St. Edward’s student dies in fall during study abroad in Myanmar

Kassandra Braun (Semester at Sea Photo)
Kassandra Braun (Semester at Sea Photo)

BAGAN, Myanmar (KXAN) — A St. Edward’s University junior was severely injured and later died following a fall in Bagan, Myanmar, a major tourist site in the southeast Asian country filled with thousands of temples.

Kassandra “Kassie” Braun was traveling as part of a Semester at Sea cruise, a study abroad program that takes students to multiple continents around the world.

The program says Braun was on independent travel in Bagan at around 4 p.m. local time on Tuesday when she fell. She died in an ambulance on the way to Mandalay General Hospital.

Braun’s parents, Charlene and Dave Braun, say their family is absolutely devastated by the death of their daughter. “She was so full of life and love, gave so much to so many,” the family said. “She had a tremendous love for her friends and teachers at Cathedral High School and St. Edward’s University.”

Arrangements are being made to return Braun to the United States.

In a post on Facebook, St. Edward’s University Campus Ministry said Braun was originally from McCordsville, Indiana and was majoring in communication. She previously attended Cathedral High School, a Holy Cross school in Indianapolis, before going to St. Edward’s as a Moreau scholar.

The campus ministry says Braun had already traveled to Italy and South Africa with the university and was very involved in campus life. Her brother is currently a freshman at St. Edward’s.

The university is holding a memorial mass in Our Lady Queen of Peace Chapel on Wednesday at 5:15 p.m. for members of the campus community.

Semester at Sea, which is scheduled to travel to Vietnam next, said a shipboard community meeting is planned to discuss the tragedy and mental health counselors are on-call.

“All shipboard resources will be used to provide a supportive environment for our community,” a statement from the program said.

The Semester at Sea ship, the MV World Odyssey, is described as a floating campus, beginning its current journey in Bremerhaven, Germany on Sept. 9 and ending the semester in Honolulu on Dec. 16.

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