Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Student Reflection

by Bridget Kern

Over the past few weeks I have experienced a new service learning opportunity. While I still attend Spanish Story Time at the Urbana Free Library every month, I also found myself volunteering with the School of Social Work. When I initially signed up to work with the School of Social Work, I thought that I would be babysitting children while their mothers attended a weekly seminar about depression. Once I arrived however, I found that I had been recruited for a different task. The director of the group sessions found that during the course of the semester many women were unable to make it to the weekly group meetings because their carpool driver had other commitments and no other transportation was available to them. While Champaign-Urbana has one of the best bus systems in the state, many of the women were intimidated to utilize the bus as a method of travel because the schedules, buses and signs are all in English. My new project for the School of Social Work is to meet women without transportation at their homes and teach them how to use the MTD to get to their group meetings on campus.

At first I was very nervous about this volunteer project. I was not concerned so much about speaking Spanish with the women; I was more worried about trying to find my way around parts of Urbana that I had never been to before to meet the woman I was working with. These feeling however helped me empathize with how the women trying to use the buses to come to campus must feel. If it was this stressful for me to use the bus to get to a new part of Urbana, it must be much more difficult for someone who doesn’t speak English to work up the courage to take a bus and not know they will be able to get directions if they need to. After catching the Gold route bus, I successfully arrived at Perkins Rd and Cunningham Ave to meet with the woman and her children. I found it was difficult to explain the idea of a transfer because the woman had never used the bus before. Even though I did not know the word in Spanish for transfer, I explained to the woman could get off the bus at a central bus terminal and then change to any other route which would take her anywhere she wanted to go in the Champaign-Urbana area.

Overall this service project has left me feeling like I made a positive impact on someone’s life. The woman that I was working with had never ridden the bus before in her life, which meant that she was dependent on her mother or brother to drive her and her daughters wherever she needed to go. Now that someone took the time to show her how to use the bus she can be more independent. This will help her greatly in feeling like she has more control over her own life. Instead of depending on a family member to take her to work, she can now take the bus which stops almost directly in front of her place of employment. Riding the bus will open up many opportunities for all of the women who attend the group and are dependent on others for transportation. The women can now feel free to schedule appointments at their convenience, shop whenever they like and set their own work schedules. While many of the women signed up for group sessions with the School of Social Work to learn about depression, some of the women have learned how to become more independent by riding the bus.

What Are Your Sound Bites for Your Spanish Community Service Learning Program?

by Ann Abbott

In my job, I concentrate on several things:
  • Spanish community service learning (CSL).
  • Entrepreneurship and social entrepreneurship
  • Business Spanish
  • Social Media
In my mind, these four items are seamlessly linked. But for most people I encounter, they seem like four disparate elements. Many times people in my field aren't event familiar with all the terms on that list, let alone how they can work together.

Long ago, I realized that I need to find a catchy phrase that expressed what those elements are and how they are linked in Spanish & Illinois. Well, I'm still searching for that catchy phrase!

Sounds bites have a bad reputation, for many reasons. They oversimplify complex issues, and they can be used to manipulate public discourse. However, it seems to me that they do have a use. For example, I can't begin to have a nuanced discussion with someone about the issues I deal with if they haven't first understood what they are. We need to make sure that we are indeed talking about the same things. And making the sound bites catchy is a way to interest people in issues that they might not otherwise even pay attention to.

So here are a few sites I have glanced at to revisit my quest for a sound bite:

My friend and colleague, Liora Bresler, recently asked me to say, in four bullet points, what my CSL courses are about. It's a long way from being a single, pithy sound bite, but this is what I came up with:

*To create mutually beneficial relationships with community partners. My students use their Spanish and learn about Hispanic cultures; our community partners use my students' manpower and language skills to meet their organization's mission with local Latinos.

*To use class time with students to prepare them to work effectively in the community. They need the linguistic, cultural and socio-political knowledge that will allow them to contribute to the community and to better understand what they observe.

*To ask students to reflect on their experiences in the community. This improves their oral and written communication skills and consolidates their learning.

*To help students build pre-professional skills while working in the community. In their CSL work they are providing culturally- and linguistically-appropriate services to Latino stakeholders; working effectively in multicultural teams; using technology (including social media) to solve complex problems; researching; and thinking critically about the broader context of the individual problems they observe.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Highlights from the 2010 CIBER Business Languages Conference

by Ann Abbott

*"Brand Management in the Global Market Place" Keynote address by Elana Drell Szyfer, Senior Vice President of Global Marketing, Estee Lauder Companies
At lunch today we were treated to a wonderful presentation about how a billion-dollar cosmetic company defines its customer, sells globally, yet deploys local solutions that are culturally-specific. For example, their work with makeup artist, Tom Pecheux, is in part motivated by the difficulties they face in the French market, as a non-French brand. Also in France, they have been stymied by the different ways in which their products are distributed locally. They are very good, Ms. Drell Szyfer said, at selling in department stores. That's their core competency. But in France, outside of some big department stores in big cities, their products are sold in parfurmeries. This means that their products are displayed in separate parts of the stores, and Estee Lauder is going through a difficult negotiation process with the local parfumeries to allow them to put in branded installations that group all their products. In Asia, this fast-growing market has two seasons--one in which women use anti-aging skin care products and another season in which they use whitening products. These are just a few examples of the cultural considerations that must be negotiated in a global company. And they are examples that we can share with our students to make them more aware of how combine their knowledge of business practices with their cultural and linguistic knowledge.

*Faculty Development Program in Avila and Madrid, Spain.
I went on this trip several years ago and gathered a lot of good information about Spanish companies. I still use some of the realia in my classes today. Click here to read the details of this year's program, June 6-12, led by Prof. Maida Watson. (I may be in Spain at that time, and I may give a lecture.)

*On-line Italian Business Course
Click here to see a list of on-line materials offered within Moodle by the Language Acquisition Resource Center (LARC). Scroll down to "Italian," click on Italian 499, set up an account for yourself, and explore the site.

*International Companies
Students love to explore company websites from Spanish-speaking countries. Prof. Graciela Tissera from Clemson University, South Carolina mentioned some of the companies that she has her students analyze. Most were companies that I already knew (Zara, Carrefour, Movistar), but Falabella was new to me. She also mentioned two movies that she uses in her teaching: El Método and La estrategia del caracol.

Next year´s conference will be in Columbia, South Carolina. See you there.

