Student Forums
A journal of social practice & professional engagement for the Antioch community

Jen Ruud ’18 traveled to the beautiful island of the Bahamas to be a part of the exciting work taking place at the Forfar Field Station. The Forfar Field Station exists to educate “students from American high schools and colleges to local Bahamians ­ about the environment using the local ecosystems.” In her time at Forfar, Jen wore many hats from facilitating trips around the island and out to sea, to dive lessons in blue holes, and even carpentry, gardening, and cooking! While initially focused on exploring environmental justice issues, through this experience Jen developed a fascination with teaching and learning. “I love seeing the look in a student’s eye the first time they hold a sea star or the smile on their face the first time we go kayaking,” Jen remarks. And while she never imagined it, her love and desire to pursue a career in education grew with each new, transformative student interaction. Learning by doing. “It’s about wanting to learn geology and oceanography because you saw the tongue of the ocean while scuba diving, not learning about it because your professor assigned that reading,” she states. Antioch has provided Jen the ability to learn beyond traditional methods and to truly immerse herself in experiential learning ­­ an opportunity she hopes to share with others.

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Beth Bridgeman is an Assistant Professor of Cooperative Education at Antioch College. Her professional practice areas are informed by community engagement and student-centered experiential learning pedagogy. She teaches courses in co-constructed learning, agrarian systems, reskilling and resilience, plant medicine, seed-saving, and harvest preservation, utilizing the Antioch Farm and campus as a learning laboratory. From 2013-2015 she led the Ohio Agrarian Trade Partnership at Antioch College, developing fifty-two cooperative education partnerships in sustainable food production throughout Ohio. Bridgeman previously served for twelve years as a county extension educator with The Ohio State University, focusing on sustainable agriculture and experiential learning opportunities for youth and adults.

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