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Around the World in 16 Years
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Around the World in 16 Years

Alumni, Students, Employees & Friends Travel the Globe with Notre Dame

In John and Chris Barni’s marriage, John, a marketing manager for a manufacturer of CT scanners, had always been the one to travel the globe for business, while Chris stayed at home in Gates Mills, Ohio, to take care of their children. But seven years ago, with her kids grown, Barni decided it was her turn to see the world. For the first time in her life she traveled abroad, while her husband stayed back. In 2004, Barni, a graduate of the class of 1963, visited Italy and Switzerland on Notre Dame College’s annual spring break trip.

Since then, Barni, together with her husband, has been on every single trip organized by the College. Her journeys have taken her to Germany, Austria, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Greece, Spain, the United Kingdom, China and Israel.

Barni is just one of many alumni whose world has been opened up by Associate Professor Roslyn Scheer-McLeod, who has organized Notre Dame’s educational travels for the past 16 years. Scheer-McLeod has taught at the College for 45 years and her impact on NDC is significant. But nothing carries her signature more than the annual trip for alumni, students, employees and friends of the College.

Greece“One of the most exciting aspects of our journeys is that we take the College’s mission on the road to educate for personal, professional and global responsibility,” Scheer-McLeod says. “The other is the intergenerational experience, as our alumni, employees and students come together to become one community of NDC travelers.”  

Scheer-McLeod is a globetrotter who takes every opportunity to see the world. It’s not uncommon for her to jump on a plane and visit friends in the Netherlands, England or France. She seems to have connections everywhere and uses these connections to give others the opportunity to see the world as well.

“She watches over us and takes such good care of us, whether it’s looking for an ATM machine in Athens or finding a bathroom in London,” says Barni, who has never traveled abroad without Scheer-McLeod. “Every time, it’s an experience.”

EnglandBarni recalls the trip to the U.K. when the group was stuck in the Newark airport for 33 hours after a snow storm hit New Jersey. Scheer-McLeod made sure the travelers received meal vouchers and new boarding passes, and stayed fairly comfortable hunkered down in the airport terminal.

“When we travel, even the first timers, we all travel as a family. Everybody watches out for everyone,” Barni says. “Part of it is Roz, part of it are the people who have been on these trips before.”

One of these travelers is Dr. Andrew P. Roth, Notre Dame’s president, who went to Israel this year. “The trip was an outstanding experience,” Dr. Roth says. “In addition to the obvious value of a journey through Israel and the Holy Land, the trip was planned with great precision and creativity by Roz. It was superb!”

ChinaThose who have traveled with Scheer-McLeod say the spring trips are always fun and educational as she hires excellent tour guides through the Boston-based educational travel organization ACIS.

Next year’s trip to Italy will be no different as it is shaping up to become the most popular one so far. Over 40 people have already signed up to visit St. Mark’s Square in Venice, the Accademia in Florence, the Colosseum in Rome, the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican and the Basilica of St. Francis in Assisi.

For Barni, the educational benefits and the adventures on these trips are priceless, an opportunity she plans to take advantage of every year.

“As long as I can do this,” she says, “I will go.”

To read the blog about this year's trip to Israel, visit www.NotreDameCollege.edu/blogs/israel-trip-2011.

For more information on Notre Dame’s educational travel, visit www.NotreDameCollege.edu/academics/educational-travel.