For 10 weeks last summer, six immigrants attended classes in Johnson City, Tennessee, to prepare for the United States citizenship test. Alejandra Malfovon was one of the four who graduated after completing the class.
"With the class on Saturdays, it gave me time to study and prepare throughout the week," said Malfovon, who is from Mexico. "It also helped that the class was in Johnson City so that I could attend."
Passion and dedication is what two students needed to journey 1,400 miles from home, determined to improve health conditions in another country.
Milca Nuñez and Chris Bush traveled to the Dominican Republic in early September to begin their field experience for the College of Public Health at East Tennessee State University.
As of 2013, the Dominican Republic had a population of 10 million, with 40 percent living below the poverty line, according to The World Bank. Receiving medical care is a challenge most Dominicans face; there are an estimated two physicians per 1,000 persons.
The Dominican Republic also has a higher number of adolescent pregnancies than any other country in Latin America, and according to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, the infant mortality rate is 23 per 1,000 births.
People who marry into the Spanish-speaking community may find themselves assimilating into both a new culture and a new family.
One couple's journey led to overcoming a language barrier, while another merged both of their families into one.
Bob Schaal and Tracie Avila each faced challenges, but they were able to find love and share their stories on what it takes to adjust to another person's culture.
The human mind often wanders towards the edge of its understanding. The edge of understanding is where imagination begins, and things that are beyond reason can exist.
Walking into Dr. Ana Grinberg's office, one can easily recognize a setup common of any other professor who teaches English courses at East Tennessee State University: shelves crammed with books, chairs for students to sit in during conferences and a desk – clean and computer-occupied – in the corner of the room.
Yet the books lining Grinberg’s shelves are not typical of a professor: "Dracula," "The Vampire in Europe," "Gods, Heroes, and Monsters" and a myriad of other monster-related novels. Grinberg will be teaching a course on monsters in the spring of 2015 at ETSU.
Imagine being a passionate soccer fan on a dream trip to the World Cup in Brazil. You are paid to be there because it is a part of your job. Imagine that and you have stepped into the life of Antonio Rusiñol, 27, senior researcher at ESPN Stats & Information Group.
The group does analytics for ESPN Deportes, providing advance statistics for game coverage – ratings, rankings and material that doesn’t usually appear in box scores.
“It’s really a dream come true,” Rusiñol said, “because ESPN was my first real dream job, just because my No. 1 passion is sports.”
A native of Argentina, Rusiñol spent his adolescent years in Canada. His family moved to Johnson City, Tennessee, where he attended Science Hill High School.