Three FLL students won undergraduate research awards:
Aenia Amin, triple major in NEUR, PSYC, & Hispanic Studies ·
Spencer Jackson, double major in Biology and French · and
Anna Lawrence, double major in Hispanic Studies and ANTH, who is working with Stephen Fafulas of FLL.
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Jessica Rassau, senior in Classical Studies and the Honors College, and Kyle Binaxas, a double major in Russian Studies/Psychology, have received Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity (URCA) Awards in support of their research. Jessica is studying abroad in Italy and Greece, researching ancient Spartan military culture and Spartan participation in the Persian Wars. Kyle's project grew out of his spring 2014 readings with Prof. Murenina on Aesthetic Choices in Soviet Animation and the Thaw of the 1960s. He is currently working with Prof. Hernandez in the Dept. of History.
For many years, ECU Hispanic Studies majors have been selected as Cultural Ambassadors to teach English in Spain. In 2014-15, Robert Colson and Mario Becerra are serving as language and cultural assistants in Spanish schools. These cultural exchanges are transformative experiences, often leading our majors to pursue graduate education in country.
Cassidy Ann Cloninger: Úbeda (Jaén)
Erika Nassar: very close to Granada, capital
Robert Colson: El Palmar de Troya (Sevilla)
Mario Becerra: Mallorca, applying for MA programs in Spain
Erika Nassar: very close to Granada, capital, accepted into an MA program in Spain
Students often pursue opportunities like this for a gap year between undergraduate and graduate school. They receive a work visa (apply from the Consulate in D.C), medical insurance, and a monthly stipend of ca. $1,000. The work commitment is approximately 12-16 hours per week.
M. Rachel Mehaffey, EC Scholar
BS Chemistry, BS Applied Physics, Hispanic Studies minor
Future Plans: Pursuing a PhD in Chemistry and Physics at UT Austin
Mariah Richards, BS Hispanic Studies Education
Future Plans: Graduate School, MA in Spanish and Latin American
Linguistic, Literary and Cultural Studies, NYU in Madrid
This year’s recipient, MICHAEL VEALE, is a junior from Charlotte double majoring in Theatre Arts and German. Thanks to the award, Michael is spending this academic year as a student at the Freie Universität in Berlin, Germany, where he is taking advantage of the educational and cultural opportunities available to him as a resident of a major European city. ECU’s program in German is 1 of only 5 in the United States to have had an undergraduate receive a DAAD Undergraduate Scholarship in each of the last four years, and the only program in the entire Southeast to do so. These four scholarships represent approximately $45,000 in external funding for ECU undergraduates to pursue their studies in German and other fields of interest at an institution of higher learning in Germany. In Michael’s case, the German faculty would like to thank the faculty and staff of the School of Theatre and Dance, in particular Prof. John Shearin, Prof. Hector Garza, and Prof. Gregory Funaro. Their support of Michael’s candidacy was unwavering and much appreciated.
On February 8, Mario Becerra and Briceida Rodriguez, who are completing a BA in Hispanic Studies and are student members of the SoCIOLing (Study of Community Involvement and Outreach & Linguistics) Lab, presented the poster ‘A sociolinguistic analysis of morphosyntactic phenomena in the Spanish of Pitt County: A pilot study’ at the SLINKI (Spanish Linguistics in North Carolina) Conference held at Appalachian State University, and again at the Southeastern Conference on Linguistics (SECOL) in North Myrtle Beach in March. Under the mentorship by Dr. Stephen Fafulas and Dr. Ricard Viñas-de-Puig, the students summarized the results of the research project in which they investigated the expression of future and clitic doubling constructions by native Spanish speakers from Pitt County.
Kendra Beaty (German) had her paper, "German Television: Really “German” or Forever an American Reproduction?," approved for presentation for The National Conference on Undergraduate Research in 2012 at Weber State University in Ogden Utah.
"I hope to go back to school in the future, but I have many interests so my plans are uncertain. For now, I am working for Homeland Security in the D.C. area. I am proudest of my thesis, my small role in Aristophanes' Lysistrata, and helping with the 24 hour recitation of Homer's Odyssey LIVE! I enjoyed every moment I had with the classics department. I am glad I took 8 levels of Latin. Also, speaking at the First Annual Classics Convocation. Foreign Languages open many doors. It allows you to communicate with and understand other cultures. It also makes you better at your own language. I learned more about English grammar and vocabulary from foreign languages than in any English course. I took 4 foreign languages at ECU & I loved each one in a different way."
Amber is 2011-2012 Phi Kappa Phi Outstanding Senior. "I plan on attending the Brody School of Medicine in the fall. After completing medical school, I hope to improve access to primary health care for underserved Hispanic populations in rural eastern North Carolina. I am proud of studying abroad in Santander, Spain in Fall 2009, graduating summa cum laude, as an East Carolina Scholar in the University Honors Program, receiving the Fullerton Foundation Medical Scholarship, being Inducted into the 2011 and 2012 ECU Servire Society for Community Service, being named 2011-2012 Phi Kappa Phi Outstanding Senior Award, and being named 2012 Outstanding Senior for Hispanic Studies, and lastly of my senior thesis research project in physiology: "Protective effects of the soluble guanylate cyclase activator BAY 60-2770." Studying foreign language as a major challenges you to become immersed in a new language and culture different from your own. Through study abroad, your perspectives of people are changed and you develop into a mature, global individual."
I will be attending the University of Missouri in the fall to pursue a Masters degree in French. After receiving my MA, I would either like to teach at the high school level, or perhaps pursue a doctorate and enter the university level. My proudest achievement at ECU is the Fleming-Perry scholarship that I received in the spring of 2011. Majoring in a foreign language is important because it allows you to learn about another culture and communicate with people from that culture. Also, the job possibilities are endless. You can teach, work in international relations or affairs, or even be a professional translator. Lastly, learning, reading, and speaking a foreign language is fun! I wanted to add that the French faculty at ECU are so kind. I was so nervous during my first day of college, but the French faculty made that nervousness go away. The diverse backgrounds of the faculty made my French studies very interesting!