Unveiling the puzzle map at the Campus Center in celebration of International Education Week

Unveiling the puzzle map at the Campus Center in celebration of International Education Week


Unveiling the puzzle map at the Campus Center in celebration of International Education Week





Jenna Dryer, associate director of international services, stands in front of the 60,000-piece puzzle on the third floor of the SMC Campus that she assembled.

The map is the largest puzzle in the world, containing 60,000 pieces, compiled by Gina Dreyer, Assistant Director of International Services.


Photo: Jenna Dryer stands in front of the 60,000-piece puzzle on the third floor of the SMC Campus Center.


The Center for Global Engagement (CGE) celebrated International Education Week on November 16 by unveiling an art display on the third floor of the SMC Campus. But it’s no ordinary piece of art: It’s an image of a world map that is the world’s largest puzzle, containing 60,000 pieces, assembled by Gina Dreyer, associate director of international services.

Dreyer has been doing puzzles since she was a little girl, getting her start playing floor puzzles in the United States. Not surprisingly, her interest in geography and collecting map puzzles arose from there.

“When I learned in October 2022 that there was a ‘World’s Biggest Mystery,’ thanks to my social media algorithm, I had to have it immediately. I had no idea where I was going to show it when I was done,” Dreyer said. Then one day in September, I got off the elevator on my way to work, a light bulb went off, and there was a big blank wall on the third floor of Campus Center! I was thrilled and began my campaign to get it approved.

Dreyer’s husband, Aaron Bristol, was instrumental in making the show a reality. He designed and built the wooden frames that support the puzzles and meticulously hung them.

On installation day, Dreyer was struck by the level of interest among Campus Center staff. Yarnell Stubbs, an EVS employee who works in the building, was the biggest fan. She would call co-workers and ask them to come see her and excitedly point this out to all passers-by. Event Services staffer Kenny Anderson was relieved to get some advice on gluing the puzzle together, lamenting that he had had one on his dining room table for about a year.

“There were a lot of questions, and I had no idea people would think this was so cool,” Dreyer said.

The puzzle shows pictures of famous landmarks, with small details that remind Dreyer of searching in “Where’s Waldo?” book. Next to the screen, you’ll find a list of things to look for. The CGE team wants those who enjoy puzzles to say, “What have you found in puzzle pictures that brings you joy?” By dropping a note in the safe deposit box in the lobby.

Dreyer says the puzzle map is the perfect metaphor for the interconnectedness of our world. Each piece is an important part of the big picture, but all pieces are necessary to create something truly beautiful.

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