How to Improve Your Pronunciation of Spanish

by Ann Abbott

In almost all my Spanish classes, near the end of the semester, I talk to students about their Spanish pronunciation and enunciation. It feels very silly to tell students where to put their tongue when they pronounce a "d" in Spanish and then have everyone do it.

But I notice that it is a lightbulb moment for many students. It doesn't mean that they will always be able to control their pronunciation when their minds are busy searching for words, stringing together sentences, and trying to use the correct grammar. That's already a lot to do! But many of them seem happy to hear someone explain the differences between what they do with their tongue and mouth when they say a "t" in English, for example, and what they should do when they say it in Spanish.

In the future, I may ask my students to do the modules at Prof. Gillian Ward's site, "Tal como suena." When you're at the site, click on "Modules" in the upper right, provide your name and e-mail, and then use the "Index" link to move around the modules. I found that you can't just skip around; you have to answer some of the questions before you can move to the next page in the module.

The information is pretty technical, but if you're an advanced Spanish speaker, it might be just what you need to help you sound more native-like.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Social Media for Business: My Presentation at the CIBER Business Languages Conference

by Ann Abbott

>This year, the 2010 CIBER Business Languages Conference is in Philadelphia and focuses on "Global Literacies: Integrated Approaches to Cross-Cultural Training."

Here are a few sessions of interest:

My presentation. Social Media for Business: Online Lessons for Analysis and Action. I will talk about the modules on social media for business that I prepared using Jing for last semester's Business Spanish class.

Darcy Lear, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. "Developing Cross-cultural Literacy and Language Proficiency Through Service-learning." Darcy will talk about the role of service learning in the minor her department offers in Spanish for the Professions.

Susanna Easton. U.S. Department of Education Grant Opportunities: the Undergraduate International Studies and Foreign Language (UISFL) and Business in International Education (BIE) Programs. I always think that I'm going to apply for the BIE grant, so I want to attend this session to give me the push I need.

Steven Sacco. "On-line Italian Business Course." Just because I'm interested in all things Italian--and would love to teach an Italian Business course at UIUC some day.

Maida Watson. Florida International University. "Teaching Spanish and French for Business to Heritage Speakers in Miami." Maida and I have worked together on several projects, and I always look forward to her presentations.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Decorate to Celebrate Your Community Service Learning Successes

by Ann Abbott

I always enjoy reading "Fast Company," and I especially enjoy two columns: "Made to Stick" by Dan and Chip Heath (this one about VanHalen is great) and "Do Something" by Nancy Lublin.

Lublin's March column talks about burn-out in the non-profit sector and gives tips about how to combat it. In a way, the very passion to be an agent of social change that motivates people to take jobs in the non-profit sector is the very characteristic that can get stifled, leading to burn-out.

In my "Spanish & Entrepreneurship" course, I can see that many students feel passionate about social entrepreneurship, working in the non-profit sector, using their Spanish to have a positive impact in Spanish-speaking communities and putting their love of travel to work in international settings. I recognize that passion because it is why I studied Spanish, studied abroad, speak and listen to at least four languages in my personal life, do community service learning work every semester and serve on the board of the Refugee Center.

That's also the reason why some days I feel stretched too thin. Now the University of Illinois' budget crunch will mean that I will have to find ways to continue to forge mutually beneficial student-community partnerships with fewer resources. I'm not burned out, but I don't want to get there either. So I read her advice as advice to those of us who do community service learning (CSL) work as well.

In one tip in her March column, Lublin suggests that non-profit employees redecorate: "...cover your walls with job-relevant cues. Those could be copies of great letters you've received or even cheesy motivational posters. For me, it's a collection of my name badges from conferences I've attended, which remind me of the cool things I've learned and the amazing people I've met."

This led me to think about my own decorating:
  • In my office, I have a basket full of thank-you notes from students. I'm proud to have touched the lives of so many students, and the over-flowing basket reminds me of who I am working for.
  • If I do a search on this blog for the label "student reflection," I have at my fingertips detailed descriptions of what students do and learn when they use their Spanish with our community partners. I find their insights inspiring.
  • I got rid of all but a few of my high school trophies, ribbons, medals and letters. But I have saved the ones I managed to garner in my career. I keep my trophies for my "Social Entrepreneurship" and "Distinguished Teacher Scholar" awards in my home office.
  • I framed a picture of me holding Comunidades: Más allá del aula. When I began teaching Spanish CSL there were no textbooks that prepared students to work in the community and that helped them understand better what they observed there. Little by little I built lesson plans to help my own students and community partners.
  • I have a bulletin board outside my office that I rarely get around to updating. I think I'll ask my students to come up with an idea of how to decorate it to motivate students and myself.
How do you decorate to counteract burn-out, to fan the flames of your passion for your CSL work? Could you ask your students to decorate a bulletin board outside your office, or in the main hall of your building?

12 Months to a Community Service Learning Course: February

by Ann Abbott

February: Volunteer yourself.

Block out a few hours in your month, and do what you will ask your students to do: work in the community. This will accomplish several things, including the following:
  • You can identify potential hurdles for your students. If something is hard for you, it will probably--though not necessarily--be hard for them.
  • You can pin-point the academic concepts of your course that will be highlighted through their community service learning (CSL) work.
  • You can anticipate questions and concerns that students will have and can sketch an outline of what an orientation session would likely include.
  • You may decide that a community organization that seemed like an ideal partner just won't work out. In my case, maybe the students wouldn't use Spanish enough. Maybe you will see that the organization has enough volunteers already. Or that they don't have the necessary infrastructure to handle your students.
Don't know where you could volunteer? Start with the list you made during your tour of the community. Still stumped? Ask your personal network for suggestions. Does your campus have something similar to our student-run Office of Volunteer Programs? The community organizations they connect students to can use your work, too.

And don't be surprised if you have to contact an organization more than once to set up your volunteer time. People are very busy. And maybe you initiate your communication through e-mail, but the organization prefers phone calls or drop-ins. Be persistent. You will have to tell your students that many times, so be sure you do that yourself.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Spanish & Entrepreneurship Student Uses Fellowship to Start a Micro-lending Program in Guatemala

by guest blogger Darcy Lear

In my last post, I wrote about Morgan Abbott, a Spanish & Entrepreneurship student, and her work in Africa. If you're like me, the question you are asking is "Africa!? In Spanish & Entrepreneurship?"

