From the president
Our world, which once seemed unimaginably vast, has shrunk. Faster than ever before in our history, technology and policy have opened up communication, commerce, investment, travel and migration — essentially laying the globe “flat.”
This is the world into which the University of Delaware's students graduate. These graduates must be globally aware and globally competent. They must understand how nations relate to one another — historically, culturally, politically, economically and ideologically. They must have the capacity and inclination to help solve the most persistent problems that plague us as a global community.
Educators often proclaim the need to prepare students for global competition. But perhaps even more important is preparing them for global collaboration — for working across borders and with diverse people, for contributing their knowledge and talent to issues of international significance. This is global citizenship, and this is our mission.
UD already enjoys a reputation as a leader in international scholarship and service. We rank third among U.S. public doctoral institutions in study-abroad participation, and our Institute for Global Studies is strengthening the University's substantial engagement efforts worldwide. In these pages, you'll read about UD programs that are internationalizing our campus and our outlook; partnerships that are expanding our global collaboration in education and research; and projects that honor and reaffirm our shared humanity.
As the world moves inevitably toward even more interconnectedness and interdependence, we will continue applying our ideas and our effort to improving the human condition and the world in which we live. As a Citizen University, we can promise no less.
UD has academic collaborations under way on every continent. A welcome banner greets President Harker during a recent visit to the Southwestern University of Finance and Economics in Chengdu, China.
Building bridges for international education
An interview with Lesa Griffiths | by Tracey Bryant
Lesa Griffiths knows firsthand the power of international experiences. She calls them “life changing.”
Since 1999, the professor of animal science in UD's College of Agriculture and Natural Resources has been leading study-abroad trips to New Zealand, one of the most efficient producers of beef and lamb in the world. During a month with the Kiwis, students visit cattle and sheep stations and talk with farmers about how they produce so much food in such a sustainable manner.
These experiences have not only enriched her students' understanding of the world, but also have expanded her own horizons, Griffiths says. Her wonderful collections show it, from Rimu wood carvings and sheepdog whistles, to books on Maori culture, ranch life and fly-fishing in New Zealand. She also learned needle felt, a wool fiber art, there.
Today, as associate provost for international programs and director of UD's Institute for Global Studies (IGS), Griffiths oversees over 70 study-abroad programs in 45 countries, helps support faculty in the development of international programs, and fosters cultural awareness through public events with a cosmopolitan flair. She has traveled to 11 countries so far as part of UD's global initiatives.
Q:Why did the University of Dela-ware decide to establish the Institute for Global Studies (IGS)?
A:During the University's strategic planning process, the need to build upon our already strong tradition in international study was mentioned over and over again in meetings with constituents across campus and in the broader Delaware community. Their input is reflected in the Path to Prominence strategic plan, with the “Global Initiative” identified as one of the University's six strategic milestones. The Institute for Global Studies was established to provide leadership and support for programs and experiences which help all of us to be informed, skilled, open-minded citizens of the world.
Q:What are the institute's major areas of focus?
A:The IGS partners with faculty, academic departments and colleges to (1) strengthen multidisciplinary programs with a global focus including the offering of study-abroad programs in over 40 countries on all seven continents; (2) foster the development of strategic, sustainable, mutually beneficial global partnerships; (3) provide administrative and logistical support for extramurally funded education, training and research programs; and (4) support a wide variety of educational, social and cultural events and programs in our community.
Q:How many staff work at the IGS, and what is their expertise?
A:The institute has 14 full-time employees along with several undergraduate and graduate students. We have a group of program coordinators with expertise in areas ranging from business to language and culture, a financial and logistics team, and support staff. The leadership team includes the directors of the Area Studies programs and the Confucius Institute. The director of our partnerships, contracts and grants group has experience in political science and international relations, and the associate director of our study-abroad programs has expertise in language and culture.
Q:How will the IGS help prepare UD students for a world that is growing increasingly “flat”?
A:The IGS will provide students with opportunities to become engaged in academic, research, social, cultural and other programmatic activities that will foster knowledge and awareness of the economic, environmental, political, cultural and social issues facing the world.
Q:What kinds of academic and research activities does the IGS support?
A:The IGS supports a wide variety of activities. For example, we are currently partnering with Professor Mark Miller to launch in January the National Security Institute funded by the U.S. Department of State. We are a partner in the International Coaching Enrichment Program funded by the United States Olympic Committee and directed by Professors Matt Robinson and Jeff Schneider (see page 12).
The IGS sponsors its own funding programs such an the annual International Research Awards Program and the International Travel Awards Program. We are working with the Area Studies program and the Department of Anthropology on a new Global Studies Certificate program and with the Latin American Studies program on the Global-At-Home semester program. It's very hard to name just a few of our initiatives because so many individuals and departments are involved in very exciting activities.
Q:Why are you such a strong believer in global studies?
A:I believe that we will leave the world in the hands of a generation of students that not only are more knowledgeable and better prepared to solve complex global problems such as health, food, energy and the environment, but are also more engaged and embrace the human experience. I will never forget a parent who called me a few weeks after her daughter returned from study abroad and told me that if it wasn't for the fact that her daughter looked much like she did before she went abroad — she would never know she was the same person. Global experience has incredible impact. How could you not believe?
Q:How will the IGS impact the greater community in Delaware and internationally?
A:The IGS hopes to engage teachers, community organizations and industry by sponsoring programs that focus on global education, culture and world events. We are already involved in assisting with and sponsoring conferences, lectures, and social and cultural programs. The new Confucius Institute located in IGS will play an important role in bringing Chinese language and culture to the greater community.
Institute for Global Studies
Mission: The Institute for Global Studies (IGS) was established at the University of Delaware in 2009 to continue to expand the University's global reach and impact and to build and strengthen international partnerships for education and research.
Major Initiatives: The Global Academic Initiative develops and strengthens multi- disciplinary academic programs. Research, Grants, and Contracts helps to secure external funding for projects and services that enhance UD's international academic and cultural climate. The Global Partnerships Initiative develops strategic partnerships with institutions of higher education, governmental and non-governmental agencies, industries, and civic groups around the world that are mutually beneficial and long-lasting. Community Engagement and Outreach includes projects to enhance a welcoming campus and provides essential services to UD's international community, as well as enriches the greater community.
Partners: UD's seven colleges, the Area Studies programs, Confucius Institute, and centers across campus are active partners with the IGS. The IGS also collaborates with the English Language Institute, the Office for International Studies and Scholars, and UD Admissions.
“Global experience has incredible impact. How could you not believe?” — Lesa Griffiths, IGS Director
A window to the world
Lesa Griffiths bought an old book about New Zealand on her first study-abroad trip to that country a decade ago. Today, her collection spans New Zealand “station” (ranch) life, sheep herding and farming (of particular interest to the animal science professor), to the native Maoris, fly-fishing and children's stories. Some of the books date to New Zealand's early settlement. An avid collector, Griffiths has been featured on Home and Garden Television (HGTV).
Meet the IGS staff
Based in Elliott Hall on the UD campus, the staff of the Institute for Global Studies develops and supports international programs and partnerships.
From left, front row: Lisa Chieffo, Lesa Griffiths, director and associate provost for international programs, and Bahram Rajee.
Second row: Ruthie Toole, Diane Henker, Marie Gleason, Marion Bernard-Amos, Lisa Huber, Julio Carrion and Eric Cantrell.
Back row: Laura Devenney, Brenda Misko, Steve Amster, Lukman Arsalan, Mark Heissenbuttel and Lorraine Grube.
Chorale recognized as one of world's finest choirs
The University of Delaware Chorale won four awards at the 42nd International Tolosa Choral Contest in Spain, placing in every category in which it competed.
Appearances in the contest are by invitation only, and UD was one of only two U.S. choirs that participated, along with 20 other groups from Europe, Japan, the Philippines, Ukraine and Russia. UD's chorale was invited because of its 2007 first-place award at the 10th International Choir Festival in Talinn, Estonia.
The 48 chorale members had an “amazing trip,” according to director Paul Head, with standing ovations at every performance. They also won the distinctly European accolade of synchronized clapping — “an honor offered only to the best of the best,” Head noted.
UD a major producer of Fulbright scholars
The University of Delaware is among the nation's top pro- ducers of Fulbright scholars, with the following faculty receiving awards for 2010–2011. Administered by the U.S. Department of State, the international exchange program is designed to “increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.”
Gonzalo Arce, Charles Black Evans Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, is the first recipient of the Fulbright-Nokia Distinguished Chair in Information and Communications Technologies, funded by the Nokia Foundation and the Finnish Fulbright Commission. He is working with Helsinki University of Technology and Nokia Research Center on compressive sensing. This technology recovers signals and images from far fewer data than traditional methods and has potential impacts in medical imaging to consumer electronics.
