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|Volume 10 Edition 8: May 2011 - Print Issue|
Finnish Delegation Visits North Carolina
A delegation of fourteen Finnish University Presidents was in North Carolina from March 28-April 1 as part of a study tour to look for best practices in governance and funding of U.S. higher education. The tour was supported by the Institute of International Education (IIE), the Fulbright Center, and Universities Finland, or Unifi, formerly the Finnish Council of University Rectors.
The participants visited several institutions across the state to discuss financial and leadership structures, strategic planning and decision-making processes, and the management of the universities. One of their goals is to identify ways to apply American practices to the Finnish system of higher education.
The group started at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for introductions and a seminar to discuss a variety of topics, such as trends and challenges, strategic planning, and fiscal management of U.S. higher education. On the second day, they conducted site visits to Wake Forest University and the North Carolina School of the Arts. Day three included a site visit to NC State University followed by a seminar and debriefing.
On March 31, the delegation visited UNCG to meet with Chancellor Linda Brady, Provost David Perrin, Vice Provost Alan Boyette, and Dr. Rebecca Adams, Associate Provost for Planning and Assessment. Both Drs. Penelope Pynes and C.K. Kwai were present to answer questions. Together they had a roundtable discussion in order to take a close look at governance and funding at UNCG. The group ended their seminar with a similar roundtable discussion and site visit to UNC Chapel Hill.
IPC Volunteers at 2 Million Books Giveaway
The Guilford Rotary Club sponsored a "2 Million Books Giveaway" at Hampton Elementary in Greensboro on April 19, 2011. Each of the children at the school received a free book to take home and keep. Denise Bellamy, Director of Study Abroad & Exchanges, Katie Ostrowka, Graduate Assistant at IPC, and Emelia Benson, exchange student from Australian Catholic University studying elementary education, all volunteered to help hand the books out at Hampton.
Hampton has also received learning software from the Rotary Club and is a University Partnership Magnet. The school partners with NC A&T State University, located in Greensboro, which provides tutors, interns, and student mentors for the elementary school students.
IPC Sponsors Table at Friends of the Libraries Dinner
On March 16, 2011, the International Programs Center sponsored a table at the Friends of the UNCG Libraries annual dinner. Fiction writer Lee Smith and essayist/cultural critic Hal Crowther spoke at the dinner, which took place in the Elliott University Center’s Cone Ballroom on the UNCG campus.
International Student Honor Society Inductees
IPC would like to congratulate both Tshering Tobgay and Amanda Headley for their wonderful achievements of being inducted into two prestigious honor societies this past month.
Tshering Tobgay was one of only 38 students at UNCG to be inducted in Phi Beta Kappa. Phi Beta Kappa is America’s oldest and most widely known academic honor society that celebrates and advocates excellence in the liberal arts and sciences, and inducts the most outstanding arts and sciences students at America’s leading colleges and universities. Tshering (known to his friends as Tobey) has been with IPC working with Pamela Harrod, Director of International Admissions, for the past four years doing highly detailed and skilled work. Even as an undergraduate, Tobey attended and presented at a conference in Las Vegas and has performed graduate-level research in the Geography department. He is UNCG’s first student from the Kingdom of Bhutan and is graduating in May with a BA in Geography. But we don’t have to say goodbye to him yet! Tobey is continuing in the fall to pursue a second Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science.
Amanda Headley was inducted into Phi Beta Delta, the first honor society dedicated to recognizing scholarly achievement in international education. Amanda, from Trinidad and Tobago, is studying Speech-language Pathology and Audiology at UNCG, and is highly involved on campus. She is a Resident Advisor in the Lloyd International Honors College Residence Hall, Vice President of the UNCG Chapter of Golden Key International, volunteer English conversation partner with INTERLINK students, and an active member of the Global Leadership Program. Amanda also tutors a class of 17 fourth grade refugee students at The Doris Henderson Newcomer’s School and is a member of several student panels and committees on campus. Additionally, Amanda has worked with Pamela Harrod as a Peer Academic Leader for her University Studies (UNS 101) course for several semesters and is on track to pursue her goal of a Doctorate in Audiology.
Chancellor Wishes Bon Voyage to International and Study Abroad Students
On April 20, 2011, Chancellor Linda Brady hosted her annual reception in honor of departing international and study abroad students. Sixty international degree-seeking students are graduating in May, 175 exchange students from 28 countries will return to their home countries to continue their studies, and 240 study abroad students will soon be making their way out into the world for summer, semester, or year-long programs.
