CSU Professor Promotes Global Dialogue through Theatre

Dr. Becky Becker, assistant director of the CSU Center for Global Engagement and professor of theatre, is encouraging global-dialogue through theatre. As editor of “Theatre Symposium: A Publication of the Southeastern Theatre Conference,” Becker recently completed volume 25 of the journal to explore the theme of “Cross-Cultural Dialogue on the Global Stage.”

“Volume 25 is an interesting look at the many ways practitioners can bring cross-cultural dialogue into theatre at a time we need it the most,” said Becker. “I’m always invested in ways to illuminate different cultures through theatre. This was an engaging way to see how others do that.”

Theatre Symposium is an annual weekend conference focusing on a single scholarly topic, chosen and organized by the editor. International attendees gather at the conference to present papers. Following the conference, scholars are invited to submit their papers for peer-review; six to eight papers are then selected for publication.  Becker is completing her two-year term as editor. In her first year, she organized volume 24 of the journal with the theme, “Theatre in Space.”

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Columbus State Celebrates International Student Culture

COLUMBUS, Ga. — Columbus State University celebrated its many cultures in September with a week-long series of events designed to recognize the impact of CSU’s global studies programs and international student population on campus and in the community.

“International Education Week is an opportunity to recognize our international students who bring so much cultural learning and diversity to campus,” said Janet Crane, international student and scholar coordinator for CSU’s Center for International Education (CIE).

On Monday, Sept, 26, CSU’s CIE ceremoniously displayed the flag of the home country of each of CSU’s 146 international students during International Student Convocation.


CSU’s CIE also hosted the following events:

International Dance Night, Wednesday, Sept. 28
Students learned the art of salsa, belly and African-style dancing.

Study Abroad Fair, Thursday, Sept. 29
Students learned about CSU’s study abroad programs and scholarships.

International Studies Fits You to a “T”, Friday, Sept. 30
International students performed tea-serving rituals from their home countries with traditional food and drink.

International Athlete Recognition Night, Friday, Sept. 30
CSU’s international student-athletes were recognized during halftime of the women’s volleyball game.

The mission of CSU’s Center for International Education is to promote student participation in academic learning programs while also cultivating participation in a global environment. Columbus State University was a recipient of the 2014 Senator Paul Simon Award for Campus Internationalization, a national honor recognizing innovative efforts to make students more aware of the world at large.

For more information about CSU’s Center for International Education, visit cie.columbusstate.edu.


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International Education Week Offers Opportunities to Learn, Earn

Fall 2014 orientation for CSU's international students.

Fall 2014 orientation for CSU’s international students.

COLUMBUS, Ga — Columbus State University’s Center for International Education (CIE) will host a series of events this week to commemorate International Education Week, an annual celebration that reinforces the center’s mission to ensure that all students have opportunities to become globally competent.

The centerpiece of this week’s programming is the Hunger Banquet, hosted by the International Learning Community, on Tuesday, Sept. 23 at 6:30 p.m. at the International House, where participants will learn about the imbalanced distribution of food in our world. Monetary and canned good donations will be accepted to support local charities.

Also on tap this week is a ceremony honoring international student-athletes (Wednesday, Sept. 24 at 7p.m. at the Lumpkin Center) and chances to taste foods from around the world (every day at the Cougar Café).

“These events bring together CSU’s U.S. population and the international population to help with internationalization of the university,” said Janet Crane, international student and scholar coordinator for CSU’s Center for International Education.

Students can even earn cash for study abroad as part of the “Cougar Passport Competition,” which is a raffle students can enter after attending at least four International Education Week events. To find out more about study abroad opportunities, students can attend the Study Abroad Fair on Thursday, Sept. 25 from 11 a.m to 2 p.m. in the Davidson Student Center Lounge. Winners of the raffle will be drawn on Sept. 30 during the Study Abroad Funding Workshop.

Columbus State University’s Center for International Education was recently recognized for its innovative international programs with a 2014 Senator Paul Simon Award for Campus Internationalization.

For more information about CSU’s Center for International Education or International Education Week, please visit http://cie.columbusstate.edu/internationaleducationweek2014/index.php


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CSU Wins National Award for Excellence in International Education

mccrillis-featured-imageCOLUMBUS, Ga. — Columbus State University Tuesday was notified that it’s among seven U.S. college and universities — including much-larger institutions such as Rutgers and Ohio State — being recognized for innovative international programs.

“(All seven schools) are excellent models for how higher education across the country can and must innovate to prepare our students for the global economy we live in today,” said Marlene M. Johnson, executive director and CEO of the international education organization founded as the National Association of Foreign Student Advisers.

Now known as the NAFSA Association of International Educators, the organization’s Senator Paul Simon Awards for Campus Internationalization are considered the ultimate honor for a university in terms of recognizing innovative efforts to make students more aware of the world at large.

“This is a tremendously powerful recognition of what Columbus State University has achieved in comprehensive internationalization,” said Neal McCrillis, director of CSU’s Center for International Education. “It sets apart and has the potential to shape Columbus State’s image among students, faculty and the community. The fact that we are in the company of (the other winners) is remarkable.”

Other schools also receiving the 2014 Simon Award for Comprehensive Internationalization were North Carolina State University, Ohio State University and Rutgers. Three other schools — Albion College, George Mason University and the University of Texas at Austin — were recognized Tuesday for receiving NAFSA’s 2014 Senator Paul Simon Spotlight Award for a specific international program or initiative that contributes to comprehensive internationalization.

Named for the late Illinois senator, the Simon awards recognize outstanding and innovative achievements in campus internationalization, a news release stated. NAFSA noted the 2014 winners reflect a broad diversity of approaches to campus internationalization, both in terms of models and implementation, defining “comprehensive internationalization” as the planned, strategic integration of international, intercultural, and global dimensions into the ethos and outcomes of higher education.

Tom Hackett, provost and vice president for academic affairs at CSU, called the Simon award “real recognition of our commitment to internationalize our campus.”

Columbus State President Tim Mescon praised the work of the university’s faculty, including McCrillis, who is CSU’s Mildred Miller Fort Foundation Eminent Scholar Chair of International Education. McCrillis, also an associate professor of history, joined CSU’s faculty in 1998.

