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Amanda Sepp

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Bio Summary
Cohort Year: 
2016
Home Institution: 
University of Pittsburgh-Greensburg
Heinz Programming Area: 
Education
Study Abroad Country: 
Russia
International Experience

Amanda Sepp traveled to Saint Petersburg, Russia for four weeks. During this time, she was able to educate her classmates and Russian citizens alike on a variety of subjects. One subject was the educational system in the United States. Russians, in general, have a warped view of US Americans. By informing the Russians she encountered, Amanda was able to shed some light on US American society. Not only did she inform Russians, but she informed her fellow American classmates, as well. This way, her peers now had a grasp on the inner workings of schooling in the United States. Yet, the teacher was also the student. Amanda learned different teaching techniques from her professor, her readings, and even from simply explaining subjects to whomever was listening. She also met her own personal goal of learning how to read Cyrillic.  Amanda studied the arts of Saint Petersburg while in Russia—which broadened her artistic and historical knowledge. When she earns her very own classroom, Amanda will make sure to include not only American history, but also Russian history. She will go to extra lengths to include the artistic side of Russia, showcasing to her future students masters such as Kazimir Malevich,  Alexandre Benois, Pavel Filonov, and many others. Amanda is a firm believer in teaching the fine arts, whether that be in music, theater, or painting, and this experience in Saint Petersburg only furthered that belief.  By exposing these topics, students from an early age will be able to gain an appreciation for another country’s history and its arts.

Community Engagement Experience
CEE Title: 
Knocking Down Walls: Campus Immigration - What it is and what you need to know!

Our CEE, “Knocking Down Walls: Campus Immigration. What It Is and What You Need to Know,” dealt with the theme immigration and how it relates on a local level. However, we approached immigration in a different light: campus immigration. The definition of campus immigration was a student “migrating” from one campus/school to another. In this analogy, the universities/educational facilities were considered “countries.” By having these ideas in mind, our CEE demonstrated how each and every student at the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg was an “immigrant,” at some point in his/her college career. For example, freshmen, regardless of age, were immigrants because they were transferring from high school to college, the armed forces to college, or their gap year to college, so everybody at some point, challenged this new experience of coming to Pitt-Greensburg. Another example was in transfer students. They attended one university, or “country” in the past, but “migrated” to UPG for a plethora of reasons. Finally, Pitt-Greensburg students who studied abroad were campus immigrants, because they too were going to another university. Our CEE was designed in order for our audience to give a unique view of immigration. People in our community often think that immigration is only a race topic, ethnic topic, or refugee topic, but that isn’t the case. By bringing forward a new meaning to immigration in the eyes of college students, the local community will have a better understanding of not only what it means to be an immigrant, but what it means to be a person.

 

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