Dorm Room Dish: Eating Healthier in College

ECS 2013By: Sarah Lisson, EC Scholar and Honors College Junior

Inspiration often strikes at strange times. In my case, it happened to be in the middle of a four-hour bus ride to Virginia for a living-learning trip in April 2014. I was talking to a friend (who also happens to be a blogger) about my desire to write more. I had kept a blog while studying abroad in London, but I hadn’t had anything to post in the nine months since I’d returned. My friend suggested starting a food and nutrition blog to combine my love of writing with my major, and the proverbial light bulb instantly went off. I started brainstorming potential titles and topics and even drafted a few posts. In mid-August, Dorm Room Dish was born.

Dorm Room Dish’s tagline is “Nutrition tips and tricks for college students, by a college student.” I started Dorm Room Dish to help fellow college students eat well and make the most of their meal plans or tight budgets. I still live and eat on campus, so I understand the struggles many students face when trying to put together healthy meals and snacks. Through my blog, I’ve been able to share recipes and tips that have worked for me and highlight some of my favorite healthy options on and near campus. The feedback I’ve received so far from my peers and professors has been very positive, and I’ve had a lot of fun working on each post.

I publish a new post every Monday morning at If you’re interested in making healthier food choices, cooking in a dorm, or simply adding a little more variety to your diet, I encourage you to check it out!

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Living in the Legacy of Nijmegen

image7By Joshua Griffin, EC Scholar and Honors College Senior

Celebrating over 2000 years of history, Nijmegen is a legacy. With an integrated train system, flexible scheduling in the university, and a couple euros of course, this city is a dream for any study abroad student. As a student here, I ride my second-hand bicycle every day to class and around the city. There are bike paths everywhere and strict “it’s always the drivers’ fault” laws to protect cyclists so this city is really easy to get around as an exchange student.


There are a lot of differences comparing Greenville and Nijmegen. In addition to the bike culture, recycling programs and other environmentally responsible policies help keep the city and the country clean. Also, everything is in Dutch. If you have never heard Dutch spoken, there are a lot of hard G sounds and more guttural sounds. While there are some similarities to English, like melk (milk), tradizionale (traditional), and pastasaus (pasta sauce), there are very stark differences too. Kip is chicken, wortel is carrot, and kaas is cheese. And yes, I did learn most of those from the supermarket, so do not underestimate how much time you will need to learn the differences between US and NL markets.


Another major difference is that you have the freedom to travel to another country, particularly within the EU, incredibly easy. I just got back from Belgium this past weekend, and didn’t buy the train tickets to go until this past Thursday, and the total cost of the trip was about 100 euros, including the cost of the tickets, the hostels, Belgian chocolate and Belgian waffles! Additionally, France, Germany, Spain, the UK, Denmark, and the rest of Scandinavia are all close enough for weekend trips. I would recommend setting up a Dutch bank account though; group tickets only cost 7 euros per person for a full group (10 people/group) to most cities in the Netherlands, and the train ticket into Belgium was only 7.10 euros for individual purchase.

image3Lastly, the Dutch experience has been amazing. With all the travel freedoms offered to exchange students, the Dutch cities are not to be overlooked. I flew into Amsterdam early and have visited the city since my stay in Nijmegen with a third trip planned for this weekend to see a reggae band in the gorgeous canal city. Additionally, I have been to Rotterdam and cruised the massive port, saw the Cube Houses, and saw the Euromast tower. One night after class, I heard of a live music festival called Appel Pop in a town over (Tiel) and simply hopped on a train there to enjoy the live music for several hours that night. These and other cities cost less than 10 euros to visit and are perfect for spontaneous trips when you aren’t in class. Even better, you can read your literature on the train if you aren’t staring out the window at the gorgeous Netherlands countryside and quaint houses passing by!



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Art, Assisi, and Adventure: A Year in Italy

By Allie Donnenwirth, Honors College Junior

IMG_0154My name is Allie Donnenwirth, and I am a junior in the Honors College. I was lucky enough to study abroad in Italy for my entire sophomore year! I am an art major and business minor, so immersing myself in such an art-based culture was like a dream. I was able to study Art History in Florence and see famous artwork including The David by Michelangelo, Birth of Venus by Botticelli, the architecture of The Duomo, and so much more. I was able to further explore my love for metals, jewelry making, and enameling. Classes such as the history of Europe up until the Renaissance, Italian Language, Italian Literature, book making, among others were offered for me to take and get credit for.


When we arrived in Italy, we spent three days in Rome and Vatican City. After Rome, we town hopped in Tuscany until arriving in our quaint, medieval, Tuscan town named Certaldo! We lived in apartments above our classrooms on the top of the rolling hills.

Throughout both semesters, we continued to travel to Sienna, Assisi, Volterra, Montepulciano, the Amalfi Coast, Cinque Terre and many more cities. I traveled to Barcelona with a group of girls for Fall Break and Halloween, and then London for Thanksgiving. Both semesters, we ended our trip with the beautiful city of Venice. However, the most amazing part of my trip was the people I met and the sense of community everyone shared.


