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May 8, 2003
Ohio University celebrates diversity of cultures
By Jennifer R. Cochran

All across campus, students are dusting off their dancing shoes, pulling their traditional costumes from their closets and gathering the ingredients for favorite national dishes in preparation for International Week. This year's International Week - focused on the theme "Collage of Cultures" - begins this Sunday, running through next Saturday, May 17.

For many students, International Week is a highlight of their Ohio University experience. "It's an occasion to demonstrate the presence of international students to the Athens community," says graduate student Osman Antwi-Boateng. There are more than 1,000 international students - representing more than 100 countries - studying at Ohio University.

Quote"International Week," says Wesley Byers, president of the Southeast Asian Studies Association, "is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the rich cultural diversity represented by Ohio University students and international studies organizations right here in Athens, Ohio."

Numerous events featuring food, music, dance and film will highlight the diverse cultures represented on Ohio University's campus. There will also be several lectures and information sessions providing campus and community members information on international affairs and opportunities to study or serve abroad.

Josep Rota, Ohio University's associate provost for international programs and director of the Center for International Studies, will deliver the keynote address for International Week at 8 p.m. Monday, May 12, in Templeton-Blackburn Memorial Auditorium. Rota's speech, "The Soft Power of Knowledge: International Education in a Harsh New World," is free and open to the public.

A native of Spain and former resident of Mexico, Rota joined the Ohio University faculty in 1984 as a telecommunications professor. He later served as director of the Latin American Studies Program and the Communication and Development Studies Program before assuming leadership of the Center for International Studies in 1996.

The week concludes with the 21st Annual International Street Fair, held on Court Street from noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday, May 17. The fair provides an opportunity for the community to enjoy the music, food and art of many international cultures.

"International Week and the Street Fair offer a unique opportunity for the University, the city of Athens, our students and our scholars from countries throughout the world to gather together to celebrate our lives and our cultures," says Alan Boyd, director of International Student and Faculty Services at Ohio University.

International Week is sponsored by International Student and Faculty Services and the International Student Union, with the support of the Center for International Studies and international student organizations. For a complete schedule of events please visit the International Week Web site at

Jennifer R. Cochran is the assistant director of communications and graduate programming for Ohio University's Center for International Studies


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