February 2009 Archives

Did you miss the Study Abroad Information Fair?

On Thursday, February 26th, Students met with Study Abroad Alumni, Professors and Learning Abroad Center staff to learn more about the Study Abroad Process. In case you missed this event here is a run down of information you'll need to know.

If you're interested in Study Abroad you'll want to visit the Learning Abroad Center to learn more about where, when and how you can go!

If you are unsure where you want to go, and you may be scared about going for a full semester, you might be interested in a Global Seminar. Global seminars are 3 week long programs that introduce you to an geographic area, its culture and its language. Just a few examples include:

Global Seminar in Montpellier France (no previous experience in French required!)
Global Seminar in Grenada Spain (no previous experience in Spanish required!)
Global Seminar in New Zealand
Global Seminar in Dubai
Global Seminar in China

Also, you can prepare for a short trip through SPAN. SPAN helps you to design research abroad!

Also, here is what a few students have to say about studying abroad:

Allie R. "Learn as much about the program and the city you want to go to. That way you can make the most of it!"

Atoni T. "The year I spent abroad was the best experience of my life, the best year of my life."

Jeff. B. "The time I spent abroad was the best time of my life! I got to see amazing sights, travel to Ireland and France, and absorb new cultures all while earning course credit!"

Sam O. "My time abroad was life changing and enormously fulfilling. The relationships I developed and the experiences I had will be with me forever."

If you still have more questions about how you can study abroad, you can always visit your academic adviser!

Regents Professor Profiled

small sprengnether.jpgMadelon Sprengnether, who was named Regents Professor in 2008, is featured in UMNews. The interview tracks her interests from Shakespeare to current theories on memory. "I've been lucky to be at a university, in a department, and in a particular moment of time when I could follow my interests," she notes. Regents Professor Sprengnether is currently writing a book-length memoir titled My Ghostly Stepfather.

Looking to add to that bookshelf?

The English Department Graduate Student Organization is holding a book sale! The Book Sale begins on Thursday, February 26th 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. in Lind Hall 1.

A rock bottom economy means rock bottom prices! Paperbacks are selling for 50 cents. Hardcovers and Anthologies for $1. And they said you can't get anything for a dollar.

Also, a special bag sale will occur from Noon to 2:00 p.m: All you can fit into one bag for 2 dollars!

Read your way through the recession! Stock up on cheap books.

Have you been abroad?

The Undergraduate Studies Office in the Department of English is excited to host two new events this semester!

On Thursday, February 26th between 3:30 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. the English Department is sponsoring In Pursuit of Study Abroad Info Fair! This event will occur in Nolte 140 and will include free Mesa Pizza, drinks and snacks from Holy Land. The Learning Abroad Center will also be hosting a First Step Meeting during this time. Students will also be able to meet with Study Abroad Alumni, Professors with experience abroad and Learning Abroad Center members to go over all the logistics.

On Tuesday, March 3rd from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. The English Department is sponsoring Cross Cultural Ties: Students Bringing the World Together. This will occur in Rapson Hall 56. This is your chance to listen to a panel discussion focusing on intercultural engagement in the English Department. Study Abroad Alumni, International Students and professors will all talk about their experiences! Free food and drinks will be provided!

Did you miss the UROP info. panel for English majors?

If you were unable to attend the UROP meeting last Thursday, then you missed some amazing presenters (Thanks again!) and some fabulous Pizza Luce (Support local businesses!). Unfortunatly, we cannot recap the Pizza Luce experience. However, we can fill you in on some of the important details that you missed!

The submission deadline for UROP proposals is Monday, March 2, 2009. A great source for information, as well as the application, is available on the UROP website: http://www.urop.umn.edu/. Rebecca Rassier, the CLA UROP coordinator, who spoke at the panel, is a great resource for answers to questions and help along the path towards the application process. She can be contacted at rassi003@tc.umn.edu.

Dr. Donald Ross, who has worked with several English students in the past on UROPs and is in the process of working with another student on a UROP currently, spoke about how to approach professors as potential faculty advisors. Before you submit your UROP proposal, you have to have a faculty advisor that approves your proposal and has agreed to work with you. Dr. Ross cautioned against being afraid of cold-calling professors. It is all right to approach a professor about working with you on a UROP that you have never had a course with as long as the topic that you want to explore directly coincides with the professors own personal research – the more recent the better. Dr. Ross suggested checking the English faculty page (or the faculty page of any humanities professor) to see if their research compliments the work that you want to do in your UROP proposal. It may also be a good idea to have written your three-page topic proposal before you meet with your potential faculty, so that they have something concrete to approve. It is advisable to do a UROP on a topic matter that you have studied in at least one previous course. This will greatly strengthen your UROP application.

Sara Cohen, Josh C, and Adam Schrag spoke about the opportunities available through the Voices from the Gaps website, which is currently being remodeled. It’s an exciting time to get involved with VG, which specializes in researching the often underrepresented multicultural feminine voices of the 21st century. If this sounds exciting to you, contact Sara Cohen cohen224@umn.edu, Josh C capod001@umn.edu, or Adam Schrag atschrag@umn.edu for more information.