STUART KAUFMAN, professor of political science and international relations, will be the Fulbright-Diplomatic Academy visiting professor of international relations at the Diplomatic Academy at the University of Vienna during spring 2011. Drawing on his experience serving on the U.S. National Security Council staff, he will teach a graduate seminar on American foreign policy and a course on ethnic conflict based on his two decades of study of ethnic conflicts around the globe. He also will give public lectures in Europe on American grand strategy and on options for resolving ethnic conflicts.
Ajay Manrai, professor of marketing and faculty director of graduate and executive programs in the Lerner College of Business and Economics, won a Fulbright-Nehru Research Scholar Award for research in India in spring 2011. Hosted by the Indian Institute of Management in Hyderabad and the Anand Group of Companies in New Delhi, he will conduct research on the similarities and differences in the marketing strategies of Indian companies and multinational companies with origins in both the U.S. and abroad.
Beth Morling, associate professor of psychology, is researching social support on her Fulbright at Kyoto University in Japan. She and Yukiko Uchida of the Kokoro Research Center are studying a phenomenon observed by other scholars, that in East Asian cultural contexts, people are more reluctant to ask friends or family for help when under stress because they don't want to burden others with the obligation. However, in European- American contexts, people tend to feel more comfortable, perhaps because they think others are free to help or not, by individual choice.
Jean Pfaelzer, professor of English with appointments in the Women's Studies and East Asian programs, has been awarded a Senior Fulbright in Holland for spring 2011. Hosted by the American studies program at the University of Utrecht, she will teach seminars on Asian American culture and 19th-century women authors. She also will use Dutch archives, from diaries to court and maritime records, to complete her research on Muted Mutinies, a study of slave rebellions on ships transporting kidnapped “coolies” from China to work on Caribbean sugar plantations.
Susan Strasser, Richards Professor of History, won a Fulbright appointment as a senior lecturer in history at the Free University of Berlin for spring 2011. She will join the Free University's John F. Kennedy Institute for North American Studies, where she will teach graduate and undergraduate courses in American consumer culture and in global and American environmental history, her specialties. She will also deliver talks to academic and public audiences on subjects drawn from her new book project, A Historical Herbal: Household Medicine in a Developing Consumer Culture.
Weiher receives Germany's Friendship Award
James F. Weiher, an instructor at UD's Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in Wilmington, received the Federal Republic of Germany Friendship Award from Honorary Consul Barbara Afanassiev on Oct. 1, 2010. Given by the German ambassador, Klaus Scharioth, the award recognizes outstanding Americans who in their respective fields of academia, politics, media, culture and other areas, have had an impact in fostering positive German-American relations.
UD a leader in global education
The University of Delaware ranks third in the U.S. among public, doctorate-granting research institutions in student participation in study abroad, according to the 2010 Open Doors report by the Institute of International Education (IIE). The rankings are based on the 2008– 2009 academic year.
UD had a study-abroad participation rate of 39 percent, behind only Miami University (Ohio), at 42.9 percent, and the College of William and Mary, at 40.3 percent.
Additionally, UD ranks seventh among the top-20 leading doctoral research institutions in the number of students who participate in short-term study-abroad programs, from two to four weeks long.
UD also is the leading destination in Delaware for international students. Of the 3,005 foreign students studying in Delaware in 2009–2010, UD welcomed the highest number: 2,491.
International students spent an estimated $76.4 million in Delaware in 2009–2010. The majority of Delaware's international students are from China, India, South Korea, Saudi Arabia and Turkey.
UD students on a study-abroad trip to Chile and Argentina.
Matthew Watters named Rhodes Scholar
Matthew T. Watters , a University of Delaware senior from Ramsey, N.J., is one of 32 American men and women selected as 2010 Rhodes Scholars representing the United States.
A neuroscience major and political science minor at UD, Watters will begin his studies at the University of Oxford in England in October 2011. He plans to work toward a master of science degree in global health science.
Watters founded Students for Haiti, which is raising funds to rebuild a hospital destroyed in the town of Villa. He also has worked in two hospitals in south Sudan, training staff in the prevention of infection.
“His work greatly improved the level of care in those hospitals,” says Katharine C. Kerrane, senior associate director of the UD Honors Program. “He has a fearless quality when it comes to tackling problems.”
Watters is the University of Delaware's 12th Rhodes Scholar.
UD professor emeritus Wins Nobel Prize in Chemistry
Richard F. Heck, the Willis F. Harrington Professor Emeritus at the University of Delaware, won the 2010 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
Heck, 79, received the honor from the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm on Dec. 10, alongside fellow researchers Ei-Ichi Negishi, 75, of Purdue University, and Akira Suzuki, 80, of Hok-kaido University in Sapporo, Japan, “for palladium-catalyzed cross couplings in organic synthesis.” They shared a $1.5 million award.
The scientists were honored for discovering “more efficient ways of linking carbon atoms together to build the complex molecules that are improving our everyday lives.”
“The University of Delaware is exceptionally proud of Prof. Richard F. Heck and his ground-breaking research in the field of chemistry,” UD President Patrick Harker said.
“This is a tremendous accomplishment for Prof. Heck and his colleagues, acknowledging the development of a tremendously sophisticated tool that will aid scientists to make potential cancer drugs and medicines,” said Provost Tom Apple, who was a graduate student in chemistry at UD when Heck was on the faculty. Heck retired from UD in 1989.
Douglass Taber, professor of chemistry and biochemistry, who has known Heck as a colleague since 1982, explained the discovery's importance, saying, “All of pharmaceutical chemistry and photolithography, the making of computer chips, depends on carbon bond formation. His [Heck's] contribution was to make that bond catalytic in the expensive metal, making large-scale industrial production affordable. When DNA sequencing became important, Heck chemistry made the coupling of organic dyes to the DNA bases possible.”
UD's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry has ties to a second Nobel Prize winner. The late Daniel Nathans, who graduated from UD in 1950 with a bachelor of science degree in chemistry, won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1978.
A special scientific symposium will be held in Prof. Heck's honor at the University of Delaware on May 26, 2011. For more information, visit www.udel.edu/nobelsymposium.
Press conference with the 2010 Nobel Laureates in Chemistry and Physics. Photos courtesy of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.
University community celebrates opening of the Confucius Institute
The University of Delaware's Confucius Institute for the advancement of Chinese language and culture was inaugurated Oct. 19, 2010, in an applause-filled ceremony capped by celebratory performances ranging from a violin virtuoso's serenade to a traditional Chinese lion dance.
“We thank you for making the long journey to the U.S. for this wonderful celebration and for your extraordinary dedication to the cause that's brought us together tonight,” said UD President Patrick Harker to President Zhu Chongshi and his delegation from Xiamen University.
A strong collaboration between the two universities resulted in the proposal for the Confucius Institute at UD. The Hanban/Confucius Institute Headquarters in Beijing, which is affiliated with the Chinese Ministry of Education, approved the proposal and will provide continuing support for its language instruction and cultural programs. UD's Confucius Institute is one of more than 300 around the world.
The Confucius Institute will advance several of the University of Delaware's most important goals, Harker said, including expanding UD's international reach and amplifying its impact, strengthening global partnerships, and developing collaborative initiatives in international and transnational issues.
“Through the institute, we'll build interest and competence in Chinese language and culture and instigate a deeper appreciation of China's global importance not just among members of the University community, but throughout the state and region,” Harker said.
Harker noted that the Confucius Institute also will build a strong bridge between the University and the private sector, fostering economic scholarship and entrepreneurship.
“Confucius, the great thinker and philosopher, proposed that harmony is the highest form of relationship between people, nations and states,” noted Xiamen University President Zhu during his remarks. “This has become the most precious element of China's cultural heritage.”
Building strong international partnerships has been a hallmark of Xiamen University. A leader in international education since its founding in 1921, Xiamen University has over 150 inter-institutional agreements in place for student exchanges and joint research. In one such endeavor, UD and Xiamen scientists are conducting collaborative research through the Joint Institute for Ocean and Coastal Resource Management, a partnership forged by Xiamen's College of Oceanography and Environmental Science and UD's College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment.
A new dual degree in oceanography, established when the two university presidents signed a preliminary agreement, will enable American and Chinese students to receive two doctoral degrees in oceanography, one from each institution if the degree requirements are met for each institution.
Since 2006, Xiamen University has established 11 Confucius Institutes around the world, with the twelfth now at UD — a relationship that has blossomed rapidly since the universities' initial collaborative agreements in 2007.
“Under his strong support and commitment, the relationship is growing every day,” President Zhu said of President Harker. “We will do everything in our power to aid the teaching of the Confucius Institute,” he noted.
