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BORDERS AND MIGRATIONS WEEK The Spanish Department creates events that promote border edcuation and education about Latin American and Spanish issues.

FORMER STUDENT INTERVIEWS Learn about what former Spanish language students are doing, how the Spanish department affected them, and where they live.

STUDY ABROAD OPPORTUNITIES Discover the Spanish department's amazing long and short study abroad opportunities to Argentina, Spain, Cuba, and Mexico.

Contents pg.3




Alumni Abby Schwenk, Jessica Yáñez and Jess DePasquale speak about their experiences in the department.

Long term and short term opportunities for matriculated students.





A review of the Fall 2018 Borders and Migrations week.

Senior Jenna Kegler explains the impact of Borders and Migrations week.

pg.14 FROM THE EDITORS Meet the staff of Novedades.

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Student Interviews Abby Schwenk pg. 4

Jessica Yáñez pg. 5

Jess DePasquale pg. 6

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Abby Schwenk GRADUATED: 2018 MAJOR: BIOLOGY MINORS: ENGLISH LITERATURE, SPANISH When she took up her Spanish minor her sophomore year, Schwenk was pleased that she was challenged with fresh, profound material in film and literature. She notes that Drs. Stefanski and Reitsma encouraged her throughout her time at Canisius to travel abroad, attend local cultural events, and "to simply connect with the language in conversation over art/music/literature," she says. She enjoyed the challenge of expanding her vocabulary through discussion of real-life topics in the Spanish classroom. Schwenk completed a post-graduate internship in Spain with the True Spanish Experience, located in Cuenca. She filled a position as an International Relations and Program Activities Intern, giving her the opportunity to immerse and involve herself in Spanish culture, take more language classes, meeting Spanish speakers from other countries who were also visiting, and getting into the natural rhythm of the language. “I led cultural activities for these groups of students that were visiting, and I helped open their eyes a little bit wider to the culture and beauty of the country," she said.

I helped open their eyes a little bit wider to the culture and beauty of the country. Schwenk is currently in New York City completing six months of service through a shelter for homeless youth, Covenant House New York. She says her Spanish education and fluency allow her to communicate with native speakers in the neighborhood and the shelter. After her six months are complete, she'll begin the application process for medical schools- most of the universities she has her eye on are located in cities with large Spanish-speaking populations. In the future, she hopes to use her ability to speak Spanish as a tool to connect with her patients and build a relationship based on trust- she wants her patients to feel more comfortable returning to her practice, resulting in better preventative care and patient health overall It's important to her that doctors make an effort to reach out and connect with the increasing Spanishspeaking population in the U.S. In the end, she'd like to become "a culturally sensitive doctor, who can connect with patients from all backgrounds.” pg. 4


Jessica Yáñez GRADUATED: 2016 MAJORS: EARLY CHILDHOOD/CHILDHOOD EDUCATION, SPANISH Yáñez began taking Spanish classes as a freshman, intending for her concentration in education to be Spanish. Her interest soon granted her a minor, and then a major. She enjoyed being a Spanish major because of the tightly-knit community that the department and it's students form at Canisius. She loved getting to know her peers alongside her professors, Drs. Reitsma and Stefanski. “As their student, you feel like you can trust them, they are passionate about their jobs, and I always felt well supported by them,” she said. Her interest in the Department of Modern Languages grew stronger as she began to travel to more Spanish-speaking countries privately and with Canisius. She volunteered in Costa Rica for five weeks during her time at Canisius, which included a trip to Nicaragua. She also travelled to Argentina on a short study abroad trip through the department, studying literature in Mar del Plata, and was awarded a scholarship to study in Spain for one month post-graduation.

I literally owe my life as I know it to Richard, Margaret, and the Modern Languages Department at Canisius. Without them, I would have never fallen in love with the language and different cultures like I did. Yáñez found that the more she travelled, and the more Spanish classes she took, the more she "fell in love with the language, the people, the cultures, and the opportunities" that speaking and studying Spanish brought her. Since graduation, Yáñez has been living in Armenia, Colombia- she originally travelled there to teach English in public schools and now works as a homeroom teacher for first graders at a bilingual private school. She teaches math, English, science, and social studies in English, but finds her Spanish very useful with more emotional and social issues, in staff meetings, in communicating daily with parents, and in organizing trips for her class. Jessica has seen many of the ideas from the literature and movies from her Spanish classes at Canisius in her travels in Colombia. She said, "Before acquiring the Spanish skills and taking the trips that I did through Canisius, I never would have dreamed that I would or could be where I am now. I am now very happily living here in Colombia with my dog and boyfriend working my dream job and I have no plans of leaving any time soon.” pg. 5


Jess DePasquale GRADUATED: 2015 MINORS: SPANISH, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS DePasquale chose to study Spanish and IR because of her strong belief in the necessity of foreign language comprehension: “especially for Americans who are catered to with the accessibility of English on a global scale.” During her time at Canisius, she fell in love with Hispanic culture and finds herself desiring to learn more about it every day. She especially loved how Drs. Reitsma and Stefanski pushed her limits and helped her develop and solidify her Spanish comprehension, expression, and cultural understanding.

