Happenings in 2018-2019

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 2019, the CISLA Class of 2021 made the annual CISLA sophomore trip to New York City to visit the United Nations, take a tour and meet with delegates from the Republic of Korea and Syria. In the past, the students have met with delegates from the missions of Germany, 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.

Annual CISLA Banquets

During Fall Weekend 2018, CISLA welcomed the families and friends of the Class of 2019 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. 

In February 2019, CISLA hosted its annual Spring Banquet to honor the newly admitted CISLA Class of 2021 and introduced their families and friends to the program.

Timothy Snyder Lecture and Dinner with Students

Timothy Snyder with group of students at dinner On October 11, 2019, the renowned historian, Timothy Snyder, gave a public lecture to an audience of approximately 200 students, faculty, and guests from the local community entitled, “The Road to Unfreedom: Russia, Europe, America.” After a stimulating lecture and lively question and answer period, Snyder met with 35 CISLA scholars over dinner,engaging them in conversation and responding to their questions about the state of contemporary politics and the current world order. 

CISLA Senior Symposium

In April 2019, CISLA held its first Senior Symposium, where ten CISLA scholars presented their research, experiences in the CISLA program, and senior integrative projects. The event was a resounding success, and all of the presentations were recorded on video for an online archive.  We intend to make the symposium an annual event.

Study Away Pre-Departure Retreat

In March 2019, CISLA collaborated with the Office of Study Away, the Walter Commons, Career and Professional Development, and the Division of Institutional Equity and Inclusion to deliver a pre-departure retreat for all students preparing to study away. While Connecticut College students are given logistical pre-departure preparations, we recognized a need for more comprehensive preparations. To improve the quality and impact of study away, some goals of the new pre-departure programming were: 1) to challenge students to think critically about study away; 2) to approach the experience with intentionality and clearly articulated goals; 3) to develop effective tools for cross-cultural communication; and 4) to deepen students’ intercultural competence. In addition to these foundational skills and aptitudes, the aim was to have students understand Connecticut College’s academic learning goals more broadly, and to give them an intellectual framework to explore issues around intersectionality, positionality, and structural inequality in a global context before leaving campus. In the long term, the goal is to make pre-departure programming an integral component of the study away curriculum at Connecticut College.

Robert E. Proctor Scholarship

In December 2018, CISLA was pleased to honor the retirement of its founding director, Professor Bob Proctor, after 47 years of exemplary service to Connecticut College. In spring 2019, we established the Robert E. Proctor Scholarship for Summer Language Study. In its first year, the fund supported ten students with awards of $500 to $1000 each to study German, Tamil, Hindi, Korean, Russian, Arabic, Spanish, and American Sign Language in seven different countries. 


Student Highlights

In this section we highlight some of the extraordinary experiences, awards and accomplishments of our CISLA students.  More and more of our students are receiving impressive awards and being asked to present at conferences, all this as undergraduates.

Fulbright Fellowships

Olivia Domowitz drinking tea in Morocco In 2019, three CISLA scholars received a prestigious Teaching Assistant Fulbright fellowship to assist local English teachers in classrooms abroad. Olivia Domowitz ’19, Sami Feldman in Berlin, Germany a French and international relations major, who completed her CISLA internship in Morocco where she studied  francophone migrants and their journey to Europe, will be teaching in Côte D’Ivoire. Samantha Feldman ’19 will continue to build upon the German skills she obtained through her time studying and interning in Berlin, when she returns to Germany for her Fulbright fellowship. Giselle Olaguez in Italy Her CISLA internship was at Prachtwerk, where she did research on her senior integrative project, “Art as Activism During Political Movements.” Giselle Olaguez ’19,a gender and women’s studies major, completed her CISLA internship in Mexico at an organization that supported women and children subjected to violence. Giselle will be returning to Mexico on the Fulbright fellowship.

Critical Language Scholarships

Julia Reilly ’19, a French and international relations major, studied both French and Arabic as her CISLA languages. Julia will be traveling to Ibri, Oman to study Arabic through a Critical Language Scholarship. Ann Monk ’21 received the Critical Language Scholarship to study Arabic in Tangiers, Morocco.

Thomas R. Pickering Fellowship  

Brandy Darling shaking hands with colleague Brandy Darling ’19 announced her aspirations of becoming a foreign diplomat at the very start of her CISLA journey sophomore year. Brandy immersed herself in the study of Chinese, completing a semester in Harbin, China and an internship at the African Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai. An economics and East Asian studies major, Brandy wrote her senior integrative project on African scholars in China’s higher education. Brandy was awarded the Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship, a highly competitive award that prepares young adults for careers in the foreign service. Through the Pickering Fellowship, Brandy will be heading to graduate school, another step towards realizing her dream as a foreign diplomat!

Peace Corps

Ege Sakirt in front of Fontana di Trevi Ege Sakirt ’19 will go to Kosovo as a Peace Corps volunteer. Olivia Domowitz ’19 was selected to go to Togo but declined in order to accept the Fulbright Teaching Assistant Award.

Minor Myers Jr. Research Fellowship 

Emily Cowen ’21 received funding to study underground music in Korea. Read more here

Oakes and Louise Ames Prize 

Sam Simonds ’19 Sam Simonds presenting to a group in Taiwan won the prestigious Oakes and Louise Ames Prize, which awards a graduating senior selected as having completed the year’s most outstanding honors study. Sam’s project was innovative and creative. He completed a short film, Smoke of the Sea, which he shot in Taiwan. Watch the trailer here