Happenings in 2016-2017

See what CISLA is up to on campus and how our students are impacting the global community outside the classroom.

Annual United Nations trip

In April 2017, the CISLA Class of 2019 made the annual CISLA sophomore trip to New York City to visit the United Nations and meet with delegates from Germany and Mexico. In the past, the students have met with delegates from the missions of Argentina, Italy, Mexico, France, Iran, the United States, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Students had the opportunity to engage with foreign diplomats in meaningful dialogue on a variety of global issues.

The Annual CISLA Banquets

During Fall Weekend 2016, CISLA welcomed the families and friends of the Class of 2017 to celebrate the students' completion of their internships at our annual Senior Banquet. CISLA seniors shared their unique experiences abroad and reflected on the common themes of their Senior Integrative Projects. 

On February 25, 2017, CISLA hosted its annual Spring Banquet to honor the newly admitted CISLA Class of 2019 and introduced their families and friends to the program.

Student Highlights

Critical Languages Scholarship

Nam Hoang '17

Nam Hoang '17 was awarded a Critical Languages Scholarship to spend the summer studying Chinese in Taiwan.

World Summit for Nobel Peace Laureates

Alex McDevitt '17 and Ramzi Kaiss '17

Alexandra McDevitt '17 was chosen to go to Bogotá, Colombia, for the 16th World Summit for Nobel Peace Laureates from February 2-5.  She attended with fellow senior Ramzi Kaiss.  Because they had participated in the Oxford Consortium for Human Rights earlier in the year, they were offered a spot in the Youth Delegation at this prestigious conference. Alex says, “In addition to hearing from President Santos and other members of his cabinet, we met Nobel Peace laureates from all over the world. Almost all of the 25 laureates on stage had remarkable stories to tell.” Read the article.

Middle Eastern Studies Student Association Conference

Jiho Park '18

Jiho Park studied abroad in Amman, Jordan, for the 2016-2017 academic year. He was invited to present his research at Georgetown University in Qatar at the Middle Eastern Studies Student Association (MESSA) Conference. His presentation was titled “Power, Influence and Authority in the Middle East.”  

Projects for Peace

Annette Davis '18 and Emma Race '18

Annette Davis, a student in the Holleran Center and CISLA junior Emma Race were awarded $10,000 through the Projects for Peace initiative. The vision of philanthropist Kathryn W. Davis, Projects for Peace challenges college students to create and test their own ideas for spreading peace across the world.  Their project, “Caring for the Future: Helping Families Help Themselves,” was one of 120 projects funded last year. Annette had spent a gap year in Ecuador and saw the need for child care for working families. The students partnered with Burbujitas de Luz, a preschool in Quito, Ecuador, to launch an evening care program that will serve children ages 3-5 from 4-8 p.m. daily. They offered enrichment activities, outside playtime and a light and healthy dinner. Annette and Emma hope to extend the reach of their community-driven program by collaborating with other childcare centers, as well as forging relationships with local organizations capable of funding such programs. They will also be conducting research on food inequality and linguistic inequality.

Haitian Resteveks Documentary

Connor Gowland '17, Yves Pierre '19, Shineika Fareus NLHS '17 and Sam Simonds '19

Yves Pierre, CISLA '19, Sam Simonds, CISLA ‘19, Shineika Fareus (New London High School Senior) and Connor Gowland ‘17 traveled to Port-au-Prince, Haiti, during spring break of 2017 to produce a documentary on Haitian Resteveks. The word 'restevek' in Haitian Creole translates to 'stay with' and is a societal system in which parents, who are either deceased or are too impoverished to take appropriate care of their children, send their children to relatives or caregivers that promise to give them an education. Unfortunately, these children often live under conditions alike to indentured servitude and slavery. They are often abused and dehumanized. Sam says, “There are many parallels between Resteveks in Haiti and the foster care system in the United States, and we are hoping to draw upon that through use of found footage accompanying our footage from Haiti in our ten-minute documentary short. In Haiti, we spent our time getting to know and interviewing pastors, academics, restevek children, and the feature of our film, a woman named Lona who had been a restevek and is now working with local rural communities to enhance and build school systems.”

Fulbright Fellowship, English Teaching Assistantship to Russia

Stephanie Reeves '16

Having already interned, worked and studied in Russia as a scholar in the College’s Toor Cummings Center for International Studies and the Liberal Arts (CISLA), Stephanie Reeves enjoyed deepening her knowledge of Russian language, culture, food, history and literature as a 2016 Fulbright fellow.

Fulbright Fellowship, English Teaching Assistantship to Spain

Leela Riesz '16

An anthropology major and Hispanic studies minor from Northampton, Massachusetts, Leela Riesz studied abroad in Spain, completed an internship there with an NGO that addresses issues faced by both immigrant and Gitano communities, and conducted research on the experience of Muslim immigrants to the country. Riesz, an avid singer and member of the College’s all-female a cappella group MissConduct and the community action and arts initiative Souled Out, enjoyed offering singing and acting workshops for the high school students at her school in Spain. She also played a leading role in preparing students for the Global Classrooms: Model United Nations program.