Languages and Literatures Student News

Spring 2017 News

Columbia College student journalists on The PostScript staff won third place in the 2016 S.C Press Association Collegiate Contest in the “Series of Articles” category. They submitted entries reported on the diversity and social media issues on campus last fall.

The participating reporters and editors are Kara Anderson (’17), Kamayah Porter (’16), Megan Robinson (’17), Sabrina Stevens (’18), and  Mel Taylor (’19). Bryn Blumenthal (’18) coordinated the submission. Judges from newspapers across the state considered reporting, editing, style, and photography/videography in making their decision.

Columbia College and our students were recognized at a Press Association awards ceremony at Francis Marion University in Florence, S.C. on April 21. Click here for more information.

WRIT 330 Students Spring 2017Students in WRIT 330: Writing for Digital Media learned how to create a blog site and to drive traffic to it through the use of social media. On April 18, they showcased their blog sites for an audience of facutly, staff, and students.

Their blogs address a wide range of topics. Here are links to a few of them:  Be Happy, Be Motivated, Be HealthyThe Life of a Woman; Warpaint Women; Blossoming Columbia.

Their professors were Emily Ward and Kiosha Boyles (’10).

L to R, Back: Anderson, Ricks. Front: Cumings, Robinson, Cely, and WatkinsEnglish and Writing majors showcased their spring semester internship experiences during SpearsFest.

Kara Anderson (’17) was an intern for Carolina Peace Resource, engaging in a wide range of activities from videography to event organizing, while Channon Watkins (’17) interned for Turning Pages, a project of the Greater Columbia Literacy Council.

Kimberly Rojas (’19) interned for The Nickeloeon Theatre, working specifically on their annual film festival, Indie Grits; she conducted interviews with filmmakers, wrote film synopses, handled social media, and created Spanish translations for publications related to the festival.

Samantha Cely (’17) was an intern on the studio services team of the Richland County Public Library in the Makers Spaces section,  while Sharon Cummings (’17) interned at Burton Pack Elementary school, where she designed reading enhancement programs.

Sabrina Ricks (’17) interned with the committee responsible for oganizing Women’s Day 2017 in Columbia, and Megan Robinson (’17) was up many mornings at 3 a.m. to arrive at work for her internship at WIS-TV, where she gained experience both in front of and behind the cameras.

On April 21, a group of English majors in ENG 285 visited the USC Hollings Library Irvin Special Collections and Rare Book Room where they were able to see and touch an array of ancient texts, first editions, and artifacts–both in conference room and in the vault, where the most valuable items are kept securely in a fire-proof environment.

Among their favorites were the galley proofs of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, a first edition of Darwin’s Origin of the Species, first editions of works by Poe, Fitzgerald’s walking cane and a flask given to him by Zelda, and a first edition of Whitman’s Leaves of Grass. 

This annual trip caps off a semester of learning about various critical approaches literature as well as textual criticism and the complicated process of determining which version of a text is the most authoritative.

Public Relations students from Columbia College met with USC’s student chapter of the Public Relations Society of America March 22.

Some 50 students gathered at USC’s School of Journalism to hear a presentation by Jane Dvorak, PRSA’s 2017 national chair. “Invest in yourself. Be a life-long learner. A career is a journey, and it takes time to reach your sweet spot,” Dvorak told the students. Dvorak is the owner of JKD! & Co., a public relations and public speaking firm in Lakewood, Colorado.

The students were accompanied by Prof. Emily S. Ward, Columbia College public relations program coordinator, S.C.PRSA Midlands chapter professional development chair, and, like Dvorak, owner of her own PR consulting firm.

Columbia College has been offering a minor in Public Relations and will add a major starting with the Fall 2017 semester.

Fall 2016 News

Hispanic Heritage Parade on CampusFlag parade 1 001The Estamos Unidas: Latina Student Association (LSA) and Dr. Fernández Sánchez (as their advisor) kicked off celebrations of the Hispanic Heritage Month, on September 22, 2016, with a very successful Salsa con Salsa Fiesta that had an exceptional student participation. To finish a month long celebration of Hispanic Culture, on  November 12, LSA hosted a flag parade on campus. Students carried flags from Spanish speaking countries in commemoration of the diverse and multi-ethnic Hispanic world. Early in November, LSA members set up an altar to celebrate el dia de los muertos.