Congratulatory letters were read by First Secretary Shen Yiling on behalf of Zhang Yesui, ambassador of the People's Republic of China to the U.S., and by Jianguo Chen, director of UD's Confucius Institute, on behalf of Hanban/Confucius Institute Headquarters.
“ ‘Knowledge is the light of the mind' — the Confucius Institute will make the light ever brighter and help the people of Delaware learn the Chinese language and culture, and become a bridge of friendship between the American and Chinese people,” Chen read. The University of Delaware's motto is “Knowledge is the light of the mind.”
Joining Chen in the leadership of the Confucius Institute is co-director Huang Jiangjun, deputy dean of the Overseas Education College and The International College at Xiamen University. In 2011, two Chinese language instructors from Xiamen University will join the institute.
Capping the celebration, the University of Pennsylvania Lions performed the traditional Chinese Lion Dance; New York musician Judy Yeh presented “The Sparkling Galaxy” on the Chinese guzheng or horizontal harp; violin virtuoso Xiang Gao, professor of music at UD, accompanied by Marian Lee, played the “Fisherman's Serenade”; and UD's Dragonfly Dance Club, resplendent in gold costumes, performed the traditional Chinese dance “The Splendor of Dunhuang.”
UD's Dragonfly Dance Club, resplendent in gold costumes, presented the traditional Chinese dance “The Splendor of Dunhuang.”
The celebration included a calligraphy demonstration.
UD violin virtuoso Xiang Gao, accompanied on piano by Marian Lee, performed the “Fisherman's Serenade.”
New York musician Judy Yeh played “The Sparkling Galaxy” on the Chinese guzheng.
The traditional Chinese Lion Dance, to summon luck and good fortune, was performed by the University of Pennsylvania Lions. Two students operated each lion, mimicking the real animal's movements through the powerful stances and acrobatics of Chinese martial arts.
A partnership with a “bright future” An interview with Xiamen University President Zhu Chongshi
Prof. Zhu Chongshi has been the president of Xiamen University since 2003. Based in the major port city of Xiamen in Fujian, China, the university has 27,000 students across 82 undergraduate programs, 219 master's programs and 134 doctoral programs. The university's mission is to advance learning, as underscored in its motto, “Pursue excellence; strive for perfection.”
Zhu was born in 1954 in Fujian Province. He received his bachelor's degree in 1982 from Xiamen University and his doctoral degree in 1990 from the University of Belgrade in the former Yugoslavia. His primary research interest is economic law — the study of the social and economic relationship developed between a state and other entities in society in the course of all kinds of economic activities.
How do you see the relationship between Xiamen University and the University of Delaware developing in the future?
There is a bright future for the two universities with regard to our collaborations and exchanges, which will continue to grow and expand.
What do you think are the major strengths of the partnership between the University of Delaware and Xiamen University?
Both are outstanding major research universities that have many identical and/or similar areas and disciplines. Many of these areas and disciplines have possibilities for cooperation and exchange. This is especially so in marine studies, environmental sciences, chemistry, life science, business management, anthropology, history, etc., where there is a big potential for collaborative initiatives.
What do you feel are the keys to establishing successful international collaborations?
There are two keys. First, both should share the same understanding that a globalized campus is important. Second, there should be a foundation for collaborations; that is, there must be several areas and disciplines on both sides that have the same level of research ability. And researchers and scholars at both institutions must have an interest in collaborating.
Why is the Confucius Institute and global education, in general, important?
The objective of the Confucius Institute is to help deepen an understanding of the Chinese language and culture among people around the world and help them learn Chinese, thus promoting friendly exchange among peoples of different countries, especially among young people.
UD and Xiamen University also have established important research partnerships. What are some of the major issues that our universities can address together through research?
The University of Delaware and Xiamen University have established a first-rate joint research institute of ocean and environment sciences. Collaborations of this kind will maximize existing research resources at both institutions, yielding more and better research results. We have now seen the result of these research partnerships.
Are there arts and humanities programs that might be established through the UD-Xiamen collaborations?
The two universities will establish col- laborations in such areas as business management, anthropology, history and international relations. The Confucius Institute is one such important collaborative initiative in the humanities.
The University of Delaware is continuing to globalize its campus. How does the partnership with UD benefit Xiamen University?
The University of Delaware's efforts to globalize its campus will promote collaborations and exchange between UD and Xiamen University. They will create more opportunities for Xiamen University's faculty and students to interact with their UD counterparts, thus further improving the level of academic and scholarly activities at both institutions.
President Harker and President Zhu signed a preliminary agreement on October 20, 2010, to establish the University of Delaware-Xiamen University Dual Degree in Oceanography. Under this agreement, American students from UD and Chinese students from Xiamen University can receive a doctoral degree in oceanography from both institutions if students fulfill the degree requirements of both institutions.
UD planning master's program in technical Chinese translation
The University of Delaware plans to launch a master's program in technical Chinese translation this fall in response to growing industry needs.
Three graduate-level courses in Chinese technical translation are being offered this spring. Pending approval of the University's Faculty Senate and the Board of Trustees, the Graduate Program (M.A.) in Technical Chinese Translation will begin in the fall 2011 semester.
“Translation has become one of the fastest- growing professions in today's globalized world,” said George Watson, dean of UD's College of Arts and Sciences. “The rapid rise of transnational business between China and the United States has necessitated the translation of vast business and scientific texts from Chinese into English. The exemplary program being developed in our Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, in collaboration with industry, will prepare students for rapid advancement in this growing field. It also will mark the first professional master's program in the humanities at UD.”
Dennis O'Brien, president of China Monitor Inc., has pledged to provide full-tuition scholarships for 15 UD students and has offered the major information-processing company's base in Newark, Del., as a potential training facility. CMI recently won an exclusive license from the China Economic Information Network (CEInet) to translate and interpret data on over 100 of the most important industries and sectors of the burgeoning Chinese economy. CMI expects to initially employ more than 50 students and information-industry professionals at its Delaware operations to bring its weekly analytic reports to audiences worldwide.
The 33-credit master's program at UD will provide bilingual students with professional training in both the theory and practice of technical translation and interpretation, and will encompass journalistic writing, comparative linguistics, scientific and analytical translation, and computer-assisted translation, according to Jianguo Chen, associate professor and director of the Chinese language program at UD. Chen also directs UD's Confucius Institute.
“We are planning a rigorous curriculum that offers quality instruction from experienced translation professionals and experts who will ensure that students, upon the completion of the program, will possess a high level of bilingual proficiency, practical techniques and skills of translation, specialized knowledge and credibility, a familiarity with theories and professional aspects of translation, and a fine cultural understanding that will give them a competitive edge in the job market,” Chen said.
For more information, contact Chen at [email@example.com]. To learn more about UD's graduate and professional programs, visit www.udel.edu/gradoffice/.
Jianguo Chen, associate professor and director of UD's Chinese language program.
The profound impact of a worldly education
by Cynthia Schmidt-Cruz
In sixth grade, Cynthia Schmidt-Cruz selected Spanish as the foreign language she wanted to learn. That seemingly simple choice would impact her life in more ways than she could ever have imagined, as you’ll read.
Today, Schmidt-Cruz is acting chair of the Department of Foreign Lang-uages and Literatures at UD. An associate professor of Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies, she teaches courses in Latin American literature and civilization and Portuguese language and Brazilian culture. She formerly directed the Latin American Studies program and has led study-abroad programs in Spain, Argentina and Brazil.
Schmidt-Cruz specializes in contemporary Latin American narrative, in particular, the stories of Julio Cortázar and Cristina Peri Rossi; literature of exile; and representations of childhood in Latin American literature. Her current research deals with the Argentine novela negra or crime novel.
My foreign language studies began in the sixth grade when my Milwaukee area school district began offering languages on an experimental basis. We were allowed to choose between French, German and Spanish, and I chose Spanish because I was intrigued by the culture and geography of the Spanish-speaking world. Little did I know back then — and this was well before the boom of Spanish language learning — that my choice would mark the beginning of a long and fulfilling career.
After graduating from high school, I convinced my parents to let me study in Toluca, Mexico, in the summer, and I was hooked on study abroad. During my undergraduate years at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, I participated in a junior-year abroad in Madrid and spent two summers studying in France.
When I needed a third romance language for my graduate degree, Portuguese was the natural choice. I spent a summer studying in Salvador, Brazil, and subsequently was awarded a scholarship from the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which allowed me to do three semesters of graduate work in Luso-Brazilian literature in Rio de Janeiro.