“This is a wonderful honor for our Center for International Education, Dr. McCrillis’ leadership and our institutional commitment to globalization,” Mescon said. “We consistently benchmark with the very best, and receiving NAFSA’s Simon Award acknowledges exceptional faculty programming in the international arena.”

CSU’s Center for International Education promotes a global perspective at Columbus State by working with international students, as well as students interested in studying abroad. The center also actively encourages CSU faculty to develop courses that might be taught in a foreign setting; works to infuse international perspectives in routine courses; supports the work of visiting foreign scholars; and sponsors events and activities that raise awareness of international issues and cultures.

One of the more unique aspects of CSU’s study abroad program is that the university owns a large former residence in Oxford, England, the Spencer House, where 500-plus faculty and students have lived during study abroad courses over the past 11 years. Back in Columbus, CSU offers a series of 16 Global Dialogues each year that are a key feature of an International Learning Community of classes that students can combine with study abroad as part of an International Studies Certificate, which is a new “add-on” credential available for any major.

“For our students — many of whom are first generation college students and most of whom have never visited another country — the Global Dialogues are their first chance to hear viewpoints and attitudes other than those expressed by their Georgia-born and raised neighbors,” McCrillis said.

For more on Columbus State University’s Center for International Education, including study abroad, visiting scholars, international student services and more, visit http://ColumbusState.edu/cie.

Institutions selected for the Simon awards this year will be featured in NAFSA’s fall report, Internationalizing the Campus: Profiles of Success at Colleges and Universities, and honored at an event in Washington, D.C. during International Education Week. To learn more about the significance of the Simon awards, visit www.nafsa.org/SimonAward. For more about NAFSA, visit http://www.nafsa.org.

# # #

Writer: Bill Sutley, University Relations, bsutley@ColumbusState.edu, 706-507-8724
Contact: Dr. Neal McCrillis, Center for International Education, mccrillis_neal@ColumbusState.edu, 706-565-4038
Photo caption: Neal McCrillis, CSU’s Mildred Miller Fort Foundation Eminent Scholar Chair of International Education, stands before flags hanging at his Center for International Education.

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Columbus State to Help Fort Benning Adapt New Learning Technologies, Instructional Strategies

COLUMBUS, Ga. – Columbus State University is helping the Fort Benning Maneuver Center of Excellence implement a major U.S. Army initiative to “develop adaptive, thinking soldiers and leaders capable of meeting the challenges of operational adaptability in an era of persistent conflict.”

The collaboration begins with Learning and Technology Symposium 2011 on Wednesday and Thursday, June 29-30 at CSU’s Cunningham Center for Leadership Development, 3100 Gentian Blvd.

The symposium, the first of what its organizers plan as a yearly event, is themed “Implementing the Army Learning Concept (ALC) for 2015 at the Maneuver Center of Excellence.”

The symposium will “present new learning technologies and instructional strategies for the Maneuver Center of Excellence to consider when developing the plan for implementing ALC 2015,” said John Fuller, a retired Army colonel and one of the event’s organizers as a project manager for CSU’s TSYS School of Computer Science.

On Wednesday, CSU and MCOE leaders, including CSU President Tim Mescon, Cunningham Center Executive Director Carmen Cavezza and Maj. Gen. Robert Brown, will overview the program from 1-2 p.m., followed by research presentations until 5 p.m.

Tom Hackett, CSU’s interim provost and vice president for academic affairs, will deliver one of the presentations. Also, Fuller and CSU colleague George Khouri will demonstrate a Cognitive Map-Based Tactical Decision Support System prototype.

The following day, 11 CSU professors, from computer science, educational leadership and psychology, will co-facilitate workshops from 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. for 140-180 commissioned and non-commissioned Army officers, Fort Benning civilian workers, private sector military contractors and other CSU faculty and staff.

Workshop topics will include Adaptive Learning and Intelligent Tutors, Mobile Learning and Distance Learning Modules, Peer-based Learning Using Social Networks and Virtual Training Environments.

The ALC, according to the Army, is designed to provide, by 2015, “soldiers and leaders with more relevant, tailored, engaging learning experiences through a career-long continuum of learning that is not location-dependent, but accessed at the point of need.”

The symposium is a product of the efforts of Mescon and Cavezza, former Commanding General of Fort Benning, to increase the university’s involvement with Fort Benning in areas of mutual interest and benefit, Fuller said.

The symposium also is another example of Columbus State as a resource to military leaders and soldiers.

GI Jobs magazine has designated CSU a “Military Friendly School,” while the university has helped lead a University System of Georgia “Soldiers2Scholars” initiative to maximize services to veterans and active-duty personnel and their families.

For more information, including a complete agenda, go to http://cunningham.columbusstate.edu/technologysymposium/ or contact John Fuller at 706-565-3499 or fuller_john2@ColumbusState.edu.

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CSU Study Abroad Enrollment Hits New High

COLUMBUS, Ga. — Study abroad participation by Columbus State University students has set a new record for the second straight year, exceeding a nationwide projection.

By the end of summer, 168 Columbus State students will have experienced programs across Europe, Africa, Asia and Central and South America.
Study abroad students
The 2010-2011 total represents an 11 percent increase over 151 study abroad participants the previous year. The figures account for programs during spring break, plus the May and June-July sessions, and semester-long enrollment – up 64 percent from last year – in CSU-partner institutions abroad.
The CSU rate of increase nearly doubled a projected nationwide average. 
Based on a nationwide survey by the Institute of International Education, study abroad enrollment for U.S. students for 2010-2011 was anticipated to increase six percent from last year.

Neal McCrillis, CSU’s Mildred Miller Fort Foundation Distinguished Chair of International Education, credited the Columbus State professors who develop and direct the majority of programs attracting CSU students. 
“Study abroad teaching involves a tremendous amount of work in designing classes and programs and in recruiting the students,” McCrillis said. “Although the learning benefits are tremendous, students have to overcome major financial and personal challenges to participate.” 

