PULLMAN, Wash. – Washington State University this fall will join a prestigious project to promote collaboration between internationalization and diversity/multicultural education initiatives on college and university campuses.
 
“At Home in the World: Educating for Global Connections and Local Commitments” is an American Council on Education (ACE) project funded by the Henry Luce Foundation.
 
Along with seven other institutions, WSU will explore connections between on-campus international and diversity efforts that will better prepare students for the impacts of globalization and improve cultural communication skills among students, faculty and staff.
 
Prema Arasu, WSU vice provost and associate vice president for International Programs, and Kathy Ruby, special assistant to the provost for leadership development, will meet with ACE staff and team leaders from the other institutions to share experiences and discover best practices.
 
“At WSU, we will be planning from winter 2011 through fall 2012 for campus community dialogues across diverse units to explore the underlying issues in educating for global connections and local commitments,” Arasu said. “We will be imagining new interdisciplinary frameworks; discovering shared research, teaching/learning and service interests, and integrating curricular and cocurricular educational endeavors.” 
Other members of the WSU team include Melynda Huskey, assistant vice president, Office of Student Affairs and Enrollment; Alexis Tan, professor of communication and faculty diversity fellow; Manuel Acevedo, director of Multicultural Student Services, and Erin Rice, International Programs project administrator.
 
“At Home in the World is a wonderful opportunity to bring our scholarly and practical attention to the intersections of international and domestic diversity,” Huskey said. “And to reflect on how best to develop the skills students will need in the complex workplaces, relationships and contexts they will encounter over their adult lives.”
 
“Competition for this project was quite intense and shows a great desire among applicants to effectively address this important relationship,” said Patti McGill Peterson, presidential advisor for global initiatives at ACE. “We anticipate great strides from this learning community.”
 
Arasu said being chosen to participate in the program is wonderful recognition of WSU’s existing programs and its commitment to do more. This program makes it possible for WSU to collaborate with ACE and other institutions of higher education to explore novel ways of enhancing intercultural communication and understanding between students, staff and faculty, she said.
 
WSU was one of eight colleges and universities named to the effort. The other institutions are: Alliant International University-San Diego Scripps Ranch, Arcadia University, Bennett College for Women, Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District, Mercy College, North Carolina State University and the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. They were chosen out of 54 applicants.
 
Founded in 1918, ACE is the major coordinating body for the nation’s higher education institutions, representing more than 1,600 college and university presidents and more than 200 related associations nationwide. It provides leadership on key higher education issues and influences public policy through advocacy.
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Sources:
Prema Arasu, 509-355-2543, prema.arasu@wsu.edu;
Melynda Huskey, 509-335-2193, melyndah@wsu.edu