The benefits I gained from study abroad went far beyond the utilitarian, professional benefit of perfecting my foreign language skills and increasing my knowledge of other cultures. Along with sensitivity to other cultures and cultural values, I gained a new perspective on my own country. And of course there were the rewards of personal enrichment and growth as I enhanced my self-knowledge, self-reliance and problem-solving skills.
My work at the University of Delaware has given me the opportunity to introduce students to the excitement I discovered through study abroad, area studies and the study of language and culture. I feel fortunate to be able to help foster this appreciation of other cultural values and the love of language learning in university students in various capacities at UD: as a professor of Spanish and Portuguese; as director of the Latin American Studies program; as a study abroad program director in Spain, Brazil and Argentina; and now as acting chair of the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures.
I have been enriched by my involvement with Area Studies, which offer students a comprehensive knowledge of a world region. UD’s programs have served as platforms for interdisciplinary programming about specific issues.
For instance, under my directorship in 2003–2004, the Latin American Studies program organized a project on the 2001 economic, political and cultural crisis in Argentina, entitled “Buenos Aires: A Tale of Two Cities — Mapping the New Reality through Poetry and Photography.” It featured an exhibition of poetry and photography about the crisis, complemented by a speakers’ forum which examined Argentine reality from the perspectives of political science, economics, international relations, journalism and literature, thus enabling students and the University community to gain an understanding of the crisis through multiple perspectives.
The following year, the Latin American Studies program organized “Central America: Repression, Resistance, and Recovery,” a three-week multidisciplinary project focusing on the reality of this region of the world.
It is equally rewarding to serve as acting chair of the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures (FLL), a campus leader in study- abroad programs since 1923 when Raymond Kirkbride, assistant professor of French, led UD’s first study-abroad program to Paris.
To date, FLL has sponsored semester, winter or summer session programs in 19 countries on five continents — Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Chile, China, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Japan, Martinique, Mexico, Panama, Russia, Spain and Tunisia.
Each year, FLL offers more than 25 study- abroad options, and between winter 2000 and summer 2010 sent a total of 5,889 students abroad. Almost all of the programs feature home-stays, enabling students to be immersed in the language and culture of the country.
As a study-abroad director, I have been able to witness students gaining the tolerance and compassion that comes with cultural awareness while honing their language skills through cultural immersion. As exciting as it is to watch students’ personal and intel- lectual growth over the course of their study- abroad experience, it is even more gratifying to follow their development afterwards as many of them embark on rewarding careers abroad or in the U.S., using their foreign language skills and international education.
Study abroad and the study of foreign languages and cultures has had a profound impact on my life and career, and I have found it deeply satisfying to help instill in students a lifelong appreciation of other cultures and the value of language learning as they strive to become global citizens.
| Schmidt-Cruz leads her UD students on a study-abroad trip in Brazil.
| Schmidt-Cruz and her study-abroad students pose in front of El Alcázar (“the castle”) in Segovia, Spain. Perched on a rocky cliff, El Alcázar dates to the 12th century and was the site of the marriage of Ferdinand and Isabella, which unified Spain in the 15th century. The castle is now a UNESCO world site.
UD partners with USOC on third successful effort
A world-class program for Olympic coaches
| by Kathryn Marrone
Olympic coaches from around the globe had world-class training opportunities to boost their knowledge and expertise through the International Coaching Enrichment Certification Program (ICECP) held at the University of Delaware this past fall.
Now in its third consecutive year, the program, which is a partnership of UD, the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) and Olympic Solidarity, welcomed 21 national coaches representing five continents, 21 countries and 10 sports.
Just as the interlocking Olympic rings symbolize the friendships that athletes make through these athletic competitions, the ICECP focuses on assisting coaches in building their skills in a collegial way, according to USOC chief executive officer Scott Blackmun.
“ICECP is aimed at helping coaches develop proficiency in a wide variety of coaching skills and at all levels of competition in order to help them further develop the coaching infrastructure in their home countries,” Blackmun noted.
The effort, which Blackmun calls a “world-class coaching education program,” consists of lectures, guest speakers, participant presentations, group work and field trips.
Through the course of approximately six weeks, the ICECP educates national level coaches on topics ranging from sport nutrition, sport medicine, injury management and prevention, to sport psychology and physiology, sport administration and coaching methods. The intended outcome for participants is that they are able to return to their countries to not only serve as coaches within their respective sports, but to also serve as foundation builders for future coaches and athletes while spreading the Olympic spirit.
Matthew Robinson, professor of business administration and director of the UD sport management program, and Jeff Schneider, director of strength and conditioning at the University’s High Performance Figure Skating Center, direct the ICECP and have been leaders in its development.
Robinson and Schneider both possess a wealth of international sport management experience. Robinson worked for the U.S. Department of State in the area of sport diplomacy in 2008, while Schneider has worked with numerous national, world and Olympic-level figure skaters.
In order to cover the latest technical methods of various sports and to teach coaches how to incorporate within the training of their athletes the use of physiology, nutrition, psychology and other technologies, the ICECP offers a structured, comprehensive and in-depth course of study through four modules, Robinson said.
During the first module, participants spend two weeks at UD and attend lectures and presentations from experts on a variety of coaching education and sports science topics.
The second module is a sport-specific apprenticeship that allows participants to observe and interact with coaches from national governing bodies, university athletic teams or elite sport clubs in each of their respective sports. In conjunction with the apprenticeship, coaches also develop a project aimed at improving their national coaching infrastructure with the support of an international coaching expert.
Participating in an apprenticeship offers coaches in the ICECP the unique opportunity to train at leading sport facilities like the North Baltimore Aquatic Club, home of Bob Bowman and Olympic medalist Michael Phelps, and the USA Volleyball Men’s and Women’s Training Center in Anaheim, Calif.
The third module takes place at the U.S. Olympic Training Center and headquarters in Colorado Springs and consists of a continuation of lectures and group work activities during a two-week period taught by USOC sport performance and coaching experts.
In the final module, participants present the projects they completed over the course of the program to the ICECP Academic Board and thereafter undergo a public presentation of their projects at the International Olympic Committee (IOC) headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Hank Steinbrecher, who served as CEO and secretary general of U.S. Soccer during the sport’s rise to prominence in America in the 1990s and a distinguished sports statesman, served as the keynote speaker during the ICECP opening ceremony, which was held in early October 2010 on the UD campus in Newark. His speech focused on the power of sport.
“You can change lives,” Steinbrecher told the participant coaches during his speech. “Through sport, coaches have the ability to transcend life values, cultural boundaries and make the world a better place.“
Robinson noted, “The faculty, the coaches and staff in Intercollegiate Athletics and the staff and leadership of the Institute for Global Studies have been incredible. We have a committed and passionate group of participants who will return to their native countries to impact the grassroots levels all the way up to the highest levels of competition in their respective sports. We cannot be prouder or more excited about working with the ICECP group.”
International coaches are welcomed to the UD campus as part of an Olympic training program.
Area Studies Programs
Promoting global citizenship
The six Area Studies programs at the University of Delaware have always been highly interdisciplinary and wide-ranging, exploring parts of the globe from Europe to Asia, and Africa to Latin America, while also examining the cultural and religious traditions of Judaism and Islam.
Now, as the University continues to extend its global reach, the individual programs are becoming more connected with one another and with other international programs at UD.
Each program has its own director and identity. The three programs in Asian, European and Latin American Studies, for example, offer bachelor’s degrees as well as minors, while those in African, Islamic and Jewish Studies offer minors. All programs have a language requirement.
By definition, Area Studies programs are interdisciplinary, bringing a variety of academic areas together in a program designed to give students comprehensive knowledge of a geographic region or a particular civilization. UD’s Area Studies faculty members come from such fields as foreign languages and literatures, anthropology, history, political science and international relations, geography and philosophy, among many others.
Julio Carrión, associate professor of political science and international relations, recently was appointed UD’s new director of Area Studies in the College of Arts and Sciences. Carrión, who joined the UD faculty in 1998, holds a joint appointment in the Latin American Studies program. His experience with that program, one of the largest of the Area Studies components, has made him realize not only the importance of global studies, but also the need to promote it.
In addition to garnering increased visibility for the Area Studies programs, Carrión says a major goal is to develop new activities in research and outreach.
“One of the goals we have is to strengthen transnational research, particularly in global types of issues like migration or health that cut across different regions,” he said. “We also will continue to expand our study-abroad programs, where faculty who are part of Area Studies are a key component.”
One new offering over the fall semester was a new “Imagining Global Citizenship” lecture series featuring high-profile speakers. The series involved all six programs and was open to the public in addition to students enrolled in the class. Alice Ba, director of the Asian Studies program and associate professor of political science and international relations, coordinated the new series.
