Author Archives: adg5206


By ANNE DUVAL GOODRICH on December 11, 2013

My time as an intern at the Center for Global Studies provided me with a better look into the “real world” in comparison to any experience I have had in a more formal academic setting.  The real world application of what I have learned in the classroom will allow me to become more marketable as I enter the job force and I hope this experience will impress future employers. The skills I learned are transferable not only in the immediate future, but also as I progress throughout my chosen career.  Over the past few months I learned that taking risks and stepping outside my comfort zone leads to other opportunities. I demonstrated initiative to my supervisor and was rewarded by being offered the head internship position next semester.  Since this experience has been successful thus far, I am interested and excited to see how I handle my responsibilities in the spring.

I learned the importance of taking initiative and the payoff taking risks can have in a work environment. One task that I was in charge of throughout the semester was organizing a screening of Girl Rising, a film whose goal is to raise awareness about the importance of education for young females around the globe.  When I first saw the email I thought it would be great if the Center for Global Studies sponsored a screening at Penn State. At first I wasn’t sure if I should forward it to my supervisor, Sarah, because I had only just started as an intern.  After a little bit of thought, I decided to do so because the worst that could happen was that Sarah said no.  Fortunately, however, my initiative paid off, as Sarah really liked the idea and asked me to apply on the Center’s behalf.   Although I was initially reserved about taking initiative, my organization of the event is one of the reasons I believe I was offered the lead intern role for next semester. I know that not all of my bosses will be as receptive to ideas as Sarah was, but I now know that if I don’t offer my ideas they can never be accepted.

My experience organizing Girl Rising allowed me to network both on campus and within the community.  I established contacts with a woman who works in the Library, a PSU club president, and a few professors. If I am asked to organize an event next semester, I can use these contacts to help plan the occasion. Working across different departments is an essential skill because it is transferable to other jobs and offices.  Although I didn’t like communicating entirely over email, it is important that I learn and have experience doing so. Most employers want their employees to take initiative in order to inspire innovation. Many of the best global companies, including Google and IBM, encourage their employees to be creative and submit innovative ideas. Many companies are following in these companies’ footprints because corporations that encourage ideas from all employees are extremely successful.   Since I know that initiative pays off and I can relate my experience with Girl Rising, employers will know that I am able to work independently with the ultimate goal of identifying ideas that benefit the organization.

Over the past three months I have learned a few things about myself that will help me in the future whether that is in graduate school or in the workforce. I know now that I do my best work when I am organized and set goals for myself. When I began college I quickly realized that keeping a planner would be a crucial determinant of my success.  I rarely kept one in high school and my ability to hand in assignments on time suffered dramatically. I applied the importance of organization to the internship because I was determined to make a good impression.  I did not want to seem forgetful or distracted so I wrote everything down. I was very good about this for the most part because I am well aware of what happens when I don’t.

My time at the Center for Global Studies introduced me to a potential career in international studies and public relations. Before the internship I knew little about the School of International Affairs located in the Katz Building. However, I recently attended a career discussion and panel at the Katz Building that highlighted the benefits of getting a master’s degree and  ways to work internationally or with domestic organizations that have an international focus. This internship confirmed my desire to work either for a Non-Governmental Organization stateside or overseas.  I would also like to pursue a career in public outreach or public relations because I enjoy interacting with the public and encouraging international initiatives both on campus and within the community. Unfortunately my interest in public relations was sparked too late in regards to pursuing it as a major.  Luckily, however, I am currently enrolled in the intro level class on campus and really enjoy it.  Before starting the internship, I was unaware that a majority of my tasks would involve public outreach and creating information about internationally focused events, but I have been happily surprised. Overall, this internship has solidified my desire to work in public relations or public outreach as well as my desire to work for an organization with an international focus.

Overall, I’ve enjoyed the internship at the Center for Global Studies for a variety of reasons.  I’ve had first hand experience working in an office and was able to apply what I learned in the classroom in a different setting. I learned the importance of taking initiative in an office and the ability to work independently because many bosses don’t want to micro-manage their subordinates. The international focus solidified my desire to work overseas or for an organization in America with an international focus.  I hope I can combine this by working as a public outreach coordinator as well.  Next semester, I hope to expand on what I’ve learned by working on different projects and taking on more responsibility.

