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DII Award Recipients

Congratulations to the winners this year!

Each year faculty and staff plan and propose an amazing range of domestic intercultural immersion programs for students. The programs that are selected are funded by the Blugold Commitment Differential Tuition program.

Fall 2020 - Summer 2021 program descriptions

These domestic intercultural immersion programs are adventures in the truest sense. Students who participate are likely to experience the truly unexpected as they embrace the opportunity to see life from a new cultural perspective. Below are the current year's award recipients. Just click on any program and APPLY NOW!

***NOTE: All 2021 Winterim and all 2021 Spring Break Immersion programs have been cancelled due to the Coronavirus.***  The application cycle for all 2021 Summer Immersion programs will be opened in fall 2020!

Remember, you don't have to leave the United States to engage in a transformative immersion experience! 

FALL SEMESTER / SPRING SEMESTER NURSING DII PROGRAMS

Program Location: West Central Wisconsin
Program Dates: Fall Semester 2020 and / or Spring Semester 2021
Target Student Population: Program is limited to 6-8 senior Nursing students each semester. 
Faculty / Staff Leader(s): Pam Guthman
Corresponding Course: NRSG 428 Nursing Leadership I (3 credits)
Cost of Participation: $35 program fee
Abstract: This program enables two groups of nursing students (3‐4 students/team) opportunities to experience population health through an academic‐practice collaborative relationship with rural partners who work with vulnerable, under‐served / unserved populations. Projects fluctuate among varying aged populations pending course requirements and the needs of rural populations in Rusk, Clark, Taylor, Barron, Burnett, and Sawyer Counties. Often times the projects build upon previous student projects, but they depend upon the community health needs assessments, priorities, needs, assets, and resources or if there are areas of need that they believe would be helped through the nursing students' assistance. Students gain valuable learning experiences as they witness the issues around systemic poverty, understand how the social determinants of health are not equitably distributed, and note the lack of overall rural population health. Rural community agencies are excited and welcome the engagement of nursing students from UW‐Eau Claire. They are grateful for UW-Eau Claire's interest in rural populations as well as valuing the relationship established between UW-Eau Claire, the Nursing program, and their agency.

Program Location: West Central Wisconsin
Program Dates: Fall Semester 2020 and / or Spring Semester 2021
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.

Program Location: Barron County, WI and Twin Cities, MN
Program Dates: Fall Semester 2020 and / or Spring Semester 2021
Target Student Population: Program is limited to 6-8 Senior 1 Nursing students each semester
Faculty / Staff Leader(s): Mohammad Alasagheirin
Corresponding Course: NRSG 428 Nursing Leadership I (3 credits)
Cost of Participation: $150 special course fee, plus meals
Abstract: This immersion works in two places where Somali communities are growing rapidly: Barron County, Wisconsin and the Twin Cities, Minnesota. Somali populations are a diverse cultural and social group that has unique healthcare challenges and needs, compounded by their distinctive background and experience as refugees. As future healthcare providers, nursing students should be able to provide culturally sensitive and appropriate healthcare services to all patients, and this immersion aims to helps students learn about these issues.

WINTERIM DII PROGRAMS

Program Location: Georgia (Atlanta), Alabama (Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, Montgomery, Selma), Louisiana (New Orleans), Mississippi (Jackson), Arkansas (Little Rock), Tennessee (Memphis)
Program Dates: January 1-20, 2021 and Spring Break, 2021
Target Student Population: Limited to 25 students, targeting first-year students
Faculty / Staff Leader(s): Jodi Thesing-Ritter
Corresponding Course: Women's, Gender and Sexuality studies course (WGSS 422): Women of the Civil Rights Movement (3 credits during fall semester)
Cost of Participation: No program fees, but estimated $280 in meals.
Abstract: Through the fall course, students will learn a shared vocabulary for understanding complex systems of racism, the history of enslavement, reconstruction, the Jim Crow era, methods of organizing during the Civil Rights Movement, and key roles that women played. Students will then travel for 10 days to the sites of historical significance, where they will meet with leaders to hear first-person accounts. Students will engage in various activities, discussions, and reflections to make critical connections.