While addressing the students, staff, and faculty who attended the reception, Chancellor Brady stressed the importance of internationalization, which is one of UNCG’s five strategic areas. She talked briefly about one of UNCG’s most recent partnerships with the Iraqi Scholarship initiative, and pointed out the first two students who have arrived this semester. UNCG also recently hosted an IIE/Fulbright Finnish University President’s Delegation, which revealed to the Chancellor the depth of UNCG’s connection to our partners at the University of Oulu. To encourage more of these partnerships, Chancellor Brady traveled to Russia to expand our relationships with our partners there.
Each year, Chancellor Brady hosts a group of international students in her home for an annual gathering. She expressed her pleasure in getting to know these students better and hear their stories. (Read more about the event below). She also congratulated those international students who are graduating: “We want to wish you the best of luck in all of your future endeavors; hope you will keep in touch so that we can bask in your accomplishments and look forward to hearing how your time at UNCG and Greensboro reflects in your future lives.”
Chancellor Welcomes International Students and Scholars to Her Home
Each year, Chancellor Linda Brady hosts an annual event in her home in honor of UNCG’s international students. Whether it is Thanksgiving dinner or a reception, the Chancellor and her husband, Steve Heyer, enjoy welcoming the students and hearing their stories. This year, she decided to host the event in the spring to take advantage of the nice weather.
About 50 attendees were at the reception on March 20, 2011, who represented different international groups on campus—exchange students, scholars and families, INTERLINK students, graduate students, and undergraduate students. All the students enjoyed the opportunity to speak with the Chancellor and have their photo taken with her.
Bellah Kiteki, an international student from Kenya who is graduating in May with her PhD, thought the reception was a great way to end her studies and wrap up her time at UNCG. Everyone had a wonderful time partaking in the sunny weather, good food, and great company.
UNCG to Host Fulbright Summer Institute for German Students This August
The German-American Fulbright Commission in Berlin has asked UNCG to host a month-long delegation of 25 German undergraduate students from Universities of Applied Sciences in Germany. These students were selected through a national competition and their visit is funded by the Commission. Planning for the visit is involving the close cooperation of staff and students of IPC, Lloyd International Honors College, Strong College, and Housing and Residence Life. The German students will arrive in Greensboro August 4 and will live in North & South Spencer residence halls for three weeks. In the third week, with the start of regular Fall Semester, returning UNCG students will “host” the German guests in their rooms in North and South Spencer and participate in cultural events.
The purpose of the Summer Institute is to offer German students a chance to learn about American higher education, with particular emphasis on the interdisciplinary nature of undergraduate instruction in the U.S. German students will receive in-class and field lectures from UNCG faculty in topics including American culture and society, the civil rights movement, intercultural skills, U.S. higher education, tips for applying to U.S. graduate schools, and leadership development. In the final week of the program the group will take a train to Washington, D.C., where they will visit U.S. government, historical and cultural destinations accompanied by UNCG personnel.
When asked why UNCG agreed to coordinate this program, Associate Provost for International Program’s Dr. Penelope Pynes said: “I like to take advantage of these kinds of opportunities as they enhance our profile with important overseas partners like the German-American Fulbright Commission. Such collaborations are an investment and often lead to new opportunities for further collaboration down the road.”
Only two American universities were asked to host Summer Institutes in 2011: UNCG and Binghamton University in New York. For their help and support, IPC thanks Jerry Pubantz, Dean of Lloyd International Honors College; Anne Barton, Director of Strong College; and Curtis Erwin, Interim Director of Housing and Residence Life. For further information about this delegation please contact Penelope at: email@example.com.
Spain Presentation Experience by Lucía Lozano White and Fernando Rueda Delgado
Lucía and Fernando are exchange students from the University of Granada in Spain and have been at UNCG for one year. Lucia is a Biology major and Fernando is studying Exercise and Sport Science.
Our names are Fernando and Lucía—we are international exchange students here at UNCG from Granada, Spain. Our experience at UNCG started in August and we have really enjoyed our time here.
Living at UNCG and in the States has truly been an amazing experience that we will never forget! That is why when Kaitlin, our International Exchange Coordinator, asked us if we would do a presentation for our country at a local high school, we couldn’t say no. As so many Spaniards do, we really love our country and everything associated with it and so we were excited to share it with the high school students, to get them interested in Spain and studying abroad.
On the day of the presentation, we were pretty nervous but ready to talk! Maybe they wouldn’t understand us, maybe they wouldn’t even listen to us or just maybe they wouldn’t like us coming in and taking over their Spanish class! However, as we and other international students here so many times before have found, Americans love our accents—they are more than happy to listen to us go on and on about how Spain and Europe in general are so different in so many ways, and how much we miss our mom’s home cooked food and the sun!
