Alumni: Please drop a line to the Graduate Program Director to tell us what you’ve been up to. Also, please consider showing your financial support to the INCC program with a contribution to the Donald O. Warthen, Jr. fund.
Felix was born in Bogota, Colombia. He earned his B.A. in Philology and Languages at Universidad Nacional de Colombia in 2008. During a field trip to the Nasa-Yuwe community, an indigenous group in Colombia, he had his first intercultural experience. At that moment, he realized that cultural conflicts could be based on economic and social inequality. After this, he became aware that aspects such as language shift, access to education, lack of economic opportunities, and discrimination are a common ground for cultural differences.
The core and elective courses in the INCC program at UMBC helped him to critically understand and analyze culture far beyond customs and traditions. While in the program, Felix started to develop his research focus on critical discourse analysis (CDA) as a method to understand how media negatively displays the identities of certain disadvantaged cultural groups.
He is currently enrolled in the LLC doctoral program where he expects to continue broadening his theoretical and practical knowledge that would assist him to pursue his professional and academic goals. He has also been part of the Spanish language area, in the MLLI department, where he has worked as a teaching assistant and visiting lecturer. Contact info: email@example.com
Duncan Cohen is a Training and Development Specialist at the U.S. Agency for International Development in the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance where he develops curriculum and implements training for humanitarian assistance-related courses. Duncan has worked in the field of humanitarian aid and international development for the last eleven years through Doctors Without Borders in India and the Democratic Republic of Congo, and managing development projects at InterAction, Chemonics and CHF. Duncan has a passion for multi-cultural environments that stems from experiences in his early childhood living in Kenya, study abroad opportunities in his 20s, and three years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Guinea. Building on these years overseas, he sought an M.A. in Intercultural Communication at the University of Maryland as a Peaceworker Fellow, specializing in Training Design. He graduated with a B.A. from the University of Illinois with a degree in Political Science and Spanish. Contact info: firstname.lastname@example.org
Meritxell Collazos Sola
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Laura Violeta Colombo
Dr. Colombo graduated in 2005 from the Intercultural Communication Master’s program at UMBC, where she also recently finished her PhD in Language, Literacy and Culture. Dr. Colombo’s defended her dissertation “Writing resources used by graduate international students and their effect on academic satisfaction.” She has returned to her home country, Argentina, where she teaches at the graduate level and works as part of the research group GICEOLEM, which specializes in academic writing in the disciplines. Contact info: firstname.lastname@example.org
Originally from Appeville, a remote village in Normandy, France; Landry Digeon left home at age 19 to work in Heathrow airport in London. Immersed in a fast-paced multicultural environment, this experience triggered in him an unconditional interest in culture. Ever since, his growing curiosity and thirst for understanding led him to work and study in various countries. He was fascinated and at the same time puzzled by what seemed to him odd behaviors and strange traditions. That’s when became passionate with filmmaking; he ventured to capture the essence of each culture as an attempt to report it to his surrounding. The INCC program was a perfect fit for him since he was seeking for comprehensive understanding of the world. It provided him with theoretical frameworks to account for cultures at different levels (language, anthropology, politics, etc.). But most importantly, he befriended students from different backgrounds and origins, which resulted in a powerful mind-opening experience. Landry not only learned to understand other cultures but became conscious of what was most invisible to him, namely his own culture. During his study in INCC at UMBC, Landry took Filmmaking classes and produced several cultural videos some of which scored over 100 000 views on youtube. The flexibility of the program leaves room for creativity as it enabled Landry to present a scholarly paper partly in a video format. After graduating, Landry taught English in Barcelona, Spain before returning to UMBC where he is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in the Language, Literacy, and Culture (LLC) program. He keeps on collaborating with UMBC professors, has published an innovative French online manual with Dr. Marie DeVerneil, and is currently working on new projects with National Geographic. Contact info: email@example.com
See my work on YouTube
