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Volume 10 Edition 7: April 2011 - Print edition

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Chancellor Brady and Delegation to Build Partnerships between Russia and the U.S.

Chancellor Brady in Russia

A delegation of leaders from seven U.S. colleges and universities visited Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Kazan from February 27 to March 5, 2011, with support from the Institute of International Education (IIE) and the U.S. Department of State. The purpose of the visit was to promote increased partnerships between institutes of higher education in the two countries and was organized by the U.S.-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission (BPC). The Commission was crafted by Presidents Barack Obama and Dimitri Medvedev in order to improve coordination between the two countries, share ideas, and explore opportunities for further collaboration.

Chancellor Linda Brady (accompanied by Dr. Penelope Pynes, Associate Provost for International Programs at UNCG) was joined by representatives from Lehigh University, Montclair State University, North Carolina State University, University of Arizona, University of California at Los Angeles, and the University of South Carolina Upstate. The delegation participated in a week-long study tour in Russia to visit potential partner schools and international organizations. They attended a one-day conference on March 1 on “U.S.-Russia University Cooperation: New Opportunities,” which, according to the IIE, focused on “issues of international collaboration through educational exchange programs, collaborative research projects, university partnerships, dual degree programs.”

Chancellor Brady and Rector Gafurov signing agreement

At Kazan Federal University (formerly Kazan State), the Chancellor co-signed (with Rector Ilshat Gafurov) an agreement to expand our existing study abroad program to incorporate research collaboration and faculty exchange. Thanks to the ground-laying work of Dr. Kathleen Macfie, who spent a year at Kazan in 1999 on a Fulbright exchange, UNCG has sent 24 students to Kazan for semester-long programs in Russian Language and Culture since 2004. The new agreement creates opportunities for the Joint School of Nanotechnology and Nanoengineering with North Carolina A&T State University.

 

 

 faculty & staff

IPC Goes to NCAIE    On Friday, March 25, a group of IPC staff and students attended the North Carolina Association for International Educators (NCAIE) 2011 Conference at Salem College. As an opportunity for professional development, many of our staff members attend NCAIE events in order to learn about updates in the field of international education and to share ideas with colleagues across the state.

One unique feature of UNCG’s participation in NCAIE is that the IPC staff includes UNCG students who have volunteered at IPC events or intern at the office. This year’s group included four students who are interested in learning more about international higher education career opportunities.

This year, IPC’s Denise Bellamy and Kaitlin Ritchie, along with UNCEP Program Coordinator Sara Poole, presented a workshop on “Work-Life Balance.” They discussed the challenges educators face in their daily lives to juggle the demands of work with their lives outside of work. Participants were then able to evaluate their own work-life balance by completing a pie chart to determine what areas of their life need more attention. The feedback was tremendous as participants shared their ideas about how to make changes in their lives in order to be more balanced. Many faced similar obstacles at work and related to the group how they have found solutions for these common problems.

Left to right, from top: Tom Martinek, Jr., Logan Stanfield, Lindsay Armistead, Seth Fisher, Kaitlin Ritchie, Angie Kapley, Dora Rosser, Katie Ostrowka, Denise Bellamy, Kelsey McKinney, Sara Poole, Nor Othman, Andrea Navas, and Kavita Gosai

 international students

Exchange Student Reflection on Studying and Academic Training by Florine Gall

I am a French student from Lyon and I studied one semester at UNCG for my MBA thanks to the exchange program that UNCG and my University, Lyon 3 Jean Moulin, offered to all students willing to study abroad for one or two semesters. UNCG has a campus, so the life is very animated and full of activities. In France, you won’t find that amount of activities for students. This first semester spent studying has been a great experience. It allowed me, of course, to improve my English in a significant way but also to discover a country, a culture, and a people.

Here the studies are very different from France. You have to read and write a lot by yourself, your exams are most of the time multiple choice tests, and sometimes you are allowed to have you notes with you. In France, you have at least 28 hours of classes a week, but you don’t have to buy your books and read them or write papers. In this way it has been very interesting to face this study culture and try to deal with it.

