The annual Tanner Conference explores the learning that occurs through internships, service learning, student teaching, international study, and research conducted away from Wellesley.
Learning Through the Minds of International Students
Melissa Jo Zambrana '16 describes her summer working at Tufts University’s Summer English Language Program. Imagine trying to develop skills in a language different than your own in a country where you know no one. Melissa Jo worked with college-aged students from 15 countries who were hoping to craft, improve, and refine their English language skills. There were daily excursions into Boston, presentations and workshops on American history and culture, and classes on idioms and world events. In her role as resident counselor, she worked to create a comforting, vibrant academic community for the students but found herself learning a lot from them as well. They taught her their languages, shared their perspectives on global issues, and showed ways in which they had fun in their countries. The students might have come to improve their English, but everyone at the Summer English Language Programs learned much more than they expected and developed friendships spanning the oceans.
Identifying the Language Centers of the Brain
This summer, Jeanne Gallée '16 worked as a full-time research assistant in MGH professor Evelina Fedorenko's neurolinguistics laboratory at MIT. She participated in a brand-new project that has the potential to revolutionize our understanding of the language center of the brain. In an effort to combat the issues that different experiments, subjects, MRI scanners, and data analyses of different laboratories pose, the EvLab’s “ALICE" project will undertake the creation of a universal language localizer by implementing an auditory listening and response task across at least 100 languages in a fMRI study on native speakers. Additionally, Jeanne was given the opportunity to lead her own project on adaptive neural responses to syntactic structures.
Japanese to English Translation in Global Business
Lisa Hsieh '16 interned at Hitachi TechnoInformation Services in Tokyo. She participated in several projects involving Hitachi's patent research database system. Many of these projects required Japanese-to-English translation. She realized that translating the original Japanese passages in a way that was consistent with the customary English usage was far more important then literal word-for-word meaning of the text.
Enterprise Cities & Anticompetitive Market Distortions
Erin Nealer '15 worked on the Competitiveness and Enterprise Development Project at Babson Global this summer. "Enterprise Cities" are new, relatively autonomous cities on greenfield sites in developing countries that will grow through sustainable economic practices. Erin's research focused on anticompetitive market distortions that are common in developing countries, and the way in which they can be avoided in the future as young cities form.
Liza David '15 describes her internship with Ashoka, an enterprise for social entrepreneurs. Social entrepreneurship is the intersection of private and public sectors to pursue innovative solutions to societal problems. Ashoka works on health, education, environmental problems, and more. Liza describes her work on the Changemakers team, which runs worldwide competions looking for the next great innovation to solve pressing world problems.
The Saudi Kingdom - Challenges and Prospects
Noorah Al-Eidi '15 recounts her internship with the Information Office of the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Washington, DC. She highlights joint Saudi-U.S. efforts to combat regional threats, and assesses some of the Kingdom's internal progress and challeneges in securing its own stability.