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Showing posts from February, 2013

Student Spotlight: Maggie Flynn

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by Ann Abbott

Spanish majors, take note. Maggie Flynn's trajectory shows how you can combine your love of languages, your studies and an answer to the question: "What will I do after I graduate?"

Maggie went on our department's year-abroad program in Barcelona. This program builds students' language proficiency and transcultural skills like no semester-abroad program can. It's quite simple: the more time you spend abroad, the more you learn and grow as a global citizen.

Maggie took SPAN 332 "Spanish & Entrepreneurship: Languages, Cultures & Communities" with me in the spring of 2012. That course teaches the basics of social entrepreneurship and students do their community service learning in local non-profits that serve our local Spanish-speakers. Students have to do a community-based team project, and you can click here to see how Maggie worked with two of her classmates to present in public venues about our Spanish community service learni…

Student Reflection

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by Susannah Koch


I feel as if I am having déjà vu. It seems like just yesterday I was volunteering at Provena Covenant Hospital and writing blog posts about the experiences I was having translating documents and working with the inspiring Alejandra. I am sad to say that it was not just yesterday, but instead an entire year has passed and now I am experiencing something completely different. My experience with Provena and Spanish 232 was a wonderful one. The things that I learned and the unique community learning aspect of the course inspired me to take Spanish 332 this semester, “Spanish and Entrepreneurship”. I will admit that I found the title of the course to be slightly intimidating as I have, or at least believed prior to the course, no previous entrepreneurial experience. I have quickly realized that the class does not require explicit entrepreneurial under-takings, but an application of the skills one has already acquired through the new lens of social entrepreneurship.
Along-…

Simple Example of the Entrepreneurial Process: It Is a Mindset

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by Ann Abbott

I tell my "Spanish & Social Entrepreneurship" students that any kind of entrepreneurship (commercial, social, cultural, educational, intrapreneurship, etc.) is a process, not just a product. That process has three basic steps:

Identify opportunities. Opportunities can often be found within problems; solve the problem, and that is your entrepreneurial opportunity.Gather resources.  Think beyond money. So many of the resources that you need are intangible and consist of human relationships, knowledge and skills.Create something of value. I didn't say "create something." It has to be something that others value enough to buy or use. Here's a simple example. Identify opportunities. It was 5:00 pm on February 13, and I had completely forgotten that the next day was Valentine's Day. My four-year-old son needed Valentine's Day cards for all his classmates for his big classroom party the next day. That's a problem! (I think most working …

The Peace Corps Is a Natural Extension of Community Service Learning for Languages

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by Ann Abbott
As Director of Undergraduate Studies for Spanish, I am helping to organize monthly meetings and workshops for our majors, and I am excited that Ashlee McLauglin from the Peace Corps will be presenting to our students this month. Although not all Spanish majors take "Spanish in the Community"--and not all "Spanish in the Community" students are Spanish majors--those students who do become very excited about deep, sustained community engagement can often find what they are looking for within the Peace Corps.
Below is a post from Ashlee about the Peace Corps.
Gain Global Skills and Make a Difference for Others.
As the campus Peace Corps recruiter it is my job to inform the campus community about opportunities for Peace Corps service after graduation. As a former Peace Corps Volunteer in El Salvador from 2001-2003, it is my pleasure to share about my amazing experience as a volunteer and encourage interested students to apply. Peace Corps is a unique oppor…

Peace Corps Informational Meeting for UIUC Spanish Majors

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by Ann Abbott

This semester, we have begun offering monthly talks and workshops to our Spanish majors. I'll provide more information and context soon, but for now I just wanted to share the flyer.