UNCG’S Internationalization Taskforce concludes its Assignment
Eighteen months ago (October 2010) UNCG launched a faculty-led Internationalization Taskforce to assess current internationalization efforts and develop strategies for implementation. To assist the effort, UNCG joined the American Council on Education (ACE) Internationalization Collaborative, a group of more than 100 institutions that helps faculty and administrators to share ideas and strategies for furthering international agendas. UNCG was also among eight institutions selected to participate in the ACE Internationalization Laboratory for 2010-2011. The laboratory, under the direction of Dr. Barbara Hill, senior associate with ACE’s Center for International Initiatives, assists institutions in assessing the challenges and opportunities of implementing comprehensive internationalization strategies.
Dr. Penelope Pynes (left), Associate Provost for International Programs, with Dr. Susan Sutton.
Dr. Susan Carvalho (left) and Dr. Barbara Hill.
Provost David H. Perrin stated in his charge to the Taskforce, “With the declaration of internationalization as one of its five strategic directions, UNCG has committed itself to integrating international and intercultural perspectives and experiences into its teaching, learning and service. By working in a concerted collaborative and inclusive manner, UNCG can improve its approach to international education, make it contribute to the benefit of the entire university community, and gain the recognition the University deserves.”
In December 2011, the Taskforce submitted its report to ACE, Provost Perrin, and Chancellor Brady. The report included recommendations to aid faculty in engaging in comprehensive internationalization, to incorporate student international competencies into the curriculum, and to challenge UNCG to raise the visibility of its international activities through a series of high impact initiatives.
At the end of March 2012, Drs. Barbara Hill, Susan Sutton of Bryn Mawr, and Susan Carvalho of University of Kentucky conducted an on-site external review of UNCG, meeting with various stakeholders of internationalization including the Chancellor, the Provost, the deans, the Internationalization Taskforce, faculty/staff champions, and IPC directors. The external review team will provide a written response to the report and visit for the Chancellor and Provost. As the Taskforce is completing its initial work, one taskforce member remarked, “I feel like the work is just now beginning.” The task force co-chairs, Drs. Penelope Pynes, Associate Provost for International Programs, and Jerry Pubantz, Dean of Lloyd International Honors College couldn’t agree more. They expressed their thanks to all who assisted the Taskforce in its work. “We can’t wait to share the fruits of our labor.”
Members of the ACE Internationalization Collaboratory during their external review of UNCG’s internationalization efforts. Left to right: Dr. Susan Carvalho (facing away from camera), Dr. Susan Sutton, Dr. Barbara Hill, and Lloyd International Honors College Dean Jerry Pubantz.
UNCG administrators look on during the ACE external review. Left to right: Dr. Terri Shelton, Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic Development; Stephen Flynn, ACE Internationalization Taskforce; Dr. McRae Banks, Dean of the Bryan School of Business and Economics; Dr. Timothy Johnston, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences; and Dr. James Ryan, Dean of the Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering.
Other members of the Taskforce were Drs. Susan Andreatta, Department of Anthropology; Alan Boyette, Office of the Provost; Roberto Campo (Sub-committee Co-Chair),, Language, Literature and Culture; Sarah Carrigan, Office of Institutional Research; Micheline Chalhoub-Deville, Department of Educational Research Methodology; C.P. Gause, Department of Teacher Education & Higher Education;. Kevin Lowe, Department of Business Administration; Kathleen Macfie, Language, Literature and Culture; Vicki McNeil, Division of Student Affairs; David Nelson, School of Music, Cathryne Schmitz (Sub-committee Co-Chair), Department of Conflict and Peace studies/Social Work; and Anita Tesh, Dean’s Office, School of Nursing. Assisting the taskforce was Stephen Flynn, who served as Administrative Assistant to the taskforce.
Interested in learning more about the Taskforce’s research? Feel free to contact Penelope Pynes via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Faculty and Staff!
