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Spanish Major Samantha M. Rodriguez Honored and Alicia Garza Speaks as Keynote Speaker at Idaho Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Monthly Luncheon

Samantha M. Rodriguez, María Mabbutt and Alicia Garza

Department of World Languages, College Assistance Migrant Program

Student Samantha M. Rodriguez was awarded the Aspiring Youth Award at the Idaho Hispanic Chamber of Commerce monthly luncheon held Feb. 16 at the Hispanic Cultural Center of Idaho in Nampa. This honor is given to Latino college students who have been involved in community work and are dedicated to making a difference in people’s lives. Rodriguez is majoring in Spanish with minors in political science and Latin American/Latino studies. She currently is the president of OELA (Organización de Estudiantes Latinoamericanos) and MEChA (Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan).

At the same event, María Mabbutt, an instructor with the College Assistance Migrant Program, was awarded the Community Pillar Award. Mabutt was honored at the luncheon because of her dedication to advocating for Latino youth and education.

Alicia Garza, an associate professor of Spanish in the Department of World Languages and director of Casita Nepantla, was one of three keynote speakers who spoke about the state of the Hispanic Community in Idaho. Her remarks focused on the political climate in Latino communities in Idaho.

German Section Hosts 6th Annual Do Deutsch Day

This past week, the German Section hosted its 6thannual do Deutsch German outreach day for local High School students. Approximately 450 students from seven different high schools attended the all-day event. Students completed nine stations with German activities and also participated in competitions between the schools. Rebecca Sibrian (German instructor, Department of World Languages) was the main organizer of the event. Also involved were her colleagues Beret Norman, Franzi Borders and Heike Henderson, as well as many student volunteers.

Hispanic Film Festival Next Week!

Click here to download an informational flyer

Check out the Facebook page for more information!


Heike Henderson Publishes Two Translations of Poems by Hendrik Rost


Portrait of Heike HendersonHeike Henderson

Professor of German
Department of World Languages
College of Arts and Sciences
Heike Henderson recently published two translations of poems by Hendrik Rost in “No Man’s Land: New German Literature in English Translation” 11. Read the poem translations here

Spanish Internship Opportunity

My name is Luz Camarena and I am the Spanish teacher at St. Mary’s School in Boise. We have been teaching Spanish consistently since 2014 starting half-day at KG. Our idea was to keep growing with the same rhythm through upper grades and became a two way immersion school, but unfortunately we do not have the resources to continue as planned. As it is now, we are offering Spanish literacy. I am hoping to offer an internship to Spanish students who would be interested in helping!

Boise State and Concordia Law Partner for Project Laura

Students from Concordia Law University, University of Idaho – School of Law, and Boise State University are collaborating with local immigration attorneys to represent individuals in the Boise immigration court who seek asylum, protection under the convention against torture, and special immigration juvenile status as part of Project Laura.

Project Laura is Boise’s legal community’s response to the Latin American refugee crisis. Since 2014, the number of Latin American families fleeing violence in the U.S. has significantly increased, and as of 2016, unrepresented refugees facing deportation total approximately 2/3 of all Boise’s non-detained removal cases. Until Project Laura, no pro bono program existed in Boise to provide legal representation of these individuals.

Nicole Derden, founder of Project Laura, is the instructor of record for the Immigration Clinic at Concordia Law School, and Fatima Cornwall, Department of World Languages, is the instructor of record for the Spanish program.

Students from Boise State University assist with bilingual interpretation during attorney-client visits, as well as with document translation.

For more information visit:

Annual China Night Event to be Held January 28th

The Boise State Chinese Club will host the annual China Night to welcome the “Year of the Rooster”. The event will take place from 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Saturday, January 28, 2017 in the Jordan Ballroom of the Boise State Student Union Building.

Chinese Dinner will be served. Entertainment will include beautiful Chinese traditional dances, Chinese ethnic group dances, Chinese Kung-Fu, Tai-Ji performance, Korean Drum dance. Additionally, Boise State students will present Chinese songs, Taekwondo demonstration, and magic show.