Morgan's experience in my Spanish & Entrepreneurship course showed me how important it is to open up the service-learning placement list to students' own projects and passions. I missed the tremendous opportunity to be her faculty mentor because I had not extended that offer to her class. But the next semester I taught Spanish & Entrepreneurship, I was sure to correct that mistake.

In the fall 2009 semester, I had two students take me up on the offer to pursue their own community service-learning placements. One was Santiago Beltrán (pictured here). Santiago received the Entrepreneurial Public Service Fellowship award that he will use this summer to start a micro-loan program in La Limonada, Guatemala City, Guatemala. His community partners are Lemonade International and Fundación Micros Guatemala.

Like most entrepreneurs, Santiago works tirelessly on his project--always moving from one thing to the next. And even though I was careful to seize the opportunity to be his faculty mentor, I have to admit I have trouble keeping up with his progress. This is just one of the recent grant proposals that he wrote for the community partner organization he started with when he was in my Spanish & Entrepreneurship seminar:

The Community Empowerment Fund (CEF) is a microfinance initiative that
offers small loans, savings opportunities, and financial services to
qualified individuals who are homeless or at risk of experiencing
homelessness, in order to advance employment and entrepreneurship
opportunities and help them achieve economic stability.

CEF is in the running for the $50,000 Dell Social Innovation Grant, and we
need your help! Please take two minutes to get on the Dell website,
register, and vote! Forward this to friends! :)

1. Visit the Competition Website:
2. Register: (Box to the right) and create a username and password
3. Search: CEF
4. Click: Promote!


Please take a moment to support Santi's work following Muhammad Yunus' footsteps in the world of microfinance!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Is It Possible to Improve Education and Lower Costs at the Same Time?

by Ann Abbott

I can't really answer fully if education can be improved at the same time we lower costs. I can say that I believe that the "technology-enhanced" model that Prof. Diane Musumeci built for our basic Spanish sequence is very successful in many regards.

At a Pearson/Prentice Hall symposium that I attended in Chicago this week, Lunden MacDonald from Metropolitan State College in Colorado presented with Bob Hemmer from Prentice Hall about how to use the technology of "My Language Labs" to create high-quality hybrid and totally on-line language courses. Interest in the room was very high! Everyone is facing budget crunches, changing student demographics, limited classroom space, and other challenges that we need to convert into opportunities. Click here to see an explanation of how it worked for Metropolitan State College.

Bob mentioned a resource for those who are interested in using technology in their language classes and mainting quality: The National Center for Academic Transformation. They have a page dedicated to course redesigns, and you can scroll down to see the project descriptions in ten Spanish programs.

The students in our "Spanish in the Community" course take their homework quizzes--on WebCT, based on the audio files at the Comunidades Companion Website. That allows the instructors to shift their valuable time from grading homework to reading student reflections.

Do you use technology in your community service learning (CSL) courses?

Friday, March 19, 2010

12 Months to a Community Service Learning Course: January

by Ann Abbott

January: Tour your community.

You are like me, I'm sure--a busy professional with little free time.
This is what most of my days look like: wake up, do our hectic morning routine at home, drop the kids of at school, drive to my office on campus, work until 5:00, go home to relieve the babysitter, do the evening routine at home and go to bed. There are truly many days when I don't go anywhere else besides my house and my building on campus.

Are your days similar to mine?

If we want students to break out of the campus bubble and have enriching and challenging learning experiences in the community, we need to do the same thing ourselves. So one day, drive around the communities where you think your students might be able to do their community service learning (CSL) work. In my case, there are some very well defined areas in Champaign-Urbana where large groups of Spanish-speakers live. By just driving around those communities I can get a sense of the neighborhoods. What agencies, businesses, civic organizations and churches are located there? What immediately catches your eye as a place that might be a likely community partner? Jot down that information.

On another day this month, drive into campus. But don't head to your office. Head to the bus stop. Take the bus from campus to the community you identified as you drove around town. Can students who don't have cars realistically get to the site? (If not, just not that you will need to help students organize themselves to carpool.) Do you see any community assets and/or community needs that you didn't notice while you were driving yourself? Add those to the list of ideas to follow up on.

While you're there, walk around the community. Where do people hang out? Where is the neighborhood school? Are there lots of cars in a church parking lot even when it's not Sunday? That might be a neighborhood hub. What kind of announcement do you see stapled or taped to utility poles? What languages do you hear? Are there free newspapers around? Pick one up. Try the coffee at a local establishment. Feeling bold? Then walk right in to one or two of the sites you think might make potential community partners and just tell them this: "I'm planning to teach a [Spanish] course next fall at [the University of Illinois] in which students will volunteer [28 hours] in a local organization. My students would [improve their Spanish] while they helped the organization [provide services to Spanish-speaking clients] or work on a special project. Could your organization use some volunteers?" See where that leads.

But if all you do is take this tour, that's enough to get your mind working and to get a preliminary understanding of the community. In this first step, you break out of the campus bubble yourself.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Sing in Spanish

by Ann Abbott

I use music less in my Spanish classes than some instructors do. I resist the notion that Spanish classes should entertain students, and games and songs can sometimes reinforce that notion. And unless it goes along with a well-designed activity, what language learning is happening when students sing and memorize songs? (Don't get me wrong--I strive to make my classes active, engaging, challenging and friendly. But expectations that your class should be the "fun" one can be a burden.)

But I realize that now more than ever, people want to and can come into contact with Spanish in many more ways than just in the classroom. Plus, I have a friend who is musically gifted (Chandra, that's you), and she has shown me that associating music and words is simply how her brain works best.

Does that describe you, too? Or do you just love to listen to Spanish-language music while you carry on with your other tasks? Out of college and just want to stay in contact with the sounds of Spanish and the cultural products of Spanish-speaking countries?

Click "All languages" and select "Spanish." Click on one of the videos; they are rated "easy," "medium" and "hard." (I liked "Nadie como tú.") The video starts to play, and underneath the screen click on "Select Game Mode." Choose your level and then type in the lyrics as you hear them.

Have fun! (Thanks to Melissa Dilbert for telling me about this site.)

12 Months to a Community Service Learning Course

by Ann Abbott

Lately I have been thinking a lot about what it takes for an instructor to go from thinking about offering a Spanish community service learning (CSL) course--or any CSL course for that matter--to actually doing it.

Some people get excited about teaching a CSL course, pick up the phone, cold call a potential community partner and get everything organized for the following semester. Other people get excited about teaching a CSL course, think about the work it entails and decide they will do it "someday."