New Video Highlights Study Abroad at UNCG
Study Abroad and Exchanges has recently produced an exciting new video to highlight and promote the exchange experience at UNCG. The video was largely the work of SAE staff member Nicola Van Straaten, who, with the help of Kaitlin Ritchie, Incoming Exchange Coordinator, and Lindsay Armistead, Study Abroad Coordinator, spent some time with UNCG exchange students from across the globe to get their take on study abroad and what the experience has meant to them. Van Straaten then edited the material into a brief and engaging outreach video.
Asked about why they chose to come to UNCG, students cited the quality of its academic programs, the pleasant campus environment, and the renowned North Carolina scenery. Once here, however, students discovered many things to love about international study, such as the amiability and diversity of the local community, and the rewarding experience of living in a new culture.
Chi Gava, a Zimbabwean student on exchange from Stellenbosch University in South Africa, featured her exposure to new cultures. “I am able to interact with people from all walks of life… that’s what I love about it.” Rhys Johnson, a student from Hull University in England, described the benefits of international study emphatically: “The people, the people… The people are just great!”
Study Abroad and Exchanges staff member Nicola Van Straaten, who produced SAE’s recent video to promote study abroad at UNCG.
Students found, too, that study abroad had helped them to grow personally. “I learned that I enjoy immersing myself in … new situations,” said Helen Rochford, who came to UNCG from the University of Ulster in Northern Ireland.
Van Straaten also says she learned from the experience of making the video. “I learned a lot as I went,” she says, “like to make sure the area was quiet [and] to be relaxed with the person I was talking to, but not to make noises or agree with them as they spoke, because if I wanted to use that footage there would be my voice in the clip.” Altogether, Van Straaten became very enthusiastic about the process, and she found it difficult to decide which material to leave out of the video. “We probably interviewed about ten people, and cutting that down was difficult, because people’s stories were interesting and I sort of became attached to certain tales and anecdotes…” Van Straaten notes that she “came to terms with” the rich footage that did not make the final cut.
An international student herself, Van Straaten was an apt choice to produce a video on the benefits of study abroad. After growing up in Durban, South Africa, she moved to Cape Town to study Dance, and eventually earned a Bachelor of Arts in Contemporary Dance, Choreography, and English Literature. She is currently pursuing postgraduate studies in Dance at UNCG. After she finishes her studies this year, she plans to live and work in Cape Town and hopefully travel some more before she returns to the United States, or potentially Europe, to pursue a Master’s degree in Fine Arts or Choreography.
But she’s keeping her options for the future flexible; “That plan changes weekly!” she insists.
Allen Gunn (right) presents a Manchester Metros hockey jersey to professor Petr Sáha, Rector of Tomas Bata University in Zlín, Czech Republic.
Upon being accepted to Manchester Metropolitan University in Manchester, England, in the spring of 2011, I never thought I’d be playing ice hockey whilst abroad—unless I was going to Finland, Germany, etc. I felt if anything, I might find way to barely hang with players out on the football (soccer) pitch. But last minute research prior to my departure led me to the Manchester Metros Ice Hockey Club. This extra effort during my preparations let me create my own niche and talk with people “on the inside” before I even left the United States. I think it also helped to jump-start a flawless transition into my new setting because I found a place where I could already feel comfortable.
The Manchester Metros were founded under a motorway overpass as a roller hockey club in 2001, but started a collective ice hockey program for universities in and around Manchester in 2004. Still relatively young, the Metros have come a long way since forming. As social secretary for the club, it has been a unique experience to be a part of their ever-growing and successful history. It has been my duty to organize events that not only promote the club to the general public, but to organize nights out for club members and bring everyone together for fun outside of the rink.
Allen Gunn and the Manchester Metros celebrate after a hard-won victory.
Being a social secretary has enhanced my people skills because of the tremendous number of people I have had to collaborate with to ensure things run smoothly. One moment the entire club is proud of is the Division I team’s trip to the Czech Republic at the start of March 2012. I had the distinct opportunity with Michal Rudecky of Tomas Bata University (UTB) in Zlín, CZR, to organize an international exhibition match between the Metros and UTB. It is truly an experience I will never forget; playing in front of 2,000 people on a pad of ice in a distant country with my best friends.
