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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.

Thursday, 16 October 2014 00:00

Finding love in the Spanish-speaking community

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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. 

Thursday, 16 October 2014 00:00

Monsters on campus at ETSU

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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.

Thursday, 09 October 2014 00:00

English without borders

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Every Thursday evening at Cherokee United Methodist Church in Johnson City, Tenn., an exchange takes place as different tongues learn to speak in one common language.

Leading this conversation is Dr. Rosalind Gann, an East Tennessee State University professor and English as a Second Language advocate. The main goal of this gathering is to equip people whose first language is not English to speak it comfortably and correctly.

Gann has worked with English language learners in many countries. It was there that she realized how the English language is becoming more global.

"One thing I've learned is just how important English is—worldwide—and the scope of this language," she said. "It was, originally, a language of conquerors, of oppressors, and now, it's been transformed into a vehicle for universal communication."

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