The INCC program at UMBC was a two-year experience that I will never forget. One of the most valuable aspects of the program is that it pulls in many foreign students from a wide variety of cultures and languages. Being able to interact with these individuals in an academic setting helped to enrich the classroom experience far beyond that of a “normal” class. The opportunity to learn from faculty with a wide range of backgrounds coupled with the cultural diversity found in my peers was invaluable not only in the academic environment but also in the post UMBC professional realm. Given my training and cultural exposure in the INCC program I was able to work in Mexico City, Mexico as a professor at one of the top schools in the country. My INCC background allowed me to teach subjects ranging from Cultural Theory to Social Issues. This then opened the door for me to act as accompanying professor in Barcelona, Spain for one semester in which I found my INCC experience invaluable as I was quickly able to assess and adapt to my Mexican students, my Catalan hosts and to individuals in the countries I visited. Currently I am studying for my PhD at the University of Maryland College Park with full fellowship with my intended research focus on Mexican Literature and Culture, specifically the use of language and identity. All of these opportunities I attribute to my preparation in the INCC program at UMBC. Contact info: firstname.lastname@example.org
Brian Greenan (INCC 2005) serves as Project Coordinator to Baltimore City Mayor Stephanie-Rawlings-Blake for the UniverCity Partnership initiative, a collaboration led by the City and the University of Maryland Baltimore (UMB) to regenerate downtown’s west side as a mixed-use, mixed-income neighborhood. More than $1 billion of public and privately-driven projects have been completed or are underway in the UniverCity Partnership study area since late 2009.
Prior to joining the Rawlings-Blake Administration in 2011, Brian served in other real estate and economic development capacities with the Maryland Department of Transportation, the Downtown Partnership of Baltimore, Neighborhood Housing Services of Baltimore and Banner Neighborhoods Community Corporation. Brian completed a Graduate Certificate in Real Estate Development at the University of Maryland College Park in 2011. He is now preparing for the Certified Economic Developer exam (CEcD), a certification program of the International Economic Development Council. Contact info: email@example.com
Heidi, a native of Washington State, studied in Maryland as an undergrad where she majored in Communications and French. For six years after graduation, she worked with study abroad students learning French (in France) and English (in Maryland). During this time, her intensifying interest in cultures and language led her to UMBC’s INCC program where Heidi aspired to gain more insight and knowledge to propel her into teaching college-level English as a Second Language (ESL) & French classes. From the start of the INCC program, Heidi met an amazing group of new friends and further challenged herself to read, write, think and rethink any ideas she encountered even after her studies ended. As a hands-on person, the classes’ theoretical approach was a challenge, but gave her a stronger foundation for writing research papers on diverse topics of her choice. She especially enjoyed her elective classes on Beur & Banlieue Cinema and Crosscultural Communicaiton for ESOL Teachers. Heidi also spent an unforgettable semester in Nancy, France learning how to teach French as a foreign language and assisting an English teacher at a local high school. Upon her return to Maryland, she joined a new group of INCC students, the Interculturalists, who work to evolve the program in innovative ways. After 2 and 1/2 years of study, Heidi completed her M.A. in the INCC program in December 2010. Since her return from France, Heidi has been delighted to teach ESL and French to Maryland community college students which she hopes to continue for many years. Contact info: firstname.lastname@example.org
Corrine is currently working as the Program Director of a youth development program for the St. Francis Neighborhood Center; a community center in Baltimore City. Her goal for the program is to introduce students to a much larger awareness of the world in which they live by exposing them to diverse creative and cultural art based opportunities. Contact info: email@example.com
My name is Sarah and I am from Santa Barbara, CA. I graduated in May 2014 from the INCC program, with a focus in Spanish and Intercultural Training, and was also a GA for the Spanish department. I learned a lot through this INCC Program and one of my favorite parts was meeting different people and making friends from all over the world. This fall, I will be starting a position as a middle school Spanish teacher at Patterson Park Public Charter School in Baltimore and look forward to the new challenges it will bring. I enjoy both teaching Spanish and intercultural training and will be able to use my training skills in my new job to provide training for staff and parents, and create interculturally rich and engaging Spanish lessons for the middle school students. A few years down the road, I hope to become more involved in international education and training. If you are a future or current INCC student, feel free to contact me with any questions! Contact info: firstname.lastname@example.org