What if you could tackle one piece of CSL each month, and in one year you would have successfully planned and taught your first Spanish CSL course? Would that make it seem do-able? Would it help you get over the fear of the unknown?

Here's a 12-month outline. I'll post details about each month in up-coming posts. We're in the middle of March right now, but you can shift the calendar.
  • January. Tour your community--on foot, in your car and on the bus.
  • February. Volunteer yourself.
  • March. Read some of the CSL bibliography. (I'll help you find the choice reads so you don't get bogged down.)
  • April. Advertise your CSL course to students. (You're really committed now.)
  • May. Build your community partnership.
  • June. Integrate CSL into your course curriculum--classroom activities, homework, projects.
  • July. Incorporate reflection into course activities and requirements.
  • August. Prepare and file any necessary paperwork.
  • September. Go on site visits while your students are doing their CSL work.
  • October. Pause and re-align expectations with all stakeholders.
  • November. Write the final exam.
  • December. Celebrate!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Community Partner Spotlight: Child Care Resource Service (CCRS)

by Ann Abbott

photo 1: Milagros Jerrell, Child Care Resource Specialist
photo 2: Samantha Esterman, Spanish community service learning student from SPAN 332 "Spanish & Entrepreneurship" (See left navigation bar on this blog for course information)

Kirsten Hope is working with me this year on the administration of our Spanish community service learning (CSL) program. With over 100 students working with nearly a dozen community partners, we need to check often to see if things are running smoothly. So this semester, Kirsten is personally visiting our community partners while our students are working. This accomplishes a few things: 1) We see that students are actually there when they are supposed to be there; 2) We get to see for ourselves the exact nature of what they are doing; 3) we touch base with our community partners in a face-to-face way; and 4) we get to promote the wonderful work of our community partners on this blog.

Child Care Resource Service (CCRS) was our third community partner, so it is fitting that they are third in our series of Community Partner Spotlights. As Kirsten points out below, the importance of linguistically and culturally appropriate childcare services is a topic that is rarely touched upon in our Spanish classes. CCRS highlights its importance. Here are Kirsten's words:

"I just visited the Child Care Resource Service (CCRS), and wanted to share a few thoughts with you. To be honest, I thought that CCRS was actually a place where parents brought their children for daycare. I actually didn't know that it's a service that serves a huge area in Central Illinois, helping families pay for affordable childcare. I was able to speak with Milagros for a while, and she showed me how incredibly expensive childcare is, something about which I had no idea, and how important CCRS is for so many families. Milagros showed me that the average cost of childcare in Illinois is about $200 a week!! With the help of CCRS, some families pay only $224 for a month (depending on their situation)! I can't even imagine the great relief and joy that this service brings families. Milagros explained that this money comes from DHS (Department of Human Services), and that the CCRS then coordinates with all child care providers in Illinois (an extensive list!) to ensure that families are paying an affordable amount and still getting high quality childcare.

"I met Sammi Esterman while I was there, and she said that she and the other volunteers do a lot of work on flyers to advertise the services of CCRS. They write in both Spanish and English, and do quite a bit of translation work both in written form and orally as well. They may translate advertisements for CCRS, or even translate for families that come into the office. The CCRS is especially important for Latino families in Illinois because they help find child care where there are Spanish-speaking employees. I think that this service is crucial for Hispanic families because so often they and their children do not speak English and can either get lost in the system or even taken advantage of. In one of their pamphlets (created by our own students!), Miguelito, a Mexican immigrant who moved here with his parents, explains that CCRS helped his family find child care "with a Spanish-speaking provider...I have fun every day while my provider helps me learn through playing and activities... She also makes me authentic Mexican food!" Not only does CCRS ensure that every child is placed in a safe and caring environment, but by taking the linguistic and cultural background of each child into account they also help ensure that children do not lose a sense of who they are or where they came from.

"I feel like the link between daycare and cultural preservation isn't a very clear one, or one that most people ever think about. However, after visiting CCRS, the importance of quality and affordable childcare has become extremely clear. I learned how providing this service for Spanish-speaking families can really alleviate some fear about leaving your child for the day, in addition to the financial stress it addresses as well. Knowing that a childcare provider is able to speak Spanish and communicate with both the parents and the child in their native language is an invaluable service, and I think that CCRS is really unique in this aspect."

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

UIUC Students: Scholarship Rewards Community Engagement

by Ann Abbott

Spanish community service learning (CSL) classes provide students with unique leadership opportunities and ways to actively work towards social justice. And the scholarship described below rewards both of those.

Apply today, Spanish CSL students! Show ways that you have honed your leadership skills in the classrooms and agency offices where you work. Describe the tasks that you do and how they help your community partner enfranchise our local Latino community. Finally, show that you are aware of how the steps you take locally and for class credit are connected to larger socio-political issues in our nation and internationally.

If you took SPAN 232 or 332 and apply for this scholarship, I will help you revise your application materials. Just e-mail me ( to set up an appointment and write "Fred S. Bailey Scholarship Program" in the subject line.

If you're graduating and can't apply, please e-mail the link to your younger friends.

Fred S. Bailey Scholarship Program, administered by the University YMCA.

All entering freshman, upcoming sophomores, and upcoming juniors are eligible to apply for a Bailey Scholarship of $3,000 (i.e., students who will be starting college next academic year, current freshmen, and current sophomores). Bailey Scholarship recipients must demonstrate a commitment to service, community involvement, leadership, and awareness; demonstrate academic achievement and critical thought about the pressing issues facing the world today; and demonstrate financial need.

The Bailey Leadership Awards are $5,000 awards given each year to four exceptional upcoming seniors (i.e., students who will graduate next academic year) who have made a demonstrated impact on the University of Illinois campus during their initial three years in one of the following areas: Social Justice, Environment, Faith Based, and International. Bailey Leadership Award recipients also demonstrate academic achievement, financial need, and critical thought about the pressing issues facing the world today.

Students can apply online at: . The deadline is April 16.

Spanish & Entrepreneurship Takes Off at the University of North Carolina

by guest blogger Darcy Lear

Spanish & Entrepreneurship is alive and well at the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, where last week Morgan Abbott (no relation to Ann Abbott) received a total of $7000 in support for her entrepreneurial project. Part of that was the Entrepreneurial Public Service fellowship, awarded by the Carolina Center for Public Service, which this year merged with the APPLES service-learing office.

