Beloit College International Symposium, November 14, 2018

The International Symposium celebrates Beloit College as an international college. In this seventeenth annual event, 51 student presenters and 29 faculty sponsors and moderators will directly participate as Beloit students share their international studies with the community.

Names of presenters in the schedule link to their abstract. The bars between abstracts link back here. Link to pdf.

Richardson Auditorium, Morse-Ingersoll Hall
 
Moderator: Kate Linnenberg, Department of Sociology
9:00
Kate Linnenberg
Opening remarks
9:05
Enhancing a Beloit Degree with Opportunities Abroad: Our Experience in Northern Ireland
9:30
Kompjúter or tölva? Language Purism and Identity in Iceland
9:55
Fitting Science and Athletics Abroad: Just Do It
10:20
Break
 
 
Moderator: Ted Gries, Department of Chemistry
10:30
Ted Gries
Opening remarks
10:35
More than the Aesthetic: Politics & the Catholic Church in Italian Renaissance Art
11:00
Impacts of Early-Life Stress on the Greek Colony, Himera - Sicily, Italy: An International Collaborative Research Project
11:25
Did I Make a Difference? Reflections from My Experience of the Migrant Crisis in Greece
11:50
Break
 
 
Moderator: Jay Zambito, Department of Geology
1:00
Jay Zambito
Opening remarks
1:05
The Rhino Poaching Crisis of South Africa
1:30
Demanding More than White Washed History: Connecting the Slave Trade in Ghana to US History Classrooms
1:55
Zanzibar Coastal Ecology and Natural Resource Management Study Abroad Program
2:20
Break
 
 
Moderator: Nahir Otaño Gracia, Department of English
2:30
Nahir Otaño Gracia
Opening remarks
2:35
A String of Thread a Day: Sustaining The Textile Tradition Tenun Cepuk in Nusa Penida, Bali, Indonesia
3:00
Syria through Costume Design in Guillermo Calderón’s Kiss
3:25
Is Indonesia Tolerant? Perceptions of ’Unity in Diversity’ in Bali and Java
3:50
End
 
 
Room 150, Science Center
 
Moderator: Elizabeth Brewer and Jessica Fox-Wilson
9:00
Elizabeth Brewer and Jessica Fox-Wilson
Opening remarks
9:05
Beyond Awesome: Putting Study Abroad On Your Resume
10:20
Break
 
 
Moderator: Joy Beckman, Department of Art & Art History
10:30
Joy Beckman
Opening remarks
10:35
Study Abroad and Student Well-Being
11:25
Break
 
 
Moderator: Elizabeth Brewer, International Education
1:00
Elizabeth Brewer
Opening remarks
1:05
Beyond Tourism: Escaping the Bubble Abroad
2:20
Break
 
 
Moderator: Pablo Toral, Department of Political Science
2:30
Pablo Toral
Opening remarks
2:35
Weissberg Program- Applying the Lens of Human Rights and Social Justice
3:00
Wild to Learn: Wilderness Field Research in Canada and the US
3:50
End
 
 
Wood Room, Mayer Hall (second floor)
 
Moderator: Suzanne Cox, Department of Psychology
9:00
Suzanne Cox
Opening remarks
9:05
Creating Extinction: The Forceful Removal of Native Populations for the Sake of “Wilderness” in Canada and the U.S.
9:30
Place, Purpose, and Mining in the Boundary Waters
9:55
How Can Beloit College’s Environmental Justice Major Can Live Up to Its Potential?
10:20
Break
 
 
Moderator: Beth Dougherty, Department of Political Science
10:30
Beth Dougherty
Opening remarks
10:35
The Beloit Way: Learning Outside the Classroom at LA72 in Tenosique, Mexico
11:00
Action to Aid Migrants
11:25
Solidaridad, Paz, y Alegría: Our Summer Salteña in Argentina
11:50
Break
 
 
Moderator: Jermaine Moulton, Department of Economics and Management
1:00
Jermaine Moulton
Opening remarks
1:05
A Philosophical Analysis of the Main Characters in the Dream of the Red Chamber
1:30
Reporting Global from Beijing: Navigating International News in China
1:55
Examining Inclusion and Exoticism within Study Abroad
2:20
Break
 
 
Moderator: Phil Shields, Department of Philosophy & Religious Studies
2:30
Phil Shields
Opening remarks
2:35
Land Fragmentation and Aging Population: Examining Returns to Scale for Rice Production in Japan
3:00
Rural Japan in Transition: Green Tourism
3:50
End
 
 

Abstracts



 Wood 1:55
Sponsor: Joshua Moore

Shruti Bakre '19
Bartlett, Illinois
Majors: Health and Society; Spanish

Examining Inclusion and Exoticism within Study Abroad

 This presentation will examine the ways in which non-"Western" countries become exoticized or underrepresented in study abroad. The accessibility of programs, and the ways in which they are marketed to students either make those places seem very unsafe for students, or romanticize and "other" the communities and people there, creating very harmful power dynamics, naiveness and ignorance among American students. By forming connections with organizations in the countries marked as "unsafe" for various marginalized identities, students will be able to engage hands on with folks advocating for those identities and communities in their country of interest, and gain knowledge on movement building and solidarity networks while being able to learn and engage with their community of interest and having a safe space to build relationships.



