July 2022 - Tenzin Gyatso Science Scholars complete the Summer Intensive English Program

The Emory-Tibet Science Initiative (ETSI) recognizes the importance of developing a robust language program to optimize the monastics' learning and understanding of the science curriculum and remove barriers to their future contributions to the international science community. To facilitate the growth of the monastic students’ English language skills, Dr. Jane O’Connor, director of the English Language Learning Program (ELLP) at Emory University and the unit leader for the ETSI English Unit, has initiated various programs including the Summer Intensive English Program. Since 2016, Tenzin Gyatso Science Scholars (TGSS) who complete a two-year program at Emory University focused on sciences, have taken part in this six-week language intensive program led by Dr. Jane O'Connor herself. The sixth cohort of TGSS is currently midway through their Emory University curriculum and recently completed the Summer Intensive English Program May 3rd- June 16th to improve their written and spoken English. Dr. O' Connor along with Dr. Levin Arnsperger structured the course with lectures, discussions, written assignments, and field trips to appeal to various learning styles and offer a broad range of topics. This summer's guest speakers explored diverse topics including: Native American Religion, Culture and Technology of Japan, Medical Ethics, Connections between Football/Soccer and Politics, Culture, and Economics. In addition, the monastic scholars had three field trips on Emory’s campus: (1) a guided tour of the Carlos Museum's temporary exhibition "And I Must Stream" conducted by Senior Education Director Elizabeth Hornor. (2) A visit to The Rose Library's display of artifacts documenting the history of Emory conducted by Instruction Coordinator Jacqueline Reed. (3) A tour of the Pitts Theology Library conducted by Reference and Instruction Librarian, Brady Beard, and Head of Special Collections, Dr. Brandon Wason. During the Pitts Theology Library Visit, monastics had the unique opportunity to examine old texts covering topics of science and religion (i.e. 1436: Theologia Naturalis) and ask questions of the librarian. Venerable Tenzin Rabga from the current cohort of TGSS shared, "The Summer Intensive English Program helped me maintain and deepen the semester's English coursework while also serving as a continuation and helpful tool for the year ahead. Additionally, the guest lectures and field trips were educational and provided insight into Emory’s history and culture." The monastics will return to their respective institutions next May after two years at Emory University and help develop and sustain the science education program in the monasteries and nunneries.