The Importance of Global Studies


After attending various events by the Center for Global Studies I have learned more about the importance of Global Studies. It is not because we simply live within such a globalized economy but because as American citizens we live within a global culture. Whether one lives in the urban areas of Philadelphia, New York or DC or rural Pennsylvania he/she will be somewhat affected by global culture. We no longer live in isolated areas, but are all part of some bigger culture, constituted of many. Global studies helps us to understand these cultures and their different ways of life.

For instance, the film flying fish was more than a film, it was reality caught on tape. The incidences occurring in the film were those specific to Sri Lankans and the horrors they faced daily during the civil war. As the film came to a climax I still questioned why it was banned in the first place. It contained sexual contact yes, but don’t all films? Murder, yes? But what good movie doesn’t have a death scene or seven? Growing up in America this is mundane to our media but it is not that way everywhere. And to have someone banned from the country for creating such a film, in America would mean we’d have no good film directors left. But it’s the culture, and the government and the differences in many facets of life that makes me make no quick judgement about the film or its quality.

The French headscarf law really had me thinking too. Oppression is everywhere and against many different groups of people. Some may think the not wearing of the Hijab frees Muslim women, but the restriction against such religious garb only marginalizes them even more. There are many different perspectives to look at this law but my overriding opinion is that it is an oppressing force of Europeans against immigrants into their country. A group’s religion is as sacred as it gets and when one impedes on that it becomes an infringement on freedom of expression.It’s important to note that this law does not affect all Muslims, but Muslim girls, an already marginalized group. The lawmakers in France could probably use a global studies course or two.

In America, although met with quite some opposition for fear of an eroding “american culture” global studies is being taught in primary schooling, to begin children young to understand and learn about all the cultures surrounding them. Global studies is important because one needs to understand the cultural background behind religion war, terrorism and etc before he/she can make a knowledgeable judgment. Ignorance does nothing but feed the soul with resistance, to other cultures and ideas.

Careers in Geopolitical Intelligence

By MATTHEW ROBERT BLOSS on December 9, 2013

My primary project this semester was helping to coordinate and plan the “Careers in Geopolitical Intelligence” talk that was held here at Penn State on November 18th. The idea to hold the panel initially came from Sarah, but once she learned of my personal interests and passions she quickly approached me to help organize the event on CGS’s behalf. Upon hearing of Sarah’s plan, I immediately jumped at her offer of having me coordinate it. Since my youth I have had a passion for the dynamic international events and relationships that have shaped the course of human history and much of my recent academic experience has been dedicated to finding a career that will allow me observe, or better yet partake, in those events. Now I was fortunate to have found avenues to pursue my goal without much counsel from others, but the process was difficult and if I could go back four years, there is certainly more than one thing I would have done differently. So being given this opportunity to help my peers was not only exciting, but also personal, and I was determined to try and make this conference contain all the information that I wished I would have had when I was an underclassmen or a junior.

My first objective in the planning phase was to determine the scope of the project. I knew roughly that I wanted to impart information to my peers about finding a purpose to go along with their passion for geopolitics, but I needed to figure out what we were, and were not capable of. With the guidelines set out before me I reasoned that our best bet was to bring in individuals who currently worked, or had worked, in intelligence and/or diplomacy. If people could hear the literal process that others went through to get to where they are, they might gain some of the valued perspective that I was trying to impart. After some conferencing with Sarah we came up with a rough outline and format, and even started bouncing around some ideas of who we could tap to actually present at the event.

This was perhaps the most important part of the event planning process. The entire utility of the event depended on finding the right people who had relevant and applicable experience in the right career fields. The first individual was one of Sarah’s and CGS’s preexisting contacts, a man by the name of John Hodgson. John currently works in Penn State’s Applied Research Laboratory and serves as the Principal Investigator for the Strategic and Global Security Program, an Intelligence Community Center for Academic Excellence. Not only was John an individual with a wealth of personal experience in the field, but his contacts throughout the university allowed him to take a leading role with CGS in planning the event.

The Second individual we recruited was my idea. Anyone in the SRA or National Security majors is likely aware of Prof. Don Shemanski. Shemanski, who has served more than two decades with the US government as a Foreign Service Officer, and is well known among certain student circles for his entertaining and challenging class projects that pit students against a hypothetical terrorist plot and require them to use the knowledge that gain in class to (hopefully) unravel and thwart the plot. From what I knew of Prof. Shemanski, I figures he would be perfect for this event, having more than enough relevant experience while also having a great deal of positive “name recognition” among potential attendees.

