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Passport to the World: Collin College's Cultural Connections
Passport to the World: Collin College's Cultural Connections

Collin College’s Passport program offers community members an opportunity to experience our global society through a series of exciting presentations each semester.  Collin College faculty and staff members who have traveled to a variety of global locations bring back and share their newly acquired knowledge about different cultures, art forms, architecture, music, religions, political systems, and much more.  Each lecture is unique as Collin College presenters share their world experiences through stunning photographs, narrative, music, and dance.  Light samples of related cuisine are served, but attendees are welcome to bring in their own lunches as well.  Come travel with us through Passport to the World presentations!

If you plan to bring an entire class to a presentation or require special accommodations, please contact Dr. Clark (one week in advance please) at

All events are free and open to the public.

 For more information about Passport to the World, contact:

Passport Program Director and Professor of Humanities
Ph: 972.578.5533

Passport to the World Committee

Don Weasenforth, Ph.D.
Dean, Academic Affairs
Kay Mizell, Ph.D.
Professor of English

Whitney Pisani
Professor of Communication Studies

Stephen Whitley, Ph.D.
Professor of English

The Collin College Passport to the World program is sponsored by the Academic Affairs Division.
Ph. 972.881.5810, B189, Spring Creek Campus


Passport To The World Logo


Passport Events, Spring 2018

Title: From Log Cabins to Highrises: Urban Life in Russia
Presenter: Sharon Hudgins
Date: Tuesday, March 6, 2018
Time: 11:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.  
Location: Living Legends Conference Center, Spring Creek Campus

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Life in urban Russia has been very different from that in America during the past 100 years. Russians have lived through wars, revolutions, housing shortages, the collapse of the Soviet Union, and great changes in the economy since then. At this Passport presentation, learn about daily life in Russian cities and towns, from highrise apartment buildings in megacities to wooden houses in rural villages—and how Russians escape the pressures of urban living by retreating to their dachas.

Sharon Hudgins is a former university professor, an award-winning author, and a journalist with more than 900 articles published worldwide. Together with Tom Hudgins, an economics professor at Collin College, she lived in two Russian cities during the mid-1990s when both of them were professors with the University of Maryland's program in Siberia and the Russian Far East. She is the author of The Other Side of Russia: A Slice of Life in Siberia and the Russian Far East (Texas A & M University Press, 2003), and a new cookbook, T-Bone Whacks & Caviar Snacks: Cooking with Two Texans in Siberia and the Russian Far East (University of North Texas Press, 2018).


Passport to the world - Russia

Title: Prague: Magical City of Cultural Splendor
Presenter: Dr. Julie Sears, Professor of English, Collin College
Date: Tuesday, April 17, 2018
Time: 1:00 p.m. to 2:15 p.m.  
Location: Living Legends Conference Center, Spring Creek Campus

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Located in the Czech Republic, Prague beautifully displays its rich cultural inheritance.  Professor Jules Sears will highlight the city's diverse attractions, such as Gothic Old Town, the castle district, a Kafkaesque museum, both a Baroque and an Art Nouveau opera house, and the synagogues of the Jewish quarter.  Find out what makes Prague magic!

 Passport to the world - Prague



Passport Events, Fall 2017 

Title: Canals and Culture: A First Time Visit to Scandinavia
Presenter: Professor Allison Venuto
Date: Monday, October 2, 2017
Time: 1:00 p.m. to 2:15 p.m.  
Location: Living Legends Conference Center, Spring Creek Campus

Description: Join professor Allison Venuto for highlights of her summer trip to Oslo, Copenhagen, Stockholm and Amsterdam. From hot dogs and Michelin stars to parkas and bunads, we’ll talk about what made the trip great! Discover the culture and customs of a region that consistently ranks among the happiest places on Earth. Professor Venuto is a professor of education at the Spring Creek Campus.