Private funding of about $165,000 in study abroad scholarships played a major role in the participation increase, McCrillis said. That includes about $50,000 from the Spencer Scholarship fund for CSU in Oxford programs. Other funding sources exclusive to full-time CSU students are the Mildred Miller Fort Foundation, Nakai Fund for Asian Studies and Kidd-Bagley Fund, plus the Katherine and LeGrand Elebash, Campus Internationalization and CSU Honors scholarships.

McCrillis identified 14 CSU faculty-led and CSU-managed programs as successful this year. 

A first-time CSU program in Uganda has nine students, led by sociology professor Florence Wakoko-Studstill, currently studying “Culture, Health and Women’s Organizations.” “It’s a particular challenge to develop new study abroad programs in Africa, but CSU has succeeded, especially with the work of Dr. Wakoko,” McCrillis said.

A Costa Rica business program, also under way, has drawn the most students – 18 – under the direction of Turner College of Business and Computer Science professors John Finley and Andres Jauregui. In other “Maymester” programs, CSU students are studying Shakespeare in London, ecology in the Bahamas, biology in Botswana and art in Florence, Italy.

Earlier, a spring break trip to Berlin, Germany: “Memorializing Modern Tragedies,” drew 14 students led by professors Mariko Izumi (communication) and Carmen Skaggs (English).

Meanwhile, 11 students studied environmental issues in Ethiopia under chemistry professor Samuel Abegaz, and art professors Orion Wertz and Yuichiro Komatsu guided six students to Japan, where they experienced the March 11 earthquake tragedy. The group safely waited out the immediate aftermath in Tokyo, far from major destruction, but their flight home was delayed several days. Several weeks after returning, they exhibited their work from the trip and demonstrated Japanese cultural customs in an Illges Gallery exhibition and reception on CSU’s RiverPark campus.

Later this summer, Spanish language professor Alyce Cook will direct 11 students in Cuernevaca, Mexico for the longstanding CSU in Mexico program.

In Oxford, England, separate CSU in Oxford sessions will accommodate 18 students collectively. Professors Gary Sprayberry (history: The 1960s Youth Revolutions in England and the U.S.), Tom Dolan (political science: Islam in Europe) and Susan Hrach (English: Shakespeare’s Sisters: British Lit by Women) will direct the programs as each group resides in Columbus State’s Spencer House at the center of Oxford, England.

CSU students also will travel this summer to China, Spain, South Africa, Belgium, Germany and Ireland through other University System of Georgia programs.

The semester-long programs took CSU students to Oxford, Kingston and Edge Hill universities in England, plus Ireland’s Galway Mayo Institute of Technology, Japan’s Kansai Gadai University and others. Among those students, Charlotte Walker played for the Oxford women’s ice hockey squad and Melora Slotnick landed the lead role in Edge Hill’s theatrical production of Carnival of Souls.

For more information, go to http://www.ColumbusState/cie.


PHOTO Caption:
CSU students, from left, Nica Mendoza, Christina Cueto and Ushma Desai pose for a photo after participating in a traditional tea ceremony during the Art in Japan study abroad program in March.

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CSU-Beijing School Partnership Focuses on Computer Science Master’s Degree

gift presentationCOLUMBUS, Ga. – Columbus State University now has a China pipeline for enrolling computer science students in an exclusive accelerated graduate program.

Part of a new, faculty-student exchange agreement between Columbus State and Beijing Institute of Petrochemical Technology, Columbus State’s TSYS School of Computer Science will begin next fall to enroll BIPT students in CSU’s master’s degree program in Applied Computer Science.   

The initiative is designed to raise the level of computer science expertise of potential educators in China, while exposing CSU faculty and students to some of that country’s top students. 

Signed Thursday by CSU President Tim Mescon and BIPT Provost Zhansheng Han, The renewable, five-year agreement extends to other disciplines through faculty and student exchanges, study abroad, intensive language programs, collaborative research programs, seminars and workshops, and service programs. 

“Today is a very special day for both of our universities,” Han said through an interpreter.

Columbus State enjoys partnerships with 18 other schools around the world, but the new accelerated degree agreement is unique, said Neal McCrillis, executive director of CSU’s Center for International Education

“This agreement is a first of its type for us,” said McCrillis, who will oversee CSU’s role in the partnership. “The aim is to recruit students into the master’s program by making the application process very simple and the transition easy.”

CSU’s program corresponds to China’s “3+2 Accelerated Degree Program” – a fast-track, government initiative to bolster the professional level of future Chinese educators, especially college professors, through advanced study at international universities.

Accordingly, BIPT students completing 3-and-a-half years of undergraduate computer science coursework can complete their bachelor’s and master’s degrees at CSU over the following two years. The top five students admitted each year will be charged the in-state tuition rate and can keep the benefit by maintaining a 3.0 or higher GPA.

However, the advantage is not one-sided. “This gives our computer science students and faculty opportunities to interact with students and faculty from China in a variety of contexts,” said professor Wayne Summers, CSU’s computer science chair. “Anytime U.S. students can interact with students from another country and culture, everyone benefits.”

Founded in 1978 as a specialty school serving China’s petrochemical industry, BIPT has evolved into a multi-disciplinary university with 11 colleges and departments.

“With BIPT, CSU is expanding its global reach by partnering with a prestigious institute of higher learning in the world’s most populous country,” said Greg Domin, CSU interim associate vice president for academic affairs. “Doing so provides us with an opportunity to recruit students from that part of the world, as we look to enhance our prestige by reaching out to the world’s best and brightest students.”

CSU-BIPT signing

Columbus State President Tim Mescon and Beijing Institute of Petroleum Technology Provost Zhansheng Han sign documents formalizing the CSU-BIPT partnership. Second row, from left:  Youngli Song, deputy dean of  BIPT’s College of Chemical Engineering; Jiandong Liu, deputy director of BIPT’s Information Engineering Institute; Neal McCrillis, executive director of CSU’s Center for International Education; Huiming Yin, deputy dean of BIPT’s Foreign Affairs Office; Wayne Summers, director of CSU’s TSYS School of Computer Science; Linda Hadley, dean of CSU’s Turner College of Business and Computer Science; and Tom Hackett, CSU’s interim provost and vice president for academic affairs.

Caption, top photo: As Huiming Yin, left, deputy dean of BIPT’s Foreign Affairs Office, translates, BIPT Provost Zhansheng Han offers CSU President Tim Mescon the gift of a book made of silk.
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Study Abroad Students from Columbus State Seize Opportunities

COLUMBUS, Ga. – From the stage to the ice, a pair of Columbus State University students took advantage of unanticipated opportunities during separate fall semester study abroad programs in England.

Melora Slotnick landed the lead role in an Edge Hill University theatrical production, while Charlotte Walker enjoyed her time on Oxford University’s women’s ice hockey team. They are among 100-150 top Columbus State students who each year take advantage of programs in about 20 countries through CSU’s Center for International Education. Charlotte Walker

When Columbus native Charlotte Walker, a political science major, signed up for Columbus State’s Oxford University program, she had no idea she would fulfill her dream of playing competitive ice hockey.

After arriving at Oxford, Walker attended Freshers’ Fair, a weeklong Oxford Student Union event involving about 450 clubs, teams, societies, charities and commercial stallholders. Walker thought the clubs were great, but she didn’t think she would be able to take time from her studies to participate in any of them — until she discovered a stall for Oxford University Ice Hockey Club and its women’s team, the Oxford Women’s Blues. She excitedly raced back to her dorm and “Skyped” her mom to “send my skates, pronto.”

“I decided that I would make time, no matter what,” she said.

Participating in a university-level sport for the first time, Walker trained with the team throughout her two and a half months at Oxford. As part of the British Universities Ice Hockey Association‘s Division 3, the Oxford Women’s Blues’ competition includes men’s teams.Charlotte Walker on ice

Despite returning to Columbus prior to the regular season, Walker’s preseason with the squad included scrimmages against the Oxford Vikings, the university’s men’s “B” team.

“As far as I know, I am the only student from CSU to play a university-level sport (at Oxford),” she said. “This has been the most amazing college experience I have ever known, and it is an extreme honor to have trained, played and grown with some magnificent teammates.”

Walker began skating at age 5 at Eastdale Mall in Montgomery, Ala. At 13, she got interested in hockey through her older brother. “My brother was into roller hockey, and I wanted to be just like him,” she said.

Last year, Walker participated on a CSU club sport hockey team coached briefly by former Columbus Cottonmouth Marcel Richard. “That was my first ice hockey experience,” she said. “But, we never had any games because we never had enough players.”

Walker returned to Columbus in December with her Women’s Blues hockey jersey, that she said she will probably wear until she’s 50. She plans to pursue a master’s degree in public administration and teach Constitutional law. But if another opportunity to play competitive ice hockey surfaces, she “would jump at it…  It’s what I am passionate about.” 

While Walker was training on the ice, about 140 miles away on the outskirts of Liverpool, Melora Slotnick was portraying Mary Henry in Edge Hill University’s production of Carnival of Souls.Melora Slotnick

Adapted from a 1960s horror film, the production centered on Slotnik’s character surviving a near-fatal accident and being haunted by a phantom that seemingly inhabits a run-down pavilion.

“The show was a success,” said Slotnick, a junior theatre education major from Jonesboro.

The opportunity also was unexpected.

“I received a flyer from one of the tutors about auditions, and I went just planning on having fun in a workshop-style audition,” said Slotnik.

She received a callback, then the lead role offer.

“I was ecstatic,” she said. “The rehearsal process was workshop-based and very beneficial for me as an artist.”

Slotnick said she and castmates explored the separation between the screen and stage by delving into aspects of physical theatre and various acting techniques, also experimenting with green screens and filmmaking. “It was a short process and a lot of work but an incredible experience.”

In addition to the production, Slotnick studied psychology, English literature, stage design, acting, directing and life drawing at Edge Hill.

She said she looks forward to incorporating her Edge Hill theatre experience into her CSU studies. For example, she plans to base her CSU Honors thesis on her stage design course project, “The Ideal Theatre of The Future,” at Edge Hill.

“I am very proud of the work that I have done here, and I am also proud that my prior studies prepared me for this semester abroad,” she said. “I definitely recommend Edge Hill to other students, especially those interested in studying theatre abroad.”

For more information on CSU’s growing study abroad program, visit http://cie.colstate.edu/studyabroadmain.asp. Current students should look for Center for International Education study abroad information tables around campus throughout the semester.

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Internationally Accomplished Guitarist Joins Columbus State as Visiting Scholar

Guitarist Carlos PerezCOLUMBUS, Ga. – Columbus State University has selected an internationally respected classical guitarist as its 2011 Elena Diaz-Verson Amos Eminent Scholar in Latin American Studies.

Chilean guitarist Carlos Pérez joined Columbus State Jan. 4 and is serving through March 5 in this role, coordinated by the university’s Center for International Education and Schwob School of Music.

Described in Classical Guitar magazine as “a master guitarist with true star quality,” Pérez will give a recital at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 29 in RiverCenter’s Legacy Hall. The event will mark a return to the Legacy Hall stage, as Perez participated last February in Columbus State’s annual Guitar Symposium

Schwob School of Music professor and symposium director Andrew Zohn, also widely respected as a classical guitarist, described Pérez as among the world’s best. “Of (Pérez’s) generation, he is among a handful of truly gifted artists who time will single out as one of the major names of the genre.” 

Perez performs -- YouTube videoA professor at the University of Chile, Pérez has given lectures and master classes around the world and will teach “An Introduction to the Music of Latin America” and “Performance in Latin American Music” during his Columbus State appointment.

Pérez has captured top prizes in international performance competitions from 1996 to 2006 around Europe and America. He has issued eight CDs and is featured in a pair of DVDs, Guitarra Clásica and Concierto de Aranjuez.

The late Elena Diaz-Verson Amos provided funds establishing the eminent scholar endowment in 1998.

Previous Amos Scholars have represented various academic disciplines and include Heberto Padilla, Paul Little, Guillermo Martinez, Oscar Monteza, Eduardo Gomes, Karen Stothert, Hildegardo Córdova-Aguilar, Max Lifchitz and Roberto Sifuentes.

For more information about the program, go to http://cie.colstate.edu/amosvisitingscholar.asp.

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Record Number of CSU Students Study Abroad in 2009-2010

COLUMBUS, Ga. – Boosted by new programs and bucking a national trend, Columbus State University experienced a 48 percent increase in study abroad participation during 2009-2010.

Enrollment by CSU students in courses and programs offered abroad for 2009-2010 reached a record high 152 compared to 103 the previous year. The previous high for enrollment was 149 in 2005-2006.

“In a dismal year of economic distress, our success in study abroad has to rank among our important achievements,” said English Professor Dan Ross, who led recent CSU programs in Japan and England.

A national study last fall reported the ongoing global economic recession had negatively impacted study abroad from 2008 to 2009 by U.S. college students at 85 percent of public institutions and 60 percent of private schools surveyed by The Forum of Education Abroad, which is recognized by the federal government for gauging study abroad activity by U.S. students. CSU’s enrollment during the period addressed by the survey declined slightly, 103 from 110.

At some schools, participation dropped as sharply as 26 percent. Factors contributing to the decline included institutional budget reductions and students opting to not cover program costs not covered by scholarships and other financial aid sources.

Ross credited CSU’s Center for International Education for helping the university maintain and expand study abroad participation. “(CIE Director) Neal McCrillis and his staff have effectively coordinated and promoted programs and have engaged faculty in developing study abroad courses specific to their disciplines.”

McCrillis said new programs in England and South Korea have reinforced study abroad interest.

A pair of new programs are based at Pukyong National University in the coastal city of Busan, South Korea. A May-session international business program, developed and co-directed by business professor Jong Ha, drew 16 students and included visits to Kia Motors headquarters and Hankuk University of Foreign Studies in Seoul, while 11 students will engage in a June-July program directed by English Professor Seon Jeon and involving teaching English language to elementary school students.

Also new, “Shakespeare’s London” involves theatre professor Becky Becker this month leading 10 students exploring the relationship of theatre and culture during the Renaissance by attending plays and galleries in historic London venues and visiting Stratford-upon-Avon, the birthplace of William Shakespeare.

The bulk of study abroad programs available to CSU students take place over spring break and the May and June-July summer terms and cover disciplines from art (Japan) and biology (Bahamas and Costa Rica) to Spanish language (Mexico), literature (England) and more.

Additionally, 11 CSU students studied individually in semester-long programs at schools in Asia and Europe. McCrillis said the CIE projects that figure to climb to 20 in 2010-2011, with sites including Kansai Gaidai University in Japan, Edge Hill University in northwest England, the Galway (Ireland)-Mayo Institute of Technology and Kingston University in London.

CSU students also continued to take advantage of semester-long opportunities at historic Oxford University as part of a CSU in Oxford program supporting multiple spring and summer trips. Participating students and faculty reside in the Spencer House — a CSU-owned Edwardian home in the center of Oxford.

The women’s soccer team, with head coach Jay Entlich, recently returned from Oxford, where a unique, one-time program, Cross-Cultural Perspectives in Sport, engaged the team in both academic study and exhibition soccer matches over seven days.

Ross said he sees room for continued participation growth at CSU among both faculty and students. “Study abroad participation may often seem to require extraordinary commitment,” he said. “But for the faculty and students who make the commitment, the experience is almost always transformative.”

For more information, go to http://cie.colstate.edu or call 706-565-4036.

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Journalist Among International Education Week Speakers

COLUMBUS, Ga. – Financial Times West Coast Bureau Chief Richard Waters will speak on “The Death of Traditional News: How Technologies are Globalizing the Media” at 12:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 19 in the Spencer Event Hall at Columbus State University’s International House. The program is free and part of a series of International Education Week activities this week at CSU. All programs in the series are open to the public.

Waters oversees all FT coverage of the West Coast, Silicon Valley and global technology industry. He also writes for the publication’s techblog. He previously served in the FT London office as an editor of international capital markets and as a correspondent covering the securities industry plus accountancy and taxation. Earlier, he was a reporter and editor for several financial magazines. He also spent two years at Lloyds Bank International and resided for a period in Chile, where he worked as a teacher. As a commentator, Waters has appeared on the BBC, CNBC, CNNfn and NPR.

Following Waters’ presentation, CSU will stage a dinner and talent show fundraiser, “A Night Around the World,” starting 7 p.m. in the Spencer Event Hall. The program will feature international student performances and food representing different cultures around the world. Tickets, $20 or $10 per student, are limited and can be purchased in advance from CSU’s International House at Clearview Circle and University Avenue or by calling 706-565-4036. Proceeds will benefit CSU international programs and Heifer International,a nonprofit organization dedicated to ending world hunger.

Among other International Education Week events, CSU’s Center for International Educational screened the 1997 Iranian film Children of Heaven on Monday.

Today, the CIE is hosting a 5 p.m. “Study Abroad Information Session” at the International House targeting students and faculty, who also are encouraged to attend “Hot Wings and Hot Topics: Challenges and Opportunities Abroad ” — a 12:30 p.m. forum tomorrow in the Davidson Student Center’s second floor Cougar Lounge.

On Friday an “International Fun and Food Fest” is slated for 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at the International House. At 6 p.m., an International Fashion and Dance Revue will take place in the Cougar Lounge at the Davidson Student Center. These programs are free.

In addition to the CIE, CSU’s Student Government Association and Office of Diversity Programs and Services are co-sponsoring International Education Week activities for the university.

Nationally, the observance is an initiative of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education to promote programs that prepare Americans for a global environment and attract future leaders from abroad to study, learn and exchange experiences in the United States.

For more information, call 706-565-4036.

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‘Memoirs of a Boy Soldier’ Author Speaks at CSU

COLUMBUS, Ga. – Human rights activist Ishmael Beah, author of A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, will give a talk related to the book at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 20 in the University Hall auditorium.

Ishmael Beah In his book, Beah, 26, describes how he, as a 12-year-old in Sierra Leone, fled attacking rebels and wandered a land wrecked by violence. By 13, he’d been forced to serve in the government army and experience wartime violence.

Eventually, he regained his humanity and re-entered civilian life through a UNICEF rehabilitation center. He moved to the United States in 1998 and finished high school at the United Nations International School in New York. In 2004 he completed a bachelor’s degree in political science from Oberlin College (Ohio).