The final source we brought in was Professor Scott Gartner, who has had years of experience studying international affairs as well as working hands-on with organizations like the FBI. Professor Gartner, who has worked with CGS before, was a wealth of information not just on the specifics of the industry but also on the long and winding paths people often take to get where they want (or eventually decide they want) to go.

With our three speakers recruited and eager to participate, all the remained left to do was sort out the logistics of the event. While it was easy to get caught up in the “meat” of the event (bringing in and coordinating the speakers) helping to organize the deli meat spread for the reception after the event proofed enlightening in its own way. One often does not appreciate all the small bits of planning and detail that must be attended to in order to make a single large event take place. I was fortunate to be at the head of the planning experience, helping to acquire tables, invite students, and obtain a headcount for the reception. This experience was likely some of the most beneficial as “simple” logistical tasks like these can often make the difference between a successful event and a fiasco.

After weeks of planning and coordination and no small amount of stress, November 18th finally rolled around and the event itself took place. As I stood there in the Katz building smiling pleasantly as around 50 students took their seats, I realized that we had not instructed anyone to actually “introduce” the event. After a brief and mild cardiac episode, I jaunted over to find Sarah and, without thinking about to too heavily, asked her: “so do you just want me to introduce the thing?” She smiled and said “OK”, leaving me with the task of coming up with a one-two minute intro in about ten seconds. Luckily providence and this fine academic institution have gifted me with a knack for public speaking that enabled me to briefly take the podium and tactfully start the whole event off. I’m not sure of about 90% of what I ended up saying, but Sarah told me I did very well, so I’m inclined to take her word for it.

The rest of the event went better than I could have ever expected. All the stories and information given by our speakers was exactly the sort of thing a younger version of me wished he could have heard two or three years ago. The food ended up being quite good and many students stuck around well after the reception talking to the speakers, various interns, and each other. Overall I was incredibly privileged to be a part of CGS and help plan this event. The experience I gained in planning and coordination will do doubt be vital to me in my professional career. I can safely say my time at CGS has been some of the most educational out of my entire Penn State experience, helping me so that if I ever come back to PSU, it will not be to host another talk, but to speak at it.

CGS Internship–Final Reflections

By KELLY ANN DIAZ on December 9, 2013

For my last blog post, I would like to reflect on my wonderful experience as an intern for the Center for Global Studies at Penn State for the Fall 2013 semester, and the best lessons I have learned in these fourteen weeks.

Computer skills are definitely something that I have improved on this semester. One of the biggest projects I dedicated my time to was changing information from a website to an Excel sheet. In the past, when I found a problem with a document I made (especially in Excel) I would get frustrated and quit, but when I encountered these problems as an intern at CGS, I had to calm down, step back, and come up with a reasonable approach for solving the problem as quickly and effectively as possible. At the beginning of the semester, I was asked to help reformat the newsletter. Doing this was, to be honest, extremely tedious. Every picture I moved, moved the box underneath, every font change affected the layout, and nothing seemed to move around where I wanted it to. I never had the chance to be the coordinator of the monthly newsletter, but by November I felt confident enough to volunteer to do so. Another task I did was composing a handout for the World Stories Alive program. This required using a template and shifting out content, colors, boxes, and pictures. I was afraid that this would be a hard task for me, but I actually enjoyed doing it, and was very happy with my final product. Technology may not be my best friend, but it is always a job requirement when I apply for internships and jobs, and I can confidently and honestly say that I have a lot of experience with Excel, word processing, and formatting.

Email has always been a difficult medium for me. I am used to texting, Facebook messaging, and making phone calls to receive and share information. Even my summer jobs in the past have not used email very frequently. I get dozens of emails a day to my psu email from club list-servs, internship advertisements, PSU newswires, etc., and sometimes I let so many pile up that I miss important information. This semester to maximize my efficiency and eliminate the chance that I would miss an email (after I did at the beginning of the semester), I created a CGS folder on my webmail account. Filtering emails from Sarah, my supervisor, Kortnie, our administrative assistant, Katie, our lead intern, Molly, our grad intern, or Matthew, Annie, and Sheryl, my co-interns, into one logical and organized place, made everything a lot easier for me. Now, thanks to Sarah’s 24 hour rule, I am a master at answering emails. I usually respond as soon as I open them, and if I cannot give the subject my full attention, I will respond when I get the time within a few hours. I have also learned that ALL emails from CGS personnel need to be opened and read carefully to begin with.