 Richardson 9:30
Sponsor: Donna Oliver

Nico Borbely '19
St. Louis, Missouri
Major: Russian

Kompjúter or tölva? Language Purism and Identity in Iceland

 In the month of July 2018, I attended an intermediate-level Icelandic language and culture course at the Árni Magnússon Institute at the University of Iceland in Reykjavik. I built on my beginner-level knowledge I had gained as an FEG student through presentations, debates, linguistic scavenger hunts, and other immersive activities. The course also included several talks about topics concerning Icelandic society and history.

 The Icelandic language is widely known for largely rejecting foreign loanwords, operating on strict policies of linguistic purism that dictate construction of new words from existing roots. The Old Norse spoken by Iceland’s original settlers has remained so preserved in isolation that modern Icelanders can read 600-year old Norse sagas with no more difficulty than modern English speakers reading Dickens’ novels.

 In my symposium, I will discuss the unique historical development of the Icelandic language, the nature of its linguistic purism, its integral role in defining Iceland’s distinct identity, and issues related to globalization and technology which it faces today.



 SC150 10:35
Sponsor: Joshua Moore

Olivia Brimacombe '20
Hampton, United Kingdom
Major: International Political Economy
Minor: Chinese

Kathryn Jane Grams '19
Oregon, Wisconsin
Major: Anthropology

Ezekiel Ross Polken '19
Okemos, Michigan
Major: Creative Writing

Jasper Hideo Ferehawk '19
Los Angeles, California
Majors: Creative Writing; Japanese

Elizabeth Ann Krol '19
Hardwood Heights, Illinois
Majors: Environmental Communications; Art

Faith Virginia Macdonald '19
Sandy Springs, Georgia
Major: Anthropology

Jiming Song '19
Shenyang, China
Major: Psychology

Suzannah Ruth Tebon '19
Stoughton, Wisconsin
Major: Mathematics

Ian Thomas Normoyle '19
Moline, Illinois
Majors: International Political Economics; History

Study Abroad and Student Well-Being

 How does study abroad affect student wellbeing? Well-being is much more than just happiness. It is defined in liberal education as flourishing, independence, self-reliance, engagement in studies, and resilience. The intense experience of moving in and out of your comfort zone and navigating new cultural, social and academic waters is associated with growth in students. This semester, Study Abroad Ambassadors have been studying well-being and how study abroad affects well-being.

 In this two-part session, Ambassadors will share their original research on study abroad and well-being based on Beloit College student evaluations from study abroad. They will share their conclusions and recommendations. In the second part of the session, Ambassadors will illustrate the abstract data by sharing their own personal reflections on how their own study abroad experiences affected their own well-being.



 Wood 10:35
Sponsor: Pablo Toral

Jack Chelsky '20
Appleton, Wisconsin
Majors: International Relations; History
Minor: Latin America and Caribbean Studies

The Beloit Way: Learning Outside the Classroom at LA72 in Tenosique, Mexico

 A true holistic Beloit College experience depends on students learning outside of the classroom. Through funding provided by the Weissberg Human Rights Foundation, this summer I had the fortunate opportunity to intern at LA72, a migrant shelter located 56 kilometers from the Guatemalan border in Tenosique, Mexico for one month. The mission of LA72 is to provide a safe shelter for traveling migrants and refugees for however long they need assistance. I learned about LA72 from a recent Beloit graduate, Laura Savage, during international symposium week last year and decided to apply with my roommate, Nathan Marklin. As an intern, I was able to learn where migrants were going, how they had traveled, why they were traveling and built connections by actively engaging with those in the shelter. Today, migrants and refugees are increasingly politicized across the world. At LA72, I was able to apply the skills and knowledge I have gained as an International Relations student to better understand this complex issue with real life experience. Without the necessary funding, brilliant classmates and encouragement from my professors here at Beloit College, I would have never traveled to Mexico. For these reasons, I am excited to present my symposium to the Beloit College community.



 Wood 9:05
Sponsor: Pablo Toral

Naomi Clear '18
Madison, Wisconsin
Majors: Environmental Justice & Citizenship; Spanish
Minor: Latin American and Caribbean Studies

Creating Extinction: The Forceful Removal of Native Populations for the Sake of “Wilderness” in Canada and the U.S.

 In the United States and in Canada, beginning in the 19th century, native populations were systematically removed from their ancient lands and forced into assimilation programs in efforts to erase their cultures and societies, often in the name of preservation of wilderness, and, more subtly, economic development for white Americans and Canadians. Through this research conducted in June 2018 at the Wilderness Field Station, I aim to answer the following: how did the processes of designating “wilderness areas” in the U.S. and Canada affect native populations? I focus specifically on the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in Minnesota and Quetico Provincial Park in Ontario as a comparative case study. I claim that “wilderness areas” as defined by the governments of the U.S. and Canada have become “white spaces”: areas built by and for white people and exclusionary of other races, ironically built on the systematic removal and silencing of native people. This has only recently begun to be reconciled by the offending governments. To support this claim, I first discuss the process by which native peoples were removed from their land and the governmental justifications for doing so. Second, I explore the consequences that followed the deportations. Third, I analyze how native communities have responded and worked to gain back their sovereignty, and how in turn the governments have attempted to address their violent mistakes. My findings are based on quantitative data collected in Minnesota and Ontario, qualitative data from in-depth interviews with community members, and evidence collected from current literature. I focus on the narratives drawn from these sources, including their informative “silences,” the key elements left out of the narratives.