Also to be an exchange student is exciting. You meet a lot of people from everywhere else in the world. American people are very curious about you, and this is a surprise because in Europe people are more self-centered maybe and don’t ask you that much about your country if you are a foreigner.

At the beginning of the first semester as an UNCG student, I was feeling that my English was improving and I thought that I should try to stay longer than 4 months of classes. To complete my Master’s Degree, I had to do an internship, so after 1 month of studying, I started looking for one. Thanks to a lot of time spent looking, I decided that I would do it even without being paid for my 35 hours a week. After 3 months, I finally found a Sales/Marketing Internship thanks to my UNCG coordinator Kaitlin Ritchie who had been helping me even before I was in the USA. The requirements (for academic training) were really easy to fulfill and in maybe 2 weeks, I was allowed to stay 5 months more to do my internship in the USA. Thanks to this opportunity, my resume is going to be better, and my knowledge about the American business culture improved.

I have been lucky to find a small company where the people are really nice to me, and make me feel comfortable, even if relationships at work are different in France from what I already experienced. People don’t eat that much together but separately whenever they want. It has been difficult for me at the beginning because in France the culture of the shared meal is very important even at work.

The most important part of my job has been helping to build a contact database for the company and then translating a lot of the commercial literature from English to Spanish or Portuguese. I am learning every day not only because of my duties but also because the people are moving all around and I am sometimes asked to help some people having a hard time finalizing their work on time.                                                                                                                   Florine in Washington, D.C. with other exchange students

To conclude, if I had to choose to do this trip, to study abroad and then to stay for an internship or to keep studying in France, I would, for sure, decide to come to the USA. It has been one of the most important years of my life. The exchange experience has contributed to developing my personality and my understanding of the world as a whole. Of course one point you have to consider, and that can make the difference, is the distance between you and the people you love. Even if you meet new people here, and build with them a new “family”, my family started missing me at Christmas and since then, it has been more difficult to be and live without them.

The positive point in missing your relatives so much is that you realize what is important in life for you, and makes you go home stronger because we know that “What does not kill you makes you stronger.”

Amna Latif Receives Dissertation Award

The IPC congratulates Amna Latif, an international student from Pakistan, who has received the American Educational Research Association (AERA) Division G-Social Context of Education's 2011 Distinguished Dissertation Award. Her dissertation is titled "A Multi-Method Qualitative Inquiry of Women’s Issues and Girls’ Access to Education and Literacy through the Implementation of a Critical Literacy Curriculum in Rural Pakistan".

Amna received her Doctor of Education from UNCG’s Department of Educational Leadership and Cultural Foundations. She wishes to express her gratitude to her committee members for their guidance, encouragement, and support for her research: Drs. Leila Villaverde (Chair), Rick Reitzug, Kathleen Casey, and C.P. Gause. Amna also stated that, “The confidence and motivation that I received from my husband, Naveed, and my children Maryam (4 years), Fatima (2 years), and Ahmad (4 months) was tremendous. I would not have been able to complete my research and dissertation without their continuous help and support.”

Here is an abstract of Amna’s research:

Girls’ access to education and literacy in developing countries has received international significance in the past decade. This dissertation uses a qualitative approach in understanding girls’ literacy in rural Pakistan. It contributes in (1) addressing issues of literacy and school enrollment through literacy dimensions, (2) identifying socio-cultural norms that affect girls’ literacy, (3) understanding girls’ home and school practices, and (4) critical literacy curriculum design and implementation. The documentary highlights the work during the pilot study.

A total of forty girls’ and women’s narratives were collected to understand socio-cultural practices and girls’ curricular needs. Nineteen other participants were interviewed: educational, political and religious leaders, fathers, and teachers. The analysis indicates the importance of understanding literacy dimensions, including social and cultural norms that hinder a girl’s access to education.

