2008-2009 Academic Year

Ernest Bove – Chile

Ernest took advantage of a Walker Fellowship to spend JanPlan working with TechnoServe, a global International Development Agency in Santiago, Chile.  The agency’s goal is “Technology in the Service of Mankind” and aims to develop entrepreneurs, build business and industries, and improve the business environment in the developing world.  Ernest, as a volunteer, used the Spanish skills he learned at Colby to help implement these projects and improve his understanding of the socioeconomic situation in Chile’s capital.

Burton Gildersleeve – Rosetta Stone

Burton was awarded a Walker Fellowship to purchase Rosetta Stone software in order to learn Portuguese.  Portuguese is a language that Colby does not offer but that nonetheless plays a leading role in Latin America as its largest country’s official language.  He hoped that the software could provide him with an adequate base to study in Brazil and gain true fluency through total immersion later in his academic career.

Rebecca González-Kreisberg – Costa Rica

Rebecca used the funding from her Walker Fellowship to improve her Spanish language skills.  She enrolled in a four-week program in the Institute of Central American Development Studies in Costa Rica, which consisted of classroom time in small groups, cultural activities, volunteer work with local children, and weekly field trips.  Additionally, she lived with a host family, thus immersing herself in both the language and the culture.

Jennifer Katzman – Peru

Jennifer was awarded a Walker Fellowship to volunteer with La Casa de Panchita in Lima, Peru.  This program targets female domestic workers–who are often exploited–and their children, and volunteers teach English, computer skills, and other useful workshops.  She hoped this project would supplement the volunteer work she did while studying abroad as a junior in Quito, Ecuador, and improve her understanding of social issues in Peru.

Stephanie Stoddard – Ecuador

Stephanie spent JanPlan in Ecuador studying Kichwa, the most widely-spoken indigenous language in Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia.  She participated in a program that offered one-on-one classes, four hours per day, five days per week.  Meanwhile, she lived with a host family.  Her main goal in this project consisted in understanding the unique position of the indigenous population of Ecuador–a self-proclaimed plurinational state.  She believed that her knowledge of Ecuador, where she studied abroad, could not be complete without the knowledge of the Kichwa language.

Amelia Swinton – Ecuador

Amelia was awarded a Walker Fellowship to research her Senior Honors Thesis in Latin American Studies, which focused on identity construction practices for Afro-Ecuadorians.  She split January between two rural communities with extremely high Afro-Ecuadorian populations, conducting interviews in order to construct an anthropological understanding of the social effects of race in urban Ecuador.  She paid particular attention to the ethnoeducation curriculum, a new tool which teaches Afro-Ecuadorian children about their ethnic heritage.

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