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2008.05.21 > For Immediate Release
contact: Wendy Townley - University Relations
phone: 402.554.2762 - email: wtownley@unomaha.edu

UNO Group Travels to Peru for Education, Outreach

Omaha - The Latin American Study Abroad Program of the Office of Latino/Latin American Studies (OLLAS) at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) has sent eight undergraduate students, one graduate student and two professors to Lima, Peru, this month. The group is documenting their trip online at http://uno-peru.blogspot.com/.

The course, Development and Modernity in Lima, was designed and is being taught by professor Olga Celle, a native of Peru who obtained her Ph.D. at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

The course combines a two-week study abroad experience with distance education and service learning. The students and professors – OLLAS Director Dr. Lourdes Gouveia and Assistant Director Dr. Jonathan Benjamin-Alvarado – will assist with the construction of a much-needed child care center in Los Olivos, a small town near Lima. The children of Los Olivos’ working mothers will be cared for at the center.

Dr. Shireen Rajaram of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, a cosponsor of the course, will join the group later this week.

As part of their study abroad experience, the students will regularly contribute stories, photos and videos to their blog.

“The group is being guided through an exposition and investigation of the effects of globalization and open market economics on the urban population of Peru by tracing the extent to which efforts to develop and modernize Peru have enhanced and constrained progress toward those ends,” Benjamin-Alvarado said. “In particular this is being accomplished through a rigorous and illustrative set of readings, lectures, site visits – in short, an intellectual immersion into the urban milieu that is contemporary Lima.”

While in Peru the students will also visit the Lima’s municipal government, the Peruvian government, Lima’s nascent stock market, Peru’s elite institutions of higher learning, ecological preserves and the growing international shipping port.

"This course literally takes service learning at UNO to a new place," said Paul Sather, director of the Service Learning Academy at UNO. "The faculty and staff involved have planned a remarkable course and service-learning project that will have a tremendous impact on our students and the residents of the neighborhood in Lima. I am very eager to hear the students' presentation about their experiences when they return home."

Partial funding for this program was provided by OLLAS/U.S. Department of Education, the Service Learning Academy and Distance Education at UNO.

For more information, call (402) 554-2762.

* *

UNO will celebrate its 100th anniversary beginning October 8, 2008. This celebration will recognize the partnership among the City of Omaha, its citizens and UNO to build a vibrant and dynamic community. The centennial theme is “UNO: Central To Our City Since 1908.” This theme acknowledges the past contributions of UNO to the community and sets the stage for great things to come.

UNO, inaugurated in 1968, emerged from the Municipal University of Omaha, established in 1931, which grew out of the University of Omaha founded in 1908. For Centennial information, go to http://www.unomaha.edu/100/.

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