Morgan will use her fellowship to implement Carolina for Amani in the New Life Home Orphanages in Kenya. Carolina for Amani utilizes college interns to update adoption files and psychosocial reports as well as convert them to an electronic format. This will allow for each of the 350 children in the New Life Homes to be eligible for adoption sooner while making the adoption process more efficient, accessible, and safe.

Morgan took the Spanish & Entrepreneurship course at Carolina in the spring 2009 semester. She went on to minor in entrepreneurship and is currently taking Venture Creation in the Spanish-speaking World. This second-year college student embodies social entrepreneurship! And Morgan's work in Africa inspired me to re-think service-learning placements in our Spanish & Entrepreneurship courses at UNC--more about that in my next post...

Monday, March 15, 2010

Spanish & Entrepreneurship: What Have We Learned So Far?

by Lily Martínez

Midsemester Review

In SPAN 332 "Spanish & Entrepreneurship: Languages, Cultures & Communities" (course information is in the left navigation bar), we now find ourselves half way throughout the semester. Thus far we have talked about the following, using Enterprising Nonprofits:

  • Defining Social Entrepreneurship as having the objective to maintain and improve social conditions beyond financial benefits, blending social and commercial methods, looking for creative ways to generate revenue, and having a social objective through a hybrid of commercial and philanthropic methods.
  • Defining and Creating Mission Statements: this needs to be equal to the actions you take. Social entrepreneurs can use their mission as their lever to move minds and hearts, and to “change lives”. It can also provide a sense of progress and significance to their work. But most importantly, it needs to be focused and clear. Or as Peter F. Drucker said, “It should fit on a T-Shirt”.
  • We have also been exposed to rubrics in order to recognize and assess new opportunities, in particular, their social value potential, its market potential and its sustainability potential.
  • Learning how to mobilize our resources and being familiar with the four phases of an entrepreneurial resource assessment, going from defining capabilities, devising operating structures, developing economic models and deducing resource needs.
  • Accountability informs all parties involved, helps achieve our goals, creates an organizational framework and maintains a communication network.
A Classroom Activity that Tied together Many Concepts Presented in the Course

Reality shows continue to fascinate television viewers. As I ask myself what elements being represented captivate the viewers, I can not help but realize that we continue to be fascinated by narratives of adventure and our desire to maintain a voyeuristic gaze on other individuals, at times similar or completely opposite from us. This eclectic combination between narrative that represent reality and fiction was present last Thursday in our Spanish and Entrepreneurship class. The homework was simple, go to, click “lend” and choose a “region” with Spanish-speaking countries and browse the entrepreneur’s profiles. They had to select the profile they thought deserved a loan. Lastly, they printed the profile and brought it to class. Traditionally, students are asked to make use of their language skills and imagination in order to complete many foreign language in-class activities. What was drastically different this time around was that their analytical, persuas

Bulleted List

ion and communication skills directly affected the life of a person in a Spanish speaking country. After several rounds of group work and class presentations, the students voted for the person or team that they felt deserved… the $100 dollar loan Dr. Abbott was going to make after class. Who knew replicating scenarios had real life consequences!

Focus for the Rest of the Semester

  • Cover last half of Enterprising Nonprofits.
  • Analyze real-world examples of social entrepreneurship in class.
  • Complete community-based team projects.
  • Prepare engaging presentations about the team projects.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Student Reflection: Learning About the Hardships Which Face Our Immigrant Community

by Andrew Piotrowski

Over the past few months of volunteer service at the East Central Illinois Refugee Mutual Assistance Center (ECIRMAC) in Urbana, Illinois, I cannot help but take notice of the challenges, both large and small, that affect the immigrant community of Champaign County concerning certain issues that those with rights of US citizenship never even have to consider. Issues such as language barriers, lack of an accredited education or legal documentation for residence, and a multitude of restrictive laws and ordinances cause more problems than I believe most are aware of.

As a native-born U.S. citizen, I do not have to worry about my legal standing during my everyday life, as my rights of citizenship will not be in danger of being revoked. I can apply for any job that my current education level allows me, and I know that even if I commit a legal violation, I am in no danger of losing my right to reside in this country. However, the challenges which immigrants must meet head-on go much further than just fear of being caught or finding a job. The experiences which I have seen and heard about at the Center reveal a lot more information about the lives of immigrants, both documented and undocumented, than what the mainstream media shows.

As I continue this blog over the next several weeks, I will explore various aspects of immigrant life in Champaign County that may not be over issues normally discussed in today’s political, social, and ethical debates. By doing so, I hope to uncover specific problems which I believe must be addressed in order to enhance the lives of everyone who calls the United States their home, regardless of their standing as a citizen.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Another Example of Engaged Citizenship

by Ann Abbott

Yesterday I posted about Prof. Lissette Piedra's model of engaged citizenship as a model for our Spanish community service learning (CSL) students. She was extremely engaged in the fight to retain the position of "Bilingual Family Liaison" for Urbana schools. To do that she:
  • Researched information about Latino demographic and educational trends.
  • Wrote a detailed and well-argued memo to the School Board.
  • Involved the local press in the issue.
  • Spoke before the School Board.
  • And contributed to the successful outcome: the position was not eliminated.
Prof. Piedra is to be admired. Yet, is there a middle ground between CSL work for course credit and the lengths to which she went?

How about this postcard campaign on behalf of comprehensive immigration reform sponsored by the Jewish Council on Urbana Affairs? Would students who are working with community members (youth and adults) who are impacted by immigration reform put their name to a postcard that supports real policy reform to benefit those community members?

Do our students even know what comprehensive immigration reform would look like? Even if students don't want to sign the postcard and send it, just reading it may open their eyes to the risks and obstacles that the people they work with for 28 hours this semester face 24 hours a day.

Furthermore, this "Postcards to Congress" campaign highlights the intersections of religion, politics and social justice. The impetus behind a Catholic campaign for immigration reform might seem more culturally tied together. What does this postcard campaign reveal about the tenets of the Jewish faith that connect to a fight for immigration reform?

These are all questions our students can grapple with in class or in reflective homework assignments.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Students: Will You Be in Chicago This Summer? Engage Chicago!

by Ann Abbott

"Engage Chicago" sounds like a terrific program that will involve students in the city and give them great skills at the same time. If I were a student, I would apply to this program.

If you do apply to the program, please highlight your knowledge of Spanish and your experiences in your Spanish community service learning class (SPAN 232 and/or SPAN 332). Make yourself stand out from all the other applicants by offering unique value to their team: language skills and experience working in not-for-profits serving Latinos.

