Maya Novak-Cogdell, Spanish major and 2017 CofC graduate, will enter the Ph.D. program in Hispanic Linguistics at the University of Texas at Austin in fall 2017.
Midnight on February 28, 2017 ended the Give To What You Love campaign. This was the first year that LCWA participated in this campaign. LCWA’s goal was to reach a total of 40 donors by the end of the campaign and not only did LCWA reach 40 they surpassed it!
LCWA had a total of 43 donors give to various funds and programs throughout the month of February. During this initiative faculty, staff, students, and alumni were encouraged to give to the fund that was meaningful to them. By investing in the College of Charleston, they were helping support the students and programs that made an impact on their lives.
LCWA would like thank everyone who gave during the Give To What You Love campaign and congratulate you for helping LCWA reach their 40 donors goal!
Bethany Blamphin, Spanish major, will present her project “Intercultural Competence in the Language Classroom: Practices and Beliefs of Foreign Language Teachers in the US” at the annual Colonial Academic Alliance Undergraduate Research Conference at Elon University on March 31 – April 1, 2017.
Professor Hilary Barnes attended the Bilingualism in the Hispanic and Lusophone World conference at Florida State University, January 27-29 2017, where she co-presented a poster entitled “Kaqchikel in San Marcos La Laguna, Guatemala: Language maintenance or language shift?”
Dr. Michael Gómez’s study “Literature under the Microscope: Taking a Closer Look at Ramón y Cajal’s Narrative Fiction” has been accepted for publication in the prestigious Bulletin of Spanish Studies.
For his latest novel Tennessee River, Professor Raúl Carrillo Arciniega has been granted the Premio Literario Estatal de Novela (State Literary Award for Novel) by the the Coordinación de Fomento Editorial del Instituto Sudcaliforniano de Cultura in Mexico. Click here for additional details on all statewide and regional awardees of Baja California.
The College of Charleston’s Nu Zeta Chapter of Sigma Delta Pi, the National Collegiate Hispanic Honor Society, was selected as an “Honor Chapter” for the 5th consecutive year. Only 12 of the 607 chapters nationwide were selected for this prestigious honor for outstanding activities realized during the 2014-15 academic year. In 2014-15, Nu Zeta was led by student officers Adriana Bonasorte, President; Lisa Dealmeida and Olivia Ghiz, Vice-Presidents. Drs. Carmen Grace and Mark Del Mastro served as co-chapter advisers.
When the College of Charleston launched its study abroad program in Havana, Cuba in summer 2000, travel and relations between the U.S. and Cuba were already difficult. Maintaining the program, which sends about 12 students to Havana each spring, has been challenging and often unpredictable, but it has always been rewarding.
Students studying abroad in Havana. Photo by Britton Holmes.
“My time in Cuba impacted me in more ways than I can count,” said Britton Holmes, a junior international studies and political science double major who studied abroad in Havana during the spring 2014 semester. “The culture is so rich, whether it’s the music, the art, the dance, etc. The people love being Cuban. They’re proud of their culture and they want to share it with everyone.”
The program that Holmes speaks of, though, is vastly different than the program the first 100 students to study in Havana experienced. In 2000, when International Studies Department Chair Douglas Friedman and Professor Emeritus of Hispanic Studies Jose Escobar launched the program with 20 students, participants spent four weeks and lived in what was essentially a hotel. When the embargo in Cuba was tightened in 2004, it required that those visiting with an education license must spend a minimum of 10 weeks. That was when the program went from a summer study-abroad experience to a full semester.
Photo taken in Cuba by Douglas Friedman
These restrictions caused many universities to end their own programs in Cuba, but the College’s commitment to sharing the educational and cultural opportunities in Cuba kept the program alive. “In 2004 there were more than 100 universities with programs in Cuba,” Friedman said. “In 2005 there were three.”
2007 marked the first spring semester in Havana – after attempting a hurricane-filled fall semester in 2005 – and the program has remained in the spring since. Students now live in apartments on the outskirts of Havana, allowing them easy access to the city without the round-the-clock distractions of Havana in such close proximity. It also makes students clean up and cook for themselves, providing them a more immersive experience.