“The speaker series is an example of how the different Area Studies programs are working together, building on mutual strengths and encouraging inter- and transregional themes and dialogue in both research and teaching,” Ba said.
For more information, visit www.udel.edu/AreaStudies/.
Become a citizen of the global village
Julio Carrión, Director of Area Studies
Global gourmet | Vita Nova Head Chef
Joe DiGregorio is the executive chef at Vita Nova, the dining room operated by students in UD’s Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management Program in the Lerner College of Business and Economics. It is a premier classroom dedicated to educating hospitality professionals. “Vita Nova” in Latin signifies new life or a new beginning, which is appropriate since it is the last applied classroom experience for students before they begin new careers in the hospitality industry.
The gregarious DiGregorio has extensive experience preparing international specialties, including this delectable Mediterranean recipe, a Vita Nova favorite.
Mediterranean Calamari Salad
what you need: steps to success:
Squid 1 ½ pounds
Fresh lemon juice 2 tablespoons
Red wine vinegar 1 tablespoon
Extra Virgin Olive Oil 1⁄3 cup
Garlic clove, minced 1
Salt ½ teaspoon
Black pepper ½ teaspoon
Red onion, thinly sliced ½
Capers ¼ cup
Kalamata olives, halved lengthwise 1 cup
Grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise 2 cups
Celery, ¼-inch dice 2 ribs
Fresh, chopped parsley ¼ cup
Rinse the squid under cold running water. Halve the tentacles lengthwise and cut the bodies crosswise into one-third inch-wide rings.
Cook the squid in a large pot of boiling salted water, uncovered until just opaque, 40 to 60 seconds. Remove the squid and immediately place it in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. Drain and pat dry.
Whisk together the lemon juice, vinegar, oil, salt and pepper in a bowl. Stir in the garlic, onion and capers.
Combine the squid, olives, tomatoes, celery and parsley in a bowl. Toss with the dressing. Let stand 15 minutes to develop the flavors. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper as needed.
Serve chilled on a bed of Bibb lettuce and garnish with fresh chives.
Middle East Partnership Initiative connects Arab world and the U.S. | by Adam Thomas
Eighteen students from 15 countries participated in the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) at the University of Delaware during the past summer, gaining both academic knowledge and a worldly experience that won’t soon be forgotten.
In 2010, UD was selected for a record seventh time to serve as a host institution for the six-week program, a presidential directive founded to support economic, political and educational reform efforts in the Middle East and North Africa and to champion opportunity for all people of the region, especially women and youth.
Since the first MEPI program at UD in 2004, more than 120 students from the Middle East and North Africa have been welcomed to UD during the summer to participate in six weeks of academic and community service activities.
“The University of Delaware is both delighted and honored to have been awarded this program,” said Lesa Griffiths, associate provost of international programs and director of UD’s Institute for Global Studies. “It is a pleasure to spend time with the MEPI students, learning about their culture as they study ours! We know real leaders will emerge and put what they learn into practice when they return home.”
Meriem Meziri, a student from Annaba, Algeria, who is currently a second-year student studying the English language at Badji Mokhar University, said her favorite part of the program was “the teachers at the University of Delaware — they are amazing. To be honest, I feel honored and so happy to have attended their classes. They are so challenging and you never get bored in any class.
“I also loved the campus,” Meziri noted. “Everything is close and easily accessible, with good places to hang out and relax with friends. We all loved Main Street and are thinking about applying to graduate school there. UD became our second home.”
Meziri said that when she found out she had been assigned to the University of Delaware, she “did some research about it and about the state. I had some historic knowledge and saw that it was a nice little state.
“When we went there, I found out that it is really beautiful, green and being small was actually a good thing because we could go to different states in a short amount of time. I have to say that I fell in love with Delaware. I find it really charming and beautiful, with great people.”
Ali Salim Abood Alshati, a fourth-year medical student studying at Baghdad University College of Medicine, got involved with MEPI through the U.S. embassy in Baghdad, applying over the Internet, and said that he had not heard about the University of Delaware before he left for the program.
“When I arrived and finished my MEPI program, I knew I was one of the luckiest to be in it. My ideas were completely changed about it, and I really wish to continue studying there.”
Alshanti said he enjoyed all the “wonderful friendships that I made with many friends and from different countries.”
Sarah Merie, a student from Jordan currently studying industrial engineering at the Jordan University of Science and Technology, said she loved “the people I met, without a doubt. The combination of people was perfect — the professors, the mentors, the American students we met and the other great MEPIs who shared the experience with me.
“I never thought I would have friends from the Middle East and from America who feel closer to me than the people I grew up with,” Merie said, noting that after she visited the University of Delaware, she “fell in love with it.”
Merie said she enjoyed “those things on the UD campus that give it that personalized feel, like ‘Mentors’ Circle.’ The idea is so simple yet so beautiful, to see the name of that professor you admired for so long in that circle and to know that he was appreciated for all the great work he has done. You can’t help but feel good.”
Of the UD faculty, Merie said, “The professors were among the best I have ever seen. The way they challenged us and encouraged us to think critically and question our realities is something I appreciate more than you can imagine.
“The discussions were not limited only to the classroom, we enjoyed political and philosophical discussions with our friends and mentors every chance we got. I have never associated memories of going out for Italian with discussions about U.S. foreign policy until this past summer.”
Soufiane Adrane, a 23-year-old graduate student from Meknes, Morocco, who is studying “Communications in Contexts,” said he was excited to come to America to study after knowing and working with Americans for almost five years in Morocco.
“I didn’t actually know much about Dela-ware back then, and yet once I knew I was assigned to the University of Delaware, I did some research on it and it was interesting to discover many things about the state, and particularly Newark and the University.”
Adrane said he “enjoyed every second I spent at the University of Delaware. I was born and grew up in a very tiny little village in the middle of nowhere in my country; therefore the fact of being in the U.S., and specifically in Delaware, was a very wild shift in my life, so everything was new to me.
“What I enjoyed the most in my stay was the quality and the professionalism of education at the University of Delaware,” he noted. “It was a real privilege for me to be taught by outstanding professors who did everything they could to teach us a huge amount of knowledge in a very short period of time. For that I shall always be grateful.”
Early on in the program, Andrade said, the MEPI students had an ice cream break and their professor asked if they were homesick. “I never felt homesick while in the United States, but I definitely do now,” he wrote from Morocco.
In addition to academic work, the MEPI students engaged in volunteer work, cultural activities, group retreats and networking sessions. Students also had the opportunity to travel to historical sites and commercial centers in the U.S.
The MEPI students assisted the Mary Campbell Center residents during a recreational therapy session. The center is home to 67 residents, each with different disabilities.
The MEPI students worked with children and young adults with disabilities at the Mary Campbell Center in Wilmington, Del.
Research AROUND THE WORLD
With seven colleges and more than 60 research centers and institutes, the University of Delaware has projects under way around the globe. Here’s a quick look at some of our latest international efforts.
Iraqi institute works to preserve cultural heritage
Vicki Cassman is accustomed to teaching prospective museum professionals at the University of Delaware the skills they will need in caring for collections, but she recently provided her expertise to a class of students in a very different setting — Iraq.
Cassman, assistant professor and director of undergraduate studies in the Department of Art Conservation, taught an intensive two-week course last summer at the Iraqi Institute for the Conservation of Antiquities and Heritage in Erbil.
The institute was established as one element of the Iraq Cultural Heritage Project, a $13.9 million U.S. government-funded program to expand and enhance local capacity in the field of archaeological conservation and preservation. In addition to the University, U.S. contributors to the institute include Winterthur and the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore.
The Iraq Cultural Heritage Project has three goals: the renovation of the Iraq National Museum in Baghdad; the establishment of a cultural heritage preservation/conservation institute in Erbil; and capacity building for Iraqi cultural heritage specialists.
The institute is managed by International Relief and Development (IRD), a U.S.-based nongovernmental organization, under the auspices of the Iraq Cultural Heritage Program. IRD works closely with Iraq’s State Board of Antiquities and Heritage on efforts to improve the country’s capability to preserve its significant cultural heritage collections and archaeological sites. As part of IRD’s commitment, a transition is under way for an Iraqi Board of Directors to assume complete responsibility for the management of the Erbil institute this year.
Instead of emphasizing education and outreach, as most American museums do, Iraqi museums have primarily served as safe storehouses for valuable collections, which may be viewed by the public only occasionally, Cassman said. The institute seeks to change that emphasis and also to help Iraqi museum professionals build more professional connections among themselves and with others internationally.
UD faculty Vicki Cassman (left) and Jessica Johnson (right) work with Iraqi museum professionals in Erbil, Iraq.
Sustainable agriculture aim of growing collaboration
Providing safe, nutritious food for growing world populations can take its toll on natural resources, especially in developing countries.