Here's the description:

Engage Chicago is an eight-week summer field study program that gives bright undergraduates from across the nation a chance to live, work, serve and learn together in this remarkable city, amidst a rich history & culture of civic engagement. The innovative program model deliberately combines academic coursework, placements at top community organizations/civic institutions, and powerful community experiences — all under the guidance of expert Northwestern faculty, staff and community mentors.

Through hands-on experience, thoughtful reflection, and a summer living with a vibrant community of peers, Engage Chicago is designed to be a powerful opportunity for students to learn about a great city, about social change, and about themselves.

A Model to Show Students How to Move from Service to Action

by Ann Abbott

With so much to accomplish in one semester of our "Spanish in the Community" course, it is sometimes difficult to help students understand how the realities that they see in the community are the direct results of policy-making. In other words, we want to help students move from just thinking about "William," the little boy they work with at the school, and to see how "William" exists in a complex web of laws, regulations, and decisions that impact his life and circumstances. In simpler terms, students can do community service learning (CSL), but to change society, they need to understand more fully what it means to be active citizens.

This semester, I have a perfect example for students.

Many of our Spanish CSL students work in the bilingual classrooms at Leal Elementary School in Urbana. They tell powerful stories about their learning and the relationships they build with students and teachers there.

But in the background, the teachers and children they interact with directly are supported by the person who holds the job of "Bilingual Family Liaison." If that position is not funded, that filter down to the classroom and alter the realities for the teacher and the students.

So, my friend and colleague, Prof. Lissette Piedra, wrote the following memo, circulated it among engaged faculty, sent it to the Urbana school board, testified at the school board meeting, and sent a copy to the beat reporter from the News Gazette, our local newspaper.

What were the results? The position was saved! For now. But to maintain that victory, more active, engaged citizenship work must be done. Prof. Piedra provided a model. I wonder what our students can do.

Here is Prof. Piedra's memo. I will write a lesson plan around this memo and share it here later.

TO: Board of Education, Urbana School District
FROM: Lissette M. Piedra, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, The School of Social Work
DATE: March 9, 2010
SUBJECT: A Case for Bilingual Family Liaison Services

"During times of fiscal austerity, cutting educational support services for Latino students and their families will prove in the long-run to be short-sighted and unwise. National, state, and local demographic trends signal the need for an increased focus on Latino youth and their families. Nationally, the unprecedented growth of the Latino youth population shows little sign of declining. Hispanic students make up 60% of the total growth in the nation’s public school enrollments over the past fifteen years1. There are now approximately 10 million Hispanic students—about one-in-five— public school students in the United States. By 2050, Latino youth are expected to make up 29% of the youth population2. Between 1996 and 2006, the proportion of Latino students enrolled in public elementary and secondary schools increased from 14.0% to 20.1%, a significantly higher growth rate than any other ethnic or racial group.3

"According to the National Center of Educational Statistics, student enrollment in the Urbana School District follows a similar and even accentuated trend. In 2000-01, 120 Hispanic children were enrolled in the district. Five years later, the number had nearly doubled to 210 students, representing a 75% growth. During the 2007-08 school year, the number of Hispanic children grew to 267, reflecting a 122.50% change since 2000. During the same period, the total number of students shrank from 4615 to 3990. Hispanics children now make up nearly 7% of the student population and this trend shows no sign of decline.

"The size of the Latino youth population and the role they will play in future labor markets warrants a larger public investment in their well-being4. Indeed, evidence suggests cause for concern. According to the 2000 Census, the Latino population in Champaign County is relatively young; less than half are 25 years or over (38%). As a group, they have low levels of education; less than a third (32%) has a high school education or more and an even smaller percentage (16%) has a Bachelor degree or more. In addition, about a third of the population is foreign-born (33 %) and over 60% report speaking a language other than English at home.

"Latino youth are overrepresented among the poor. Low levels of education, recency of migration, and limited English proficiency contribute to low-wage labor participation. While labor participation among the Latino population is comparable to the general population, 54% and 55% respectively, there is significant discrepancy in earnings. Median household income for Latinos is $12,653 less than for the total population and families fare even worse—median family income is $21,737 less than for the total population. Not surprisingly, the percentage of individuals living below the poverty level is significantly higher among Latinos than for the total population (23.5% vs. 14.7%)5.

"Given the corrosiveness of poverty, Latino youth are at higher risk for poor developmental and health outcomes than their white peers.6 Moreover, for low-income immigrant Latino families increased length of residency in the United States coincides with deterioration in the health and school achievement of their children7. While overall school dropout rates have fallen over the past 30 years, the rates for Hispanic youth remain substantially higher than for any other ethnic group. According to the Illinois State Report Card (2008), 76% of Latino student who enter high school graduate compared to 93% of their white counterparts. In other words, one in four Latino students fails to graduate from high school in Illinois8. In addition to academic attrition, there are worrisome increases in adolescent parenthood, gang involvement, and suicidal behavior among Latino youth9.

"Despite all these vulnerabilities, Latino families report placing a high value on education. With appropriate supports, Latino children can succeed. However, language barriers pose serious obstacles for parents when accessing institutional supports10. In many ways, the presence of a bilingual Family Liaison conveys the message that the educational institution wants to keep vulnerable families connected to the school system. Moreover, the ability of the Urbana School district to provide support services in Spanish represents an institutional achievement that will be undermined by cutting the position. Indeed, in a recent study of Champaign service providers, researchers found that a chief compliant among bilingual providers was the lack of institutional planning around bilingual services when there is a reduction of bilingual staff.11

"During this fiscal crisis, it is important to keep sight of long-term demographic trends and to consider the difficulty in replacing bilingual services in a community with a serious shortage of bilingual staff. The Urbana school district urgently needs to have a bilingual Family Liaison and will need one even more in the future. An investment in the family liaison position today, represents an investment in the district’s ability to respond to rapid changing demographics and ultimately, to contribute to the development of our future labor force.