“We’ve progressively tried to make the experience more genuine,” Friedman said. “Now we’re able to rent apartments for short-term use, and students have full kitchens – they’re actually living there. They have to deal with the same food shortages that Cubans deal with, they have to learn the different currencies, and they have to learn to navigate Havana. It’s a much more immersive experience.”
Holmes, who lived in the apartments, is a testament to this. “There is not a better place I could think of to get a full experience of pure Latin American culture,” she said. “I feel like a gained a Cuban family as well as a College of Charleston family.”
Holmes’ account of her time in Havana reflects the many unique opportunities provided through the program – not only is the Cuba program very small, allowing for students to form a tight-knit community, but also living in an embargoed country for 11 weeks is something that few Americans can experience.
Photo taken in Cuba by Britton Holmes
This is unlike any of the other programs we have,” Associate Provost for International Education Andrew Sobiesuo said. “In terms of the experience, the facilities and the adjustment that students have to make. They really learn to appreciate the advantages they have as Americans when they see what Cubans go through on a daily basis. It makes their experience much richer.”
Becoming immersed in the Cuban lifestyle can be jarring for some students. Holmes described ideal participants as “adventurous people who like to experience new cultures.” She went on to say that people interested in political science and/or Latin American history, culture and society as well as those interested in vintage cars, architecture, dancing and nightlife would also enjoy the program.
The next round of students considering studying abroad in Havana have a few months to apply – the deadline is December 1, 2014 – and in the meantime Friedman and Sobiesuo are working to get the program director in Cuba, Humberto Miranda, to Charleston in November for a 15th anniversary celebration and to teach his usual express II courses, Social Movements in Comparative Perspective and Cuban Politics and Society.
During his annual visits to Charleston, Miranda helps recruit students for the program both by providing information on the fascinating classes taught by his fellow University of Havana and Instituto de Filosofia faculty members and telling students about the unique and storied culture that awaits them in Cuba.
For Holmes, the description of daily life and friendly locals in Cuba was the selling point. “Their culture is super inclusive… I feel really lucky to have been able to experience it.”
College of Charleston Honors College student Christopher Jackson will spend his summer studying at the University of Dundee and the University of Strathclyde in Scotland on one of the most prestigious and selective summer scholarship programs operating worldwide. Jackson is one of 50 students from the U.S. and UK chosen to participate in the five-week Fulbright Summer Institute. This year is the first year a program in Scotland has been offered and the program is themed around identity formation via politics, technology, and the media.
“To be given such a rare and valuable opportunity reinforced my desire to give back,” says Jackson, a double major in political science and international studies. “As excited as I am to grow my intellectual and personal development, I look forward to sharing my experience with friends and family upon return to the U.S. It will be very rewarding to see how my experience in Scotland will connect to my work and studies back home.”
Jackson is minoring in Japanese studies and Latin American and Caribbean studies, while also a member of the International Scholars Program and William Aiken Fellows Society. He teaches Spanish and will tutor fellow students through the College’s REACH program. While at home in Huntersville, N.C., he still avidly teaches swim lessons at his life long swim club.
Created by treaty in 1948, the U.S.-UK Fulbright Commission is the only bi-lateral, transatlantic scholarship program, offering awards and summer programs for study or research in any field, at any accredited US or UK University. The Commission is part of the Fulbright program conceived by Senator J. William Fulbright in the aftermath of World War II to promote leadership, learning and empathy between nations through educational exchange. Award recipients and summer program participants will be the future leaders for tomorrow and support the “special relationship” between the US and UK. Fulbright Summer Programs cover all participant costs.
The Commission selects participants through a rigorous application and interview process. In making these awards the Commission looks not only for academic excellence but a focused application, a range of extracurricular and community activities, demonstrated ambassadorial skills, a desire to further the Fulbright Program, and a plan to give back to the recipient’s home country upon returning.
College of Charleston students interested in Fulbright Scholarships or other nationally competitive opportunities, please contact Anton Vander Zee, director of the Office of Nationally Competitive Awards at firstname.lastname@example.org.