Not only did the Manchester Metros have faith in my abilities as a hockey player, I was honored to have their faith in my ability to teach. They appointed me to coach the C team, which was formed this year as a predominantly beginner’s team. I learned a lot about coaching throughout the course of the season. I hope every player on the team learned something new, because I learned a tremendous amount from each and every one of them, including how to handle 20 individuals of different abilities. I felt like a true Herb Brooks, the legendary coach of the 1980 U.S. Olympic Hockey Team, because of how close our team grew together by season’s end. That is something about the Metros I love: the family aspect of the organization and how close everyone is.
Lastly, but most importantly, being a part of the Metros has been a true honor because of the great friends and people I have met. The BUIHA Cup Competition gave me the chance to see new places all across the United Kingdom such as Edinburgh and Newcastle, and having my teammates and friends along with me for the journey made the experience even better. An added bonus: we were all doing something we were passionate about. All our hard work paid off when the Manchester Metros Division I team won the regular season championship on the last day!
The Metros pose on the ice with Tomas Bata University’s hockey team.
The Metros off the ice.
Having the opportunity to study abroad is one thing, but it is an opportunity that needs to be fully seized. There is no better way of doing that than to be a part of club, or something you’re passionate about. To me, being abroad has been a lot about self-discovery, and I’ve learned a lot about myself through the Metros.
Study Abroad Nominations and Orientation
Denise Bellamy (left), Director of Study Abroad and Exchange Programs, confers with Brit’ny Towns (right) and a family member during the March 24 Study Abroad orientation. Towns will be spending the Fall 2012 term at Malmo University, Sweden.
On March 16, 2012, IPC announced the full list of UNCG students who were nominated to study abroad in Fall 2012 and full year 2012-13 exchange programs. After an application process, students were invited to interview with IPC staff and UNCG faculty, who assessed the students’ preparedness and aptitude for international living and study, and who shared information about what they could expect from the experience.
On March 24, IPC followed up its nomination announcement with an all-day study abroad orientation for approximately 100 students taking part in UNCG and summer programs at UNCG bilateral partner schools abroad. The event, which IPC holds twice every year for outgoing exchange students, comprised a variety of activities that included information on logistical aspects of going abroad (visas, money, health issues) as well as activities about cultural adjustment and culture shock. One of the more exciting parts of the day involved "skyping in" a UNCG student, Destiny Boyd, who is currently studying abroad in Nicaragua. Destiny was able to share aspects of her time abroad, provide advice for UNCG students preparing to go abroad and even gave a tour of her house!
Activities centering on intercultural skills and cultural competency were designed to get students to consider how they think and behave towards people from different cultures, as well as having them consider how their experience abroad contributes to becoming a “global citizen.” Several international students were then invited to talk about their experience of being abroad, and to elaborate on academic and cultural differences between the US and their home country. The day concluded with students breaking into country specific groups where either former study abroad students or UNCG faculty and staff provided specific information for their country and schools abroad.
Annika Lepisto chats with Tom Martinek, Jr., Assistant Director of Study Abroad and Exchange Programs, during the March 24 orientation event. Lepisto, who attended the University of Turku, Finland during the Fall 2011 term, was one of several former Study Abroad students who volunteered at the event.
On March 31, the University of North Carolina Exchange Program (UNCEP) held their study abroad orientation for students from across North Carolina that were taking part on UNCG and ISEP exchange program and summer programs. The event was held in the Student Union on the Campus of North Carolina A&T State University. Over 130 students were in attendance and approximately 25 were from UNCG. Several IPC staff members were there to support the students and help to facilitate various workshops and activities. The activities and programs were very similar to those held on the March 24 orientation at UNCG.
Below is a list of all students who were selected for study abroad during the 2012-13 academic year. Congratulations and good luck to all of them!