"1 Pew Hispanic Center (2008). One-in-five and growing fast: A profile of Hispanic public school students. Retrieved December 16, 2009 from
2 US Census Bureau. (2000). Population Estimates and Projections
3 National Center for Education Statistics. (2008). Digest of Education Statistics, 2006, Table 41.Washington, DC: US Department of Education.
4 See Morales, R., & Bonilla, F. (1993). Latinos in a changing U.S. economy: Comparative perspectives on growing inequality (Vol. 7) and see Sullivan, T. A. (2006). Demography, the demand for social services, and the potential for civic conflict. In D. W. Engstrom & L. M. Piedra (Eds.), Our Diverse Society: Race and Ethnicity -- Implications for 21st Century American Society (pp. 9-18).
5 Click here for reference.
6 Bloomberg, L., Ganey, A., Alba, V., Quintero, G., & Alcantara, L. A. (2003). Chicago-Latino Youth Leadership Institute: An asset-based program for youth. American Journal of Health Behavior, 27(1), S45-S54.
7 See Hernandez, D. J., & Charney, E. (Eds.). (1998). From generation to generation: The health and well-being of children in immigrant families (pp. 107–109). Washington, DC: National Academy Press. Also, see Shields, M. K., & Behrman, R. E. (2004). Children of immigrant families: Analysis and recommendations. Future of Children, 14(2), 4–16. Retrieved May 30, 2008, from
8 Illinois state reports card. (2008). 2008 Illinois state reports card. Retrieved December 16, 2009 from : click here for reference.
9 Pew Hispanic Center (2009). Latino youths optimistic but beset by problems. Retrieved December 16, 2009, from
10 For additional information see: Engstrom, D. W., & Min, J. W. (2004). Perspectives of bilingual social workers: "You just have to do a lot more for them". Journal of Ethnic & Cultural Diversity in Social Work, 13(1), 59-82. Engstrom, D. W., Piedra, L. M., & Min, J. W. (2009). Bilingual social workers: Language and service complexities. Administration in Social Work. Piedra, L. M. (2006). Revisiting the language question. In D. W. Engstrom & L. M. Piedra (Eds.), Our Diverse Society: Race and Ethnicity -- Implications for 21st Century American Society (pp. 67- 87). Piedra, L. M. (2010). Latinos & Spanish: The awkwardness of language in social work practice. In R. Furman & N. Negi (Eds.), Social work practice with Latinos (pp. 262-281). Schyve, P. M. (2007). Language differences as a barrier to quality and safety in health care: The joint commission perspective. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 22(Suppl 2), 360-361.
11 Piedra (2010). Puentes y Estrellas del Mar Study. Sponsored by the Community Informatics Initiative at The graduate School of Library and information Studies.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Student Reflection

by Bridget Kern

On the first day of my placement with CLACS at the Urbana Free Library I didn’t know what to expect. The only thing that I knew was to be prepared to utilize spoken Spanish. This was a very daunting thought for me because in the past I had spoken Spanish in the classroom and occasionally with friends. I had received varying responses to my forays into speaking Spanish. In class where the emphasis is placed on learning, I felt shy but comfortable using my Spanish. With my bilingual friends the response was different. Some of my friends would laugh at my rudimentary pronunciation, while others smiled and said “Wow, you’ve learned so much”. With these experiences in mind I nervously approached the library. Never before had I been placed in a situation that demanded that I converse with native Spanish speakers.

When I arrived at the library, I learned that the author who was supposed to be reading his book to the children had not arrived yet, and I was informed that I potentially might have to translate a Spanish book to English while the program coordinator read it in Spanish. After quickly reading though the book, I found that I knew all of the words and could definitely translate the whole story. However, this was not the case, the author arrived and instead of being the entertainment I got to watch the entertainment. After a touching story about abuelitas, which was very meaningful to me because my grandma is important to me, and listening to a traditional Spanish folk song, it was my turn to lead the craft portion of the afternoon. I helped set up the craft and then offered assistance to the children who wanted to make Valentine’s Day picture frames for their grandmas.

What I found from this experience is that I can understand native Spanish speakers and they can also understand me. I felt most comfortable talking to the children instead of their parents because I felt like the children wouldn’t judge my grammar or pronunciation. My first day in my community placement helped me feel more comfortable speaking Spanish. I also met a study abroad advisor from the University of Illinois. He gave me information about studying abroad as well as the group Mi Pueblo, so that I could continue to practice Spanish. I also learned new craft centered vocabulary words. A final benefit of working at Spanish Story Time was that it put me in closer contact with the Latino community in Champaign- Urbana, which helped me experience the literary and musical aspects of Latino culture.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Students: Write a Grant, Make a Difference

by Ann Abbott

Be quick! Click here to see how to write a grant proposal for an idea that you have for social entrepreneurship or to do something special for your community service-learning (CSL) community partner.

This is a great opportunity to fund an idea that you have. But it's also a great opportunity to add an important skill to your pre-professional tool-kit. Applying for grants (and winning them!) is a way to stand out from all the other college grads who will be applying for jobs in May.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Community Partner Spotlight: Booker T. Washington Elementary School in Champaign

by Ann Abbott

Booker T. Washington was our second community partner, built upon the foundation that Prof. Anna Maria Escobar had already forged with her students. UIUC students did independent studies with Prof. Escobar and worked at the school.

As I helped transform SPAN 232 from an advanced conversation course to a community service learning (CSL) course, that partnership then had a "place" in the curriculum. Independent studies are a heavy burden for faculty and don't count toward their promotion, so building a place within regular courses for that type of work is important.

Booker T. Washington is a lovely school that is undergoing a big transformation right now--a new building and a new theme. Our partnership will have to evolve along with their changes, and that will require lots of conversations to find out how we can change our partnership but still keep it mutually beneficial.

Below are Kirsten Hope's words as she described the atmosphere she encountered during her visit to BTW.

"I visited Booker T. Washington School this morning. I went to Claudia Fradkin's 1st grade bilingual classroom. Wow. I have never seen so much energy! The students in her class were so excited about learning and the amount of activity going on in the class astounded me! When I first got there, the students were broken up into groups, working on reading, spelling and I think some math! Every student was thoroughly engaged in what he or she was doing, and you could almost feel the learning going on. The classroom was so different from the upper grades that I'm used to. Claudia's strategies of working in groups and rotating between them really kept every student on task, and even when they looked off task, she somehow brought them back to the task at hand.