Narrative with Video, L to R, front row: Kristen Weaver, Sabrina Stevens, Lauren Fleming, Kimberly Rojas, Megan Robinson. L to R, back row: Lowell Aydlette, Sabrina Ricks, Instructor Betsy Newman

Students in WRIT 350: Introduction to Narrative with Digital Video presented their final projects in the Overton Theatre on December 8. Under the direction of award-winning SCETV documentary producer Betsy Newman, the students learned throughout the semester how to shoot footage and use professional video editing software to create short videos. For their final projects, students were asked to showcase someone engaging in a process. Their videos are available for viewing here.

L to R, front row: Fuchs, Pace, Higgins, Robinson. L to R, back row: Howe, Watkins, Weaver, White, Gregg, Anderson.

On Monday, December 5, ten students presented on their fall semester experiences either in internships–locally and in Washington, DC–or in independent study courses:

  • Kara Anderson (’17) engaged in a multi-faceted independent study in which she explored issues of race in the American South. She wrote posts and created video clips for a blog site called “Caring across Colorlines,” highlighting racial justice activists. Among those featured is Cecil Williams, who documented the Civil Rights movement in the South through his photography.
  • Brynna Gregg (’18) completed an independent study with SCETV documentary filmmaker Betsy Newman. Gregg learned the delicate art of copyright research and created a trail on the website Between the Waters called “Between Two Worlds: The African American Experience at Hobcaw Barony.”
  • Kaitlyn Fuchs (’18) interned in the Hollings Rare Books and Special Collections at USC, where she digitally archived a collection of morality tales she selected from among the vast collection of rare printed children’s books located there.  Among the books she worked with was a late nineteenth century edition of Pilgrim’s Progress. 
    Ashly Higgins in Washington DC at Qorvis
  • Ashly Higgins (’17) spent the fall in Washington D.C. as an intern at the international public relations firm Qorvis. She reported on several projects she worked on, including one in which her teamdeveloped a campaign to help Saudia Arabia improve its image on the world stage.
  • Elizabeth Howe (’17) was an intern for the Congaree Vista, where she gained valuable skills in event planning while helping to orchestrate the annual Vista Lights event on November 2. She also participated in a new branding initiative and worked with the Vista’s Clean and Safe Initiative.
  • Gabriella Pace (’17) engaged in an independent study in mass communication and studied several forms of mass communication, including movies, books, the Internet, radio, TV, and video games, with an emphasis on technological transformations and her future students’ potential interactions with mass media.
  • Megan Robinson (’17) interned for the organizers of the annual “I Believe Anita Hill” party–attended this year in Columbia by Prof. Hill herself. She has completed several short videos on event founders and is working on a full documentary on the motivation of the founders and participants and the history of the event.
  • Channon Watkins (’17) interned for the United Methodist Advocate, where she published four of her own articles, edited stories written by other reporters, and conducted interviews.
  • Kristin Weaver (’17) engaged in a public relations internship with Sustainable Midlands, where she helped manage social media and assisted with event planning.
  • Amy White (’18) interned with Turning Pages, a tutoring and literacy center for adults. She worked with Literacy 360 at Irmo High school, redesigning the tutor orientation program that she will facilitate from now on.

Lauren Fleming, 2nd from leftAt the National Collegiate Honors Council’s 51st annual conference in Seattle, 12-16 Oct. 2016,  Ashley Lauren Fleming (’17) was selected for the John J. Hanigan Student Scholarship. The award  of $500 began in 2015 with its inaugural presentation at the 50th NCHC conference in Chicago.  The student recipient must be currently active in honors and show a commitment to volunteerism  and community service.

