Students Present at Latin American Studies Conference
Monday, May 13, 2013
By Tyler Beckett
Lee University students Jil Chaney, Zach Greene and Michelle Holst recently presented at the 21st Latin American Studies Symposium at Birmingham-Southern College.
The symposium was established at Birmingham-Southern in 1992 to foster undergraduate research in the area, increase awareness of Latin America, and help students and faculty interested in Latin America to establish contacts with colleagues in other disciplines and other schools.
Chaney, Greene, and Holst presented research in their respective fields of interest and in the Spanish language. Their papers went through a rigorous selection process to earn a spot amongst presenters from the University of Alabama, Louisiana State University, and the University of Texas.
Dr. Alexander Steffanell, an assistant professor of Spanish in Lee’s Department of Language and Literature, was the faculty advisor/sponsor for the trip. He taught the senior-level Research Writing Seminar, which is a required section for all students pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and the course that helped the students develop their research.
“Not only did the students present excellent work and deep critical thinking on controversial issues, but also the papers were presented in Spanish with professionalism and excellence,” said Steffanell. “This shows the academic community that Lee University is graduating Spanish majors who can communicate and do research in the target language.”
Chaney’s research focused on Latin American immigrants in America in a paper titled, “La ley de inmigración: Privaciones y abusos para los inmigrantes en la tierrra de libertad” (“Immigration Law: Deprivations and Abuse for Immigrants in the Land of the Free”). Holst’s paper, “El Análisis de los pronombres ‘tú,’ ‘usted,’ y ‘vos’ sus tiempos verbales en el español latinoamericano” (“An Analysis of the Pronouns ‘tú,’ ‘usted,’ and ‘vos’ and their tenses in Latin American Spanish”) focused on second-person pronouns and their use in Latin America. Greene wrote on Uruguay’s recent move to legalize and nationalize the sale of marijuana in a paper, “Uruguay: una fuente legal del cultivo y venta de la marihuana” (“Uruguay: A Legal Source for the Cultivation and Sale of Marijuana”).
“The conference was extremely helpful in gaining experience in interacting with other members of academia, conducting valid research, defending that research, and developing inter-collegiate networking,” said Greene. “It was a fantastic experience that I'm honored to have been a part of.”
For more information on the Latin American Studies Symposium, visit http://www.bsc.edu/academics/las/symposium.cfm.
For more information on Lee University’s Department of Language and Literature, call (423) 614–8210.
Pictured here are (left to right) Chaney, Greene, and Holst at the Latin American Studies Conference.