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UIS speaker series will present a look at adapting to cultural change

October 11, 2007

Contact: Kimberly Craig, 217/206-6245, kcrai01s@uis.edu

SPRINGFIELD -- "The Road to Bangalore and Beyond: The Cultural Response of a South India Village to Education" is the subject of a free public presentation beginning at 7 p.m., Thursday, October 25, in Brookens Auditorium on campus at the University of Illinois at Springfield.

The speaker will be Dr. Helen Ullrich, a linguist and clinical assistant professor of psychiatry at Tulane University School of Medicine. The event is presented as part of the ECCE (Engaged Citizenship Common Experience) Speakers Series at UIS and is sponsored by UIS' Office of Undergraduate Education.

Dr. Ullrich is a cross-cultural psychiatrist with a specialty in South India, where she has continued research in a village for more than 40 years, focusing on psychiatric adaptation to cultural change.

She explains, "In 1964 I first went for research to a village in Karnataka State, whose capital is Bangalore. At that time there was no high school for village children. Since then, college education has become important for both men and women. Some of the villagers' grandchildren have received doctorates in the United States and are employed here or in Bangalore, the Indian equivalent of the Silicon Valley. Accommodating education has brought about important changes in ritual practices; however, the family has remained an important unit. Travel to Bangalore was rare in 1964. Now travel outside of India has become as common, or more common, than visits to Bangalore were earlier."

The ECCE Speakers Series presents campus-sponsored lectures by speakers who exemplify engaged citizenship. The series is a one-hour course that is part of the Engaged Citizenship Common Experience, the distinctive set of courses taken by undergraduates at UIS to foster appreciation for and practice of diversity and the active effort to make a difference in the world. Students have a series of lectures to choose from each semester.

Upcoming programs include a discussion of leadership by U of I President B. Joseph White on November 1; a panel discussion on freedom of the press featuring Pulitzer Prize-winner Judith Miller on November 7; and a look at the reality of being a Native American in contemporary culture by multimedia artist James Luna on November 30.

For more information, contact Kimberly Craig, series coordinator, at 206-6245 or at speakerseries@uis.edu.

 

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The University of Illinois at Springfield, one of three U of I campuses, is a small, public liberal arts university that offers 42 degree programs: 21 bachelorís, 20 masterís, and the Doctorate of Public Administration. UIS has a special mission in public affairs and service and is known for extraordinary internships, a wireless campus, extensive online offerings, and a commitment to teaching.

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