From reading Don Quijote with Dr. Stefanski to studying the struggles of the LGBT community in Latin America, I received such a well-rounded and unique understanding of Hispanic language and culture. DePasquale studied abroad in Oviedo during her junior year at Canisius. Post-grad, she taught English in Chile through the English Opens Doors program, an opportunity inspired by her classes at the college. Her experience volunteering in Chile was "life changing" and one that she "will cherish forever."

Looking towards the future, one of her goals is to more directly serve refugee and immigrant populations on a polity or grassroots level. pg. 6


Currently, DePasquale works for the New York City Department of Education, working on their Pre-K for All initiative. Even though she doesn't speak Spanish in this position, she said her Spanish comprehension and cultural understanding allowed her to make many personal and professional connections in the city.

Borders + Migrations Week Overview pg. 8

Path Out pg. 9


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Overview REVIEW AND TAKEAWAYS From October 19th-26th of 2018, the Department of Modern Languages teamed up with several other departments to present the Fall 2018 Borders and Migrations week, a series of events dedicated to furthering the understanding of the reality of the situation many face at the Southern borders of the United States. In total, six different events fostered and encourage student, community, and expert integration. The students and community at large had the chance to listen to personal narratives from immigrants, watch documentaries and films about borders, and to discuss the legality of the situation with various professionals and experts from the community and surrounding areas. After many months of planning, the week kicked off on Friday the 19th with a staged reading of Mojada, performed by Raíces Theater Company. Campus Ministry then hosted a mass with a focus on migrants that Sunday evening. On Monday the 22nd, the library hosted an opening reception, debuting the interactive games (see next page) that the COLI department. The library also displayed a visual stage of items that migrants take with them, images of the border, and mixed media portraying migrations and borders. The following evening, many departments collaborated for a roundtable discussion about borders and migrations from local speakers. The West Side Bazaar immigrant community provided food and sold items and crafts for purchase. ArtsCanisiusArtes screened two films- "Running Fence" and "Through the Repellent Fence"- on Wednesday the 24th. To conclude the week, Canisius hosted the artists and participants of the Niagara Street Mural ProjectMichele Agosto and Patrick Foran headed the discussion. There was a concluding reception in the library.

Students also gained exposure to the variety of mediums that we use to tell stories about borders, migration, immigration, families, and the Latinx/Hispanic experience.

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Perhaps the biggest takeaway for students at this event is the simple fact that the journey for asylum seekers and migrants never ends. If the migrants are able to enter the country, and do so legally, they are often accused of entering illegally despite their ability to overcome the lengthly legal process that ensues. In fact, the denial rate for entry was approximately 90% for Batavia, New York prior to the current presidential administration. This fact alone proves that the legal system issues have not been addressed and need to be addressed before they become a much bigger issue in the future.


Path Out INTERACTIVE GAMES A major part of this event series included interactive games that were made available for students to play throughout the whole week. These games were designed to teach students about the reality of the grave situation that the immigrants are faced with on their journeys to the United States southern border. A perfect example of one of these games, as shown above, is called “Path Out.” This game perfectly demonstrates the difficulties that the travelers face in an interactive manner. Combining the fun of a videogame with the difficulty of this walk, the objective of this video game is to avoid the various obstacles in order to arrive at the border. During the first day of this event series, there were many students found playing this game. While they were laughing and enjoying themselves at the beginning, their tones quickly changed when they learned that the intent of the game was to represent what is others’ reality. Students gained much from the experience and, through immersion, started to empathize with the migrant's plight. pg. 9

Study Abroad Opportunities Long Term pg. 11

Short Term pg. 12


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Long Term Canisius offers several Spanish speaking destinations for a full semester abroad, including Madrid, Spain, Oviedo, Spain, and Lima, Peru. Below we have interviewed two students who have studied abroad for a full semester in a Spanish speaking destination. Madrid, Spain - Students attend classes at Universidad Pontificia Comillas, a Jesuit University in the heart of Madrid. Grace Dana, '20, attended Madrid in the fall of 2018 and speaks about her experiences highly. Dana chose to study in Madrid, the country's largest city, because of her love of big cities. Studying in Madrid helped her improve her Spanish by getting her out of her comfort zone, as she had to speak Spanish in all of her daily activities, from finding the proper metro to ordering tapas at a restaurant. Dana emphasized that studying in Madrid helped her "understand Spanish culture beyond just the stereotypes." She said, "I saw a lot of subtle differences that I had never even thought of as being part of a culture. And I actually got used to waiting until, like, 9pm to eat dinner." Dana is pictured to the tight standing in front of the famous aqueduct in Segovia, Spain. In the future, she hopes to be a bilingual elementary or special education teacher and will use her Spanish often.


