Justine Crowley, a Minor in Latin American & Iberian Studies shares her experience in the Study Abroad program in Barcelona.
“It has only just marked a month here in my stay in Barcelona and it truly is amazing how much I can already look back on. I had previously cautioned myself that it was a whole different world over here, above all else, an entirely new culture. Immersing myself in something new feels so liberating and refreshing. I made a goal to learn as much of the Spanish language and culture as possible during my very short stay here. Barcelona is such an antique beautiful city with so much to offer to everyone, I’m very happy with my choice of stay. Speaking of stay, I live with a wonderful Spanish woman, Antonia, and she is a true mother at heart. She is such a sweet addition to my life here in Spain; let alone the magnificent cooking, and the bonus of actually having someone do your laundry (Whoa!) she is awesome to talk to. She only speaks spanish, as well as understands Catalan, so English isn’t an option which is in my favor. Expressing yourself is something I somewhat took for granted, which is weird to say since at times it’s actually quite difficult to express yourself even in your native tongue… But having to express your needs, wants, wishes, opinions, etc in a whole different language truly is a life changer all in itself. I realized how crucial language is for everything from relationships, to directions, to clarifying that you would like to know if the “Chocolate Caliente” you are about to buy is the THICK kind –Not the watery kind.. That sure has been a struggle, haha.
It seemed as though the first month was mainly for adaptation; I got lost all the time, got exhausted from speaking Spanish, and was still working on the time change.. It was a little overwhelming, but what made it easier was that I was constantly being swept off my feet by all of the majestic masterpieces that stood before my eyes; for me to see, feel, and smell. All much better than photographs.
Studying abroad in general is by far the best decision I ever made, every day I am thankful of this opportunity to work towards my progression as a student, as well as my own personal growth. To be able to navigate through a new city where my first language isn’t prominent is so wonderful, because it is beyond “new” and “different” to me. There’s just no comparison, and I hope that every one who wants to experience a new country does so, because it’s something I am so happy that I am fortunate enough to make a part of my life. Here go the next two months, I hope time slows down!”
Pearson Partners with the University of Massachusetts, Boston on its First Blackboard Integration with MySpanishLab
September 9, 2013
The World Languages Team is pleased to announce the successful launch of its first Pearson Blackboard Building Block Initiative with MySpanishLab at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. Thanks in large part to the ambitious technology initiatives implemented across the UMB program by Susan Mraz, Language Coordinator for Spanish and Portuguese, this new Blackboard Kiosk integration not only provides students and instructors with one central access point to all of their online course materials, but also simplifies the workload for instructors with the ability to import grades into their Blackboard gradebook directly from MySpanishLab.
With the new technology integration implemented in both web-enhanced as well as online first-year Spanish courses at UMB, students now benefit from 14-day temporary access to their MySpanishLab course materials, if needed, before they purchase access. Additionally, single sign-on capabilities from their UMB Blackboard courses will allow for seamless navigation between course materials housed on both Blackboard and MySpanishLab, giving instructors greater freedom to use new technologies that can all be accessed from one central location.
The World Languages Team at Pearson would like to extend our gratitude to Susan Mraz and the entire Latin American and Iberian Studies Department for their hard work and dedication over the summer to making this integration an overwhelming success. Additionally, we would like to thank Mary Simone, John Mazzarella, and the staff of the Digital Learning Studio at UMB for their time and support. We look forward to much continued collaboration to help develop new ways of supporting faculty while providing students with the best opportunities for increased learning outcomes.
We are pleased to announce the department awards to our 2013 graduating Majors in Latin American & Iberian Studies. Our warm congratulations to the recipients and to all our graduates.
THE MARIA-LUISA OSORIO PRIZE
(Latin American & Iberian Studies)
The María-Luisa Osorio Prize is named in recognition of the many contributions of María-Luisa Osorio, a colleague now retired, who taught in the Hispanic Studies Department from 1967 to 1995. One of Professor Osorio’s most passionate academic interests was the role of women in Spanish society; more specifically, the images of women in Spanish literature.
Grateful for her wise and dedicated leadership, her colleagues, upon her retirement, established this prize in her honor, to be awarded to a graduating Spanish major who has written an outstanding paper on the topic of women in Spanish-language literatures or who has demonstrated academic excellence and an active interest in promoting a greater understanding of the role of women in the Spanish-speaking world.