ISEP Palermo: Keesha Daniels (International Business)
Deakin University: Chandler Barker (Pre-International Business), Annie Simonekeo (Accounting), Cameshia Young (International Business)
James Cook University: Corey Fechter (Kinesiology)
Macquarie University: John Lee (Accounting)
Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology: Morgan South (Concumer, Apparel, and Retail Studies), Weston Willard (Interior Architecture), Jessica Wilson (Interior Architecture)
University of Newcastle: Stephen Jaros (Undecided)
University of Sydney: Lucas Varsano (Performance)
ISEP Vesalius: Liv Jones (French)
Pontificia Universidade Catolica de Campinas, Parana: Karl Galloway (Spanish)
Beijing Normal University: Kelly Donovan (Spanish), Angelica Perez-Chareq (Pre-Specialized Education)
Chinese University of Hong Kong: Luis Juarez (International Business), Marivic Lee (Business Administration), Mohamed Mergani (International Business), Lamar Osavio (Consumer Apparel, and Retail Studies)
Aarhus University: Robert Duvall (Entrepreneurship)
GWIK – via University College: Crystal Creek (Social Work), Kelsey Daniel (Social Work), Jennifer House (Social Work)
University of Copenhagen: Gina Kabat (Psychology), Molly Schloss (Psychology)
University of Jyvaskyla: Huili Simpson (Art)
University of Oulu: Jennifer Keller (English), Caroline Xavier (Biology)
Jean Moulin – Lyon 3 University: Julie Boyer (French), Rani Chatrath (Pre-International Business), Stanci Hankerson (Political Science), Tete Obobi (Special Programs in Liberal Studies), Anna Reynolds (International Business), Stefanee Richardson (Accounting)
Université Catholique de Lyon (ESDES): Nasser Alkhunaizi (Accounting), James Muldoon (Pre-Entrepreneurship)
University of Angers: Alexandra Smith (Pre-Nursing)
University of Rennes 2: John Everhart (Religious Studies), Aza Green (Economics), James Hayes (French)
Heidelberg University: Daniel Foil (Chemistry), Kimberly Goins (Exercise and Sports Science), Allyson Martin (Psychology), Zachary Painter (English), Ellyse Thomas (Biology)
Mannheim: Harrison Brown (Chemistry), Kaley Davis (International Business), Jackson De Oliveira (Entrepreneurship), Charlene Grunenwald (Entrepreneurship), Cameron Hetteen (Media Studies), Dagmar Irrig (Economics), Christopher Peterson (Political Science), Elvis Racines (Special Programs in Liberal Studies), Austin Smith (Political Science), Casey Wallace-Melton (Communication Studies), John Willis (Political Science)
University of Konstanz: Stephen Comer (History), Amber Rhodes (Conflict and Peace Studies), Penelope Summers (Conflict and Peace Studies)
LIUC – Università Carlo Cattaneo: Pablo Diaz (Nanoscience), Chaya Michel (Information Systems and Operations Management), Jordan Pichardo (Pre-International Business), Kevin Pichardo (International Business), Kaneesha sledge (Economics), Raul Zamora-Duprey (Psychology)
ISEP Tokyo: Thomas Reaves (International Business)
Ritsumeikan University: Daniel Lipe (Special Programs in Liberal Studies)
Seinan Gakuin University: Megan McBride (Special Programs in Liberal Studies), Anthony McPherson (Special Programs in Liberal Studies), Brian Pennington (Special Programs in Liberal Studies)
Tecnologico de Monterrey – Queretaro (ITESM): Greg Phillips (Accounting)
Massey University: Esha Grover (Music)
Unitec Institute of Technology: Natalie Wilcox (Pre-International Business)
Universidad San Ignacio de Loyola – USIL: Teresa Fisher (International Business), Clara Harrison (Undecided), Meredith Lewis (International Business), Stephanie Olshanski (Spanish), Tyler Richardson (History)
Kazan Federal University: Justin Larson (Economics)
University of Cape Town: Lena Walshe (Sociology)
