Research and Service Learning Opportunities | Briar Cliff University

Research and Service Learning Opportunities

At Briar Cliff, there are numerous opportunities for you to research a subject that you're passionate about and to use your education to help others!

Research, Presentations and Professional Opportunities

“As a student, I have had the opportunity to make videos, complete research papers, and attend conferences (SUR Plus Ultra & Streamline) to present these projects. Professor Suarez also has included me in organizing this year’s trip to the University of Cadiz in Spain, which is a great opportunity to work for and with others." - Griselda Oliverios

Events like Briar Cliff's annual Excellence Event or other national and regional conferences give students an opportunity to share and present their research to other students and faculty and staff members from around campus and beyond. Beginning in 2018, the Excellence Event featured a Spanish panel where students in the Spanish program or courses can share their findings.

Spanish Research  

Olga Guevara, Olivia Matz, Federico Acosta, Eduardo Valencia and Ana Maria Freire traveled to Minnesota State University last week with our Spanish program to present at the Pan Lingua Undergraduate Conference on Languages and Cultures. At the conference, our students had opportunities to share their research, learn about other projects, network, and grow as scholars and leaders at The Cliff.

Spanish Language Conference

Students and faculty from the Spanish Program had the opportunity to meet with Mari Kaptain-Dahlen, CEO of Siouxland Community Health Center in 2019, to learn more about the health care services provided to the Hispanic Community, and internship and employment opportunities for BCU bilingual nursing, social work, and behavioral health care students.

Spanish Siouxland Community Health

Service-Learning Opportunities

 Spanish Service Learning Section

"I had never been out of the country, and the service trip to Honduras would make for a great first international experience. As soon as I arrived, I fell in love with everything - the people, culture, scenery, you name it. In the 12 days I was there, I met some of the most inspiring people. They showed their big spirits and unbelievable work ethic, regardless of their environment and daily struggles they endured. We helped complete the retreat center they were constructing. Although we were there to serve them, the Hondurans we worked with changed our lives. I wasn't fluent enough to have full conversations with the people, but I was able to talk to them with the little Spanish I knew, and I learned more in those twelve days than I ever thought I could. My first trip to Honduras taught me so much about myself and the world, so I couldn’t pass up on the chance to go again!” - Anna Koch

Spanish Service Learning Section 2

“Volunteering at Las Cretches in Santiago, Chile allowed me to see an international perspective of service as it relates to social work. Even though I was in another country, I was still able to be an agent of change. It allowed students and professors to bond while painting, laughing, and learning while making a difference in little orphan girls’ life.” - Melanie Berte-Hickey

Spanish Service Learning 3

Spanish Translation Services

Briar Cliff Spanish students volunteered at Bishop Heelan Catholic Schools to assist Spanish-speaking parents registering their children for the new school year. The students assisted in completing registration as well as financial aid for those who do not speak English as a first language. After 3 days of diligent volunteering, BCU students helped over 25 families.

“I had the privilege to be invited by the Spanish Program, to collaborate as a translator for the Spanish speaking parents at Bishop Heelan Catholic Schools. I was so happy to see the enthusiasm and kindness of the participating students and Hispanic staff from Briar Cliff when helping all these parents. The generosity of the students and staff from BCU in sharing with the Spanish speaking parents their knowledge of Spanish and English, as well as their computer skills, was very inspiring. I am also very grateful to see how the staff from Bishop Heelan Catholic Schools welcomed everyone and worked hard to find translators for all the languages that their students speak. They are amazing! Both BCU and BHCS are living examples of collaboration, which is key to serving the most vulnerable populations. Thank you to the staff and students for their generous hearts.” - Sr. Reyna Helen Badillo Salazar, OSF

Spanish Service Learning 4

Spanish students also volunteered their time with the American Red Cross in installing free fire detectors in some of Sioux City’s neighborhoods. The students served as translators between the Red Cross personnel and the families who spoke mostly Spanish.


In 2017-2018, the following speakers were invited to share their story with the Briar Cliff community:

  • Dr. Roy Germano - Author, Director, and Research Scholar at NYU School of Law – “Building Bridges Not Walls: Talking about Immigration in the Age of Trump”
  • Monica Gordillo - Professor at Iowa State University who delivered a lecture on Corporate Social Responsibility in the business world in Latin America.
  • Dr. Demetrio Anzaldo Gonzalez - Author, Investigator, and Professor – Mexican Mythology: La Llorona Visits Mexico City

Upcoming Events

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Angelica Mercado

I'm thinking about being a museum curator or an art therapist. I've seen how art can change people's lives!

Angelica Mercado

Art and Writing Major ('16)