Because we lived in such a small town, we really got the chance to know the locals very personally, make invaluable friendships, and share unforgettable memories.

The people I met on this trip are my best friends. It is difficult to even put into words how this experience changed my life and helped me become who I am today and decide what I want to do with the rest of my life. Deciding to study abroad was the best decision I ever made.


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An Exploration of Holocaust Archives: Perkins Library at Duke University

By Kristalyn Gill

Some people say you can only trust history when you hold, in your hands, a primary source or witness the event itself. However, I do not concur with this statement. For example, I have read numerous articles about the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. I was not alive during the 1800s and have never been presented with artifacts from the murder, yet I hold Lincoln’s assassination to be a true, historical event. I have taken a similar stance with the Holocaust. Until our trip to Perkins Library at Duke University this week, I have never held any historical items from World War II or been able to physically sift through documents spanning across the last eighty years. I was able to study graphic images of the Nazi death camps’ victims and to view shocking panoramas of both the fully costumed Knights of the Ku Klux Klan on a local beach as well as the thousands of Nazi supporters at the 1926 Nuremburg rally. While pouring over these sources, I came across a letter written in London in 1939. I became completely absorbed by the content of the letter. The writer was a witness of the destruction of Jewish stores during Kristallnacht and gave an opinionated description of the Jewish population. He did not associate himself with the Nazis, but he saw the extermination of the Jews as a necessary action to regain Germany’s power and control the country. It was fascinating to read his words since I have heard Dr. Bassman describe the various public opinions of German citizens. It was at this moment that I began to more accurately assess the stance of the German public who supported Hitler.

Our trip to Duke University broadened my perspective on how the Holocaust was influenced by World War I, became international news, and continues to cause controversy in the present day and age. I highly enjoyed spending time with my peers researching a topic we are all passionate about. We rediscovered Holocaust history to be true by not only past knowledge put into our heads by Dr. Bassman but also by what we held in our hands and read with our eyes in Perkins Library. I support this trip and believe the entire Honors College would benefit from visiting these artifacts and have their minds stretched by studying the sheer horror of Holocaust and the colossal damage it has caused on our past, is inflicting on the present, and will transform the future.

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Phenomenal Photographs and Artifacts

By Mary-Grace Kelly

While on our class’s excursion to Duke University, I was privileged to see many photos and read many impressive documents, newspaper articles, letters, and books that were both eye opening and shocking. This trip was extremely educational because it provided me with an opportunity to see with my own eyes the activities of hate groups in the past and the present.

On the first table were several items relating to the Nazi organization.  The most shocking item on this table for me were the photographs of rallies organized by the Nazi regime and the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. Although I have seen pictures of similar rallies before I had never seen the images on full panoramic printouts. These images opened my eyes to how large and monstrous these organizations were. I was also struck by the extreme similarities between the two groups, such as the presence of bands and uniforms. I am baffled that every person in the mass in each photograph truly believed and justified the horrendous acts performed by these destructive groups. Along with the photographs, I was struck by one single sentence in one of the books on the table that stated politics and morals should be separated. I am confused at how any rational human being could say with assurance that these two things do not belong together. Without morals, the politics of any society would be doomed.

On the second table two objects really stood out to me; a newspaper article denying the holocaust and a letter addressed to African Americans from a white author. While reading the headlines of the newspaper, I was left in complete disbelief. Many of the claims were absolutely ridiculous but were presented in a manner that made it seem as if they were fact. For example, they claimed that a women who had been listed as murdered in the concentration camp’s crematorium was actually alive and working. They supported this claim with a photograph of the women who was supposedly once the concentration camp prisoner. Unlike the newspaper, the letter created extreme feeling of disgust after reading it. The claims made by the writer were absurd and infuriating. He identified the Jews as the common enemy and that the segregation of blacks and white would be the only solution. How ignorant can someone be to propose such a ridiculous idea?

On the third table the most recent items were displayed. One of the items was a flyer for an event led by Hutton Gibson. I was shocked that rallies are still occurring in today’s society. Secondly, I was amazed at the flyers attempt to appear legitimate by using a law school endorsement.  Other items on this table that I found alarming were pages for subscriptions to the hate group magazine and flyers to join the groups. I am absolutely flabbergasted that people in today’s world still insist on creating and participating in prejudice organizations.

Overall, the entire experience can be explained with one word “shock.” The many items in the collection continuously provoked emotions of anger, disgust, disbelief, and sadness. Before this I was naïve in that I believed our society would learn from the photographs on the first table and take action to prevent it from every happening again. However, by the third table it became apparent that many individuals and group have not learned from history. I am saddened that hate groups still exist but I am thankful for groups such as the Southern Poverty Law Center that take action against such groups.

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