University of Stellenbosch: Melissa Funderburk (Human Development and Family Studies), Chelsea Hughes (Pre-Human Development and Family Studies), Zhayawna Johnson (Psychology), Connor Lucovsky (Business Administration), Ashlee Williams (Communication Studies)
Yonsei University: Houston Breedlove (Religious Studies), Nathan Howell (Biology), Tae Won Jo (International Business), Michole Miller (Pre-International Business), Song Ai Nguyen (Entrepreneurship)
University of Castilla La Mancha – Cuenca: Emily Flores Hermosa (Special Programs in Liberal Studies)
University of Castilla La Mancha – Toledo: Erin Genera (Psychology)
Universidad de Granada: Geoffrey Harris (Special Programs in Liberal Studies)
Lund University: Jason Harbert (Biology)
Malmö University: Brit’ny Towns (Middle Grades Education)
National Taiwan University: Myles Scott (Pre-international Business)
Yuan Ze University: Joshua Davis (International Business)
Keele University: Briana Kitchel (Human Development and Family Studies)
Manchester Metropolitan University: Clyde Lovelady (English), Victoria McKinney (Special Programs in Liberal Studies), Alisha Parkhurst (Pre-Social Work), Cesar Ruales-Ortiz (Drama), Tony Sanders (Psychology), Jaspreet Singh (Political Science)
Plymouth University: Kirubel Aysheshim (Finance), Ktoan Ktoan (Business Administration), Amanda Lineberry (Art), Christina Murrell (English), Kayla Pittman (Pre-Social Work)
University of Hull: Emily Cowan (Art), Stephanie Miller (Psychology), Jessica Speake (Drama)
University of Leicester: Danielle Salvatore (Psychology)
University of Strathclyde: Elizabeth Buchanan (Hospitality and Tourism Management), Amanda Onwuka (Marketing), Mark Ramsey (Pre-International Business), Jessica Straehle (Business Administration)
University of Trinity, St. David: Christena Brooks (History), Susanna Sechler (Hospitality and Tourism Management), Brittany Smith (Hospitality and Tourism Management
University of Ulster: Betsy Burke (English), Denver Morrison (Business Administration), Chelsea Zipperer (Art)
Universidad de Montevideo: Justin Crawford (Drama), Even Frierson (Spanish), Benjamin Martin (Pre-International Business)
IPC Welcomes Belgian Business Students
IPC was delighted to extend a hearty welcome to 17 students and two faculty members who visited UNCG from the Louvain School of Management (LSM) of the Université Catholique de Louvain in Belgium from March 24-31, 2012. The program came about as a result of some long-standing collaboration between Professor Frank Janssen of LSM and Bryan Toney of the North Carolina Entrepreneurship Center. The students attended several lectures to understand American perspectives on varying entrepreneurship topics, and participated in site visits with area companies.
Students from LSM pose during their visit to UNCG. They are, from left to right : (front row) Jade Pohling, Clotilde Ruzette, Lipping Huang, Delphine Verhaegen; (second row) Asst. Professor Marine Falize, Fabrizio Catapano, Julien Paquet, Grégory Vander Schueren, Adrien Van den Branden de Reeth; (third row) Professor Frank Janssen, Carole Dao, Bastien Vansoye, Olivier Danniau, Madeleine Bjornestad; (back row) Edouard Delvaux, Samir El Ouhabi, Valentin Pliester, Simon Vancoppenolle, Alexis Panzer, Bryan Toney (NCEC)
International Internship at Jackson Library
UNCG Distance Librarian Beth Filar-Williams recently had the unique opportunity to work remotely with an international intern as part of the Digital Library Learning (DILL) program. During the month of February, Filar-Williams supervised Iskander Rakhmatullaev, a DILL student from Tashkent, Uzbekistan, as he converted the Jackson Library Instructional Tech Toolkit to a LibGuide format.