 Wood 9:30
Sponsor: Pablo Toral

Zachary Day '21
Newton, Massachusetts
Major: Political Science

Place, Purpose, and Mining in the Boundary Waters

 This summer I went to the Boundary Waters Field Station, where I took Pablo Toral’s Environmental Justice course. In this talk I will highlight the complex social challenges facing communities in the Boundary Waters region, including contending economic models that exist in rural Iron Range Minnesota and Ontario. The Boundary Waters is a canoe wilderness possessing about 1,000 of the lakes found in Minnesota. The surrounding areas of Lake Superior, Quetico Provincial park in Canada, Rainy River Basin and Superior National Forest all possess interconnected systems of lakes and rivers. The small town of Ely in Minnesota is especially polarized by competing interests between those that do and do not support a potential copper-nickel mine. People are divided on what the potential effect of the mine could be for both the communities as well as the Boundary Waters, and the Superior National Forest. I intend to illustrate what I learned in the course in regard to economic concerns as well as some of the relevant history that is contextually important to understand the current situation in the Boundary Waters.



 Wood 9:55
Sponsor: Tamara Ketabgian

Clare Eigenbrode '20
Moscow, Idaho
Major: Environmental Studies: Justice and Citizenship
Minors: Spanish; Journalism

How Can Beloit College’s Environmental Justice Major Can Live Up to Its Potential?

 With the support of a Martha and Alan Stutz grant for Summer 2018, I spent 10 weeks in the Bay Area completing an internship with Greenaction for Health and Environmental Justice, a San Francisco-based grassroots nonprofit which was founded in 1997 by urban, rural and Indigenous community leaders. I was chiefly involved with Greenaction’s work in Bayview Hunters Point, a predominantly Black and low-income neighborhood in San Francisco situated adjacent to the former Hunters Point Naval Shipyard, a Superfund site heavily contaminated with toxic and radioactive waste.

 I am an Environmental Studies major at Beloit in the Justice and Citizenship track, and my major is usually shortened to "Environmental Justice," but during my experience with Greenaction, I realized that my program’s curriculum is inadequate to prepare students to work within or alongside the Environmental Justice movement following graduation. In fact, I believe that without my internship, I could have graduated without an understanding of Environmental Justice as its own decades-old grassroots movement.

 At my symposium, I will describe my summer experience as well as my conversations with faculty and peers in the Environmental Studies program about how we can help my major reach its extraordinary potential.



 Wood 11:25
Sponsor: Marina Bergenstock

Samantha Funk '20
Kenosha, Wisconsin
Major: Theatre Arts (performance)
Minors: Spanish; Religious Studies

Robert Heckner '20
Kenosha, Wisconsin
Majors: Classical Philology; Philosophy; Cognitive Science

Solidaridad, Paz, y Alegría: Our Summer Salteña in Argentina

 Working together as two Beloit College students with vastly different areas of study, our projects reflected our varying career interests and our skills while conducting research in Salta, Argentina at CloudHead Art.

 Sam’s project consisted of two different vessels: 1) The program consisted primarily of the overall product of a devised series of theatrical skits regarding issues facing a southern neighborhood in the area, Barrio Solidaridad; and 2) Research in the center of the city that outlined the ways in which art of all kinds was used as an educational tool/model.

 While also working to test the communicative method of teaching English, Robert’s project focused on teaching English to students in a library in Barrio Solidaridad.

 Our symposium focuses on our research and our results; but also the difficulties working with organizations abroad under a different cultural context; the methods of teaching; hostel living; budgeting; eating with specialized diets; internal growth both academically and personally in challenging and changing environments, and much more!



 Richardson 3:25
Sponsor: Jennifer Esperanza

Autumn Gant '19
Chicago, Illinois
Major: Anthropology

Is Indonesia Tolerant? Perceptions of ’Unity in Diversity’ in Bali and Java

  Indonesia is the fourth most populous country in the world, with over 7,000 islands and 300 different ethnicities and languages. Indonesia has six official religions: Islam, Christianity, Catholicism, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Confucianism, and has the largest Muslim population globally. While Bhinneka Tunggal Ika, or Unity in Diversity, is the national motto, social conflict still arises. Through participant observation, informal conversations, and qualitative interviews, I will share my experiences in this presentation, specifically on the role of Bhinneka Tunggal Ika in perceptions of tolerance and difference. In addition, I will discuss my experiences observing the ways in which personal experiences sculpt interpretations of Bhinneka Tunggal Ika among Javanese (Muslim) and Balinese (Hindu) citizens. By investigating the ways in which experiences from culture and religion intersect with the theory of “Unity in Diversity”, I will demonstrate how both young and middle-aged adults put theory into practice. I will discuss factors that lead to the implementation and rejection of Bhinneka Tunggal Ika and methods of improving the strength and sustainability of this important message throughout the country.



 SC150 2:35
Sponsors: Joshua Moore and Elizabeth Brewer

Chloe Jo '21
Sejong-si, Republic of Korea
Major: Undeclared

Alexander (Sasha) Vorlicky '19
New York, New York
Major: International Relations

Jack Chelsky '20
Appleton, Wisconsin
Majors: International Relations; History

Rita Chang '19
St. Louis, Missouri
Majors: Sociology; Political Science
Minor: Spanish

Nana Yamagishi '21
Kumagaya, Japan
Major: Undeclared

Weissberg Program- Applying the Lens of Human Rights and Social Justice

 Issues of human rights and social justice have been emphasized in recent years as at the center of liberal arts educations. Accordingly, the Weissberg Program in Human Rights and Social Justice at Beloit College has inspired and empowered students to not only learn about human rights and social justice but do something about them. This session includes a panel discussion of four current Beloit College students who have actively engaged with the Weissberg Program to pursue their critical inquiry into issues of human rights and social justice and develop skills to address them.

