Author: Rick Peterson

History of the ACLU focus of government department presentation

Historian Judy Kutulas offers a historical perspective to help explain why Americans tend to confuse the American Civil Liberty Union’s apolitical intention with a partisan point of view in a Lawrence University government colloquium.

Historian Judy Katulas
Judy Katulas

Kutulas presents “The American Civil Liberties Union and Free Speech: A Brief History” Tuesday, Sept. 26 at 7 p.m. in the Wriston Art Center auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.

A professor of history at St. Olaf College, Kutulas is the author of three books, including 2006’s  The American Civil Liberties Union and the Transformation of American Liberalism, in which she traces the history of the ACLU from 1930 to 1960 and examines how it evolved from a fringe organization into American society’s liberal mainstream.

She also has written The Long War: The Intellectual People’s Front and Anti-Stalinism, 1930-1940 and explored popular culture in After Aquarius Dawned, which was published earlier this year.

A California native, Kutulas earned a bachelor’s degree in history at the University of California at Berkeley and a master’s and doctorate degree in history from UCLA.

Kutulas’ presentation is jointly sponsored by the Lawrence government department and the UW-Stout Center for the Study of Institutions and Innovation

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

Choral director Stephen Sieck addresses inclusive instruction in new book

Some challenging, and eye-opening, conversations with students two years ago led Lawrence University choral director Stephen Sieck to some more introspection regarding his approach to teaching and concert program selections.

That self-reflection resulted in a recently released book, “Teaching with Respect: Inclusive Pedagogy for Choral Directors” (Hal Leonard, 2017), which examines deep questions about the language we use, systems of power and our heritage and inheritance.

Stephen Sieck
Stephen Sieck

“This book comes out of a lifetime of well-intentioned but harmful experiences that singers have had in my and other peoples’ choirs,” said Sieck, who joined the Lawrence conservatory of music faculty in 2010. “The specific spark for my personal change in pedagogical approach was a series of difficult conversations in the fall of 2015. Students raised concerns we had not previously thought much about, such as the role of the African-American slave spiritual as a form of concert entertainment. Once I began looking at the kinds of repertoire and pedagogical techniques I had learned and lived as a choral director from my students’ eyes, I saw the need for a conversation to start in our field.”

In “Teaching with Respect,” Sieck looks closely at teaching strategies and how everything from instruction to repertoire choices intersect with singers’ identities, their learning abilities, gender, sexuality, religion, ethnicity and race. He advocates an ethical approach to teaching choral music that is centered on respecting the singers each singer as a human with a distinct set of experiences.

With some form found in every culture in the world, Sieck calls choral singing “the most natural way to build community and share an artistic or spiritual experience in any culture around the world,” which underscores the importance of how it is taught.

“When students find a negative or harmful experience in choir, we have to see that we have strayed very far from such communal power,” said Sieck. “This book asks us to consider the ways in which our teaching either builds that community or fractures it.”

Book cover Teaching with RespectDespite its subtitle, Sieck says the book’s lessons apply broadly to all educators.

“Choral music provides a very specific set of challenges, especially around texts and religions, but the principles discussed in the book are universal,” said Sieck, who was honored with Lawrence’s Young Teacher Award in 2014. “Treat other people the way you would want to be treated if you were in their shoes. Learn to acknowledge the tilt of the playing field and work to make it level. Don’t treat someone who is not part of the ‘majority’ identity as a marked ‘other’ category. These principles would be just as appropriate in a calculus class. It’s just that in choir we have so many of these challenges woven into long-held traditions like programming a Christmas concert in a public school.”

Sieck is co-director of Lawrence’s Concert Choir and Cantala women’s choir, both of which performed at the 2014 American Choral Director’s Association North Central convention. He also directs the Viking Chorale, which performed at the 2015 Wisconsin Choral Director’s Association convention.

A former professional singer in Los Angeles, Sieck earned a bachelor’s degree in music from the University of Chicago. He also holds a master’s degree and doctor of musical arts degree in choral conducting from the University of Illinois.

