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Volume 10, Edition 2 October 2010

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Internationalization Taskforce Begins Work

by Steve Gilliam, University Relations

UNCG is launching a faculty-led Internationalization Task Force which will assess current internationalization efforts and develop strategies for implementation for the next 18 months. Due by December 2011, the report will include recommendations for increasing the numbers of international experiences for students and faculty, global research networks, and international students on campus; integration of study abroad into the curriculum; and international grants.

“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,” said Provost David H. Perrin in his charge to the Task Force. “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.”

To assist the effort, UNCG has 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 is also among eight institutions that have been selected to participate in the ACE Internationalization Laboratory for 2010-2011. The laboratory assists institutions in assessing the challenges and opportunities of implementing comprehensive internationalization strategies. Further information about the laboratory, is available here.

Dr. Barbara Hill, senior associate with ACE’s Center for International Initiatives, conducted a site visit to UNCG on October 13 and met with senior administrators. She also conducted a roundtable discussion with the taskforce and key stakeholders.

The task force is co-chaired by Dr. Penelope Pynes, Associate Provost for International Programs, and Dr. Jerry Pubantz, Dean of Lloyd International Honors College.

Other members are Dr. Susan Andreatta, Department of Anthropology; Dr. Alan Boyette, Office of the Provost; Dr. Roberto Campo, Department Romance Languages; Dr. David Cardenas, Department of Recreation, Tourism & Hospitality Management; Dr. Sarah Carrigan, Office of Institutional Research; Dr. Micheline Chalhoub-Deville, Department of Educational Research Methodology; Dr. C.P. Gause, Department of Teacher Education & Higher Education; Dr. Kevin Lowe, Department of Business Administration; Dr. Kathleen Macfie, Department of German, Russian & Japanese Studies; Dr. Anna Marshall-Baker, Department of Interior Architecture; Vicki McNeil, Division of Student Affairs; Dr. David Nelson, School of Music, Dr. Cathryne Schmitz, Department of Social Work; and Dr. Anita Tesh, Dean’s Office, School of Nursing.  Assisting the taskforce will be Stephen Flynn, who is serving as Administrative Assistant to the taskforce.

Interested in contributing to the Task Force’s research? Feel free to contact Penelope Pynes via email at pjpynes@uncg.edu.

Faculty & Staff

Dr. Penelope Pynes and Denise Bellamy attend EAIE Conference in Nantes, France

From September 10-19, Penelope Pynes and Denise Bellamy traveled to France to conduct site visits and to attend the European Association for International Education (EAIE) Conference. Their first stop was in Lyon to visit Université Jean Moulin Lyon 3. There they met with Laetitia Belot, North America/Japan/South Africa Program Coordinator, and the staff of the International Relations Department. Also in Lyon, Pynes and Bellamy met with Roger Miller at the Université Catholique de Lyon in order to finalize a new agreement with the school.

Traveling on, the two visited the Université d’Angers on September 13 where they met with Michel Darmon, Faculte des Lettres, Langues et Sciences Humaines, and John Cassini. Penelope and Denise also had the opportunity to meet up with two UNCG students studying abroad in Angers this semester, Issa Gakou and Monica Scovell.

Issa Gakou, John Cassini, Monica Scovell, Michel Darmon, Denise, and Penelope

On September 14, Penelope and Denise met with François Henri, Gildas Le Vogeur, and Françoise Cieslarczyk at the Université Rennes 2, before continuing on to the EAIE Conference.

The 22nd Annual EAIE conference was held in Nantes, France, from September 15-18. There were 3,642 people from 82 countries around the world, and 384 institutions filled over 1700 square meters of exhibition space, making it the largest Exhibition to date.

IPC Staff participate in TeamQuest

On September 7, 2010, the International Programs Center staff participated in Team QUEST, a program offered through UNCG’s Campus Recreation, which sets up active, hands-on experiences for enhancing group development. Team QUEST creates programs for teams and groups across campus for students, faculty, and staff that aim at improving team and leadership development, creative thinking, communication skills, effective decision making, and trust building. Facilitators guide groups through the experiential learning process by leading activities and then processing or debriefing with the group to discover learning outcomes available for group improvement. The goal is to transfer knowledge or skills gained from the Team QUEST experience to the group's typical organization or team setting.

