Summer Takes Toreros Around the World

Tuesday, September 4, 2018post has photospost has video

University of San Diego students, faculty and staff spent their summer doing a variety of things: Many studied abroad. Several did research. Adventures awaited most. Internships and jobs started, some far away and local for others. In all, everything was about the knowledge that was gained. As the fall semester returns to start the 2018-19 year, USD News Center compiled a sample of USD’s Summer 2018 happenings.

Summer 2018

Research by Ship: In June, five students and three professors embarked on a four-day research cruise aboard the R/V Sally RideAmerica's newest research vessel off the Southern California Continental Shelf, said Sarah Gray, professor and chair of Environmental and Ocean Sciences. The trip was part of a three-year National Science Foundation grant "GEOPATHS" to inspire and train diverse undergraduate students and pre-service teachers to pursue careers in the geo-sciences. Students are also researching factors affecting near-shore marine sedimentation in the geographically unique, tectonically-active southern California continental and at least four USD classes will use data from this cruise next year as part of their curriculum. 

Implementing a Senior Design Engineering Project in Uganda: A group of engineering students traveled to Uganda with Electrical Engineering Chair and Professor Mikaya Lumori to implement their senior design project, a low-cost walker that also serves as a pit latrine assistive device for landmine survivors and person with disabilities. Despite several obstacles, including finding the right supplies and having other equipment stolen from their van, the group was largely successful in creating two walkers at several vocational schools, making a plan for long-term success for the project and experiencing Ugandan culture. Said Team Leader Kathryn Forsythe: "I am grateful to be part of the project and I cannot wait to see the impact it will make in the future." Forsythe’s teammates included Davis Giles, Melanie Kliegel, Taylor Bongiovanni, Mei-Li Hey and Craig Wade. Dr. Bryan Cornwall, although he did not go on the trip, was the team’s senior design adviser.

MBA Student Works for Adobe: MBA student Stephanie Casola worked at tech giant Adobe as a marketing campaign manager on the company’s Education Team in San Francisco. Her project targeted high school students to increase their awareness of Adobe and increase engagement in its Creative Cloud applications. She focused on one of the newer applications, Adobe Spark, created for digital story telling. Her activities included holding focus groups, doing a test campaign and presenting her strategy recommendations to vice presidents and other managers. “I learned a lot about marketing strategy execution and found it very rewarding to get to spend so much time around young minds,” Casola said. “Overall it was a wonderful project.”

SIBC Members Gain Experience in Crete and Cyprus: The USD Student International Business Council organized two opportunities for students to explore the Mediterranean islands of Crete and Cyprus while gaining hands-on work experience at two global organizations. In the spring semester, Mary Pat Abruzzo '20, Alex Cooley '20, Kirsten Kuang '21 and Addie Hardten '21, worked on a market analysis of the olive oil industry to help the Sisois Family Olive Grove turn their premium olive oil into a more profitable product. "This presentation was an amazing way to learn the steps and barriers of starting a new business," said Abruzzo. "It allowed us to gain real-world experience in seeing how a small business could expand into the U.S. market."

This summer, SIBC students Marie Lawson '19 and Julia Freund '20, interned in the digital marketing department at Famous Sports, the largest chain of sports retail in Cyprus, representing brands such as Reebok, Roxy, Quicksilver and Speedo. It gave them a chance to immerse in an international work environment and the Cypriot culture and to practice digital marketing in the corporate world and on a global scale. "We were introduced to the company's website database and were involved in preparing the website for the winter season products," Lawson said. She and Freund were "in charge of adding product descriptions, doing research on possible product imaging and diving into the backend of the website. Both SIBC experiences came courtesy of businessman and philanthropist Frank Potenziani endowing the SIBC chapter in the School of Business with a $1.1 million gift in 2002.

