Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Visiting professors and students give RU international flavor this summer!

The atmosphere at Reinhardt University has a distinct foreign flair this summer. From the apartments to the Gordy Center to the hallways to the classrooms themselves (and naturally, in the library), you can hear students and professors conversing in Spanish.
Reinhardt is very fortunate this summer to be hosting classes for a master’s degree in Spanish language and culture, offered by none other than the prestigious University of Salamanca in Salamanca, Spain. Founded in 1218, the University of Salamanca is the oldest university in Spain and one of the first universities in Europe. According to Reinhardt professor Elaine McAllister, who was instrumental in bringing the program to our campus, the University of Salamanca is universally recognized as the “keepers of the Spanish language.”
The program, designed for high school Spanish teachers, includes two consecutive summers of intensive coursework, along with a professional portfolio and thesis. The program as initially conceived by the education office of the Spanish embassy would have had the students travel to Salamasca for classes, but that proved impractical for young teachers with families. Instead, the Salamasca faculty has come to us. A team of five professors from Spain and about 30 graduate students from Georgia and all across the country are staying on the Reinhardt campus and enjoying the Reinhardt experience.
Dr. Carmen Fernandez, an assistant dean at the University of Salamanca, said, “The campus is really beautiful. We are very comfortably settled.” She spoke of the success of similar graduate programs at the University of Salamanca, and added, “I think we can have the same success here.” This is the fourth year the program has been offered in the Atlanta area.
We hope our guests are enjoying RU’s hospitality. We know that we are all excited to have them here! Dr. Wayne Glowka, dean of the school of Arts and Humanities, said, “This is the most fun I’ve had at Reinhardt in three years! It’s very exciting. It’s nice to hear Spanish spoken in the halls.’
We have had several of the students come to the library during their time here. Dr. Fernandez said she wished they had more time to spend here, that they had enjoyed a presentation by library director Michael Martinez about our resources. She said they were particularly impressed by our digital holdings, and they enjoyed the American way of letting people browse the library on their own. In Spain, libraries more often have closed stacks.
Of course the library at the University of Salamasca has a lot to recommend it. Its vaults contain priceless treasures and historic manuscripts, including a Bible that dates back to the time of the Visigoths!

I found this promotional video online about the University of Salamasca. It's very impressive! Take a look!

Pay close attention around the 4-minute mark for a glimpse of the magnificent old library.

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