 The panelists will share their valuable learning experience about how they were able to develop skills and perspectives on global human rights and social justice issues past and present through the Weissberg Program. This will be a great opportunity for students, faculty, and staff members of Beloit College to be inspired to explore the field of human rights and social justice more deeply and become motivated to take bold individual and collaborative actions. Panelists will provide specific examples of their experiences, as well as advice on interacting with the Weissberg Program, including applying for funding.



 Wood 3:00
Sponsors: Susan Furukawa and James Rougvie
Yoshitaka Kumagai (Akita International University)

Renny Klein '19
Mt. Vernon, Iowa
Major: Health and Society
Minor: Japanese Language

Ava Krahn '19
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Major: Environmental Geology, Studio Art

Mikino Kumagai '20
Maui, Hawaii
Major: Health and Society

Parker Blunt '20
Rock City, Illinois
Major: Anthropology
Minor: English

Shino Yamamura
Fukuoka, Japan
Major: Education

Qiannan Zhao '20
Yunnan Province, China
Major: Business Economics
Minor: Japanese Language

Rural Japan in Transition: Green Tourism

 Akita is aging and depopulating more precipitously than any other prefecture in Japan which has resulted in loss of agricultural land and rural lifestyle. A group of students from Beloit and Akita International University spent three weeks interviewing farmers in Semboku City to explore the role Green Tourism can play in sustaining rural communities. As a result of this research, we found that Green Tourism: 1) Increases farmers prides to continue farming and desire to interact with people which revitalizes the community, 2) Provides an outlet to share lifeways with people outside of the community, 3) Educates youth and farmers about the value of rural lives and agriculture, and 4) Plays a large role in sustaining agriculture and landscape involving people both inside and outside of the community.

 Green Tourism appears to be a short-term solution. It positively impacts the lives of individuals participating in Green Tourism by bringing new energy into the community, but the community still struggles with depopulation. Despite this, Green Tourism is an important first step in exploring other potential ways to revitalize rural communities dealing with aging and depopulation.




 Richardson 2:35
Sponsor: Jennifer Esperanza
Bebali Foundation (I Gede Nyoman Bayu Wirayudha)

Ilyssa Kosova '20
Chicago, Illinois
Major: Anthropology

A String of Thread a Day: Sustaining The Textile Tradition Tenun Cepuk in Nusa Penida, Bali, Indonesia

 During my time in Indonesia, I completed a study of the textile tenun cepuk on the island of Nusa Penida, Bali. In doing so, I investigated the contextual history of Balinese empowered textiles and unique history of Nusa Penida island. Tenun cepuk is an expensive, labor intensive, and time consuming textile to produce. Yet, once woven, tenun cepuk yields protectionist powers against unwanted spirits and is regarded as a sacred object in Nusa Penida. Despite its religious importance, in 2017, handwoven and naturally dyed tenun cepuk is now considered an endangered art form. Through researching tenun cepuk’s history, as well as working and living with the only family currently weaving it with natural dye, I investigate the past, present, and future of this single weft-ikat handwoven fabric.



 Richardson 9:55
Sponsors: Kristin Labby and George Lisensky

Christopher Krueger '19
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Major: Biochemistry

Melissa Pelkey '19
Franklin, Wisconsin
Majors: Biochemistry; Spanish

Monica Smith '19
Mount Carroll, Illinois
Major: Biochemistry
Minor: Environmental Studies

Fitting Science and Athletics Abroad: Just Do It

 Fitting the scheduling demands of a science major, athletics, and a semester abroad can be a challenging but rewarding experience. Our panel of athletes from the biochemistry program will provide insight into the possibility and benefits of studying abroad. They will also give advice and encouragement for those interested in studying abroad, but concerned of the time commitment based on their own experience of taking a semester off campus.

 Chris is a member of the Beloit lacrosse team and studied at the University of Glasgow in the fall of 2017. He will discuss the opportunities going abroad provides for undergraduate students. In particular, an opportunity to take courses that Beloit does not offer and how he was able to keep playing lacrosse and develop leadership qualities by coaching and playing for the University of Glasgow lacrosse team.

 Melissa is a member of the cross country and track teams who studied at the University of Alicante through CIEE in the fall of 2017. She will be talking about the challenge of going abroad as a two-sport athlete. Melissa is also a biochemistry and Spanish double major and will be discussing how she was able to fit going abroad into her schedule with both science and language curriculum and how to incorporate athletics and scientific development into an abroad term.

 Monica is the Beloit softball team’s manager and studied at the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand, in the fall of 2017. She is a biochemistry major and environmental studies minor and will be talking about her experiences taking science courses abroad and navigating new environments. She will also discuss the importance of maintaining relationships with your team after a semester off-campus.



 Richardson 10:35
Sponsor: Kristin Bonnie

Morgan Lippert '21
Williams Bay, Wisconsin
Major: History
Minor: Museum Studies

More than the Aesthetic: Politics & the Catholic Church in Italian Renaissance Art

 Italian Renaissance art is more than something to admire; the most widely-celebrated works are often the ones that hold the most symbolic and political meaning. Through focusing on the relationship between the Catholic Church and the artists they commissioned over the years, I was able to grasp the complex nature of the messages behind the facades of timeless masterpieces.

 Conducted over ten days this summer in the cities of Venice, Rome, and Florence, my study through the Field Experience Program explored these underlying politics of society’s most renowned works of art. It was through these interactions that I witnessed the extent of the dominance of the Catholic Church during this time period and in what ways this dominance clashed with the often-provocative works of well-known artists such as Michelangelo, Da Vinci, and Raphael.