The Toolkit was originally created in 2011 to provide remote collaborators a single digital access point to share, assess, and develop information on a given project. LibGuide is a software application that allows multiple users to change and customize that access point collaboratively. Filar-Williams decided to adopt the LibGuide format to make the Toolkit more accessible and customizable for both users and administrators.
UNCG Distance Librarian Beth Filar-Williams.
Filar-Williams heard about the DILL program from Dr. Clara Chu in UNCG’s Library and Information Studies program, and she jumped at the opportunity to take on an international intern. DILL is a uniquely global institution. A two-year Master’s program focusing on digital information, it is hosted by three universities: Oslo and Akershus University in Norway, Tallinn University in Estonia, and the University of Parma in Italy. Students spend one semester at each school. DILL students generally complete an internship as part of their degree, but Rakhmatullaev’s case was unique in that he would not be working on site, but remotely from Tashkent.
When she agreed to supervise Rakhmatullaev, Filar-Williams decided the LibGuide conversion was an ideal project for him; it lent itself to his IT background, and it could be completed remotely. Still, the effort was not without its challenges. “Having to establish a relationship internationally,” says Filar-Williams, “with culture and language barriers and a 10 hour time difference is challenging. We used Skype to talk at least once a week, early morning for me and evening for him. Sometimes the video worked but not always.”
Filar-Williams found that video communication was crucial to overcoming obstacles in language and culture. “Video helps create a more personal connection than just voice, and I appreciated the times we could use video to communicate. Even though [Rakhmatullaev’s] English skills were great there are still some language or culture differences with communication.” Filar-Williams frequently relied on a free tool called Jing, with which she could record a video of herself demonstrating or explaining something and then upload it for Rakhmatullaev to access later.
The internship was as much a learning experience for Filar-Williams as it was for Rakhmatullaev. “I find challenges like these exciting to overcome,” she says. “It also opened my eyes to the difficulties in other countries that I take for granted. He could not get into the library’s virtual room in Blackboard Collaborate due to restrictions, firewalls and low bandwidth in his country. Even Skype would often break our connection with or without video. To get a solid internet connection he could try an embassy but due to the time difference they would be closed when it was morning work time here in North Carolina. Learning from Iskander about libraries and education in his country was enlightening.”
DILL student Iskander Rakhmatullaev, who completed an internship at UNCG from his home city of Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
Filar-Williams and Rakhmatullaev found the experience ultimately very beneficial. As a result of it, he has invited her to Uzbekistan’s annual library conference in 2012 to discuss the project, and the two continue to share an unofficial collaborative relationship, including plans to write an article on the experience with Elena Corradini, an instructor at the University of Parma who acted as site supervisor for the project.
Filar-Williams sees rising prominence in virtual collaboration as information sharing continues to go global. “As the world flattens and information is overflowing internationally, people are connecting virtually and collaborating more than ever before. I recently co-wrote a book chapter now published with someone I have never met in person, connected first through twitter and then developed a professional friendship and live 2000 miles apart. Now I am looking at writing an article on virtual international collaborating with 3 people spread across the globe.”
She notes that libraries have long been at the forefront of international exchange, and cites the International Federation of Library Associations, which has facilitated global information sharing since 1927. Projects such as Rakhmatullaev’s internship demonstrate that technology continues to advance this trend and to surmount obstacles of distance and budget.
Left to right: Dr. Penelope Pynes, Michael Elliott, Dr. Mohammad Jabir Ali, Dr. William Wiener and Jerry McGuire.
On March 9, 2012, the IPC was pleased to host Dr. Mohammad Jabir Ali, President of Al-Nahrain University in Baghdad, Iraq. The occasion of his visit was to strengthen ties between UNCG and Al-Nahrain.
During his visit, President Jabir had the opportunity to meet with Dr. William Wiener, Dean of the Graduate School, Jerry McGuire, Associate Vice Chancellor for Economic Development, and Dr. J. Alan Boyette, Vice Provost, as well as several IPC staff, including Dr. Penelope Pynes, Associate Provost for International Programs, Michael Elliott, Director of International Student and Scholar Services, and Dr. C.K. Kwai, Director, UNC Exchange Program.