This internship gave me a lot of responsibility, and I really had to rise to the occasion. The way my class schedule worked, I could not make it into the office until late in the afternoon on Monday and Thursdays, at which point my supervisor was scheduled to leave for the day. Often times, I was left alone to get work done. The temptation was there to leave and go home or simply sit at my computer and play on Facebook, but I knew what was expected of me and what I needed to accomplish, and was able to fight the temptation and make the mature decision to be honest and hardworking, which is the qualities they saw in me when I was hired.

A lot of freedom is also given to me in planning lessons for my after school club at YSCP. Throughout the semester, my co-leader and I were only observed twice. The other weeks we still needed to create meaningful and worthwhile lessons for our nine 3rd and 4th grade students. This job meant so much to me that it was never tempting to disrespect my students and poorly represent the Center by giving a poorly planned lesson. I always felt that my hard work paid off.

Aside from my experience with the World on Trial event (see World on Trial blog post), my favorite tasks were teaching at YSCP and at America Reads. This has taught me a lot about my ability to working with children and the enjoyment I get from doing so. I hope that in my time as an attorney I get to work with children, and I also have dreams of retiring fairly young from the legal field and working as a teacher for a few years.

The experience of teaching a “UK culture” club was so rewarding for me because it allowed me to draw on my experience studying abroad in London last spring. When I interviewed for this internship, I referenced my abroad semester as one of my biggest qualifications for the job. Realistically, much of my office work did not require this experience, but this was definitely something that benefitted from my first-hand knowledge of British, Welch, and Scottish culture.

I would never admit it then, but at the beginning of the semester, I was very thin-skinned. When I received a criticism on a newsletter article I wrote, my lack of ability to answer an email quickly enough, or had a mis-spelling pointed out, I shirked away from these comments and had a difficult time not seeing them as personal attacks. However, after making several small mistakes and being kindly and professionally taught by Sarah, I learned that these “criticisms” are massively constructive and that the more feedback I get, the better. Now I happily invite comments on my newsletters, blogs, lesson plans, etc. I have become a much stronger intern because of the feedback I received (both negative and positive) from my supervisor.

My resume and linkedin account are much stronger because of this experience, and I am so glad to have had the opportunity to work for Penn State, and specifically the Center for Global Studies. My co-interns, lead intern, grad intern, and supervisor have all been amazing contacts and resources for me, and I hope to re-connect with everyone in the future. I am sure that because of this experience, all of us will have new opportunities for competitive jobs we may not have before. I have applied for an international State Department post, an international Humanity in Action program, and will apply to law schools with confidence that I will thrive.

World on Trial

By KELLY ANN DIAZ on December 9, 2013

Attending and assisting at the World on Trial: Headscarf Law event was one of the most rewarding experiences I had during my time as an intern for the Center for Global Studies at Penn State. It was my personal project to create a shift schedule that worked for all interns. It was stressful trying to coordinate everything before hand, but it paid off when everyone was able to make his/her shift, was on time, and performed the duties without conflict. The other reason this program was so meaningful to me was because I hope to be a human rights attorney. This event focused on a nuanced distinction between right and wrong in the legal and political world.

World on Trial introduced me to this human rights issue of the Headscarf ban in public schools in France which I did not know much about previously.

I learned a lot of information from Penn State’s speaker, Sandra Rouseeau, about French history and the Franco-Algerian relations. I did not know about the term Laicite, which means freedom from religion. This principle, highly regarded in French society, is used as the basis for the ban of “ostentatious displays of religion,” which now has become known as the “Headscarf Ban” because of the limitations of who it realistically affects.

People who disagree with the law argue that it restricts freedom of religion. The distinction between “Freedom of religion” and “Freedom from religion” is very complex and an integral part of this debate. Another branch of this is the difference between keeping the “state” secular and keeping individuals secular. Many believe that the government, public schools, etc., should be kept secular, but that individuals should be free to practice religion without consequences.