He recently finished a second, yet-unpublished, book that profiles eight of the best university choral programs in America. Through case studies, he examines what makes them so consistently successful and offers applications for teachers everywhere.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

 

Self-care focus of opening 2017-18 cultural competency lecture issues

Erin Buenzli
Erin Buenzli

A lecture series examining issues related to cultural competency launched last year by Lawrence University returns Thursday, Sept. 21 with the opening program of the 2017-18 academic year.

Erin Buenzli, Lawrence’s director of wellness and recreation, presents “A Community of Self-Care” at 11:30 a.m. in the Esch-Hurvis Room of the Warch Campus Center. The program is free and open to the public.

Underscoring the importance of taking care of ourselves as well as others for the betterment of the campus community and society, Buenzli, will discuss campus resources available for creating an inclusive wellness culture where each person’s unique needs are recognized and nurtured in their individual pursuit of wellness.

a icon for the cultural compency lecture seriesShe also will examine ways each members of the Lawrence community can take part in the shared responsibility of creating a culture of compassion, empathy and self-care.

The cultural competency lecture series is sponsored by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

Welsh band Calan opens 2017-18 World Music Series

The five-member band Calan opens Lawrence University’s 2017-18 World Music Series Monday, Sept 18 with its vibrant version of traditional Welsh music.

The concert is at 8 p.m. in Stansbury Theatre of the Music-Drama Center. Tickets, at $10 for adults, $5 for seniors/students, are available through the Lawrence Box Office, 920-832-6749, or online.

Calan bandEye-catching clothes and a presentation to match reinforce Calan’s vision of itself as a new generation of Welsh musical ambassadors. Blending fiddles, guitar, accordion, harp and a traditional pibgorn into sparkling melodies and spirited performances of Welsh step dancing, Calan blasts its way through old favorite reels, jigs and hornpipes with fast-paced, uplifting arrangements.

Frank Hennessy told BBC Radio Wales, “Calan have it all. Energy, attitude, freshness, a sense of fun and above all, real talent.”

Calan released its debut album “Bling” in 2008 to critical acclaim. It generated large audiences and rave reviews at concerts and festivals throughout Britain and Europe, including the coveted Cambridge Festival. They were honored with the Best Group Award at the 2008 Festival Interceltique de Lorient in France.

Since “Bling,” Calan has released three more albums, including 2017’s “Solomon,” a 12-track record that mixes traditional acoustic folk with bumping beats and pounding rhythms. Calan album cover of "Solomon"

Accordion player Bethan Rhiannon, who sings in both English and Welsh, is a national clog dancing competition champion who often displays her award-winning step-dancing.

Rhiannon is joined by Patrick Rimes, a former three-time junior Celtic Welsh fiddle champion who counts  the Welsh bagpipes among the multiple instruments he plays; fiddle player Angharad Jenkins, daughter of noted Welsh poet Nigel Jenkins; guitarist Sam Humphreys, a converted rock and electronic music performer; and harpist Alice French who specializes in traditional harp methods used by the Romani Gypsies of Wales.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

New crosswalk cameras on College Ave. designed to improve campus pedestrian safety

College Ave. crosswalk at Lawrence campusIn an effort to improve personal safety, Lawrence University, in collaboration with the city of Appleton, is acquiring and installing high-definition cameras on the two crosswalks on College Ave. in the middle of campus.

The high-definition cameras will be mounted in the median behind the pedestrian crossing signs and will be able to capture a higher level of detail at the crossings to assist the Appleton Police Department in an investigation should an incident arise.

Captured video information will be stored for 72 hours – the same as all other traffic cameras within the city – and is only reviewed if needed for evidence in an accident or harassment incident.

Lawrence is covering the purchase cost of the cameras while the city will oversee the cameras installation. The city also will manage maintenance of the cameras and all data captured by them.

“The mid-College Ave. crosswalks have seen a number of pedestrian-vehicle incidents over the years,” said Jon Meyer, Lawrence’s director of campus safety and director of campus services. “The safety and well-being of members of the Lawrence community is our highest priority and these new cameras will help us identify vehicles involved in crosswalk accidents as well as verbal harassment.”

In Oct. 2013, Lawrence student Shannon Grant sustained serious injuries in a hit-and-run incident while crossing the westbound lane of College Ave. in the crosswalk in front of the Lawrence Memorial Chapel. She suffered a broken leg and a fractured pelvis, among other injuries, which kept her out of school for several months. The case has never been solved.

