Academic Courses

Roma Kids 2013

  • REL 361 Archaeology and Religion (3 hours) taught by Dr. Scott Nash
    The archaeology course introduces students to the field through readings, visits to archaeological sites, student reports, and participation in actual archaeological field work. The course will focus on the role of religion in ancient Greek and Roman society, especially as it is illuminated by the findings of archaeology. There will be two major explorations of archaeology and religion: the first will be investigation of the ancient concepts and practices of healing and medicine, especially as it is evidenced in the demarcation and construction of "sacred space," such as the healing center of the god Asklepios at Epidauros. The second will be ancient concepts of "service," especially in terms of service to the deities.  Some attention will be given to the development of these two concepts during the Roman and Byzantine periods.
  • REL 384 The Ethics of Globalization—cross-listed as INT 301 Engaging the World (3 hours)  taught by Dr. Paul Lewis

    In this course, we develop a moral vision that draws from biblical texts, Christian theology, approaches to global development, and ethics to develop a framework that can serve as a guide for holistic global development. Special emphasis will be given to the idea of shalom (wholeness) and the virtue of practical wisdom. We will use that framework to evaluate the work of Romani Hope, the non-profit with whom we will be working, with the intent in helping them strengthen and extend their work.

  • CSL 210 Nutrition in Early Childhood Development (3 hours)  taught by Professor Marsha Lewis

Students will learn basic nutrition concepts to better assess and understand the physical and psychological consequences of hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition on children ages 1- 5.   Students will learn how early childhood malnutrition can negatively impact growth, success in school, health and productivity as adults.  Students will explore the impact of political and economic realities in the Roma community, access to resources and understanding of nutrition on the incidence and prevalence of malnutrition. Using the knowledge obtained in class, students will collect anthropometric data for the children ages 1 - 5 in the Roma communities in Greece.  Students will also conduct in-person food frequency and typical diet assessments, and gather information on food preparation and storage methods.   Students will apply WHO criteria for determining the incidence and prevalence of hunger and malnutrition in this specific age-group.  Culturally appropriate nutrition intervention and education plans, using available resources, will be developed.


Dr. Scott Nash, Columbus Roberts Professor of New Testament, College of Liberal Arts

Dr. Paul Lewis, Professor, The Roberts Department of Religion, College of Liberal Arts

Marsha M. Lewis, Professor, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Program Highlights

  • Service Project Description:

    The program's service-learning project will involve conducting health clinics in the Roma villages near Corinth, Greece. Students will participate in an on-going program to assist the Roma, or Gypsy, population of Greece sponsored by Romani Hope. In previous years, Mercer students have conducted health surveys and water tests to identify significant health problems among the Roma. The Roma population of European countries has experienced increasing discrimination and economic deprivation. Greece has one of the largest Roma populations in Europe, perhaps as many as 300,000. The Roma people live in impoverished communities and experience much higher degrees of health problems than the rest of the Greek population. Working with local officials and agencies, and using some of the latest Telehealth technology available, we hope to diagnose many of their health problems and connect patients with local sources of help.

    Archaeological Field Experience

    Because the two academic courses focus on the literature and culture of classical Greece, students may engage in archaeological field work at the site of the Ohio State University Excavations at Isthmia (near Ancient Corinth) sponsored by the American School of Classical Studies in Athens. After learning first-hand about archaeological field work, students will visit several of the major archaeological sites in southern Greece, including Corinth, Nemea, Mycenae, Epidauros, and Athens.

    Tentative Travel Dates: Summer 2021


Contact Information

For more information, e-mail or call (478) 301-2992.