DuBard students learn about African culture

HATTIESBURG, MS (THE UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI) – After spending nearly 20 years living and working in various African countries, William and Sandra MacLauchlain came away with a great appreciation for that continent's culture and a cache of interesting mementos.

The Hattiesburg couple shared their experiences and artifacts with students at the DuBard School for Language Disorders at The University of Southern Mississippi during a special visit on Wednesday, June 30. The students were able to examine artifacts such as hand-carved statues that served as tombstones in Angola – some more than 100 years old; masks used in rituals; elephant tusks and other unique items.

"Children, and many Americans, live in a very insulate society," said William  MacLauchlain, who retired to Hattiesburg in 1996. "I believe we must integrate international studies into their education to broaden their opportunities and help them better understand our increasingly multi-cultural society."

MacLauchlain spent time in Africa as part of his career with the federal government. He worked for the U.S. Department of State, Agency of International Development participating in a program that helped construct roads and buildings and improve farming and agricultural skills for people in Zaire, Cameroon and Zambia.

The DuBard School for Language Disorders was established in 1962 and is a clinical division of the Southern Miss Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences. The school serves children with severe language/speech disorders and/or hearing impairments and provides guidance and counseling for parents and families of the children. The school is a practicum site for university students majoring in speech-language pathology, audiology, or deaf education. For more information visit www.usm.edu/dubard/

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