In the video we watched on the trial for the headscarf law, the proponents of the law said that this ban was necessary to protect Muslim women from the Brothers who force them to wear it and violently punish or shame them if they do not. However, this is a very tricky argument to make, because you are taking the position that the law IS specifically targeted at this one group of people, which then makes it unjust and illegal. As a future lawyer, this is an interesting issue for me.

Many people who oppose this law fear that it promotes Islamophobia and heightens this sense of discrimination against all followers of this religion.

Even after the nine-hour seminar, I was unable to reach a final conclusion about whether the law should be allowed or not. It was comforting to hear that the academics who presented and in the audience were conflicted as well. However, it was a wake up call as to what I will be dealing with as a human rights attorney in about four short years and presumably in legal internships before then.

As Penn State’s legal expert, Courtney J. Restemeyer shared, in France, Human Rights need to be enforced and explicitly written. Their purpose is to protect individuals from the State. An interesting question raised was whether or not France was bound to the ICCPR (International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights), of which they are a signatory.

Another point raised that resonated with me is that France is doing this under the pretense that they are promoting “Freedom from religion” and that the State has a responsibility to be secular, but isn’t creating this law becoming involved with religious affairs, not staying out of them?

The speaker from Pitt, Melek Yazici, gave a very informative presentation on her personal experience with headscarfs. Before, I was one of the ignorant people who thought the Hijab strictly referred to the restrictions on Muslim women. However, from her presentation, I learned that it actually refers to expectations of modesty for both men and women, and that men are asked to lower their gaze, etc. I was also intrigued and pleased to hear Yazici dispel the common myth about the “oppression” of Muslim women. She feels that the choice to wear a headscarf is completely up to her, and that she would feel naked and uncomfortable without it. Furthermore, she finds it to be much more liberating than oppressive. She feels that when she is covered, people focus on her intellect and personality, and not on her physical beauty, which makes her feel free. People argue that the law creates a safe haven for girls who do not want to wear the scarf, but Yazici argues that it makes it an unsafe place for girls who do.

From a legal lens, I liked seeing the limited scope of the supposedly wide-spread ban on religious paraphernalia. For example, we questioned whether a French student wearing a Christian Cross necklace would be punished in a similar manner to a girl wearing a headscarf. It was also mentioned that the French law technically forbids covering one’s face in public, but motorcycle helmets do the same thing, and people covering in such a manner are never punished. The last interesting argument about this law’s discriminatory nature, is that it only realistically affects girls. French schoolboys are not put in the same position.

When I applied to and accepted the position as an intern for the Center for Global Studies, I hoped that it would increase my awareness about global issues and various cultures. In the first month or two I feared that I was not fulfilling that expectation I had for myself, but after attending this event I can attest to having gained a significant amount of knowledge on the French and Muslim cultures.

“Girl Rising”

By ANNE DUVAL GOODRICH on December 1, 2013

            One task that I was in charge of throughout the semester was organizing a screening of Girl Rising, a film whose goal is to raise awareness about the importance of education for young females around the globe.  The film was brought to my attention by the organization I studied abroad with during the Spring 2013 semester, CIEE. I received an email from them in mid-September with information about the film and the steps necessary to secure a screening within your community, university or corporation. When I first saw the email I thought it would be great if the Center for Global Studies sponsored a screening at Penn State. At first I wasn’t sure if I should forward it to Sarah because I had only just started as an intern.  After a little bit of thought I decided to do so because the worst that could happen was that Sarah said no.  Fortunately, however, my initiative paid off as Sarah really liked the idea and asked me to apply on the Center’s behalf.

The first order of business after our application was accepted was to decide on a date.  There were a few dates that CIEE recommended, all of which corresponded with either International Day of the Girl, International Education Week or International Women’s Day.  Sarah and I talked about it and decided that International Education Week in November would provide us with be the right amount of time to plan a successful screening. It turned out that a few other groups on campus were interested in co-sponsoring, including the International Agriculture Club, United Nations Association of Centre County, and the University Libraries. I connected with the President of the International Ag Society, Amanda, and the two of us started emailing back and forth.  We thought about what day of the week and time of day would draw the biggest crowd.  We decided to screen the film early in the week, a Monday, and at 6pm so that students, community members, and PSU faculty could attend. Sarah suggested screening the film in Foster Auditorium and provided me with the contact information for the woman in charge of organizing the auditorium’s events. By early October we had secured the venue and I started working on other tasks.