Further, these norms are reiterated in a girl’s life as shown through girls’ family and school literacy practices. Critical literacy design using Freirean and feminist pedagogies integrated with Islamic principles show its positive impact on girls through its implementation. The findings have practical implications for educational leaders and policy makers that may potentially benefit them in increasing literacy and school enrollment among rural citizens, in particular that comprise sixty-eight percent of Pakistan’s population.

 special programs

UNCG Celebrates 50 Years of the Peace Corps

Angie Kapley and Nor Othman assist people checking in to the Peace Corps event

In celebration of the 50th year anniversary of the Peace Corps, the International Programs Center hosted an event to promote the organization and recognize the work that the Peace Corps does around the world. The event included a presentation by a Peace Corps recruitment representative, a faculty/staff panel, and a reception.

Recruitment representative Sherlene Ferguson addresses the crowd

About 50 students, faculty, staff, community members, and returned Peace Corps volunteers attended. Prior to the event, Michael Elliott, Director of Student & Scholar Services and returned Peace Corps volunteer, led a Global Leadership Program (GLP) workshop to get the GLP students talking and thinking about what the Peace Corps is all about.

Sherlene Ferguson, the regional recruitment representative, started off the event by giving the historical background of Peace Corps, which all started in 1960 when President John F. Kennedy challenged students at the University of Michigan by asking them to give their time to serve people in developing countries around the world. A year later, the Peace Corps was established to make this service a reality. Sharlene shared typical questions people have about safety, opportunities, and expectations.

Michael Elliott tells about his Peace Corps experience as Dr. Darlene Rodriguez looks on

Following the presentation, attendees had a chance to hear about first-hand experiences from a panel of Peace Corps alumni who now work at UNCG. The panel included Dr. Darlene Xiomara Rodriguez, Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science, and Michael Elliott.

The event concluded with a final question and answer session and informal reception where students talked with each other and with the recruiter to get more information on how they can make a difference through Peace Corps.

 

 

 

 

 

 student highlights

Study Abroad & Exchange Orientation

On March 26, students going abroad for summer, fall, and full- year programs attended an all-day orientation put on by the Study Abroad & Exchange Programs staff. The orientation is an important step in the process of going to study abroad as the students are engaged in discovering information that will help prepare them for a safe and successful experience.

As students arrived, they had a chance to have their picture taken using some fun props, including their choice of banners to stand in front of. The day began with a Welcome exercise that got the students moving and talking to one another, finding out where they are studying abroad, and asking the question, “If you could only bring one thing with you abroad, what would it be?” Then Drs. Penelope Pynes and C.K. Kwai gathered all the parents who were present for a special orientation, where they addressed the issues and questions parents have when sending their child abroad.

In addition to the photo op, the IPC staff had a couple new activities for the orientation. Instead of just answering their “40 Questions” of things students should know before going abroad, they hosted a game show where students competed to answer the questions as quickly as possible to win points for their team. Pre-recorded video tips from students who have studied abroad added peer experiences. Later in the day, the staff made a Skype call to a UNCG student currently studying abroad in Germany so students could have the chance to ask questions and hear advice from someone on exchange at that moment. Additionally, a session on Intercultural Awareness was led by Dr. Mark Villacorta of the Office of Multicultural Affairs and Denise Bellamy.

As usual, an international student panel made up of # students from # of our partner universities were present to talk about their experiences as exchange students at UNCG and what the others could expect when they went abroad. This activity always gets a lot of positive response from the outgoing students who enjoy hearing about the social and cultural details from international exchange students. Afterwards, students broke out into faculty-facilitated country-specific workshops where they had another opportunity to engage with exchange students from the universities they will be going to in the upcoming months.

Students have two more, shorter orientation meetings that deal specifically with financial matters and academics before they leave on their programs.

Thanks to all the former study abroad students who volunteered and to the following faculty and staff for their help: Dr. Jamie Anderson, Heidi Fischer, Steve Flynn, Wendy Jones-Worden, Dr. C.K. Kwai, Dr. Seung-Hyun Lee, Sara Poole, Dr. Chiaki Takagi, Dr. Mark Villacorta.

