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SIUE Students Make Cuba Trip Part Of Their Education

Cuba is only 90 miles from the Florida coast but it sometimes feels as if it’s much farther away.  While travel restrictions between the United States and Cuba have eased in recent years, their relationship over the last five decades is far from close.

A small group of students from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville just returned from a 10 day visit to Cuba under an educational arrangement between SIUE and the University of Havana.  Harvard University is the only other institution to take advantage of such an opportunity under the initiative.

Host Don Marsh talked with two associate deans in the College of Arts and Sciences at SIUE, Wendy Shaw and Larry LaFond.  Both Shaw and LaFond accompanied the four students on the trip, including SIUE undergraduate Roberto Saenz, who also joined Marsh to talk about the trip.

Along with two days of lectures at the University of Havana and a meeting with the University Students Federation, the group’s itinerary included:

  • Touring Old Havana and the Morro Castle
  • Visiting the Museum of the Revolution and the Community Project of the Office of the Historian in San Isidro
  • Visiting the town of Regia, the Church of the Black Virgin and the Morro Fortress
  • Visiting the Cabilda Quisicuaba to learn about Cuba’s Afro-syncretic religions
  • Visiting the central city of Matanzas, the Pharmacy Museum and hand-made book publishers
  • Visiting Santa Clara, explore Revolutionary War memorabilia and the Che Memorial
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Alex is the executive producer of "St. Louis on the Air" at St. Louis Public Radio.
Mary Edwards came to St. Louis Public Radio in 1974, just after finishing her Bachelor of Music degree at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. She has served the station in a number of capacities over the years. From 1988-2014 she also taught an undergraduate class in radio production at Webster University. Mary was inducted into the St. Louis Media History Foundation Media Hall of Fame in April, 2017 and received the Gateway Media Literacy Partners' Charles Klotzer Media Literacy Award in 2012. Mary retired from St. Louis Public Radio in 2018, but still serves the station as a St. Louis Symphony Producer.
Don Marsh served as host of St. Louis Public Radio’s “St. Louis on the Air" from 2005 to 2019, bringing discussions of significant topics to listeners' ears at noon Monday through Friday. Don has been an active journalist for 58 years in print, radio and television. He has won 12 Regional Emmy Awards for writing, reporting, and producing. He is the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, was inducted into the St. Louis Media Hall of Fame in 2013, and named “Media Person of the Year” by the St. Louis Press Club in 2015. He has published three books: his most recent, “Coming of Age, Liver Spots and All: A Humorous Look at the Wonders of Getting Old,” “Flash Frames: Journey of a Journeyman Journalist” and “How to be Rude (Politely).” He holds an honorary Doctor of Arts and Letters degree from the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

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