Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Season's Greetings from the Center for International Education

Holidays in the I-House

It’s the middle of December in east Tennessee, and that means frosty mornings and traffic jams around West Town Mall and Tanger Five Oaks. It also means that another great session and year of ESL and College classes have finished at the International House at Maryville College.

A year ago the ESL program was in the basement of Carnegie Hall. The rooms were adequate, but it was difficult to follow the I-House holiday traditions.

This fall, back in the I-House, however, students were able to experience pumpkin carving with Ms. McFalls and a haunted house on the night before Halloween.

In November, international students used the I-House’s new kitchen to make pumpkin pies with Micki Pruitt for the annual Global Connection Thanksgiving dinner hosted by Bill and Ethel White.
After the Thanksgiving break, students decorated the I-House and made ornaments for the CIE Christmas tree in the new lounge. Students also learned how to make Ms. McFalls’s fabulous Russian Tea Cakes and other tasty treats for the end-of-session Christmas party on December 10, when students exchanged gifts as part of “Secret Santa.”
This was a wonderful cap to a semester, season, and session that included the CIE Christmas party in downtown Knoxville, where our students were able to watch the Christmas parade and try outdoor ice-skating. Check out photos from all of these events on our Maryville College CELL or MC Center for International Education Facebook Groups.
New Home, New Name, New Faces
When the English-language program returned to the I-House in 2009, Maryville College’s director of international programs, Kirsten Sheppard, moved her office from Bartlett Hall to the I-House as well. With this move, all of Maryville College’s international programs became located under one roof.  Similarly, in 2009 all international programs have been put under the newly restructured Center for International Education (CIE) with Kirsten Sheppard as its director. This new CIE includes study abroad programs, international exchange, and the English as a second language (ESL) program, formerly known as the Center for English Language Learning (CELL).
In addition to the structural changes, there have been personnel changes since last December including the appointment of Sanna Serspinski to Assistant Director of International Admission and Recruitment. Also, Roslyn Ayers came on board as the Assistant to the CIE Director. In the ESL program, instructor Rebecca Brabson left the program to take a teaching position in Seoul, Korea in August. At the same time, Bob Kamm joined the I-House teaching staff after working in an ESL program in the Atlanta area.
Visits and Trips
In addition to this year’s regular sessions, the ESL program simultaneously hosted two large groups of high-school students in July. The first group was from Centro Educativo Latinomaricano in Argentina and the second was from Meiji Gakuin in Japan. For two weeks students took intensive English-language classes in the mornings and trips in the afternoons and evenings. Micki Pruitt also led students and chaperones on excursions to Atlanta, Monti-cello, and Washington, D.C.

In September, many old and new friends attended the International House’s Grand Re-opening to see how well we have settled in after last year’s remodeling. And in October, a delegation of international student advisors from EducationUSA visited the International House as part of their tour of Maryville College, and other local institutions.

CIE staff members also took trips of their own over the past year. In October, Sanna Serspinski, CIE’s recruiter, visited China and Japan to meet with schools, students, and agents interested in studying at Maryville College. In November, Kirsten Sheppard, attended the Baden-WŌčrttemburg Seminar in Germany to learn more about that country’s system of higher education.

Finally, on November 12, our ESL students were guests of Mary Blount Elementary School as part of that school’s International Week activities. It was an enjoy-able and educational experience for all involved!

Study at Maryville College

If you or a friend or family member wants to attend a U.S. college that takes care of its students and provides a great start to any career, please tell them about Maryville College.  Also please consider the Center for International Education’s English as a Second Language (ESL) program. Since 1985, the Maryville College ESL program has offered high-quality, full-time intensive English courses to international students.  We offer classes to students who want to:
  • improve their English language skills for education, work, business or travel
  • prepare for university studies in the USA
For further information, please contact Sanna Serspinski, the Assistant Direc-tor of International Admissions and Recruitment, at sanna.serspinski@maryvillecollege.edu

We wish you all the best in the New Year!

Be safe and stay in touch!

The CIE Staff

Kirsten Sheppard, Director
Micki Pruitt, Office Manager
Sanna Serspinski, Assistant Director of International Admissions and Recruitment
Roslyn Ayers, International Education Intern
Susan McFalls, Assistant Director for the English as a Second Language Program
Beth Sutton, Senior ESL Instructor
Jim Carman, ESL Instructor
Bob Kamm, ESL Instructor