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Distinguished Alumni & Emerging Leader Awards

Nominations due March 31st

UCEAP is excited to again offer two alumni awards, the Linda Duttenhaver Distinguished Alumni Award and the UCEAP Emerging Leader Award.

Named after one of UCEAP's strongest supporters and a program alumna herself, the Linda Duttenhaver Distinguished Alumni Award honors an alumna or alumnus who has a record of extraordinary service or achievement in their field and has made a significant impact on the global community. In 2014 Dr. Alice Kaplan, the John M. Musser Professor of French at Yale University, was selected for the inaugural Linda Duttenhaver Distinguished Alumni Award. Dr. Kaplan studied with UCEAP in Bordeaux, France in 1973-74, while a student at UC Berkeley.

The UCEAP Emerging Leader Award focuses on an alumna or alumnus who completed a UCEAP program within the past 15 years and exhibits outstanding leadership and a passion for study abroad, global issues or international education. The 2014 UCEAP Emerging Leader Award was given to Josue Lopez Calderon (pictured above), a Business Development Specialist at the U.S. Treasury Department. Josue studied at Thammasat University, Thailand in 2010 while an undergraduate at UCLA.

UCEAP is pleased to highlight the many and varied accomplishments of our alumni through these awards. Nominations are now being accepted and both awards will be presented at the 2015 Annual Conference in June. The deadline for submitting a nomination is March 31, 2015. Please share this information with any faculty, staff, and alumni who might be interested in submitting a nomination. Please contact with any questions.

A Light in the Darkness

Berlin's 25th Anniversary of the Mauerfall

Written by Michael Sitkin, UC Davis History Major at Humboldt University (2014-15)

"A crowd, shivering, and gently murmuring in the November night watches a single, dim light rise through the misty air. Friends nudge one another, and parents hoist children on to their shoulders...They're all watching history unfold itself. Or rather, repeat itself. For they are standing ten meters from what used to be a jagged scar running through the heart of Germany, the dividing line which tore families, lives, and whole worlds apart: The Berlin Wall.

The display of November 9, the so-called 'Light Wall, (Lichtgrenze)' held a special meaning for the crowds gathered to see the spectacle. The release into the night sky of over 5,000 LED-lit balloons lining the trace of the former barrier was months, if not years, in the making. To be part of that shivering crowd, a part of a visceral memorial to the tragedies and triumphs of a people foreign and other to oneself, is an unforgettable experience one can only have after total and complete immersion within that people."

Reforma o Ruptura: One Year Post-Elections in Chile

Round table discussion organized by UCEAP students & faculty

Moderated by UCEAP Chile-Argentina Study Center Director Luis Martin-Cabrera (UCSD), a roundtable discussion was held at the University of Chile's Philosophy and Humanities department to discuss how Chile's various social issues have changed (or not) since last year's presidential elections. 

Among the speakers were former presidential candidate, Roxana Miranda, former president of the University of Chile student federation, Melissa Sepulveda, a member of the largest high school political movement ACES, Lorenza Soto, and, the spokesperson from FENAPO, an organization that advocates for decent housing in Chile.

State of the Art Research in Singapore

Internship offers life-changing opportunity

Recent UC Berkelely alumna, Katherine Trinh, spent summer 2014 in Singapore performing research through UCEAP's internship program with the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). She was given the "best student presentation award" and submitted the following about her time in Singapore:

"Three months ago, I embarked on my journey to Southeast Asia. The majority of my time abroad was spent in the Yawata Lab, feeding my curiosity for science and pursuing my passion for research at the Singapore Institute of Clinical Sciences. Under the guidance, support, and mentorship of Dr. Yawata, I worked to help develop a way to activate the immune system in order to fight cancers like Leukemia and Myeloma. I also isolated stem cells from adipose tissue, evaluated an unnamed polymer’s effects on adhesive mammalian cells, and searched for new Killer-cell immunoglobin-like receptor (KIR) genes in cynomologous macaques, an upcoming model organism. 