NCHC '16 studentsEnglish majors Taryn Auerbach (’19), Hannah Broam(’19), Samantha Cely (’17) , Lauren Fleming (’17), and Brynna Gregg (’18) joined eight other honors students, Dr. Zubizarreta, Dr. Ute Wachsmann-Linnan, and Prof. Marcy Jo Yonkey-Clayton as presenters at the 51st annual conference of the National Collegiate Honors Council in Seattle, 12-16 Oct. ­2016. The conference highlights student and faculty research presentations from across the nation and abroad, providing development opportunities for honors students, faculty, and administrators. The CC group presented sessions on topics such as the role of service in honors, using online forums to enhance learning, the challenges and rewards of honors for international students, City-as-Text™ pedagogy in study-travel, and the use of art across disciplines to promote honors learning. Honors students and faculty were also specially invited to lead a Master Class workshop in dance. The national submission process for the NCHC annual conference is highly selective, with hundreds of students and faculty submitting proposals each year. While in Seattle, students and faculty had the opportunity to explore the city of Seattle through NCHC’s City as TextTM program, network with other honors students and faculty from across the country and around the world, and celebrate the unique community created by honors education. The conference was attended by nearly 2,000 students and faculty hailing from all 50 states, as well as participants from Mexico, Greece, The Netherlands, Japan, Qatar, Great Britain, and China.

LSA presenters at Conference

Dr. PalomaFernandez Sanchez proudly presented the current and former presidents of Estamos Unidas Latina Student Association, Jacqueline Mayorga (ʼ16) and Ljubitca Fadic (’17). They did an amazing job at the 6th annual Conference on Immigration to the U.S. South.  The title of their presentation was “Immigrants Making an Impact: Challenges and Opportunities in the South and Nationwide.” They also rocked the networking part of it too!

Porter and Fleming at the SC PRSA LuncheonKamayah Porter (’17), senior and editor of The PostScript, and Lauren Fleming (’17), junior, accompanied Professor Emily Ward to the S.C. Porter and Fleming at the SC PRSA Meeting

Public Relations Society of America meeting in Columbia Sept. 20. The students attended a student/young professionals seminar conducted by Mark McClennan, national PRSA chair. Both students are Writing for Print and Digital Media majors and Public Relations minors. Kamayah has served as an intern in the media relations department at Palmetto Health Richland, and Lauren has worked at The State newspaper.


Summer 2016 News

Students abroad in Alcala, Spain Summer 2016The Summer Study abroad in Alcalá de Henares, Spain is a month-long language and cultural immersion program. In the summer of 2016, students took two courses (6 credit hours) at the Universidad de Alcalá de Henares. During the stay in Spain they lived with Spanish host families. They took several day trips to Madrid, Toledo, Segovia, Barcelona and other World Heritage Sites. Part of the group is pictured here in front of the Façade of the University of Alcalá de Henares, founded in 1499. To read about the study abroad experience, click here.

In June 2016, Spanish Minors and Latina Student Association members Michelle Marmolejo and Yadira Ruiz attended the LatinaCON: Latino-American Women’s Conference in Charlotte where they had the opportunity of meeting and listening to Latina business women and entrepreneurs. In the picture from left to right, students Yadira Ruiz, Michelle Marmolejo, Nhora Gomez Saxon (one of the hosts) and other Latina business women.


Fall 2015 and Spring 2016 News


Students in Honors 490: The Subversive Vampire in Literature and Film had a blast this May exploring London with Dr. Zubizarreta and Dr. Reeves. The trip showcased many of London’s quirky, lesser known areas of interest including St. Pancras Old Church, Highgate Cemetery, and The Old Operating Theatre. Here English Majors, Samantha Cely ( ’16) and Ashly Higgins (’17), and English minor, Katherine Trier (’17), join other students in front of Tower Bridge, St. Pancras Old Church, the British Museum, and the British Library.