Program Location: Fresno, California
Program Dates: December 30, 2020 - January 9, 2021 (tentative)
Target Student Population: Limited to 12 students who have a demonstrated interest in learning more about Hmong culture
Faculty / Staff Leader(s): Ka Vang and Kaia Simon
Corresponding Course: None, but students who have taken HUMS 110, HMNG 130, Honors Colloquium Hmong Culture or History course, or participated in an FLIIE immersion to Thailand or international research project in Thailand will be given priority consideration.
Cost of Participation: $200 program fee, plus estimated $300 in meals
Abstract: The program is designed to run during the Hmong New Year Celebration in Fresno, so that students can attend not as a visitor by as a participant by taking part in various events. Students will learn about various cultural rituals during the new year, various styles of kwv txhiaj (traditional Hmong singing), and storytelling. Through this experience, students will be able to connect the new year to the roles, responsibilities, values, and belief systems of Hmong culture.

Apply Now!

Program Location: Puerto Rico, USA
Program Dates: Winterim 2021 (Anticipated to take place from 1/8/21 to 1/18/21)
Target Student Population: Experience is limited to 12 students
Faculty / Staff Leader(s): Katy Rand and Karen Dominguez
Corresponding Course: None
Cost of Participation: $200 program fee
Abstract: Discovering Difference through Service in Puerto Rico is an opportunity for students to explore cultural, political, environmental, and societal differences through volunteerism. Students will be able to connect with community members of this US territory through hands‐on work, intentional conversations, and educational opportunities. Exposure to these components will allow students to critically think about their individual identities and privilege.

 

Program Location: Minneapolis / St. Paul, Minnesota
Program Dates: January 3-8, 2021 (tentative)
Target Student Population: Program is limited to 21 students
Faculty / Staff Leader(s): Frank Watkins
Corresponding Course: None. Students meet 4 times before the excursion and once afterward.
Cost of Participation: $75 program fee + estimated $100 for 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: Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Chicago, Illinois
Project Dates: Winterim 2021: 1/3/21 - 1/8/21
Target Student Population: Program is open to 24 Health Care Administration students
Faculty / Staff Leader(s): Doug Olson and Lindsey Creapeau
Corresponding Course: SW 491 Advanced Child Welfare
Cost of Participation: None, but $100 in meals
Abstract: With the aging of Americans and the increasing care needs of the disabled and elderly of this country, we need strong programs at universities to educate and train individuals to lead health and aging service organizations. The current state of this academic field is very fragile. The University of Wisconsin- Eau Claire’s Health Care Administration program is one of only 14 NAB accredited programs in the US, and currently holds the position of being the premier program, setting the standard for excellence. One of the reasons for this is our creation of the Center for Health Administration and Aging Services Excellence (CHAASE), which has served as our extension to the field and has provided guidance and support as we educate tomorrow’s leaders in the field of health and aging services. The Winterim Immersion Experience for Health Care Administration students will expose students to innovative, collaborative best practices in health care and senior services in Milwaukee and Chicago--both areas designated as a health care “hub”.

 

SPRING BREAK DII PROGRAMS

Program Location: Indianapolis, Indiana
Program Dates: Spring Break 2021 (Anticipated to take place from 3/20/21 to 3/27/21)
Target Student Population: Experience is limited to 20 students
Faculty / Staff Leader(s): Katy Rand and Karen Dominguez
Corresponding Course: None 
Cost of Participation: $200 program fee 
Abstract: Student participants of the Alternative Spring Break trip can expect to learn about the issues of homelessness, poverty, and food security in the Indianapolis area, as well as, how it ties back to the Eau Claire community. Additionally, they can expect to interact with individuals different from themselves, engage in meaningful nightly reflections and articulate their experiences, work collaboratively as a team, understand servant leadership and its core principles, and develop a plan for after the trip to incorporate and apply what they have learned. Students will use critical and analytical skills to understand their responsibility to the community we serve while evaluating and challenging the existing structures in ways that respect equity and diversity (R1). Through hands‐on service with various populations, students will be able to identify and explain how gender, class, race, socio‐economic status, etc. inform the perspectives of the complex issues we are examining. 