For us it was lots of fun preparing the presentation. It took many hours to look for videos and pick out the best ones. At times this was even emotional—looking back at the World Cup final against Holland and seeing Iniesta score the winning goal in overtime two minutes before the whistle blew. It took us back to that precise moment last year when the whole of Spain took to the streets and celebrated! Listening to Spanish music again, we realized how much we missed anything Spain-related!
This made us look forward to going back home but also incredibly aware that this, our experience at UNCG with all our friends and family we have made here, was never going to be forever.
The high school experience itself was definitely different than what we expected. The school was huge, the students so nice and respectful, eager to ask questions and learn about our experience as international students and what we thought of America. I think the old yellow buses outside the school will probably be one of the many things we will think of when we look back on our presentation at the high school and our year in the U.S., as well as the frozen yogurt the Spanish teacher treated us to afterwards!
Editor's Note: Another teacher, Ms. Luz Algarin, at Grimsley has requested Lucia and Fernando to present in her Spanish class, so they will be returning on May 5.
Students Study Russian, Celebrate, and Serve the Community
Russian students not only study Russian, they live it. This year, UNCG concluded its 40 years of Russian studies celebration by inducting students into the university’s chapter of Dobro Slovo, the National Slavic Honor Society.
Other events of the year include a 24-hour reading of Tolstoy’s War and Peace, and a special event called Spektakl’, which is an end of the year celebration that highlights student achievement in Russian. Classes organize skits, songs, or any kind of performance to reflect the work they've done in Russian. This year there were skits in Russian, a Russian music video, poetry recitation, a presentation on Stalin’s purge victims, and lots and lots of Russian food, made by students and teachers. There were also door prizes including Russian books, Russian candy, a Russian calendar, and a tube of authentic Russian toothpaste. The event drew nearly 85 participants, which is amazing!
Additionally, some students participated in community service. Kelsey Maher, who graduates this May, says: “Once a month our group [of UNCG students studying Russian] goes to the Jewish Family Services in Greensboro to have tea and play games with the older Russian-speaking community there. We help them with their English and they help us with our Russian. In essence, it has become a very interesting language tandem.”
Ten Years of Scholars at Risk
For their 10th anniversary, Scholars at Risk (SAR) is highlighting stories from scholars who have been helped through the network and the campus leaders who have helped them find a place to call home. SAR recently interviewed Provost David Perrin about his commitment to fighting intellectual repression. Under his leadership, UNCG joined the SAR network in 2007 and since then has invited two scholars to campus.
The article also highlights UNCG’s first scholar to come to campus through the program, Dr. Jean-Marie Kamatali, who visited campus in 2008. Read the full SAR article here.
GWIK Visitors: Plantijn Hogeschool, Universitat Ramon Llull, and VIA University College
In April, IPC welcomed a total of five visitors from our GWIK partners around Europe. Myriam Vanschel from Plantijn Hogeschool in Belgium visited from April 2-10, 2011. She was greeted by Dr. Cathryne Schmitz, Professor in UNCG’s Program in Conflict & Peace Studies, who took the guest on a city tour during the weekend before starting the official site visit on Monday.
Throughout her stay, Ms. Vanschel met with several faculty members in UNCG’s Social Work department including Drs. Jack Register, Betsy Lindsey, Melissa Taylor, and others. She also visited NC A&T State University for meetings and classes with Drs. Sharon Warren Cook, Glenna Barnes, Elizabeth Watson, and Mary Lewis, all of the Social Work Program at A&T.
Halfway through the visit on April 5, two other GWIK partners arrived: Oscar Martínez Rivera and Lisette Navarro Segura from Universitat Ramon Llull in Barcelona, Spain. All three guests visited The Doris Henderson Newcomers School in Greensboro, and then later had a chance to meet with the GWIK students at UNCG.
After meeting with Denise Bellamy, Director of Study Abroad & Exchanges at UNCG, Vanschel, Rivera, and Segura returned to NC A&T for a campus tour with Allegra Laing, Study Abroad Coordinator. They had dinner with Dr. Penelope Pynes, Associate Provost for International Programs at UNCG. To end their visit, Tom Martinek, Assistant Director of Study Abroad & Exchange at UNCG, led the three guests on a tour of UNCG’s campus.
From April 10-14, 2011, IPC and the Department of Social Work welcomed two other GWIK partners, Gert Oluf Hansen and Susanne Lykke Stein, Lecturers and International Coordinators from VIA University College’s Department of Social Education in Aarhus, Denmark. The guests began their site visit with dinner with Penelope Pynes. The following day, the guests were taken on a campus tour led by Denise Bellamy and Tom Martinek. Cathryne Schmitz then accompanied the guests on a tour of Greensboro and then went to NC A&T State University for a Faculty Brown Bag lunch and discussion.
