International Studies

  • Three UAB students win Critical Language Scholarships

    Three students will spend the summer studying in China, South Korea and India.

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  • Alumna Profile: Mariana Rodríguez

    Mariana Rodríguez loved her International Studies (ITS) classes and teachers so much that she went on to receive a PhD in Political Science from Vanderbilt University in 2013.
    Rodríguez, a native Venezuelan, graduated from UAB in 2008 with a BA in International Studies and a minor in Political Science.

    Mariana Rodríguez loved her International Studies (ITS) classes and teachers so much that she went on to receive a PhD in Political Science from Vanderbilt University in 2013. Those classes, especially the advanced ones, were fundamental in preparing her for grad school. “They provided similarly challenging curricula as the graduate level courses I took at Vanderbilt.”

    Mariana was also inspired in her studies by the close mentorship of ITS director Renato Corbetta, who advised her about which classes to take and helped prepare her for the challenges of applying to graduate school.

    The Latin American Public Opinion Project

    Mariana is currently working as a program coordinator for the Latin American Public Opinion Project (LAPOP) at Vanderbilt University. She coordinates the dissemination efforts of the 2014 AmericasBarometer, the most expansive regional survey project of democratic values and behaviors in the Americas (North, Central, South and the Caribbean). She’s also actively involved in LAPOP’s other ever-expanding projects.

    Her research has focused on voting behavior and democratic attitudes in Latin America, and she has particular expertise in Venezuelan politics and the study of the public opinion of populist regimes. You can reach Mariana by emailing her at mariana.rodriguez@vanderbilt.edu.

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  • Alumna Profile: Tiffany Jolley

    Jolley, now a producer and reporter with Illinois Public Media, said her studies as an International Studies major at UAB "enhanced my ability to analyze cause and effect at a political and a cultural level."
    Jolley graduated UAB with a BA in International Studies. She earned an MS in Broadcast Journalism from University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and is now a producer and reporter with Illinois Public Media.

    Majoring in International Studies (ITS) enhanced my ability to analyze cause and effect at a political and a cultural level. This has been useful in many ways as a journalist because it helps me draw cultural parallels between international and domestic issues.

    For example, my ITS background helped me accurately explain the socio-economic roots of the Dominican Republic's immigration laws while I was there on assignment. I took great pride in the confidence I gained from those affected by the law who finally felt like their stories were really being told.

    The International Studies Club

    Being the president of the ITS Club was one of the most enduring and rewarding times of my entire collegiate career. Working together with the club really pushed me to address pressing issues by hosting events like “Should Palestine be a State?” and “Is Rape a Form of Terrorism?” Leading the club gave me not only the confidence to ask tough questions, but an intense perspective on some of these issues, which members of the club witnessed first hand in their home countries.

    Life after Graduation

    I've been working at Illinois Public Media (IPM) as a producer and reporter for one year. I started working at IPM as an intern during my last semester of graduate school, and was hired on full-time after I graduated in December 2014. Now, I produce Morning Edition and report on social justice issues. My latest story follows the rise of hate groups across Illinois in the last 10 years.

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  • Honors abound for graduating students at UAB

    Here’s a look at the many fellowships, scholarships, honors and awards earned by the talented 2015 spring graduates at UAB.

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  • Teach for America selects three UAB honors students for national initiative

    After graduating in spring, these exemplary students will spend two years teaching high-need students in low-income areas.

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  • UAB Students to Showcase High-impact Community Projects at Clinton Summit

    Seventeen University of Alabama at Birmingham students have been selected to attend the Clinton Global Initiative University on March 6-8 at the University of Miami.
    Seventeen University of Alabama at Birmingham students have been selected to attend the Clinton Global Initiative University on March 6-8 at the University of Miami.

    Founded in 2007 by former President Bill Clinton, CGIU engages the next generation of campus leaders to address global issues in the Initiative’s five focus areas: education, environmental and climate change, peace and human rights, poverty alleviation, and public health.

    “Students from diverse disciplines across our campus have long been involved in international initiatives that stem from our mission of teaching, research and service,” said Suzanne Austin, Ph.D., senior vice provost for Student and Faculty Success. “UAB is proud to work with CGIU to foster students’ ambitious projects that will serve local and international communities. We are very proud of and excited for these 17 outstanding students.”

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  • Third UAB student Awarded a Critical Languages Scholarship

    Rebecca Hyde, a freshman majoring in international studies, has received a prestigious Critical Languages Scholarship. She is the third UAB student named this year, joining juniors Leah Berkebile and (Charity) Yoonhee Ryder.
    Rebecca Hyde, a freshman majoring in international studies, has received a prestigious Critical Languages Scholarship. She is the third UAB student named this year, joining juniors Leah Berkebile and (Charity) Yoonhee Ryder.

