CLA Stories

CLAgency strives to enrich the value of a liberal arts education by serving as storytellers for CLA students, faculty, and alumni.

Our goal is to highlight how CLA is shattering expectations of what a liberal arts education can be—transforming CLA into a destination college. As strategic storytellers, we brainstorm with our departments to uncover exciting story ideas that align with CLA Dean John Coleman's Roadmap goals: readiness, research, engagement, and diversity. Each semester, our content creators build a content strategy, conduct interviews, and write at least three feature stories. Our stories are shared on department websites, through social media, and through e-newsletters to alumni and friends. 

Portrait of Mark Bell

Nuclear Reaction

The United States, Great Britain, and South Africa have all utilized nuclear weapons in different ways. How are international politics affected by a country’s nuclear arsenal? Assistant Professor Mark Bell explores this question.
Photo of Andrew Oxenham, University of Minnesota Department of Psychology

Facing the Music: Reproducibility Studies to Guarantee Scientific Validity

Throughout many science communities, there is a growing call for the results of important research to be reproduced to verify the validity of earlier studies. Within the Department of Psychology, Professor Andrew Oxenham is conducting a multi-site reproducibility study on the effects of musical training on the perception and neural coding of speech.
Photo of Monica de la Fuente Iglesias

Sociolinguistics in Spain

Two PhD students in the Spanish and Portuguese department are looking at sociolinguistics of two communities in Spain. Carol Ready conducts ethnographic research in Granada, Spain on Moroccan immigrants, and Mónica de la Fuente Iglesias examines language variation in the Spanish spoken in Galicia.
Photo of Anika Hauck

Learning Without Borders

“Studying French and its culture makes me feel more like a citizen of the world,” says Anika Hauk, a student who studied abroad in Montpellier, France last semester. Explore what Hauk and other undergraduate students learned about themselves while learning abroad.
Portrait of Carissa Coudray

Ready for Research

“I knew that my intention was to ultimately get a PhD in psychology and to be a licensed practitioner. I knew what I wanted to do, and I was ready to do what I had to do to get there.” Alum Carissa Coudray (BA ‘18) is pursuing a higher degree in her field. With the help of research opportunities in the psychology department and connections with faculty, she is able to turn her goals into a reality.
Portrait of Kerry Witherell

Beyond the Classroom

With busy schedules and professional demands, it can become easy to get caught in the trap of your own work and inadvertently ignore the needs of other communities. Dr. Kerry Witherell is working to break her students out of their regular routine by serving people who need audiological services in Minneapolis’ Phillips neighborhood.
Portrait of Jayanthi Sasisekaran

The Science of Stuttering

Language and our ability to communicate unites us. For some, however, disorders such as stuttering make connection more difficult. Through her research in the Speech Fluency Lab, Dr. Jayanthi Sasiekaran examines speech and language processes that contribute to speech fluency to understand why some people stutter.
Portrait of Heather Johnson.

Conway and Locke on Personhood

Philosophers John Locke and Anne Finch Conway don’t exactly agree on the answers to some essential philosophical questions: What is a person? How do persons remain the same over time? PhD candidate Heather Johnson investigates these questions and more by studying the similarities and differences in these thinkers’ ideas.
Portrait of Atosha Rypa

An Oral History Book

Undergraduate Atosha Rypa uses spoken word to bring awareness to social issues, tell her story, and inspire others. Her words aim to educate people about the American Black experience and the power that language has to perpetuate discrimination. Rypa’s words heal her own past and provide motivation for future change.
Portrait of Isabel Arriagada

Are We Caring?

Chilean attorney and nonprofit organization founder Isabel Arriagada uses her unique combination of knowledge to approach penal research with a fresh perspective. “There is much more to the prison system than just ‘right’ and ‘wrong,’” explains PhD student Arriagada.

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