UD’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources is collaborating with the International Crop Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) to explore ways to boost agricultural production with the environment in mind. The project, led by Shreeram Inamdar, associate professor of bioresources engineering, is funded by the International Science and Education program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Through summer internships in India, four UD students examined ICRISAT’s sustainable watershed management practices and their impacts on environmental quality, crop productivity and socioeconomic conditions in target watersheds. The students also evaluated the policy and trade implications and looked at how watershed conditions and agricultural practices in India and other developing countries compare to conditions in the U.S.
Teaching modules created by the students and their professors are now infusing international content into eight UD courses. “Sustainable Watershed Management in Developing Countries,” a new online course, also is in development.
“We traveled to a remote village not too far from headquarters to see the impact of the conservation practices on agricultural communities and got to meet the farmers,” said UD student Rachael Vaicunas. “It was great to be able to connect all of our research and the topics that we included in our teaching modules to on-the-ground projects.”
During research internships in India, UD students studied the impact of conservation practices on agricultural communities. Photo by Alison Kiliszek.
Keeping a global focus on vital role of the oceans
Oceans Day at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Cancún, Mexico, in December 2010, brought a new wave of attention to the vital need to protect the central role of the oceans as Earth’s life support system.
“Crucial interlinkages between oceans and climate need to be addressed,” said Biliana Cicin-Sain, co-chair and head of secretariat of the Global Forum on Oceans, Coasts, and Islands, which co- organized the event. Cicin-Sain directs the Gerard J. Mangone Center for Marine Policy in UD’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment.
Climate change is threatening the oceans’ ability to provide life-sustaining services such as generating oxygen, absorbing carbon dioxide, and regulating climate and temperature, she explained.
If bold measures are not taken to protect the oceans, more than half the people living in 183 coastal countries, including 44 small island nations, will suffer disproportionate impacts from ocean warming, sea-level rise, extreme weather and ocean acidification (the changing of the ocean’s pH).
Oceans Day featured prominent speakers, including representatives from the governments of the Seychelles, Papua New Guinea and the Maldives, and working groups to develop a comprehensive agenda on oceans and climate. Special sessions were devoted to adaptation needs and related financing for coastal and island communities at the frontline of climate change.
Conference examines water resources in a changing climate
At the Sixth International Conference on Sustainable Water Environment hosted by UD last summer, sobering facts illustrated the need for safe, sustainable water resources:
* 1.1 billion people lack clean drinking water.
* 2.6 billion people lack adequate sanitation.
* 1.8 million people die each year from diarrheal diseases.
“Water is the most important natural resource,” said C. P. Huang, Donald C. Phillips Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and chair of the conference’s organizing committee. “It is a necessary substance for life and there is no substitute for it.”
Climate change further complicates the picture by shifting the amounts of water available in various places around the world. As just one example, a joint initiative of the U.S. and China is studying the impact of climate change on water resources in western China, where rivers are fed by Himalayan glaciers that are receding rapidly. As the glaciers disappear, there will be a corresponding decrease in water supply to the Yangtze River and Three Gorges Dam, currently a major energy source for China.
Ideas presented at the conference, which drew participants from six continents, will be shared in “Technology for a Sustainable Water Environment,” a special issue in the Journal of Separation and Purification Technology.
Grad student reaches out to Kenyan community
When Lindsay Palkovitz was 15, she visited a poor rural area in Mexico where the villagers made their living from other people’s garbage, picking through trash for copper wire and other items they could sell, and burning the remainder to keep warm.
“It deeply affected me to see people living like that,” she says.
That experience ignited in Palkovitz a social conscience, and she has since spent time carrying out community development projects in Bulgaria, Uganda and Kenya.
Now a graduate student in UD’s Health Pro- motion Program, Palkovitz is conducting a study examining the effects of sociocultural factors on adolescents’ sexual behavior in rural Kwale, Kenya. Her ultimate goal is to design a culturally appropriate comprehensive HIV/AIDS and sex education program for adolescents in that community.
Palkovitz, who earned her bachelor’s degree in anthropology at UD in 2003, is advised by associate professor Beth Orsega-Smith in the College of Health Sciences. Her trip to Kenya during the 2011 winter session is funded by the global research travel grant program sponsored by the Office of Graduate and Professional Education, in collaboration with the Institute for Global Studies. Twenty-five graduate students shared $86,375 in competitive grants, supporting travel for global research, internships and performances in 18 countries/territories during the 2010–2011 academic year.
Lindsay Palkovitz, right, at a village fruit stand in Kenya.
Professor speaks at United Nations conference on inclusion
Steven M. Eidelman, H. Rodney Sharp Professor of Human Services Policy and Leadership in the College of Education and Human Development at UD, spoke at the United Nations during the Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) in September 2010.
The CRPD was adopted in December 2006 and was opened for signature in March 2007. There were 82 signatories, the highest number in history for a U.N. convention on its opening day. States or regional integration organizations may now ratify the convention and optional protocol at U.N. Headquarters in New York.
Eidelman discussed the need for countries to move away from institutionalizing people with disabilities and instead, create services that support community living and inclusion.
“It’s possible for all people with disabilities to live in towns, villages and cities,” said Eidelman. “We don’t need institutional care as a model. With the right support, families can raise their children with disabilities.”
While much of the progressive research about inclusion has been conducted in places like the United States, Canada and Australia, Eidelman says many places in the world still have a very segregated system for people with disabilities.
“Changing cultures is a lot more difficult than changing services,” he said. “Much of the Middle East is very segregated and isolating. In Africa, there are very few services available in most countries. There is also still much shame associated with disabilities in countries like China and Japan.”
Eidelman says just as the United States went through a cultural shift about inclusion, it can be a long-term process for other countries.
“Ultimately, when you get down to the base level with families, most of them want the same thing,” said Eidelman. “They want the best for their children.”
Stephen Eidelman, H. Rodney Sharp Professor of Human Services Policy and Leadership Book
Alumna brings soccer to girls in | by Adam Thomas Afghanistan and transforms their lives
Nowhere will the effects of sea-level rise be felt like the world’s 51 small island nations. On these small, low-lying land masses and coral atolls, facing sea-level rise is a matter of survival — and is already a reality.
Countries such as Kiribati in the South Pacific are experiencing major erosion and damages to infrastructure and property due to higher than usual tides and storm surges. Their potable water supplies and farmland are being contaminated by saltwater.
Kiribati and places like it may one day even become completely inundated. The government of the Maldives announced it is setting aside tourism revenue to purchase a new homeland if necessary.
“Small island states are the most threatened by climate change and they typically lack sufficient resources to carry out needed adaptation and mitigation measures,” says Biliana Cicin-Sain, co-chair of the UD-housed Global Forum on Oceans, Coasts, and Islands.
Cicin-Sain and her colleagues at the Global Forum are working to give the threatened nations a stronger voice in the development of international climate change policy.
“We provide vital forums for high-level leaders and experts to address the major policy issues affecting oceans, and especially small-island developing nations,” says Cicin-Sain, who also is the director of UD’s Gerard J. Mangone Center for Marine Policy.
For example, Cicin-Sain and her team drafted sets of policy briefs to provide information and perspectives on oceans and climate change for participants at the May 2009 World Ocean Conference in Manado, Indonesia, as well as those involved in the climate negotiations of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
The Global Forum also co-organized Oceans Day at the December 2009 UNFCCC meeting in Copenhagen. That event brought together 320 leaders from 40 countries, representing governments, U.N. agencies, non-governmental organizations, the scientific community and industry to focus on the direct link between climate change, ocean health and human well-being.
“Oceans Day participants agreed that there is a need to craft an integrated oceans and coasts program within the UNFCCC by 2013 emphasizing, for example, that there should be sufficient funding to support island communities needing to adapt to climate change,” says Cicin-Sain, who is planning the event for the 2010 UNFCCC meeting in Cancún, Mexico.
The island nations could certainly use the help. Their economies and livelihoods — fishing, tourism, and other activities that rely on a healthy sea — are already threatened by other effects of climate change. For instance, warming ocean temperatures and other related impacts threaten sensitive coral reefs, which support marine ecosystems.
And paradoxically, these countries collectively generate less than 1.3 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions. Yet they face the threat of their homelands disappearing entirely as a result of climate change while receiving limited attention at international climate negotiations.
“This effect, known as the ‘Climate Divide,’ has been a major theme in climate change policy,” Cicin-Sain notes.
Awista Ayub was born in Afghanistan and immigrated to the United States in 1981. She has been recognized as ABC News “Person of the Week” to Glamour magazine’s “Hero of the Month”— for her efforts to bring soccer to Afghan youth. Recently, she was named to the Advisory Panel for espnW, ESPN’s new women’s initiative, and will be a regular contributor to the site. Ayub received her master of public administration degree from the University of Delaware in 2009. Visit her website at www.awistaayub.com.
