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 2019 - Summer 2020 program descriptions

Congratulations to the current year award recipients! 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.

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, listed in chronological order. See full details below, then contact the faculty/staff leaders directly for information about participating in a specific program.

Project Location: West Central Wisconsin
Project Dates: Fall Semester 2019 and / or Spring Semester 2020
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: Barron County, WI and Twin Cities, MN
Project Dates: Fall Semester 2019 and / or Spring Semester 2020
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.

Project Location: Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota
Project Dates: January 5-10, 2020
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 after
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: Fresno, California
Project Dates: December 28, 2019 - January 7, 2020
Target Student Population: Limited to 12 students who have a demonstrated interest in learning more about Hmong culture
Faculty/Staff Leader(s): Ka Vang
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 admission
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.

Project Location: Georgia (Atlanta), Alabama (Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, Montgomery, Selma), Louisiana (New Orleans), Mississippi (Jackson), Arkansas (Little Rock), Tennessee (Memphis)
Project Dates: January 1-20, 2020
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: 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.

Project Location: Indianapolis, Indiana
Project Dates: Spring Break 2020 (Anticipated to be 3/21/20 to 3/28/20)
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. 

Project Location: New York City, New York
Project Dates: Spring Break 2020
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.

Project Location: Bad River Indian Reservation, Red Cliff Indian Reservation, Enbridge Corporation Refinery, Menominee Indian Reservation
Project Dates: Spring Break 2020
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.

Project Location: Atlanta, Georgia and Memphis, Tennessee
Project Dates: Spring Break, 2020
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. During the journey, students 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 trip. 

Project Location: Chicago, Illinois and Springfield, Illinois
Project Dates: Spring Break, 2020: 3/22/20 - 3/28/20
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.


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