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Ohio University celebrates International Education Week with memorable events, inspirational speakers


Ohio University celebrated International Education Week (IEW) earlier this month with outstanding speakers, entertaining performances, special events and a symposium honoring the anniversary of a key international partnership.

As part of the national initiative to recognize and honor the benefits of international education and exchange worldwide, Ohio University’s IEW was held during the week of Nov. 13-17 with numerous events on the Athens and Zanesville campuses.

Leipzig Celebration

One highlight of the week was the celebration of the 25th anniversary of Ohio University’s partnership with Leipzig University in Germany. Leipzig University President Prof. Dr. med. Beate A. Schücking led a delegation that visited Ohio University to take part in a series of meetings and special events during the week.

The special events included a Welcome Reception with Ohio University faculty, staff and students, and special remarks from Ohio University President M. Duane Nellis, President Schücking and German Consul General Herbert Quelle, whose office is based in Chicago.

A delegation from Leipzig University poses for a group photo with representatives from Ohio University during the Nov. 16 Welcome Reception.

A delegation from Leipzig University poses for a group photo with representatives from Ohio University during the Nov. 16 Welcome Reception. Photo by Kaitlin Owens

Ohio University also hosted the OHIO-Leipzig Symposium during the week. The Symposium examined the past, present and future of the partnership and included:

  • A Keynote Luncheon featuring Dr. Andreas Strōhl, director of the Goethe-Institute Washington.
  • A panel discussion that examined the strategies for profiling the value and impact of U.S.-German partnerships for research and innovation. The panel included President Schücking; Dr. Nina Lemmens, the executive director of the German Center for Research and Innovation in New York City and director of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) North America office in New York; and Dr. Joseph Shields, Ohio University vice president for research and creative activity and dean of the Graduate College.
  • A Keynote Breakfast featuring Ohio University Fine Arts Professor John Sabraw who discussed his work with Civil Engineering Professor Guy Riefler and other faculty members and students to create colorful paint pigments from the polluted water from local coal mines.

Additional information about the OHIO-Leipzig Symposium can be found in this Compass article.  

IEW Keynote

Another feature event of the week was the Keynote Speech, “The Geography of Genius: How Place Shapes and Defines Us,” by Eric Weiner, author of The New York Times best-seller, “The Geography of Bliss,” as well as two other popular books, “The Geography of Genius” and “Man Seeks God.”

Eric Weiner delivers this year’s International Education Week Keynote Speech the evening of Nov. 16.

Eric Weiner delivers this year’s International Education Week Keynote Speech the evening of Nov. 16. Photo by Emily Matthews

A longtime foreign correspondent for National Public Radio, Weiner has reported from more than 30 nations, covering some of the major international events of recent years. He spoke to a crowd of 300 in the Baker University Center Ballroom and gave an entertaining and thought-provoking speech, while also answering questions from the audience.

Additional information about the Keynote Speech can be found in this Compass article

Global Engagement Awards Gala

The annual Global Engagement Awards Gala, which honors faculty, staff and alumni for their commitment to international education and cross-cultural learning, provided additional memorable moments for IEW.

This year, the IEW Committee also presented its first-ever Lifetime Achievement Awards to President Emeritus Charles J. Ping and former Center for International Studies Associate Director Mary Anne Flournoy. 

Ping, Flournoy and all of the winners gave their remarks in front of the packed Baker University Center Ballroom. The winners included:

  • Professor Nancy Stevens, who was awarded the 2017 Faculty Award for Excellence in Global Engagement.
  • Office of Multicultural Student Access and Retention (OMSAR) Director Marlene De La Cruz-Guzmán, who was presented with the Staff Award for Excellence in Global Engagement.
  • Debra Budiani-Saberi, who earned a master’s degree in international development studies in 1996 and in international community health in 1997, who was honored with the Alumni Award for Excellence in Global Engagement.

The evening was emotional and inspiring, as the audience members heard the passion that the speakers have for international education and the work they are doing around the globe. Also during the evening, the Leipzig University delegation was honored, the Ohio Program of Intensive English (OPIE) was recognized in honor of its 50th anniversary and the winners of the annual Global Health Case Competition were announced.

Chubu University Professor Dr. Yuji Iwahori was also honored during the evening, as he was awarded the third-ever Tanaka-OHIO Award for Excellence in Global Engagement. He also lectured at Ohio University during the week and took part in several IEW activities.

Ohio University President M. Duane Nellis, Interim Executive Vice President and Provost David Descutner and Vice Provost for Global Affairs and International Studies Lorna Jean Edmonds pose for a photo with this year’s honorees.

Ohio University President M. Duane Nellis, Interim Executive Vice President and Provost David Descutner and Vice Provost for Global Affairs and International Studies Lorna Jean Edmonds pose for a photo with this year’s Global Engagement Awards honorees and the individuals who nominated them as well as the students who won this year’s Global Health Case Competition. Photo by Evan Leonard

Audience members at the Gala also had time to socialize and take photos, while also enjoying the music from the Oho University Jazz Combo.

Additional information about the Gala can be found in this Compass article

Other IEW Events on the Athens Campus

All throughout the week a wide variety of activities were held on the Athens Campus in honor of IEW, including:

  • The Office of Global Opportunities Photo Contest in the Front Room in Baker University Center. The winning photos from the event are remaining on display in the Front Room through the end of the semester.
  • The Eco Case Competition and Speakers Event, which honored the top teams in the competition based on merit of the solution and real-life applicability.
  • The “Oh, The Places You’ll Go, Make the Best Experience of Your Life in Study Away” event, celebrating the study away programs sponsored by the Department of Modern Language.
  • The Thai performance of the play “A Journey Back Home to Follow in His Majesty’s Footsteps” by the Moradok Mai Community Theatre Troupe.
  • The Instructional Innovation and Globalizing the Curriculum at OHIO event, which showcased the work faculty and staff have done to globalize the curriculum on the Athens and regional campuses. The video of the event can be seen here.  
  • The Center for International Studies Alumni Panel and Reception, which was part of the Global Professional Development Series. A video of this event can be seen here. 
IEW Events on the Zanesville Campus

The Ohio University Zanesville Campus also held a wide range of IEW events, including:

  • The “Know Your World” exhibit of artifacts from Argentina, India, Iran, Japan, Jordan, Romania and Walking Sticks from Around the World. The exhibit was held in the Zanesville Campus Library. 
  • The “Where in the World” display showing the representation of the home countries of faculty and staff. The map display was featured in Elson Hall.
  • The “Travel the World through Photos” electronic display of photos from around the world. This display was shown on the monitors throughout the first floor of Elson and in Herrold Hall. A slideshow of the display can be seen here. 
  • The International Education Week Kick Off event presented by Dean Jeremy Webster in the Zanesville Campus Library.
  • The “Tastes from Around the World Food Fair” provided by the Zane State College Culinary Arts program under the direction of Ohio University alum Marco Adornetto.
  • International Film Screenings in Elson Hall.
  • The Global Voices Presentation “Perspectives of International Service,” a panel discussion featuring staff and students who served overseas. The program, which was held in Elson Hall, included a special appreciation of veterans.

Additional information on the events on the Ohio University Zanesville Campus can be found here.

To see photos from IEW 2017, please see this photo album.

For additional information on International Education Week at Ohio University, please call the Office of Global Affairs at 740-593-1840 or email globalaffairs@ohio.edu

This article was provided by the Office of Global Affairs and International Studies.