The first semester of Introduction to Community Studies comes to an end

The first class of Introduction to Community Studies students  ended the semester very well and their final papers and project plans definitely exceeded all of our expectations, reminding me of the great Thomas Edison quote:

“If we did all the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves.”

Our two December graduates will both be keeping the Community Studies spirit going past graduation:

Sam Fein-Helfman will be teaching English and photography to students at an orphanage in Guatemala! Support her efforts through her stunning website at:

Rachel Granata has been awarded $500 of unrestricted money from the Delta Kappa Gamma grants in aid scholarship fund  to be used for her preservice teacher workshop project this spring! Be on the lookout for notices about the date and time. Rachel has also been accepted into W&M’s Graduate School of Education!

Three members of the class have been chosen as William and Mary Spring Break Branch Out Field Trip Leaders!

Teach for America
Charlotte, NC
We will be working with students in the classroom as well as identifying and discussing the inequalities that currently exist in American education and educational reform. Site Leaders:  Anna Dausman (, Allison Anoll (

Teach For America
Gaston, NC
We will be working with a local school in Gaston helping to teach classes and grade assignments.  In addition, we will be interacting with students during their free periods and will learn about the inequalities plaguing the American education system.
Site Leaders:  Blair Smith (, Brittney Calloway (

for more information see:

Anna Dausman has helped to make a summer course on Swahili language and culture a reality. Anna and I will work with Prof. Martin Shanguhyia of the History Department and undergraduate James Wamugi who are both fluent speakers of Swahili. If you are interested in taking the course, let us know!

Swahili Language & Culture – 31110 – ENGL 464 – 01 & AFST 306 – 01
Associated Term: Summer 2010, 3 credits; 4-6pm Tuesday and Thursdays in Washington 301 from June 1-July 2nd
Instructors: Anne Harper Charity Hudley and Martin Shanguhyia; teaching assistants: Anna Dausman and James Wamugi.
This course will examine the language and culture of Swahili speaking communities. Participants will conduct directed reading and research on selected topics including but not limited to the linguistic history, sociopolitical ramifications, and literary legacy of the development and spread of Swahili. Students will work with fluent speakers of Swahili to learn beginning speaking, reading, and writing skills. The course will have a focus on engagement and scholarship in communities where Swahili is spoken.

Our Sharpe Scholars Kiara Savage and Alice Yeh stunned the crowds last Wednesday night at the CMST 100 presentations. While the other four seminars presented in groups of about 15, Kira and Alice held their own and shared a well-thought out overview of the class and their projects with the rest of their CMST 100 classmates.

Samanthe Tiver did an amazing job as a peer fellow for CMST 250 will serve as the peer fellow for CMST 351 this spring. Samanthe has been so dedicated to CMST 351 that she started helping me plan the course last year and we’re excited for it’s launch on January 20th!

I have been invited to write a chapter entitled “Linguistics and Social Activism” for the new Oxford Handbook of Sociolinguistics. Several students are serving as research assistants on the chapter and we look forward to bringing our innovative brand of linguistics and outreach into the canon of sociolinguistics!

I was invited and visited Virginia Tech, North Carolina State, and the University of Texas at Arlington to talk speak about our program in the past year.

On January 7, 2010, I will co-lead a panel at the American Dialect Society Conference in Baltimore Maryland entitled: “Cultivating Socially Minded Linguists: Service Learning and Engaged Scholarship in Linguistics and Education.” Many CMST and Linguistics students have joined in the panel effort!

For more information see:

Congratulations to all of the students and look out for more updates on accolades as we’re just getting started!

Categories: Academics, Faculty & Staff Blogs

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