Honor society students plan to bridge cultures

By Katie Burrell

Contributing Writer

Two members of Brookhaven College’s Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society will be attending the Global Citizenship Alliance Seminar in Austria in May. William De La Cruz and Enoc Chicas, the two students chosen from Brookhaven, will join two others from each of the six other Dallas County Community College District campuses in a tour across Salzberg, Austria.

This is the first year DCCCD has received an invitation for its students to attend the conference. The district chose Phi Theta Kappa students as its representatives. The trip will cost students $100 each, and the district  will cover the most of the trip costs – approximately $5,000 per student, according to documentation provided to The Courier.

De La Cruz said he learned about the opportunity during a Phi Theta Kappa meeting in the beginning of the Spring 2016 semester. It will be De La Cruz’s first trip abroad. He said he was immediately interested in the opportunity and is excited to meet people from a different culture and listen to their views on world issues. De La Cruz said students will stay at Hotel Schloss Leopoldskron.

The hotel is a castle that housed American troops during World War II and was featured in “The Sound of Music.” Chicas was interested in applying for the trip when he was informed about it by a Phi Theta Kappa adviser. Chicas said he

is interested in meeting people from other cultures because he intends to travel as a nurse in the future. Chicas is also interested in visiting castles in Austria during his free time on the trip. The students will get to tour Salzberg, attend leadership workshops, discuss world issues and learn about their duties as global citizens.

Jonathan Tunwar, former student program development coordinator in the Office of Student Life, said in an email: “I believe global citizenship refers to the idea that we are not only members of our nation, but also citizens [of] the world.

It acknowledges the idea that we are all connected and have an obligation to seek the best for all humans.” Tunwar said applicants were chosen based on their interest in global issues and furthering their own education. Phi Theta Kappa member Areli Uribe said, the organization offers its members many enriching opportunities, but the trip to Austria is unique.

The requirements for students narrowed the chances for many Phi Theta Kappa members to attend the seminar. To qualify for the trip, applicants had to be 18 years or older, U.S. citizens and committed to enrolling in a DCCCD college in Fall 2016.