Minister of Diaspora & Somali Communities visits OSU

The Minister of Diaspora & Somali Communities Abdullahi Ahmed Abdulle (Azhari) visited OSU today. This visit was part of his tour of Somali communities in North America. He spoke in Somali to a largely Somali audience, and Q&A session followed his talk. Interpreting was done by Omar Hashi of the OSU Somali Students Association, with some input from the audience. I was particularly interested in the Minister’s announcement that his Ministry will soon establish centers in cities with large Somali populations, including Columbus. Audience members proposed potential functions for these centers, such as serving as “cultural sites” to promote Somali language and culture, and connecting Somali youth in Somalia and the diaspora for discussion of how to rebuild Somalia.

Cross-Disciplinary Graduate Student Workshop on Fieldwork

On May 9th OSU will host a workshop designed for (under)graduate students and faculty across disciplines who plan to engage in or have recently started to engage in fieldwork-based research. The goals of the workshop are to explore and exchange ideas about practical issues of doing fieldwork and to continue building a community of fieldworkers on the OSU campus. The topics are (1) making and sustaining contacts in the field, (2) fieldwork in different kinds of communities, and (3) the Institutional Review Board. I will lead the break-out session “Fieldwork, Outreach & Engagement: Examining the Joys & Challenges of Doing Good While Doing Science”. For more information, visit the website.

Teacher Institute on Somali History, Language, & Culture

This summer I am leading a week-long course for K12 educators. The course provides an overview of Somali history, language, and culture that will increase your understanding of the children, youth, and families of the Somali Diaspora. Developed in collaboration with members of the Somali community and Columbus City Schools, the course is designed to answer questions and address needs identified by educators, parents, students, and community organizers. Several Somali Studies scholars and community activists and practitioners will share their expertise and experiences. The course will be held June 15-19, 9-4:30. It is hosted by the Somali Women & Children’s Alliance, facilitated by EHE’s Office of Outreach and Engagement, and sponsored by the Ohio Humanities Council and the U.S. Department of Education. For more information, visit the website of OSU’s Center for African Studies.

Linguistics Institute for Language Teachers

This summer OSU’s Department of Linguistics is offering a week-long Linguistics Institute for Language Teachers, LILT. The goal is to provide language teachers with greater linguistic awareness and understanding, with the ability to think critically about language, and with a deeper appreciation for all aspects of language and language study. Throughout the week, participants will learn about the sounds of language, the grammatical structure of language, how language is used in social interaction, and central aspects of the psychology of first and second language learning and use.