"There were two volunteers from SPAN 232 and 332 there. James McElwain and Hugo Olvera work in her classroom every week, and they told me how Claudia manages her classroom with a delicate balance of strictness and warmth. The students seemed to really respond to her attitude, and they obviously really loved our volunteers as well! James and Hugo told me about all the students, and the funny things they say or do. It seemed like a lot of fun working there, and I also think that it's very educational- not only for the 1st graders, but for the volunteers. For example, I asked James about what happens if the students use a colloquialism or slang word that he doesn't know. He explained that although the dominant language of the classroom is Spanish, the students can switch between Spanish and English so quickly that communication problems don't arise too much. I think that the 1st graders really appreciate seeing 'big kids' use their native language to communicate with them. They seem to really love working with the volunteers. Claudia also told me how much she loves having the volunteers in the classroom, which is more than obvious in the classroom. There is a feeling of respect and pride for both the Spanish and English languages in the class, and everyone works together in their mutual learning."

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Muhammad Yunus at UIUC: Poster Session

by Ann Abbott

I consider Carolina Kloecker to be the "poster child" for the Spanish & Illinois program.

  • She did a wonderful job in "Spanish in the Community" (SPAN 232) and blogged here about her community service learning (CSL) work. You can search for the label "Student Reflection" and find her posts.
  • She did a Spanish & Illinois Summer Internship with ACCION Chicago, a micro-lending organization.
  • She's in "Spanish & Entrepreneurship" (SPAN 332) with me this semester, and I often use her work as an example during my class presentations.

So I was thrilled to see that Carolina was at the poster session before Muhammad Yunus' talk and during his book signing. He was so gracious that even after an exhausting day, he took the time to go to each poster and hear about our University of Illinois students' work with social entrepreneurship. As you can see from the picture, Carolina poster was about ACCION Chicago. And as you can also see from the picture, she had a chance to speak personally with Muhammad Yunus!

Click on the video to listen to Carolina explain the important work that ACCION Chicago does. I asked Carolina a few questions, and I was pleased to know that borrowers need an ITIN number, not necessarily a Social Security number. That is an important, inclusive policy.

Monday, March 1, 2010

UIUC Students: Summer Media Internships

by Ann Abbott

Illinois Launch is a wonderful new initiative on our campus. It will highlight UIUC alumni who are entrepreneurs, and help current students achieve their entrepreneurial goals. You can read all about it at the Academy for Entrepreneurial Leadership's website--and even apply to participate in it.

Students, if you are looking for a wonderful summer opportunity, read the message below and apply to work on their website.

Summer Media Internships
Paid – New grads welcome
University of Illinois Academy for Entrepreneurial Leadership

The Academy for Entrepreneurial Leadership is launching a new website. Impact Illinois focuses on entrepreneurial, innovative alumni and their accomplishments, as well as accomplishments of university students, faculty and staff. A key component will be profiles of business and social entrepreneurs. The audience is both internal and external – models for students and telling the Illinois story to others.

Two full-time internships are available for summer 2010. Interns will spend most of their time researching, interviewing, writing, and developing content for this website. Primary responsibility: create profiles of entrepreneurial alumni from colleges across the campus.

Benefits: This internship provides tremendous hands-on experience, and a portfolio for job-seeking. Graduate students and May grads are welcome to apply. Salary: $10/hour. Possibility of academic credit.

Other details: For excellent candidates, will consider hiring as part-time interns, at a minimum of 50% time. Most work is during normal business hours, but some flexibility required. Possibility of occasional regional travel. The Academy staff is collaborative – interns will work primarily with the communications coordinator, Annie Sit, but will also interact with the other staff for specific projects.

Skills, education and experience needed: • Excellent writing skills • Print journalism, public relations, online content creation or other feature writing experience • Adherence to deadlines • Initiative to self-start/work independently • Bachelor’s degree preferred, but experienced undergrads welcome • Digital and/or video photography experience desirable.

To apply: Forward email cover letter, resume and samples of work to Annie Sit,, by March 12th.

Additional background: In the six years since its founding, the Academy for Entrepreneurial Leadership has made a major impact at Illinois, and continues to do so. The university, through its students, faculty, staff and alumni, has made a major impact on the world. But neither the Academy nor the university is adequately telling its story – especially online. These internships are an opportunity for students with interest in feature writing, online content, videoblogging, public relations and marketing to contribute to this effort.

Projects - Interns will work on some combination of the following projects:
• Interview entrepreneurial alumni and write profiles
• Interview Illini social entrepreneurs and write profiles
• Create short video clips of entrepreneurial students, faculty and staff
• Write impact stories, related to Academy initiatives, and drawing on interviews of Illinois students, faculty and staff
• Solicit stories on entrepreneurship and innovation at Illinois from other university units
• Use online and university archives research to identify impact stories linked to entrepreneurship and innovation at Illinois. Edit or write stories based on these resources.

270 Wohlers Hall, MC-706, 1206 South Sixth Street, Champaign, Illinois 61820
Phone (217)244-9425

Tonight: "Social Entrepreneurship in the 21st Century" by Muhammad Yunus'

by Ann Abbott

A final reminder about this exciting talk. And if you go to the poster session, please say hello to Caroline Kloecker, my student and former intern at ACCION Chicago, a microlending organization.

"Social Entrepreneurship in the 21st Century"
A Public Talk by Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Dr. Muhammad Yunus and Celebration of University of Illinois Social Entrepreneurship Projects

Monday, March 1, 2010, Foellinger Auditorium, 7:00 PM, 709 S. Mathews Avenue, Urbana

Before speaking Dr. Yunus will be presented with the University’s Presidential Award and Medallion by President Stanley O. Ikenberry. A question and answer session will follow Dr. Yunus’s remarks. This event is free and open to the public. No tickets are required, but admission is first come, first serve. Overflow will be directed to the Deloitte Auditorium in the Business Instructional Facility where the event will be broadcasted. For more information visit or email

Poster Session Business Instructional Facility Atrium
Monday, March 1, 2010 515 E. Gregory Drive, Urbana
4:00-6:00 PM

The Poster Session celebrates over twenty social entrepreneurship projects created by University of Illinois students, faculty/staff, and organizations on themes related to microfinance, gender equity, health, and social ventures. Copies of Dr. Yunus’s two best-selling books, “Banker to the Poor” and “Creating a World without Poverty” will be on sale during the poster session, and Dr. Yunus will be available for a book signing. This event is free and open to the public.

Sponsored by:
Provost’s Gender Equity Council

Cosponsored by:
Academy for Entrepreneurial Leadership
Center for Advanced Study
Center for Global Studies
College of ACES
College of Business
College of Engineering
College of Fine and Applied Arts
CSAMES-India Studies Fund
Fox Family
International Programs and Studies
Office of the Chancellor
Office of the Provost
School of Labor and Employment Relations
Women and Gender in Global Perspectives Program