is never really the same,” said Mashburn.

Sarah Becky Spain, a senior early childhood education major, said, “I learned a lesson from every experience of our adventure, just as I learned during my time in Honors courses at UMobile. Whether I learned an historic fact, a way of higher thinking, or how to better get along with a variety of people . . . my trip to England will always be a treasured memory and the perfect end to an outstanding college experience.”

The tour was the first international trip for Lucas Hester, a sophomore psychology major. “The experience is one that I shall never forget and most certainly forever cherish,” said Hester.

The trip to England is part of a series of honors abroad courses offered annually through the UMobile honors program. These courses rotate between England, France, Italy and Greece.

Dr. Douglas Mitchell, director of the honors program, said, “Travel is essential because it’s a testing ground, where students can gain a better sense of how much they've learned and the enormous amount that is still out there to be explored. It gives them confidence to take on challenges and go out into the world they are called to shape.”

Students participating in the course include:
Justin Bridges, a senior English major from Cohutta, GA.
Regis Burkhardt, a sophomore biology major from Mobile, Ala.
Will Drake, a freshman English major from Vinemont, Ala.
Sara Dye, a sophomore nursing major from Huntsville, Ala.
Callie George, a junior biology major from Panama City, Fla.
Lucas Hester, a junior psychology major from Opp, Ala.
Kala Holt, a junior English and humanities major from Goodwater, Ala.
Natalie Jones, a senior English major from Decatur, IL.
Treya Smith, a sophomore business administration major from Mobile, Ala.
Sarah Becky Spain, a senior early childhood education major of Saraland, Ala.

According to Mitchell, the purpose of the honors program is to create a community in which teachers and students can creatively explore the intellectual and spiritual inheritance of the western world. In innovative, enriched liberal arts courses, students reflect on the powerful books, art, and ideas that have shaped our culture. The program provides the challenge necessary for talented students to reach their full potential and prepares them to thoughtfully engage and influence the culture in their adult lives.

For more information, contact Dr. Douglas Mitchell, director of the honors program, at 251.442.2308 or email For more information about the Honors Program, click here or visit

University of Mobile honors students in England, front from left, Natalie Jones, Sarah
Becky Spain. Back from left, Justin Bridges, Will Drake, Regis Burkhardt, Lucas
Hester, Treya Smith, Ted Mashburn, Sara Dye, Kala Holt and Callie George.

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