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Ohio University student recognized in Congressional statement about importance of international education


An Ohio University student was recognized in the U.S. Congress recently as part of a statement by U.S. Rep. Steve Stivers about the importance of international education.

Stivers, who represents Ohio’s 15th District (which includes Ohio University’s Athens Campus and several regional campuses), submitted a floor statement to the U.S. House of Representatives titled “Recognizing the Contributions of International Students,” on Tuesday, April 30.

“We are grateful to Rep. Stivers for his comments about the importance of international education,” Ohio University President M. Duane Nellis said. “It is an honor to have Ohio University mentioned in his comments as we strive to be a national leader in diversity and inclusion.”

In his statement, which was then published in the Congressional Record, Stivers discussed the importance of international students in the region and around the country.

“At a time when nations around the globe are increasing their efforts and deploying new strategies to attract international talent, enrollment in American institutions is on a decline. Ohio’s 15th Congressional District, and the nation, benefit from these students, and we are at risk of losing this valuable talent,” Stivers said.

“In addition to bringing diverse perspective and new ideas to our classrooms, international students have an economic impact. They create jobs and stimulate our economies,” Stivers said. In the 15th District, international students contributed more than $48 million to the economy in 2017-18 and created more than 500 jobs.

The students contribute much more than money, Stivers explained, as their talents also benefit communities all across the U.S.

“I’m proud to have international students contributing in a significant way in my district,” Stivers said. He then pointed out the contributions of Rebin Muhammad, a Ph.D. candidate in mathematics at Ohio University. The focus of Muhammad’s studies is on Ring Theory, which is key in the design of codes that facilitate space travel, digital communications and high-fidelity music recording.

Originally, from Iraq, Muhammad also volunteers with the Southeast Ohio Math Teacher’s Circle and The Math League of Southeast Ohio, which coordinate math-related activities for middle school and high school students in the region.

“It is students like Rebin who deserve an immigration system that works. Perhaps most importantly, we should continue to attract students by creating a path to green cards for the most talented. We should not educate future leaders and innovators, only to force them out of our country when they are the verge of the next breakthrough,” Stivers said. He went on to assure international students who are considering studying in the U.S. that their contributions are valued and that they are welcome.

“I urge my colleagues to join me in celebrating the contributions of international students and in working to make sure the United States is the destination of choice for the best and brightest across the globe,” Stivers said.

One of the Strategic Pathways for Ohio University’s Future is to become a national leader for diversity and inclusion, and one aspect of that is to ensure that the campus provides a welcoming and supportive environment for students from around the world.

“Our international students benefit our campuses and communities in countless ways,” Nellis said. “We are thankful to have so many students from around the world at Ohio University and we look forward to welcoming a new class of international students in the fall.”

Ohio University had international students from 113 countries around the globe during the 2018-19 academic year. As part of its Strategic Pathways, Ohio University is strengthening its global engagement efforts in order to attract even more international students in the coming years.

Ohio University offers information to international students interested enrolling in undergraduate programs or enrolling in graduate programs, and also provides immigration support and advising, as well as programming and other supports for international student success through International Student and Faculty Services and other administrative, student, and academic support units across the university.