German Students Learn from USD Business Faculty: A group of 51 German students from a partner university were on campus in August for a short-term seminar on sales and marketing taught by USD’s School of Business faculty. The group has come to campus routinely each summer, but this is the biggest group yet. At their last week of classes they joined other students for the Summer Institute on Innovation and Entrepreneurship Aug. 20-24.

MBA Students Learn Microfinance, Wealth Creation in Guatemala: Professor Stephen Conroy’s summer MBA class offers students the chance to do a four-day study abroad experience in Antigua to learn firsthand about microfinance and wealth creation. The MBA class, offered every other summer since 2008, starts with three lectures and coursework on campus to learn about the theoretical applications and models of microfinance, both here and abroad. Students then go to Antigua for a remarkable experience, getting the opportunity to immerse themselves in local communities and gain a deeper understanding of how microfinance helps small businesses — and communities — in Guatemala.

Mulvaney Center’s MICAH Fellows Immerse, Intern in Tijuana: When putting yourself outside the comfort zone, perhaps there is no other program better than the MICAH Fellowship through USD’s Mulvaney Center. This year, the fellowship expanded south of the border into Tijuana where four fellows practiced community, spirituality, leadership, simplicity and social justice while interning at organizations that serve different populations in one of Mexico’s biggest cities. Yesenia Villasenor and Daniel Araujo worked at Los Niños and with the Scouts of Tijuana, both of which are organizations that serve low-income communities, providing a safe and healthy environment for youth to connect and learn. Edgar Chavarria and Alejandra Pinto-Garcia were placed at Fundacion GAIA, an organization that recently opened a job recruitment agency for deported migrants. The fellows created relationships, joined community and live intentionally in what for a lot of people might seem like a chaotic city. They were able to see social justice with a global lens and find connections between the United States and Mexico that go beyond debates over a wall and realized the beauty of life at the border. This fourth year of the MICAH Fellowship program, a collaboration between USD and St. Mary’s.

Outdoor Adventures: Typically one of the programs that's already focused ahead on the upcoming year is Outdoor Adventures. During the month of August, this outdoor recreation focused space on campus is getting acquainted with incoming students for the Honors Program, its own OA guides or other specific campus groups to run a fun and educational trip to a local spot or a Southern California destination. Later in August, OA hosts a collection of Pre-Orientation trips that take students to some of California's most beautiful spots to camp, connect with others, eat great food and surely to play some Spikeball. 

International Changemaking Via SOLES

Having an international experience is a graduation requirement for all School of Leadership and Education Sciences (SOLES) students. This summer, SOLES had eight global studies courses in places such as the Bahamas, Japan, South Africa, United Kingdom, Netherlands, and Spain. The courses aren’t just about studying abroad, but are courses designed and led by SOLES faculty.

The South Africa trip, run by Assistant Professor Rebekka Jez, enabled her students to participate in a Changemaker event. The class Jez taught enables students the opportunity to learn more about local and global perspectives on educating diverse learners. In South Africa, the course emphasized the cultural and linguistic diversity of Black South Africa and the challenges of educating this broad group of students including a strong emphasis on the history of South African R-12 schooling with specific attention to racial stratification and segregation. Students were required to do a Changemaker project in collaboration with South African educators from universities and schools in Johannesburg. Students attended and presented at the Division of International Special Education and Services (DISES) conference in Cape Town.

One student’s reflection: “Three months ago we started a Changemaking project by communicating with South African educators about ways we could incorporate inclusive practices into our classrooms and communities. After flying to South Africa we met with local colleagues and discussed the ways that we can build empathy to create inclusive and safe environments for our students. From our meeting, we constructed and presented multiple presentations discussing the challenges and the solutions that we can create as educators to take on common classroom challenges. Through this collaboration, we were able to instill a sense of community and learning amongst educators.”

Another intriguing SOLES summer course was in Amsterdam. The course was built around an academic conference hosted by the International Society for Third-Sector Research.

