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2016-2017 Domestic Intercultural Immersion Experiences (DII) Award Recipients

Please contact the faculty/staff leaders directly for information about participating in a specific program. Programs below listed in chronological order, starting in Fall 2016.

  • Partners in Health and Safety
  • Embracing the Somali Experience in Midwestern Public Schools
  • "Lub Neej Tshiab" - A New Beginning
  • Something New Alternative Spring Break Trip to Selma, Alabama
  • New York City Aspiring Artists
  • Shriner's Hospital Education/Nursing Collaboration
  • Hmong Cultural Practices and Ceremonial Immersion
  • Child Welfare and Advocacy Skill Building

APPLY TO A DOMESTIC IMMERSION PROGRAM (link to online application)

Project Location: West Central Wisconsin
Project Dates: Fall Semester 2016 or Spring Semester 207
Target Student Population: Program is limited to 6-8 students each semester. Senior nursing students with some Spanish language proficiency will be given preference.
Faculty/Staff Leader(s): Lisa Schiller
Corresponding Course: NRSG 428 Nursing Leadership I (3 credits)
Cost of Participation: No fees are expected, except for lunch during the 5-day immersion
Abstract: This immersion provides screenings, immunizations, and education to mostly Latino farm workers at large dairy farms. Students integrate knowledge of agricultural health and safety and understanding of rural and Latino culture into their nursing practice, by providing on-site education and basic health screening. The program includes preparation in collaboration with partners, culturally sensitive services to farm works, and debriefing sessions upon completion of the experience. 

Project Location:
Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota
Project Dates: January 8-13, 2017
Target Student Population: Program is limited to 14 students
Faculty/Staff Leader(s): Dandrielle Lewis and Stephen Hill
Corresponding Course: None. Students meet 4 times before the excursion and once after
Cost of Participation: Estimated $75 program fee + meals
Abstract: This program provides students with opportunities to expand their cultural competencies, pedagogical practices, and depth of personal interaction surrounding topics related to Somali experiences and to social justice issues in general. This comprehensive educational program combines more than 24 hours of classroom-based instructions, a week-long, full-day, field placement in specially selected schools that serve primarily Somali youth, and daily excursions in and around the Somali community in Minneapolis/St. Paul.

Project Location:
Southern U.S. (North Carolina, Georgia, Arkansas, Missouri)
Project Dates: Spring Break 2017
Target Student Population: 30 students in the Hmong Living Learning Community, or students pursing a Hmong Studies minor or certificate
Faculty/Staff Leader(s): Khong Meng Her and Charles Vue
Corresponding Course: Students will be encouraged to have taken HMNG Language 101 in the fall and HUMS 110 in the spring
Cost of Participation: Estimated $100 program fee + $200 in meals
Abstract: While the majority of Hmong community exist in the upper Midwest of the United States, Hmong communities in the southern regions live very differently. Students will have the opportunity to explore those similarities and differences by participating in community projects and events in North Carolina, Georgia, Arkansas, and Missouri. Students will engage in a critical analysis of the roles of power, privilege, and oppression within social systems, and the impact those play on cultural retention and community engagement of refugee and immigrant cultures.

Project Location:
Selma, Alabama
Project Dates: Spring Break 2017
Target Student Population: Experience is limited to 50 students
Faculty/Staff Leader(s): Joshua Nesja and Nicole Schultz
Corresponding Course: None required, but students have the option to take CJ/WMNS 111: Gender, Race, Class & Communication during spring semester. All students meet in the spring for pre-trip preparation, and have guided reflection sessions upon return
Cost of Participation: Estimated $200 program fee including meals
Abstract: No one has been able to successfully explain the impact of this trip in mere words, you truly have to take the leap and experience the magic that happens in Selma yourself! This program will explore the issues of poverty and community segregation in Selma, Alabama. Participants will complete an 8-hour King Nonviolence Training Seminar, engage in community service, meet with community leaders involved in current school integration and community redevelopment efforts, meet with leaders of the historic Selma Voting Rights Movement, and participate in nightly activities with African American youth from the community.

Project Location:
New York City, New York
Project Dates: Spring Break 2017
Target Student Population: This program is limited to 12 undergraduate composition, voice performance, applied instruments and BA BME, and theatre students with a focus on voice performance.
Faculty/Staff Leader(s): Kenneth Pereira
Corresponding Course: MUSI 491: Special Topics, NYC Travel Seminar (1 credit during spring semester)
Cost of Participation: Estimated $150 program fee + $250 in meals
Abstract: UWEC music and theatre students will be engaged in the study of composition, voice performance, applied instruments, and theatre during one week in the major metropolitan area of New York City. Students will live, perform, study, attend performances, conduct interviews, and interact daily with artists and people form a wide variety of backgrounds and perspectives. Students will also collaborate, interact, and share music with students from the Brooklyn High School for the Arts and York College.

Project Location: Sacramento, California
Project Dates: June 2-11, 2017
Target Student Population: Program is limited to 12 students in Elementary and Secondary Education and Senior One Nursing students
Faculty/Staff Leader(s): Janine Fisk and Der-Fa Lu
Corresponding Course: ES 495 Directed Studies in Education or NRSG 395/495 Independent Study (1 credit)
Cost of Participation: Special Course fee $200 + estimated $500 in meals
Abstract: Students will be immersed in a diverse educational setting to bridge the gap between health care and education. The Shriner's Hospital of Northern California provides support services for children with burn or orthopedic or birth defects, receiving mostly Latino patients from the surrounding states where Spanish is a dominant language used at the facility. Nursing students will work with advance practice nurses and doctors to learn how to care for children with significant trauma. Education students will be working with patients undergoing treatment and preparing them physically and mentally for the transition back to school after traumatic injury.

Project Location: Fresno, California
Project Dates: May 20-30, 2017 (tentative)
Target Student Population: Program is limited to 12 undergraduate students.
Faculty/Staff Leader(s): Ka Vang (second faculty/staff leader TBD)
Corresponding Course: HUMS 110 Hmong Civilization and Culture OR Honors Colloquium: Hmong Culture, History & Language
Cost of Participation: Estimated program fee $175 + $400 in meals
Abstract: Students will have the opportunity to learn about roles, responsibilities, values, and belief systems of the Hmong culture. In addition, they will be able to explore and experience an in-depth view about Hmong cultural ceremonies and various cultural traditions—the very same traditions and ceremonies that are increasingly fading away as the Hmong people are assimilating into the mainstream culture.

Project Location: Springfield and Chicago, Illinois
Project Dates: May 21-31, 2017 (tentative)
Target Student Population: Program is limited to 20 students majoring in Social Work, Nursing, Criminal Justice or Education
Faculty/Staff Leader(s)Jamie Tester (second faculty/staff leader TBD)
Corresponding Course: none, but preferred previous courses in IDIS 100, SW 385, or SW 383 and demonstrated interest in child welfare
Cost of Participation: Estimated program fee $100 + $300 in meals
Abstract: This immersion partners with University of Illinois - Springfield and their Child Advocacy Studies Program to provide UWEC students with the opportunity to develop hands-on skills needed to be competent professionals in the area of child welfare. The program challenges students to think critically about the interplay of race, class, and other social group perspectives and that impact on child welfare. Students will spend 5 days at the University of Illinois - Springfield facility of a mock house and courtroom to practice skills of observation, documentation and courtroom testimony, and then spent 4 days in Chicago participating in site visits within the field.