Program Location: Chicago, Illinois and Springfield, Illinois
Program Dates: Spring Break, 2021: 3/21/21 - 3/27/21
Target Student Population: Program is open to 10 or more students who want to be challenged by analyzing their to analyze the foundational assumptions that govern their thoughts and actions.
Faculty / Staff Leader(s): Jamie Tester, Joshua Potter-Efron
Corresponding Course: SW 491 Advanced Child Welfare
Cost of Participation: Estimated program fee $250 + $400 in meals
Abstract: This program combines the experiences of skill development and exposure to new settings and populations. It challenges students thinking and encourages reflection on their own experiences and how those may impact the biases they may have or the way they interpret interactions with others in the world. The Child Welfare Immersion works to make students uncomfortable in a safe setting that allows them to process their feelings both verbally and written.

Program Location: Georgia (Atlanta), Alabama (Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, Montgomery, Selma), Louisiana (New Orleans), Mississippi (Jackson), Arkansas (Little Rock), Tennessee (Memphis)
Program Dates: January 1-20, 2021 and Spring Break, 2021
Target Student Population: Limited to 25 students, targeting first-year students
Faculty / Staff Leader(s): Jodi Thesing-Ritter
Corresponding Course: Women's, Gender and Sexuality studies course (WGSS 422): Women of the Civil Rights Movement (3 credits during fall semester)
Cost of Participation: No program fees, but estimated $280 in meals.
Abstract: Through the fall course, students will learn a shared vocabulary for understanding complex systems of racism, the history of enslavement, reconstruction, the Jim Crow era, methods of organizing during the Civil Rights Movement, and key roles that women played. Students will then travel for 10 days to the sites of historical significance, where they will meet with leaders to hear first-person accounts. Students will engage in various activities, discussions, and reflections to make critical connections.

Program Location: Atlanta, Georgia and Memphis, Tennessee
Program Dates: Spring Break, 2021 (specific dates to be announced)
Target Student Population: Program is limited to 10 who will be concurrently enrolled in CJ322 during spring semester
Faculty / Staff Leader(s): Jan Larson
Corresponding Course: CJ322: Immersion Reporting: Civil Conversations
Cost of Participation: Program fee $120 + estimated $200 in meals
Abstract: This domestic immersion program is the centerpiece for a 14‐week, 300‐level immersion reporting course designed to first study aspects of racism in the U.S. and then to produce multimedia stories that explore how ordinary citizens shaped the extraordinary events of the U.S. Civil Rights Movement. The award‐winning course collaborates with a University-sponsored 10‐day domestic intercultural experience — Civil Rights Pilgrimage — to travel the Civil Rights trail to sights of importance to the movement. During the journey students learn the history, meet participants and learn about modern-day issues related to race, class and gender. They also conduct interviews, report and produce journalism telling the continuing story of the movement and the communities and people along the trail. Students
receive instruction in the seven weeks prior to the immersion program. 

Program Location: New York City, New York
Program Dates: Spring Break 2021 (specific dates to be announced)
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 and Arthur Grothe
Corresponding Course: MUSI 491: Special Topics, NYC Travel Seminar (1 credit during spring semester)
Cost of Participation: $150 special course fee + estimated $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 from 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.

Program Location: New York City, New York
Program Dates: Spring Break 2021 (specific dates to be announced)
Target Student Population: This program is limited to 15 undergraduate Art & Design students.
Faculty / Staff Leader(s): Jill Olm and Ned Gannon
Corresponding Course: N/A
Cost of Participation: $200 special course fee + estimated $320 in meals
Abstract: UWEC Art & Design students can fulfill their travel experience requirement through this Spring Break Immersion program. Students will engage with experiences unobtainable in the classroom and opportunities to expand student thinking on diversity of race, gender, economic, and cultural/historical status. Through studio visits with artist such as Jordan Casteel, George Boorujy, or Janaina Tschape, students will interact on an intimate level with international and domestic artists that represent progressive thinking on issues such as black male identity, the ecology of wildlife in a shrinking environment, and the nature and importance of abstract thinking in contemporary society.

