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Student-Driven Ideas Connect The Island to the World

Nine Loomis Chaffee seniors worked with the entire student body to develop interesting and engaging programming for Shared_Spaces — a large, gold-painted, steel shipping container fitted with interactive telecommunications technology that will connect The Island to communities around the globe. Shared_Spaces arrives on campus in spring, and its purpose speaks to this year’s school theme of “Belonging.”

Connect to a video about Shared_Spaces.

The Shared_Spaces ambassadors, as they are called, are enrolled in the Alvord Center for Global & Environmental Studies Certificate Program (GESC) and are pursuing this opportunity as their senior capstone project. Throughout winter term, ambassador teams assigned to specific classes made presentations at class meetings and conducted surveys to understand the kinds of activities of interest to students across class years. The ambassadors will work with Alvord Center faculty to finalize plans before hosting the spring events.

After participating in an advanced trial experience in the viewing portal, the ambassadors agreed that Shared_Spaces will be a valuable learning experience for all in the school community.

The gold shipping container will remain on campus throughout the spring term with programming organized throughout the day to engage students and faculty members in cross-cultural exchanges; collaborative creations; and exciting, relevant discussions. A collaboration of The Alvord Center and the Norton Family Center for the Common Good will bring a range of academic class visits, extracurricular team visits, dorm visits, and community programming to Shared_Spaces.

The GESC Shared_Spaces ambassadors will host unique, class-specific programming that is developed based primarily on student interest. They are: Alice Chen, Calabria DeFazio, Arjun Grover, Grace Keller, Michelle Park, Freya Rich, Anya Sastry, Emma Tischler, and Liles Wall.

Read the students’ perspectives about this immersive experience.

Q: Why should Loomis students experience Shared_Spaces? What can they look forward to through this experience?

Freshman class ambassadors Grace and Alice:

“Shared_Spaces is an incredible opportunity to experience different cultures and hear new perspectives. Students should capitalize on this experience to expand their own understanding of the world and the wide range of human existence.” 

Sophomore class ambassadors Calabria and Liles:

“This is an amazing opportunity to learn more about the world. We have the opportunity to talk to people from a different part of the world or the U.S. about what we are interested in and ask them questions about their culture. Students can look forward to engaging with students around our age about anything from sports to hot-button issues. Shared_Spaces is a great way to meet new people from all over the world and make connections you can use in the future.” 

Junior class ambassadors Freya and Arjun:

“Shared_Spaces is a great opportunity for students to meet people from all over the globe without even leaving the Island and for them to get a chance to hear stories and perspectives from people with a variety of unique backgrounds.” 

Senior class ambassadors Emma, Michelle, and Anya:

“Loomis students can look forward to experiencing something new and really feeling connected to other places in the world.”

Q: What words would you use to describe or explain the Shared_Spaces experience?

“Exciting” “Awareness” “Connecting” “Surreal” “Eye-opening” “Experiential” “Unmissable” “Engaging” “Stimulating!”

Connect to the Alvord Center webpage for more information about the center’s educational programming.