NEWPORT, R.I. – Kathleen Vespia, assistant professor and chair of the education department, has been selected to represent Salve Regina University as a crew member aboard Gazela Primeiro, the Philadelphia-based tall ship that will make a six-day voyage to Newport next week.
Vespia will join a team of five other Rhode Island educators aboard the vessel as part of a focus group to develop programming for the SSV Oliver Hazard Perry, a tall ship currently under construction that will eventually be docked in Newport.
During their voyage from Philadelphia to Newport, the participating teachers will examine educational opportunities and develop lesson plans for all ages to be implemented aboard the OHP when the ship is completed in 2013.
At 196-feet-long, the Oliver Hazard Perry will become Rhode Island’s own tall ship and offer education at sea programs while advancing the state’s maritime heritage.
“I am thrilled that I have been selected to represent Salve Regina as member of the crew of the Gazela Primeiro,” Vespia said. “This is a great opportunity for the university to be on the ground floor of this exciting endeavor. I will be working and journaling all the way from Philly.”
Vespia and Erin FitzGerald, director of international programs, are investigating various opportunities for collaboration with William Leeman, assistant professor of history; Kathy Nickerson, associate professor of education, and Jameson Chase, associate professor of biology, biomedical sciences and environmental studies.
The Gazela Primeiro is scheduled to depart from Philadelphia on June 29 and arrive in Rhode Island for the Ocean State Tall Ships Festival.
The SSV Oliver Hazard Perry is named for Newport’s War of 1812 naval hero Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry. Once completed, SSV Oliver Hazard Perry will be owned and operated in trust for the people of Rhode Island by Oliver Hazard Perry Rhode Island (OHPRI).