The IPC team did several activities throughout the morning, including an activity that required them to spin five washers around a metal ring and pass it on to the next person and around their circle without stopping the spinning washers. After many attempts, the team finally made it around the circle two and half times without the washers stopping! During another activity, each teammate was given three or four picture cards that they could not show to anyone else. They had to rely on their verbal communication skills in order to figure out how the pictures related to each other. In the end, the pictures created a kind of linear story that the team could step back and admire.

Tom Martinek, Jr. shares "Food for Thought" with Lloyd International Honors College by Stacey Peebles

Every Wednesday during the academic year, the Lloyd International Honors College sponsors and hosts a lunch and conversation for students and faculty. This “Food for Thought” provides a unique opportunity on campus for members of the UNCG community to engage in thoughtful conversation about a variety of topics and issues.

During this school year’s first “Food for Thought” on September 1, Tom Martinek, Jr. of the International Programs Center led a conversation on “Coming to America: The International Student’s Perspective.” The discussion was about how the dramatic changes made to visa and immigration procedures after 9/11 have affected international students coming to study in the United States, and the vast differences between the U.S. college system and higher education around the world.  This was a great chance to hear from international students how their educational system at home differs from their experience at UNCG and how this reflects various aspects of their culture.

Held in conjunction with IPC's study abroad fair, this was a terrific way to kick off our "Food for Thought" series this year.  We had an excellent turnout of international students, Honors students, and UNCG students with international backgrounds, as well as faculty and staff.  The international students shared some of their stories about the policies and procedures necessary for studying in the States, as well as their initial impressions of the U.S. and North Carolina.  

One Honors student asked the international students why they were interested in coming here instead of another country, and the responses were interesting and surprising to some.  A Brazilian student said that the U.S. is the only nation that has competitive sports at the college level, and he came for the opportunity to play tennis.  Another student came with her family to seek medical care for a disabled sibling, and several mentioned educational opportunities they felt were unavailable elsewhere.  Finally, the students discussed the differences in educational systems and the experience of college generally between America and their home countries.  Students from South Korea, Iran, China, the Dominican Republic, Brazil, Finland, Ghana, and the Congo were all in attendance. Overall, a great success!

International Students

International Student Academic Acheivement Awards

Each semester, we acknowledge the excellent achievements of our international degree-seeking students who have maintained their grades and have a previous semester GPA of 3.5 and higher. On September 23, Dr. Penelope Pynes, Associate Provost of International Programs, Michael Elliott, Director of International Student & Scholar Services, Norma Velazquez, Assistant Director of International Student & Scholar Services, hosted a congratulatory reception for these students and presented them each with an achievement award. Joseph Erba, Lecturer in the Bryan School, and Tuisha Fernandes, MBA Program Associate Director, were also present to help present awards to students. IPC would like to congratulate all those who earned a certificate and we wish them the same success for the future. Click here for the complete list of students.

The group of awarded students with Michael Elliott, Norma Velazquez, and Penelope Pynes of IPC

Special Programs

Author Talk: Manal Omar's Barefoot in Baghdad

by Katie Ostrowka

On September 14, the Ashby Residential College hosted an Author Talk featuring Ms. Manal Omar, author of Barefoot in Baghdad: A Story of Identity—My Own and What It Means to Be a Woman in Chaos. Ms. Omar is the Director of Iraq Programs under the Center for Post-conflict Peace and Stability Operations at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP), an independent, nonpartisan, national institution established and funded by Congress. Its goals are to help prevent and resolve violent international conflicts; promote post-conflict stability and development; and increase conflict management capacity, tools, and intellectual capital worldwide.

