Tuesday, February 19, 2013

CIC Traveling Scholar Studying at IU-Bloomington

The Traveling Scholar Program allows doctoral students to spend up to a full academic year pursuing specialized courses of study, researching unique library collections, and working in advanced laboratories and facilities at other CIC institutions—with no change in registration procedures from their home university or additional tuition.

The last issue of the University Education News discussed this program and now we are featuring Hilary Brady Morris, a student from University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, who discusses her experience with this program.  She is currently studying at Indiana University this year.  Below is a discussion of her experiences.

Hilary Brady Morris writes: “As a PhD student in the Musicology division at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, I am preparing for ethnographic research of Tibetan secular traditional music in exile, particularly in Kathmandu, Nepal. I intend to use music as a lens through which to understand the ways that Tibetans may articulate their Tibetan-ness, further engendering opportunities to study how they might use music (or silence) to negotiate conflict and conflict resolution.

“Though my home university's courses in Ethnomusicology have done much to prepare me with the theoretical background necessary to undertake such a project, one of the greatest obstacles I have faced is learning the Tibetan language, as it is not offered at UIUC. I was able to complete my Beginner and Intermediate coursework in the last two summers, via intensive courses at UW Madison and the Rangjung Yeshe Institute in
Kathmandu. I was then extremely fortunate enough to be awarded a FLAS fellowship from my home university, in conjunction with the CIC Traveling Scholar program, which has allowed me to move to Bloomington for this entire academic year to study Advanced Tibetan.

“As opposed to my intensive summer language courses, my enrollment here, at IU, has allowed me to take courses in area studies, as well as translation courses that facilitate conducting primary research in the Tibetan language. As I am finishing the first of my two semesters here, I am already sure of what an unparalleled opportunity it is to be able to study with and learn from the professors and students within IU's Department of Central and Eurasian Studies, especially in Tibetan Studies. I anticipate that participating in the CIC Traveling Scholar Program will have a far-reaching and significant impact, not only on my doctoral research, but also on my continued development as a scholar of Tibetan Studies. For that, I am immensely grateful.

“Hilary Brady Morris
PhD Student, Musicology
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
CIC Traveling Scholar (2012-2013)
Tibetan Studies at Indiana University, Bloomington”
For more information on the CIC Traveling Scholar Program visit the CIC website.

Monday, February 18, 2013

February 2013 Graduate Student of the Month Teresa Hancock-Parmer

The Indiana University Graduate and Professional Student Organization (GPSO) and University Graduate School (UGS) congratulate our February student of the month, Teresa Hancock-Parmer!
Teresa is a doctoral student in Spanish and Portuguese and she studies Hispanic literature, specifically early modern nuns' mystical writings.  “I was named after St. Teresa of Avila, who is perhaps the quintessential early modern mystic,” she explains.  “I read some of her writings for my senior undergraduate thesis, so when I came to graduate school I decided to study them, as well as other religious texts from that time period, in greater depth.” Teresa previously studied Spanish at Ball State and spent three years teaching English with the Peace Corps in Kazakhstan.  “My ties to Kazakhstan are still an important part of my identity; I keep in touch with my Kazakh friends, and I participate in Kazakh language and cultural activities here at IU,” she says.  Teresa also runs Grupo de Teatro VIDA, the Spanish-language theatre group in her department, in which she previously also acted.  She reports her accomplishment of which she is most proud is her family.  Her husband, Michael, is a graduate student in Central Eurasian Studies and History, and their daughter, Jansamal (pictured), celebrates her first birthday today.  “Jansamal is Kazakh for ‘soul breeze’,” Teresa explains.  Happy birthday, Jansamal!  In addition to her role as Jansamal’s mother, Teresa helps others’ children in her role of Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for children who have suffered from abuse or neglect.  She feels that it is important to maintain a balance while in graduate school, “to incorporate one's academic work into one's life in a way that makes both the work and everything else enjoyable.”  Teresa devotes at least a few hours per day of focused work on her dissertation so she can enjoy other activities such as spending time with her daughter, hiking with her family in state parks, and playing board games.  When asked to break the GPSO Graduate Student of the Month Cake or Pie tie, she declined to take a position, describing herself as “not a dessert person.”  Teresa does enjoy chocolate, however, so she votes for “whichever one has richer, creamier chocolate.”