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Volume 10, Edition 5 February 2011

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Welcome to the New Year and a new semester!

Around 200 guests attended the semi-annual Welcome Reception on January 18. The reception was held in the Virginia Dare Room of UNCG’s Alumni House in honor of new international students and returning study abroad students. The IPC staff was thrilled to have such a great turnout. Provost David Perrin circulated among the students where he had a chance to meet many of them and personally welcome them to UNCG.

Dr. Penelope Pynes addressed the guests first to welcome everyone to a new year and new semester. She noted how two years ago at this time we celebrated the historical inauguration of President Obama; last year we mourned the earthquake in Haiti and talked about initiatives the UNCG community was undertaking to help; and that on the day of the reception, we were eagerly looking forward to the outcomes of the three-day US-China summit, where Chinese leader Hu Jintao and President Obama talked about our future.

The Provost then greeted the crowd and wished a warm welcome to new students and returning study abroad students. The new students include 60 new exchange students (joining 40 continuing, making a total of 100); 35 new degree-seeking students (25 are undergraduate) to add to our current 350; and 40 new INTERLINK students (to make ca. 110 total INTERLINK students). The Provost also shared that there are currently 12 visiting scholars at UNCG. To close, Provost Perrin encouraged everyone to take advantage of all that UNCG has to offer and thanked the new students for choosing UNCG for their international experience.

Faculty & Staff

New IPC staff

Nor Othman joined us in December as IPC’s new Program Coordinator. Originally from Malaysia, Nor is no stranger to international programs as she attended California State University in Long Beach as an international student while studying for her Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. Nor has also lived in Exeter, United Kingdom, where she completed her MBA, and in London. After completing her degree programs, Nor worked for several advertising and marketing companies in Malaysia before moving to Greensboro in 2006, where she has worked as the Principal at Greensboro Islamic Academy, as well as working for Guilford County Schools. Nor is married and she loves cooking, travelling, reading, and watching movies, especially fantasy and science-fiction. We are glad to welcome Nor to the IPC team!

IPC is growing a Community Garden

Last year, faculty members and students set up the beginnings of a campus garden on a vacant lot with the first planting of the UNCG Gardens scheduled for March. As a part of UNCG's efforts to promote a sustainable campus and community, the International Programs Center will cultivate an 8-foot by 4-foot plot of land.

The hope for the IPC garden is that students—PALs, international students, study abroad students, etc.—will volunteer to help care for the garden. Whether it’s helping to plant seeds, water the ground, or pull weeds, every little bit will help the community garden. Lindsay Armistead, Transfer Credit Advisor, has taken on the project of gathering the volunteers in order to plant the seeds for some spring and summer vegetables, including leafy greens, tomatoes, peppers, herbs, and okra.

Additionally, she hopes to lead a monthly educational session for staff and students regarding sustainable living, organic gardening, and cooking. “The goal,” says Lindsay, “is to teach international students about the local Piedmont food community and to participate in a piece of daily life here in Greensboro.” After the first harvest, IPC plans to use what they’ve grown to cook an international garden dinner for staff and students.

With your help, we can promote local and organic eating habits as well as learn more about gardening practices in the Piedmont. If you would be interested in planning, growing or harvesting the crops in the garden, please email Lindsay at ipgga3@uncg.edu. You can also follow our garden's progress on our blog: http://ipcgarden.tumblr.com/

For more information:
Where does your garden grow? (UNCG Alumni Magazine)
Cabbage and tomatoes and beans and... (UNCG Alumni Newsletter)

International Students

In order to successfully accommodate all the new students who arrive during Orientation Week, the International Programs Center provides two different orientations: one for exchange students and one for degree-seeking students. The exchange student orientation is led by Denise Bellamy, Director of Study Abroad & Exchange, and Kaitlin Ritchie, Incoming Exchange Coordinator. For new degree-seeking students, Michael Elliott, Director of International Student & Scholar Services, and Norma Velazquez, Assistant Director, provide the orientation program. Each group has different needs and requires different information, so a split program is the best way to welcome the new students to UNCG.

