October 5, 2015
15-235

Whitney N. Yarber, Communications Specialist

VSU Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month

VALDOSTA – The Valdosta State University Department of Modern and Classical Languages is celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month.

“Hispanic Heritage Month is a tradition at Valdosta State University,” said Dr. Viki Soady, head of the Department of Modern and Classical Languages. “While the National Hispanic Heritage Month began Sept. 15 and runs through Oct. 15, our department has the tradition of celebrating the diversity of cultures within the umbrella of the Hispanic world during the month of October…this year we are very pleased to be using Cuba as our overarching theme. We are celebrating Cuba because of our reopening relations with our mirroring neighbor.”

VSU began celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month in 1997 when Dr. Manuel Cachán, professor of Spanish in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages, proposed that the university celebrate Latin American faculty, staff, students, alumni, and friends.

“During this month we, as a campus, recognize the important presence of Latino Americans to the United States through celebration of their intellectual, artistic and cultural contributions,” shared Dr. Susan R. Wehling, professor of Spanish and foreign language education in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages. “VSU continues to bring cutting-edge discussions on hot button topics like immigration and second language study during Hispanic Heritage Month. Valdosta State appreciates the contributions that Latinos make as they enhance our national character with their traditions and their dreams.”

Hispanic Heritage Month activities include:

Hispanic Movie Night: “Nueve Reinas”

When: 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 6

Where: University Center Theater

What: “’Nueve Reinas (Nine Queens)’ is a psychological thriller-style movie set in Argentina,” said Dr. Fleming L. Bell, assistant professor of Spanish in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages. “The title refers to a set of nine very rare and valuable postage stamps with a picture of a queen on them. It is about two conmen who team up to carry out some scams for one day. Of course, there is a surprise ending. The movie is in Spanish with English subtitles. It is rated ‘R’ for language.”

Contact Dr. Fleming L. Bell at flbell@valdosta.edu or (229) 259-5125 for more information.

 

Modern and Classical Languages World Language and Culture Fair

When: Noon to 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 7

Where: West Hall Rotunda

What: Participants will have the opportunity to sample foods from around the world while learning about the benefits of becoming proficient in a foreign language, the Latin American culture, and the career opportunities available to students

Contact Dr. Victoria Russell, associate professor of Spanish and foreign language education, at varussell@valdosta.edu or (229) 333-7357 for more information.

 

Department of State: Foreign Service Information Session

When: 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 7

Where: Powell Hall West Auditorium

What: The United States Department of State — often referred to as the State Department — is the United States federal executive department responsible for international relations…equivalent to the foreign ministry of other countries, said DeLois Hargett, employer relations coordinator in the Office of Career Opportunities. The Department was created in 1789 and was the first executive department established.

Michael Thurston, diplomat in residence at Florida A&M University, will present a general foreign service information session “to explain the mission of the Department of State’s Foreign Service — to promote peace, support prosperity, and protect American citizens while advancing the interests of the U.S. abroad,” shared Hargett. “Those wanting to have an impact on the world need to attend this session. He will explain the opportunity of a career unlike any other while working and experiencing cultures, customs, and people of different nations.”

Contact DeLois Hargett at dhargett@valdosta.edu or (229) 333-5942 for more information.

 

Odradek Literary Out Loud: Share Original Writings or Translations

When: 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 7

Where: West Hall Room 304

What: “The primary host of the event is Odradek [VSU’s on-campus literary magazine], and the focus will be submissions of original poetry, short fiction, and nonfiction that they have received from students during the month of September as part of their regular monthly writing contests,” said Brian Nelson, lecturer of Spanish. “The Department of Modern and Classical Languages is involved because one component of September’s contests is translations of both original works as well as previously published works. The evening promises to be a night of reading works of literature aloud, hence the name ‘Literature Out Loud.’ Light refreshments and snacks will be provided. We must feed the mind as well as the stomach.”

Contact Brian Nelson at bknelson@valdosta.edu or (229) 249-2635 for more information.

 

Spanish Trivia Night

When: 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 14

Where: Student Union Theater

What: Contact Dr. Grazyna Walczak, assistant professor of Spanish, at ghwalczak@valdosta.edu or (229) 249-2639 for more information.

 

Reacquainting Ourselves: Interdisciplinary Discussion Panel on Cuba Today

When: 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 19

Where: Hugh C. Bailey Science Center Auditorium Room 1011

What: “As part of our celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, the Department of Modern and Classical Languages is pleased to present an interdisciplinary panel discussion on the renewal of the United States's relationship with the country of Cuba,” shared Dr. Ericka Helena Parra, associate professor of Spanish.

“The opening of the Cuban and American embassies brings us back into dialogue with a close neighbor. From an interdisciplinary point of view, the presenters will talk about academic collaboration amidst economic and political reforms and the impact the liberalization of bilateral relations might have on these.”

The panel will include Dr. Robert Harding, head of the Department of Political Science, discussing Cuba in transition; Dr. Thomas Manning, associate professor in the Department of Chemistry, discussing the pursuance of an academic collaboration; Dr. Howard Griffin, assistant professor in the Department of Marketing and International Business, discussing the current business climate in Cuba with an eye toward the future; and Dr. Ellis Heath, associate professor in the Department of Economics and Finance, discussing the political economy of Cuba.

Contact Dr. Ericka Helena Parra at ehparra@valdosta.edu or (229) 333-7372 for more information.

 

Zumba

When: 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 19

Where: University Center Cypress Room

What: Participants will take part in a fitness routine that blends traditional dance steps with basic fitness moves, all to the beat of hot Latin dance rhythms. Contact Edris Brannen, lecturer of Spanish, at elbrannen@valdosta.edu or (229) 333-2169 for more information.

 

Visiting Cuban Author Maria Elena Llana

When: 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 20

Where: Odum Library Auditorium

What: Participants will have the opportunity to hear Cuban author Maria Elena Llana and students read excerpts from her collection of short stories, An Address in Havana/Domicilio Habanero. Dr. Jeffrey Vasseur, professor in the Department of English, will also discuss realism, magic, and Guillermo Cabrera Infante.

Contact Dr. Ericka Helena Parra, associate professor of Spanish, at ehparra@valdosta.edu or (229) 333-7372 for more information.

 

Hispanic Dinner Potluck and Dancing

When: 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 26

Where: University Center Magnolia Room

What: “Participants can expect live Hispanic music, a brief dance lesson and performance, along with food dishes that represent different cultures,” said Dr. Grazyna Walczak, assistant professor of Spanish and VSU Spanish Club mentor. “All food is free for those who bring a dish; otherwise, it is $1 per person.”

Contact Dr. Grazyna Walczak at ghwalczak@valdosta.edu or (229) 249-2639 for more information.

On the Web:

http://www.valdosta.edu/colleges/arts-sciences/modern-classical-languages/


Valdosta State University’s 2013-2019 Strategic Plan represents a renewal of energy and commitment to the foundational principles for comprehensive institutions.

Implementation of the plan’s five goals, along with their accompanying objectives and strategies, supports VSU’s institutional mission and the University System of Georgia’s mission for comprehensive universities.

The story above demonstrates VSU's commitment to meeting the following goals:

Goal 1: Recruit, retain, and graduate a quality, diverse student population and prepare students for roles as leaders in a global society.

Goal 3: Promote student, employee, alumni, retiree, and community engagement in our mission.

Visit http://www.valdosta.edu/administration/planning/strategic-plan.php to learn more.

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