I did not doubt for a second that traveling to Singapore for an internship under the Agency of Science, Technology, and Research was the correct move to advance my career in science and medicine, but now, nearing the end of my journey, I can say without any hesitation that it was also the right life move. Thank you to the entire Yawata Lab for all you have taught me, to the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship and the Steven M. Klosko Memorial Scholarship for making this possible, and Reach the World for making this adventure more than just my own."

Giving Thanks in Ghana 

Blending American and Ghanaian traditions

UCEAP students at the University of Ghana celebrated the traditional American Thanksgiving dinner with turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, apple pie and all the fixings. They also enjoyed African drumming, dance and student musical performances as they explained to Ghanaian friends, roommates and professors the similarities with African harvest festivals that focus on themes of family reunion, thankfulness for life’s blessings and the harvest needed to sustain life.

Also at the feast, UCEAP staff launched volume four of From California to Ghana: Learning and Adjusting Through Education Abroad Programs. This book contains student essays on a wide range of topics such as development, foreign aid, identity, health and wellness, history, culture, and social interactions. To order a copy, contact the Ghana study center by January 15th. 

Lastly, Thanksgiving included a day of service coordinated by UCD student Jenna Guffy and Resident Director Rose Walls. Jenna raised money in Ghana and the US, and provided infra-red thermometers, bleach, soap, latex gloves and posters to La General Hospital in Accra. This hospital was a major facility that helped to educate and serve patients to successfully control the recent cholera outbreak. Jenna teamed with Terron Wilkerson (UCSB), Mikala Caton (UCLA), Ria Mukerji (UCSC) and UCEAP Ghana staff to educate junior high school students, parents and community vendors at Anani International School, as well as street vendors who sold food on the street around the school and hospital about cholera prevention.

Learning Italian through Opera: Verdi's Rigoletto 

Students experience a masterpiece first-hand  

It is a great opportunity, of course, for any opera lover to attend a good performance of Verdi’s Rigoletto; to see it performed in Modena, Italy, at the Teatro Comunale Luciano Pavarotti, named for the great tenor, is an extraordinary experience.

On November 16, 2014, students enrolled in the Italian through Opera course taught by Visiting Professor Elissa Tognozzi at the Study Center for UCEAP students in Bologna, hopped a train and made the half-hour trip to Modena.  For most of the students, this was the first time they had ever seen a live opera.  Zoe Kirsh (UCSC) said, "I felt overwhelmingly elegant going to the theater in Italy. Watching an opera from a private box was a truly incredible experience, but being able to recognize some themes and arias was the best part." 

A taste for opera is acquired and refined by exposure and education. The 20 students enrolled in the course got this kind of direct contact this semester. Says UCSD student Hannah Heimer, “[It was] a once in a lifetime experience to watch Rigoletto live in Italy in such an elegant theater. It was one of the most enriching cultural experiences I have had here while studying abroad.”  

These students who come from a broad spectrum of majors are now becoming prepared to be informed audiences for the arts. UCLA student Missy Lees says:  “Now that I better understand how to watch, interpret, and appreciate such masterpieces, this is only the beginning of my relationship with Italian opera.”  Thank you UCEAP!

Beyond Study Abroad: Connecting with Alums  

Sharing career stories and tips in London  

In November, the UCEAP London Study Centre hosted “Beyond Study Abroad” – a special event bringing together UCEAP students in the UK and UC Alumni in London to explore different paths students can take after graduation and, possibly, to return to the UK.

The event included panels on graduate study opportunities, programs through the Fulbright Commission, postgraduate internships and careers in the Foreign and Public Service in the US. The highlight of the evening was a panel with UC alumni, who shared their career stories and career twists, emphasizing the role study abroad played in their professional and personal lives. There was also a session on effective networking on- and offline followed by a networking reception kindly hosted by the UC Trust UK. 

"I really enjoyed the whole event. It was nice to hear the benefits (especially financial) of postgraduate study in the UK. Also, it was extremely interesting to hear the UC alumni speak about their many different career paths, all of which have led them to London. It’s nice to know there are so many options available, as well as a vast network of resources within the UC community." – Lizzie (UCSC), Queen Mary University London Read more
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