President Jabir also had the opportunity to meet with Dr. James Ryan, Dean of the Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering (JSNN), and to tour the JSNN with Dr. Daniel Herr, Nanoscience Department Chair.
Special thanks to everyone who made this a fruitful and engaging visit!
Left to right: Denise Bellamy, Ingrid K. Verhey-Laan, and Dr. Penelope Pynes.
On March 20, 2012, IPC welcomed Mrs. Ingrid K. Verhey-Laan, Study Abroad Coordinator at the English and American Studies Departments of Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands. Mrs. Verhey-Laan visited Greensboro to explore a potential student exchange relationship between Radboud and UNCG.
During her visit, Mrs. Verhey-Laan met with a number of faculty and staff, including the following Chairs: Dr. Charles Bolton, History, Dr. Kevin Lowe, Business Administration, Dr. Christopher N. Poulos, Communication Studies, Dr. A Lawrence Jenkens, Art, and Dr. Ann Wallace, English. Mrs. Verhey-Laan also had the opportunity to meet with other faculty, including Dr. Ann Dils, Director of Women’s and Gender Studies, Dr. Christian Morary, Professor of American Literature, and Dr. Alexandra Schultheis More, Director of Undergraduate Studies at the Department of English. Mrs. Verhey-Laan also had occasion to meet Dr. Penelope Pynes and Dr. C.K. Kwai, as well as Denise Bellamy and Tom Martinek, Jr., Director and Assistant Director, respectively, of Study Abroad and Exchanges.
Mrs. Verhey-Laan’s visit was a great opportunity for international relations at UNCG, and special thanks go out to everyone who made it a successful one.
Robin Gee Wins Prestigious Fulbright Award
UNCG Dance professor Robin Gee has been awarded a prestigious Fulbright Award to research and teach Dance in Bamako, Mali from December 2012 to June 2013. Since 1947, the United States Department of State has sponsored the Fulbright program to exchange knowledge and ideas with the international community. As the U.S. government’s flagship academic exchange program, the application process for the Fulbright is extremely rigorous. Applicants must submit a detailed proposal, work samples, and letters of recommendation to four different committees. The eight-month process is highly competitive, and IPC congratulates Gee on this fantastic opportunity. Below, Gee describes the work she will be doing in Mali.
Urban Griots: (Re) Imagining the Word.
By Robin Gee
Professor Robin Gee
As an African American woman and artist rooted in neo-traditional performance, I seek to enhance the possibilities for perceiving dance as a reflection of our own lived experience. To do so I draw upon my personal, cultural and artistic histories to create work that contributes to a larger discourse on race, place and belonging and which illuminates the contributions of the Africanist presence in American performance art. These hyphenated or hybridized explorations find fruition through written and digital scholarship, filmography and choreographic investigations.
The goal of this project is to document two traditional Malian dances, jali don and Sandia Smali, and their corresponding musical accompaniment through the use of multimedia technology and to investigate the current process of transformation and evolution apparent in the form. The investigation consists of video documentation of the dance and music in context and interviews with members of the jali caste of oral historians. This research hopes to expand existing knowledge of the traditional role of the jali caste in community (dance) events and reveal the impact of globalization (place) on traditional African occupational identities. Concurrent to the documentation of the dances is the development of a Dance for the Camera film that will synthesize this traditional content in a contemporary format using digital means. This model of dance documentation augments current theories in the field of dance research and supports the methodological means by which I seek to link my research to my pedagogical and creative practices. The choreographic work will be synthesized by accessing the creative and technical faculty at the Conservatoire des Arts et Métier MultimediaBalla Fasseke` Kouyate` in Bamako, Mali where I hope to conduct courses in African American vernacular dance forms (Jazz/hip hop) and contemporary dance vocabularies. The cornerstone of my creative work lies in the documentation and analysis of traditional West African dance forms and the application of that data to my own choreographic work.