    The scholarship is a program of the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

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  • CAS Student Featured in New UAB Promos

    Angelica Jaimes, a Sophomore majoring in Spanish and international studies, is one of several UAB students and faculty members featured in the new The Campaign for UAB: Give Something, Change Everything commercials.
    Angelica Jaimes, a Sophomore majoring in Spanish and international studies, is one of several UAB students and faculty members featured in the new The Campaign for UAB: Give Something, Change Everything commercials. Once the cameras finished rolling, UAB Magazine talked with several participants in the new commercials to learn the stories behind their star turns.

    The welcoming atmosphere and diverse student body at UAB attracted Angelica Jaimes, a native of Mexico City who went to high school in Homewood. Her classes, particularly those related to her international studies major, have opened her eyes to the social and economic challenges faced by people around the world, she says. “It is evident that many global problems are too big to solve immediately, but with commitment they can slowly be resolved,” Jaimes says.

    Jaimes isn’t yet sure where her career path will lead, but she does know where she would like to make a difference in the world. “I want to work with a nonprofit organization that helps educate underprivileged children across Latin America, in particular girls,” she says.


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  • Standing Up for Social Justice

    UAB alum Brendan Rice: "My interest in social justice is grounded in the profound belief that my generation must and will play a central role in fixing the broken systems of our world."
    By Brendan Rice

    My interest in social justice is grounded in the profound belief that my generation must and will play a central role in fixing the broken systems of our world. For me, this translates to the broken global food system that leaves nearly a billion people without enough to eat. Based on this core value, I have structured my college experience around acquiring the knowledge and skills needed to be a leader in the global effort to eliminate hunger and poverty.

    As a high-school student, I attended a leadership camp through the Alabama Poverty Project, where I learned about social-justice issues affecting Alabama and the nation. After receiving a letter from Dr. Bob Corley, then director of the Global and Community Leadership (GCL) Honors Program, I visited the UAB campus and sat in on a class with Rosie O’Beirne, co-director of the media studies program. At that point, I knew that UAB would be the place where I would have the nurturing support to pursue my goals. I saw the GCL program as a curriculum path for me and other students to develop our desire to make a difference in the world as wellgrounded leaders in our chosen fields. We use the phrase “passion to action” a great deal in the program. This has characterized my time at UAB, as I seek experiences that translate my genuine interest into a well-grounded leadership.

    Huge Energy for Ending Hunger

    Through GCL, I worked on service projects with Jones Valley Urban Farm and Alabama Possible. Service is incredibly important for college students. It helps us meet community needs, and, perhaps even more important, starts to build our framework for understanding complex societal issues.

    When I attended the Universities Fighting World Hunger (UFWH) summit at Auburn University my freshman year, my interest in food security and previous experience in service suddenly made sense in the larger context of the global phenomenon of hunger, an issue that affects nearly one out of seven people on this planet.

    The UFWH movement now includes more than 300 colleges and universities where students have taken the initiative to make fighting hunger a core value of their institutions. The magnitude and energy of this effort was made real at the summit, where equally passionate students were coalescing around the common goal of ending hunger.

    When I returned to campus, I helped start the UAB chapter of the organization, which is growing in members and visibility. This past year, the group organized a number of events, including a World Food Day potluck conversation and a refugee camp simulation, which shared the stories of the world’s most marginalized in context of UAB. The World Food Day potluck combined a celebration of food with a discussion on our broken global food system—one that allows for hunger in a world of plenty.

    The issue of hunger and the growing movement of people who care about it will be reflected in the work UFWH continues to do on campus. Universities Fighting World Hunger at UAB provides a space for students to see how their stories and interests fit in with the broader narrative of a world moving toward the ability to ensure that everyone has enough to eat.

    In the spirit of shameless self-promotion, if you are a student, I urge you to get involved in this important work and join the UFWH. My story is woven into the work of ensuring that the scourge of hunger does not persist in a world with as much exhilarating possibility as ours. What is your story? My bet is that your narrative, in all of its uniqueness and vitality, is not only compatible with but absolutely essential in the broader work of all of us working together to end hunger.

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  • Corbetta Named New Director of International Studies Program

    Renato Corbetta, associate professor of government in the University of Alabama at Birmingham College of Arts and Sciences, has been named the new director of the International Studies program.
    Renato Corbetta, associate professor of government in the University of Alabama at Birmingham College of Arts and Sciences, has been named the new director of the International Studies program. The program, which offers a major and a minor, promotes an appreciation of the different values and structures of the world’s diverse societies.

    “International studies is one of our fastest growing majors at UAB,” said Corbetta, who noted that he is thrilled take the helm.

    His goal is to increase the number of majors, raise visibility and encourage greater collaboration among the faculty. Corbetta, who received his PhD from the University of Arizona, has specialties in international affairs and international security. He joined UAB in 2005.

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