Oviedo, Spain- Students attend classes at Casa de las Lenguas at the University of Oviedo. Emilee Smardz, '21, is currently studying in Oviedo- she chose the city because of the limited English spoken there. Smardz wishes to emphasize the important of her experience in regards to her future endeavors in a Spanishspeaking world, as she hopes to work in foreign affairs post-grad. "Through this experience, I have not only gained more knowledge of [the] language, but of the world. I'm living in the things that we normally only see on the news. I've become more insightful on how the world really works outside the US." The middle photo shows Emilee after her hike up Monte Naranco in Oviedo.

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Short Term Drs. Stefanski and Reitsma often offer short-term study abroad opportunities to interested students in all departments. Below are the offerings for this spring and summer and a description of past trips offered in winter. Check with professors for availability. SPRING Roman Arab Spain Tour- This past spring break, Dr. Stefanski took students to Spain for a tour of the Arabic influences on the country. The group traveled around Southern Spain to study architecture, culture, and other influences. SUMMER Puebla, Mexico - Students spend a month over the summer in the beautiful city of Puebla, located in central Mexico. Participants take classes at a local university, improve their Spanish speaking abilities, and learn about Mexican culture. Classes are offered for all Spanish levels and even beginners are welcome to join. WINTER Buenos Aires/Mar del Plata, Argentina- A handful of students travel for one week to Buenos Aires, the nation's capital, to experience the culture and tourism of the city. They then stay in a hostel for 2 weeks as they study at Mar del Plata University in the quaint beach city by the same name- students are placed in classes according to proficiency. Havana, Cuba- Students travel to Havana, Cuba for three weeks to learn about various aspects of Cuban culture, including education, health care, music, dance, food, race, and gender relations, all in relation to how the revolution changed Cuban society. The course is connected to a cinematic course, and students visit many of the locations where the movies were filmed.

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Student Contribution Borders + Migration Reflection Jenna Kegler, '19 I was able to attend two of the events for the previous Borders and Migrations week: the event on the community mural, and a panel discussion with several people from the community who are involved with immigration policy and related careers. The artist talk about the mural on Niagara street, titled “From One Home to Another” was great for me as it held a local connection, and involved engaging kids from such diverse backgrounds in the world of art. These students were able to create something which will stand in Buffalo for a long, long time; something that reminds them of their homes before Buffalo, their family, or maybe even the friends they have made in school. The Panel discussion was extremely informative for myself, and I am sure for every other attendee. It was quite inspiring to see a broad spectrum of careers all connect over working towards one goal. The panelists were so knowledgeable about the topics being discussed, as well as realistic in the obstacles being faced on personal levels, and governmental. The reality of the immigration situation in the US is extremely difficult to hear, but it needs to be understood in order to continue to fight for the human rights of the multitude of peoples seeking a better life for themselves and their families.

This discussion was by far one of the most educational, compassionate, and invigorating events I have attended at Canisius, and I don’t just hope for me, I expect more. Canisius needs to continue to raise its bar on educating its students about the world outside of this campus, and how they are able to care and help.


Leaving the panelist discussion I was overwhelmed with emotions; I was heartbroken, but I was motivated and encouraged that my passion for social justice in all aspects was needed, and I had to continue educating myself and others on what is happening in our country.

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From the Editors

Emily Augugliaro, '20

Dear Reader, Our original purpose in creating this magazine was to complete a creative project for our positions in CEEP- Canisius Excellence Earning program. It has quickly turned into something much more meaningful, exciting, and thrilling to put into the world. Creating something like this is a team effort. It promotes community, and community is a central theme that you'll find throughout this magazine. It's in the alumni interviews with three strong, smart, savvy women who cite their Canisius community as critical to their success. It's in the study abroad opportunities that expose us to new communities, cultures, and ways of life. It's in the students and artists that create murals around Buffalo that celebrate culture. It's in the fabric of these digital pages. Community is a critical aspect of any language. It's culture, it's politics, it's relationships, it's mannerisms. Our community here in the Modern Languages department is a small but mighty force of dedicated students, faculty, staff, alumni, and supporters who believe in this program and believe in the value of the ability not only to speak Spanish, but to engage with it. Question it. Experience it. And find a community of like-minded folks within the magic of it. We hope that this inaugural edition will continue into the future and wish that more voices will contribute to what we've created. In the end, whether we're speaking English, Spanish, or any language in between, our voice is our single strongest attribute- we hope you use yours. Use it to advocate for injustices, celebrate Latinx and Hispanic achievements, and sing the praises of bilingualism to all who may hear you.

Emily in Madrid, Spain, December 2018.

Allison Jennings, '19

Allison in Mallorca, Spain, March 2018.

Amanda Popovski, '20

Con abrazos, The Novedades Staff pg. 14

Amanda in Buenos Aires, Argentina, January 2018.

Profile for Canisius College

Novedades- Student Published Magazine  

As part of a CEEP project, 3 students in the Canisius Spanish program wrote, designed and published Novedades- a bilingual magazine. The mag...

Novedades- Student Published Magazine  

As part of a CEEP project, 3 students in the Canisius Spanish program wrote, designed and published Novedades- a bilingual magazine. The mag...


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