Saturday, November 23, 2013
Hello IIC Community! The following blog is from the Fall 2013 quarter's International Communication course (required for those of you who may be considering the program). This is one of the many stimulating topics we discussed this quarter and there's more to come. Enjoy.
Friday, November 1, 2013
IIC Student Spotlight
LeeAnn Schmerber- 1st year IIC Student
1) What undergraduate college did you attend? Where?
Elon University in North Carolina
2) What was your undergraduate focus?
Major in International Studies, Minor in Communications
3) How did you become interested in the IIC Program?
I always knew that I wanted to get a Masters, it was just a matter of picking the right time and the right school. I'd moved around a bit after college and over the past few years decided I wanted to make Denver home, at least for a while. The jobs that I had weren't putting me in direction that I wanted career wise, and DU offered a program that fit what I was looking for. So it seemed that the timing and place were perfect.
5) What is your favorite place where you've traveled/lived so far?
I've never really been anywhere I did not like and have a ton of favorite places, all for different reasons. Right now, I'll go with Iceland - the geology is fascinating - I went snorkeling in a fissure between the North American and European plates, the water was crystal clear. It was beautiful.
6) Do you have a dream job? What?
Study Abroad Adviser
7) What is your favorite part about the IIC program thus far (i.e. favorite class)?
What I think I've found most interesting is that I'm taking two very different courses (International Communications and Major Issues in International Security - in Korbel) and the content of the courses has merged a few times throughout the quarter, especially at the end. It's interesting to read different perspectives on similar issues. I feel like the quarter has come full circle.
8) Anything else you would like to share?
I'm just really happy that I made this decision. I quit a full time job (with a career path, albeit one that I did not want) to become a full time student. Even though it was a career path that I wasn't passionate about, it was security. The decision to come back to school was hard but as I mentioned above, the timing and place were right. I knew that this was the best opportunity to find the career that I really wanted.
Saturday, October 5, 2013
IIC Orientation 2013
It was a bright and sunny Saturday afternoon in Denver, with the smell of fresh cut grass wafting in the air, when the 2013-2014 International and Intercultural Communication (IIC) students, faculty, and staff gathered for orientation. The students congregated at the University of Denver’s air-conditioned International House and sat in a circle of comfortable sofas and chairs as they introduced themselves to their peers. Each student present gave a short description of his or her exceptional accomplishments and interests, and each student emoted anticipation for what is to come this academic year. The intimate orientation, facilitated by Margie Thompson and Kate Burns, featured an overview of the IIC program as well as appearances by department faculty members and the Dean of the Arts and Humanities and Social Sciences.
To kick-off the learning process, the IIC students participated in a cultural exercise, which featured a real and current development issue in Costa Rica that is close to Margaret Thompson’s heart. The activity dealt with development, land rights, and finding common ground between stakeholders. In groups of three, the students worked to analyze and create solutions via the perspectives of various stakeholders in the issue. The activity necessitated the focus, participation and expertise of each IIC student and created a sense of teamwork. Overall, the findings were creative, thoughtful, and overlapping.
The exercise focused on current tensions along the southern Carribbean coast of Costa Rica with historic land rights and mega tourism “development”:
“A growing number of people in the coastal communities fear that their small paradise in the southern Caribbean is being severely threatened by the current government, land speculators, transnational mining and oil interests and mega tourism developers. Although 90% of the land in the Talamanca region is within some kind of wildlife or indigenous reserve, manipulation is taking place behind the scenes, designed to create confusion and pass laws in the name of ‘protection’ that would weaken or even eliminate historical land rights of coastal villages.”
Student groups represented the following stake holder groups:
Afro Costa Ricans, ICT (National Costa Rican Tourism Institute), Foro Caribe Sur (community forum), Talamanca Chamber of Tourism, small entrepreneurs, and environmentalists)
Each of the stakeholders named concerns for building capital, protecting the environment, and maintaining local support and culture. Below is a summary of their analyses:
1) Afro Costa Ricans
-Needs/concerns: job scarcity; no proper land titles; vulnerable eco-tourism/paradise and heritage; subject to discrimination and racism
Establish guidelines for accessing land titles; having more afro costa rican representation within the government; Work with locals to establish alternative tourism
Hold cultural heritage celebrations; have more legal representation/create more voice for locals
2) The ICT (National Costa Rican Tourism Institute)
-Needs/concerns: Money, community support, favorable laws
-Potential solutions: Donating a portion of profits to health and education efforts; involving local (and claimants); providing jobs (education and health)
-Developing advisory board; establishing community funds; developing business cooperative company
3) The Foro Caribe Sur
-Needs/Concerns: Funding for health, education and tourism promotion (not large corp. development project); maintain current laws and land rights; maintain integrity of land-environmental issues
-Small scale tourism development projects (avoid cruise ships, etc.); education on laws/land rights to avoid manipulation; laws/plans to distribute tourism revenue for education, health, etc.