Sarah also thought it would be beneficial to have a panel either before or after the film so that audience members could discuss either what they were about to see or what they had just witnessed.  The woman in charge of Foster Auditorium provided me with contact information for panelists but unfortunately I didn’t hear back from anyone right away.  Amanda contacted a professor in Women’s Studies but she never received a response either.  This is when the process got a little stressful because no responses made it difficult to progress any further. One of the biggest lessons I learned throughout this entire process is that communicating in person is so much easier than emailing back and forth.  I always believed this to be true but this event more than proved it to me. Eventually, Sarah was able to get in contact with a professor in Migration Studies who provided me information about a woman who had recently returned from a Fulbright Scholarship in Sri Lanka.  I emailed her and she was more than willing to help (and I very much appreciated her quick response). She asked that I keep her in the loop, which I promised to do once the panel was completely organized.  As it turned out, the woman in charge of Foster Auditorium’s computer crashed so she was unable to provide panel members until pretty late in the process.  Eventually we secured two other members and Amanda and I started to brainstorm how we wanted to organize the panel.

Originally, Amanda, with advice from her advisor, thought it would be best to have the panel beforehand so that our speakers wouldn’t be disrespected if audience members left immediately after the film.  I thought this was a good point so we settled on this arrangement.  However, while I was collecting bios from the panelists and what they planned on saying in regards to women’s education based on their research and experience they felt uncomfortable.  All three of them thought it would be better if they saw the film before speaking on the themes within it. Obviously we wanted to accommodate the panelists as much as possible since they were giving up their time.

As the date got closer I was getting very anxious that no one would show up.  As it turned out, there were a few other screenings of Girl Rising both before and after ours.  The final pieces of the event took a while to put together and I was worried that advertising went out too late.  Luckily, CIEE provided us with advertising materials that we could use as much as we wanted. Eventually the Libraries sent out a press release and completed the poster using a layout found on the CIEE website. Since I am in charge of social networking for the Center, I used Facebook and Twitter to post facts on female education that would “shock” the public. I hoped these numbers and statistics would entice people to learn about the importance of educating young girls.

Finally November 11th came along and much to my relief people showed up! Amanda was in charge of introducing both the film and panelists because I really don’t like public speaking.  It’s something I need to work on but I didn’t want to test out my skills during the event. In total, about 85 people attended, which I was happy with.  After the film ended, the panelists led an “organic” discussion based on their experience and expertise as it related to what they had just seen on screen.  Audience members shared their opinions, which were mostly positive. The discussion lasted around 45 minutes and I think audience members were thankful for being able to discuss such a powerful film with others. Overall, organizing the screening of Girl Rising was an enriching experience because I learned how to work with other organizations on campus and within the community.  Although it was a little stressful at times, I am now more confident in my ability to organize events and I am thankful that Sarah and the Center provided me with this opportunity.

Spanish Culture Club

By ANNE DUVAL GOODRICH on November 4, 2013

Part of my duties as an intern for the Center for Global Studies is leading an after-school club at a local K-8 elementary school.  Every Monday for the past nine weeks or so I go to the Young Scholars of Central Pennsylvania Charter School to teach a group of students about the Spanish culture I experienced while I was abroad.  In the beginning I was a little unsure of how I would take the knowledge I gained over an entire semester and translate it into something that would be fun and interesting for nine and ten year olds. I was also nervous to be the teacher after sitting in a classroom chair for so long but I knew I would overcome this fear as time went on.


I had no idea what to expect the first day even though I planned on going over the logistics of the club.  Although I only have three students in my club, I immediately liked all of them because they seemed really interested in the subject matter.  We spent the rest of that first day discussing what they wanted to learn throughout the semester while also talking about what I wanted to teach them.


Since then we have learned about a variety of topics. The first lesson we did was based on soccer, or fútbol to the Spaniards. Spain has a long history of fútbol success and a cult like following.  Two of the three kids play soccer so they were especially interested in the topic.  In the first session, I taught them about five footballers that are either from Spain or play club there.  We played a matching game where they had to connect a footballers name, picture, nationality and position.  The activity was definitely a challenge, but one of the girls enjoyed it so much that she took the completed activity home.  Luckily the following Monday was so beautiful that we were able to go outside and play soccer. It was hard to scrimmage with so few kids but we took turns playing goalie, passing and shooting.  The kids definitely enjoyed being outside after a long day of school and I was glad to be moving as well.