Students presented papers and served on panels, including Bethany Gilbert and Ashley Nanar, co-presenters on professional development panel with SOLES faculty, Dr. Laura Deitrick and Dr. Hans Schmitz, on “Teaching with Cases and Applied Learning Models”; Lyn Corbet examined “The Legitimacy of Local Nonprofits: Exploring the Interdependent Relationship Between Local Government and Nonprofits in the United States”; Afnan Koshak presented on “Contextual Sensitivity and Strategy Alignment in Saudi Foundation”; and Elena McCollum put together a panel on accountability with PhD students from other institutions.

Other highlights included visiting the Anne Frank House and meeting its executive director to learn about running the nonprofit behind the museum; A visit to Kennisland, a consultant group working on educational issues and social enterprise, in the Netherlands; and a private viewing of Rembrandt’s artwork at the Rijksmuseum.

Kroc School/IPJ/TBI Summer Opportunities

The Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, as well as its colleagues in the Institute for Peace and Justice and the Trans-Border Institute, had a busy, eventful summer.

TBI Director and Professor of Practice Ev Meade shared his thoughts the institute’s two certificate programs, the Trans-Border Opportunities Certificate and the Applied Peace Education Certificate. Meade’s work to broaden and deepen awareness and knowledge of the U.S.-Mexico border comes through in many ways, including the availability of guest speakers with firsthand exposure to the region.

“Not many courses feature a Border Patrol chief and a former leader of MS-13 as guest speakers,” Meade said. “This is exactly the range of perspectives and first-person experiences we strive for in the TBO. In addition to Chief Scott from the Border Patrol and Alex Sánchez from Homies Unidos, this summer’s speakers include: former State Senator Denise Ducheny, lawyer and cross-border civil society advocate José Larroque, Tijuana philanthropist José Galicot, former San Diego Police Officer and DEA Task Force member Steve Duncan, UC Irvine Anthropologist Leo Chavez, Tijuana River ecologist Kristin Goodrich, smart growth entrepreneur Miguel Marshall, and craft beer pioneer Damián Morales, among others.”

Karen Henken, a professor of practice for social innovation and entrepreneurship in the Master of Arts in Social Innovation program, went to Bogota, Colombia as part of the Kroc School’s partnership with Uniminuto. She was featured in a video (Spanish language only) regarding an innovation boot camp that she did in Bogata. She also connected with USD alumni, including MA graduate John Patterson, who works for USAID. Hear more in this blog entry.

Additionally, 34 MAPJ students had summer internships, locally and around the world. A few students, Austin Galy, Hillary Maravilla and Sophie Thompson, blogged about their experiences.

School of Law Offerings in Paris and London

Michael Devitt, Professor of Law and Director of Summer Law Programs Abroad, has been the director for several years now and he recently revamped the programs offered. A substantial number of USD law students now participate in both the Paris and London programs.

In Paris, Judges Margaret McKeown and Michael Hawkins have co-taught International Internet and Intellectual Property Law for the past three years. Students speak very highly of their experience in this class and one reason why might be a special and fun exercise — they do a scavenger hunt around Paris to look for trademark infringements.

In London, two new law courses were taught this summer. Professors David Brennan and Fred Heller brought in guest speakers, and visits to local law firms were a highlight for the students. Professor Heller, Partner Emeritus, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer and Feld, brought his students to Akin Gump where they had lunch and conversed with the partners.

Athletics: Basketball Team Visits Costa Rica

And lastly, the USD men's basketball team once again took a summer trip, mixed together with a study abroad class offering, and visited Costa Rica. Here, new head coach Sam Scholl and the team played three exhibition games, going 3-0, learned a lot about the culture, had some enjoyable experiences and did meaningful community service by spending time with local youth there from a children's hospital and an orphanage.

Read the full story on the USD Athletics website, finding out how it was "Pure Vida."

— Compiled by Ryan T. Blystone, Lissette Martinez and Liz Harman.

Photos and videos courtesy of multiple on-campus sources.

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