A member of the Human Rights Watch Children’s Rights Division Advisory Committee, he has spoken before the United Nations, the Council on Foreign Relations and the Center for Emerging Threats and Opportunities at the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory.

Thumbnail of cover from Beah Book The book is the source for a common reading this fall by hundreds of students taking Columbus State’s First-Year Seminar courses.

The three-credit First-Year Seminar is designed as a rigorous, activity-based mandatory course for most incoming first-year students plus older students and transfers with fewer than 30 credit hours. About 40 class sections are meeting, with instructors including CSU President Tim Mescon, the university’s vice presidents, deans and other administrators, plus retired faculty members from various disciplines.

These classes aim to prepare students for college-level academic success, focusing on critical thinking, study, oral presentation, writing, information literacy and research skills.

The common reading of Beah’s book is designed to foster peer-to-peer connections and complement the seminar’s “foundations of global learning” objective to introduce and whet the students’ interest in international topics.

For more information, call Terry Irvin at 706-565-4015 or the Center for International Education at 706-565-4036.

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Students from Bogota, Shanghai Unite to Experience CSU

COLUMBUS, Ga. – A new cultural exchange program has brought together college students from distant countries and cultures to experience the Southeast via Columbus State University.

In a series of activities titled “Summer Immersion Excursion” that started Monday, Columbus State’s Continuing Education division is hosting 30 students and four professors from China’s Shanghai University of Engineering Science and seven students and three professors from Uniminuo (Corporacion Universitario Minuto de Dios) in Bogota, Colombia.

The program’s primary objective is to expand CSU’s international outreach and establish a foundation for future exchange opportunities with the participating schools.

The activities include Aflac, Callaway Gardens, Georgia Aquarium and CNN excursions, dining at Minnie’s Uptown Restaurant, experiencing the Coca-Cola Space Center and CSU faculty presentations covering American business practices and participation in Continuing Education’s English Language Institute classes.

Program coordinator Rachel Wilcox said the latter activity has spurred an unexpected degree of interaction among the participants, including students enrolled in the institute, which prepares international students for college-level enrollment by improving their fluency in the English language. Both visiting groups sat in on the classes with students from Korea, Mexico, Honduras and other countries. “There was an incredible level of interest expressed about one another’s cultural background,” she said. “A lot of e-mail addresses and cell phone numbers have been exchanged and new friendships likely started.”

Furthering the academic experience, the visitors also are attending CSU faculty-led symposiums such as “Global Economic Trends and Financial Crisis” by economics professor Andres Jauregui and “Working in Living in the U.S. and the Current Status of Management Information Systems” by Lei Li, assistant professor.of management information systems.

The Shanghai group of will depart early Saturday morning, while the Colombia delegation will stay until Aug. 1. During the final week, the Colombian students will join with kids participating in Continuing Education’s Activ8 summer camp programs.

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CSU Hosts BBC Magazine Forum on African-American Identity

COLUMBUS, Ga. — Columbus State University has been selected by a BBC news magazine, Focus on Africa, to host a July 21 panel discussion on African-American identity.

A top editor of the London-based quarterly magazine and a well-known Kenyan author will be joined on the panel by local representatives at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in CSU’s International House to discuss ‘The Changing Nature of African-American Identity and Attitudes towards Africa since the Election of President Obama.’

Refreshments will be served before the panel discussion begins at 7 p.m. at the home of CSU’s Center for International Education, near the University Avenue main entrance of CSU’s main campus. The panel discussion, one of four across the U.S., is free and open to the public.

BBC journalists will use information from the forums to produce radio programs for the BBC World Service in July and August. The U.S. forums were timed to coincide with President Obama’s first official trip to Africa this month. He returned from a one-day trip to Ghana last week.

“The latest issue of our magazine explores the question of African-American identity and linkages with Africa, so our visit to America aims at continuing the debate around this subject,” said Alison Kingsley-Hall, managing editor of the magazine that’s circulated in every African nation where English is spoken, as well as the U.S., Europe and Canada.

Dr. John Studstill, an associate professor of anthropology at CSU, was approached by the BBC and recruited the assistance of One Columbus, which recognizes diversity and promotes racial unity. Vivian Bishop, currently serving her fifth four-year term as Muscogee County’s Municipal Court clerk, will moderate the panel discussion. She’s married to U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop. Panelists for the event will be:

  • Nick Ericsson, who’s both editor of BBC Focus on Africa magazine and a radio producer with BBC World Service news and current affairs, overseeing the BBC’s Network Africa and Focus on Africa programs. A native of South Africa, he’s also worked as a talk radio presenter and producer in Johannesburg, freelance print journalist, public policy researcher for a Johannesburg think tank and school teacher.

  • Mukoma wa Ngugi, a regular columnist for BBC Focus on Africa magazine and the author of Hurling Words at Consciousness and Conversing with Africa: Politics of Change. He is also editor of New Kenyan Fiction and co-editor of Pambazuka News. His novel about an African-American detective investigating a murder in Africa, Nairobi Heat, is due out soon. He’s the son of Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Mukoma, a well-known Kenyan author.

  • Ben Richardson, solicitor general for Muscogee County, who’s also active in the 100 Black Men of Columbus and other civic organizations. An Atlanta native, he’s the first African-American attorney to become president-elect of the Columbus Bar Association and, in 2004, was named to Georgia Trend magazine’s “Forty Under Forty” list of rising Georgia leaders. He was Georgia’s 2008 Solicitor General of the Year, the first African-American male to receive that honor.

  • Dr. John Studstill, a cultural anthropologist specializing in Africa, with experience working in the Congo, Uganda, South Africa and Burkina Faso. He is married to a CSU sociology professor, Dr. Florence Wakoko, a native of Uganda. He was a civil rights activist in Atlanta in the early 1960s and was an early member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee.

BBC Focus on Africa distributes about 70,000 copies of the magazine, and its pass-along readership is estimated at 420,000.

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CSU ‘Best Prepared’ to Advance International Studies

COLUMBUS, Ga. – Columbus State University has captured a competitive grant that signifies the university as “best prepared” among its university system peers for “taking major steps forward in building international perspectives and global competencies into the fabric of undergraduate education.”