Kate Meyer Jakuta
Kate was born in Baltimore and studied Spanish and Latin American Studies at St. Mary’s College of Maryland. During her years at St. Mary’s, she had the opportunity to travel abroad and study both in Chile and Costa Rica. After graduating from St. Mary’s, she taught high school Spanish for two years at Friends School of Baltimore, and spent one summer in an indigenous village in Puebla, Mexico. Kate began the Intercultural Communication master’s program, with a concentration in Hispanic Studies, in the fall of 2009, and graduated in December 2011. During her final year as a student in the INCC program, Kate worked for Education Based Latino Outreach (EBLO), a non-profit in Baltimore City. Kate is now employed with the House of Ruth, a wonderful organization in Baltimore that serves survivors of domestic violence. Her position with House of Ruth is Bilingual Client Services Coordinator and her caseload includes both English-speaking and Spanish-speaking clients and their children. There are always plenty of opportunities to support and volunteer with House of Ruth; please contact Kate if you are interested or would like more information! Contact info: email@example.com
Originally from Leipzig, Germany, I came to UMBC in 2008. Partaking in the Accelerated B.A./M.A. in Modern Languages and Linguistics and Intercultural Communication (INCC), I took three courses towards the M.A. during my senior year. Upon earning my B.A., I became a full-time INCC student. My experiences in the INCC program were extremely positive. Core courses not only provided me with a sound theoretical foundation in the field of Intercultural Communication, but also allowed me to apply these concepts in my research. Language courses, such as “Social Movements in Latin America” and “Portrait of a Changing Society: Immigration, Integration and Interculturalism in Germany,” further enabled me to use this theoretical framework as a tool to understand and explain phenomena in Latin America and Germany. I also took courses in Education, Sociology and Public Policy as part of the program, which helped me to understand how culture and society is taught in these departments and to foster interdisciplinary awareness and understanding. Lastly, the INCC program encourages study abroad as a way to experience what we are learning in our courses. I took the chance to do so by studying in Málaga, Spain. In addition to course work, faculty, staff and fellow students provided a supportive environment that allowed me to grow tremendously as a person and a scholar. There was always someone to talk to, to bounce off ideas, and to receive advice. I credit my experiences in INCC as the most important factor in preparing me for my current endeavor, Ph.D. studies in UMBC’s Language, Literacy and Culture program. Contact info: firstname.lastname@example.org
I’m an Admissions Counselor at Towson University where I meet with students and families from diverse backgrounds and reviews applications for freshman and transfer students. In addition, I conduct information sessions to student groups and participate in on-campus events related to student recruitment. I earned my B.A. in Spanish from Shepherd University and then earned my M.A. in Intercultural Communication from UMBC in 2012. After graduating, I was not sure what I could do with a B.A. in Spanish, all I knew was that I loved communicating cross-culturally, so the Intercultural Communication program seemed like the perfect program of which to take advantage. The courses I took in the program helped me in developing excellent cross-cultural communication skills and understanding, in addition to continuing to study the Spanish language and its cultures. I was a T.A. in Spanish, which paid for my studies at UMBC and allowed me to maintain my Spanish and use it in my professional life. I continued to teach as an adjunct instructor at UMBC after graduating from the program, until I obtained a job as an admissions counselor at Towson University. I am very grateful for the strengths I built while in the program and for the people I met and continue to maintain relationships with today. The professors in the program are excellent; they provided challenging learning environments, both in and outside of the classroom. Furthermore, they were available whenever I needed any help with various facets of my graduate education. Contact info: email@example.com
Ana Leal Lobato
Natalie Lutz has been training international managers in business communication for over 20 years. She has lived in the US, London, Mexico, and France. Natalie has extensive experience designing and delivering training programs to top executives in various areas of business communication including intercultural management, powerful presentations and working effectively in virtual multicultural teams. Much of Natalie’s time is dedicated to training and coaching expatriates in international corporations on living and working in their host country.