About the exchange student orientation, this is what Denise Bellamy had to say:

We welcomed an enthusiastic group of new exchange students this Spring! This group of 61 moved in on January 4 and attended our incoming exchange orientation through the rest of the week. Orientation topics covered everything from Campus Health & Safety to Life in Greensboro. They concluded orientation week by attending a Spartan Basketball game on Saturday and networking at our first ever PAL Social. Both events were well attended and allowed our international exchange students to connect with a UNCG 'PAL'. (Click here to find out how you can become a PAL!)

The new exchange students are joining 40 returning exchange students to complete the 2010-11 academic year. Our exchange students bring a wealth of resources and great ideas to our UNCG campus community, and serve as ambassadors from our partner schools from all over the world. We wish them all a successful semester at UNCG!

About the degree-seeking student orientation, from Michael Elliott:

Our four separate orientation sessions for fully-admitted students went very well. Our presenters included Norma Velazquez, our graduate assistants Mook Chatvijit and Vinod Shanmugam, and Professor Joseph Erba from the Bryan School of Business. We welcomed 35 new students who join another approximately 350 international degree-seeking students.

As for our conditionally-admitted student orientation, we provided support and information to 10 new conditionally-admitted students who will be studying at INTERLINK this term.

Additionally, many of our new incoming students were assisted by student organizations like the Indian Student Association, the Chinese Student Association, the Saudi Club and the African Student Union. These organizations help students with airport pickup, short and longer term housing, settling in, and the logistics of registration and academic advising.

Special Programs

Lloyd International Honors Students Selected to Participate in World Model UN Conference by Katie Ostrowka

For the second year in a row, seven Lloyd International Honors College (LIHC) students will proudly represent UNCG as they participate in the Harvard World Model United Nations Conference in Singapore, March 14-18, 2011. The conference will give students the opportunity to tackle some of the world’s most pressing challenges along with approximately 2,500 students from more than 60 countries. Dr. Robert Griffiths, Associate Professor of Political Science, along with Ryan Radford, Honors Academic Advisor, will accompany the group to Singapore with financial assistance from IPC and the Kohler Fund.

The Model United Nations simulates the work of organizations such as the United Nations, the World Health Organization, and the African Union, with participants representing countries, organizations, or leaders in order to debate pressing international issues. Last year, the UNCG delegation represented the country of Burkina Faso. They have not yet received their assignment for the upcoming conference.

Once they receive their country assignment for this year, the delegation will select its student leaders and begin preparation for the conference. They will meet twice a week throughout the Spring until the conference occurs. They will need to gather as much information about the country as they can, since they will be required to know something about its economy, politics and government, society, culture, and position on many international topics.

The selected students are excited about the upcoming conference. The UNCG Honors students who have been selected and are currently preparing for the World Model UN conference are:

Pablo Diaz, Senior, Physics & Economics
Alexia Foy, Freshman, International Business
Hailey Johnson, Freshman, International and Global Studies & Political Science
Victoria Johnson, Senior, Anthropology & Political Science
Beatrix Lebenzon, Junior, International and Global Studies & French
Andrea Schronce, Senior, Economics & Political Science
Austin Smith, Sophomore, Anthropology & Political Science
Katherine Watkins, Senior, Political Science

The International Programs Center wishes the delegation the best of luck as they travel to Singapore in March!

Austin Smith, Andrea Schronce, Katherine Watkins, Hailey Johnson, Victoria Johnson, Alexia Foy, Beatrix Lebenzon. (Not pictured: Pablo Diaz, who is currently studying abroad in France).

Student Highlights

UNCG tops Gilman awards in the state

IPC is extremely proud to announce that the following students are recipients of the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program for participation in a spring 2011 semester exchange program:

Brendan Daniel ($3,000): The University of Tartu, Estonia (Political Science)
Ivan Gilbert ($3,500): Yeditepe University, Turkey (Art)
Jessie Hill ($4,000): University of Oulu, Finland (Human Development and Family Studies)
Desiree Newbie ($1,000): The Chinese University of Hong Kong (Marketing)
John Parker ($5,000): The Chinese University of Hong Kong (English)
Solomon Valentine ($2,000): Universidad San Ignacio de Loyola, Peru (Marketing)

During the spring 2011 application cycle, the Gilman Scholarship Program received nearly 2,900 applications for over 850 awards. UNCG was awarded the largest number of scholarships among all colleges and universities in North Carolina.

