Undergraduates win for ‘Embracing Global Engagement’ presentations

BOWLING GREEN, O.—BGSU students pursue learning on a variety of fronts, both in and out of the classroom. Four undergraduates were honored Oct. 28 for presentations they gave at the inaugural Embracing Global Engagement Undergraduate Research Conference last month about their study abroad experiences.

President Mary Ellen Mazey presented specially designed glass awards crafted by BGSU alumnus Austin Littenberg to students Dominique Boykin, who spent a year in France; Elizabeth Castro, who studied in Salzburg, Austria; Emily Gunner, who went to Morocco; and Ashley Martinez, who participated in the Peace Seminar held in Hiroshima, Japan, as part of the Peace and Conflict Studies program.

“This is an honor you can be proud of, and we’re so proud of you,” the president told the students.

“It’s very impressive what you can learn and accomplish when you engage in research and especially when you add to that study abroad,” said Dr. Cordula Mora, director of the Center for Undergraduate Research and Scholarship (CURS), host of the conference, which was co-organized by Dr. Beatrice Guenther, Romance and classical studies, and Dr. Christina Guenther, German, Russian and East Asian languages. The three served as judges for the presentations, which encompassed research, service- and experiential learning.

Boykin’s presentation was titled “Think Locally, Travel Globally: Black American Students and the International Community,” in which she looked at the low rate of black student involvement in study abroad programs. Castro’s presentation was “Beyond the Sound of Music: Salzburg and World War II.” Gunner shared her research in “Women in Morocco: Gender Equality,” whereas Martinez looked at “Hiroshima and Understanding Mass Trauma Today.”

Their conference presentations will be archived on the University Libraries site so that others can read and benefit from them, noted Mora.

They will also appear in a new section of BGSU’s International Research/Scape Journal, an online, open access journal showcasing undergraduate articles with an international scope. The section will be called From Praxis to Press, and will feature critical reflections of students studying abroad in conjunction with BGSU programs such as World Languages and Cultures and International Studies.

In her introduction at the September conference, Beatrice Guenther said, “In this time of intensified global struggle over resources and of multiplying conflicts between national and cultural groups, it is even more important for us—in the privileged space of the university—to encourage our rising generations of students to engage with other cultures—to learn a second, if not third, language in order to be equipped to engage fully with others—with other cultural ways of experimenting with creating community. Our students need to have the opportunity to learn to communicate and to collaborate as effectively as possible with others in this, our global village.”