The refugee crisis may seem far from the shores of our Great Salt Lake, but six Utes are about to travel to Thessaloniki to spend ten days working with refugees, staff and stakeholders to do their part in this humanitarian disaster. The “Refugee Policy and Global Ethics” work/study visit will be preceded by lectures and meetings in Geneva with the International Committee of the Red Cross, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees and the International Organization for Migrants, among others, as part of a two-and-a-half week summer seminar organized by the Oxford Consortium for Human Rights.
The Office for Global Engagement (OGE) held its third annual Awards Ceremony on April 27th. Among those recognized were the teams that were awarded Global Learning Across the Disciplines (GLAD) grants.
In 2016-17, OGE awarded three grants in the fall and one in the spring semester. The GLAD grant provides up to $10,000 in funding for teams composed of at least three faculty members to integrate global learning into the curriculum. GLAD focuses on transforming curriculum to allow opportunities for students to engage in global learning in their respective discipline. Winners this year represented architecture and design, anthropology, nursing, and ethnic studies.
The first cohort of students from the University of Utah Asia Campus (UAC) will graduate in 2017. Seven undergraduate and seven graduate students are eligible to participate in commencement on May 4 at the John M. Huntsman Center, although some have already finished their course requirements and some will continue to take classes through the summer. Three graduate students at UAC in Incheon, South Korea will also receive their degrees this year (a ceremony will take place in February 2018).
A new initiative in Ethnic Studies is aimed at adding a global perspective to the division’s curriculum.
The program’s courses on race and ethnicity have been largely grounded in a U.S. context, but that no longer reflects the transnationalism of today’s world.
“We wanted to explore more comparative approaches in ethnic studies, which is where the field has been moving,” said Lourdes Alberto, associate professor in the Division of Ethnic Studies and the Department of English. “Our students are also asking us to go beyond the areas we currently have organized in ethnic studies.”
Two University of Utah students have been selected as finalist for the prestigious Fulbright scholarship and two students have been chosen as alternates.
Elizabeth Gamarra and Alison Shimko have received highly competitive Fulbright U.S. Student Program grants from the U.S. Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board for the 2017-2018 academic year. The awards will allow both to teach English in Spain.
Tuscan Thompson and Claire Taylor are alternates and will receive the award if openings are created. If selected, Thompson will teach English in South Korea and Taylor will conduct research in New Zealand.
“The world’s most famous and popular language is music,” South Korean rapper and songwriter Psy has said. It is also increasingly recognized as the world’s most accessible medicine, in part due to the diligent efforts of two of Utah’s own.
Seven months ago, Grzegorz Bulaj, an associate professor in medicinal chemistry, and Juan Diego High School junior Karl Schriewer published an article in Frontiers in Public Health advocating for music’s therapeutic value: journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fpubh.2016.00217/full They envision a Pandora or Spotify-like streaming service that uses an algorithm to select songs and musical pieces based on the mental health needs of the listener – happy and uplifting music with a positive valence for those struggling with depression, and relaxing for those in the throes of an anxiety attack, for instance. The music-streaming channel would also reflect the listener’s as well as the region’s musical preference.
Khawar Mumtaz is the type of person who when faced with injustice knew she had to do something to confront it. The 1970s in Pakistan were a particularly dark time in a country who has had its share of dark times. The politics of authoritarianism and repression were on the rise and the rights of the average citizen were on the decline. In this moment entered an unlikely voice—a woman, a scholar, an activist.
“I want to see my grandmother again,” says Leng Mei softly, as a translator interprets. “My grandma died before she could meet my son.” Leng Mei’s son, Ye Leng Xi, is nicknamed Tutu and loves to draw animals, especially bears and frogs. He is three years old.
And Leng Mei has truly become the best version of herself. The Asian record holder for the 400-meter sprint and 100-meter hurdles, she’s lived up to her name. In Chinese, Leng Mei means to be proud of yourself and not care what people say, for you will get everything you wish for.
The Bridge Program offers an advanced language pathway for high school students who have passed the Advanced Placement (AP) Language and Culture Exam, ‘bridging’ the gap between completion of the exam and higher education. Though designed as the continuation of Utah’s successful dual language immersion (DLI) program (established in 2008 and currently serving more than 30,000 students), the program's reach extends to heritage speakers and any student who passes the AP exam prior to their final year of high school. The Bridge Program promotes equity and access to bilingual and bicultural citizenship in Utah by offering rigorous, upper division university language and culture courses for students in grades 9-12.
The University of Utah’s undergraduate Model European Union Club (UMEUC) recently traveled to Seattle, WA to compete in the West Coast Model EU at the University of Washington, February 10-11, 2017. This annual competition is sponsored by the European Union (EU) and hosted by UW’s Center for West European Studies. It brings together teams from the Pac-12, like the University of Arizona and the University of Oregon, as well as other universities across the U.S. and Canada, including Brigham Young University, University of Wisconsin, Claremont Colleges, University of British Columbia, and University of Victoria.