IPC congratulates all students who were selected for study abroad and exchange programs for the upcoming year! See the entire Nomination list here.

 visitors & scholars

HAN University Visit

On March 30, IPC welcomed Drs. Jolanda van Haarst and John Rance, Study Abroad Coordinators in the Arnhem Business School of HAN University in The Netherlands.

Their day began with a campus tour led by Study Abroad Coordinators Logan Stanfield and Lindsay Armistead followed by a meeting with Denise Bellamy, Director of Study Abroad and Exchange.

After having lunch with Tom Martinek, Assistant Director of Study Abroad and Exchange, and Kaitlin Ritchie, Incoming Exchange Coordinator, the visitors met with staff and faculty in the Bryan School of Business, including Heidi Fischer, Assistant Director of Academic Advising and Coordinator for International Student Services, and Tuisha Fernandes, Associate Director of the MBA Program.

The visitors also had a chance to meet with their students that are on exchange at UNCG and the UNCG students who will be studying at Arnhem in the fall. In the evening, they had dinner with Dr. Penelope Pynes, Associate Provost for International Programs, and Denise Bellamy.     

Library Visitors from Shanghai University of Finance & Economics

On March 14, University Libraries along with IPC welcomed Ms. Li Na and Dr. Xiaoye Li from the Shanghai University of Finance and Economics (SUFE). The visit from the library’s colleagues at SUFE was reciprocal after a visit from UNCG Libraries to China in early June 2010, when Dean Rosann Bazirjian and Assistant Dean Sha Li Zhang of the University Libraries visited SUFE to attend and speak at a conference titled Global Perspective, Academic Library Directors’ Forum. Of the experience, Dean Bazirjian wrote: “Although I have visited libraries in other countries and have spoken at international conferences previously, this concentrated visit really showed me the benefits of incorporating the international experience. Not only does it broaden my day to day focus, but it constantly challenges my thoughts and assumptions about librarianship and allows me to see issues from different perspectives… The sharing of information and processes forms a bond that crosses the ocean” (Quoted from Library Columns).

While here, Dr. Xiaoye Li discussed the possibilities of expanding the relationship between the universities to include other areas of exchange.

 

 


Left to Right: Ms. Li Na, Ms. Mary Jane Conger, Dr. Xiaoye Li, Mr. Tim Bucknall, Dr. Penelope Pynes & Mr. Mike Crumpton

 faculty corner

Dr. Dianne Welsh on University Entrepreneurship at UN Economic Commission Conference in the Ukraine -previously published in the Bryan School newsletter

Dr. Dianne H.B. Welsh, the Charles A. Hayes Distinguished Professor of Entrepreneurship in the Bryan School of Business and Economics, has received the Best Practices National Award for Creative Cross-Disciplinary Entrepreneurship from the Small Business Institute. The award recognizes Welsh’s work in developing the entrepreneurship major and minor in the Bryan School of Business and Economics for students and non-business students, and the graduate certificate in entrepreneurship. Welsh is also the founder and executive director of the N.C. Entrepreneurship Center at UNCG and has written four books on international franchising.

In November 2010, Welsh spoke on university entrepreneurship at an international conference of the United Nation's Economic Commission for Europe in Kiev, Ukraine. After her presentation, a Russian official referenced Welsh’s presentation in her own address and referred to Welsh by name. The official, a director of a Russian entrepreneurship center, was discussing what must be done to change the culture and education system in Russia and throughout the former Eastern Bloc to create a new generation of entrepreneurs.

“It’s highly unusual based on culture and history that the Russians would recognize our programs in their talk,” Welsh said recently. The conference was designed to teach emerging countries in Eastern Europe how to cultivate commercialization in their countries. Participants included government officials, professors and scientists, and entrepreneurs from eastern European countries, as well as US embassy officials.