-More emphasis on locals in terms of health and education; better communication with community members; locals gaining pride/ownership in their community
4) The Talamanca Chamber of Tourism
Needs/concerns: Make money and economic improvement; control development as opposed to outside control; maintain community ownership
-Physically limit development for purpose of protecting land rights and environment as well as maintain ecotourism; hire locally; smear campaign against outside development
-Provide employment for community members and entrepreneurs in the community; develop ecotourism destinations that incorporate wildlife refuges; plan cultural festivals to celebrate local culture
5) Small entrepreneurs
Needs/concerns: Maintain profits and competitive edge; maintain the integrity of the environment to continue their eco-tourism industry; maintain special access for local businesses (taxes, permits, etc.)
-Establish a chamber of commerce/coalition that represents the interests and needs of already established and/or new locally owned businesses; establish an environmental council that is part of the decision-making process in regards to environmental protection from extractive industries; establish an “eco-tax” on corporations or businesses that have an environmental impact that goes back to preservation
-See “eco-tax”; mapping of the community to demonstrate the different areas/businesses/industries; establish a traditional authority to represent the costa rican cultural groups.
Needs/concerns: Legal protection; sustainability of National Ecotourism; Preservation of National Resources
-Political Coalitions/Boards/Steering Groups (costa riquisimma!); Economic rule of law, clear borders, return financing; Cultural: Indigenous, Afro-Costa Rican, Spanish (Education, museums, interthematic promotion)
-Human rights: Education, Decent labor; historical locale propriety; expanding semi protected lands; Adjusting rates and laws
The exercise turned out to be a great way for the students to learn that there are no easy answers in international development (an area where some of us may work someday). This message lingered over the IIC Department as the orientation came to a close with a savory meal and conversation between the students. This in-depth orientation left the department, students and faculty, more acquainted and prepared for the 2013-2014 academic year.
Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Happy Week 3!
As the first quarter continues to roll on, a couple of first year IIC students have taken on leadership roles in the University of Denver’s Peace Corps Community (DUPCC). Our very own David Boggs has taken on the position of DUPCC President and Jennifer Murphy is the new VP of Communications and Public Relations. David and Jennifer are both elated to be leading the DUPCC and have provided the following words:
“Hello everyone! It's that exciting time of year again as we all settle into our routines here at DU, and I am happy to announce my recent induction as President of the DU Peace Corps Community. We also have a great new committee of VP's that will be assisting in organizing events and activities throughout campus and the Denver community. During the year, DUPCC traditionally holds fundraisers to help assist local causes and international charities. We also coordinate functions to help promote Peace Corps' 3rd Goal of "helping Americans better understand the people and cultures of other countries," as well as further relating our services abroad as volunteers. This year we're kicking off with a bang as we launch into plans to help the recovery efforts for the floods that hit the Boulder community. To learn more about us and keep up with events, visit our page at http://www.du.edu/peacecorps. For more information about the U.S. Peace Corps visit http://www.peacecorps.gov. Best wishes to everyone as we start off this quarter! We're all looking forward to a great year!”
“I am excited at the proposition of working with people who have or will devote at least two years of their life to service work. I hope our group will be able to do some amazing things in the community and network with other organizations who are working on awesome projects as well. I look forward to getting the word out about what the group is involved in through the website and Facebook pages as the VP of Communications and Public Relations.”
Congratulations to our IIC, Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Leaders!
Tuesday, August 6, 2013
Hi new and continuing IICers!
Hope you've all been having a great summer. We decided to organize an informal IIC get-together before orientation and classes start in September. SO, if you're around the Denver area and would like to meet up, we are planning on having a little afternoon picnic in Wash Park on Sunday, August 18th starting at around 3 p.m. If you would like, bring a snack and/or drink to share. Also, feel free to bring significant others and friends. The more the merrier!!
When: Sunday, August 18th at 3 p.m.I'll send out an update once it gets closer on where we can meet. Hope to see some of you there!!
Where: Wash Park - 701 S. Franklin St. Denver, CO
Where: Wash Park - 701 S. Franklin St. Denver, CO
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
|The IIC group at the International House|
Surrounded by good food and good people, the International and Intercultural Communications program met to celebrate the end of another school year at the International House on May 11. All that were in attendance were treated to a catered Italian dinner and were able to relax with fellow classmates for the night. The dinner included an annual tradition where students were given two pieces of papers - one to write something from the year that they wanted to let go and the other a wish or a hope for the coming year. Ceremoniously, each student burned the paper on which they wrote what had been weighting them down, while the other paper was folded up and put into an envelope to be opened at the end of next year.
The dinner also celebrated this year's graduates and their accomplishments. Margie presented the graduates with a gift and asked them to share what it felt like to be graduating from DU and embarking on a new journey. Laughs, stories, and food were all shared, creating a successful dinner and great way to end the year.
To all that were not in attendance, we wish you a luck on your finals and a happy and safe summer. We look forward to seeing all of you next year.
To this year's IIC graduates, we wish you luck in this exciting time in your life. This new chapter has many possibilities and opportunities and we hope that you come back to visit us to share some of them!
Posted by Katie Bayne at 2:41 PM