Direct general questions to Larisa G. gars0020@umn.edu

MFA Alum on New York Times Blog

Kate Hopper (MFA 2004) contributed the entry "Afraid to Love Her Preemie" to the New York Times blog Motherlode February 12. Hopper writes frequently about mothering, writing, and teaching on her own blog Mother Words and teaches writing at the Loft Writing Center in Minneapolis.

Research + Professor = Money?

Have you heard about the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program? The UROP is your opportunity to work with professors on a research project. This is your chance to build your research abilities (something that would look great on a Graduation School application). UROP's are open to all Undergraduate students with options for self-guided or professor run projects.

One unique opportunity within the Department of English is:
The University of Minnesota's award winning project Voices from the Gap is willing to host UROP students. For more information about UROP you can come to the UROP information panel on Thursday February 12th. Also you can check out opportunities by visiting the UROP opportunities website.

New Volunteer Opportunity in English Department

The Undergraduate Studies office in the Department of English is looking for students that are interested in event planning for two English Department events. We are currently looking for 10 students interested in helping to plan, coordinate, set up and staff two events focusing on Study Abroad/International Exchange.
The Undergraduate Studies office recently received two grants designed to increase awareness of study abroad opportunities and increase awareness of intercultural engagement within the Department. Below are brief descriptions of the grants and activities included in event planning:

The Innovation for Broader Engagement grant will introduce students to Learning Abroad Center (LAC) opportunities, to other students who have returned from abroad and to other ways to include international study in degree programs. Event planning for this event will include:
- coordinating a time and location
- contacting students, LAC staff, professors and other individuals as possible presenters
- buying material and food for event
- advertising the event.
- recording and documenting the event toward publicizing the possibility of international study within degree programs at the U of M.
Students with previous experience abroad are encouraged to apply for the Innovation for Broader Engagement grant event.

The Intercultural Engagement grant will introduce students and staff to the intercultural exchange happening within the Department. Event planning for this event will include:
- coordinating a time and location
- contacting students, staff and other individuals as possible presenters
- working on a creative project for presentation at event.
- buying material and food for event
- advertising the event, and
- recording and documenting the event toward publicizing the intercultural exchange happening in the English Deparment
Students with multicultural backgrounds are encouraged to apply for the Intercultural Engagement grant event.

These positions are unpaid and completely voluntary. However, this is your chance to get to know members of the English Department, work with professors and build your resumé with event planning and management experience. Five (5) positions are being offered for each event. These positions include:
- Chair – oversee all event planning and coordinate all members.
- Public Relations/ Communications – Contact students and staff members, design and put up posters, advertise event,
- Event Planning – setting up event/ pulling down event, staffing event
- Budget – Obtaining material, coordinating payments
- Recording – Written and visual recording of events, transferring written and visual material to Department website (must attend events). Students with technical experience in audio-visual programs will be given special preference.

Apply for a position (you may apply for multiple positions) with a resumé outlining your event planning experience and also a short letter (informal) describing the position(s) you wish to apply for and your qualifications. Please send all material to Joshua Capodarco (capod001@umn.edu) no later than February 12th. Thank you all for your interest and we hope to see all your applications

January/February's Engaged English Scholar of the Month is:

Samone !!! Thank you to Samone D. for your commitment to excellence! Samone is majoring in English and Communication Studies. She has been actively involved in several student groups and organizations such as [Shades of Red] HIV/AIDS Awareness Week, Orientation and First-Year Programs, and the Queer Student Cultural Center. She had also been a Community Engagement Scholar for almost three years, volunteering at the Minnesota Internship Center.

Here is what Samone said about getting involved:

• Why is it important to you to get involved?

I don’t think our education should exist in a vacuum. If you want to work for and with others to “make the world a better place,” there are plenty of opportunities for that right here in the Twin Cities.

• How has getting involved changed your education?

As a university student, it was easy to get wrapped up in academic achievement or my ability to get employed after college, but the volunteer work I’ve done gives me a “reality check” and helps me question the material I learn in the classroom.

• Has getting involved changed your career path?

I didn’t become an English major because I wanted to teach, but I’ve come to realize that I may only be happy if I work in an educational environment. Working on scholarships, housing, and college applications with students can be difficult work but I really enjoy doing it, so my future plan is to become a school counselor.

• What suggestions do you have for other students that are interested in getting involved?

I would recommend anyone who would like to make volunteering part of their college career to take a service-learning class and/or become a Community Engagement Scholar. You can reflect on experiences, brainstorm with other volunteers, and make friends. Who doesn’t like that?

Do you think you have what it takes to be nominated for the Engaged English Scholar of the month? Contact one of your professions and ask them to nominate you. If you don't have a close relationship with a professor you can nominate yourself by sending an e-mail outlining your credentials to Josh C. at capod001@umn.ed. We encourage you to go out volunteer, attend student groups and more!

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This page is an archive of entries from February 2009 listed from newest to oldest.

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