Prof. Emily Ward’s WRIT360 class, Writing for Public Relations, collaborated on a logo and slogan for the College’s “Lights Out” campaign. Dr. Calley Hornbuckle joined the class as a representative of the Sustainability Committee to thank the PR students for using their creative writing and layout skills to encourage the campus community to turn off lights when rooms are not in use. Participants in assisting with public relations for this campus-wide initiative were (standing l-r) BriAna Johnson (’17), Kamayah Porter (’16), Dr. Calley Hornbuckle, Jamison Reese (’16), Erin Didyoung (’16), and Prof. Emily Ward. (kneeling) Elizabeth Howe (’16), Ashly Higgins (’17), Lauren Fleming (’17), Megan Robinson (’17), and Alivia Seely (’16). Also, the class completed a final project for a national non-profit, The Oxford House. They revised the company’s logo, brochures, fact sheets, and other promotional material.

First year academic honors 2016Taryn Auerbach (’19), Hannah Broam (’19), Samantha Cely (’17), Bailey Dawkins (’18), Kaitlin Fuchs (’17), Emily Moore (’19), Jessica Wagoner (’16), and Caitlin Wirth (’17) were recognized for top academic honors in their respective classes.

Whos Who 2016MyLeah Barriteau (’16), Meda Gause (’16), Chloe Catherine Mattison (’16), Jacqueline Mayorga (’16), Kayden Reilly (’16), Paige Riggins (’16), Eneyda Badessa Solis Cubas (’16), Jessica Wagoner (’16) were named to Who’s Who among Students in American Colleges and Universities.

Sydni WilsonSydni Wilson (’16) received The Writing for Print and Digital Media Excellence Award, the highest honor in the WPDM major, bestowed annually to the most outstanding senior graduate. Wilson has been hired by Layman Poupard Publishing, Inc.

Tommie Middleton (’15), who will begin law school in the fall of 2016, was awarded the 2015-16 English Award for Outstanding Scholarship and Service.

Paige Riggins and Prof. BrinsonPaige Riggins (’16) was given The Writing for Print and Digital Media Rising Star Award and was offered a prestigious teaching position for Teach for America.

Jackie Winning the Don Quixote AwardJacqueline Mayorga (’16) was awarded the Caroline Whitson “Leadership That Makes a Difference” award during SpearsFest 2016 as a recognition of her contributions to social change and her commitment to leadership during her undergraduate studies. Among other projects, Jacqueline Mayorga promoted social inclusion and awareness through her service as the vice-president (2015) and president (2016) of the Columbia College Latina Student Association chapter of USLSA. In the greater community, Mayorga collaborated with the USC College of Social Work, with Young Immigrants in Action, and with the Eau Clair Cooperative in social advocacy projects such as Deferred Action for Childhood arrivals and Immigration Reform. After Graduation she will be joining Comunicar as a translator. Comunicar is a language services company, a leader in South Carolina, that specializes in Spanish language translation and interpreting. Specializing in health care and judicial interpreting, their certified interpreters can be found in hospitals and courts statewide. They offer broad, multi-state coverage. She also recieved the Don Quijote Award and the Spirit of Inclusion award.

Colleen ScuttColleen Scutt (’16) has been accepted into the master’s program in Spanish literature at the University of South Carolina and was awarded an assistantship. She will start the program in the fall of 2016. During the 2015-16 academic year, Scutt spent a semester abroad in Salamanca, Spain.

Jackie and Yubi

Mayorga (president of the Latina Student Association and a Spanish and biology double major) and Yubi Fadic-Quijano (’17)(vice-president of LSA and a biology major and Spanish minor) were granted highly competitive paid summer internships with Student Action with Farmworkers (SAF). This year, SAF received 65 applications from 26 campus nationwide and only 20 interns were accepted. Here is a sentence from their letter of acceptance: “The extensive application & review process enabled the committee to select a diverse group of experienced, enthusiastic, and committed students. We look forward to getting to know you this summer as we work together for farmworker justice in the Southeast!”

Even before they applied for the summer internships, these students showed their commitment to and enthusiasm for Farmworker Justice. They were chosen as one of three recipients of a mini-grant from SAF to support events they are organizing for National Farmworkers Awareness Week (NFAW). They will kick off NFAW with a speaker on March 24 in BLC 201-202 at 6:30 p.m. In January, during the MLK Day celebration, Dr. Zalba and the students gave an introductory presentation titled “Justice in the Fields” to begin to educate our students in anticipation of NFAW.