The next unit was Spanish art and some of the famous artists who are world-renowned.   The first lesson was on Pablo Picasso.  Using a PowerPoint presentation I shared some interesting facts about Picasso including his date and place of birth, influences on his work and his most famous paintings. After the brief introduction, the kids worked on collages because Picasso was the first modern artist to use this medium.  The following week we focused on the Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí.  Again, I used PowerPoint to highlight a few important aspects of his life and share pictures of his work that I took in Barcelona.  The kids then made clay models of the lizard displayed in Parc Guell that has become a symbol for Gaudí’s work. All three kids really enjoyed working with clay.  After they finished the lizard, there was enough clay for the kids to come up with their own creations such as a flower, heart, and even Pokémon.  I know this doesn’t have much, or anything, to do with Spain but I don’t mind if the students show some additional creativity.

This week we changed gears a bit and learned about the novel Don Quixote.  Written by a Spaniard, Don Quixote is arguably one the best books ever written so I wanted to introduce it to my three kids. The actual novel is probably above my reading level but I learned what I could over Wikipedia and turned it into a “Once Upon a Time” story that the fourth graders could relate to.  After that, they colored in a picture of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza standing in front of a windmill.  Then they worked on a word search based on points highlighted in the story.  One of the girls told me it was a too easy, but I was having a hard time deciding what was appropriate for their grade level.

Overall, I really enjoy my time leading the after school club.  I like talking to the kids about their school days, what they did over the weekend and what they dressed up as for Halloween.  In the coming club weeks, I hope to teach the students about festivals/holidays, food and the Royal Family.

October–CGS Internship

By KELLY ANN DIAZ on October 23, 2013

Last week in the UK and French Culture Club, Katie and I taught our YSCP students about the British Royal Family. We showed pictures of the current family–Prince William, Kate Middleton, their baby, Queen Elizabeth, etc.–and gave them some fun facts about the family and the castles and palaces they own and reside in. We also gave them some history on deceased members of the royal family. Additionally, we showed some funny “Horrible History” videos on the War of the Roses, which the kids loved! They were funny but also informative.

This past Saturday, the Center for Global Studies paired with the Association for India’s Development and hosted a Henna booth at the State College Fall Festival. We had about four or five amazing artists! Co-intern Annie and I both got Henna tattoos during our shifts and they are truly beautiful! Our main tasks were keeping the line organized, helping kids (and a few adults) pick out their pattern/design, and assisting the artists in any way we could (grabbing water bottles, etc.).

Our booth was a huge success! Everyone loved how their designs turned out, and we almost always had a line of kids, babysitters, and parents waiting to get one. The artists and CGS interns were all in high spirits, especially considering how hot it was at our booth! Using the multi-colored construction paper hands that my fellow interns and I made, kids had the opportunity to draw their own designs to be replicated on their hands. Some original designs I saw were pumpkins, ghosts, flowers, hearts, initials/names, “I love Mom,” and a turtle.

Unfortunately, I have a class during the Comparative Literature Luncheons every week, but I hear that they are great! The themes are varied from week to week, but within each topic they are very specific. This series gives Penn State and visiting professors a chance to showcase their work and increase an interest and understanding among students and faculty.  Most attendees are in the College of Liberal Arts, but the topics could appeal to academics in a variety of fields. I encourage everyone to attend at least one this semester! They take place in 102 Kern every Monday at 12:15 p.m. Additionally, the Center for Global Studies hosts the “Brown Bag Lectures” on select Wednesday afternoons. Stay tuned for dates and themes for these great events!

The CGS Experience


Interning at CGS has really been an experience for me thus far. As an intern I have worked in the office on the press release for the CGS Brown Bag Lecture Series, sorted a list of co-sponsors of CGS previous events and my biggest task of all- heading an after school program at the Young Scholars of Central Pennsylvania Charter School with a group of K-3. The club I lead is focused on learning basics about ancient civilizations in an interactive, hands-on way. I have decided that arts and crafts is the best way to teach this. It allows students to add a new spin to something very very veryyyyyyy old. Ancient Civilizations are something pretty abstract to such a young crowd, but the inventions and concepts that come from these places are not. I figure I can teach about something old by relating it to something new.

