Category Archives: Assignment 1

A. Nicot – Assignment 1: Introduction

There was some trouble for me getting to use the website, so please forgive the late introduction.My name is Aurelien Nicot, a rising Senior and an international student, here for all four standard years. I’m a History major and an International Relations minor, so my skillset lies in critical reading and research, as well as theorizing. My specific area of interest in History is the Long 19th Century, especially from a French perspective. I am French, so my cultural and political background is fairly different from that of Americans as I’ve come to realize very starkly in my time here in the U.S.A., but that really shouldn’t be a problem as we’re all here to study global citizenship, right?

I’m taking this class because given my particular opinions about the concept of “global citizenship” (not a fan) and the kinds of ideas that circulate around it (post-nationalism, internationalism, “human rightsism” as we say in France), I figured I’d be able to challenge myself to think a bit more about my own views and come to terms with understanding what I consider views I am hostile to to some degree – we’ll see if my expectations are met or if I was mistaken.

I don’t remember my GST 110 course all that well, as it was 3 years ago, but I do remember, as other students have mentioned, the book Ishmael which I didn’t think was particularly good, being a terrible novel first of all, but also having a poor view of history. Anarcho-primitivism sure didn’t help. In the following three years I’ve developed my views considerably. I do remember being relatively surprised at how my views were received, even today, since I keep hearing nightmare stories about American universities from some American friends. My professors and my advisor, Dr. Irons (I’ll mention Dr. Matthews and Dr. Crowe as well as people I’ve discussed extensively with) have been very respectful considering.

I imagine my work in History will be useful for this class. You can’t understand the world without understanding how it came to be and the fundamentals of human behavior are clear in history. I’ve also taken international relations and political science courses that also emphasized global perspectives, such as Comparative Politics, which dealt with contemporary issues frequently.

I don’t really have any interesting photos or videos to share, but I suppose I could share one of my favorite pieces of historical music as interpreted by Georges Thill:

Ce que c’est qu’un drapeau

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My name is Matt Slater.  This is actually the last class I need to officially graduate.  I’m a marketing major with an architecture minor (which I completed at Tulane before I transferred). I don’t have any significant program involvement, but I’ve participated in many relevant extra-curricular activities.  During my time in New Orleans I spent time working with Habitat for Humanity to rebuild homes, my friends and I went to the shore to help clean up the coast and I helped paint a few local elementary schools.  All of the architecture students submitted their designs for a competition to build green homes… I didn’t win.  I signed up for this class because I wanted my last class to be something that I could take with me no matter what career path I eventually choose.

I transferred here so I don’t have any GST 110 experience.  However, I did take two classes at Tulane that seem very similar.  I took a class that taught how certain languages across the world developed and evolved as a result of socioeconomic, political and cultural issues.  For example, some African colonies were not allowed to practice their native language.  This not only disconnects them from many customs, but it also breaks down communication and can devastate local religions.  Many words do not translate to other languages, so the manipulation of the words people can use was a cruel method to marginalize local culture.

The only relevant class I have taken other than those previously mentioned was a service learning class.  My professor took the class to the shore to take various measurements like sediment levels, salinity, toxicity, etc.  We compared these with all of the previous semesters’ work to get an idea of the bigger picture.  The results show that many topics we may consider local, like waste disposal, can have a much father reaching impact.  This was the first class I took that really helped me to take a step back and consider global implications in addition traditional national or local consequences.




Not the exact houses I helped rebuild, but this will give you an idea of what we were doing. The organizers actually miscalculated the water pipe locations so we had to dig them all out. Not fun.



This may be hard to see, but this picture shows the erosion impact of hurricanes. These pictures were taken just a few years apart.



My name is Chris Dove.  I am a senior with a major in accounting.  I am not a traditional student.  For starters, I work a full time job at LabCorp as well as going to school full time.  I am just now getting the opportunity to come back and finish my degree due to the fact that I left Elon University following my junior year after being drafted by the Texas Rangers.  I transferred to Elon after my freshman year at Pfeiffer.  While at Elon, I was on the baseball team for two years during the 2007 and 2008 season.  In 2008, I was captain of the team.  After only two years at Elon, I was and still am ranked among the top ten in many statistical categories.