Based on her research, Natalie has written a book entitled: French and American Perceptions of Arrogance in the Other, which focuses on fostering more productive working relations between the US and France. Natalie is regularly asked to present at congresses and Universities in France and abroad on the topic. Natalie has taught Master’s level courses on Intercultural Communication at Polytechnique, University of Marne La Vallée, University of Versaille and at l’Ecole Supérieur de Commerce Extérieur. You can also visit the website for the non-profit association, Mozaïq, she co-founded in 2010.
Natalie is bilingual, bicultural French-American and speaks Spanish. Natalie lives in the Paris area with her husband and two children. Contact info: firstname.lastname@example.org
Michelle is enamored with the study of different cultures, especially language, music, and physical traditions like dance and martial arts. So far, her travels have taken her to the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Ecuador, Canada, around Europe, China, Taiwan and South Korea, though she hopes that is just the start. She has worked at UMBC for 5 years, both in Undergraduate International Admissions and currently as an International Student Adviser in the International Education Services (IES) office, where she has the great privilege of making friends from all over the world and getting paid for it! She received her BA from Towson University in 2005 where she majored in Spanish, and minored in French and International Relations. She completed the UMBC MA in Intercultural Communications in May 2010, following the Spanish track and composing her Scholarly Paper on “The Development of Underdevelopment: The Participation of International Child Sponsorship in Symbolic Violence.” She has thoroughly enjoyed making so many intercultural friends through the INCC program, and learning from the broad range of experiences and perspectives of her classmates, both international and domestic. Looking forward professionally, she is thoroughly enjoying the field of International Education, and may stay there for quite awhile, but also feels attracted to the fields of international relief and assistance, either abroad or domestically, as well as international diplomacy. Contact info: email@example.com
Contact info: firstname.lastname@example.org
Born and raised in Chile, Daniel lived in a country where inequalities are always growing, in which higher education is difficult to afford for working class people. Although he was too young at the time to fully understand the impact of coming from a working class environment, over his studies at UMBC, he became aware of these issues and further developed his interest in human rights, language, culture and education.
Daniel graduated from Universidad de Santiago de Chile in 2007 with a B.A.in Teaching. As a working class student, single parent household and first generation college student, his early exposure into the realities of cultural capital, social reproduction, gender gaps and classism, ignited a strong desire for him to better understand the inequalities of this world.
After completing his MA in Intercultural Communication, Daniel worked as a visiting lecturer in Spanish at UMBC; his teaching and interests reflect his personal commitment to teach within a social justice framework. Currently, Daniel pursues a PhD at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst with full fellowship. Even though his research interests are broad, he wants to work on the transformation of the teaching training programs in Latin America, to prepare an educational force that empowers students to fight the growing inequality in the world. Contact info: email@example.com
Dr. Moreno is the Chair of the Department of Hispanic Languages, Literatures and Cultures at Goucher College and is writing a Spanish textbook for beginning levels contracted with Wiley & Sons (tentative publishing date: 2013). She is also working on a couple of articles: 1) “Outcomes of an Interdisciplinary Study Abroad Course: Learning Spanish and Multicultural Education Concurrently.” Co-authored with Dr. Tami K. Smith. Submitted to Intercultural Education (under review); 2) “Does network-based Spanish teaching enhance language acquisition? A Study on Language Acquisition between Language Courses with an On-line Communicative Component and Traditional Language Courses”. Co-authored with Citlali Miranda-Aldaco (also an alumni of the INCC program and currently finishing her EdD at JHU). She is also teaching a new upper level seminar called: “TRANS-nationally Queer”: Finding a voice through art in the Gay Spanish speaking world. Contact info: firstname.lastname@example.org
Olimpia Pérez Broncano
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María Inés Quiroga
My name is María Inés Quiroga and I am from Mendoza, Argentina. Passionate about language and culture, I studied to be an English teacher at Universidad Nacional de Cuyo. In 2007, I left Argentina to pursue my Masters in Intercultural Communication at UMBC. During the program, I realized about the need to help people develop their intercultural competence. Therefore, I concentrated my studies in education and training, gaining also a certificate in ESOL. For my final paper, I developed an online collaborative project in which my American students from my Spanish language classrooms related to people from Argentina through the use of blogs, where they got to know about each other and develop skills and attitudes to do so. After graduating, I worked with international students – teaching Intercultural Communication- at the English Language Center at UMBC. Nowadays, I am working as the resident director for a recognized study abroad organization, leading American students in their development of intercultural competence during their experience abroad in Cordoba, Argentina. Contact info: firstname.lastname@example.org
