Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Alumni in the Classroom brings Chuck Adkins-Blanch

Thanks to a new program at Grinnell College, Alumni in the Classroom, offered to connect students with alumni, David Cook-Martín department of sociology chair and director of the Center for International Studies, brought Chuck Adkins-Blanch '84 to campus for a lunch and lecture with students. 

Adkins-Blanch received a degree in history in 1984 and a juris doctorate in 1990 from the National Law Center, George Washington University. Straight away he began his career with the federal government and has spent his career specializing in immigration and nationality law. From 1990 to 1995 he worked for the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) as an attorney advisor, which he entered through the Attorney General's Honors Program. He served in various capacities the Office of the General Council from 1999 to 2004. Then he served as an immigration judge from 2004-2008 at the Headquarters Immigration Court. He served as BIA member from 2008 until 2013, when he was appointed as vice chairman of the Board. 

To augment a course on the sociology of law and migration, Adkins-Blanch was invited to discuss the application of asylum law in the United States as well as his own trajectory into law. Adkins-Blanch shared of his two study abroad experiences, one to Taiwan and the other to Spain, and how his time at Grinnell prepared him for his career. A dozen students came to the lunch prior to class, where students were able to listen, share their career interests and ask questions.  

One student asked, "How, as a judge, do you separate your emotions from a case?" Adkins-Blanch's response was simply, "you don't." He explained that if one doesn't have a heart for humankind then he or she should not be in the field. A second student inquired about how the appeals process takes place, and his lucid response outlined the process which was unfamiliar to most students. 

Adkins-Blanch's expertise and time on campus certainly opened students' eyes and enhanced the curriculum of this course.  

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Chuck Adkins-Blanch '84, Board of Immigration Appeals, Vice Chairman will visit Grinnell College today, Feb. 9, 2016. Adkins-Blanch will discuss in a course on the sociology of law and migration, the application of asylum law in the United States as well as his own trajectory into law. 

If you are interested in attending, please contact David Cook-Martin (

For more information on Chuck Adkins-Blanch, go to the Board of Immigration Appeals.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Carnival and Creativity, Paying Tribute with the Arts

10 years Post-Hurricane New Orleans & 5 years Post-Earthquake Haiti 

Hurricane Katrina ravaged New Orleans in 2005, and then in 2010 a massive earthquake shook the Caribbean island nation of Haiti. These two African Diaspora regions share similar French and African roots, a colonial legacy and a long, past struggle with slavery. However, the two also share common cultural ties to remember and annually celebrate the first Pre-Lenten festivals - Mardi Gras in New Orleans and Carnival in Haiti. Year after year, these festivals exhibit the capacity that music, dance, and art have to heal and empower.

To commemorate these cataclysmic events that devastated New Orleans and Haiti, the Grinnell College Music Department, in collaboration with the Center for Humanities, the Center for International Studies, and the Rosenfield Program in Public Affairs, International Relations, and Human Rights, will sponsor a series of events on February 11 and 12, 2016.

These events are free and open to the public:

  • Thursday, Feb. 11, 4:30-6:30pm, Bucksbaum 102 - New Orleans Brass Band Workshop with Bennie Pete, tuba and co-founder, Hot 8 Brass Band
  • Thursday, Feb. 11, 7:30-9pm, Bucksbaum 152 - "If You Don't Like What the Big Queen Says, Just...": An Evening With Queen Reesie (Cherice Harrison-Nelson, curator of the Mardi Gras Indian Hall of Fame and Big Queen of the Guardians of the Flame Mardi Gras Indians)
  • Friday, Feb. 12, 4:15-6pm, Bucksbaum 152 - Carnival and Creativity Roundtable Discussion
    • Discussants: Gage Averill, University of British Columbia; Cherice Harrison-Nelson, Mardi Gras Indian Hall of Fame; Tess Kulstad, Grinnell College; Bennie Pete, Hot 8 Brass Band; moderated by Mark Laver, Grinnell College
  • Friday, Feb. 12, 8-9:30pm, Sebring Lewis Hall - Grinnell Jazz Ensemble Plays the Music of New Orleans, featuring Bennie Pete and Cherice Harrison-Nelson. Directed by Mark Laver.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Faculty development: Institute for the International Education of Students

The Institute for the International Education of Students (IES Abroad) presents two opportunities for faculty during the summer or fall of 2016. 

Teach Abroad:

IES Abroad Consortium members are invited to nominate faculty members to teach at IES Abroad Centers during the summer or fall semester of 2016. Faculty members whose interests align with those of the Center can apply to teach in Barcelona, Dublin, Madrid, Berlin, the European Union Program, Milan, Rome, Buenos Aires, London, Paris, Vienna, or Tokyo. For faculty selected to teach in these locations, IES pays a stipend for teaching one course, covers transportation to the Center, and the cost of housing up to $2000 in the summer or $4000 in the fall.

Research Abroad:

A second opportunity for IES Abroad Consortium faculty members is to apply for a research associateship at any of the IES Abroad Centers for this summer or fall. IES Abroad covers the cost of transportation to the site and provides $1000 for housing. IES staff will also assist the associates with research and introduce them to faculty on site in areas of interest. Historically, IES arranges for associates to give a public presentation through a local university partner.

