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.
When most people think of visiting the doctor they usually think of visiting a medical doctor, somebody who examines symptoms and prescribes medicine or surgery to help the patient overcome maladies. But other forms of treatment have been widely used around the world.
Neil Anton Borja is a family physician and doctor of osteopathic medicine at East Tennessee State University. He also has a master's of acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine and practices integrative medicine.
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.