After receiving her Bachelor’s in history for the University of Notre Dame of Maryland, Autumn came to UMBC to pursue her Master’s degree in Intercultural Communication. She chose INCC because of its groundbreaking interdisciplinary approach that allows students to study social phenomenon from multiple disciplinary perspectives. While in the program, she focused on discourse analysis and explored the sometimes hidden and disempowering dimensions of everyday domestic conversations. After receiving her MA in 2008, Autumn continued her studies at UMBC in the Language, Literacy and Culture doctoral program. Now a candidate, she is currently working on her dissertation, which employs feminist critical discourse analysis to examine the hidden gender dynamics at play in the representations of honor-based violence in the U.S. mainstream news and feminist social media. In addition, in the Spring of 2011, Autumn accepted a position in the Office of the Provost as the Program Coordinator for Faculty Diversity Initiatives and the ADVANCE Program, where she works to increase greater diversity in UMBC’s Faculty through recruitment and retention efforts. In her opinion, the interdisciplinary nature of the INCC Program, equipped her with the theoretical and practical perspectives necessary to achieve her scholastic and professional goals. Contact info: email@example.com
Greg is currently the Program Coordinator at the English Language Center at Towson University. He earned his B.A. in U.S. history, communications, and political economy at the Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA in 2006. In 2013, Greg graduated from the INCC M.A. program at UMBC having completed a thesis on community-labor organizing in Baltimore City and the pedagogical practices of collective social transformation.
With over ten years of community organizing experience, Greg continues to work in inter-generational and intercultural communities in Baltimore, doing economic human rights education, leadership development, and compassionate group building. Additionally, his studies expand to Buddhist psychology, integrative health, and the intersections of the contemplative arts and social and economic justice. Contact info: firstname.lastname@example.org
Laura Rutter Strickling
I graduated from the INCC program in 2008, then went on to get a Ph.D. in Language, Literacy and Culture at UMBC. Right now I am wrapping up a two-year post doctoral position in urban education with the Center for Application and Innovation Research in Education (CAIRE). I am the assistant director of qualitative inquiry. My job is to manage a team of researchers and help write thirteen case studies by Fall 2014. Meanwhile, I am working on a book entitled, “You don’t serve God then go drink with the Devil,”–an ethnographic study of sixteen African American women from Baltimore who have converted to the Latter-day Saint faith. I’m also investigating issues of spiritual authenticity and identity in cyber religious practices. On my free time I like to plant things, run, pet my cats, and play with my grandchildren. Contact info: email@example.com
Adriana Val is the Online Program Coordinator of TESOL Professional Training Program, a full online teacher training program for EFL teachers. Ms. Val is also a Spanish instructor for the Modern Languages Linguistics and Intercultural Communications Department at UMBC. In addition to an M.A. in Intercultural Communication and Instructional Design from UMBC, Ms. Val is working on a PhD. She is currently studying at UMBC Language Literacy and Culture PhD Program. Originally from Argentina, where she obtained her fist degree as Profesora de Historia, Ms. Val has been involved in education since 1975. Her research interests are technology applied to education and bilingualism-language identity of heritage Spanish speakers in Higher Education. She is also a member of the Alliance for the Advancement of Heritage Languages in America at the Center for Applied Linguistics. Contact info: firstname.lastname@example.org
I graduated in 2008 from the INCC program at UMBC. I have been teaching Spanish for 9 years in Maryland, and currently reside in Anne Arundel County. As of now, I’m teaching middle school Spanish I and 6th grade World Language Connections which requires a basic knowledge of conversation Chinese and French. Since being assigned to this particular class, my love for language has been reawakened, and now I wish to learn French and Chinese. I’ve also kept a career change open in the back of my mind, and have considered applying for a position with the government to really put my M.A. in Intercultural Communication to use. I’m open for suggestions and have yet to settle in any particular place. Teaching could be my calling in life, but I’m willing to change careers if the right opportunity presents itself. Contact info: email@example.com
This year, Andrea began teaching Lower School Spanish at the K-12, all girls Garrison Forest School in Owings Mills, Maryland. Although GFS students have had the privilege of learning a second language from Kindergarten, this year marks the first time that language is being offered daily to the younger students and in longer blocks to Third, Fourth and Fifth Grade girls. It is Garrison Forest’s hope that the girls will know how to learn language and be better prepared for the rigor required in Middle School and beyond.