Awista Ayub once brought eight Afghan girls to America with the simple goal of teaching them how to play soccer. She never could have imagined those young women would go back and transform their country, and eventually be the focal point of her book, However Tall the Mountain (issued in 2010 as a paperback under the title Kabul Girls Soccer Club), which has been praised by public figures around the globe.
Ayub, who graduated from UD in May 2009 with a master of public administration degree, says the original plan was to bring the girls to America through the Afghan Youth Sports Exchange (AYSE), an organization she founded in 2003. The exchange was dedicated to equipping Afghanistan’s youth with leadership skills to promote athletics in their communities, and to have the players teach soccer to young children in Afghanistan.
“What I would come to understand later, though, was that by choosing soccer, a male-dominated sport in Afghanistan, the girls would be pushing the boundaries of the sports culture and would be thrust into a position that would challenge the gender barriers of the culture both on and off the field,” Ayub said.
The book’s hard-cover title, However Tall the Mountain, draws its name from the old Afghan proverb, “However tall the mountain, there is always a road.” It tells the stories of these eight young women, as well as of Ayub herself, and how they found strength in themselves, as well as each other, through teamwork, revolutionizing the role of women through what some would see as the small act of playing soccer.
Ayub says that by playing soccer in Afghanistan, the young women were “not only pushing against years of cultural barriers that girls face on a daily basis, but also, pushing against the cultural norm for the sport itself in Afghanistan and redefining the role of women within that sports arena.”
Ayub says she never intended to write a book about her experience until she was approached by a representative of the publisher, Hyperion.
“The initial part of the process included a trip to Afghanistan to conduct in-depth interviews with the girls, as well as their families,” Ayub said. Her work on the book began in 2006, and the book was published in August 2009.
“That to me was the most intriguing and important part of the process. Although I knew the general background of each girl, it was interesting to hear them talk about their lives in greater detail,” she said.
One obstacle Ayub faced when writing the book was that the time period of her writing happened to coincide with the beginning of graduate school at UD, which Ayub started in the fall of 2007. “Managing school and the book at the same time posed both advantages and disadvantages — advantages in that writing the book provided me with a varied distraction from classwork, and it was a disadvantage at times in that a few of the book deadlines coincided with finals week,” she said.
In writing the book, Ayub said she wanted to show a side of her native country that she feels is rarely portrayed in the media. Ayub said she believes that it is “vitally important as an Afghan-American to contribute to the knowledge and conversations about Afghanistan, as well as to help broaden the understanding of life on the ground in Afghanistan for those who live it on a daily basis.
“It was my intention to not only broaden the understanding of the country, but also to humanize the people. To show that there is a deeper world beyond the media images and sound bites that most Americans come in contact with, and while part of the life in the country does include facing obstacles, it is also important to share stories of hope and triumph.”
Ayub’s book has drawn praise from public figures such as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Julie Foudy, former captain of the U.S. National Women’s Soccer team, and Khaled Hosseini, the author of the book Kite Runner.
“Awista Ayub has movingly captured the indomitable spirit of Afghan women in this chronicle of brave girls who risked persecution and worse to pursue the dreams of ordinary childhood,” Clinton wrote. “In doing what they love most in life — playing soccer — the girls become emblems of the fight for equality and human rights under the Taliban. Their story reminds us that there is always hope and possibility for a brighter future — even in the wreckage left by war and conflict.”
Ayub saw the mountain that blocked Afghan youths from participating in sports, and by teaching those original eight girls how to spread the youth sports movement in Afghanistan through soccer, she found the road to the other side.
UD Students put hearts & hands to work Lifting up lives in India’s slums
by Tracey Bryant
“Be the change you wish to see in the world,” Gandhi said. Working with KATHA, a non-governmental organization in New Delhi, UD students are inspired to find ways to improve the lives of poor women and children.
Empowering poor women and children through education has been a moral imperative of Mahasveta Barua’s family for generations.
A professor of English at the University of Delaware, Barua had several great-aunts on her father’s side who formed a home for women that evolved into one of the first women’s colleges in India.
Her mother, also a strong influence, has long been involved with the Kasturba Gandhi Ashram, a girls’ school inaugurated by Mohandas Gandhi, leader of Indian independence, in his wife’s name.
“My great-aunt was a follower of Gandhi and a founder of the ashram,” Barua says.
Now Barua is working to introduce UD students to India, the world’s second most populous country, its remarkable ethnic and cultural diversity, as well as pressing societal issues including poverty and women’s rights.
On trips she’s led during the past two winter sessions, UD students have trekked to the Himalayas to interact with Tibetan and Nepalese groups and have met with famous Indian women writers at a New Delhi publishing institute.
They also have taken part in service-learning projects with KATHA, a non-governmental organization in New Delhi with the mission to “help every child in urban slums realize her full potential through community-based quality learning.”
Although municipal education in India is free, many parents can’t afford to keep their children in school, and the students often drop out around 8 or 9 years of age, Barua says.
“It is like in Slumdog Millionaire,” she notes. “You can’t tell students to go to school if they can’t eat, and they can’t eat if their family has no money.”
Teaching women in these impoverished families how to prepare snacks and other goods to sell has been a major KATHA initiative.
Another approach is to attract students back to school through storytelling and other activities (KATHA means “narrative” in Hindi), which UD students recently helped to develop.
Tamasha van activities connect with children from slums
KATHA’s Tamasha van (Tamasha means “street theater” in Hindi) travels to the local slums of New Delhi every weekday morning to pick up the children and transport them to a local park for structured educational activities.
The children learn basic math, the English alphabet, and simple words in Hindi, play educational games, and then eat lunch provided by KATHA. The van returns the children to their communities by the afternoon.
UD students Kim Napolitano (International Relations), Delia Murphy (Art History) and Louis Henry Coxe (English and Accounting) developed learning stations in which the children would color illustrations of varying numbers of fruit on pieces of paper and then match them up with corresponding numbered posters. If correct, the students would receive small pieces of candy as a prize. In a second activity, the youngsters put together puzzles.
“We believe that over a longer period of time and with some more funding for supplies, this volunteering opportunity could be successful and even elaborated,” the UD students concluded. “We all enjoyed the experience and had great fun with the puzzles!”
Website analysis promotes improved international cooperation
Traveling through India and visiting various volunteer organizations, Ninamarie D’occhio (Medical Technology) and Emily Bunin (Philosophy) said it became clear to them that communication is of utmost importance to the success of international cooperation.
“In order to raise money and awareness, organizations such as KATHA and other NGOs [non-government organizations] must maintain a high level of modernity and legitimacy throughout their communication with the international audience,” they noted.
The students evaluated the usability of KATHA’s website and suggested ways in which it could better reach wider and international audiences. They also recommended that a sole webmaster be identified within the organization, with ultimate control over the website, to which the KATHA leadership was receptive.
Art project produces striking results
Nicola Brooks (International Relations) and Ned Redmond (English and Art History) worked with art teacher Dilip Khanza and 11 KATHA students who created two acrylic paintings on canvas focusing on the theme of “sustainable urbanization” using recyclable materials. The striking hatch patterns featured in the final products imitate the Bengali stitching technique “Kantha,” which can be pronounced “KATHA.”
The paintings were displayed at the conference “Social Movements for Women and Children: Closing the Social Divide in Globalized Times” at the India Habitat Centre in New Delhi, and later were auctioned to raise funds for KATHA’s schools.
The conference was organized by Barua and the education branch of KATHA and sponsored by UD’s Institute for Global Studies and College of Arts and Sciences. More than 200 people attended, and the UD students had the opportunity to meet and talk with their peers from Indian institutions in break-out sessions.
“Our role was to go to India and not to judge, but to learn ways to implement positive change,” Barua says. “I have now started the Global Academic Partnership with my students and am working to connect them to more organizations in India.”
Mahasveta Barua, Adjunct Assistant Professor of English
This student is learning English through a fun activity provided by KATHA’s Tamasha van.
The culmination of the UD service learning project with KATHA, a non-profit organization in New Delhi, India, was the conference “Social Movements for Children and Women,” which attracted more than 200 people.
English Language Institute
A ‘second home’ for learners from afar | by Tracey Bryant
The University of Delaware’s English Language Institute (ELI) is among the top-ranked programs in the United States for instruction in English as a Second Language (ESL).
With an enrollment that has skyrocketed in the past few years from 200 students to over 600 students from dozens of countries each eight-week session, the ELI plays an important role in globalizing the UD campus.