Since I transferred to Elon, I did not have to take a GST 110 class.  I did however chose to take  intro to sociology class my sophomore year.  I do not remember much from that class because it was so long ago.  I signed up for this class to fulfill my upper level 300-400 class requirement and this class was offered online, fit into my schedule, and was more seemed more interesting than my other alternatives.

2008 Southern Conference Regular Season and Tournament Champs

2008 Southern Conference Regular Season and Tournament Champs


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Tyler Lehmann: Introduction

My name is Tyler Lehmann and I’m from Baltimore, Maryland. I’ a rising sophomore here at Elon and I want to major in Environmental Science though I’m technically undecided. I’m minoring in sociology, which is partly what peaked my interest in this class. I’m not a part of any service related extra curricular activities here at Elon but I did do Habitat for Humanity for a little with my high school in Baltimore City. Maybe this coming semester I’ll check out Elon’s Habitat program.

This past semester I took an Intro to Sociology class with Dr. Arcaro and loved it. After beginning to consider a minor in sociology, I asked Dr. Arcaro’s thoughts; hentold me I should take this class. At first I was intimidated – taking a 300-level course in what felt like my freshman year at Elon – but Arcaro assured me I would be prepared for the challenge.

After hearing him describe the class in SOC111 one day, many of the aspects sounded very similar to my Global Experience class. In my GST110 class, we studied all sorts of conflicts around the globe ranging from the rubber tappers of Brazil to the Kurds in the Middle East. There was a heavy emphasis on charity. Much like the book I read in SOC111, “Toxic Charity,” we discussed many of the different problems surrounding charities these days that people contribute to. We also talked about poverty and why certain areas will always seem to be “trapped.”

I’m hoping to delve more into global issues such as charity and poverty since I found it interesting in my sociology and global experience classes. I got a lot out of SOC111 with Dr. Arcaro on an educational and personal level, I am hoping the same will come from SOC376. Also I really like comics of all sorts, so expect comic strips in my future blog posts.

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Assignment 1: Introduction_Jinbo Choi

My name is Jinbo Choi and I’m an international student originally from South Korea. I’m a rising junior majoring in International Studies concentrated in Africa. Having an international background along with my interests in travelling and learning the world, I’ve had opportunities to visit many different countries around the world. Since I studies abroad in Tanzania last semester, I couldn’t actively involve with the organizations that I was involved when I was a first-year student. I was involved with Elon Club Basketball, Elon Gospel Choir, Elon African Society, Japanese Club, and I helped the Diversity and Leadership conference as a planning committee. I chose organizations from many different interests and fields despite of the fact that I’m not a good basketball player or a good singer. I believe these activities would give me opportunities to meet people outside of my bubble and learn more about them, their beliefs, and their sub-cultures.

I was particularly interested in being a global citizen after I went to Peru for a service trip. I went with a local YMCA in my senior year of high school. The highlight of the trip was building a house on a hillside of Indenpendencia district in Lima. It was hard as I’ve never lifted and worked with loads of cements for seven hours for three days. Some of us were complaining including myself until we played soccer with local children there. It was a moment I will remember forever. They were happy. They had the best smiles I had ever seen. It got me thinking that I want to do the volunteer for them not because I had to, but because I want to. Then I realized how spoiled and over-blessed I was. The concept of ‘there are always people who have less than I do around the world’ started to make me want to become a global citizen.


mission trip to Lima, Peru

In my GST110 class, the course covered human trafficking, economic expansion of China, neo-colonialism, Social business and Social entrepreneurship, and globalization. Among the topics that the course covered, the Belarus Free Theatre was the most interesting topics among them. On the surface, Belarus covers itself as a republic but in fact it’s a dictatorship.
Belarus has been under the dictatorship of Lukashenko since 1994 and the government has been restricting freedom of speech, peaceful assembly and religion. Belarus Free theatre has been fighting against their government and now they are travelling around the world and raise awareness about Belarus to get international supports. The fact that they are sacrificing themselves for the freedom of Belarus was touching and made me think having a global consciousness is vital no matter where and who you are. Our world has gotten a global village, but ironically, people including myself are busier with our own lives and do not know enough about what’s going on globally. The reason why I chose this class is that I want to be more alert and active about the world.



