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ACM Program Is Featured on Costa Rican TV Show

Published: February 22, 2016

The ACM Costa Rica program was featured on a local TV show broadcast recently in San José on Channel 15 of the University of Costa Rica (UCR).

The weekly show, Materia Gris (or Grey Matter), highlighted the program's academic and cultural experience for students, as well as ACM’s connections in Costa Rica, such as with UCR.

Watch the segment about ACM Costa Rica on Materia Gris!

During the 12-minute segment, interviews with ACM program staff and two of the students on Costa Rica: Field Research in the Environment, Social Sciences, & Humanities were interspersed with video clips of a Spanish language class and photos of ACM students in past years.

The video shoot came together quickly, according to Costa Rica Program Director Bonnie Furman, as the Materia Gris film crew arrived at the ACM center with just a few days’ notice and completed the filming in one morning.

"There was no script, no 'Take 1, Take 2,' or anything like that," Furman said of the interviews, which were about ten minutes each. "In the video, you don't hear the questions he asked us, just the answers. It was the way they edited it, putting our answers together, that tells the story."

Filming during a Spanish language class.

The students were a bit camera shy at first, said Marco Castro Rodriguez, the program's academic coordinator, but warmed up to it once the film crew arrived. "They weren't acting or anything," he said, "just doing what they do on a regular day in class."

Isabela Alesna from Macalester College and James Haney from Lake Forest College were interviewed for the video and talked about why they chose to study in Costa Rica and the independent research projects they are working on this semester.

The idea for the feature grew out of an impromptu conversation Castro had with a friend of his from high school who produces Materia Gris.

"We saw each other on the bus and were talking and I told him about ACM's partnership with the University of Costa Rica," he said. "Those connections to UCR and Costa Rica were really the impetus for the show."

Students on the spring semester ACM Costa Rica program.

ACM has deep roots in Costa Rica, going back to the field research program's founding in 1964, and the consortium has collaborated with UCR in a variety of ways through the years. A scholarship program supports selected Costa Rican university students for a year of study at ACM colleges, the program offers a dual enrollment option to take courses at UCR during the fall semester, and ACM students have opportunities to use university facilities.

"This video will be useful for us to send to people and organizations we work with here in Costa Rica, just so they know about the program and its history," Furman noted. "This really brings it all together."

"It was really fun," she said, "and I think it was a kick for the students to be part of it. Knowing that it would be on TV gave them a sense that the ACM program is really noticed in Costa Rica."


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