Kara AndersonWPDM student Kara Anderson (’17) has created a series of several short videos showcasing some of the exciting opportunities our division provides for students. The videos are posted on the “beyond the classroom” webpage.

USHLI Conference

For the third consecutive year, Columbia College was present at the USHLI conference in Chicago. February 18-21, 2016, six members of the Latina Student Association on campus, Spanish majors Jackeline Mayorga and Caitlyn Duffy (’18), Spanish minors Michelle Marmolejo (’17), Yadira Ruiz (’19), Ljubitca Fadic Quijano and Cristal Gonzalez (’19) traveled to Chicago to learn about Latino and Hispanic leadership. At the conference they had the opportunity to meet multiple leaders of the Latino community including Jose M. Hernandez (in the picture above with Cristal Gonzalez, Jacqueline Mayorga, and Ljubitca Fadic) who received the National Hispanic Hero Award at the conference. He shared his story of becoming an astronaut. It wasn’t an easy journey, but he accomplished his goal. He was rejected 11 times, and he was finally selected on his 12th time. He is the definition of perseverance and hard work. “Everything is possible.”

Royals, Bowers, Dinndorf, Deas, and WestonOn February 16, 2016, English Majors Society and Sigma Tau Delta sponsored an alumnae panel featuring the following graduates of our programs in Literary Studies, Writing, and English Education: Hayley Bowers (’99), vice-president at M.B. Kahn Construction Company; Shanitra Singleton Deas (’05), 7th Grade principal at Dent Middle School; Lydia Royals (’15), communications associate at Sisters of Charity Foundation; and Kelli Weston (’12), graduate student, Film, Television, and Screen Media Program, Birkbeck, University of London.

Salsa con SalsaThe Latina Student Association and Dr. Fernández Sánchez (as their advisor) kicked off celebrations of the Hispanic Heritage Month, on September 16, 2015, with a very successful Salsa con Salsa Fiesta that had an exceptional student participation. They followed up with the projection of the film Spare Parts, also very well attended.

Prof. Ward and studentsProfessor Emily Ward and students pursuing the College’s new public relations minor attended the S.C. Public Relations Society regional meeting Feb. 16, 2016 at the S.C. State Chamber of Commerce in Columbia. Kamayah Porter (’16) and Erin Didyoung (’16) participated in a panel led by a senior practitioner in corporate communications for Blue Cross-Blue Shield of S.C., a mid-career public relations professional with the S.C. Dept. of Commerce, and recent PR graduate. The public relations minor was approved by the college in Spring 2015 in the Writing for Print and Digital Media program.

Right to left: Sancho Panza (statue), Kayden Reilly, Kennyatta Gilchrist, Jacqueline Mayorga Mayorga, Dr. Fernández Sánchez, Don Quijote (Statue), Elizabeth Joy Chard.)The Summer Study abroad in Alcalá de Henares, Spain is a month-long language and cultural immersion program. In the summer of 2015, students took two courses (6 credit hours) at the Universidad de Alcalá de Henares. Some had the opportunity to do an internship at the hospital as part of the class. During the stay in Spain they lived with Spanish host families. They took several day trips to Madrid, Toledo, Burgos, Segovia, Avila and other World Heritage Sites. The group is pictured here in front of writer Miguel de Cervantes’ House in Alcalá de Henares. Alcalá (June 2015 ) To read the study abroad blog, click here.

Honors Program students and English majors and minors Margaret Mendenhall (’15), Caitlin Wirth (’17), and Jessie Wagoner (’16) made several presentations at the 2015 National Collegiate Honors Council conference in Chicago. Honors English education major Taryn Auerbach (’19).

Literary studies major Samantha Cely (’17) extend our majors’ reputation with presentations at the 2016 Southern Regional Honors conference in Orlando, FL. Honors

WPDM majors Lauren Fleming (’18) and Jessie Wagoner (’16) serve as editors of The Criterion, the College’s literary/art magazine.