Founded in 1979, the ELI offers a variety of high-quality intensive English programs for degree-seeking students, business and legal professionals, English language teachers and general English language learners.
“Our goal is to create an environment that is welcoming and fosters student learning,” says Scott Stevens, ELI director. “We’re pleased that, no matter what their nationality, our students feel a strong sense of community here and often form lasting friendships.”
With seven locations on, or adjacent to, UD’s main campus in Newark, Del., the ELI offers small classes of 10 to 14 students, creating a comfortable learning environment.
Its newly christened Self-Access Learning Center bustles with activity as students from around the world gather to improve their knowledge of English, honing listening, speaking and writing skills. Some are pursuing intensive training in preparation for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFEL) and eventual matriculation as a UD student.
The center has an extensive range of ESL software and captioned videos, as well as a library of printed and audio readers by skill and proficiency level.
“It’s helpful — it’s very good,” said Marisol Mendoza of the facility. She is a Conditional Admissions Program (CAP) student at UD. She wants to pursue an MBA at UD and then go back home to Ayacucho, Peru, and start her own agribusiness.
Seated next to Mendoza is An’aam Alsalman. A native of Saudi Arabia, she is working on a master’s degree in special education. When her degree is completed, she plans to pursue a doctorate in language and speech pathology.
“For a new student, this is good practice for listening to, and learning English,” Alsalman said.
At the computer beside Alsalman is Eri Yasukawa from Kobe Shoin University in Osaka, Japan. She and fellow student Miku Minohata are working to improve their English listening skills. They hope to teach English in Japan someday.
The enrollees at the ELI are diverse not only in terms of their native countries and cultures, but also their motivations for learning English. Some have either matriculated at UD, or plan to, and need to boost their language proficiency. Others have come to Delaware for a short period to immerse themselves in American culture. Business professionals take courses through their companies or corporations; and visiting scholars and their spouses gain skills to more easily navigate life in a new country.
The ELI also ensures that international students who are teaching assistants (TAs) at UD are ready for the classroom through UD’s International Teaching Assistant (ITA) program, one of only a handful in the nation. It is sponsored by the Provost’s Office.
“If the TAs have accent problems, for example, we help them,” says instructor Ken Hall, who has a graduate degree in linguistics. “Nobody can be a TA without taking this training and passing the required tests. This ensures that UD students can understand their teachers, and it gives the TAs the language confidence to succeed.”
The ELI is a hub of international activity at UD, where learning and friendship intertwine. “Thanks to caring teachers, a great campus, and excellent programs, international students often view the ELI as a ‘second home,’” Stevens says.
The Festival of Nations, held during International Education Week in November, celebrated the rich diversity of cultures at UD with fashion and talent showcases.
At left, from top: Paola Corredor appears in the sari of India and a jeweled maang tika in her hair; Marisol Mendoza (left) is shown in a poncho and the chullo (hat) from the Andes Mountains of Peru and Wafaa Khalifah from Saudia Arabia wears the traditional black abaya; and Mathieu Plourde, of UD Information Technologies – Client Support and Services, shows his Canadian spirit.
Miku Minohata wears the yukata, a casual summer kimono from Japan.
TRAVELOGUE For UD News, visit www.udel.edu/udaily
¡MUCHAS GRACIAS, Prof. Barrientos!
Granada, Spain |
After 22 years as the liaison for University of Delaware students traveling to Spain for study-abroad trips and home-stays with local families, Jorge Barrientos is retiring.
The esteemed professor at the University of Granada has been “like a father” to UD students in Spain. It is his friendly face that greeted UD students arriving at the airport. He would later shepherd them on excursions to historic and cultural sites ranging from the Alhambra near Granada, to the 1992 Olympic Village in Barcelona and numerous points along the way. With seemingly limitless wisdom, humor and patience, he guided students on four-week study-abroad programs and 15-week semester-long programs.
“He’s truly remarkable,” said Marion Bernard-Amos, program coordinator in UD’s Institute for Global Studies. “He received our students as if they were his sons and daughters. Day in and day out, he assisted them without complaint. That says a lot about his wonderful personality.”
UD Alumni Connect
South Korea |
The University of Delaware has enthusiastic and loyal alumni all over the world. The Korea Alumni Association is one of the University’s largest international alumni clubs. The UD Korea Gala hosted by the Office of Alumni Relations in Seoul recently brought together over 100 alumni, English Language Institute graduates, visiting scholars, exchange students, friends and guests for a fun-filled evening. President Harker briefed the alumni on exciting developments at UD, from plans for a new science and technology campus, to renewable energy projects that are boosting the University’s sustainability efforts.
You can’t see it, but a giant telescope over a mile deep in the Antarctic ice is now providing a new eye into the universe.
It’s called “IceCube,” and it’s designed to shed light on elusive particles called neutrinos that are formed when stars explode and galaxies collide.
Physicists and technicians from UD’s Bartol Research Institute are part of the international team that will complete construction of the novel tool near the South Pole in Feb. 2011. Summer temperatures hover around -40° F there, and survival in the elements requires wearing 35–40 pounds of extreme cold-weather gear.
Photo contest winner
Matthew Gordon, in UD’s GIS Certificate Program, won first-place honors in the Institute for Global Studies’ 2010 study-abroad photo contest. He took this photo in Koforidua, Ghana, during his study-abroad group’s visit with the inspiring Emmanuel Yeboah, who has competed in a U.S. triathlon with a prosthetic leg and now is building schools for children in Ghana.
“During a break in the performances the people of Koforidua put on for us, these kids came up to watch from an opening in a wall,” Gordon says. “As I was walking by to get another shot of the dancers and drummers, I took one glance, handed the oldest girl the globe to incorporate into the shot, and took the picture. Just the way they all lined up vertically turned out great, and the different emotions on the kids’ faces really struck me.”
Latin America & the Middle East |
The University of Delaware is searching for excellent students globally through collaborative efforts involving Admissions, Alumni Relations, the English Language Institute and the Institute for Global Studies.
In 2010, Amy Greenwald Foley and Christine Yang Schultz, senior associate directors of admissions, recruited on multiple continents, visiting top high schools, participating in college fairs and meeting with alumni.
Foley traveled to Ecuador, Colombia, Peru and the Dominican Republic last spring, then to Turkey in the fall with Deborah Detzl, assistant director of the English Language Institute.
Schultz recruited extensively throughout the Gulf region with stops in the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain and Quatar.
“Engagement with alumni is an important aspect of our collaborative efforts,” says Foley. “We work closely with Alumni Relations to reach out to alumni prior to our travels. While abroad we’ve enjoyed coffee with UD graduates, hosted dinner parties with international faculty and alumni, and benefited from alumni who volunteered their time with us at recruitment fairs. Our goals are many: to reestablish and improve upon relationships with our overseas alumni, to create a stronger brand abroad and to include alumni in future recruitment efforts.”
Current international students are a welcome addition to UD’s recruitment strategy, Foley says. The Delaware International Ambassadors (DIAS), formed by Admissions, are assisting these global endeavors via virtual interviews to informational videos in prospective students’ native languages.
The Palace of Heavenly Purity
China’s emperors of the Ming and early Qing dynasties lived here. First built in 1420 and rebuilt due to fire, it is one of 980 buildings in the Forbidden City, located in the middle of Beijing. Inside is the imperial throne, from which the emperor ruled and received envoys from vassal states with their tributes, as well as foreign ambassadors. China’s last emperor, Puyi, was married here in December 1922.
China is big enough to cover several time zones, but it has only one.
The Pekinese, or “Lion Dog,” was sacred to the emperors of China for over 2,000 years. It is now a popular dog breed throughout China.
The Chinese calendar dates to 2600 B.C. A complete cycle of the calendar takes 60 years.
Umbrellas, silk and fireworks are among China’s many gifts to the world.
Silk notes were China’s currency in the days of Kublai Khan. Later, silk was replaced by jade. Today, the Renminbi is in use — it means “people’s currency.”
Red is considered a lucky color in China.
The Chinese dragon is a snake-like creature, the symbol of power and authority, bringing rain and water.
Shanghai by night
The skyline of the Pudong New Area, on the east bank of the Huangpu River, shows off the modern architecture of the world’s most populous city, at over 19 million people. At left, the Oriental Pearl Tower with its shining spheres is the tallest TV tower in Asia at 1,535 feet. Behind it, the Shanghai World Financial Center, with a distinctive aperture or “keyhole” at top, was hailed as the best skyscraper of 2008. Lit in gold, the Jin Mao Tower (“Golden Prosperity Building”) contains offices, a mall, clubs, restaurants and the Grand Hyatt Hotel, with a picturesque atrium complete with spiral staircases, and the world’s longest laundry chute.