Monday, June 29, 2009

The group has arrived

We've received word from the expedition leaders that the group has arrived in Rome. Below is a message from the leaders:

Ciao a tutti,

After a day spent in airport terminals and planes, the group is in good spirits and getting settled in St. Stephen's School, our new home in central Rome for the next ten days! After a replenishing siesta and fresh panini, we plan to take advantage of the great weather and set out on a walk through the centro storico in search of antiquity, Roman culture, and of course, a cold gelatto.

Looking forward to the adventures that lie ahead!

A presto,
Breena, Matt, Rachel and the NGSE team from Rome

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Meet the Expedition Leaders

2009 Rome & Greece Expedition Leaders, left to right: Matt Kostakis, Breena Kerr, Rachel Langosch

Archaeology & Ancient Culture

Matt Kostakis. McGill University, B.A. A proud Greek-American, Matt majored in International Development at McGill and pursued coursework in Greek mythology, art history, fine arts, and photography. He taught Spanish and coordinated the foreign languages program at the Tuxedo ParkSchool in New York, and taught traditional Greek dance to middle school students. Matt spent four months volunteering with marginalized communities in Thailand and Brazil, and won a scholarship from Aristotle University in Thessaloniki, Greece, for the study of the Greek language. He led Putney Student Travel’s Language Learning program in Costa Rica in 2008. Matt has traveled extensively in Greece and Italy and spent much of the spring of 2009 exploring Italy, the Greek island of Ikaria, and the traditional Zagori villages of Epirus in northern Greece. Matt is an avid artist, photographer, and outdoorsman. He is fluent in Greek and Spanish and competent in Italian.


Breena Kerr. Santa Clara University, B.A. Breena is a professional journalist and blogger based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She concentrated in Journalism and Video Production at Santa Clara, where she was an editorial columnist at The Santa Clara newspaper. She spent eighteen months living, working, and studying in Rome and Florence, Italy, where she wrote on-line restaurant and night-life reviews and served as an administrative intern at The Florentine, an English-language newspaper. Breena has worked as a documentary filmmaker, an assistant producer, and a voice-over artist. She was a journalist and web intern at The San Francisco Bay Guardian, and currently works as a writing/English tutor in San Francisco. Breena is fluent in Italian and proficient in Spanish.


Rachel Langosch. Bard College, B.A. Pratt Institute, M.F.A. Rachel is a New York-based photographer and personal trainer. She majored in Anthropology and Photography at Bard, where she was a starting center for the varsity women’s basketball team. Rachel volunteered for Habitat for Humanity in Nicoya, Costa Rica, served as a publication photographer at the Sigihara House Museum in Kaunus, Lithuania, and spent four months as an eco-tourism and reforestation volunteer for ProPeru Service Corps in Urubamba, Peru. She was and Americorps Youth Corps leader in San Jose, California and a head-shot and special events photographer for The Executive Source and The Simplicity Group in New York. Rachel currently lives in New York, where she works as a photography assistant for a freelance commercial photographer. She recently completed her Master of Fine Arts in photography at Pratt Institute. Rachel is part of the South 4th Cycling Team, a Brooklyn-based bike club, and a volunteer photographer for The B-Girl Project, an ethnographic study of female break dancers. She co-led the National Geographic Student Expedition to Ecuador and the Galàpagos in 2008.


Welcome family and friends of National Geographic Student Expeditions participants!

We have created this blog in order to keep you updated on the progress of your child’s National Geographic Student Expedition this summer. We hope that occasional updates throughout the expedition will help keep you informed about the activities, projects and successes of the program.

The expedition leaders will post entries approximately once per week during the program. The leaders’ first priority is the students and the program. If updates are infrequent, it is likely due to the group’s very busy schedule and inconsistent internet access. Please know that any important issues that arise during the program will be discussed and resolved with leaders and parents by phone, not through the blog.

We suggest that you subscribe to the blog so that you receive e-mail notifications when a new update is posted. To subscribe, enter your email address under ‘Subscribe via e-mail’ on the right-hand column of the blog.

Best wishes from us all at National Geographic Student Expeditions