MLK Day at Dartmouth: 5th Annual Student Forum on Global Learning
Dartmouth commemorated the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. this year by organizing a number of events and activities that promoted equality, social justice, and an appreciation for diversity. The 2014 celebration, whose theme was “A Time for Vigorous and Positive Action,” included the 5th Annual Student Forum on Global Learning on Monday, January 20.
President Hanlon ’77 gave the opening address in Kemeny 008, sharing a vision in which Dartmouth’s footprint on the world is larger than ever. Emphasizing the value of experiential learning in global contexts, he encouraged students to embrace cross-cultural awareness and humility in their bold efforts toward solving the world’s challenges.
In the panels and poster sessions that followed throughout the day, 47 student presenters shared the cross-cultural perspectives that they gained through internships, fellowships, research, service trips, and study abroad programs. The forum provided a valuable opportunity for Dartmouth’s undergraduate, graduate, and professional students to reflect upon and engage in inter-cultural dialogue.
A number of graduate students also presented on various topics throughout the day. Iryna Shuvalova (Department of Comparative Literature) participated on the panel “Informal Learning in a Cross-Cultural Environment: What Do We Learn When We Think We Are Learning Nothing?” She stressed the importance of transcending cultural stereotypes and biases to acknowledge and appreciate our common humanity. Speaking in the session “Whose Japan is it Anyway? Fabricating the Foreign,” Yeogeun Yonsue Kim (Master of Arts in Liberal Studies) detailed her observations on the role that language plays in building trans-cultural awareness.
In a spotlight session, Elliot Gillerman (Tuck School of Business) discussed the connection between education and national security. He focused on the role of education in building human capital and economic strength, and argued that we need to improve our nation’s schools in order to preserve America’s role as a global leader.
Several graduate students related their efforts of pursuing a broader understanding of current global issues in order to serve as agents of change. Henry Paige (Master of Arts in Liberal Studies) presented on Hip Hop’s emergence as a powerful art form that unites diverse groups of oppressed peoples (Hip Hop diaspora) through a sense of “connective marginality.” Ron Bucca (Master of Arts in Liberal Studies) and Sumeeta Kumar (Tuck School of Business) discussed empowering marginalized peoples in underdeveloped areas in “Overcoming Global Challenges Through Mobile Technology.”
Bucca described his involvement in improving local access to primary healthcare using mobile technology in Haiti. Kumar reflected on her collaborative project with the non-profit Worldreader in Ghana. She worked on scaling a new app that provides digital books to children and families using mobile technology.
Evelyn Ellis, vice president for Institutional Diversity and Equity, gave the forum’s closing remarks. She encouraged the Dartmouth community to continue its remarkable efforts of advancing Dr. King’s legacy by nurturing our shared humanism on campus and beyond.
by Meg Menon
Note: If you missed Henry Paige’s presentation, his was video recorded and can be viewed below: