International Studies & Programs


International Education Week 2023

Learn more about GYAN's role in MSU's celebration of IEW

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Published: Tuesday, 12 Dec 2023 Author: Global Youth Advancement Network

From November 13 to November 17, the Global Youth Advancement Network (GYAN) at Michigan State University took part in International Education Week, a joint initiative of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education that celebrates the benefits of international education and exchange worldwide. This initiative is part of the effort to promote programs that prepare Americans for a global environment and attract future leaders from abroad to study, learn and exchange experiences.

GYAN hosted three signature events as part of IEW. The first was a faculty panel discussion on institutional partnership, moderated by Dr. Opal Leeman Bartzis, Executive Director of Education Abroad & Interim Director of GYAN. Panelists Dr. Stephen Esquith, MSU Professor of Philosophy & Founding Dean of RCAH (Residential College in the Arts and Humanities), Dr. Carl Boehlert, MSU Professor of Engineering, and Dr. Julie Sinclair, MSU Associate Director of International Studies in Education Program, discussed the question of what constitutes a meaningful international institutional partnership. The panelists shared their experiences and ideas for how to go beyond traditional ideas of institutional partnerships as exchange agreements for the mobility of students to uncover ideas about what makes for a simultaneously strategic, dynamic, and respectful partnership. 

GYAN also hosted a faculty roundtable on “Global Perspectives in the Classroom.” The roundtable began with opening remarks from Robert Glew, Associate Dean for Academic Programs in MSU's Office for International Studies and Programs, and was moderated by Hibah Siddiqui, MSU Alumna and GYAN Global Citizenship Ambassador. The featured panelists included Tina Alonzo, certified diversity professional and the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Administrator for MSU's Office of the Executive Vice President for Administration, Stefanie Baier, Director of Graduate Student and Postdoc Instructional Develeopment at the MSU Graduate School, Salah Hassan, MSU Associate Professor in the Department of English, core faculty member in the Muslim Studies Program, Director of the Global Studies in the Arts and Humanities Program, Lauren Michalak, MSU's James Madison College Field Experience Coordinator, and Justin Jagger, MSU Academic Teaching Specialist in the Department of Supply Chain Management & Program Director for the Global Supply Chains in Panama Canal. Panelists presented their stories of international engagement, shared useful resources for MSU faculty and staff, and fostered discussions on the importance of intercultural competence and global citizenship in an ever-growing interconnected and globalized world.

GYAN also helped sponsor the "Attached to the Soil" exhibit at Global Festival. This exhibit showcased a sample of Professor Peter Glendinning's photographic portraits created during his Fulbright service in South Africa in 2019. Each portrait was the result of collaborations between Professor Glendinning and two others, both a young person whose soil related metaphor conveyed their sense of some aspect of the nation that they will inherit from past generations, and a portrait subject who shared stories from their lives related to the metaphor.

Prof. Glendinning shares about his Fulbright experience with visitors to the "Attached to the Soil" exhibit.

In addition to hosting these events, GYAN played a leading role for IEW at MSU. The team helped assemble a committee of faculty and staff from a variety of units across campus to organize and promote events that were centered on sharing the high value of international engagement and its essential role in MSU’s mission to advance knowledge and transform lives. Through the work of the committee, MSU was able to utilize IEW as an opportunity to share ways that every Spartan can learn how to become a #GlobalSpartan.

This year’s IEW included participation from across MSU colleges and units, including International Studies & Programs, MSU Libraries, the College of Education, the Broad College of Business, and more. 

Thank you to all the panelists, moderators, and organizers for such fascinating discussions, and thank you to the planning committee, participating units across campus, and everyone who took part in the events for making this year’s International Education Week such a success!