Professor Polack
Professor Polack, a distinguished computer science professor at the University of Mary Washington, possesses a deep curiosity for global exploration. Driven by a desire to broaden her understanding of different cultures and technological landscapes, she aspires to study abroad in countries across the world. Professor Polack's ambition to study abroad exemplifies her commitment to enriching both his own academic perspectives and the field of computer science as a whole.
View UMW Trip 2024
Iceland, where we spent weeks exploring the stunning landscapes of this Nordic island. One of the highlights of the trip was driving around the famous ring road, a 1,332-kilometer highway that circles the entire country. Along the way, we marveled at cascading waterfalls, rugged coastlines, and towering glaciers. We had the chance to immerse yourself in Icelandic culture, sampling traditional cuisine and learning about the country's history and geology. This unforgettable journey through Iceland's dramatic beauty left a lasting impression all of us.
View UMW Trip 2023
After leading a study abroad trip to Brazil and Argentina, where the students explored the wonders of the Amazon Rainforest, embarked on a captivating river cruise along the Amazon, and marveled at the breathtaking Iguazu Falls from both sides of the border, Professor Polack decided to create a photo book. With meticulous attention to detail, he curated a collection of photographs capturing the vibrant landscapes, fascinating wildlife, and joyous moments of the trip. I aimed to provide a visual narrative that would forever remind the students of their remarkable journey.

Trish’s Favorite Animal

Three years ago, we were at the Baltimore Aquarium as a family. My 11year old daughter said, “I hope I see a Sloth.” I laughed because I honestly didn’t think sloths were real. How could they be when for 53 years, I have never heard of a sloth? High in a tree was a brown lump of a sloth. I had no real sense of what that animal was, where it originated, or what was so special about it. I knew we’d see many animals while on this 10-day trip. Overall, I was extremely excited about all of them (minus any snakes, as I am not a fan), but I was excited about the possibility of seeing a sloth.

On day two, we left the riverboat on a boat through the amazon river and arrived at the Indigenous Village. At the village, we witnessed a traditional tribal dance and then saw and held several village animals—Monkeys, snakes, owls, birds, and a sloth. As I cuddled up to this sloth, I couldn’t believe the calmness of the animal. It wrapped itself around me with its long claws and a big smile.

A few interesting facts about the beloved animals. Sloths are mainly found in Central and South America, in tall trees in tropical rainforests. Their lifespan is 20-30 years, top speed is .16 MPH, length is 2-2.5 feet. Their specialized hands and feet are used to drag them on the ground since they can’t walk. They are noted for their slowness and spend most of their time hanging upside down in trees. Sloths can also hold their breath for up to 40 minutes in the water. Most mammals have seven vertebrae in their necks, 3 toed sloths have eight or nine which allows them to turn their heads in a 270-degree arch.

Brazil offers so many unique wildlife. I enjoyed them all. Although I love my new friend Nathan, he holds my absolute least favorite animal in the world. To each their own…….

Wait…. What???? How is this scary? SMH

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