With summer quickly approaching, most students are still rounding out their summer plans, focusing on either getting ahead for the next school year or taking some much needed rest and relaxation time. It’s almost a no-brainer that students would have summer plans, but professors usually have the summer off too. Here’s a look into how a few ORU professors will be spending their summers.
A few summers ago, Assistant Professor of International Relations, Dr. Ruby Libertus, sat on a beach in Sri Lanka. She had been taking an intensive diplomacy course in Colombo but decided to take a small break from her studies to see the ocean waves.
“Two summers ago, while back in Asia, I was at the beach when I realized that self-indulgence is really not for me, and thought, ‘I can’t believe I am not with the students doing something meaningful,’ and made a mental note to make sure my summers were always productive,” Libertus said. “I always feel like I need to be doing something. I was like, ‘I can’t believe I’m not with students or meeting some refugees somewhere.’”
Libertus is planning to travel to more than four countries this summer. She’s going to Vietnam and Cambodia to spend some time working with non-governmental organizations and to help some refugees. Then she hopes to visit Beijing, Indonesia and maybe South Korea.
“I really love the culture and the people pretty much anywhere I go,” Libertus said.
For Professor of English Dr. Joann Allen, this summer will be the first in 10 years that she hasn’t taught a summer class.
“My husband and I will celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary by taking a dream trip,” Allen said. They will spend 10 days touring the Greek Isles and then spend some time in Italy.
“I’ve always been fascinated by Greece. The history, the cradle of civilization, everything that transpired there, the sheer beauty,” Allen said.
Allen will also be spending time with family by taking a road trip with her two granddaughters.
“I haven’t taken a road trip with a five-year-old and an eight-year-old in a long time,” Allen said. “That should be kind of interesting.”
Summer plans for Associate Professor of Hebrew and Old Testament Studies, Dr. William Lyons include gardening, painting and taking care of work that has piled up over the semester.
“I’m going to do some work around the house, mostly stuff that needs to be done, that is overlooked because of the everyday push of the semester,” Lyons said.
Additionally, Lyons, along with Dr. James Shelton and ORU student Kathryne Hall, is going to Oxford to attend the Scholars Initiative conference.
“The Scholars Initiative is the academic arm of the Museum of the Bible. We have an incredible privilege to work on some of the oldest Old Testament and New Testament manuscripts with our students, and then spend some time with international scholars who work in similar areas,” Lyons said.
With technology available at Oxford, they will be able to examine the manuscripts in detail.
“We can blow up a letter to the size of this wall and you don’t lose resolution,” Lyons said.
Lyons also plans to spend time with his family in the North Carolina Mountains. Over the summer, he will also be writing an article for Dale Seymour Publications about Ruth in the Bible and social justice. He says it will discuss how to look at immigration from a social justice perspective.
“I’ve studied Ruth, I’ve published previously on Ruth, I can’t wait to write this article,” Lyons said.
Lyons also stated he would be catching up on sleep.
“I think everybody needs a little sleep after finals week,” Lyons said.