In our first session I did an overview of what ancient civilizations were and tried to get a sense of what the students already knew, and what they wanted to learn. To my surprise, some of the students knew quite a bit about old and modern civilizations. They knew about Egypt, pharaohs, pyramids, Machu Picchu and more! Though my most difficult task during this session was keeping the students’ quiet attention I was able to finish the session successfully.

image (1).jpeg

During the second session my lesson began with the first known ancient civilization: Ancient Mesopotamia. We reviewed three revolutionary inventions from this civilization- the wheel, the sundial, and sailboats. Allowing the students to make their own choice- each student made either a sailboat, clock or wheel from clay, construction paper, glitter glue, glitter boards, stickers and more. (See images)

Overall, I am really getting used to these kids and my love for them grows each day :). I am sure with the support of the rest of the CGS staff/interns I will only get better! So far I am more than satisfied with my CGS experience!

My Experience Thus Far

By ANNE DUVAL GOODRICH on September 22, 2013

            The first month interning at the Center for Global Studies has opened my eyes to the reality of life beyond college.  The difference between college and the little taste I have acquired of the real world isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it’s just that it takes time to adjust to the change. Although I am a senior, this is my first internship but so far I have learned a lot of skills that will make me attractive in the job market and I will also be able to transfer them to my first “real” job.  I do feel as though I am behind in relevant work experience in comparison to my peers but am very thankful for this opportunity to intern at the Center because I feel as though I am catching up. When I attended my first job fair at the Bryce Jordan Center this past Tuesday, I was able to talk about what I have learned so far as an intern in a way that attracted the attention of a few recruiters.  This made me especially happy because I will continue to learn and experience a variety of skills that are necessary to stand out in the job market

My first office hour session centered around creating posters for the annual Brown Bag Lecture Series, which is sponsored by the Center. I worked on a number of posters as well a few different varieties that will be used to advertise the event. I created a poster to advertise the entire series, a list of lectures for both semesters and individual flyers for each specific event. It probably took me longer than it should have but I was trying to get used to the software and wanted to make sure they did not contain any errors.  At my last office hour session, I followed up on this task by finalizing the poster for the first lecture.  I printed around fifty copies and hung them up around Burrowes and Sparks. I enjoyed this task a lot because I was able to see it through pretty much from start to finish.

Another aspect of my internship is teaching at a local K-8 charter school.  Every Monday I lead an after school club, which focuses on Spanish culture to a group of fourth and fifth graders.  I like this aspect of the internship because I can take what I experienced while studying abroad in Sevilla, Spain and share it with people who are especially eager to learn about it.  Before the first club, I was anxious and nervous because it was the first time that I had ever stood in front of a classroom.  Luckily, my students were not as rowdy as the kids in the club before me so I was able to accomplish what I had hoped, which included an introduction of the club, what the students know about Spanish culture, and what they hope to learn.  During the second club, we learned about some famous soccer (fútbol) players that are either from Spain or play there.  The kids did an activity where they had to match a picture, what club team they play for, and a few interesting facts to the correct player.  The activity may have been a little challenging but most of the kids seemed to enjoy it.

Since I am taking this class for credit, I am required to blog weekly about my experiences while also taking note of what it takes to have a successful internship.  The first blog focused on my goals for the semester and the importance of writing them down. I now believe that identifying what I want to learn while I am interning at the Center for Global Studies will make it more likely that I accomplish what I set out to do.  Although I am majoring in Political Science I have an interest in working in Public Relations.  This semester I am taking a class on the subject so I am really interested to see how a press release is written and how organizations transfer it to the appropriate sources. By the end of the semester I want to be able to write a well-written press release.  I also want to make it to at least six networking events because I have recently learned that networking creates opportunities for employment, whether it is in the immediate future or down the road.  Sometimes I do things just for the sake of doing things but I am going to make a valiant effort to gain the most from this experience by doing more than is requested of me, attending info sessions, networking at CGS sponsored events and learning as many skills that can be beneficial in the future.

So far I have had a great experience because I am learning the skills necessary to be successful in the workforce.  One thing that is especially significant is that I am learning how to better communicate with my peers and supervisors.  Good communication is the key to a successful organization and although I have learned this in a number of my classes, it is interesting to see the truth it holds in practice.  Ideally, I would like to take on more of a leadership position in the future but I still have a lot of learning to do before I can be a successful one.  Since this experience has been successful thus far, I am interested and excited to see what I learn down the road.