Omar’s presentation, entitled “Women: The Success Barometer—Lessons Learned from Iraq,” addressed the important role women play in conflict nations, especially their role in working towards stability and sustaining peace in their countries. Born of Palestinian parents, Omar grew up in the United States, and went to live in Iraq in 2003 when she completed college. As a journalist in Iraq, Omar got to know the women of that country and their communities, and helped to educate them on a handful of topics.

Omar’s new book is a personal memoir about her time in Iraq. A flyer for Omar’s book describes: “As an American aid worker of Arab descent, Manal Omar’s background gave her an all-access pass to the dramatic shift in the fortunes of Iraq’s women following the invasion in 2003, which destroyed hopes for a more liberated lifestyle. Witness to a struggle that few outsiders saw, Omar chronicles the journey of a people determined to rise from the ashes of war and sanctions and recreate themselves in the face of overwhelming obstacles.”

Study Abroad Fair

This year, IPC’s Study Abroad and Exchange Programs staff decided to do something a bit different for the Study Abroad Fair: they took it outside. Lining the sides of College Avenue with large country flags, the Fair was able to attract a large number of curious students walking through the main stretch of campus. The flags led to a cluster of tents where IPC staff set up their information tables. Tom Martinek, Jr., Lindsay Armistead, Logan Stanfield, and Heidi Fischer, among other staff and student volunteers, stood by to field students’ questions and get them interested in studying abroad.

For more information on the exchange programs offered through UNCG, visit Study Abroad and Exchange Programs.

Student Highlights

My Once in a Lifetime Experience at UNCG

by Paula Pirilä

My name is Paula and I am a 22 year old exchange student from Oulu, Finland. My major is Communication Sciences and Disorders and I will graduate as a speech and language pathologist in two years. I came to UNCG because I have never been in the States before and I like adventures. I will stay at UNCG for one semester and I have been here for seven weeks now. It is October and I am enjoying especially the weather because in Finland, the temperature is already below zero and they are waiting for the snow to come.

I am staying in Phillips-Hawkins Residence Hall (the I-House). In Finland I live in a studio apartment and I have never had a roommate. Here I share a room with another international student. At first I was a bit worried how things would go but everything turned out very well! It is nice that there is always a friend who you can talk to, even in the middle of the night. I feel she is like a sister to me. At times I would like to be alone for a while because I am used to have my own space. Most Finnish people are used to have lots of space around them and I believe it is due to having such a big country for only 5 million people. But I definitely prefer living here with a roommate than alone, it is part of this experience and I love it!

It is fun to consider myself as an exchange student. In Oulu, I thought it was funny that all the exchange students were always together everywhere and it was fun to see that they were so lost in the city and in the university. Now I can understand them perfectly! Exchange students are always together because we are like a big family. When I am somewhere alone or with people I do not know, it feels like coming home going to I-house. All the exchange students are in the same situation and it is something that strongly connects us. 

Paula fighting the UNCG Spartan with Laura Ciaccio and Suvi Isohanni, also exchange students

In Finland, we start to learn English in elementary school so we know English pretty well. However, it is more difficult to study with a foreign language. I have found it difficult to comment on lectures because the terminology is different. Also, it takes a lot of time to translate what you want to say into English and sometimes the moment is gone when you are ready. But, I’m here to learn and this is a great opportunity to learn English.

All in all, it has been only one third of this semester and I have just started to have a routine. Time is flying and when the last day here comes, I know I will be sad. I will miss everyone and hope I could stay longer. But at the same time I know it will be exciting and touching to go home again. But I will not think about those things yet; it is still 12 weeks to go, and I will enjoy this once in a lifetime experience!

Study abroad student Michael Tuso featured on UNCG homepage

A student in political science and international and global studies, Michael Tuso is currently in Peru for the fall semester, participating in an internship with International Institute for Electoral Democracy and Assistance (IDEA), an organization that supports sustainable democracy worldwide. Michael has served as Student Government Association senator his freshman year, president his sophomore year (the youngest ever in the UNC system), and was a secretary for part of his junior year. He’s also been a Spartan orientation staff leader, a Student Advisory Board member for Lloyd International Honors College, and served on the Mayor’s Task Force, the Chancellor’s Budget Committee and the Inclusive Community Task Force. He is also a recipient of a Gilman Scholarship and a participant in the Global Leadership Program.