The Gilman Scholarship Program offers awards for undergraduate study abroad and was established by the International Academic Opportunity Act of 2000. This scholarship provides awards for U.S. undergraduate students who are receiving Federal Pell Grant funding at a two-year or four-year college or university to participate in study abroad programs worldwide.

Additionally, these students had received Gilman scholarships for the fall 2010 semester:

Michael Bass ($2,500): National Taiwan University, Taiwan (Theater)
Teresita Cherry ($8,000): The Chinese University of Hong Kong (Business Administration)
Evans Mack ($3,500): Kazan State University, Russia (Math)
Shamor Peeler-Dean ($3,000): University Rennes 2, France (Music)
Michael Tuso ($3,000): Universidad San Ignacio de Loyola, Peru (Political Science)

In addition to the travel grants provided through endowment, every year IPC helps students procure outsider funds for study abroad. Last year students were awarded $53,500 from external sources.

Yes, Adult Students Can Study Abroad As Well! by Issa Gakou

Issa is a graduate student originally from Senegal. He is studying abroad at the University of Angers, one of several exchange partners in France.

My name is Issa Gakou. I am a graduate student in French and Francophone Studies. I have been in Angers, France since August 21, 2010, as an exchange program participant. Study abroad is a great opportunity that every student must take advantage of - even adult students! The advantages of study abroad extend well beyond academics. It is a way to meet new people and get to know a new society, culture, and way of doing things that are often very different from your own. Study abroad is also a way to enrich your résumé with international experience, a trait that nearly all employers seek from new employees in this world of globalization.

For me, the opportunity to travel overseas does not come along very often; therefore, I chose to come to France a few days before classes began. I used this time to visit Paris. It is an exceptionally beautiful and romantic city that I believe everyone should visit. Do not let the French language intimidate you, because there are dozens of languages spoken in Paris. It even seems that French is the commonly shared second language! During the past three months, I have travelled to Paris 7 times; nobody can beat that, I’m sure! I have also found the time to travel to Switzerland twice, Belgium, Luxembourg, and Holland (Amsterdam).

Study abroad is a time to travel and experience new things and see new places. Before coming to France, I never thought I would learn the traditional dances of at least nine countries in one night! I never imagined I would make friends with people from Greece, Russia, Portugal, Bolivia, Ireland, Australia, Romania, Ukraine, Morocco, Lebanon, Spain, etc. I doubted that typical undergraduate exchange students would enjoy socializing with an older adult student without putting too much focus on age differences, but I have been definitely proven wrong.

I never thought I would stand in line at 6am to get a free bicycle from the city and become so fit while being so environmentally friendly. I never thought I would start a leadership project at UNCG and do the presentation from a small town in Switzerland called Kandersteg (4500 miles away from UNCG) on a snowy day in October. Yes, that’s right, snow in October! I never thought I would get to enjoy so much French food - from the popular baguette to the croissant, crêpe, brioche, tartiflette, curieux curry, epatante patate, and more. This experience has certainly exceeded my expectations. How much more could an exchange student ask for?

I encourage all students, and especially adult students, to take advantage of exchange programs. In my case, not only will my course credits transfer to UNCG, but I also made many friends from all over the world. This gives me another reason to travel and visit them in their respective countries. So, what are you waiting for? Study abroad, and see the world!

Visitors & Visiting Scholars

Visitors from the University of Wales, Trinity St. David

On January 10-12, the International Programs Center and the Department of Kinesiology welcomed two visitors from the University of Wales, Trinity St. David: Ceredig Emanuel, Head of the School of Sport, Health & Outdoor Education, and Nalda Wainwright, Professor of Physical Education and Outdoor Education. Although a snow day, the guests met with Tom Martinek, Jr., Assistant Director of Study Abroad & Exchange, and then had dinner with Dr. Penelope Pynes, Associate Provost, on the night they arrived before going to UNCG the following day.

The visitors met with Professors Pam Kocher Brown and Catherine Ennis in the Department of Kinesiology, followed by a tour of the snow-covered UNCG campus with Study Abroad Coordinator, Logan Stanfield.