Abigail Lee Goldberger
With the María Luisa Osorio prize, the Latin American and Iberian Studies Department recognizes academic excellence in graduating Spanish majors who have demonstrated interest in promoting a greater understanding of the role of women in the Spanish-speaking world. This year’s honors go to Abigail Goldberger for her seamless commitment to learning as an engagement with the world. “Through my academic work in the Latin American and Iberian Studies Department at UMass [Boston],” writes Abigail, “I not only gained the ability to communicate with so many interesting people, I also began to integrate my own experiences and the experiences of the people I had worked with, with the shared experiences of people throughout history.” Abigail’s awareness and commitment to understanding social systems that, as she notes, “either offer support to people or intensify obstacles that can hold [them] back” was born out through a number of independent outreach programs including one in Perú where she became involved with a small foundation seeking to empower a local community of women. In the future, Abigail hopes to instrumentalize the knowledge and experiences she has gained while studying at UMass Boston towards furthering her interest and efforts in confronting issues of inequality and marginalization.
THE CLARA ESTOW PRIZE
(Latin American & Iberian Studies)
A renowned scholar in Castilian Medieval history, Professor Clara Estow dedicated four decades of her life to UMass Boston and the Department of Hispanic Studies (1968-2008). During that time, Professor Estow gathered accolades for her inspiring teaching, her generous mentoring of junior faculty, her scholarly rigor, and her dedication to improving public education in Massachusetts. Her teaching effectiveness and her capacity for mentoring were proverbial. She inspired many students to become teachers and scholars. She showed an extraordinary teaching range and flexibility. Her accomplishments in scholarship were equally outstanding. Professor Estow authored several widely respected books in her field as well as dozens of articles and essays on a number of topics. Professor Estow was repeatedly selected by her peers to represent them on the campus’s most significant committees and governance structures. She was UMass Boston’s first Hispanic to lead the University Faculty Council.
In gratitude for Professor Estow’s tireless, generous, and inspiring academic work on behalf of UMass Boston, her colleagues, upon her retirement, established a prize in her honor. The Clara Estow Prize is awarded to a junior or a graduating senior who has shown excellence, determination, and inspiration in their academic work in Hispanic Studies.
Stephanie Janine Banos
We honor Stephanie Janine Banos as co-recipient of the Clara Estow Prize. Stephanie Banos has combined her passion for the Spanish language with an equal commitment for social justice. As a freshman she first envisaged a degree in business but was soon drawn into the world of Spanish language. Although she had always loved the study of Spanish, she found at UMB that what she “initially thought of as a language composed of letters and words soon became much more: a culture, a set of ideas and beliefs, and an entirely new way to express” herself. She recalls that, “Spanish soon took me out of the classroom and into the real world,” and writes that her studies “clarified my ethical and moral responsibilities in all facets of my life.”
Stephanie spent nine months in Costa Rica where she found that mastering the Spanish language opened the door to Latin American civilization and experience. She sees herself as a bridge between cultures and her determination to understand other worlds is drawing her into issues of immigration and educational policy.
Franklin K. Lund Montoya
We honor Franklin Lund Montoya as co-recipient of the Clara Estow Prize. Franklin has superb linguistic abilities and the utmost commitment to education. He completed his BA in Spanish while working full time at night, and attending classes during the day.
His initial goal at UMass Boston was to master the complexities of Spanish linguistics in order to become a professional translator: and he has became a pretty good one; however he credits his professors for widening his horizon and encouraging him to think critically about the world and his place in it. He excelled in all of his courses in all areas: linguistics, translation, literature and culture. His plans for the future include completing graduate studies and becoming a college professor in Costa Rica. It is clear from his level of success at UMass that he will teach his students with the same passion, love, dedication and skill that he has shown in all of his classes.
