News Release

  • Home
  • News
  • Purdue Fort Wayne Men's Basketball Team Ready to Study Abroad
For Immediate Release
August 06, 2018

Purdue Fort Wayne Men's Basketball Team Ready to Study Abroad

Purdue Fort Wayne Men's Basketball Team Ready to Study Abroad Image 1
Purdue Fort Wayne men's basketball team Print-quality image

FORT WAYNE, Ind.—The Purdue University Fort Wayne men’s basketball team is busy preparing for a study abroad trip to Italy next month. Team members have spent the past four years raising money and the past few months learning as much as they can for the trip. They will be in Italy from August 6 through August 16.

“We have been fundraising for the past four years to provide this unique opportunity overseas that will be 100 percent donor funded,” says Jon Coffman, head men’s basketball coach. “We are extremely grateful to everyone who has given time and donations to make this trip and class possible.”

Student-athletes are required to do a research project on the topic of Italian law and leadership, keep a daily journal throughout the trip, give an oral presentation about a specific assigned Italian landmark while they are on the trip, and take three tests.

“We have also been educating them in the classroom,” says Kimberly O’Connor, associate professor of organizational leadership. “Throughout the summer, the team has been learning about Italian culture, etiquette, history, language, architecture, art, religion, business, and more. Several guest lecturers have also shared their expertise with the students on a variety of topics related to this study abroad.”

Carolyn Stumph, director of MBA programs, says several faculty members have been essential in preparing the team for the trip. “In sharing their passion for the subject, Steven Cody, assistant professor of art history, Jeffrey Casazza, associate professor of theatre, and Suzanne LaVere, associate professor of history, have given the students a scholarly appreciation for what they will see in Italy.”

The student-athletes are ready to experience first-hand everything they have been learning about in class.

“I’ve enjoyed studying about Italy prior to our trip and now I’m excited to see everything that we have been discussing,” says Matt Holba (junior, finance). “I am extremely grateful for this opportunity.”

Coach Coffman says he decided very early in the planning process that this trip would be about more than playing basketball in another country. “I wanted our group to connect through a unique experience and also educate them on another part of the world. Our student-athletes will be well versed about Italy before we ever step foot overseas, and I believe that this will provide them with the tools to truly enjoy and learn from their trip.”

Athletic director Kelley Hartley-Hutton says study abroad trips offer a tremendous opportunity to all students. “Some of our students have never and might never again travel overseas to experience another culture. We are grateful for the collaboration with our outstanding faculty and international services staff—people who believe in these rare educational experiences.”

The student-athletes will also be playing some basketball on the trip, which coach Coffman says is also a learning experience. “As a team, we will also gain the experience of playing games against foreign competition and learning about international basketball rules.”

“We have a lot of basketball alumni playing overseas and you hear the different stories about Europe from them when they come back to campus,” says Matt Weir (sophomore, business). “I’m excited to experience it myself and I’m looking forward to the great team building experience as well.”

For more information or to set up interviews, please contact Nicole Hahn at 260-760-4709 or or Derrick Sloboda at 260-481-0729 or