Beginning of the Spring 2, 2012 Term
INTERLINK Students Assel Aljaied (left, from Saudi Arabia), Arturo Lopez Chavez (middle, Mexico), and Lewis Nuñez de Jesus (background, Dominican Republic) enjoy food at Fincastle’s during a tour of downtown Greensboro.
On March 5, 2012, INTERLINK welcomed 28 new students for the Spring 2, 2012 term. The 14 countries represented include: China, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Iran, the Ivory Coast, Kuwait, Libya, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Sudan, Thailand, Turkey, and Vietnam. Students participated in a two-day orientation and began classes, along with approximately 70 returning students, on Wednesday, March 7. A welcome reception for all INTERLINK students was held in the Elliott University Center the first week of class. Dr. Brad Teague, INTERLINK’s director, as well as Dr. Penelope Pynes, associate provost of international programs, welcomed students and wished them a successful term.
Tour of Downtown Greensboro
INTERLINK students pose during their tour of Downtown Greensboro. Left to right: Lewis Nuñez de Jesus (The Dominican Republic), Xinyu Feng (China), Min Hu (China) , Arturo Lopez Chavez (Mexico), and Assel Aljaied (Saudi Arabia).
At the end of the first week of class, INTERLINK took a group of new students to downtown Greensboro. Students from
China, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, and Saudi Arabia participated. The tour began at Center City Park, where students enjoyed the fountains and the greenery. From the park, they went to the Green Hill Center for North Carolina Art to explore the African American Atelier and the Guilford Native American Art Gallery. Finally, they walked down Elm Street and stopped at Fincastle’s for burgers and milkshakes.
Extended Orientation Sessions
INTERLINK recently began offering extended orientation sessions to its new students. These sessions give new international students the opportunity to build on what they learn during their initial two-day orientation and to explore in more depth important information about the INTERLINK program, the university, the city of Greensboro, U.S. culture, and academic life. Students meet every Monday afternoon with INTERLINK’s director, Dr. Brad Teague, and academic coordinator, Lynn Bergschneider, to research and discuss topics such as health and transportation, academic resources, expectations in U.S. colleges and universities, and cultural differences. These sessions are highly interactive and involve former INTERLINK students, domestic students, and UNCG faculty and staff. Students have commented that participating in these sessions has helped them greatly with their cultural, linguistic, and academic adjustment.
INTERLINK students practice their English Skills as part of the Extyended Orientation Module.
On March 28, INTERLINK hosted a Game Night in the parlor of North Spencer Hall. Students convened with American conversation partners and INTERLINK staff and played games such as Uno and Taboo. Students were also eager to teach others about games popular in their own countries, for example, Majez (Saudi Arabia) and Mahjong (China). Though fun and food were the order of the night, the event also offered participants the chance to use their English skills to socialize and play the games.
Don’t Forget! International Festival is on Saturday, April 14, 2012,
along College Avenue on UNCG campus.
Apr. 16 Fall semester PAL application deadline
Apr. 18 International Farewell Reception 2011-2012
(Alumni House, VA Dare Room, 5:00-6:00pm)
Apr. 19 Earth Day (College Avenue & Foust Park, 10:00am – 4:00pm)
Apr. 19 OPT Workshop Session II (EUC Joyner Room, 3:30-5:00pm)
Apr. 21 Study Abroad Olympics / International Stateside Farewell Picnic
(Foust Park, 12-3pm)
Apr. 25 IPC Student Employees & Volunteers Appreciation Luncheon (Foust 208, TBA)
May Summer Move: IPC Administration to Foust 200 suite
May 4 INTERLINK Spring II End-of-Term Ceremony
(College Park Baptist Church, 11:30am)
May 10 Last Day of Work for All IPC Student Employees
May 11-Aug.10 Summer Work for Selected IPC Student Employees (FWS, GA, UG, etc.)
May 14-18 IPC Staff Retreat 2012 (Foust 206, All Day)