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Volume 12, Edition 6: March 2013 *20 year Anniversary*

Associate Provost Corner

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INTERLINK: News and Announcements

Visit by Ahad Shahbaz, President of INTERLINK

INTERLINK’s President and CEO, Ahad Shahbaz, visited UNCG from February 25-27. During his visit, he spent time with Dr. David Parsons (Executive Director of INTERLINK), Dr. Brad Teague (Director of INTERLINK at UNCG), Lynn Bergschneider (Academic Coordinator of INTERLINK at UNCG), and other INTERLINK instructors and administrative-support staff. While on campus he also met with Dr. Penelope Pynes (IPC Associate Provost), Dr. David Perrin (Provost), Dr. William Wiener (Dean of the Graduate School), Pamela Harrod (Director of International Admissions), Mike Elliott (Director of International Student and Scholar Services), and representatives from New Mind Education. Mr. Shahbaz visits annually to check in with INTERLINK staff and students and UNCG representatives to discuss new developments and additional ways INTERLINK and UNCG can collaborate to recruit international students and better prepare them for studying in the US. One of the highlights of Mr. Shahbaz’s visit was his conversation with INTERLINK students, who had very positive comments about INTERLINK and about their experiences at UNCG.

INTERLINK President Ahad Shahbaz
From left to right: Dr. David Parsons, Ahad Shahbaz, Dr. Penelope Pynes, and Dr. Brad Teague President Ahad Shahbaz and the INTERLINK management team speak with Mike Elliott. From left to right: Dr. David Parsons, Dr. Brad Teague, Mike Elliott, Ahad Shahbaz

AAIEP Professional-Development Workshop

Dr. Brad Teague (Director of INTERLINK at UNCG) attended the American Association of Intensive English Programs (AAIEP) fifth annual Professional-Development Workshop, held on January 24 and 25 in San Francisco, California. The conference brought together approximately 135 intensive English program (IEP) administrators, faculty, and staff to discuss challenges, best practices, and common issues in a friendly and collegial environment. Dr. Teague’s presentation, “Strategies for Dealing with the Diversity Dilemma,” highlighted several of INTERLINK’s recent efforts to diversify its international student population, including the decision to offer partial scholarships to students from under-represented countries.

Honors Ceremony

On Monday, February 11, INTERLINK held an Honors Ceremony to recognize twenty students who earned all A’s during the 2012 Fall 2 session. Students’ families, friends, and teachers were in attendance to congratulate them and to enjoy light refreshments. Dr. Teague commended the students for their accomplishments and encouraged them to inspire other INTERLINK students.

Class Exchange with UNCG Anthropology Students

Students participating in INTERLINK’s Extended Orientation Module visited Dr. Susan Andreatta's (Associate Professor, Anthropology) Cultural Anthropology class on February 26. The anthropology students interviewed INTERLINK students to practice using anthropological surveys they had created, and INTERLINK students asked the anthropology students about life and studying at UNCG. Everyone enjoyed sharing stories and discussing culture, and a few of them even exchanged e-mails and met later outside of class to continue their conversations!

Transnational Perspectives Discussion Series

INTERLINK is proud to announce the successful completion of the inaugural round of discussions for the new Transnational Perspectives Discussion Series. These discussions, which were held biweekly in January and February on Wednesday afternoons in the Faculty Center, covered the following topics: educational systems and access to education; shifting economic structures; partnership, love, and marriage traditions; and, religion in culture and society. Participants included INTERLINK students and UNCG faculty, staff, and students, who responded to questions in a semi-moderated format. Attendance was at full capacity for each session, and participants commented that they both enjoyed and learned from the cross-cultural discussions. INTERLINK is planning a new round of talks to occur during the Spring 2 term, with a schedule forthcoming. If you have suggestions for specific topics, please email Casey Thomas, INTERLINK’s administrative assistant.

New Mind: News and Announcements

New Mind Education's Spring Trip to Coastal South Carolina

The weekend of February 22, 2013, the students of New Mind Education took off to South Carolina for an early spring break getaway. The destinations were the beautiful city of Charleston and the peaceful and scenic Edisto Island.

The trip began with a spooky tour of what are believed by many to be Charleston's most haunted areas. Students were enthralled by the ghost stories the tour guide told, including the tale of the "Boohag," an old witch who is said to cast spells on unsuspecting society men, eventually sucking the life out of them. The students also visited Edisto Island State Park, where they learned about the local marine life. One of the students’ favorite parts of the visit were the park’s touch tanks, where they were allowed to touch some of the sea creatures, including the saltwater terrapin, which is the only member of the terrapin family that can survive and thrive in salt water. During their time at the park, the students also learned about the importance of preserving marine habitats and helped to rebuild and secure fences located on Edisto Island's sand dunes. The purpose of these fences is to protect the dunes and the vegetation from erosion. These habitats are essential for the survival and procreation of the region's marine animals, including the loggerhead sea turtle. After working up an appetite from the day’s activities, the students ate a delicious low country seafood boil, a traditional seafood stew containing shellfish, potatoes, corn, and sausage, followed by s’mores for dessert.

New Mind concluded the trip with a historical tour of Charleston's downtown, seaside, and marketplace including The Battery, Rainbow Row, and Fort Sumter, the location of the first battle of the American Civil War.

New Mind students enjoy a delicious low country seafood boil, a traditional southern stew New Mind students at the historic overlook of Fort Sumter, the location of the first battle of the American Civil War

Hao Zhang New Mind
Nell Pynes (front left) and Pam Harrod (front right) from IPC meeting with the New Mind Education management team (from left): Hao Zhang (former Program Director), John Silva (Lead Advisor) and Michael Chen (New Mind Education’s Founder)
Farewell to Hao Zhang

In mid-March of this year, we bid a fond farewell to Hao Zhang, New Mind Education’s Program Director for the University Preparatory Program (UPP) at UNCG.  Hao was instrumental in helping the New Mind Education Inc. team settled in UNCG this past August. Hao organized a meeting in March between IPC team and New Mind Education team to update everyone on the program’s status and any programs or duties that will be handed over to his replacement.
Hao would like to wish everyone the best and thank everyone at IPC, INTERLINK, and UNCG for making his journey so fruitful and memorable here. We will miss you, Hao, and we wish you the best in your future undertakings!

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January/February 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012

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