The annual China Night event is open to students, faculty and staff, as well as the general public. Admission for Boise State students is free. Donations are welcome from non-students.

Free event parking will be available at the Lincoln Garage.

Internship Opportunity: Spanish, French, ASL

Location: Pi Baby Boutique.  
As of January 1, 2017, we’ve expanded our company and space to include an adjoining Studio.  (Pi Baby Boutique + Studio)
We are lining up a calendar of classes focused on early childhood development.  The classes are projected to start sometime late January to early February and will continue until summer break. 
Classes will consist of a 4, 6 or 8 week series.  Ages will range from infancy to 5Y+; primarily focusing on those children who have. It started school yet.  
We are seeking to hire a few upperclassmen for internship opportunities to teach a series of classes during next term, Spring 17.  
The intern specifically would be for the following:
 (by age 1-2Y, 2-3Y, 4-5Y)
Intro to Spanish
Intro to French  
Baby Sign Language (infancy – 18M)
Intro to ASL (18M+)
And possibly…
Cultural Awareness (possibly a 6 week series for ages 2-3, 4-5 that helps kids celebrate diversity)

French Student, Bethany Poythress, to Speak as Student Commencement Speaker for Fall 2017 Graduation

Portrait of BethanyBethany Poythress from Kuna will be the student commencement speaker on Saturday, Dec. 17.

Poythress is graduating with bachelor of arts degrees in French and international business. She has been recognized consistently on the Dean’s List with High Honors and has served as a peer mentor for Boise State University’s Honors College, where she led a weekly discussion group with freshmen students who were adjusting to university life.

“Boise State has been an environment of growth for me. While I have always valued and done my best to exhibit academic excellence, Boise State has helped me grow in a variety of other areas,” Poythress said. “Boise State has provided me with so many opportunities, and I absolutely feel I owe it to the university, myself and the world to reflect the values I have learned.”

Poythress was a member of the International Business Organization, the French Club, the Boise State University Student Foundation, the Honors Student Association, and the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. She volunteered at the Idaho Humane Society, and both volunteered and completed an internship at Zoo Boise where she taught visitors about wildlife conservation, demonstrated proper animal-handling skills for children and implemented an adopt-an-animal program, among other duties.

In nominating Poythress as student speaker, professor of French Jason Herbeck said it is her passion for learning, even when it means devoting time and energy to an already busy schedule, that sets her apart from her peers.

“Whether if be with respect to completing an individual assignment or her college career as a whole, Bethany is someone who, rather than take the easiest or fastest path, has consciously decided time and time again to make the most of her education and, in so doing, commit herself fully and meaningfully to the tasks at hand. In today’s fast-paced academic environment where focus is too often placed on obtaining the diploma itself, there is perhaps no more decisive or admirable trait in a student.”

After returning from studying abroad for five months in Lyon, France, Poythress served as a Study Abroad Buddy, helping international students learn to navigate life in Boise.

“The stories Bethany recounted about living and studying abroad, while ranging from sheer frustration and homesickness to humorous circumstances and a satisfying sense of accomplishment, all led her to a common conviction that she imparted to her peers — namely, that taking risks and trying new things is ultimately rewarding and memorable on the condition that you invest yourself wholeheartedly and with determination,” Herbeck said.

Beret Norman Presents at 2016 ACTFL Conference in Boston, MA

Beret Norman

Associate Professor of German
Department of World Languages
College of Arts and Sciences

Beret Norman presented with a team of three other German instructors at the ACTFL (American Council of Teachers of Foreign Language) Convention in Boston Nov. 18-20. Their presentation, “Meaningfully Integrating Technology,” was both a process and a product focused on the larger panel’s title, “Making an Impact Through Collaboration.”

Norman and her three colleagues — two high school teachers and one other university colleague — spent a year collaborating via Google Hangout-meetings, implemented a survey about technology for instructors, and have ideas both to reduce the geographic distances in communications among German teachers and to share how technology is being used in their classrooms.

There were more than 8,500 attendees at the ACTFL Convention, making it one of the largest to date.