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Jonathan Veracka, Amanda Grant, and Fatima Walji leaning up against a wall decorated with film posters from ALL's studies

On Purpose: Portrait of Asian Languages & Literatures

The Department of Asian Languages and Literatures is committed to the interdisciplinary study of three culturally rich areas of the world: East Asia, South Asia, and the Middle East. Our graduates gain a global perspective giving them the conceptual tools to influence the world. Students come to us with an intellectual curiosity about the non-Western world. They leave with a deeper understanding of the languages, social issues, geopolitical histories, and cultural texts of diverse countries and regions.
Lauren Holly, Jason Tham, Antoni Grgurovic sitting at a desk with writing materials and glowing monitors

On Purpose: Portrait of Writing Studies

Writing is a fundamental human activity that is rhetorical, social, global, and technological. To write is to define the world around us and create knowledge with others. In the Department of Writing Studies, we examine ways that writing is applied in the world—how it is shaped rhetorically, how it reflects meaning, and how it generates action within and among communities. We examine writing studies as a discipline involving past, present, and future.
Irma O'meara, Tank Davis, Vernon Rowe (seated), Danna Rizo gathered in a library, wearing matching T-shirts

On Purpose: Portrait of Minnesota Youth Story Squad

Minnesota Youth Story Squad (MYSS) amplifies the voices of young people in the Twin Cities. Too often, stories about youth and urban public schools are told from the perspective of almost everyone but youth. But MYSS goes directly to the the source: young people and their Twin Cities schools. We seek to inspire and engage youth by deepening their knowledge about society and public engagement while they learn how to advocate for change.
A student leans against a window that overlooks the Mississippi river.

On Purpose: Portrait of the Freshman Research Program

Lew Blank, a first-year student in CLA, was a participant in the Dean's Freshman Research & Creative Scholars Program (DFRACS). This CLA signature program has offered high-achieving first-year students a scholarship to work alongside a faculty mentor in a research setting. Students are expected to devote 6 to 10 hours per week throughout the spring semester, gaining insights into a new body of knowledge and experiencing firsthand the value and excitement of scholarly and creative discovery at a research university.
Photo of female undergraduate student standing next to a female advisor in the advisor's office

On Purpose: Portrait of Undergraduate Advising

I’m writing today to thank you for the care you’ve taken to get to know and support me these last four years. It’s been a long road, but you were always there for me along the way. Remember when we first met at summer orientation? It was about a month after high school ended, my parents were still telling me what I should do with my life, and I had no idea what college was going to be like.
Two women stand beside lake Bde Maka Ska

On Purpose: Portrait of American Studies

The Department of American Studies is one of the oldest and most renowned departments of its kind in the country. Founded over 60 years ago, our early faculty and students found a freedom of expression in interdisciplinary work. Today, our faculty pursue a wide range of scholarly projects as they write award-winning books, receive teaching and public engagement awards, and garner acclaim both nationally and internationally.
Two women, one older one younger, sitting on chairs in a CATSS lab with microphones and padding on the walls

On Purpose: Portrait of CATSS

Sensory loss, or loss of vision, hearing, and balance increases with age and can be related to a decline in quality of life. By 2050, the Census Bureau predicts that the number of persons 65 years and older will approach 20 percent of the U.S. population. Sensory loss of all types is prevalent among aging people, accounting for a sharp decline in social engagement, and a significant reduction in socioeconomic potential.
Portrait of Doug and Jane Gorence.

The Gift that Gives to the Soul

Donors Doug and Jane Gorence often find themselves thinking about the future, asking questions such as “How can I continue to give?” and “How can we help prepare students to make lasting change in society?” Read on to find out why Doug and Jane Gorence choose to go above and beyond and donate to the University of Minnesota’s College of Liberal Arts.
A faculty person sits with three students from the institute.

On Purpose: Portrait of Heller-Hurwicz Economics Institute

The University of Minnesota Department of Economics has historically been one of the top in the world, producing nine Nobel Prize-winning faculty and alumni along the way. Launched in 2010, the Heller-Hurwicz Economics Institute was founded as a renewed commitment to supporting synergy in economic research, policy influence, and the communication channels required to solve real-world challenges.
Photo of University of Minnesota mascot Goldy Gopher wearing a sparkly jacket leaning against a bannister in side Northrop auditorium

On Purpose: Artist's Statement

For 150 years, the College of Liberal Arts (CLA) at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities has been dedicated to teaching and research. Many have dedicated their lives to being relevant in their specific discipline. In recognition, a series of portraits has been created to represent the numerous departments throughout the years.