Korean Traditional Performances Organized by the Korean Area

Dr. Kyung-Eun Yoon, Coordinator of Korean, organized a Korean traditional performing event on Saturday, May 2nd. This event was sponsored by the Korean Traditional Culture Association and the Korean Society of Maryland. A variety of Korean traditional music and dances were beautifully performed and delicious Korean foods were provided. Not only the UMBC students, but also many members of the Korean community and the Korean-learning students at Johns Hopkins University were invited to this event. It was a wonderful community gathering in which the participants could enjoy Korean culture.

ILE French Cluster Learns the Art of Making Crepes

Watch adjunct instructor and ILE (Intercultural Living Exchange) French mentor Landry Digeon and his ILE French cluster group making and flipping homemade crepes (information courtesy of Jacalyn Babitz): Landry makes crepes; Veena Namboodri makes a successful crepe, while Ryan Mercado, Chris Correia, Mary Davis, and Alina Buechler cheer her on.

Alicyn Curtis's Study Abroad Experience in Korea

My name is Alicyn Curtis and I am studying Korean Language and Asian Studies. I am currently studying abroad in South Korea for the Spring 2015 semester! As a recipient of the Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship, I am required to spend at least a semester in another country studying foreign language. I was very thankful to receive the scholarship as I was given the chance to study abroad and improve my Korean language skills. My time in Korea has been very fun and adventurous, I have met new people from all around the world and not just in Korea. The food here is very good and there is so much to do in Seoul. I am currently attending Korea University, one of the SKY universities in South Korea. Korean language courses here are very intense, I study Korean every day! Springtime is finally here in Korea, the flowers are blooming, the weather is nice, and it is almost midterms. Studying here in South Korea so far is an amazing experience, I meet new people almost every day, and I plan to come back next summer to study Korean at Yonsei University!

MLLI Students at URCAD

Five MLLI students gave presentations at this year's UMBC Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievement Day (URCAD), held on April 22, 2015.

Giving oral presentations were:

Benjamin Woodworth (faculty mentor: Dr. Elaine Rusinko): “Media Discourse Surrounding MH17 in the Russian-Ukrainian Conflict of 2013–14”;

Sierra Francis (faculty mentors: Dr. Omar Ka, Mr. James Thomas, Dr. Marie DeVerneil, Dr. Anna Shields): “Mohawk and Cherokee Language Revitalization: Overview, Assessment, and Challenges”;

Kelitah Armstrong (faculty mentors: Dr. Kyung-Eun Yoon, Dr. Anna Shields): “Dialect Attitudes and Prestige Values among Korean Dialects”;

Aureanna Hakenson (faculty mentors: Dr. Thomas  Field, Dr. Christine Mallinson): “Student Attitudes Toward English Language Variation in Education”;

—and with a poster presentation:

Christine Au (faculty mentor: Dr. William Brown): “Conflicts of Confucian Ideals and Pragmatic Battle Strategies in Romance of the Three Kingdoms.”

Japanese Area Hosts AP High School Students

As a part of vertical articulation project, nine AP Japanese students from Boonsboro High School visited Japanese courses on campus last November. They participated in JPNS 201 and JPNS 301 courses, working with UMBC students. After UMBC students shared campus life experiences with them over lunch, the high school students got a formal campus tour. The AP students experienced university language classes and learned that they can learn Japanese continuously from high school to university. The Japanese area hosted twenty level II students from the same high school in mid-April.

Kristina Li (Class of 2016), majoring in Economics with minors in
French and Korean, is currently on study abroad in Seoul, Korea.
Kristina sends the following report:

Seoul is a metropolis—ultra-modern meets steadfast tradition. Between it all you have the Korean people who are simultaneously rigid yet open. My year abroad in the capital of South Korea has been a constant reflection of this dichotomy. I often find myself getting swept up in the glamour of the richest city in the country; the fashion, the capitalism, and the night life. But to balance it out I find quiet in the river trail next to my apartment lined with cherry blossoms, the playground outside where moms mingle as their children play, and the view of the Han River swishing by as I ride the subway to school at Yonsei University. 

My experience in Seoul has been a collection of singularly amazing memories. I’ve witnessed Korea’s crazy cheering culture, watched a movie on the world’s biggest movie screen, climbed a mountain to see the amazing fall foliage, met celebrities (anyone know PSY?), set fireworks off at the beach, and tried all the different street foods and so much more.  But the things that make the year seem like real life rather than some strange fantasy summer camp are my daily occurrences. As I walk to school I often like to stop into this small mom-and-pop bakery to buy some breakfast. At the start of my year here I could barely say a full sentence, and ordering my breakfast was always a game of charades. But as time has progressed, my game of breakfast charades has evolved into a daily conversation with the little old couple. I find it hard to conceptualize how much I have grown here until I think about little everyday things like ordering breakfast. The big flashy events are fantastic memories, but the little daily events are what make my short time here reality.

The achievements of these graduating seniors were recognized
at a CAHSS reception in their honor:

Background Information on the Name Awards:

May Roswell Award for Excellence in Writing
May Roswell, one of the founding faculty members of the UMBC campus and the first chair of the program in foreign languages, laid the foundation for a successful program and national recognition. Her colleagues remember her fondly as a voice of reason who sponsored a collegial and open atmosphere, while upholding high standards and challenging minds to work at their very best. Clarity and style, in whatever language of expression, were among the skills she prized.

