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Motlow State Community College
P.O. Box 8500
Lynchburg, TN 37352-8500
(931) 393-1500

Motlow College Goes International

December 20, 2011
Smyrna International Festival
Nathan Sweeton, right, an English Instructor at Motlow's Smyrna Center, shares knowledge of the country he is representing during the College's International Festival.

Motlow College recently experienced a whirlwind trip around the world as all four locations hosted international festivals. With students from more than 30 countries, the college departments in Moore County, Smyrna, Fayetteville and McMinnville celebrated Motlow's diversity by showcasing the many different cultures. Prior to the festivals, doors and hallways were decorated to depict the country to be represented by each department.

Motlow's Quality Enhancement Program (QEP) is internationalizing the curriculum and improving student learning through international education. All human senses were engaged with the international festivals as students, faculty and staff shared native food, music and cultural examples of their chosen country. The students were exposed to different cultures in the classroom with visiting speakers, presenters and through special assignments.

Jeannie Brown, coordinator of international education at Motlow said, "This year's festivals have surpassed any that we've ever hosted. I think each center surprised itself with the level of participation, decorations, and food." She continued, "Several students proudly participated either in a booth representing their home country or one where they had studied the culture and were anxious to share with others."

The Smyrna Center offered international pastries and candies for students to sample throughout the week of the festival. They sponsored flag coloring and photo identification contests for prizes. The center also featured "The Poetry of Scotland," a special presentation performed by a native of that country. The nursing faculty won the door contest with their representation of Belize.

Motlow in McMinnville hosted 16 booths with over 150 people participating. The band, Trio Ginga played Latin music for festival goers. Prizes were given in several categories including most authentic food, decorations and clothing. Student door prize winners included Rachel Hiner, Kacey Smith, Noah Medley and Ashley Argo.

Moore County's festival featured more than 27 booths and hundreds of visitors. The Business and Technology department won the door decoration contest for the country of Mexico. The Motlow Bookstore represented Belgium with a flowing chocolate machine and a local jeweler displaying Belgium diamonds. Student Elsa Dohrmann assisted with the representation of Ethiopia, her birthplace. She wrote name translations in her native language, Amharic, for all who visited the booth.

The Fayetteville festival featured 12 different countries. Community participation featured a native of Jamaica preparing authentic Jamaican food and answering questions about his homeland. The booth depicting Mexico won first place honors for the event. The team creating the south of the border experience represented fulltime faculty, adjunct faculty, administration and a student, Tori Scott.

Entertainment for the Moore County and Fayetteville festivals included music from the band, Slip Jig, of Huntsville, Ala. They performed traditional music of Ireland, Scotland, and other Celtic lands during the festivals and gave a special evening concert for the public. International guest speaker, Mr. D.K. Wu from the ChinaNOW Institute of International Education in Shanghai, China spoke to students in the classroom, participated in the festival and offered two scholarships to Motlow students for China summer programs.

Visit the College website for additional information about international education at Moltow.

Elsa Dohrmann
Motlow student Elsa Dohrmann of Tullahoma translates American names to her native Ethiopian language, Amharic, during the International Festival at the Moore County campus.
Tori Scott
Motlow student Tori Scott was a member of the winning team for their booth representing Mexico during the International Festival at the Fayetteville Center.
McMinnville Festival
Motlow students, faculty and staff experienced a trip around the world during the International Festival held at the McMinnville Center.