Professor Susan Mraz received the Award for Leadership in Teaching with Technology in Web-Enhanced Environments
Professor Susan Mraz, Language Coordinator/Sr. Lecturer in Latin American & Iberian Studies received the Award for Leadership in Teaching with Technology in Web-Enhanced Environments at the CIT/Library/EdTech Conference: Innovating Teaching & Learning through Partnerships and Collaboration (May 15–16, 2013). This award is given to someone who is a thoughtful user of technology in his/her own teaching and who also contributes in larger ways to our campus conversations about teaching with technology. At that conference, Professor Mraz also participated in 3 presentations: “Swipe to Unlock Learning: Student Engagement with iPads in The Classroom,” “Using Voicethread And iPads to Increase Student Interaction and Develop Foreign Language Skills,” and “Using iPads to Engage Students.”
Mary Simone (DLS Manager) , Professor Susan Mraz, Professor Dora Álvarez
Six undergraduate students from the Latin American and Iberian Studies
Department presented their research on such topics as South American social
movement, language and power in Latin America, and Brazilian
cinema on May 8, 2013 at the Healey Library.
LAIS Major, Zaida Ismatul
LAIS Major, Hannah Mulkern
Last Tuesday, 23th April, the Latin American and Iberian Studies Department took part, once again, in the Quixote non-stop reading held in the Circulo de Bellas Artes in Madrid from April 22nd to April 24th 2013. This event, promoted by the Instituto Cervantes, takes place annually for the Book Day celebration, and it gathers some of the most representative figures in Spanish politics and culture.
At 3 PM (9 PM, Madrid time) and through Video-conference, UMass Students Hannah Mulken and Josefina Fernandez, and Magdalena Malinowska from Boston University; as well as Victor Requena, intern at the Spanish Resource Center took part in the event, reading several paragraphs of this representative work.
The Non-stop reading of Quixote was broadcast live and worldwide through radio and video during the approximately 48 hours that the non-stop reading of the complete work lasted.
“XVII Lectura Continuada del Quijote”, 22-24 de Abril de 2013
El pasado 23 de abril el Departamento de Estudios Latinoamericanos e Ibéricos tuvo la fortuna, un año más, de participar en la lectura continuada del quijote celebrada en el Círculo de Bellas Artes de Madrid entre los días 22 y 24 de Abril. Este acto, promovido por el Instituto Cervantes, se realiza anualmente con motivo del día del libro, y reúne a representativas figuras del mundo de la política y la cultura española.
A las 3 PM (9 PM en Madrid) y a través de videoconferencia, las estudiantes de UMass-Boston Hannah Mulkern y Josefina Fernandez, y Magdalena Malinowska de Boston University; así como el becario Víctor Requena del Centro Español de Recursos intervinieron en la lectura leyendo varios fragmentos de la representativa obra en riguroso directo con Madrid.
La lectura continuada del quijote fue retransmitida en directo y a nivel mundial a través de radio y video durante las aproximadamente 48 horas ininterrumpidas que duró la lectura completa de la obra.
Nino Kebadze, Assistant Professor of Latin American and Iberian Studies presented the paper. “Truth Claims of Memory in Javier Marías Los enamoramientos (2011).” at the 44th Annual Meeting of the Association for Spanish and Portuguese Historical Studies. Albuquerque, New Mexico. April 4-7, 2013.
Reyes Coll-Tellechea, Professor of Latin American and Iberian Studies was the keynote speaker at the 2013 American Association of Foreign Language Teachers Conference (AFLT) in conjunction with SCOLT (Souther Conference on Language Teaching) . The conference was held at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex on April 11-13. The theme for the conference was: “World Language Learning: Setting the Global Standard.” Professor Coll-Tellechea’s address was entitled “Life and Literature: Lazarillo and the Spanish Inquisition”; Professor Coll-Tellechea also was a guest speaker at the University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa) Department of Modern Languages and Classics. She spoke to an audience of graduate students and researchers about the political implications of Spanish literary history.
Ann Blum, Associate Professor, Latin American and Iberian Studies, presented a paper,”Home: the Color of Memory,” on a panel entitled “Visions and Defense of Parenting and Childhood in Latin America,” at the 60th Annual Meeting of the Rocky Mountain Council for Latin American Studies, held in Santa Fe NM, April 3-6, 2-13.
María Madureira is the new Director of the Portuguese Resource Center / Instituto Camões on the 6th floor of the Healey Library. She will also be teaching in the Fall. Click here to read an article about her in Portuguese.