Students become engaged global citizens

Since the 2011 merger of the global studies and modern languages departments, many of the department’s faculty members have incorporated service learning into their study abroad classes. This approach allows students to further their knowledge of the place they are studying and gain experience with service and outreach.

Molly Enz, left, was honored at the 2015 Celebration of Faculty Excellence. Enz received the Edward Patrick Hogan Teaching Excellence. She is joined in the photo by Hogan.

Molly Enz, left, was honored at the 2015 Celebration of Faculty Excellence. Enz received the Edward Patrick Hogan Teaching Excellence. She is joined in the photo by Hogan.

Molly Enz, a 2015 Edward Patrick Hogan Teaching Excellence Award recipient and French professor at SDSU, has led study abroad programs to various countries like Senegal and currently coordinates the global studies program.

“The Department of Modern Languages and Global Studies is very committed to experiential learning and encouraging our students to become engaged, global citizens,” Enz said.

A Sengalese woman shows traditional handwoven baskets, which are made in many colors and designs.

A Sengalese woman shows traditional handwoven baskets, which are made in many colors and designs.

Enz also led a service-learning trip to the Dominican Republic in summer 2015. The group of 12 students partnered with a nonprofit organization called Outreach 360 for the weeklong trip.

One student from the group devoted her summer to working with this organization in Monte Cristi, a city about 45 minutes from the Haitian border. Allison Risseeuw, a junior English major from Watertown, taught English to children and explored the Dominican culture while earning global studies internship credit.

Risseeuw said Enz encouraged her to pursue new opportunities that matched her academic and cultural interests.

“After talking with Dr. Enz a few semesters back, I decided that a minor in global studies would suit my career aspirations and give me a broader cultural experience,” Risseeuw said.

And broad experience she has gained.

A Sengalese woman carries water and her baby

A Sengalese woman carries water and her baby

Risseeuw traveled to France in June 2014, visiting various attractions and cities such as Paris and Normandy. A three-week cultural and service-learning study abroad program to Senegal preceded the French trip. Risseeuw’s summer excursion brings her study abroad total to three.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed the study abroad program and the experiences I’ve gained. I hope to continue to teach English and to eventually become fluent in multiple languages,” Risseeuw said.

German professor Eckhard Rolz, who received the Faculty Award for Global Engagement at the 2015 Celebration of Faculty Excellence, has led three trips to Germany. He and Enz plan to lead a venture through Belgium, Switzerland, France, Germany and the Netherlands. The journey will expose students to European culture and politics in a hands-on, or experiential-learning setting.

“In the past two to three years, many of the faculty members in our department have won notable awards for their excellence, both inside the classroom and outside,” Rolz said.

Seth Conley

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