Category Archives: Fall 2013

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.

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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.

CGS Internship

By KELLY ANN DIAZ on September 22, 2013

I am really enjoying my experience as an intern for the Center for Global Studies so far. Our lead-intern, Katie Black, is one of my former classmates and lots of fun to work with! Our grad-intern, Molly Appel, was my TA last year for CmLit 10. It is a pleasure to work with both of these ladies again! As an intern, I will get to attend a lot of really exciting lectures and conventions, help at a local fair, and co-lead a club at the Young Scholars of Central Pennsylvania charter school.

My favorite task so far has been teaching at YSCP on Wednesday afternoons. Katie studied abroad in Belgium and is studying French and I studied abroad in the United Kingdom, so we are utilizing these experiences to teach a French and UK Culture club to 3rd and 4th graders. First we taught them words used commonly by English speakers that are actually French words, looked at the difference in phrases between British English and American English, and explained what the United Kingdom includes (England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland). The second week, we did “Olympics” as a theme, and focused on the use of French as the official language, the London 2012 Olympics, and famous French and British Olympians. The kids had a blast, and we loved getting to share these fun facts with them! This week, at our third meeting, we taught them about “football,” rugby, and cricket, which are extremely popular in Europe. We gave a lesson on famous players, teams, and the rules of rugby and cricket, then split the kids into team France and team GB and took them outside to play soccer or “football” as it is called in the UK! They really enjoyed this lesson, as well.

On Mondays and Thursdays I spend my afternoons in the Center for Global Studies office, working closely with Sarah, Molly, Katie, and my fellow interns. In the office I have made flyers for big lectures and events that we are co-sponsoring, brainstormed ideas for America Reads programs, and made lesson plans for my YSCP club! I am really worried about making a mistake, but everyone in the office is helpful and understanding, and eager to answer any questions I have or help when I need it.

In the upcoming weeks, I look forward to beginning the America Reads program and planning and executing fun activities for our participants. Our first theme will be “Eric Carle’s World” where we will do a really cool collage project. I also look forward to working on the September installment of the CGS newsletter. It will be exciting not only to write my article, but also to help edit and format the newsletter! Lastly, I am excited to work with more of my co-interns more frequently. Our schedules are all very busy, and it is hard to find time where our schedules permit us to work together, but I know there will be many events in the near future that we will all plan for and attend together.