Additionally, Hansen and Stein visited The Doris Henderson Newcomers School and the International Civil Rights Museum in Greensboro before meeting with Dr. Raleigh Bailey of UNCG’s Department of Social Work and attending his class on Diversity. They had an additional visit to NC A&T to meet with Dr. Elizabeth Watson, Field Coordinator, and to attend Dr. Andrea Johnson’s Principles of Sociology class. Returning to UNCG, the guests met with faculty in the Department of Social Work, and also had a chance to meet with their Danish students and UNCG students who will study at VIA in the fall of 2011.
Global Work with Immigrant Kids (GWIK) is a FIPSE/Atlantic sponsored project now in its second year, designed to educate new social service practitioners in direct care settings with immigrant and refugee children. Read more about the GWIK project here.
Joan Titus in Morocco
Dr. Joan Titus is an Assistant Professor in Musicology and has been at UNCG 2007. She holds an M.A. and Ph.D. from Ohio State University, and a B.A.M. from the University of Arizona in Music History. Dr. Titus’ research focus is cultural politics/policy and its relationship to the musical arts, particularly in Soviet Russia, the Native American Southwest, and most currently, North Africa. Her trip to Morocco was funded in part by IPC’s Kohler Fund.
Here is what she wrote regarding her time in Morocco last year:
My travel to Morocco in summer 2010 resulted in the study of beginning Arabic and preliminary observation of four major music festivals -- the Rabat Mawazine Festival, the Fes Musique sacrees du monde, the Essaouira Gnawa Festival, and the Marrakech Festival Nationale des arts Populaires. I went to acquire some materials as well as field experience, including films and musical recordings, all of which I shared in my Music 606 seminar in Fall 2010 entitled "Musical Narrative in African and American Film." The students have told me that the information from my experience and the tangible materials enriched their learning which inspired them to conduct further research of their own and want to work abroad. I feel confident that my students recognized the value of my international experience and that it will drive them further to do their own exploration and work internationally.
INTERLINK Student Activities
For the Spring 2, 2011 term, INTERLINK made it a priority to offer more student activities. Dr. Brad Teague, Director of INTERLINK, and Catherine Velásquez, Office Assistant, worked hard to come up with activities that would be both enjoyable and beneficial for students and that would simultaneously provide them with opportunities to make American friends. Some of the activities INTERLINK promoted during the Spring 2, 2011 term included: Walk for Japan, International Student Beach Trip, Freedom Riders Screening, RAD Class, Rock Climbing, and a Hike to Hanging Rock.
The Walk for Japan took place on April 8th at 3:30pm. INTERLINK students and staff met at the MHRA Building on campus to walk and show their support for the victims of the Japanese Tsunami and Earthquake.
On April 11, INTERLINK organized a RAD (Rape Aggression Defense) class. INTERLINK's promotion of the RAD class was a big hit and plans are underway to offer a more in-depth course next term.
Catherine Velásquez took two groups of students rock-climbing on April 18 and April 21 to the Edge Wall on the UNCG campus.
Instructor Sarah Gulley led a day-long hiking trip to Hanging Rock on Sunday, May 1. Students walked about 2.5 miles and took in the beautiful scenery.
INTERLINK plans to offer even more student activities over the summer and in subsequent terms. By participating in such activities, students have fun, meet other people on campus and in the community, and benefit from out-of-class learning opportunities.
May 6 UNCG Commencement
On Saturday, April 16, UNCG celebrated its 29th annual International Festival. There was a large turnout in spite of the stormy weather which brought the festivities inside.
Over 50 booths were set up, representing a wide range of countries, vendors, and international organizations. International students and study abroad students hosted the country booths, offering fun facts and information about their country, games and activities, and lots of food.
IFest also helped raise money for Japan relief efforts through the sale of IFest t-shirts and handmade crafts from the Greensboro Origami Project. There were also several outside organizations, such as Soles4Souls and Win-Win Resolutions, which was raising money for a “No More Bullies” walk and fundraising campaign.
Everyone attending the festival was given an IFest passport to take with them as they traveled to the different booths, collecting flag stickers from each country they visited. When the passport was complete with stickers, they could take it to the IPC booth and get entered into a prize drawing.
Performances throughout the day included belly dancing, flamenco dancing, traditional music and dancing, and several singing groups.
Thanks to all our volunteers and those who helped to make this year’s IFest a great success!