Songs and Science, Probability and a Province: Albion Students on Spring Break

March 10, 2017

Students sitting at a table.

Out-of-state and international students staying in Albion for the week meet for lunch at La Casa Mexicana.

A group of students standing inside.

Ford Institute Director Patrick McLean (left), anthropology professor Alli Harnish (second from right) and their Honors students at the Parliament of Canada.

A group of students standing next to a tree.

Biology professor Dan Skean and his Honors Program students, with emeritus professor Jeff Carrier and Carol Carrier, in the Florida Keys.

A group of students standing on a beach.

Biology professor Dan Skean and students in his “Florida – Paradise Lost?” Honors Program course examine tidepools in southern Florida.

A crowd of students standing outside.

The Briton Singers, led by professor Clayton Parr, ’80, open a Detroit Tigers spring training game in Lakeland, Florida.

A group of students standing in front of a "Las Vegas" sign.

Mathematics professor Mark Bollman (left) with students Shannon Murphy, Nicole Straley, Alessio Gardi, Ethan Sutton, Michael Augugliaro and Henry Carnick.

While many Albion students (and professors) made time for rest and relaxation during spring break, it was also a great opportunity to apply and expand upon work done in class. This week, students in musicmathematics and the Prentiss M. Brown Honors Program have gone in all directions to gain some unique learning experiences.

For students in professor Mark Bollman’s Mathematics of the Gaming Industry course, a field trip to Las Vegas adds context to their coursework. “As much as we may practice these games in class, you can’t really simulate the experiences of losing money—or winning money, for that matter,” Bollman explains. “And so we travel to the epicenter of applied probability to see how theory and practice merge.”

Meanwhile, the Albion College Concert Choir and Briton Singers traveled southeast and performed in five states, including “The Star-Spangled Banner” at a Detroit Tigers spring training game (watch on Facebook). “Choir tours give the students opportunities for repeated performance of the same music, in different acoustical environments and for different audiences,” says professor Clayton Parr, ’80, the College’s director of choral music. “The musical growth the students showed through the run of seven performances made it all worthwhile. It helped that we were heading for an attractive spring destination and that we had so many enthusiastic Albion alumni to sing for.”

Also Florida-bound were Dan Skean and Jeff Carrier, biology professor and professor emeritus, respectively, with Honors students. Other Honors students headed northward, to Canada, with Patrick McLean, director of the Gerald R. Ford Institute for Leadership in Public Policy and Service, and anthropology professor Alli Harnish. See the slideshow above for more on spring-break student travels.