In 2011, Andrea graduated from UMBC’s Masters in Intercultural Communication program with a specialization in Spanish/English bilingualism and pedagogy. The program’s focus on linguistics, anthropology, and sociology led Andrea to consider education programs that allow students to contribute to their learning in innovative and inspiring ways. She happily landed at the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore as a volunteer and conducted Spanish language focus groups for an exhibition on ancient American art. The groups were designed to engage the Latino population and to make certain Baltimore was aware of the educational as well as historical and aesthetic experiences available to them. As Senior Community Outreach Coordinator, Andrea engaged in educational programs that highlighted the impact the visual arts has on literacy, worked with marginalized communities and created Intercambio, English and Spanish bilingual tours for adults and college students. Andrea served at the Walters until June 2013.
For 13 years, Andrea proudly taught high school Spanish at St. Paul’s School for Girls where she participated in diversity initiatives and accompanied students abroad. More recently she instituted free community English classes and works with English Language Learners. She sits on a variety of Latino Community Advisory and Immigration Boards and teaches private Spanish classes. Prior, she worked at the Commerce Department in the Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs Office working on International Trade and policy. Contact info: firstname.lastname@example.org
Donna Leigh Wecker is currently working as an adjunct instructor of French at UMBC and of ESL at Howard Community College. She finds teaching both these disciplines complimentary while teaching itself provokes continued practical application of pedagogical theories. She has also taught French in the World Languages Department at Howard Community College. It’s great to see how different departments approach teaching differently. She was was able to use her INCC skills to facilitate the Youth Coalition for Intercultural Understanding through FIRN of Howard County with teens over the course of her year just after graduation. Full-time teaching keeps life busy but Donna hopes to get back to research on questions of religion and culture. Teaching English over the course of the past three summers in partnership with several small community churches in France has opened some doors as well as many questions to that end. She looks forward to seeing where else her training in intercultural communication will take her in the future. Contact info: email@example.com
Kate recently began a career in the US Department of State as a Passport Specialist with the Bureau of Consular Affairs. She’s currently stationed in the Washington Passport Agency in Washington, DC. Kate would eventually like to live abroad permanently as an intercultural agent of the public or private sector. Contact info: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Ting Zhang is a Research Assistant Professor of The Jacob France Institute in the Merrick School of Business at The University of Baltimore. Her research interests include workforce development, entrepreneurship, regional economy, administrative records, and aging. Dr. Zhang has recently been focusing on profiling Maryland employment and business dynamics, examining recession impacts, tracking workers’ placement, investigating job creation mechanism, exploring geographic dynamics of the economy, and diagnosing data quality using administrative records. She is winner of several major research awards and author of three books, including “Elderly Entrepreneurship in an Aging US Economy: It’s Never Too Late.” Contact info: email@example.com
Gail Love Zik
Having a background in Intercultural Communication has enhanced my career as a high school world language teacher, as well as how I relate to others in general. I am more aware of how I can reach out to people from all walks of life, as well as teach that understanding to my students. I am also thankful that studying in the INCC program allowed me to study abroad in Salamanca, Spain, where I explored more of the country and tweaked my proficiency in Spanish. Studying Intercultural Communication was not only beneficial for practical purposes, but also fun. I’m always amazed at how many opportunities there are in life to apply what I learned from the INCC program. Contact info: firstname.lastname@example.org