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Launching CSU International Studies Awareness Week

The week of November 30th through December 4th, 2015 witnessed several activities during the launching of International Studies Awareness Week. Organized by Dr. Margaret King, Faculty and Coordinator of International Studies (IS) worked in tandem with the Global Student Association to promote International Studies as one of the most viable degree programs at Chicago State University.

Among the events scheduled was the meet and great ice cream welcoming session with guest speaker and games. Dr. Virginia Shen, Professor of Spanish spoke on the importance of International Studies degree punctuated by a study abroad experience. She had led a team of IS students on a study abroad experience to Taiwan. One of the students, Robert Perez, shared his experience and Barbara Ameyedowo also discussed her experience in Ghana. This event was collaboration between the Global Institute and the student’s club.

International movie review and students panel discussions with free popcorn organized by the club were other activities of the week, which unfortunately met with some technical difficulties. The next day was Global Institute-organized Global Forum featuring students from Global Diversity Class to present their projects on the various world regions. International Studies graduating students also presented their theses.

The climax came on Thursday, December 3, 2015 when various community and faith-based groups gathered during a Community/Faith-Based Forum. A rich panel discussed the broad activities in their various organizations and explored ways to enhance university-community partnership for mutually beneficial engagements, with the aim of creating experiential service learning opportunities for students. To promote the university’s global citizenship mission, the discussion included the importance of creating a global mindset for local development and student achievement. Together with the community audience, faculty and students weighed in as well.

Moderated by Dr. Gale Frazier, the Chairperson of the, National Black Agenda Consortium and the Global Africa Team, the panelists comprised of: Dr. Danny Block, Professor of Geography and Director of Neighborhood Assistance Center at CSU; Natalie Felton, Outreach Director, Peace Corps; Nedra Johns, Administrator, Illinois State Senator Pelt’s Office; Antonio Lightfoot, Director, Hunger Coalition; Fatimah Traore, President, Illinois Hair Braiders Association; Paula Green, President, The All People’s Foundation; Mary Jones, Ex. Director, Agora Community Services; Garnet Hall, President, National Black Alliance Network; Rev. Anthony Williams, Pastor, Evangelical Church; Beverly Brown, Publisher, Saints News Magazine and Rev. Tyrone Johnson, Pastor, Christ Lives in Me.

After breaking for lunch, provided by one of the co-sponsors, CSU’s new Center of Information and Security Education and Research (CINSER), the Community/Faith-based panel was followed by a Global Terrorism panel. After an introduction by Dr. King, the Moderator and an overview by Dr. Gebeyehu Mulugeta, Chairperson of the Department of Geography, Sociology, History, African American Studies, and Anthropology and the Co-PI of CINSER, the discussion commenced.

With the prevailing wave of global terrorism and increasing concern for public safety, panelists discussed historical perspectives, origin of various terrorist organizations, culture, cause and effect, proposed solutions and policy recommendations to combat global terrorism. They included: Nadege Nicholas, International Consultant and PhD. Candidate at Loyola University; Dr. M. Salahuddin, Professor of Criminal Justice at Chicago State University; Cecile Johnson, President of African Development Plan and a member of Global Africa Team; Dr. Agber Dimah, Professor of Political Sciences at Chicago State University; as well as Kelly Mason, a student from Dr. King’s Globalization and Diversity Class, whose research paper was on Boko Haram, a terrorist group in Sub-Saharan Africa and was selected by Global Institute of Sustainable Development. Audience participation was phenomenal.

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