To read the full story, see “Where’s Tuso?

Visitors & Visiting Scholars

ChinaCast Visitors

On September 6 and 7, IPC along with the Bryan School of Business and Economics, welcomed several representatives from ChinaCast Education Corporation. Mr. Xiangyuan Jiang, Ms. Yao Wu, Mr. Hairong Yuan, and Mr. Jun Pan were greeted by Dr. Penelope Pynes at the airport.

The following day, the ChinaCast members had discussions with Drs. Donald McCrickard, Senior Associate Dean of the Bryan School; Joy Bhadury, Associate Dean for Graduate Programs and Research in the Bryan School; Vidya Gargeya, Director of MBA Programs; Kevin Lowe, Head of the Department of Business Administration; and Penelope Pynes.

ChinaCast representatives with Penelope Pynes and Kevin Lowe

Dr. Pynes hosted lunch for the guests at a Thai restaurant before they were brought on a campus tour with Logan Stanfield, Study Abroad Coordinator at IPC.

Established in 1999, ChinaCast Education Corporation is a leading for-profit, post-secondary education and e-learning services provider in China. The Company provides post-secondary degree and diploma programs through its two universities in China: The Foreign Trade and Business College of Chongqing Normal University and the Lijiang College of Guangxi Normal University. These universities offer fully accredited, career-oriented bachelor's degree and diploma programs in business, economics, law, IT/computer engineering, hospitality and tourism management, advertising, language studies, art and music. For more information, see their website: http://ir.chinacast.com.cn/

Visitors from Mannheim University

On September 24, the Bryan School of Business and Economics, along with the International Programs Center, hosted two visitors from the Mannheim Business School at Mannheim University, Ms. Yvonne Paulus and Ms. Stefanie Buchert.

Penelope, Yvonne, Stefanie, and Denise

The visitors started their day with a tour of the Byran School with Dr. Catherine Holderness, Lecturer and Online Program Coordinator, and a campus tour with Brittany Atkinson, a UNCG student who studied abroad at Mannheim University. Paulus and Buchert then had lunch with Dr. Don Mc Crickard, Senior Associate Dean; Dr. Joy Bhadury, Associate Dean; Dr. Vidya Gargeya, MBA Program Director; and Ms. Tuisha Fernandes, MBA Program Associate Director.

Dr. Holderness then escorted the guests to Friday Fest where they were able to meet up with their students from Mannheim. Our German friends ended their day with a meeting with Denise Bellamy, Director of Study Abroad and Exchanges, and dinner with Dr. Penelope Pynes, Associate Provost for International Programs, and Dr. Holderness.

Faculty Corner

NSF Grant awarded to Dr. Terry Nile in the Department of Chemistry

UNCG has been awarded three years of National Science Foundation (NSF) funding to create a new International Research Experience for undergraduate students. This funding has been applied to the Study Abroad Summer Research program led by Dr. Terence Nile.

The summer research program, initiated in 2007, includes seven weeks of research, earning students six credit hours. Six students from colleges and universities in the Greensboro, NC, area carry out summer research at the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom in the field of chemistry. The participants are recruited after their sophomore and junior years, and at least half (50%) hail from underrepresented groups.

As well as providing students with a first class international experience, the program gives students, especially those from smaller institutions in the Greensboro area, the opportunity to undertake cutting edge research in synthetic chemistry at an extremely well-equipped major research university. The amount of the award totals $149,841 to be distributed over three years from April 2010 to August 2012.

This year, the group of students were: Nickolas Anderson, Jessica Bame, Alexandria Harkey, Gregory LeDonne (High Point University), Brandon Ore, Nicholas Saggese, Garrett Tanner (Guilford College).