 I encourage art aficionados and amateurs alike to attend this symposium in the hopes of displaying how power plays by both the Church and its artists exhibit political discord in a way that allows the audience to view the works we all love in an unconventional manner.



 Wood 2:35
Sponsors: Susan Furukawa and Darlington Sabasi

Yuxin Liu '18
Xi’an, China
Majors: Business Economics; Japanese Language and Culture

Land Fragmentation and Aging Population: Examining Returns to Scale for Rice Production in Japan

 Rice is not only Japan’s staple food but also played an important role throughout Japanese histories, such as being a symbol of wealth. Japan’s rice production can be traced back to the third century B.C., and its well-developed production model has also been applied to many other crops around the country. In this talk, I investigate Japan’s rice production from both2 cultural and economic perspectives.

 I focus on two main issues: land fragmentation and the aging trend. Firstly, land fragmentation, in which multiple plots of the farm are separated, is a common phenomenon in Japan. Secondly, there is an aging and depopulation trend in Japan, which causes significant pressure in the economy, especially in the agricultural industry’s labor market. In addition to the declining birthrate, most rice fields are located in rural areas, whereas many young people want to move to big cities.

 Using data from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries (MAFF), and a linear regression model, I examine the impact of the aging population and land fragmentation on returns to scale on Japan’s rice production. I hypothesize that both the aging agricultural labor force and land fragmentation negatively affect Japan’s rice production. Based on my finding, I investigate solutions for how to sustain Japan’s rice production such as rural revitalization projects implemented by the government and local autonomous organizations.



 Richardson 9:05
Sponsor: Kristin Labby
Andrew Mills (Queen’s University Belfast)

Alexander Lyon '19
Yarmouth, Maine
Major: Biochemistry
Minor: Environmental Studies

Jonathan Palmer '19
Hopkins, Minnesota
Major: Biochemistry
Minor: Philosophy

Enhancing a Beloit Degree with Opportunities Abroad: Our Experience in Northern Ireland

 While Beloit offers a breadth of courses and degrees, some students’ interests fall through the cracks of what is available here. A liberal arts education encourages a well rounded course selection, but the small size of Beloit limits students’ options. Going abroad gives students an incredible opportunity to explore their interests or try something completely new that they wouldn’t be able to find at Beloit.

 Jonathan and Alex are biochemistry majors, and studied at Queen’s University Belfast in Northern Ireland last Spring. Jonathan investigated future career opportunities by studying medicinal chemistry and participating in research with postgraduate students on advancing the way we treat wounds and cuts. Alex took advantage of Belfast’s renown marine science facilities to broaden scientific field experience. Both Jonathan and Alex utilized their time in a foreign country to dive into the history and politics of the region.

 We fully believe that taking these opportunities made us more dynamic students and allowed for a more effective study abroad experience.



 SC150 1:05
Sponsor: Elizabeth Brewer

Madeline Madison '19
Hagerstown, Maryland
Major: Psychology
Minor: Political Science

Everett Baxter '19
South Holland, Illinois
Major: Molecular Cellular Integrative Biology
Minor: Japanese

Gretel O’Donnell '19
Chicago, Illinois
Major: Environmental Studies Justice and Citizenship
Minor: Studio Art

Beyond Tourism: Escaping the Bubble Abroad

 Beloit College students often talk about the Beloit College “bubble,” meaning that their life at college is so focused on campus life that they rarely feel at ease in the City of Beloit. This can result in students having difficulty breaking through the “new bubbles” they encounter abroad.

 This workshop will help prepare students to break through the bubbles they may encounter as study abroad students, while also exploring ways to break through the “Beloit bubble.” Through a series of interactive activities they will analyze (writing/sharing, mental mapping and concept mapping, and postcard making), how they perceive their hometowns, the city of Beloit, and their future temporary homes abroad.

 Participants will leave the workshop with strategies on how to break through bubbles no matter where they encounter them.



 Wood 11:00
Sponsor: Christina Eddington

Nathan Marklin '21
Evansville, Indiana
Major: Philosophy
Minor: Spanish

Action to Aid Migrants

 Poverty, violence, extortion, and corruption are just some of the elements that are part of everyday life in Central America. These elements forcefully displace people from their homes, turning them into migrants who are then viewed as political questions. These migrants face quick solutions including Programa Frontera Sur and Trump’s infamous Wall. Programa reveals that solutions made to mitigate migratory pressures are largely ineffective and expensive. Not to simplify an issue that’s deeply complicated, but instead of adopting approaches that halt migrants, America should invest in core problems that are creating migrants. Alleviating the pressure pushing people from their homes, I argue, would be both economically efficient and longer lasting than militarizing and blockading borders.

 The striking number of migrants received at La 72 – a migrant camp where I volunteered this past summer -- make it clear that Central America (namely Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras) is in danger. It’s in danger of not only possessing elements pushing everyone out, but of being responsible for one of the biggest refugee crises in modern times. Conditions of poverty and violence have become so unlivable in Central America that embarking on a cross-country trek full of uncertainty and scorn is safer than staying. According to many migrants, it’s nearly impossible to find a sustainable source of income. Even if found, violence alone is enough to ruin life. Central America has three of the five countries with the highest homicide rates in the world—no wonder people are leaving.

 What can we Americans do about this? Most obviously — they can get involved. Whether it be volunteering, voting, or simply rethinking migration, involvement is crucial to addressing the current crisis. Working toward a meaningful plan, not a quick fix, is what’s needed now more than ever.



