New Vrindaban (2009)

The Global Leadership Center at Ohio University offers a two-year undergraduate certificate that prepares students to become lifelong learners in order to serve as internationally-minded, skilled, attuned, professional, and experienced leaders in all walks of life (commercial, governmental and nongovernmental, educational, etc.). Global Leadership Center courses are not traditional classes with lectures, tests, and papers. Instead, students work in project teams on real-world problems and issues. The project-based, action-learning approach challenges students to acquire the knowledge and skills they need to work in a rapidly changing world. The GLC’s core program consists of six project-learning units, which spring from global issues. Each project challenges students to determine what they need to know to solve the problem, how they are going to find the information they need, and how they are going to apply it. One of the projects, undertaken in cooperation with the Pluralism Project, focuses on world religions. More specifically, the GLC researches a Hare Krishna community, New Vrindaban, in Moundsville, West Virginia. During spring term 2009, GLC students conducted ethnographic research focusing on New Vrindaban’s residents’ values, beliefs, and ways of life. The project was 10-week long and during the 7th week of the project (May 14-15, 2009) GLC students traveled to New Vrindaban to experience the community first-hand and to collect primary data. During this visit, GLC students were escorted by community residents. The following photos show activities of the GLC students during their stay in New Vrindaban.

—Pichayalak Pichayakul, PhD. Candidate, Ohio University