Department Chicago Trip

Contact information:
     Darrell Pofahl
     608-783-2665 or

     Jessica Madson


Cultural/Educational Tour of Chicago

Sponsored by the Viterbo University Sociology and Criminal Justice Department. This spring semester educational trip has been coordinated by Darrell Pofahl, for the last 32 years, and includes a bus tour through various ethnic neighborhoods, a visit to Cook County Juvenile Court to talk to a juvenile gang worker, a visit to Chinatown where participants can take part in a ten item optional family style feast and shopping, and a trip to the American Natural History museum or Shedd’s Aquarium. Events are optional and participants can follow their own interests such as visiting the Art museum, art galleries, theatre productions, comedy clubs, the Navy Pier, shopping, etc.

Chicago Trip itinerary  

Accommodations: Executive Plaza—a half block from the famous Michigan Avenue. The "Chicago Trip" is open to the public.

Some Areas/Sites of Interest:

  • Museum of Natural History
  • Museum of Modern Art
  • Cabrini Green
  • Indian/Pakistani neighborhoods (part of tour)
  • Jane Addams Hull-House (part of tour)
  • Chinatown (part of tour)
  • Sears Tower
  • Harpo Studios
  • Juvenile Court (part of tour)
  • Mexican/Polish neighborhood (part of tour—with a stop for dinner and entertainment with an authentic Maria chi band)
  • Shedd's Aquarium
  • Navy Pier
  • Miracle Mile shopping
  • University Chicago campus

Previous Participant Comments*:

"Most students have never seen inner-city neighborhoods, ethnic neighborhoods. They didn't know what I was talking about when I spoke the words in class. I wanted to give them a reference so they had images, so we had common ground." —Darrell Pofahl

"I remember being a little afraid because I’d never been exposed to inner-city neighborhoods before. When I did go through the different neighborhoods, I was appreciative, For me, the trip was about learning not to be afraid and it was about being exposed to the whole other culture of the big city…It was amazing and very positive experience for me." —Jean Pintz-Olsen, Graduate

"The classroom knowledge that I learned became a reality by seeing the ethnic neighborhoods. I learned that I am lucky to have all that I do…I really liked Chinatown. The Chinese people were very friendly and welcoming. This is important to me because I was in their territory. I was the minority, but they still respected me and made me feel welcome. Everyone should be like this to each other." —Erin Bouska, Junior.

"I did not realize it before, but the majority of minority people I see in La Crosse I am afraid of and try not to get too close to them. In Chicago, I got over that very fast. Just because someone has a different color skin than me doesn't mean that he or she is a bad person." —Nicole Ellefson, Junior

"The whole trip was fascinating to me. It fascinated me how various neighborhoods can change when you just simply go under a bridge or pass a factory. You enter into another country without ever leaving the one you're in." —Amy Prill, Sophomore

*participant comments taken from the September 2001 edition of Strides magazine written by Beth Erickson.