 SC150 9:05
Sponsors: Elizabeth Brewer and Jessica Fox-Wilson

Gretel O’Donnell '19
Chicago, Illinois
Major: Environmental Studies Justice and Citizenship
Minor: Studio Art

Everett Baxter '19
South Holland, Illinois
Major: Molecular Cellular Integrative Biology
Minor: Japanese

Madeline Madison '19
Hagerstown, Maryland
Major: Psychology
Minor: Political Science

Beyond Awesome: Putting Study Abroad On Your Resume

 According to some studies, 50% of managers who are sent overseas for jobs fail, because they are unable to shift perspective, adjust to different ways of working, and navigate unfamiliar cultural settings. Such operational skills are, in fact, needed no matter whether one works in one’s home country or abroad.

 Research has found that studying abroad helps students develop the operational skills employers (and graduate schools) look for. However, students often return from study abroad unable to clearly express what they learned. Thus, they find themselves reducing an entire, complex, semester or year abroad to an empty word such as "great." But "great" or "awesome" do not capture meaningful details on crucial life experiences that can be transferable.

 Our workshop, “Beyond Awesome”, will help students articulate lessons from their study abroad more confidently and concisely so that they can demonstrate, in applications, resumes, cover letters, and interviews, the relevance of skills developed during study abroad to post-graduation activities, such as jobs, graduate studies, and fellowships.

 "Beyond Awesome" will begin with a panel discussion in which alumni will talk about the relevance of study abroad to their career development. Next, storytelling techniques will be reviewed, followed by small group work in which participants will practice telling stories of the operational skills they developed while studying abroad. Participants should leave the workshop better prepared to put study abroad on their resumes.

 The workshop will be beneficial to students with all kinds of study abroad experiences, whether they studied abroad for a semester or year or did a project abroad in the summer, or they came to Beloit College as an international exchange or degree-seeking student.



 Richardson 1:55
Sponsor: Susan Swanson
Richard Walz (SIT)

Jennifer Pantelios '19
Chicago, Illinois
Major: Environmental Geology
Minors: Biology; Political Science

Zanzibar Coastal Ecology and Natural Resource Management Study Abroad Program

 During spring of 2018, I traveled to the Zanzibar Archipelago off the coast of mainland Tanzania. My main learning goals during study abroad were to learn ecological research methods, to study Swahili, and to gain a better understanding of the culture of Zanzibar. The first month was spent on Unguja, the larger of the two Zanzibar islands. There I was taught to identify and survey oceanic organisms. In an excursion to Jozani National Forest, I had the opportunity to conduct surveys of endemic Red Colubus Monkeys and mangroves with my peers. In Pemba, the smaller Zanzibar island, I learned about sustainable farming. In mainland Tanzania, I attended lectures on national park conservation practices at the University of Dar es Salaam, and I had a few days to visit Mikumi National Park. At the end of my time in Zanzibar, I also conducted an independent census survey of the frogs and toads in Ngezi Forest, which has high biodiversity considering the small size of the forest. At the start of my program I attended Swahili lessons led by four talented instructors, and I had the opportunity to strengthen my language skills through conversations with community members and my host families. In Paje and Mangapawni (two towns of Unguja), a few classmates and I were assigned to conduct informal interviews of community members on social science topics of our choice. During my entire program experience I was hosted by three families, one in Unguja and two in Pemba. My families were accommodating of my dietary needs, and I have endless appreciation for everything they did to support me as their guest and daughter. Although it can be a challenge to be away from the familiarity of my own home and life, my time in Zanzibar was overall an unbelievably amazing and heartening experience.



 Richardson 11:00
Sponsor: Leslie Williams
Dr. Britney Kyle; Dr. Laurie Reitsema (University of Northern Colorado; University of Georgia - Athens)

Mustafa Quadir '20
Karachi, Pakistan
Majors: Anthropology; Biochemistry

Impacts of Early-Life Stress on the Greek Colony, Himera - Sicily, Italy: An International Collaborative Research Project

 Greek expansion from the 8th to the 6th century BCE resulted in the establishment of permanent settlements (apoikas) across the Mediterranean. The ‘Bioarchaeology of Mediterranean Colonies Project’ (BMCP), which began in 2008 and is co-directed by Drs. Britney Kyle and Laurie Reitsema, brings together international researchers specializing in archaeology, classics, genetics and bioarchaeology to examine culture contact and human adaptation resulting from Greek colonization throughout the Mediterranean. The BMCP has examined community health and trajectories of social change in colonies and mother-cities across the Mediterranean and examines the relationship between historical accounts of early colonial interaction and archaeological and bioarchaeological evidence.

 In 2016, the BMCP began its most recent case-study of the Greek colony Himera, Sicily (648-409 BCE). Westward expansion made Sicily, Italy’s largest island, a valuable territory for commerce and military power, and therefore a site of temporal migration and culture contact. As a student-researcher on this project, I used a biocultural approach to better understand early-life stress and its effects on later-life mortality risk at Himera. During development, environmental stressors can cause a physiological disruption in our body. In the case of teeth, this disruption often affects enamel synthesis, leaving a permanent mark on the dentition. In this research-project, 60 permanent canines were thin-sectioned and analyzed for internal-enamel-defects (Wilson Bands), and stress-chronologies were performed on 15 teeth. This presentation will overview the methods used, implications of results, and discuss the research process, including the experience of collaborating with peers, mentors and an international team of researchers.

