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Queens College celebrates the Year of South Africa

This year, as part of The Year of Country Program, Queens College chose to celebrate the Year of South Africa.

To show QC’s dedication to global education, each year QC focuses on the diverse contributions of a specific country. During the 2012-2013 academic year, QC focused on India. For the 2013-2014 academic year, QC learned more about Brazil.

Now, for the 2014-2015 academic year, QC will be focusing on South Africa, the twenty-fifth largest country in the world by land area with a population of approximately 53 million.

“I think it’s great for the campus to focus on a different country or region each year,” Assistant Vice Provost, Eva Fernández, who helped supervise the project through the Center of Teaching and Learning said.

The Year of South Africa is a collaborative effort, involving Project Director Dr. Marleen Kassel, members of the faculty and staff in the Advisory Committee and contributions from all around campus.

“The goal is to build upon existing strengths and ties in order to create new ones,” according to the Mission Statement for Provost’s Delegation of the Year of South Africa.

Ms. Marleen Kassel, Director of Asian Initiatives and International Programming is excited about the program and what it can offer to QC students.

“To me, The Year of Country is a very important program for the campus community,” Kassel said. “It is a way of bringing information—often late-breaking and news-making information—to campus in a less formal format than semester-long classes.”

The Year of Country Initiative is a way to celebrate South Africa’s accomplishments in the fields of art, music, dance, history and literature. This will include special events on campus like a South Africa vs. the World football match, a Year of South Africa museum and “Cool Rhythms, Hot Moves: The Queens College Dance Concert.”

Students even have the opportunity to incorporate South Africa into their classroom studies by taking one of three lecture courses centered around South Africa: English 364: South African Life-Writing, English 162W: The Space of South African Drama and Anthropology 375: The Human-Primate Interface.

QC also gives students and faculty the chance to get involved by applying to study abroad in South Africa during the winter session from Jan. 1 – 25. Students have the option of studying either Aspects of Drama or Humans and Nature in Cape Town, South Africa.

These events are supposed to be fun for students to engage in, but it seems that the advisory committee for the Year of Country Initiative have a larger objective at hand, which is to construct a universally conscious community at QC.

“The programs on campus bring specialists from all around the world,” Kassel said.

QC faculties and students welcome South African choreographer Sduduzo Ka-Mbili and actress and writer, Pauline Malefane.

“Each year brings its own opportunities,” Kassel said.

The future countries of study are: 2015-2016 Year of Silk Roads, 2016-2017 Year of Korea and 2017-2018 Year of Russia.

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