Program Location: Bad River Indian Reservation, Red Cliff Indian Reservation, Enbridge Corporation Refinery, Menominee Indian Reservation
Program Dates: Spring Break 2021 (specific dates to be announced)
Target Student Population: Program is limited to 20 students, all students are welcome to apply
Faculty / Staff Leader(s): Heather Ann Moody and Karen Mumford
Corresponding Course: AIS 343 (3 credits) during spring semester
Cost of Participation: $250 special course fees (includes meals)
Abstract: The Water Protectors of Wisconsin is an experience to help students understand the history, culture, and science of humans and water in the Lake Superior Watershed, home to several tribal nations, as well as within the wider North American setting. After several weeks of in-class content, students will spend a week visiting three tribal nations and two companies to learn how they are protecting the watershed. Students will gain historical, cultural, and scientific knowledge along with understanding the interconnectedness of humans and water. In meeting the Water Protectors of Wisconsin, students will critically analyze and wrestle with the historic dilemma in US history; the contest between one group’s rights versus another group’s rights, in this case, the rights guaranteed by treaty on the one hand, and on the other, private property rights to use the watershed for economic development.

SUMMER DII PROGRAMS

Program Location: Oahu, Hawai'i, USA
Program Dates: July 12, 2021 - July 23, 2021 (tentative)
Target Student Population: Limited to 12 students who have a demonstrated interest in learning more about Hmong culture
Faculty / Staff Leader(s): Ka Vang and Khong Meng Her
Corresponding Course: N/A
Cost of Participation: $250 program fee, plus estimated $400 in meals
Abstract: The Hawai'i immersion program will engage students in native Hawaiian communities and academic settings to learn about cultural preservation in the content of tourism in Hawaii. Students will explore Honolulu and critically examine how their role as a tourist impacts the local communities in Honolulu and other surrounding areas. In addition, the program aims to involve students in critical thinking about the history of Hawai'i and how the people have preserved their culture either through the tourism industry or staying away. The eleven‐day program will consist of students undergoing multiple visits to local cities, attending lectures from faculty at the University of Manoa, visiting museum(s) of key events in history, and attending tourist attractions to observe and critique their role as a tourist. 

Program Location: San Francisco, California
Program Dates: 6/15/21-6/28/21 (tentative)
Target Student Population: Program is limited to 10 students; all students are welcome to apply
Faculty / Staff Leader(s): Chris Jorgenson, Kyle Whipple, and Kallie Adell Friede
Corresponding Course: None
Cost of Participation: None
Abstract: freaQweek is a new program at UW‐Eau Claire, built upon the strong foundations of what used to be the Eau Queer Film Festival. The Gender & Sexuality Resource Center will bring 10 students and 3 faculty/staff to San Francisco to attend the Frameline Film Festival (the world's oldest and largest LGBTQ+ film festival). Over a two week period, the freaQweek cohort members will each screen a minimum of 25 films, with the ultimate goal of choosing which films to bring back to UW‐Eau Claire. All films will examine the lived experiences of marginalized people across race, sexuality, gender, dis/ability, class, etc. The film festival will anchor freaQweek, which will also include a concert featuring queer artists, a half‐day admissions visit for prospective LGBTQ+ students and their parents/guardians, and a National Coming Out Day celebration. freaQweek will partner with numerous campus and community partners, and all efforts will be helmed by the freaQweek student cohort.

Program Location: Trinity Summer Camp, St. Louis, Missouri
Program Dates: 7/24/21-8/1/21 (tentative)
Target Student Population: Program is limited to 12 students; all students are welcome to apply
Faculty / Staff Leader(s): Arthur Grothe
Corresponding Course: None
Cost of Participation: $50 special course fees (plus $200 for meals)
Abstract: In partnership with the Trinity Episcopal Church in the Central West End neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, the objective of this Immersion experience is to help prepare low‐income elementary school students to return to the classroom in the fall. Within one block of the church are two high rise housing complexes that provide shelter for very low‐income African American families. The campers are recruited from these two sites. The families of the campers struggle with issues of food, employment and housing insecurity; altercations with the police; and issues with educational achievement. The camp will provide an opportunity for UWEC students to focus their attention on urban African American low‐income children. In the safe environment which the church offers, the students can experience the complex dynamics of cross‐cultural interaction. UWEC students will be supported and encouraged to creatively experiment with developing interpersonal and instructional tools that are useful to thrive and assist learners in an urban setting. Additionally, the immersion experience will explore the history of diversity relations in St. Louis, visiting historical sites (e.g., the location of the Dred Scott decision) and cultural landmarks (e.g., the city museum) to gain a deeper understanding of complex socio‐economic issues of the city.

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