Showing posts from November, 2013

Student Spotlight: Cassie Grimm

by Ann Abbott

I just received the e-mail that every entrepreneurship educator wants to receive: a former student telling me that she's working on a start-up!

Here's Cassie's message. Watch the video above and click on the website. This looks like it could take off!

*Also note this: her e-mail is perfectly crafted (although either "Profesora Abbott" or "Ann" would have been better). I read this e-mail, checked my calendar, and replied, "Sure. See you on Friday in 4006 FLB." She didn't make me work. She didn't make me try to remember her. (Maybe adding a picture would have been even more helpful.) She didn't put the burden of scheduling onto me. And most importantly, she told me exactly, specifically, unequivocally what she wanted from me: permission to upload my syllabus. I already know the answer is yes, so now I will be able to spend some time with Cassie on Friday just learning more about how things are going for her and for this…

Student Spotlight: Amanda White Is Going to Brazil on a Fulbright

by Ann Abbott

I love hearing from former students. Their stories inspire me, and I also think they are role models for current students.

Amanda White sent an e-mail this morning about her upcoming stint as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Brazil. It's important to see how she got to this point.

She studied abroad on our year-long program to Barcelona.She took "Spanish in the Community" and "Spanish and Entrepreneurship" with me--doing her community service learning work with full dedication.She went to Spain as a Fulbright ETA. I wrote a letter for her, and in her letter I was able to give very specific examples of how she would make an ideal ETA in Spain because I had seen her in action in the community service learning courses. In other words, my examples went beyond the normal comments about her classroom academic abilities.She worked with a career coach (I'm not sure about the details) upon her return to the US. She was looking for ways in which…

Student Project Is an Example of What Virtual Volunteering Could Look Like

by Ann Abbott

A student who will be in my "Spanish & Entrepreneurship" course next semester shared with me a series of YouTube videos he made about the University of Illinois. After studying abroad in Costa Rica and spending time with his host family, he wanted to come back and show them a big part of his life in the United States: his college campus.

Watch his introductory video below and click here to see the entire video playlist.

This is a wonderful project for so many reasons, but I'd like to highlight the way it models how language programs can use "virtual volunteering" for community service learning.

If students produced a similar series of videos about bicycle laws in Champaign-Urbana, they could contribute greatly to a real community need. (Many local Latinos ride bicycles, and when the cities recently changed bicycle lanes and began monitoring bicycle traffic more closely, this created a number of problems for our local Latino community.)What if s…