Title: Srirangam, India: Where the Cauvery (River) Croons and the Lord Reposes
Presenter: Professor Seema Endley
Date: Wednesday, November 15, 2017
Time: 1:00 p.m. to 2:15 p.m.  
Location: Pike Hall, Central Park Campus

Description: Come join Microbiology Professor Seema Endley as she shares her recent trip to the holy city of Srirangam, which hosts the largest functioning Hindu temples and one of the largest religious complexes of the world.


 Passport Events, Summer 2017 


Title: The Kenai Peninsula, Alaska's Playground
Presenter: Professor Whitney Pisani
Date: Tuesday, June 27
Time: 11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m..  
Location: Living Legends Conference Center, Spring Creek Campus

Description: Join Collin College Communications Professor Whitney Pisani for an inside look at the Kenai Peninsula in the southeastern region of Alaska.  Known for its beautiful natural vistas, its abundant and captivating wildlife, and a rich history of the many cultures who have called the area home, the Kenai Peninsula is an amazing destination.  

 Kenai Peninsula, Alaska


 Past Passport Events, Spring 2017


Title: Normandy: Then and Now The People and Places 70 Years after D-Day
Presenter: Professor Tony Airhart
Date: Thursday, April 20
Time: 1:00 p.m. - 2:15 p.m.  
Location: Pike Hall, Central Park Campus

Description: Professor Tony Airhart will take the audience on a journey through the scene of one of World War II's major turning points, as it may have been on D-Day and as it looks more than seven decades later.  From the iconic Omaha Beach and Utah Beach to Juno Beach and Sainte-Mere-Eglise, Normandy has grown into a popular French vacation destination, but signs of the epic beach landings and battles can still be found if you are looking.  


Title:Cuba Through the Eyes of a First-Time Tourist and a Native Cuban
Presenter: Professor Frozina Goussak and Dr. Stephen Whitley
Date: Tuesday, March 14
Time: 1-2:15
Location: Living Legends Conference Center,
Spring Creek Campus

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Description: Beautiful beaches, historic universities and vintage cars make up the charm that is Cuba – “Pearl of the Caribbean.” Dr Stephen Whitley visited Cuba for the first time in March 2016 and Professor Frozina Goussak grew up in Havana. Together, the two will share the wonderful sights and sounds of this beautiful island nation, which was largely shut off to Americans for decades.

 University of Havana




Title: Yellowstone National Park: Much More than Bison, Bears and Bubbling Hot Springs
Presenter: Professor Rebecca Harris
Date: Oct. 20th
Time: 1:00 p.m. - 2:15 p.m.  
Location: Preston Ridge Campus Conference Center


Title: Iceland: The Land of Contrast and Culture
Presenter: Professor Rebecca Burton
Date: Wednesday, September 28, 2016
Time: Noon - 1 p.m.
Location: Living Legends Conference Center,
Spring Creek Campus

Description: Join Dr. Rebecca Burton in her Icelandic adventure! From the icy glaciers and waterfalls
to the fiery volcanoes and thermal baths, Iceland is a geological wonderland. Learn more about Iceland's
rugged landscape and the unique culture shaped by over 1000 years of history and legend.





Title: Not Just Paris: Experiencing the Essence of France in Provence
Presenter: Professor Ryan Fletcher
Date: Wednesday, March 2, 2016
Time: Noon - 1 p.m.
Location: Living Legends Conference Center, Section D,
Spring Creek Campus

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Description: Bonjour!  Join Professor Ryan Fletcher for a trip to the South of France.  There's more to see and experience in France than just Paris, believe it or not.  In the summer of 2015, Professor Fletcher traveled to Provence, a region full of villages, Roman ruins and fields of lavender nestled between Paris and the Mediterranean Sea.  Every village offers something new...and tasty!  The architecture!  The landscapes!  The sea!  The markets!  Provence has inspired many artists, including Van Gogh, Matisse and Renoir.  Come and see the colors of Provence!