The 2009-2010 “Internationalizing the Campus” grant from the University System of Georgia provides $25,000 to bolster Center for International Education initiatives related to study abroad programs, programming on campus and internationally themed classes.

Spending will target the following:

• About 25 “International Learning Community” course sections of internationally themed and linked classes ranging from environmental science and entrepreneurship to community counseling: Supported by CSU’s Faculty Center for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning, the learning community also involves internationally focused student field trips, faculty and curriculum development, international film screenings and guest speakers such as international journalist David Tereshchuck, who appeared in late March.

• Further internationalization of academic degree programs and majors.

• Development of study abroad programs aimed at first- or second-year students taking general education classes.

This year, International Learning Community classes impacted 736 students. “These are a mix of general education and advanced classes in all colleges, said CIE Director Neal McCrillis. “Through this integration, students gain a better sense of the relevance of global learning in all disciplines and seek study abroad and related opportunities.”

McCrillis said the learning community’s effectiveness magnifies the commitment of CSU faculty and administration to international education.

“Our faculty are at the core of campus internationalization,” he said, “They design the curriculum and provide the instruction, so international content is dependent upon their work. In addition, the learning community depends upon faculty members who freely join and involve themselves and their students in the related lectures, films and programs.”

Ultimately, the students enhance their prospects for career success by participating.

“All university graduates need to be globally competent to be able to function effectively in an interconnected global economic, political, ecological and cultural world where, nevertheless, communities and nations still retain their distinct languages and cultures,” McCrillis said. “University graduates who will be our teachers, doctors, judges, and business leaders among other professionals, need to have the knowledge, skills and attitudes that will empower them to work with the diverse persons at home and abroad.”

For more information about international studies at Columbus State, go to http://cie.colstate.edu or call 706-565-4036.

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CSU Student Earns International Study Honor

Amanda RodwellCOLUMBUS, Ga. — Amanda Rodwell, a Columbus State University student from Tecumseh, Ontario, recently earned the ‘Outstanding International Studies Student Award” for 2009 from the Georgia Consortium for International Studies.

Rodwell, right, a senior history major, is the first Columbus State University student to capture the honor. She was recognized for participating in study abroad programs in England, Italy and Peru and for ‘The Constant Gardener and Pharmaceutical Companies in Africa” — a research paper she presented to a panel of consortium judges on March 13 in Clarkston, Ga.

The consortium is a partnership of 17 Georgia institutions of higher education aimed at promoting intercultural understanding and fostering faculty international development.

For more information, contact Columbus State’s Center for International Education at 706-565-4036

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CSU to Stage International Week Programs

COLUMBUS, Ga. – Columbus State University’s Center for International Education will observe International Education Week with a series of programs, both educational and entertaining, Monday through Friday, Oct. 6-10.

A “Ten Thousand Villages Festival Sale,” from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday through Friday in the International House, will open and anchor the series. The sale supports the efforts of artisans from more than 36 countries by selling their handmade gifts, home decor, jewelry and personal accessories through Ten Thousand Villages, a nonprofit organization.

The remaining International Education Week schedule is:

• Monday – Film screening: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter … and Spring, 7 p.m., International House. This 2003 South Korean film tells the story of an elderly monk who mentors a young boy from a small, floating temple on an isolated lake. Free and open to the public.

• Tuesday – Lecture: “Is International Dialogue Possible?” by visiting philosophy professor Maya Soboleva, 12:30 p.m., International House. Soboleva, a faculty member at St. Petersburg State University in Russia, is CSU’s 2008-2009 Mildred Miller Fort Foundation Visiting Scholar in European Studies. The talk is free and open to the public and will explore the challenges and benefits of working and communicating with people from different cultural and linguistic backgrounds.

• Wednesday – International Dance Showcase: “Step Up to the Rhythms of the World,” 6:30 p.m. Davidson Student Center game room. Free and open to the public.

• Friday – Lecture: “Most Muslims are Terrorists … and Other Common Myths,” by Georgia Southern political science professor Krista Wiegand, 1 p.m. International House. An International Learning Communities program, open only to CSU faculty, staff and students.

• Friday – International Games and Food Festival, 4 p.m. (games) and 5 p.m. (food), Intramural Field and Mock Pavilion on Clearview Circle. Free and open to the public.

International Education Week is a joint initiative of the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Department of Education to recognize the global exchange environment between the United States and other countries. For more information about the series at CSU, call 706-565-4036.

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CSU Events Focus on International Education

COLUMBUS, Ga. – Columbus State University invites the public to a week-long international learning and entertainment experience, as the university’s Center for International Education celebrates International Education Week with an Oct. 1-5 series of events.

In programs throughout the week, visiting experts will provide insight to globally impacting cultural and governmental affairs in Lebanon and throughout Africa, plus CSU’s international students and faculty will showcase their cultures through food, dance and sport.

Meanwhile, a weeklong arts and crafts fair and sale will run in the International House. The Ten Thousand Villages Festival Sale will feature handcrafted goods such as jewelry, stoneware and musical instruments made by artisans from around the world. Sale times are 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Friday. Ten Thousand Villages is a nonprofit organization that provides an income source for Third World people by marketing their handicrafts and telling their stories in North America.

Individually, the following programs are free and open to the public:

• ‘Come Back, Africa,’ Film Screening and Discussion, 4:30 p.m. Monday: The Center for International Education will host a film screening and discussion on “Come Back Africa” in the International House. Aran MacKinnon, a history professor from the University of West Georgia, will lead the discussion on this 1959 film portraying migrant labor and township life for Africans living in apartheid South Africa. The Apartheid government closely monitored the making of the film, as portions of the movie had to be smuggled out of the country. Filmmakers used amateur actors in Johannesburg and Sophiatown — a black township later bulldozed by the government.

• Sociology Professor to Lecture on Beirut Violence Aftermath, 12:30 p.m. Tuesday: Visiting sociology professor Klas Borell will speak on “Terror and Everyday Life in Beirut: Precautions and Normalization” in the International House. The presentation will be based on Borell’s case study of Beirut residents’ reactions and ways of coping in the aftermath of the wave of terror that engulfed the city in the summer of 2006. CSU is hosting Borell from Mid-Sweden University in Ostersund as the 2007-2008 Mildred Miller Fort Foundation Visiting Scholar in European Studies.