Angela Moorjani Award for Excellence in Language Skills
Dr. Angela Moorjani was a founding member of the department of Modern Languages and was a primary architect of the undergraduate major.  Throughout her time at UMBC she inspired students to achieve excellence in all their endeavors. Dr. Moorjani was distinct in her outstanding language skills. She read, wrote and spoke four languages.  She retired in 2004 and is now a professor emerita.

Palomares Award for Service and Academic Excellence
Ricardo Palomares Domínguez, a Latin American historian, was the first Latin Americanist at the still very young UMBC in 1974.  He went on to be ordained as the first openly gay Episcopal priest in Baltimore. He ministered tirelessly to his diverse students and parishioners, especially the LGBT and Hispanic communities.

UMBC Global Brigades in Darién, Panama

For spring break, the UMBC chapter of Global Brigades traveled to Darién, a rural area of Panama. UMBC has many brigades including medical, dental, public health, microfinance, environmental, and human rights. Global Brigades focuses on holistic development and only works in communities it has been invited into. Global Brigades ensures a sustainable environment, by placing follow-ups and representatives in the communities it works with.

Our group went on the Human Rights Brigades. The goal of this brigade is to provide access to a lawyer in rural areas and educate people of their rights. To see a lawyer in Panama, individuals who live in the rural areas have to travel 3-4 hours to Panama City each way. Roughly 60% of rural Panamanians live in poverty, making these trips extremely challenging. Additionally, the legal services themselves are very expensive and some lawyers take advantage of this. There is an attitude of mistrust, and therefore families do not seek legal counsel and are unaware of the their own legal rights.

During the brigade, our group worked alongside two Panamanian lawyers to provide pro-bono legal clinics, work on specific family law cases, and provide educational workshops. Because the lawyers could not speak English fluently, our translator and program coordinator helped translate. Fortunately, a few of us brigaders are studying Spanish at UMBC, so we were able to assist in communicating with the lawyers and members of the community as well as translating for those in our group who didn’t speak Spanish.

During the first two days of our brigade, we opened up legal clinics, where members of Rio Congo Arriba could visit the GB lawyers and receive free advice or counseling on how to handle their cases. We assisted by filling out legal forms, which included personal information and specific details about their case, all in Spanish. Fortunately, GB had prepared us with prompts. After the legal intake, the lawyer gave their clients legal guidance. Our last two days consisted of working on two family cases, and giving charlas, or workshops. The purposes of charlas are to broaden the member of the community’s perspectives on certain issues, offer resources, and most importantly, empower them. We prepared two charlas: one for women focusing on domestic violence, and the other at a local school, on gender stereotypes. Our translator helped us a lot with the women’s charla, since extensive vocabulary was needed, but for the children we prepared scripts for everyone to read aloud to help direct activities.

This trip has not only empowered the members of Darién, it has also opened our eyes to life in Panama, as well as tremendously increasing our confidence in Spanish. For spring break 2016, we are planning a Human Rights and Microfinance hybrid, as well as many other brigades to travel to Panama. Going on a Global Brigades trip should definitely be on everyone’s UMBC bucket-list before graduation!

Anjali Tallapragada, SPAN 302, Assistant Program Director, UMBC Global Brigades

Danielle McGrogan, SPAN 103 (Fall ’15), Program Director, Human Rights/Microfinance Brigade

Spanish minor Patrice Matthews (2014) was recently awarded a Fulbright award.  Patrice had spent a semester abroad in Ecuador before graduating from UMBC.  She writes: “My major at UMBC was Environmental Science, with a minor in Spanish. I graduated in May 2014. The full title of the award is the 2015-2016 Fulbright U.S. Student Award. I will be going to Ecuador in September of this year to study the tree species composition and carbon sequestration potential of an area of cloud forest within La Hesperia Estación Biológica, a natural reserve located 90 kilometers southwest of Quito.”

Chaye Parker (B.A. 2004; M.A. 2005) has translated her love of adventure and intercultural interaction into a quest to enjoy meaningful experiences with people in all corners of the world, and on all seven continents.  Chaye also often enjoys documenting her experiences through photographs.  Highlights of her travels include trekking through the Amazon rainforest, riding a camel in the desert of Dubai, celebrating the New Year beneath the Eiffel Tower, communing with nature in Kenya, toeing the equatorial line at the “middle of the world“ in Ecuador, and  embracing the breathtaking vistas found at the “end of the world” in Ushuaia, Argentina.  Most recently, Chaye visited Antarctica, where she found herself captivated by the pristine beauty of the continent, but ever-respectful of the powerful forces of nature that reign over it. Currently, Chaye is finishing up her M.S. degree in Management Information Systems and intends to join Syracuse’s Information Science and Technology doctoral program in the Fall. 

A selection of Chaye's photos:

Edited by Dr. Steven Young. For MLL Letter deadline and contact information,
please see the menu item MLLI e-Newsletter (under News & Events).