2020 Letter from Interim Director
Dear Friends of the Global Center,
Thank you for taking some time out of your day to review the newsletter from the Center for the Study of Global Change in the Indiana University Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies. No unit newsletter would be complete without first acknowledging what an extraordinary year 2020 has turned out to be, from dramatic wildfires exacerbated by climate change, to a contentious election year that will dramatically affect U.S. foreign policy for the next four years, to a global pandemic. All of these events have highlighted the need for increased international cooperation and a citizenry ready to address these global issues head-on.
Luckily, the Global Center is fortunate to have a wonderful staff and collaborators that have worked tirelessly (in home offices with kids, partners, and pets jockeying for our attention) to advance global studies and international education across the nation. We adapted to the situation, taking advantage of the virtual space to broaden our audiences and connect them to peers and experts across the world. We were able to expand some of our planned programming including our Language Teacher Professional Development, led by Dr. Teresa Nichols in partnership with the Indiana Foreign Teachers Association, which transitioned from in-person workshops to over 35 webinars that reached thousands of educators. We were also able to initiate new programs including Teaching in Times of Crisis: Learning from Educators around the World. Spearheaded by Dr. Elisheva Cohen and in collaboration with campus and international partners, U.S. K-12 teachers interacted with international educators sharing experiences teaching through COVID-19 as well as other crisis situations.
Some of our projects were also able to proceed as planned. The Global Employability Initiative under direction of Ms. Linda Mann, an ongoing collaboration with Ivy Tech Community College, received approval for a new Global Workforce Skills Certificate for Ivy Tech students from the Indiana Commission for Higher Education. The certificate will be available at 18 campuses. More on these exemplary projects, including weblinks to recorded sessions, follows in this newsletter.
We also had the opportunity to share those events and more when we hosted our colleagues at the U.S. Department of Education’s International and Foreign Language Education Office (IFLE) for a virtual site visit to Indiana University. Along with the other National Resource Centers and Foreign and Area Studies Fellowship (FLAS) granting centers, we met with our Program Officers and additional members of the IFLE team. One of the IFLE Program Officers said that meeting with IU FLAS recipients was the highlight of his week.
I’d like to include a few thank yous to wrap up this letter. Thank you to the Global Center Advisory Board who put in some extra time for the Global Center this calendar year – we appreciate your invaluable guidance and support. Thank you to the many other members of advisory boards that we work with that advise on specific projects – we appreciate your dedication and expertise. And a big thank you to Global Center staff, friends, partners, and students from the past 30 years! This year was the big 3-0 for the Center for the Study of Global Change and while no one could have anticipated this exact year, we were able to accomplish what we did because of the foundation of those that came before us. Truly, we stand on the shoulders of giants.
With the thank yous come the asks, if you would like to financially support the center in the upcoming year, you can do so here. Your contributions will help us support student scholarships, increase the reach of our internationalization programming, and lead to a more globally engaged citizenry.
Wishing you health and peace in the new year.