Janae Staicer

International Experience Country:
Cohort Year:
Home Institution:

Duquesne University

Heinz Programming Area:
Economic Opportunity
International Experience Summary:

Janae Staicer studied for 6 weeks in Spain. While there, she took both Spanish grammar and conversation classes and also a class on Spanish culture. She lived with a host family including a mother, and other students from all over the world. Living with her host family was one of her favorite experiences in Spain. She had up to 10 roommates at a time, some from France, Germany, Poland, Italy, the United States, Sudan, Egypt, and Haiti. She not only learned about Spain through her host mother, as expected, but about all parts of the world through her other roommates. Janae participated in a mentorship program for kids between the ages of 4-12. One day a week for 4 weeks Janae would visit the summer program to see her assigned amigo, five-year-old Diego. She taught him basic English vocabulary like numbers and greetings. It was Diego’s first time learning English formally. Janae’s program traveled all over Spain and saw major sites such as the Royal Palace in Madrid and The Alhambra in Granada. Janae’s first experience abroad had a profound impact on the way she sees the world as well as her career goals. 

Community Engagement Experience Summary:

CEE Title: From Prague to Pittsburgh: Human Trafficking Around the Globe

The Duquense University Vira I Heinz Cohort of 2015 hosted “From Prague to Pittsburgh: Human Trafficking around the Globe.” This was a seminar that presented facts and short stories about the unfortunate and global crime of human trafficking. We used the “think globally, act locally” model to discuss human trafficking from very broad perspectives and all around the world, to honing in on our very own country, state, and city. We each discussed human trafficking in the respective country we traveled to, then explained how it compares and contrasts to places we have traveled to in the United States. Our presentation contained rankings and ratings from the Global Slavery Index to explain each countries’ involvement in human trafficking. We supplemented this information with clips from the documentary “Not My Life” in order to help visualize some of the “non-traditional” forms of human trafficking, such as body parts and child labor. In wrapping up our presentation, we gave our audience some tips to identifying victims of human trafficking. We explained what one can do to help, including signing petitions and writing their Congressman. Finally, at the end of our presentation we had the president of Duquesne’s International Relations Club conduct signups for training to volunteer at a local trafficking shelter. The presentation sparked profound discussion of the topic and made many people aware of the severity of it. Many people do not realize that it is happening right in our own backyards.