Several honors English and modern language majors and minors such as Taryn Auerbach (’19), Brynna Gregg (’18), Emily Moore (’19), and Bonnie Willis (’17) regularly play a crucial role in supporting fundraising efforts for SCETV.


Fall 2014 and Spring 2015 News

Right to left: Dr. Zalba, Dr. Hait, Kayla Eloiza Almanzar, Emelin García, President Dinndorf, Dr. Fernández Sánchez, and attendees.At the end of the spring 2015 semester, Spanish graduating seniors presented the results of a semester-long project as part of their Spanish major. This year we had three outstanding presentations by Kayla Eloisa Almanzar (’15), Emelin Garcia (’15) and Nikea Randolph (’15).
Paris as TextIn the spring of 2015, Dr. Coco Mann and Dr. Christine Hait co-taught an honors seminar, Paris as Text. In May, in the company of Dr. Hait, Dr. Zubizarreta, and retired Spanish professor Dr. Paula Shirley, nine students from the seminar spent a wonderful week in Paris experiencing the city that had been the subject of their semester-long study.

Members of Estamos Unidas: Latina Student Association attended the United States Hispanic Leadership Institute annual conference in Chicago February 11-14, 2015. Students raised the money to cover all expenses. Diana Pliego-Padilla (’16) was presented the prestigious Dr. Juan Andrade Jr. Scholarship for Young Hispanic Leaders. The national scholarship award is competitive with special emphasis on extracurricular activities and community involvement, in addition to academic merit, recommendation letters, and an applicant essay. Last year, Emelin Garcia (’15) was the recipient of this award.

Tommie MiddletonLiterary studies major Tommie Middleton (‘16) participated in the NEW Leadership Program, a networking experience for college-aged women. Since women are underrepresented in fields such as politics, public policy, and public service, the program educates women about these fields. They teach leadership skills, promote networking with prominent women in the community, and hold various panel discussions, workshops, and hands-on projects with professional leaders.

Autumn with the Ambassador of IrelandAutumn Weidman (’15) was selected to serve in the Teach for America program. Autumn spent the fall of 2014 semester in Washington, D.C. working for the Embassy of Ireland. Here she is pictured with Ambassador Anne Anderson, the first woman Irish Ambassador to the United States.

Dr. Hornbuckle, Tommie Middleton, Autumn Weidman, and Sarah Banda (front)Three students presented at the seventh annual Coker College Humanities Undergraduate Conference in Hartsville in February of 2015. Sarah Banda (’17) presented “Why Ebb and Why Flow? The Entertaining and Uplifting Messages in Lillian Allen’s ‘Rub A Dub Style Inna Regent Park’ and American Rap.” Tommie Middleton (’16) presented “A Blurred Projection into the Depths of the Cuckoo’s Nest.” Autumn Weidman (’15) presented “Bram Stoker: Dismantling the Idea of the Victorian Woman in Dracula.”

Six English majors/minors presented their work at the International Sigma Tau Delta conference in Albuquerque, NM, March 18-21, 2015: Papers/Creative Work: Hannah Billie (‘15), “The Borderlands of Loss”; Amber Mathias (‘14), “Opium Use in De Quincey’s Confessions”; Jennifer Stuck (‘15), “Hero’s Journey in ‘The White Heron’”; Caitlin Thigpen (‘15), “The Morphology of Creepypasta”; and Jessica Wagoner (‘16), “Pioneer Hymn.” A panel discussion was also accepted: The Devil Went Down to Georgia: Satan in the South, Amber Mathias, Caitlin Thigpen, Jasmine Howze (‘15), and Jessica Wagoner.

New MexicoWriting for Print and Digital Media students Jasmine Howze (’15) and Jessica Wagoner (’16) enjoy the historic Old Town section of Albuquerque, New Mexico, while attending the 2015 Sigma Tau Delta conference.

Iman Abu AitahCongratulations to literary studies major Iman Abu Aitah (‘15), first-place winner of the 2014 Pearce essay contest. This year’s theme was “This I Believe.” Iman’s winning essay is titled “I Believe That the Personal Is Political.” To read the full essay click here.




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