Lee Hosts Latin American And Iberian Studies Colloquium

Friday, April 11, 2014 - by Jillian Ellis, Lee University
Dr. Jean Eledge, chair of Lee Language and Literature Department, welcomes guests to the Latin American and Iberian Studies Colloquium hosted on the campus last month.
Dr. Jean Eledge, chair of Lee Language and Literature Department, welcomes guests to the Latin American and Iberian Studies Colloquium hosted on the campus last month.

Lee University’s Department of Language and Literature hosted an Interdisciplinary Colloquium on Latin American and Iberian Studies to promote academic excellence among undergraduate students and to bring together students and professors from a wide variety of disciplines including languages, humanities and history. 

Represented at the colloquium were professors and undergraduate students from Lee University, Muhlenberg College, Tennessee Wesleyan and the University of Alabama.

Students and professors were asked to submit one page abstracts focusing primarily on the language, literature and culture of Latin America and Iberia prior to the event. Interdisciplinary submissions were also encouraged from related areas including service learning, cross-cultural experiences, TESOL (Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages), and others. 

"Among the most promising outcomes of this event was the space for an academic exchange, contact between the universities of the area and increased interaction between undergraduate and faculty among our departments,” said Dr. Alexander Steffanell, director of the Latin American Studies Program at Lee.  “This will hopefully inspire our students to continue their studies in their respective fields.”

Topics covered at the colloquium included gender studies in the Americas, language and learning, war and dictatorship, education and Latino music, and literature and society. 

Presentation panels were chaired by Ihamna Cubillos, Dr. Jose Minay, Dr. Sara Ortega, Betsy Poole and Dr. James Wilkins, all from Lee University.

The Lee students presenting at the colloquium were Caroline Boccarosa, Adam Brown, Victoria Clare, Paige Clark, Nicole V. Dyer, Zachary Greene, Stephen Halstead, Katelyn Sally Justice, Michael McGrath, Rachel Nagawiecki, Stephanie Olson, Lauren Souter, Rahnee Warzon and Hannah White. 

The keynote speaker for the event was Shady Hernández, who spoke on “The Hope-Focused Multicultural Practice.”

Ms. Hernández brought experience in the implementation of programs focused on hope using community psychology. In the last five years she has researched the process of resilience in cases of domestic violence among the Arabic population. Her humanitarian career has taken her to work with victims of abuse, the perpetrators, and the related addictions. She has concentrated her work in nonprofit and non-governmental organizations that can implement resilience processes. 

For more information on the colloquium on Lee’s Latin American Studies Program, contact Steffanell at asteffanell@leeuniversity.edu or call 614-8216. 

For more information on Lee’s Department of Language and Literature, call 614–8210.

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