Passport Provence 

Title:  From Namaqualand to Swaziland: Biological Field Work in Southern Africa
Presenter: Dr. Thomas Eimermacher
Date: April 6, 2016
Time: Noon - 1: 00 p.m.
Location: Central Park Campus Conference Center, F110, Section B

Description:  Join Dr. Thomas Eimermacher on a journey of biological discovery through Southern Africa — from the Kalahari Desert and Namaqualand in South Africa to the Lowveld of Swaziland. Explore the different parts of Southern Africa with Dr. Eimermacher as he studies the regional diversity of reptiles and amphibians.  Learn about the culture, local folklore, flora and fauna. See what biological field work on the African continent is like.





Title: Peru: Lima to Machu Picchu to the Amazon Forest!
Presenter: Professor Denise Brown
Date: Wednesday, November 4, 2015
Time: Noon - 1 p.m.
Location: Living Legends Conference Center, Section AB,
Spring Creek Campus

Description: Take a trip to one of the most interesting countries of South America, Peru. From its arid coast and largest city, Lima, through the Andes Mountains to Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley, and beyond the Andes to the tropical forests and rivers that are tributaries of the great Amazon river. Explore the culture and cuisine of this amazing country.


 Machu Picchu

Title:  Swimming with Gods:
           Exploring the Nation, Oceans, and Myths of Fiji
Presenter: Professor Sean Ferrier-Watson
Date: Wednesday, October 7, 2015
Time: 1:00 - 2:00 p.m.
Location: Living Legends Conference Center, Section AB,
Spring Creek Campus

Description:  Join Collin College Professor Sean Ferrier-Watson for an upcoming talk on Fiji. Explore the blue oceans, exotic landscapes, and rich culture of this island nation through the experiences, art, and poetry collected by Professor Ferrier-Watson. Hear a talk on the legend of Dakuwaqa, the shark god, and his encounter with the reef guardian and learn the beauty and significance of Fijian folklore and ritual practices.

Sean in Fiji





Title:  MEETING OF FRONTIERS: Native Peoples of the North Pacific Rim
Presenters: Professor Tom Hudgins and Writer Sharon Hudgins
Date: Wednesday, February 18, 2015
Time: Noon - 1:00 p.m.

Location: Living Legends Conference Center, Section AB,
Spring Creek Campus

Description:  Travel with Tom and Sharon Hudgins around the north Pacific coast, from California to Alaska to the Russian Far East.  Discover the different groups of native people who live there, how they got there, and the similarities and differences among their cultures.

Pacific Rim Landscape

Title: Inside New Zealand, the Faraway Land of Hobbits, Kiwis, and Glow Worms
Presenter: Professor Rebecca Harris
Date: Thursday, April 16, 2015
Time: 1 - 2 p.m.
Location: Conference Center, Section S, Preston Ridge Campus

Jump off of the world’s original bungee bridge, dive into Waitomo’s "glow worm" caves, and boat alongside Kaikoura’s rare, wild dolphins.  Professor Rebecca Harris will take you on a journey of the tiny yet stunning country of New Zealand, from the astonishing lakes of Queenstown in the South Island’s “Remarkables” mountain range, to the elegant city of Auckland in the north, and will bring to life a land of unmatched adventure and beauty.

New Zealand beach



Title: Build a Bridge, Then Dare to Walk It: Collaborative Teaching Abroad
Presenter: Dr. Dixil Rodriguez
Date: Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Location: Living Legends Conference Center, Section AB
Spring Creek Campus
Time: Noon - 1:00 p.m.

Description: Join Dr. Dixil Rodriguez as she discusses her humanitarian work in Kenya and Rwanda.

Rwanda Bridge

Title: Riviera Maya: Myths Dispelled and Mystiques Revealed
Presenter: Professor Whitney Pisani
Date: Wednesday, November 12, 2014
Location: Living Legends Conference Center, Section AB
Spring Creek Campus
Time: Noon - 1:00 p.m.

Description: Join Professor Whitney Pisani as she enlightens us about the ancient and modern Maya and their amazing contributions to society.

Mayan Riviera.Tulum