UNCG in Rome

During the first part of this past summer, the Directors of a new Summer Program in Italy, Jonathan Zarecki and Maura Heyn, brought a group of Classical Studies students to Rome, where they were given first-hand experience with the sites and monuments of Rome, the capital of the Roman Empire and the most important city in early Christianity. These students are:

Samantha Bardarik, Erin Bowman, Teddi Burnett, Emily Calder, Elizabeth Cline, Emily Cowan, Alexandra Creola, John Gemperline, Lauren Hill, Luke Legrand, Calvin Lynch, Carla Rascoe, Leigh Splawn, Kimberly Stevens, Lauren Summerville, Megan Ulery, Sara Warsing, Samantha Wilkerson.

Strolling through the Roman streets is like taking a trip through Italian history. Students may visit such varied and interesting locations as the Villa Giulia, the Roman Aqueducts, Pompeii, the Colosseum, Circus Maximus and the Vatican.

This course is designed to accommodate academic internships and study in Greece and/or Rome. Through daily lectures and reports, extensive on-site experience with both archaeological sites and museum collections, and further research to be done after returning to the United States, students will gain an appreciation for the splendor and importance of the city of Rome. Much of the cultural and historical background is presented in reading assignments.

For more information, visit the UNCG in Rome website.

Servants of Globalization in Taiwan

A new service-learning course, offered during first summer session of 2010, was designed to prepare students for the requirements of a global society by helping them to develop an international perspective and learn to use common social science field research techniques while traveling in Asia. It is targeted to undergraduate students in Political Science, Anthropology, Human Geography, Sociology, and International and Global Studies (IGS) Asian Studies Program.

This year’s group of students, with Dr. Stephen Sills, traveled to Taipei, Taiwan, from May 28 to June 3, then went on to Manila in the Philippines before returning to Kaohsiun, Taiwan on June 11 through the 17. The students who participated this past summer are:

Aren Blake, Destiny Boyd, Laura Johnson, Kelsey Maher, Juan Miranda, Kara Weinacht.

In addition to providing students with an opportunity for experiencing first-hand a foreign non-western culture, this program aims to engage students in learning about global issues, migration in South East Asia, development, labor, and gender. The course emphasizes discovery through direct interaction with key individuals in Taiwan and the Philippines who work daily with international relief organizations and governmental agencies, are employed in the global supply chain, are domestic workers in Taiwanese homes, or who have conducted significant research on these topics.

For more information, visit the Servants of Globalization website.

(Taiwan photos from Kara Weinacht)


INTERLINK’s Conversation-Partners Program

The INTERLINK Language Center at UNCG has recently begun a conversation-partners program. This new program is designed to connect international students studying English at INTERLINK with other students as well as staff and faculty members on the UNCG campus. Participants meet for at least one hour a week to discuss topics of mutual interest. Conversations are informal and allow people from different cultures and language backgrounds to learn from each other. As such, the experience promotes cross-cultural learning, international friendships, and language practice.

Ayman Alrefaie, an INTERLINK student from Saudi Arabia, and Heidi Mize, an undergraduate student in the UNCG School of Education

In the words of Yi-wen Tu, an INTERLINK student from Taiwan who is taking part in the program, "a conversation partner not only helps you improve your English, he or she also enriches your life." The program is being overseen by Dr. Brad Teague, assistant director at INTERLINK, with the help of Ariel Neumann and Jennifer Hemphill, volunteer coordinators from the Lloyd International Honors College.

At present, there are 40 participants (20 international students and 20 American students), with plans to increase involvement in the program during INTERLINK’s next term, which begins on October 18th. Interested individuals should contact Dr. Teague at bteague@interlink.edu.

Upcoming events


Oct 23               UNCG Study Abroad Pre-Departure Orientation


Nov 6                UNCEP Pre-Departure Orientation
Nov 15-19        International Education Week (IEW)
Nov 24-28        ISA New York City trip
Nov 24-26        Thanksgiving Holiday (classes dismissed)
Nov 25-26        Offices Closed (Thanksgiving Holiday)

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

Previous editions:

Volume 10, Edition 1, September 2010

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