Applications for either opportunity are due March 1, 2016.

More details for either program can be found at IES Abroad Faculty Development Opportunities.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Off-Campus Study in India

Grinnell College Off-Campus Study student, Caleigh Ryan '17, studied in Madurai, India for her fall semester 2015. She chose the South India Term Abroad (SITA) program for her studies abroad. While in Maduri, she lived with a host family. Watch this SITA video that expresses the joys of Caleigh's home-stay and semester spent studying in India.

South India Term Abroad, Caleigh Ryan and the Syed family

Are you interested in studying abroad like Caleigh?

Contact the office of Off-Campus Study at Grinnell College for more study abroad opportunities.
Or find other unique offerings available through the Center for International Studies.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Spanish Professor Manuel Gadella, Fall 2015 Heath Visiting Professor

Each year, the Center for International Studies oversees the Heath Professorship, which brings to Grinnell College the most distinguished international figures for a semester-length stay. For the fall 2015 semester, the physics department hosted Professor Manuel Gadella of the University of Valladolid, Spain. Prof. Gadella taught two special topics courses that are not currently covered in the physics department curriculum. The first was on mathematical methods of physics and the second on ''Classical Theory of Fields.''

Prof. Gadella received his PhD in theoretical physics from the University of Santander, Spain
in 1979. He held postdoctoral positions at Princeton University and the University of Texas at Austin. He is currently Professor Titular of Theoretical Physics at the University of Valladolid. Prof. Gadella’s research spans a wide array of topics, including the mathematics of quantum mechanics, scattering theory and integrable systems. He has authored or co-authored over 125 research papers, nearly 100 of which have been published in peer-reviewed international journals of physics, and two books. He has given talks all the world over and held visiting positions at universities in a number of countries, including the United States, Belgium, Germany, Costa Rica and Argentina, where has taught both undergraduate and graduate courses.

Prof. Gadella's primary research topic, about which he was most excited to present a talk to the College, involves the irreversibly of time. The late Sujeev Wickramasekara was the professor of physics who nominated Prof. Gadella for the Heath Professorship, and he had explained Gadella's work with the irreversibly of time as:
"The essential problem is that all fundamental laws of physics that govern microscopic phenomena do not acknowledge a direction of time—a backward flowing time is just as good as a forward flowing time. Nevertheless, the time in the macroscopic world goes only forward. The emergence of this irreversible, asymmetric time evolution from the time symmetric fundamental laws of physics, both classical and quantum, is a deep problem."
Prof. Gadella planned to present this talk early in the spring semester as well as conduct research with Prof. Wickramasekara through the month of February. Tragically, Prof. Wickramasekara passed away unexpectedly on December 28, 2015. Prof. Gadella as well as the entire Grinnell College community lost a wonderful and brilliant colleague. The Center for International Studies also would like to offer condolences to the family and loved ones of Professor Sujeev Wickramasekara.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Call to apply for ACM visiting international faculty positions 2017-2019

The call for applications for visiting faculty at the ACM off-campus programs has been posted to the ACM website.  Open positions are:

·         Botswana: Development in Southern Africa – Visiting Faculty Director, Spring '18
·         Brazil: Culture, Community, & Language, PUC-Rio – Visiting Faculty Director, Fall '17
·         Florence: Arts, Humanities, & Culture – Affiliated Scholar, Fall '18
·         India: Culture, Traditions, & Globalization – Faculty Coordinator, August '17
·         London & Florence: Arts in Context – Visiting Faculty Director in London (Spring '19) and Affiliated Scholar in Florence (Spring '19)
·         Jordan: Middle East & Arabic Language Studies – Visiting Faculty, Fall '16 or Fall '17
·         Newberry Seminar: Research in the Humanities – Faculty Co-Directors, Fall '18
·         Shanghai: Perspectives on Contemporary China – Visiting Faculty Director, Fall '17
·         Tanzania: Ecology & Human Origins – Visiting Faculty Director, Fall '17

The deadline to apply for positions on programs in Botswana, Brazil, Florence, India, London, Tanzania, and at the Newberry Library in Chicago is February 15, 2016, and the deadline for positions in Jordan and Shanghai is March 1, 2016.

Opportunities for faculty development in such positions are unique to the ACM consortium, and faculty who have served in these roles list some of the benefits as furthering their own understanding of the host country, building their research contacts, and sharing their experiences in unexpected ways when they return to the classroom on their home campus.  ACM will fill these positions with faculty members who will benefit in like ways and will enjoy the challenge of guiding students in their intellectual and personal development in new environments. 

Applications are welcome from faculty who are tenured, in tenure track lines, or are long-term faculty in nontenured positions. Participants receive their regular salary and benefits, along with a stipend for travel and living expenses.

If you have any questions about this process, please contact the Center for International Studies or contact the ACM Off-Campus Study Program Director, Joan Gillepsie at (312)-561-5906.