Drake University Students visit Bahamas for a Unique Leadership Experience


Students will also serve as volunteers in both the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure and the Bahamas Marathon set for this weekend

Students and advisors from Drake University pay a courtesy call on U.S. Chargé d’Affaires John Dinkelman and other Embassy officials on January 17.

A group of twenty-two students and two chaperones from Drake University took advantage of a unique opportunity to get out of the classroom setting in Des Moines, Iowa and travel to The Bahamas onboard the Liberty Clipper to experience the beauty and interact with the people of The Bahamas.

The visit is part of Drake University’s Leadership at Sea Program, a blend of classroom and experiential learning focusing on leadership development, team building, and seamanship.

The course features sailing in The Bahamas onboard the tall-mast schooner Liberty Clipper, a U.S. Coast Guard licensed 125-foot gaff-rigged schooner.

The ship serves as a leadership laboratory enabling students to rotate through ship positions and attend sessions with captain and crew. While at sea, the itinerary includes exploration throughout the Family Islands, kayaking, snorkeling, and small craft sailing.

On Thursday, January 17, the students had the unique opportunity to visit the U.S Embassy in Nassau where they met with U.S. Chargé d’Affaires John Dinkelman who outlined the important role that the U.S. Mission plays in The Bahamas.

The Chargé also highlighted the strong bilateral friendship shared by the U.S. and The Bahamas in promoting issues of mutual interest. He also encouraged the students to consider the Foreign Service as a career adding that it is a rewarding job that literally opens the door to the world and its many cultures.

The students also learned about the role of the United States Coast Guard (USCG), particularly in the area of search and rescue, during an interactive presentation led by USCG Lt. Junior Grade Officer Bryce Dehart.

He also discussed the vast improvements in migrant interdiction, border protection, and counternarcotics efforts since the establishment in the 1980s of the joint regional law enforcement partnership known as Operation Bahamas Turks and Caicos or OPBAT.

While in Nassau, the students will also meet with Bahamian government officials, taste Bahamian cuisine at the popular Fish Fry on Arawak Cay and participate in a walking tour through historic Nassau. The students will also serve as volunteers in both the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure and the Bahamas Marathon set for this weekend.