Rother, Larry. “Escaped From Belarus, Actors Raise Voices.” New York Times.  (2011)<>.

“The World Factbook: Belarus.” Central Intelligence Agency Library. Central Intelligence Agency, 07 May 2013. Web. 4 Jun 2013. <>.




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Abby Senseney: Introduction

My name is Abby Senseney, and I am a rising sophomore.  I am on track to graduate with a double major in Human Service Studies and International Studies.  In high school, I was on the varsity tennis team, and I was involved with Club Tennis throughout this year.  Every summer in high school, I went on mission trips around the Midwest with my youth group, and this passion for service has followed me into college.  This past year, I have been involved with Habitat for Humanity as well as volunteering at Head Start preschool in Burlington.  Next winter term, I am going to Costa Rica as part of the Jungle Service trip.  Serving others in need is something that is close to my heart, so I signed up for this class to learn more about global humanitarian aid and issues that affect many people around the world.

My GST 110 class focused on two areas: food and refugee groups.  For the first half of the semester, talked about where our food comes from and how we can become more socially and environmentally responsible for our food choices.  For example, locally grown foods require less fossil fuels for transport than foods that must be shipped from across the country or globe, and therefore are a more environmentally friendly choice.  Being aware of the impact of your choices was something that really resonated with me and is especially important in our global age.  For the final part of the semester, our class learned about several refugee groups in America while reading Outcasts United.  We also read Persepolis, a memoir about the Islamic Revolution in Iran.  Reading and discussing these books increased my awareness of various cultural groups’ history and the context of many conflicts still going on today.  These situations abound around the world, and becoming more educated about them will help me learn how to do my part in helping those who need it.

As I have only spent one year at Elon, not many of the classes I have taken relate to this class.  I would definitely say that my GST 110 subject matter was the most relevant to this class.  I am interested in learning more about global crisis situations and what I can do to effectively help!

Bookshelf we painted at Rogers Park UMC in Chicago

Bookshelf we painted at Rogers Park UMC in Chicago on 2010 mission trip

Mission where we worked in New Mexico

Mission where we worked in New Mexico on 2012 mission trip

Satrapi, Marjane.  Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood.  New York: Pantheon Books, 2003.  Print.

St. John, Warren.  Outcasts United: An American Town, a Refugee Team, and One Woman’s Quest to Make a Difference.  New York: Spiegel & Grau Trade Paperbacks, 2009.  Print.

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Dash Jepsen: Introduction

My name is Dash Jepsen. I am a rising junior studying political science with a minor in environmental studies and possibly religious studies and computer science.  I have no idea of what I want to do when I graduate, but what I tend to tell people is that I want to facilitate the implementation of advanced technologies for the betterment of mankind.  Our ability to create and manipulate is our greatest asset and its is only becoming more apparent in our day and age.  I am an active member of the Model UN club on campus and have attended conferences at Duke and University of Chicago.  Furthermore I am trying to start a debate team this fall.  If anyone wants to help, let me know!  I am unsure if I will study abroad while at Elon.  That being said, my family has done quite a bit of traveling with destinations ranging from Ecuador to Morocco.  My dream place to travel would have to be Southeast Asia, specifically Vietnam.  I signed up for this course because I thought it deals with the most current and pressing issues we face as species.

I honestly felt a bit robbed when it comes to my GST 110 course.  My professor spent more time rambling about his life than he did teaching the class.  Furthermore, we had very little input/ discussion time, which I found frustrating.  Despite this, we did learn about the power of various corporations around the world, including the oppression of banana farmers in Costa Rica and the litigious nature of Monsanto.  We also studied the influence of major global institutions such as the World Bank, WHO, and UN.