They then met with Kaitlin Ritchie, Incoming Exchange Coordinator, before having lunch with Denise Bellamy, Director of Study Abroad & Exchange, and Lindsay Armistead, Transfer Credit Advisor. Our visitors also had a chance to meet briefly with Rachel Jones, an exchange student from Trinity St. David. The primary purpose of the visit was to strengthen ties with the faculty of Kinesiology as we now exchange Kinesiology students.

Faculty Corner

Dr. C.P. Gause presents at The United States Meets Europe Seminar and Conference

Dr. C. P. Gause, an Associate Professor in the Department of Teacher Education and Higher Education, presented his paper “One Nation, One World: The Rise of the Global Community” at The United States Meets Europe Weeklong Seminar and Conference which took place in Washington DC & New York City from January 3-9, 2011. The Institute for Cultural Diplomacy sponsored the weeklong seminar. The week of conference presentations, meetings, and discussions explored the following issues:
  • The future of U.S. foreign policy over the next two years and the potential roles of soft power and cultural diplomacy
  • The foreign policy activity of the current U.S. administration over the past 24 months
  • The national and international debates about immigration, migration, and integration
  • The state of the transatlantic relationship: confronting immediate challenges and identifying future opportunities
  • The future ability of the West to maintain its capacity to project power, both hard and soft, in the increasingly multi-polar world.

Gause’s paper, taken from his latest book, Diversity, Equity and Inclusive Education: A Voice from the Margins (Sense Publishers, 2010) speaks to how the element of “fear” continues to prevent the United States from engaging in domestic and international diplomacy. Gause delivered his paper at The United Nations building in New York during a briefing with several delegates from across the globe, including the Ambassador to Croatia. According to Gause,

“The United States is more ideologically, philosophically, culturally, linguistically, racially, and ethnically diverse than she has been in any given point in her history; however, many of her citizens are currently living in a state of fear. What stands out the most is how we allow this fear to take over our lives in multiple ways.”


INTERLINK Graduation Ceremony

INTERLINK celebrated the conclusion of its Fall 2, 2010 term with an end-of-term ceremony on Friday, December 17 in the Curry Building auditorium. Speakers included Dr. Brad Teague, INTERLINK director; Wooyun Cho, graduating INTERLINK student; and María Camila Alemán, former INTERLINK student who is now attending UNCG. A number of students received special recognition, specifically the “most outstanding” student, the “hardest-working” students per class and level, and those who achieved perfect attendance. Graduating and departing students were likewise recognized and presented with certificates. The formal part of the ceremony was followed by student performances representing particular countries. The performances included songs, dances, and even a Tae-Kwon Do demonstration.

Fall 2, 2010 INTERLINK Graduates:

Manal Alekhwan (Saudi Arabia)
Wei-Ta Chen (Taiwan) - now an Undergraduate student at UNCG
Wooyun Cho (South Korea)
Demba Diouf (Senegal) - now an Undergraduate student at UNCG
Kubra Kolemen (Turkey) - now a Graduate student at UNCG
Chung-I Liu (Taiwan)- now an Undergraduate student at UNCG
Patricia Montoya-Guzmán (Bolivia) - now an Undergraduate student at UNCG
Raphael Quintero (Venezuela)
Catharina Schilt (Germany)
Chi-Hua Wang (Taiwan)
Xi Xing (China) - now an Undergraduate student at UNCG

INTERLINK began its Spring 1, 2011 term on January 3. Approximately 35 new students joined the program, putting total enrollment at around 110. The center also hired a new part-time instructor, Charles Geer, and a new part-time office assistant, Catherine Velásquez.

Upcoming events


Feb 3               International Scholars Reception
Feb 10             Student Academic Achievement Awards Reception
Feb 15             UNCG Study Abroad Application Deadline


Mar 10-11       NCAIE Conference (Location TBA)
Mar 7-11         Spring Break for Students
Mar 11             Travel Grant Application Deadline (for summer)
Mar 15             Study Abroad Nominations Announcement
Mar 26             UNCG Study Abroad Pre-Departure Orientation

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

Previous editions:

Volume 10, Edition 4, December 2010

Volume 10, Edition 3, November 2010

Volume 10, Edition 2, October 2010

Volume 10, Edition 1, September 2010

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