SSU students take educational experience trip to Panama

PORTSMOUTH — At the end of the Spring 2022 semester, Shawnee State University students enrolled in Spanish courses with Professor Pablo Salinas took an educational excursion to the country of Panama. Scarlett Caudill (Hometown: Portsmouth, Ohio) is majoring in Early Childhood Education and minoring in Spanish and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). Having the opportunity to have this kind of experience outside of the classroom was important to her.

“I am studying Spanish and want to become very good at speaking the language,” she said. “On this trip, I had the opportunity to practice with hotel staff, workers at stores and restaurants, and even a university student just like me. I also enjoy hearing the spoken language and taking note of ways I can improve my speech.”

Even before attending SSU, Caudill learned of the Panama trip students in Spanish courses had the chance to take. Always wanting to travel and experience a new culture, she was excited to have this opportunity in her education.

“On our trip to Panama, we had many unique experiences,” she said. “We saw the many natural beauties of the country, such as waterfalls, mountains, and rivers. There were so many foods there that I had never tried before.”

The trip was made possible through the Betty & Jim Hodgen Travel Fund in the SSU Development Foundation. Established through the estate of SSU Professor Emeritus Betty Hodgen, the fund supports travel used by professors and students in the Department of English & Humanities to expand educational opportunities.

“My absolute favorite memory of the trip was when we went on a boat on the Chagres River, she said. “We saw all kinds of wildlife, such as crocodiles and sloths, and a monkey jumped in our boat!”

Being able to work with her classmates and Professor Salinas on improving her Spanish, Caudill can already see that the trip has increased her understanding and comfortability with the language.

“I want to emphasize our professor Dr. Salinas was so encouraging for us all to practice Spanish,” she said. “He challenged ideas that we learned on the trip and added additional information. I am very grateful to have gone with this wonderful groups of peers and our professor.”

Learn more about opportunities in Shawnee State University’s English & Humanities Department at For students interested in applying to travel on the next trip with Professor Pablo Salinas, contact [email protected] or learn more.

.neFileBlock {
margin-bottom: 20px;
.neFileBlock p {
margin: 0px 0px 0px 0px;
.neFileBlock .neFile {
border-bottom: 1px dotted #aaa;
padding-bottom: 5px;
padding-top: 10px;
.neFileBlock .neCaption {
font-size: 85%;

Shawnee State University students pictured with Professor Pablo Salinas on their trip to Panama. State University students pictured with Professor Pablo Salinas on their trip to Panama. Shawnee State University | Courtesy

Staff report

No posts to display