My video is entitled “The Biological Advantage of Being Awestruck”.  In it Jason Silva, a transhumanist thinker quotes Nicholas Humphrey stating “How fortuitous… for a species to find that its own ability to contemplate – to marvel at its own existence – has been evolutionarily advantageous… it has been biologically selected for because it informs our life with a sense of cosmic significance that makes us work harder, to persist and survive.”  This reminds me of the overview effect, a cognitive shift experienced by many astronauts as they stare down at our planet.  They report that this experience makes them realize the fragility of life and tears down the petty borders that divide countries.  I find these two ideas incredibly inspiring and very applicable to being a global citizen.  I think that if we all realized our interconnectedness and the fragility of our small planet in this massive universe we would have a much easier time solving our global issues.


Works Cited

Silva, Jason. “The Biological Advantage of Being Awestruck – by @JasonSilva.” YouTube. YouTube, 18 May 2013. Web. 03 June 2013.

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Tommy McDermott: Introduction

My name is Tommy McDermott, and I’m a soon to be senior English major with minors in communications and peace and conflict studies. I was the co-coordinator of the Elon Volunteers Student Global AIDS Awareness Campaign, participated in the Model U.N. International Crisis Conference at Elon, currently serve as a study abroad student ambassador, and am headed to South Africa next winter term as part of the service-based study abroad program.
I’m taking this course because I feel it is necessary to broaden one’s understanding of world affairs and other cultures if one hopes to have any chance of becoming a positive force of change in the world.
L.D. Russell, a phenomenal mentor, and my favorite professor so far at Elon, led my Global Experience class in a way that was engaging and fostered an atmosphere that was driven by discussion. We covered a wide array of topics, but perhaps my favorite was the issue of the United States’ growing complacency with war efforts, specifically the dual conflicts of Afghanistan and Iraq in the Middle East, and the potentially dangerous consequences that could arise from having such a disinterested and uneducated general public. We discussed at length that this is most likely a result of it being far easier to vilify an enemy, rather than attempt to understand the motivations of radical groups, the national interests of foreign countries, or the beliefs of different religions. It was also very interesting to observe the gradual shift in popular interest from foreign issues abroad, to eventually becoming more concerned about less important issues at home in the years since taking that course.
As one NBC news article put it, “Americans show more interest in the economy and taxes than the latest suicide bombings in a different, distant land. They’re more tuned in to the political ad war playing out on television than the deadly fight still raging against the Taliban. Earlier this month, protesters at the Iowa State Fair chanted ‘Stop the war!’ They were referring to one purportedly being waged against the middle class.” (NBC)
The challenging and thought provoking experience that I had in Professor Russell’s class, led me to enroll in a number of other courses that helped me to see the world through a different lens. I took sociology through film, which made me re-examine my own beliefs and values by showing me different people and cultures from around the world. My international relations course, as well as history after 1865, taught me about all of the past grievances and horrific tragedies that serve as motivation for bloodshed and distrust around the world even today, and this helped to open my eyes to the underlying issues in many conflicts around the world.

Sitting on a cliff near Tiger Leaping Gorge in China

Sitting on a cliff near Tiger Leaping Gorge in China


Works Cited: “No One Really Cares’: U.S. deaths in Afghanistan reach 2,000 in ‘forgotten’ war” NBC News. Aug. 22, 2012. June 1, 2013.

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Amanda Lang: Introduction

My name is Amanda Lang and I will be a senior next year. I am majoring in Communications with an emphasis in broadcast journalism and I am minoring in sociology. In the future I hope to be a sports reporter, a.k.a. the next Erin Andrews. I am not involved with any extracurricular activities that are directly related to this class, however I did go on an alternative break trip with Elon Volunteers. This past spring break I went to Jamaica for a week. While there, myself and the other students on the trip, worked with a school in a very rural, poverty stricken area of Jamaica. We taught the kids (ages 4-11) how to read and write as well as various math skills. The last day we were at the school, we took down a bunch of walls inside the school that were destroyed by a hurricane. Some of us painted new walls and others put them up. I really feel that my experience on that trip can contribute to this class. I would definitely say it is the closest I have come to becoming a global citizen. One of the main reasons I signed up for this course was because of my first hand experience with another country and the poverty that exists there. I also signed up for this course because I am a sociology minor and I thought it sounded really interesting.

