Four words – Brazil, adventure, opportunity and entrepreneurship – crop up frequently in the lively lectures by and animated conversations with Dr. Neila Holland, assistant professor of business.
Those same four words also explain how the Rio de Janeiro native, a self-described “city girl” who has earned degrees on three continents and taught at universities in six countries, found happiness on the business faculty of a small liberal arts college in Georgia.
“I’m very adventurous…and I’ve been an entrepreneur my whole life,” said the former international trade executive and management consultant who, in her “spare” time, serves as president of a paving company run by her husband.
Holland welcomed the opportunity to join the LaGrange faculty last fall because, in addition to teaching traditional business classes, she was offered the adventure of developing and teaching courses that focus on entrepreneurship.
“I love it here,” said Holland, a U.S. citizen since 1991. “I love trying new things and educational scenarios. I like the quaintness of LaGrange’s downtown. I like the idea of making a difference in the lives of students, and they make a big impression on me. I like that the administration has been so very receptive and supportive.”
The personal qualities and experience that brought Holland to LaGrange will soon take her, at least briefly, back to Brazil. She’s been tapped as the lead-off speaker and faculty host for “Rhythms of Brazil,” the college’s third annual 3D Journeys lecture and travel series. A “sneak preview” with mini lectures by Holland and three other faculty experts will be at 10 a.m. Monday in Turner Hall.
The “3D” concept is to bring community and college together to “discover, discuss and develop” through lectures and optional travel. President Dan McAlexander, first lady Celeste Myall and Holland will lead a 10-day educational travel adventure to three areas of Brazil in June. Details of the “first come, first served” travel opportunity will be available at the Sept. 24 preview.
“I was excited to be asked to help with the 3D Journeys project,” Holland said. “I particularly like the idea of discovery. There is so much to discover about Brazil.”
Her goal is summed up by the title of her lecture, which will open the four-month series on Jan. 28.
“I call it “Brazil: Beyond Carnival and the Beaches,” Holland said.
The “beyond” includes the fact that Brazil is one of the world’s leading “emerging economies” with a burgeoning middle class and one of the most diverse populations in the world, Holland said.
“Brazil also has a rich culture and a rich history,” she said. “The other lecturers will have much to share…I’m sure I will learn something!”
Series to focus on Brazil
A preview of the upcoming 3D Journey series, “Rhythms of Brazil,” will be held at 10 a.m. Monday, with faculty speakers introducing lectures set for the fourth Mondays of January, February, March and April, 2013.
All sessions are free and will be held in the Dickson Assembly Room of Turner Hall. A Dutch-treat lunch will be available in newly renovated Pitts Dining Hall following each session. Parking is in the Vernon Street lots, near the pedestrian bridge, with shuttle service to the door.
Speakers and topics for 2013 include:
· Jan. 28, Dr. Neila Holland, assistant professor of business and a native of Brazil, on the dynamic emerging economy and burgeoning growth of Brazil;
· Feb. 25, Dr. Lisa Crutchfield, assistant professor of history, on Brazilian history, emphasizing Portuguese colonial development, liberation and governmental change over time;
· March 25, Dr. Mark Yates, assistant professor of biology with a specialty in forestry, on the Brazilian rain forest and Amazon River and
· April 22, President McAlexander and Myall on Brazilian and Brazilian-inspired music.
Optional reading lists will be available at the Sept. 24 event for those who want to prepare for the winter /spring lectures. For information or lecture reservations (suggested), call (706) 880-8244 or email 3DJourneys@lagrange.edu.
An educational travel opportunity to Brazilian destinations, hosted by McAlexander, Myall and Holland, will be offered in spring 2013. Details and rates will be available at the Sept. 24 lecture.