Share Tweet Share Email

NIU kicks off International Education Week

November 11, 2011

Parade of FlagsA reception recognizing the Outstanding International Educator for 2011 and a panel discussion on minority participation in study abroad headline International Education Week 2011 at NIU.

A joint initiative of the U.S. departments of State and Education, International Education Week will be celebrated on campuses nationwide from Nov. 14 to Nov. 18.

“For this 13th annual International Week on our campus, NIU is once again hosting more events than any other university in the region, so that we can recognize and thank all members of our community who contribute to Global NIU,” said Deborah Pierce, associate provost for International Programs.

“This year’s theme – Global Learning, Global Leadership – reflects the global aspects of NIU’s theme of learning and leading, which are such important objectives for our students, faculty and staff,” Pierce added.

The annual International Recognition Reception will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday, Nov. 14, in the Sky Room of the Holmes Student Center. The event is open to the public, and a light buffet lunch will be served.

At the reception the Outstanding International Educator Award will be presented to an NIU faculty member who has contributed significantly to international education through his or her teaching, research, public service and student service.

International Programs also will honor the department that has made the most significant contribution to the internationalization effort across campus. In addition, the division will honor two students who have made outstanding contributions to international education at NIU.

Vice Provost Anne Birberick will present the awards on behalf of Provost Raymond Alden. As the former chair of the Department of Foreign Languages & Literatures, Birberick is a strong leader in the global endeavor at NIU.

J.D. Bowers and Emily Prieto

J.D. Bowers and Emily Prieto

In addition, the 2010 Outstanding International Educator, J.D. Bowers of the Department of History and the Office of Teacher Certification, will speak on his global experiences in a talk entitled “Borders and Boundaries in International Education.”

Following the International Recognition Reception, Fulbright Scholar Emily Prieto, director of NIU’s Latino Resource Center, will offer a presentation on the Fulbright Specialist Program. The program enables faculty to be sent on assignments of two to six weeks to universities abroad. Prieto’s presentation will begin at 2 p.m. in the Sky Room.

“For NIU faculty who’ve always wanted to get the global experience of a Fulbright fellowship but who can’t commit to a full year abroad, the Fulbright Specialist Program is a great option,” Prieto said.

As Fulbright campus representative, Pierce added, “With this session we want to make sure NIU faculty know about this very flexible opportunity to have an inspiring sojourn abroad.”

On Wednesday evening, Nov. 16, NIU alumna and instructor Tammy Holmes will present her research on “Minorities and Study Abroad.”  Although NIU’s minority participation rate in study abroad last year was quite high at 28 percent of the students who self-disclosed, typically such rates nationwide are lower.

“Gaining a global perspective is crucial for all NIU students, and it’s important for domestic ethnic minority students to be aware of all the advantages of study abroad,” said Dr. LaVerne Gyant, director of the Center for Black Studies.

Study Abroad Director Anne Seitzinger added, “We’ve been working to diversify study abroad participation at NIU, and clearly the Provost’s Travel Grant for Study Abroad has helped us do that.”

Zeta Gamma Chapter of Phi Beta Delta, the honor society for international scholars, is holding its eighth annual induction ceremony, by invitation only, on Tuesday, Nov. 15.

Along with 42 NIU students, faculty and staff, three honorary members will be inducted: John Castle, the former co-chair of NIU’s True North capital campaign; Kishwaukee College Dean Evelina Cichy; and Narong Sasitorn, Consul General of the Kingdom of Thailand, who is also an NIU dad.

Other activities include a workshop for students interested in the Student Fulbright Program and a luncheon (invitation only) to honor NIU faculty leaders of study abroad programs and Cobb Fellows who’ve been awarded financial support for special projects abroad.

Two programs especially for students will be the International Student Reception on Tuesday, Nov. 16, and the Study Abroad Reunion on Wednesday, Nov. 17.

The Center for Southeast Asian Studies, International Programs and Phi Beta Delta will co-sponsor a talk by art history professor Catherine Raymond, director of the Center for Burma Studies. Raymond will speak on “The Art of Tattoo” at 11:45 a.m. Friday, Nov. 18, in the Sky Room of Holmes Student Center. Light refreshments will be served, and those who arrive early may receive a unique souvenir of the occasion.

The week concludes with a student International Dance and Global Village Potluck. It will be held from 5 to 8 p. m in the atrium of Barsema Hall. Co-sponsors for the event include ELS/DeKalb, the Foreign Language Residence Program, and AIESEC, a student organization.

A full schedule of events for International Education Week is available online.