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2007.12.10 > For Immediate Release
contact: Wendy Townley - University Relations
phone: 402.554.2762 - e-mail: wtownley@mail.unomaha.edu

OLLAS to Offer Study Abroad Course in Peru This Summer

Omaha - Undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) will travel to Lima, Peru, during the first summer session next year, thanks to a course offered by OLLAS (the Office of Latino/Latin American Studies), with the cooperation of the Department of Sociology, the Service Learning Academy and the UNO Distance Education program.

The Peru course constitutes the first offering under the newly created Latin America Study Abroad topics course.

The course, taught by Olga Celle, examines the effects of globalization on the urban population of Lima, the capital city of Peru. The country’s pre-Columbian heritage and multicultural make-up constitute an intriguing site for exploring development, underdevelopment and the reality of Latin American cities today.

UNO students must reserve their space for the course with OLLAS by Monday, Dec. 17.  Materials are available at the OLLAS Web site, www.unomaha.edu/ollas/.

Students will gain new insights into issues such as: the power of culture as it receives and transforms transnational media images; the transformation and destruction of nature; the role of organized urban neighborhoods and their accomplishments; and the challenge facing Latin American policy makers when trying to reconcile different views of “modernity” in a multicultural environment.

The service learning component of the course will take students to a shantytown where they will work with Peruvian community leaders to build a much needed child care facility.

“This class will take service learning at UNO to an entirely new and exciting level,” said Paul Sather, director of the Service Learning Academy. “Students have been asking for this kind of international service learning course for many years. I am delighted this collaborative effort will respond to that interest and provide such a terrific learning and serving opportunity for UNO students.”

Shireen Rajaram, chair of the Sociology/Anthropology department, is equally enthusiastic about this collaboration: “This is a wonderful opportunity for our UNO students to gain important academic knowledge, but also experience first-hand complex global social, cultural and political issues facing people in other parts of the world. I am excited that this class, taught by a top-notch sociologist with expertise in urban Latin-American issues, will serve as an innovative model for future such courses focusing on different countries.”

Classes begin May 12, 2008, via Distance Education. On May 18, students travel to Lima and return to Omaha June 1. The course, which concludes June 27, has an applied and service learning component.

About OLLAS at UNO
OLLAS is a transnational Center established in 2003 for the purpose of pursuing research, teaching and community engagment aimed at increasing our understanding about Latino and Latin American populations and societies.

Visit www.unomaha.edu/ollas/ for more information about OLLAS.

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