• International Dance Showcase, 6:30 p.m. Wednesday: International students at CSU will stage an interactive dance extravaganza titled “So You Think You Can Dance: Rhythms of the World” in the Davidson Student Center game room. The students will demonstrate both traditional and modern dances from their home countries, and audience members will be invited to the floor to demonstrate their skills as the program closes.

• Political Science Lecture: Africa’s ‘Civilizational’ Conflicts, 1 p.m. Friday: Guest speaker and political scientist Nurudeen Akinyemi will present “Africa in the World and the World in Africa” in the International House. Akinyemi is a political science professor from Kennesaw State’s Center for African & African Diaspora Studies. He will discuss the recent history of conflicts between different African groups in the context of today’s African state borders drawn according to colonial European interests — as opposed to “the logic of voluntary association among various ethnic groups.” The presentation also will explore whether the African Union and other similar initiatives will fail because of the contrasting civilizational identities of Africans.

• International Games and Food Festival, 4 p.m. Friday: CSU students will stage an “International Games and Food Festival,” at the campus intramural field and pavilion, next to the International House at Clearview Circle. Guests can watch demonstration games including soccer and cricket and sample traditional foods (starting at 5 p.m.) from various countries.

International Education Week, a joint initiative of the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Department of Education, is celebrated throughout the country every fall to recognize the global exchange environment between the United States and other countries.

For more information on International Education Week programs at CSU, call 706-565-4036.

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World Without Borders to Challenge Faculty, Students

COLUMBUS, Ga. — As a new academic year approaches, Columbus State University is challenging faculty and students to advance their global competence and citizenship through a new international learning community.

“World Without Borders” will operate through 2007-2008, anchored by a cross-disciplinary set of 30 internationally themed classes.

“Most of the courses are variations of existing ones, which have been altered to fit the theme, said Professor of English Dan Ross. “With this range and variety of courses, we hope to reach several hundred students by year’s end.”

The applied courses will even extend to an April 3-6 Theatre on the Park production of Federico Garcia Lorca’s “Blood Wedding.”

Ross has led a faculty committee in developing the core of the project, with broad support from the Center for International Education.

“We’ve modeled this after the University College’s Freshman Learning Community,” said CIE Director Neal McCrillis. “But this is much bigger.”

In addition to the courses, the CIE has structured its international campus programming around the course themes, he added. “So the film series, guest speakers, international student outreach and other programs all will be marshaled to this effort.”

The film series and guest speakers will be open to the public, extending World Without Borders to the off-campus community.

Meanwhile, the project will challenge CSU community members to examine and assess the “new global environment,” which includes increasing numbers of people moving across borders, either to travel or to immigrate, said Ross.

“This movement impacts religious, ethnic and racial tensions while heightening the prospects for social diversity,” he said. “But the ‘new global environment’ also makes us aware of threats of terrorism and the spread of diseases such as bird flu.”

To launch World Without Borders, CSU hosted a renowned scholar, Josef Mestenhauser from the University of Minnesota, who directed a faculty workshop in April. A follow-up workshop for faculty is set for Aug. 17 at the International House.

The project is supported by the Campus Internationalization fund, established by the Investment in People capital campaign. But with no external funding, said Ross, “this makes the willingness of our faculty to commit themselves all the more noteworthy.”

The venture, added Ross, “is based on the work at other universities but unique in format and scope.”

A few institutions, notably Kennesaw State, have conducted curriculum internationalization programs. “What’s different about our approach, is that it is thematically very broad and aimed at students across the campus in all colleges and all levels,” McCrillis said. ”So the program includes quite a few core curriculum classes.”

Also for CSU students, added Ross, “we hope the program will help them progress into international coursework within their majors and study abroad. Moreover, we believe our program is viable through future years.”

For more information, go to http://cie.colstate.edu/wwb.asp.

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CSU Celebrates International Education Week

Columbus State Universitys Center for International Education will stage a series of events Monday through Friday, Oct. 23-27 to commemorate International Education Week.

Programs will feature faculty lectures covering African politics and Latin American culture, and cultural and artistic demonstrations by CSU international students.

A week-long Ten Thousand Villages Festival Sale also will highlight the celebration. The sale, in CSUs International House, will feature handcrafted goods, such as jewelry, pottery and musical instruments made by artisans from around the world. Sale times during Oct. 23-27 are 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Monday, 4-6 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Thursday and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday.

Ten Thousand Villages is a nonprofit organization that supports Third World people by marketing their handicrafts and telling their stories in North America.

Additional events are free and open to the public and include:

Monday, Oct. 23: Democratization and Political Leadership in Africa: Gains and Reversals in the Politics of Ugandas Museveni and Kenyas Kibaki, a 1-2 p.m. lecture in the International by political history professor Eric Aseka. A Fulbright Scholar from Kenya, Aseka is a visiting professor this fall at Kennesaw State University.

Tuesday, Oct. 24: Mestizo Modernism: Revolution and Artistic Expression in Latin America, a 12:30-1:30 p.m. lecture in the International House by music professor Max Lifchitz, CSUs fall 2006 Elena Diaz-Verson Amos Eminent Scholar in Latin American Studies. Lifchitz also is chair of the University at Albany music department and an expert in the music of Mexican composer, Carlos Chavez and founding director of the North-South Consonance Ensemble.

Wednesday, Oct. 25: Celebrate Your Country Contest Exhibition, from noon to 2 p.m. in the Fine Arts Hall foyer, will feature CSUs international students in an artistic showcase. Presentations of original works, from artwork to dance, will represent the students home countries.

Friday, Oct. 27: So You Think You Can Dance Rhythms of the World, from 7-9 p.m. in the Davidson Student Center game room, will feature CSUs international students demonstrating traditional dances that originate from regions such as Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean.

International Education Week is a joint initiative of the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Department of Education to recognize the global exchange environment between the United States and other countries. For more information, call CSUs Center for International Education at 706-565-4036.

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