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HomeNewsDrake University returns to Marathon Bahamas for sixth year

Drake University returns to Marathon Bahamas for sixth year

For the sixth year in a row, a group of students from Drake University will take part in the Sunshine Insurance Race Weekend (SIRW).

Approximately half of the 20 students from the Iowa school participate in Sunshine Insurance Marathon Bahamas while others serve as volunteers to staff water stations and coordinate race logistics.

This year’s trip is led by Melissa Sturm-Smith, associate provost for academic excellence and student success, and Chad Cardani-Trollinger, visiting instructor of leadership education and development.

“Our students’ involvement in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure and Marathon Bahamas is a unique opportunity to participate in a meaningful event while visiting Nassau,” Sturm-Smith said.

“Whether as racers or water station volunteers, their involvement opens a new window into the culture and people of The Bahamas through experiential learning. I know it has been a highlight in previous years, and am so pleased this event continues to be a tradition of the Leadership at Sea travel seminar.”

During the January term, the students will also take part in a leadership course on the high seas.

‘Leadership at Sea’ is a blend of classroom and experiential learning focusing on leadership development, team building, and seamanship.

The experience is highlighted by a trip aboard the Liberty Clipper — a gaff-rigged, square-masted sailboat that becomes students’ classroom as they take command of the ship on the Atlantic Ocean.

Also during the trip, scheduled for January 8-20, students will learn from officials from the American Embassy and Bahamian government, meet with faculty and students at the University of the Bahamas, complete a historical tour of Nassau, and tour a major cruise liner.

The course will teach students to apply leadership in a new environment, to work in teams, to communicate and manage conflicts, and to sail.

“The Bahamas is such an amazing place, and being able to participate and cheer the marathon runners on during the race was a great experience for myself and the whole Leadership at Sea class,” said Emily Lammers, a third-year pharmacy student who participated in the class in January 2017.

“I will forever cherish the memories I made in Nassau and aboard the Liberty Clipper.”

Race Weekend takes place on January 13-14, 2018.

To register for Marathon Bahamas, visit

To register for the Susan G. Komen Bahamas Race for the Cure, visit

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