Unfortunately, I transferred to Elon this year and I was exempt from taking the GST 110 class. At my old school there were no first year classes like GST 110 at Elon; however, I don’t feel that I am missing out too much by not taking this class because I feel that Elon does a good job of talking about global issues in various other ways, whether it be through classes, guest speakers, events on campus, etc. After taking this course, Becoming a Global Citizen, I hope to learn from other people taking this course about some of the things talked about in GST 110 as well as expand my knowledge of global issues and what it truly means to become a global citizen.

As far as other classes that relate to this course, I haven’t taken any that would tie in with Becoming a Global Citizen. I have only taken one other sociology class at my old school and it was Intro to Sociology. As a Communications major, I am not really exposed to classes  that concern global issues, humanitarian aid, etc. which is why I am excited to learn about these things through this course. The main thing I can think of that relates to this course would be my trip to Jamaica, as mentioned above. I hope to share more about this trip as the class progresses because it offered me an insight into a world I only read about or heard about on tv. You never think global issues are as bad as they really are until you are there experiencing it first hand. While reading an article about the causes of poverty, I found it interesting that it is mentioned almost half of the world, or 3 billion people, live on less than $2.50 a day (Global Issues). When thinking about the kids at the school we worked at in Jamaica, it was clear that this is probably true for most of their families. Thinking about 3 billion people living like that is shocking to say the least.

Reading to one of the students at Hope Basic School in Treasure Beach, Jamaica308506_10201351197805690_868619689_n

Me and another girl painting new walls that were hung up inside the school



Shah, Anup. “Causes of Poverty.” Global Issues. 24 Mar. 2013. Web. 30 May. 2013. <>.

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Nicole Panaggio: Introduction

My name is Nicole Panaggio and I will be a junior next year. I am a sociology and biology double major and I hope to attend medical school after Elon. I am not sure that any of my extracurricular activities relate directly to this class. However, I do volunteer at both Elon Elementary and the Open Door Clinic of Burlington and I believe these activities have helped be become a more engaged member of Elon’s local community. I signed up for this course because I am very interested in traveling with my future career in medicine and providing care to areas of the world that need it most. I believe this class will help me better understand how international aid works and how I can be most effective in providing medical care in the future.

During my GST 110 class, we covered topics related to Western ethnocentrism, cultural tolerance, international aid, and extreme poverty. To truly learn cultural tolerance, my professor had us discover our own biases. This part of the class was very important to me because I learned how unaware American citizens are of their own prejudices. We discussed that although many mission trips are lead with good intentions, Westerners often pressure members of other cultures to adopt western practices. This can ultimately result in the loss of an entire culture. To examine this idea in a more extreme way, my class read and discussed the novel Ishmael.  In this novel, a caged gorilla named Ishmael reveals what he believes is the secret to saving the world. The gorilla explains that most of the world’s problems are a result of how humans view their own species as biologically superior. He goes on to explain that humans are “captives of a civilizational system that more or less compels you to go on destroying the world in order to live” (Quinn 25). In this way, Ishmael exposes that biased and ethnocentric ways of thinking can have traumatic consequences.

Below is a link to a short clip of part of an interview with the author of Ishmael, Daniel Quinn, as he explains what he believes is the root cause of problems throughout the world today.

The Education and Development course I took during winter term in India is very relevant to this class. In this course, our class traveled to the state of Kerala with traveling science exhibits that we took to many schools. The state of Kerala has one of the most progressive education systems in all of India. Therefore, we were able to travel to many private schools that reminded me of education in the United States. However, I thought our visit to the rural school was most interesting. Many of these students had different needs and goals than those in the expensive private schools. Many students in the high school were already married and hoped for a future continuing work on their family farm. I wondered if a “westernized” education model was right for them. This made me further wonder if there is ever a one-size-fits-all model for international programs, including international aid.

These are some pictures of students at the rural school my class visited.





Quinn, Daniel. Ishmael: An Adventure of Mind and Spirit. Bantam/Turner Books, 1992. Print.