“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.
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.
International dealings with China, especially in the academic realm tend to be rather rare. International partnerships on the scale of the University of Utah’s Master’s in Public Administration [MPA] exchange that took place from January 2008 to May 2013 are simply unheard of.
The University of Utah Chamber Choir won what is considered by some as the world championship of amateur choral art, the European Choral Grand Prix. The competition includes choirs from all across the globe and has an international jury made up of judges from six different countries.
The sounds of Michael Bublé’s “Sway” echo just outside of the Sorensen Arts and Education Complex’s main floor auditorium. Just inside, Juan Carlos Claudio, Assistant Professor of the Department of Modern Dance, is certainly swaying, but not to a traditional Tango, and not in front of a traditional university class.
What does it truly mean to preserve history? Not just the preservation of knowledge, but the preservation of history, the hand-written texts that are scrawled across vellum manuscripts that pre-date our own American history by centuries?
This type of preservation is exactly the sort of work University of Utah Preservation Librarian Randy Silverman engages in on a regular basis, and was the focus of his most recent work in Uzbekistan through the Fulbright Specialist Program.
Silverman first visited Uzbekistan in November 2013 through the U.S. Embassy, where he worked with the National Library of Uzbekistan’s staff through a series of lectures and workshops. During his trip he was introduced to the idea of returning to Uzbekistan to aid in preservation through the U.S. Embassy who suggested the project would be an ideal fit for the Fulbright Specialist program.
Opportunities to make lasting changes within the educational systems of foreign countries don’t come along very often. So when the opportunity arose for Megan Peterson, an intervention specialist with the University of Utah Reading Clinic (UURC), to partner with a non-profit in Botswana, Africa she leapt at the chance to make a significant impact in their literacy program.
In July 2013, Peterson was able to partner with Stepping Stones International (SSI), a non-profit organization based out of Mochudi, Botswana, in order to bring the UURC’s literacy training to a country that was facing an education crisis at the time.
A recent pair of grants offered to the Asia Center [AC] and the Center for Latin American Studies [CLAS] here at the University of Utah will be providing a significant boost to international and area studies.
Marking the second time that a National Resource Center [NRC] at the University of Utah has received a Title VI Educational Grant from the U.S. Department of Education, this year the university received, not one, but two highly competitive grants for both the AC and CLAS National resource Centers as well as grants for Foreign Language and Area Studies [FLAS] fellowships.
The Kingsbury Hall Presents program has existed at the University of Utah for more than 14 years and has helped to bring both international and domestic performers to the Salt Lake valley, from international dance performances to Broadway hits. As successful as the Presents program has been, Brooke Horejsi, Executive Director of Kingsbury Hall Performing Arts Center and Assistant Dean of the College of Fine Arts, has even bigger plans for its future through the incorporation of the Global Arts Series.
The College of Humanities’ Second Language Teaching and Research Center (L2TReC) has just been awarded the prestigious, and highly competitive, Language Flagship Proficiency Assessment grant that is administered by the Institute of International Education. For this grant L2TReC has partnered with the University of Utah’s Department of Languages and Literature and with Salt Lake Community College in a collaborative effort to improve language proficiency assessment across the two campuses. Over the course of three years this initiative will assess the speaking, reading and listening proficiency of students at all levels of instruction in Arabic, Mandarin Chinese, Korean, Portuguese and Russian.