Undergraduates look onto a river and lush greenery in Radford, VA





To protect the health of our administrators, faculty, and students from COVID-19, HoyasAndHighlanders will be postponed for the Summer 2020 session. If you're interested in learning more, please reach out to gbnn@georgetown.edu.

HoyasAndHighlanders: Deconstructing the Rural-Urban Divide is an experiential learning opportunity for undergraduates at Georgetown and Radford University. This two-part program takes place both in rural Appalachia and Washington, D.C. 


Applications are Currently Closed 

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Part 1 (May 17-19): Radford, Virginia

Undergraduate students from Georgetown and Radford University spend three days exploring in-depth conflict resolution skills through interactive simulations and exercises, outdoor activities such as ropes courses, canoeing, and hiking, and learning more about rural communities and Appalachian culture.

Goals for this session are to:

  • Understand typical sources of conflict in challenging conversations and how to manage them

  • Build skills to navigate contentious, values-based discussions

  • Engage in fun, challenging outdoor activities, including a ropes course and canoeing, with their peers

  • Develop the cultural dexterity needed to serve as a bridge between urban and rural communities

Georgetown Undergraduate

"There are so few programs that make one a deeper thinker and better person in addition to teaching skills and building knowledge. This is one of those precious cases."


Part 2 (May 20-22): Washington, D.C.

The program continues for a three-day session held in Washington, D.C. Students immerse themselves in the D.C. community and explore issues salient to urban development and renewal specific to D.C., with the aim of further developing skills in dialogue and cultural dexterity explored during the first part of the program.

Students practice negotiation and consensus building skills through interactive, team-based exercises and simulations. Students also take part in activities that showcase D.C. culture and allow students to learn about issues central to the city’s history and urban development. These include site visits to Capitol Hill, Anacostia, Georgetown, and other historic D.C. neighborhoods.

Check out our photo album for another look at the program. 

Radford Undergraduate

"Hoyas and Highlanders was so much better than I could’ve imagined. I didn’t know what to expect, but I gained so much (personally and professionally) from the program."


Program Leaders

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Rachel Milner Gillers is Director of the Georgetown Conflict Transformation Lab and Adjunct Professor of Negotiation and Mediation at the Georgetown University Law Center and McCourt School in Public Policy. She specializes in multi-stakeholder processes, international development, and gender and negotiation.

Theresa L. Burriss serves as Chair of Appalachian Studies and Director of the Appalachian Regional & Rural Studies Center at Radford University. She teaches Appalachian undergraduate and graduate classes on the region’s literature, history, political economy, and social and environmental justice issues.

Don Martin was General Counsel for the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. A native of southwestern Virginia, Mr. Martin served as Assistant General Counsel for the Central Intelligence Agency and was a corporate litigator for the law firm, McGuireWoods LLP.


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