 This research was funded by National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates award numbers 1560227 and 1560158, the University of Georgia, and the University of Northern Colorado.



 Richardson 3:00
Sponsor: Shelbi Wilkin

Kerry Vincent Randazzo '20
Portland, Maine
Major: Environmental Art and Theatre Production

Syria through Costume Design in Guillermo Calderón’s Kiss

 From May to October of 2018, I researched and designed the costumes for Beloit College’s production of Guillermo Calderón’s play Kiss. Kiss is a story about cultural and artistic translations which is set in Syria during the peak period of the Syrian Civil War.

 I will discuss my design process for the piece from page to stage and provide context for the specific choices I made in light of my research on how politics and culture of contemporary Syria impact clothing and dress.



 Richardson 1:05
Sponsor: Kristin Bonnie

Lydia Sancetta '19
Acton, Massachusetts
Major: IDST Animal Behavior

The Rhino Poaching Crisis of South Africa

 This past summer I traveled to South Africa to volunteer with Care for Wild Africa. Care for Wild is a rhino orphanage and wildlife rehabilitation facility in the Barberton mountain range. With almost 3 rhinos poached per day in South Africa alone the populations of these keystone species are dwindling. Why is this happening? What can be done? And what happens if the rhino was a mother? You will have to be here to find out.



 Wood 1:30
Sponsor: John Rapp

Qu Sihan '19
Suzhou, China
Majors: Political Science; History

Reporting Global from Beijing: Navigating International News in China

 I spent the past summer in Caixin’s newsroom as an editorial intern in its international department. Established in 2009 by Hu Shuli, a prominent Chinese journalist, Caixin is a leading professional, non-governmental news agency in the country. Reporting in China can be frustrating for Chinese journalists, given the restrictions set by the authorities and an inconsistent though heavily regulated cyberspace.

 Nevertheless, this internship gave me valuable insights on how reporting works in a heavily regulated system. Chinese reporters, like their Western counterparts, strive to bring truth to the general public. By occasionally departing from the propaganda department’s directives, they risk pressure and retaliation from the state. This summer was especially eventful, as China is expanding its overseas investments, faces deteriorating relations with the West, and has been witnessing growing online activism.

 In this presentation, I’d like to share stories from my worksite and beyond. Outside the newsroom, I met a group of Chinese news practitioners who work for state or provincial media outlets such as the Paper as well as Chinese nationals who assist non-mainland news agencies, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, and the South China Morning Post. From their accounts, I was better able to comprehend the complicated nature of the news sector in China and to generalize about overall sentiments among the Chinese public and its media informers.



 Richardson 1:30
Sponsor: William New

Shelby Strehlow '19
Parchment, Michigan
Majors: Education Youth Studies; Sociology
Minor: Health & Society

Demanding More than White Washed History: Connecting the Slave Trade in Ghana to US History Classrooms

 Ghana, previously known as the Gold Coast, is home to over 40 slave castles. These castles were originally used for the trade of gold and mahogany between European settlers and native Ghanaians but were rebuilt for the purpose of trading slaves. From 15th to the 19th centuries, during the period of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade these castles were used to hold and export millions of slaves to the Americas and the Caribbean. During my time in Ghana last spring, I was fortunate enough to be able to visit two of the most famous slave castles, Cape Coast Castle and Elmina Castle. These traveling experiences taught me more than any history class could.

 Like many white, middle class, publicly educated students, my education on slavery up to my point of travel was quite minimal. Throughout elementary, middle and high school, slavery was only briefly touched on for limited periods of time and the story was often times told through textbooks who which were written by white males who failed to capture the view from inside slavery, viewing the experience through a lens of power. In many cases this can paint quite a different picture, a picture that some describe as ‘White Washed History’. Once I traveled to Ghana and visited the castles, I realized how my education about slavery and Africa had failed not only myself but countless others as well.

 My presentation will dive into my personal journey of learning, not only about the slave trade in Ghana but also how the slave trade transcended to America and how slavery still effects the country which we live in today.



 Wood 1:05
Sponsor: Daniel Youd

Shan Tang '18
Xi’an, China
Major: Chinese Studies (self-designed)

A Philosophical Analysis of the Main Characters in the Dream of the Red Chamber

 The Dream of the Red Chamber is an encyclopaedia of eighteenth-century Chinese life. A masterpiece of Chinese literature, it describes the lives of many different kinds of people, from aristocrats to those of lower stations. Many people regard it as a tragic romantic novel, but that is superficial, as its philosophical meaning is, in fact, much deeper. In this talk, I enter into detailed analyses of the novel’s main characters in order to demonstrate this point. The first and the most important is the male hero: Jia Baoyu. Next are the female characters who surround him in life: Wang Xifeng, who represents extreme materialism worldly power; Lin Daiyu, who represents purity and otherworldly detachment; and Xue Baochai, who integrates these two extremes. Although often disliked by readers of the novel, Xue Baochai nevertheless attempts a synthesis and integration of apparently opposite attitudes towards life.



 Richardson 11:25
Sponsor: Pablo Toral

Alex Villegas '19
Lake Geneva, Wisconsin
Majors: International Relations; History
Minor: Law and Justice Studies

Did I Make a Difference? Reflections from My Experience of the Migrant Crisis in Greece

 In 2015, amidst the largest humanitarian crisis since the end of WWII, the island of Lesvos, Greece, quickly rose to international attention as the site of the highest volume of migrant traffic, seeing at least 250 people arriving per day within the first six months of the year. Nearly three years later, Lesvos’ situation has by no means been resolved. The island continues to attract migrant traffic, in addition to thousands of people from multiple Asian and African countries residing in what were meant to be temporary refugee camps, waiting on increasingly hollow promises that the next stage of their journey to a safer life would come soon. In December 2017, I had the opportunity to visit Lesvos and work with a small NGO.