“The university approached the city about installing these cameras and we are happy to work with them to make these enhancements at the crosswalk,” said Appleton Mayor Tim Hanna. “Lawrence University is an important partner with the city and we want all students to feel safe in our community.”

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

Lawrence hosting community forum on status of DACA

In the wake of President Trump’s announcement rescinding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, Lawrence University will host a community forum to address questions and concerns regarding that decision.

Monica Santa Maria
Mónica Santa María

Madison-based immigration attorney Mónica Santa María will lead the program “Rescission of DACA:  Understanding the Current Immigration Environment” Thursday, Sept. 14 at 5:30 p.m. in the Warch Campus Center cinema, 711 E. Boldt Way. The event is free and open to the public.

During her presentation, Santa María will provide background on the DACA program, including the status of various active lawsuits filed both against the program and against its rescission. She’ll also discuss the differences between the benefits provided by DACA (prosecutorial discretion) and legal status and action steps for DACA beneficiaries and their family members. A question-and-answer session will conclude the program.

Following her presentation, Santa María will be available to Lawrence community members for 20-minute one-on-one conversations related to DACA/undocumented topics until 8 p.m. Anyone interesting in speaking with her can sign up by contacting the Diversity Center, 920-832-7051 or diversitycenter@lawrence.edu.

A graduate of the University of Wisconsin Law School, Santa María opened her own law firm earlier this year. She began her law career in 2008 with the Madison office of Godfrey & Kahn, where she worked with the firm’s labor and employment group, focusing on immigration law. Prior to attending law school, she worked as a Spanish-English medical interpreter in various clinics and hospitals in the Madison area.

She earned a bachelor’s degree from Princeton University and a master’s degree from MIT.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

President Burstein opens 2017-18 academic year, convocation series with annual matriculation address

President Mark Burstein officially opens Lawrence University’s 169th academic year and the university’s 2017-18 convocation series Thursday, Sept. 14 with his annual matriculation address.

President Mark Burstein
President Mark Burstein

At a time of national conflict and divisiveness, Burstein shares his thoughts on enduring values that could provide a community framework in the address “What Do We Stand For,” at 11:10 a.m. in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel. The event is free and open to the public. It also will be available via a live webcast.

Now in his fifth year as Lawrence’s 16th president, Burstein has focused on creating learning communities in which all members can reach their full potential during a career in higher education spanning nearly 25 years.

Prior to Lawrence, he spent nine years as executive vice president at Princeton University and 10 years at Columbia University as a vice president working in human resources, student services and facilities management.

Joining Burstein as convocation series speakers will be:

Colman McCarthy
Colman McCarthy

• Oct. 31 Award-winning journalist, educator and long-time peace activist, Colman McCarthy presents “Is Peace Possible?” The director of the Center for Teaching Peace in Washington, D.C., which he founded in 1985, McCarthy spent nearly 30 years as a columnist for the Washington Post. Since 1999, he has written a weekly column for The National Catholic Reporter.

As an educator who believes if we don’t teach children peace, someone else will teach them violence, McCarthy has taught courses on nonviolence and peace literature for more than 30 years.

He is the author of 14 books, including 2002’s “I’d Rather Teach Peace” in which he chronicles his experiences introducing the theory and practice of creative peacemaking to classrooms ranging from a suburban Washington, D.C. high school to a prison for juveniles to Georgetown University Law Center.

Jad Abumrad
Jad Abumrad

• Feb. 1, 2018 Jad Abumrad, the creator and host of public radio’s popular “Radiolab” program, explores what it means to “innovate” and how it feels to create something new in the address “Gut Churn.”

Abumrad was named a MacArthur Fellow, an honor commonly known as a “genius grant,” in 2011 and “Radiolab” show has been recognized twice—2010 and 2015—with the prestigious George Foster Peabody Award.

In 2016, he premiered a spinoff of “Radiolab” entitled “More Perfect,” which explores untold stories about the Supreme Court.

Ainissa Ramirez
Ainissa Ramirez

• April 21, 2018.  Author and science “evangelist Ainissa Ramirez, who spreads her “gospel” through books, TED Talks, online videos and the podcast “Science Underground,” presents “Technology’s Unexpected Consequences.”

Named one of the world’s 100 Top Young Innovators by Technology Review for her contributions to transforming technology, Ramirez spent eight years teaching mechanical engineering & materials science at Yale University and also has been a visiting professor at MIT.

She has written or co-written three books, including 2013’s “Newton’s Football: The Science Behind America’s Game,” an entertaining and enlightening look at the big ideas underlying the science of football.

Kenneth Bozeman
Kenneth Bozeman

• May 22, 2018 Voice teacher Kenneth Bozeman, the Frank C. Shattuck Professor of Music at Lawrence, presents “Voice, the Muscle of the Soul: Finding Yourself Through Finding Your Voice” at Lawrence’s annual Honors Convocation.

A member of the conservatory of music faculty since 1977, Bozeman is the author of the 2017 book “Practical Vocal Acoustics: Pedagogic Applications for Teachers and Singers.” He is frequently invited to speak at seminars and master classes on acoustic pedagogy at universities and interdisciplinary conferences.

Bozeman is one of only 11 faculty members in the history of the university to be recognized with both Lawrence’s Young Teacher Award (1980) and Excellence in Teaching Award (1996). He also was honored by the Voice Foundation with its Van Lawrence Fellowship in 1994 for his interest in voice science and pedagogy.

Welcome Class of 2021

Student and parents unloading their car for new student move-in dayThe welcome mats will be out in abundance Tuesday, Sept. 5 when 385 new Lawrence University students, including 17 from the Fox Cities, arrive for that traditional rite of passage known as Freshmen Move in Day and the start of new student orientation activities. Classes for Lawrence’s 169th academic year begin Monday, Sept. 11.

Freshmen members of the Class of 2021 were drawn from a school-record number of more than 3,600 applicants, building on a five-year upward trend. Since 2012, first-year applications to Lawrence have increased 39 percent.

While Wisconsin, Illinois and Minnesota remain first, second and third, respectively, in sending the most students to Lawrence, more than half of this year’s total of new students hail from outside those traditional big three. California and New York round out the top five Lawrence student-producing states. Some of the incoming students from Texas are still coping with the effects of Hurricane Harvey, which has brought out the best in their fellow Lawrentians.

“We’ve had parents of current students from unaffected parts of Texas reach out to those families of first-year students in the hurricane areas,” said Ken Anselment, dean of admissions and financial aid. “They’re offering help to any fellow Lawrentians who may need it. That’s so Lawrence-like.”

Mother helping son move into the dormThirty percent of the new students identify as domestic students of color: African-American, Native American, Hispanic, Asian-American or multi-ethnic.

“This is one of the most ethnically diverse classes we have seen in decades,” said Anselment. “This continues a trend we’ve seen over the past five years during which roughly a quarter of our new students have identified as domestic students of color.”

China, with 12 incoming freshmen, leads Lawrence’s traditionally strong international student make-up, with six students matriculating from Vietnam. Thirty-four students representing 19 countries, including Bangladesh, Ghana, Kazakhstan, Nepal and the United Arab Emirates are among this year’s first-year students.

“As the population of college-bound students in the United States has been declining, especially so in the Midwest, we have been increasing our national and international recruitment focus,” said Anselment.

student moving into the dormAcademically, first-year students averaged 29 on the ACT, with nearly 40 percent of them graduating in the top 10 percent of their high school class.

“This class is noteworthy for its strong academics, its geographic and cultural diversity and its athletic and musical talent,” said Anselment. “We have some exceptional student-athletes and exceptional musicians. It’s one of the stronger years we’ve seen.”

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

Refugee camp to college campus: incredible journey leads student from Sudan to Lawrence Class of 2021

Marwa Adam was four years old the night the Janjaweed came to El Fasher, her hometown in the Darfur region of Sudan.

Members of the horse-riding militia were on a mission to purge the Arab country of dark-skinned Sudanese whom they didn’t consider true Arabs.

“I was awakened in the middle of the night by gunshots and people screaming,” recalled Adam, who saw her father for the last time the previous day. “There were lots of people shouting, people crying. I had no idea what was going on. I thought it might be the TV. It took me a while to understand that a war was happening and these loud noises were my new reality.”

Marwa Adam
Marwa Adam ’21

Measured in life experiences, not miles, Adam, 18, likely has traveled farther than any of her fellow Lawrence University freshmen, who arrive on campus Sept. 5 for the start of new student orientation activities. Classes for Lawrence’s 169th academic year begin Sept. 11.

The evening before the Janjaweed arrived, Adam’s father led the family’s livestock out to pasture. He never returned.

“My mom doesn’t talk about what happened to my father, or what she thinks happened to my father. So, he just disappeared,” said Adam, who wasn’t allowed to leave the house for a week after that initial frightful night. “We had animals, cows, donkeys and he would walk them out to get the really natural food and grass. Sometimes my sister Bahja and I would go with him, but we didn’t that night.”

The attack in El Fasher set in motion a largely nomadic life for Adam that would span much of the next decade.

“We realized we had to move to stay alive. My mom, sister, grandmother, aunt and cousins began walking countless miles for what seemed like countless days. That was the first time I saw the horror of it all.”

Despite her mother’s directive to close her eyes and just keep walking, Adam could not help but look.

“The things that were happening were so surreal,” said Adam of her exodus from town. “There were people lying in the street with no arms, or feet or heads. Mothers were screaming for their lost husbands and children. The streets were covered in blood. I was too scared to close my eyes and see the same scene again as a vision. I kept my eyes open all night for a couple of nights.”

Adam and her family began traveling from village to village, often to those the Janjaweed had already attacked and destroyed, knowing the militants likely would not return to those.

“They were moving forward, so, we started moving backwards,” said Adam.

Along the way, Adam and her sister became separated from their mother, who mysteriously disappeared following a bomb explosion at a farmer’s market where she was selling tea. Adam was seven at the time and had no idea what had happened to her mother. She wouldn’t see her again for six years, later learning she had somehow been granted asylum and was living in the United States.

Over the course of some eight years and numerous stays in refugee camps, Adam, her sister and several cousins, the oldest of whom was 20, were on their own.

“We didn’t have a father, we didn’t have a mother or an aunt or uncle, we were just children,” said Adam.

They eventually made their way to the capital city, Khartoum, where Adam was able to attend an actual school for the first time in her life, completing eighth and ninth grades.

“Before Khartoum, I did all of my education in refugee camps with people who weren’t really licensed teachers. They were just people who thought we deserved to learn how to read and write,” said Adam. “In Khartoum, I took a high school test and people were really surprised I got a score that was the highest in the family. But in the eye of the government, I never went to school until eighth grade.”

While her mother attempted to reconnect with Adam and her sister from afar, she didn’t know where they were. An uncle returned to Sudan from Saudi Arabia to help locate them. When he did, he led them to Cairo, Egypt, where Adam lived for five months. She arrived just as the Arab Spring was unfolding.

Marwa Adam outside Steitz Hall of Science“We lived a couple blocks away from the American embassy and there was military everywhere protecting the place,” said Adam. “There were helicopters going off all night. We worried that we might get bombed if the American embassy got bombed. There were lots of gunshots again and it brought back some painful memories.”

Finally learning where her children were, Adam’s mother traveled to Cairo to reunite with her two daughters. After navigating countless bureaucratic hoops — including a DNA test in lieu of a birth certificate — Adam, her sister and mother were plane bound to the United States, destination Chicago.

December 4, 2013, 7 p.m.

The day and time is indelibly burned in Adam’s mind and rolls quickly off her tongue. It marks the exact moment she arrived in Chicago following a harrowing 10-year journey punctuated with fear, uncertainty, separation, resiliency, determination and self-preservation.

While she was going to be safe for the first time in years, her mind was filled with doubts during the long flight.

“I was thinking, ‘I’m going to the United States and starting a new life,’” said Adam, who arrived without knowing a word of English. Sudanese/Arabic is her first language. She also speaks Spanish, can “speak and read” sign language and is teaching herself Korean “When we got to the airport, it hit me: I don’t speak the language. I don’t know anyone but my mom. People don’t look like me. I was thinking about my dream of becoming a doctor. I didn’t see it happening because I have so much to learn and get adjusted to.”

_________________________________________
“To me it wasn’t as dramatic as other people would think because I didn’t know any better…I had done this my whole life basically. If someone told me to go through half of that now, I would be like ‘no, that’s impossible for me to do,’ because I finally got to know how people actually live, how people function and what’s actually fair.”
— Marwa Adam
__________________________________________

Adam settled in the north-side Chicago suburb of Evanston and soon after began attending 3,000-student Evanston Township High School.

“It was huge,” said Adam of her high school, which required her to start as a freshman since she didn’t have any paperwork from her schooling in Khartoum. “Compared to the schools that I went to, it was just so different. My very first month, I just went to school, came home and cried. But also there was something pushing me to go the next day. I would still wake up and go to school although it was almost hopeless. I thought ‘I don’t know if I can do this.’”

Enrolled initially in English as a Second Language classes, Adam proved it was far from hopeless. She progressed through the four-year program so quickly, by the end of her junior year she was not only excused from ESL 4, but was serving as a teacher’s assistant. She eventually ended up in the highly selective “Evanston Scholars” program which assists students getting into college.

Lawrence was one of 15 colleges Adam applied to and researched each one that accepted her in-depth, looking not only at academic programs, but the number of international students at each as well. A solid financial aid package from Lawrence encouraged Adam to make a second campus visit.

“I didn’t want to make my decision solely on the money part, so I visited again,” explained Adam. “I stayed overnight and attended the annual international student cabaret. I was like ‘yup, this is the place. I want to be in that cabaret next year.’”

A five-foot-tall bundle of unbridled enthusiasm with a 500-watt smile, Adam can’t wait for school to start.

“I’m really excited,” said Adam, Lawrence’s first freshman of Sudanese heritage since 2008. “I’m trying to find the balance. I know I can be super social and just do every single club and there’s lots of them. But I also know I can be an absolute nerd and stay in my dorm or the library 100 percent of the time.”

One thing is certain, her childhood dream of becoming a doctor is back in play.

“When I was four, I wanted to be a superwoman with all of the superpowers to save the world,” said Adam, who is planning on pursuing a double major in chemistry and mathematics with a minor in either English or Spanish. “I knew that was only a fantasy, so I had to think of something more realistic. I decided I wanted to be a doctor, and after learning heart disease is the number one killer in the world, I decided I want to be a cardiac surgeon. I want to make a career of helping those who are suffering in any part of the world. I’m willing to go anywhere, even if it’s a battlefield.”

Adam already has faced a lifetime of battlefields, literally and metaphorically. When she takes time to reflect on her journey from there to here, she can’t always believe it actually happened.

“To me it wasn’t as dramatic as other people would think because I didn’t know any better. When I came to the United States, I didn’t know anyone and it was hard. But then I had done this my whole life basically. When I think about it, I don’t know how I did it. If someone told me to go through half of that now, I would be like ‘no, that’s impossible for me to do,’ because I finally got to know how people actually live, how people function and what’s actually fair.”

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

 

 

Three Lawrentians awarded Gilman International Scholarships for study abroad

Three Lawrence University seniors are spending this fall studying abroad as recipients of a Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

Sam Bader, Milou de Meij and Christian Rodriguez were among 1,037 undergraduates nationally selected for the fall 2017 scholarship from among 2,859 applicants.

“I’m very proud that three Lawrence students have received these highly competitive awards,” said Laura Zuege, director of Lawrence’s off-campus programs. “The Gilman program aims are to diversity student access to study abroad and promote study in countries less commonly represented in study abroad. Lawrence students are contributing to the changing demographics of study abroad participants and it’s a thrill to work with them during this process. Meaningful study abroad experiences have been shown to contribute to academic success, increased graduation rates and greater employability after graduation. I’m eager to extend the reach of these outcomes.”

Sam Bader
Sam Bader ’18

Bader, an anthropology major from Hilo, Hawaii, leaves Sept. 4 for Madagascar. He will spend 12 weeks at Centre ValBio, a research station in Ranomafana National Park run by Stony Brook University. During the program, Bader will participant in field site visits to conduct research relevant to primate study, specifically lemurs, as well as biodiversity and ecosystem comparisons throughout Madagascar.

“Most of the time I will be in Ranomafana, but the program also includes two camping trips and a cross country trek towards the island’s west coast,” said Bader, who is traveling abroad for the first time. Being from Hawaii, he admits being on a tropical island will make it seem a bit more like home for him.

Opportunities to explore areas of his interest — biological anthropology, which involves primatology or aspects of environmental conservation — are especially exciting for Bader.

“I’m hoping to get some experience in these areas while conducting fieldwork in a different country and culture than I’ve experienced before. I’m looking forward to connecting the areas of anthropological research I have experience in, particularly in linguistic anthropology, cultural preservation, and music, in the independent study portion of this program. I’m also looking forward to interacting with the Malagasy people throughout my time there.”

Bader hopes others follow his lead and pursue the Gilman and other funding opportunities for study abroad.

“So many people see finances as a barrier and never get the chance to go abroad,” said Bader. “I’m thankful for the opportunity and hope more underrepresented students from Lawrence get the chance to do so as well in the future.”

Milou de Meij
Milou de Meij ’18

de Meij, a double degree candidate with majors in Russian studies and piano performance from Bozeman, Mont., will be in St. Petersburg, Russia until Dec. 23.

She is participating in the Bard-Smolny Program, a liberal arts college associated with St. Petersburg State University. Founded by New York’s Bard College, Smolny College was the first liberal arts college in Russia. de Meij is taking Russian as a Second Language courses as well as courses in Soviet music history, political science and Russian theater, all taught in Russian.

“My biggest goal is to improve my speaking skills in Russian,” said de Meij via email, who began her stay in St. Petersburg in mid-August. “I chose this program because I’m able to take actual college classes in Russian with Russian students at Russia’s first liberal arts college, an entire experience that is unusual for most study abroad programs. I’ve already seen my conversation skills growing. I’ve even successfully haggled for a sweater in the market.”

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“The Gilman program aims are to diversity student access to study abroad and promote study in countries less commonly represented in study abroad. Lawrence students are contributing to the changing demographics of study abroad participants.”
Laura Zuege, director of Lawrence’s off-campus programs
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On the program, de Meij is living with “an amazing host mother” on Vasilievsky Island near the center of St. Petersburg.

“Her name is Rita and I call her Mama Rita,” said de Meij, who is the 75th student Rita has hosted. “She cooks delicious food and is always eager to talk and help me with language. She bought a stack of notecards to put around the apartment with new words I’m learning. I really, really like her.”

Christian Rodriguez
Christian Rodriguez ’18

Rodriquez, an economics and mathematics major from Chicago, will spend 16 weeks on the Budapest Semesters in Mathematics program at College International, a Hungarian-based educational institution focused on international students.

“This was the best program that fit with my interest and degree requirements,” said Rodriguez, who will live in an apartment in central Budapest while on the program. “Almost everybody I’ve talked to has said this is not a run-of-the-mill, go-abroad-and-have-fun program. It’s known for its large emphasis on academics and to challenge math majors. It is a bit intimidating, but I’m really excited for the diverse selection of mathematics courses offered.”

The program will be Rodriguez’ first experience outside the United States and it has generated a mix of nervousness and excitement.

“I’ll have almost nothing flying into Budapest. I’ll be a foreigner with no relation to anybody and have no familiarity with the place, culture, or language,” said Rodriguez.

“But there is a bright side. I intend to create a new ‘me’ while in Budapest. When I’m at home or at Lawrence, I’m stuck being a certain person, but I think Budapest will be a great opportunity to start from scratch. Through previous experiences, such as coming to Lawrence or through my summer internship at Michigan, I’ve been able to discover new parts about myself. Who knows what I’ll get from Budapest? Despite the challenge Budapest may impose, I intend to travel a lot and see more of the world.”

Gilman Scholars receive up to $5,000 to apply toward their study abroad program costs. The program’s mission is to diversify the students who study abroad and the countries and regions where they go.

Administered by the Institute of International Education, the program is named in honor of Benjamin Gilman, who represented New York in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1973-2003. According to Gilman, a strong advocate of studying abroad programs, the scholarship “provides our students with the opportunity to return home with a deeper understanding of their place in the world, encouraging them to be a contributor, rather than a spectator in the international community.”

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.