Monday, December 13, 2010

Brazil's Rising Star

Nobody who has been around the BSU Geography Department the past few years is likely to be surprised by the 60 Minutes segment on Brazil that aired yesterday, in which Steve Kroft described the achievements -- and challenges -- of this rising power. From its remarkable economic growth and narrowing social chasm to its upcoming role as host of the World Cup and Olympics, this 13-minute video makes the case that we already understand in the BSU Geography Department: learning about Brazil is as important as it is enjoyable.

In the past decade, BSU has received two grants from the prestigious Fund for the Improvement of Post-Secondary Education (FIPSE) of the U.S. Department of Education and CAPES, its Brazilian counterpart. The first of these was in the area of special education (under the leadership of Dr. Lidia Silveira) and the second in geography (with Dr. James Hayes-Bohanan). The grants allowed for in-coming and out-going, semester-long exchanges with university partners in southern Brazil, and greatly enriched our campus.

In June 2011, we will build on this experience to provide BSU's first short-term study tour to Brazil. Dr. Hayes-Bohanan will lead a tour that explores the changes taking place in several key areas of Brazil, from coffee (in which "Brazilian gourmet coffee" is no longer a joke) to modern manufacturing and from transportation planning to hydroelectric power. More details about this trip will be available from the Office of Study Abroad in early January.

If the 60 Minutes segment whets your appetite to learn more about the dynamism that is today's Brazil, check out the Discovery Atlas DVD set that is available at the Maxwell Library Circulation Desk. It includes one DVD each on Brazil, China, Australia, and Italy. The Brazil volume illustrates the geographic variety of the country by focusing on the stories of seven very different individuals from disparate corners of the country. (Call number: PN1995.9.T73 D57 2007)

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