 Headlines concerning the Migrant Crisis discuss it in detached, statistical terms that do not reflect the humanity of the situation at hand. Yet, the most profound memories I have from Lesvos are experiences with individuals I encountered while distributing food and clothing from a converted warehouse. Media accounts did not impart the story of the woman I met who fled Afghanistan with her husband to avoid being caught by the Taliban, or the Syrian and Iraqi leaders working as translators and organizers for our group. Nor did the media tell me of the children experiencing the deplorable conditions of the camps, or the Congolese women I spoke with who were only able to communicate amongst themselves and the handful of Francophone volunteers on the island.

 Having returned to the United States in May 2018, my time on Lesvos continues to impact my conduct as a scholar of history and international relations. More importantly, it has pushed me to reflect on what role I had there, and whether or not it made a bit of difference. Did my status as an American citizen matter? What, exactly, did I do to help, and what did I get back from it? Did I even possibly make things worse, by making other people have to take care of me instead of those we were there to serve? Did I make a positive contribution to the outcome of this ongoing event? Ultimately, these are not questions I have necessarily been able to answer. They are instead examples of the ethical and moral issues I continue to wrestle with when I consider the impact I may have had. I hope you will join me to take a look at these issues, and the stories that inspired them in the first place.



 SC150 3:00
Sponsor: Pablo Toral
Pablo Toral (Coe’s Wilderness Field Station)

Yiqiang Wang '18
Beijing, China
Majors: Cognitive Science; Political Science

Jack Chelsky '19
Appleton, Wisconsin
Majors: History; International Relations

Naomi Clear '18
Madison, Wisconsin
Majors: Environmental Justice and Citizenship; Spanish
Minor: Latin American and Caribbean Studies

Madeline Gaebler '19
Chicago, Illinois
Major: Environmental Justice and Citizenship

Robert Avery '20
Middlebury, Vermont
Majors: Anthropology; Spanish

Alexander Villegas '19
Lake Geneva, Wisconsin
Majors: History; International Relations
Minor: Law and Justice

Zachary Day '21
Newton, Massachusetts
Major: Political Science

Wild to Learn: Wilderness Field Research in Canada and the US

 Research suggests that students learn best when the classroom experience is complemented by a field component. Potential employers and graduate programs in many disciplines require or expect applicants to have a proven record of applied field research. This round-table discussion brings together students who have conducted significant field research courses in the Boundary Waters/Quetico canoe wilderness areas of the United States and Canada. The students will highlight what they learned about applied field research methods. Their case studies come from communities in the proximity of the wilderness, giving them an opportunity to study how communities make a living in the Midwest’s most protected environmental space. The panelists will also reflect on how field studies can further an environmental education that allows for academic, professional, and personal growth. Finally, the presenters will offer advise for those looking to add a field research experience to their undergraduate education.



Funding for International Opportunities for Beloit College students

  • Benjamin Gilman Scholarships support costs associated with study abroad for Pell Grant recipients. See http://www.iie.org/programs/gilman-scholarship-program. Applications are due the semester prior to the study abroad.
  • Class of 2008, Burris, Schroeder and Luke Somers Scholarships for off-campus study. For Beloit College students with significant financial need. No application required.
  • Boren Scholarship for the study of less commonly-taught languages in world regions considered critical to U.S. interests. U.S. citizenship required. See https://www.borenawards.org/boren_scholarship/basics.htm. Applications are due in January.
  • Freeman Asia Scholarship. Support for U.S. students with significant financial need to study in selected countries in Asia. See https://www.iie.org/freeman-asia
  • Scholarships made available by study abroad providers. See individual program information. For example, CIEE and SIT match Pell Grants.
  • International Education Grant for summer projects that "enable students to apply their studies to an international context".
  • Weissberg Human Rights Grant for off-campus research, internships and conference attendance in the field of human rights.
  • Venture Grant for current sophomores to participate in entrepreneurial, self-testing, or intellectually challenging projects that benefit both the student(s) involved and others. Projects may be of a personal, service, or commercial character, and may be completed independently or through an organization.
  • Bacon Super-Vision Fellowship for participating in any low-paid or unpaid summer internship.
  • Class of 1986 Field Experience Fellowship for current juniors participating in any low-paid or unpaid summer internship.
  • Mikva-Cohen Endowed Internship Fund for pursuing intensive summer internships with a preference for experiential opportunities in three areas: performing arts, social justice activism, and practical politics.
  • Martha and Alan Stutz Grant Fund awarded for travel and research abroad, living expenses associated with summer internships, off-campus research and travel. While open to students in all disciplines, preference is given to students in Art History, Anthropology and/or Museum Studies who will commit to presenting at the Student Symposium.
  • Society for Learning Unlimited Grant for Internships or Community-based Research for community-based academic study during the summer or academic year.

  • Many of the students presenting in this International Symposium received funding for their projects and studies from one of these sources. Thanks are due to the donors who make these opportunities possible.

    The Symposium is organized by George Lisensky, Chemistry Department.

    The word cloud was created by G. Lisensky using the Symposium abstracts and www.wordclouds.com. The larger the font for a given word, the more frequently that word appears in the abstracts.


    Link to the online program

    See pdf abstracts for previous International Symposia: