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   Date: 10/28/08

The Value of Learning Off Campus

On Thursday, October 30, 41 Smith students will present perspectives on their experiences last year during Junior Year Abroad, internships and community service projects around the world. How have those experiences merged with their formal classroom education? What long-term impact will their experiences have on their lives?

The third annual Smith Elects the World conference will take place from 4 to 6 p.m. in various Campus Center spaces. Meanwhile, here is a snapshot preview of the presentations.

Children’s Photovoice Project in Paraguay
Amelia Mitchell ’11--internship

"During the summer of 2008, I was one of 100 undergraduate college students chosen by the Davis Foundation to implement a project I had designed to promote peace in the world, as part of their initiative 100 Projects for Peace. For my “Photovoice” project, I worked with children from an indigenous community in a rural part of Paraguay, whom I had met the previous year while doing volunteer work.  I taught the children of the community how to use cameras to document, explain, celebrate, and share their lives."

Problematizing the Museum Space: A Summer at the Corcoran
Kelly Montana ’09--Praxis

"I had the opportunity to work as an Exhibitions Intern at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. I will describe exhibition projects I worked on, and highlight key pieces from each exhibition." 

Science and Splendor: Researching Historical Scientific Instruments
Lyudmyla Kovalenko ‘09--JYA

"I conducted my Praxis-funded internship in the museum and the cultural center of East Germany, where I worked in the Mathematisch-Physikalischer Salon and will use images of  scientific instruments to illustrate my story as well as allow the audience to appreciate the grandeur of the Royal Collection."

Penumbra Theater Company: Black Social Justice and Awareness
Kelsey Olwell ‘10--Praxis internship

"I did a Praxis internship with the Penumbra Theater Company where I worked on the August Wilson Oral History Project. The Wilson project is of great significance to the Black community and it affected me personally."

Urban planning in the Paris banlieues
Norabelle Greenberger ‘09--JYA internship

"While on Paris JYA, I was an intern in a low-income housing office in the Paris suburb of Romainville. French suburbs are very different from our American idea of suburbia, and I will discuss the work I did for the office, finishing the semester with an urban study analyzing a component of a proposed renovation project."

Reconnecting with Jewish Cultural Identity through Research
Ayla Schlosser ‘09--study abroad

"I will talk about my study abroad experience in Barcelona and my feeling of isolation as the only Jew in my program during the High Holy Days. I will explain why, as a recipient of the Smith College Vale Grant, I decided to research the pre-1492 Jews in Catalonia, specifically Barcelona and Girona."

Health, Violence and Development in Southern Sudan
Presenter: Emma Ensign ‘10--internship

"My presentation will be focused on my independent travel and work in southern Sudan this past summer. I primarily worked on a public health project under the auspices of the Catholic Diocese of Torit in Eastern Equatoria, one of the eight states in southern Sudan." Microfinance in Cameroon
Lucy Gent ‘09--fellowship

"I will present my Fellowship with doing microfinance in Cameroon during Summer 2008 and talk about the innovative online platform that has created to raise funds from individuals."

Working for Change with some "considerations": A summer internship in Kabul
Shaharzad Akbar ‘09--Praxis

"I did a Praxis internship this past summer at the Asia Foundation projects in Afghanistan. I will also briefly talk about NGOs in post-conflict Afghanistan and people's view to them."

Helping Women Help Themselves: Sex Work, Health and Development in Mahajanga, Madagascar
Rachel Pryzby ‘09--study/research abroad

"During my semester abroad in Madagascar with the School for International Training, I conducted a month-long research project looking at access to health care and development opportunities for sex workers.  I will introduce contextual information about my academic program and the study site, and a discuss my methodology and findings."

Delivering in the Dominican
Natalie Krumdieck ‘09--Praxis

"I will describe Proyecto ADAMES, the non-profit organization that I volunteered with over the summer of 2007 for my Praxis internship, and my daily duties as a labor doula."

Addressing the Needs of Gitana Rumana Women and Their Children in the Streets of Córdoba, Spain
Shana Dooley ‘09--study/research abroad

"I will begin my presentation with an explanation of the objectives outlined by the Association for the Social Defense of Adolescents and Minors (ADSAM), and the specific projects I worked on with them in Córdoba, Spain for my Praxis internship and Vale Grant experience."

Mali: A Look at Childhood Health Issues and Health Education
Jillian Merica ‘09--study abroad

"I will talk about the different cultures of Mali, providing background information on the health concerns in the country."

Refugee Resettlement Policies in Switzerland
Melanie Jaskolka ‘09--JYA

"I will present an overview of the current political climate in Switzerland. Specifically, I will discuss the attitude towards immigrants and refugees as well as a recent xenophobic political campaign, which motivated me to study refugee resettlement in Switzerland for my Blumberg Traveling Fellowship."

Vietnam Medical Project- International Medical Options
MyDzung Chu ‘09--summer internships

"Through photographs and personal account, my presentation will be a journey of my trip back to the Kien Giang, Vietnam this summer on a medical mission trip with the Vietnam Medical Project."

The Map is Not the Territory
Elizabeth Crews ‘09--study abroad

"I will introduce my presentation by describing the concluding event of my summer study at Trinity College, Oxford University as a participant in the University of Massachusetts Amherst Oxford Summer Seminar program."

Art, Ritual, and Representation: Tsam Dance in Mongolian Culture
Mikaela Mroczynski ‘09--JYA

"Drawing from six months of ethnographic research done in Mongolia, I will present about the experiences that shifted how I thought about my work as a scholar and a student."

My AllAfrica Experience
Laura Ingabire ‘09--Praxis

"AllAfrica, the oldest online news source, disseminates news from countries all over Africa. It is invaluable as news source and as a tool to encourage sustainable development and to change the image of Africa."

Climate Change in the Land of the 24-hour Sun: Svalbard Research Experience for Undergraduates
Maya Wei-Haas ’09--fellowship

"I will discuss the climate change research I conducted in Svalbard, Norway, as a participant in the National Science Foundation’s Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program."

Art is power: Young people’s mural painting in Nicaragua
Olivia Levins Holden ‘09--Praxis

"I will give a brief history and context of the organization FUNARTE and their role in the community of Esteli, Nicaragua, including their mission and their work teaching children and youth to express knowledge of their rights through murals painted in public spaces around the city."

Target:Hunger:  Transforming Mason Square One Ripe Peach at a Time
Kathleen Daly AC--internship

"My 2008 summer internship, sponsored by the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts/Target:Hunger Springfield and funded by Praxis, allowed me to address this issue concretely through my work with the Concerned Citizens of Mason Square Farmers Market in Springfield, Mass."

Students Redesigning the Automotive Industry: The Vehicle Design Summit 2.0
Sari Field ‘09--study/research abroad

"As an engineering student, I participated in the Vehicle Design Summit in 2007 and 2008, culminating last summer when our Smith team built the first prototype in Torino, Italy. I will talk about my personal growth, the value added to my curriculum, and what I could bring to the project because of my education at Smith."


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