Graduating Spanish Majors and Portuguese Student Recognized

At the 2013 Awards Ceremony on May 10 for the School of Languages, Cultures and World Affairs, the following graduating seniors of the Department of Hispanic Studies were recognized for their various academic distinctions in Spanish and Portuguese studies:

Distinguished Spanish Majors
Jeffrey Tyler Brooks
Stacy Michelle Calhoun
Stephanie Renee Ferrell
Emily Louise Gooding
Julie King
Mary Emily Lee
Varleria Scotto Di Luzio

Outstanding Spanish Major
Stephanie Renee Ferrell

Most Accomplished Spanish Major
Jeffrey Tyler Brooks

Outstanding Student of Portuguese
Priya Schlenzka

Congrats to Elizabeth Burdette and Madeline Edwards on winning Critical Languages Scholarships!


Two Students Earn Scholarships to Study Critical Languages

March 19, 2013

Two College of Charleston students will continue their study of Hindi and Arabic through the Critical Languages Scholarship Program from the U.S. Department of State. Elizabeth Marjorie Burdette and Madeline Edwards will study abroad in 2013 improving their language skills in Hindi and Arabic, respectively.

The College’s Associate Provost for International Education Professor Andrew Sobiesuo asserts: “The College of Charleston is committed to infusing global perspectives in the curriculum and study abroad is one of the best avenues to accomplish that. The Center for International Education and other campus entities such as the Office of Nationally Competitive Scholarships work together to inform students of scholarship opportunities and guide them through the application process.”

Sobiesuo continues, “The study of any language and particularly a critical language is not only an academic achievement but a national security necessity. Language study is the vehicle to discovering and comprehending the soul of the other. And the more we as a nation can understand our allies (and enemies alike) and communicate directly with them, the more we can boast of our stature as a world power.”
Burdette will be studying Hindi at the American Institute of Indian Studies in Jaipur and residing with a host family. She remarked that the award is, “a long-awaited open door for me. I’ve been studying Hindi and Indian culture for two years now. I surprised myself by falling completely in love with both the language and the culture, and I have wanted the opportunity to see practical use of my knowledge in a way that will have a meaningful impact on who I am and what I want to become.”

When asked about how she wishes to use her College studies, Burdette said she hopes to work in the field of “social justice issues and asset-based community development in India, particularly in advocating for women’s equality in India and working with women who are at high risk of being trafficked into the sex industry.” She states “Hindi language skills will be essential if I’m going to live and work there.”  College faculty member Leena Karambelkar who teaches Hindi, said of Burdette, “She is an extremely bright student. I am honored to have her in class and feel happy that I could help her in realizing her dreams. I am sure, this bright young leader is going to enlighten many lives, and show path to many less fortunate and continue the great American humanitarian traditions.”

After only two semesters enrolled in Arabic at the College, Edwards, will be studying at the Qasid Institute in Amman, Jordan. She is looking forward to her summer studies because they will allow her to “learn the Jordanian dialect.” She says this is useful because the Modern Standard Arabic learned in the classroom is not the same as colloquial Arabic spoken in real life. Edwards will be living with a Jordanian host family which provides a full, immersion language experience.  Fam, an adjunct instructor of Arabic says , “I strive to create a welcoming atmosphere in my classroom. When students begin studying Arabic they have no knowledge of the language or alphabet. Everyone starts from the same place.’”
In the future Edwards has thoughts of “working for human rights groups such as Human Rights Watch or Amnesty International to expose the plights of marginalized groups and people in the Middle East.”
A program of the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program offers intensive summer language institutes in thirteen critical foreign languages. The selection process is administered by American Council for International Education with awards approved by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.
The CLS Program is part of a U.S. government effort to expand dramatically the number of Americans studying and mastering critical foreign languages. Students of diverse disciplines and majors are encouraged to apply. Participants are expected to continue their language study beyond the scholarship period, and later apply their critical language skills in their future professional careers.

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Judge Arthur C. McFarland to serve as the Baccalaureate Service's keynote speaker: tonight

The Baccalaureate Service for this year’s graduating class is tonight at 6:30p in Recital Hall, Simons Center for the Arts.

This evening’s speaker is Judge Arthur C. McFarland. Judge McFarland served as the Municipal Court Judge for the city of Charleston for 33 years and served as the city’s chief judge for 28 years. A native of Charleston, he began his career as an Earl Warren Fellow with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund in New York.mcFarland

Judge McFarland was among nine black students who desegregated Bishop England High School in 1964. As an undergraduate at Notre Dame University he founded the Afro-American Society of students organized to promote the interests of black students.  He received his JD from the University of Virginia Law School and was admitted to practice law in South Carolina and the Federal and US Supreme Courts. He continues in private practice today, having retired from service to the city of Charleston.

We are honored to have Judge McFarland on campus this evening.  His message will center on the intersection of faith and service in daily living.

I hope you will join us at 6:30 in Recital Hall.  Academic faculty and staff are invited to wear Regalia to this evening’s service.