“I talked about the importance of cross-disciplinary entrepreneurship,” said Welsh, who is the Charles A. Hayes Distinguished Professor of Entrepreneurship in the Bryan School. “Spread entrepreneurship throughout the curriculum so that you spread innovation and commercialization. You can’t just start a center and expect that’s how it works. You have to put the foundation there first.”

Universities play a key role in this because the vast majority of research that could lead to business creation occurs on campuses, Welsh said. Her case study for the presentation was UNCG’s efforts to integrate an entrepreneurial mindset through the curriculum through cross-disciplinary entrepreneurship.

“If you lay the foundation for entrepreneurship throughout a campus, you’re going to end up having people who have an entrepreneurial mindset and can produce products and services, and start their own entrepreneurial endeavors,” she explained.

Moving in this direction will be difficult in Eastern Europe since most people were taught Marxist economics. “There is a lot of talk within these governments and not much action in terms of moving these countries forward. Change will be slow,” she said. “A new generation of entrepreneurs needs to be created with a reward system put into place in order for progress to be made.”

In the US, however, entrepreneurship is one of the fastest growing subjects in undergraduate education. At UNCG, 33 new or revised cross-disciplinary courses with an entrepreneurship focus have been added in curricula across campus in recent years, including a new minor for non-business majors, a redesigned minor for business majors, and a new entrepreneurship major launched last fall. The university also offers a post-baccalaureate certificate in entrepreneurship.

Here’s more:

UNCG’s Welsh to Discuss Entrepreneurship at United Nations Conference (Bryan School)

Welsh wins national award for entrepreneurship practices (University News)

The North Carolina Entrepreneurship Center (NCEC)

 INTERLINK

Spring 1, 2011 End-of-term Ceremony

Each year between 20 and 30 international students graduating from INTERLINK matriculate to UNCG. Our hope is that by integrating UNCG in the INTERLINK students’ daily lives they will continue to choose UNCG as an important part of their educational journey.

INTERLINK’s Spring 1, 2011 end-of-term ceremony took place on Thursday, March 3 in the College Park Baptist Church fellowship hall. The packed hall included students, teachers, staff members, family, friends, and representatives from the UNCG International Programs Center.

During the formal ceremony, the INTERLINK director and teachers recognized students who had achieved perfect attendance as well as those who had been selected as “hardest-working” by their classmates. The director then awarded certificates to those who were leaving the program, including graduating students.

The program graduates, who completed level five of the language program, were:

Rami Alawami (Saudi Arabia)
Abdullah Aljulhum (Saudi Arabia)
Mei-Lan Chen (Taiwan)
Jung Sun Choi (South Korea)
Mengchan Xu (China)

Of note, four of these individuals (Alawami, Aljulhum, Chen, and Xu) will enroll at UNCG as degree-seeking students this coming fall.

Chen and Choi received special recognition as “outstanding” students, and they each gave moving speeches regarding their experiences in the program. Also giving a speech was outgoing INTERLINK teacher Elizabeth Lammons, who is now working in Japan.

The formal ceremony was followed by a potluck-style lunch and music. Students were invited to prepare and bring food items from their home countries, resulting in a wide variety of appetizers, main dishes, and desserts. The event was a great success, and we are very proud of our students.

 upcoming events

APRIL

Apr 8      Kohler Application Deadline
Apr 9      UNCEP Pre-Departure Orientation
Apr 16    UNCG International Festival
Apr 20    Chancellor’s Farewell Reception
Apr 22    Spring Holiday (University closed)
Apr 26    Last day of Classes
Apr 27    International Student Farewell Picnic

MAY

May 6                Commencement
May 29-Jun3   NAFSA Conference (Vancouver, BC, Canada)

For more events, visit the International Programs Center Events Calendar.

 

 

 

Previous editions:
- Vol 10, ed 6: March 2011
- Vol 10, ed 5: February 2011
- Vol 10, ed 4: December 2010
- Vol 10, ed 3: November 2010
- Vol 10, ed 2: October 2010
- Vol 10, ed 1: September 2010
archived editions