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Opening up the campus to the world

07/09/2014

Each year, MCLA students experience the world as they spend semesters abroad and participate in numerous travel study courses.

Over this past academic year, for example, Stephanie Rosa '16 of the University of Puerto Rico-Cayey spent a semester on campus through the National Student Exchange Program. Likewise, MCLA student India Prevost '14 studied at Alabama State University. In addition, the College welcomed 10 exchange students to campus last fall from China's Hebei University and Shanghai University of Business and Economics.

Even more of the College's undergraduates - and the greater community - benefit through an ever-increasing influx of visitors to campus from around the globe, including China, Egypt, England, Germany, Japan and Norway.

MCLA students will learn from visiting scholar Dr. Yu Wang, a professor from China's Shanghai International Business and Economics University (SIBEU).  Starting July 7, she will teach a summer course in Chinese and world literature as part of an ongoing partnership between MCLA and SIBEU that furthers opportunities for cross-cultural educational experiences. 

Composer Bjorn Bolstad Skjelbred of Oslo, Norway, was on campus to perform a concert of new music for students in Dr. Michael Dilthey's music history course, "Meet the Artists." Not limited to just Dilthey's class, his presentation also was open to the rest of the campus and the greater community.

Summer programs in particular, including the College's annual Leadership Academy, our DownStreet Art initiative and the Berkshire Hills Internship Program (B-HIP), attract members of the international community to MCLA each year.                                       

A professor of arts and creative technologies at England's Staffordshire University, Dr. Alke Groppel-Wegener is at MCLA this summer for an exhibition of her artwork in the PRESS Gallery, "What's Your Mantra," which opened with the June 26 kick-off of DownStreet Art.

Like Groppel-Wegener, Egyptian artist Alaa Awad, here for DownStreet Art - not only for an exhibition of his artwork at MCLA Gallery 51 entitled "Thebes," but also to paint an expansive mural on Center Street in North Adams, "Justice." Throughout the process of painting this expansive, 60-foot-long mural, Awad included students and community members, who helped create the work.

Also active within the North Adams community this summer is Soka University student Takashi Kusaka '15 (pictured above), who traveled from Japan to participate in B-HIP because of its "unique program and opportunity" that he could not find in closer to home. Through his internship at the North Adams Office of Tourism and Community Events, "I am learning how art can change the society here," he said.

MCLA is the preferred university of renowned German violin repair expert Hans J. Nebel. Each summer, he offers his Violin Repair Workshop on campus. Participants come from throughout the country and the world to learn from him at workshops offered through the College's Continuing Education program.

Another program held each summer at MCLA, Leadership Academy, prepares participants for a successful future in educational administration and leadership. Leadership Academy also brings to campus experts from throughout the country and the world. Among them is Dr. Sut Jhally, who will speak on "Tough Guise: Masculinity and the Cultures of Violence."

Born in Kenya, raised in England and educated in graduate studies in Canada, Jhally is one of the world's leading scholars: he looks at the role played by advertising and popular culture in the processes of social control and identity construction.

Like Jhally's lecture, on July 22 at 8 p.m. in Murdock Hall 218, many events at MCLA are free and open to the public. For more information, go to www.mcla.edu.