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Oct. 30: College of Business fundraiser simulates a night in Italy

By Sue McMurray, College of Business

Trabani-80PULLMAN, Wash. – Forget spaghetti and meatballs. Anyone hungry for the “real deal” Italian cuisine experience will find just that at the Washington State University School of Hospitality Business Management’s annual Taste of Italy on Wednesday, Oct. 30.Continue reading

First Global Cougs Week expands horizons at WSU

PULLMAN, Wash. – Panel discussions, a learning fair and a free movie will be part of the first Global Cougs Week at Washington State University Aug. 26-30.

 
Hosted by the Office of International Programs, these events are free to the public:
 
Aug. 27:
* Cougs at Home and Abroad student panel, noon-1 p.m., CUB L46.
 
Aug. 28:
* Global learning fair, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Terrell Mall.
 
Aug. 29:
* Global Experiences and the Job Market professional panel, noon-1 p.m., CUE 518. The panel will include representatives from Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, the Washington State Trade Commission and the Peace Corps.
 
crossing borders movie* Free movie night followed by discussion, 7 p.m., CUB auditorium. The award-winning documentary “Crossing Borders” (http://crossingbordersfilm.org/) explores the perceived clash of civilizations between Islam and the West. It is about four American students traveling throughout Morocco, interacting with Moroccans and addressing tough issues/perceptions.
 
The discussion panel will include a WSU Moroccan student, a WSU student that studied abroad in Morocco, a WSU philosophy professor and a former Peace Corps volunteer to Morocco.
 
Aug. 30:
* Soccer coffee hour, 2:30-5 p.m., CUB L46.

Students earn national scholarships to study abroad

PULLMAN, Wash. – Three Washington State University students are among approximately 800 undergraduates nationwide awarded the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship to study abroad this fall.

About 20 percent of applicants are successful, and supporting essays are particularly important to the application, said Sarah Ann Hones, director of the distinguished scholarship program at WSU. More than 30 WSU students since 2006 have received the scholarship. 

More information regarding the Gilman, or applying for distinguished scholarships and other prestigious awards, can be found online at http://DistinguishedScholarships.wsu.edu.

The recipients are:   

* Galen Green, a sophomore English major from WSU Vancouver, who will spend a year at the Beijing Language and Culture University in China taking classes in both English and Mandarin. An avid fiction writer, he plans to start and facilitate a writing workshop in Beijing to stay active in his craft. 

He said life in another culture helps to accelerate an understanding of one’s own culture, stifling ethnocentrism.

“I’m excited to be frustrated, anxious and completely mesmerized,” Green said. “There’s really no substitute for that kind of experience; I think everyone should study abroad.”

He said financial costs are not always an obstacle. He gave up driving to save extra money for traveling and said such simple steps make the “excuse of cost for studying abroad not particularly impressive.” 

He said that getting the Gilman award is a reminder that sometimes an otherwise average student –who is just passionate about travel – can be recognized.

* Jackie Hill, a senior Chinese major at WSU Pullman, who will spend a semester at the Harbin Institute of Technology in Harbin, China for an intensive Chinese language and culture program.

She hopes to use the experience to gain an edge in applications for master’s programs to become a librarian who specializes in Chinese studies. Her goal is to help reduce misconceptions about Chinese history and culture.

* Maria Peden, a senior anthropology major at WSU Vancouver, who will spend a year at Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea. The concepts and principles of anthropology, she said, are best learned from gaining an inside perspective through cultural immersion.

Peden will keep a blog – and perhaps a YouTube channel – to document her journey. She also hopes to get involved in volunteer activities while in South Korea to promote a positive image of American students and to give back to her host nation.

“Going abroad helps teach and reinforce valuable skills,” she said. “You can look at problems from multiple perspectives and adapt to new situations. I think that’s applicable for anyone or any career.”

WSU responds to China’s call

PULLMAN – China hosts five times the number of international students that it welcomed 10 years ago, and WSU is among the contributors.
 
According to WSU International Programs data, China is the fifth most popular destination for WSU students studying abroad, with 36 students there during the 2007-2008 academic year. In contrast, one WSU student studied in China in 2002-2003.
 
Chinese universities are establishing partnerships with universities in other countries to encourage international students to study in China. This effort to internationalize, coupled with a growing American interest in China, has increased the number of WSU students choosing to study there, said Candace Chenoweth, director of Education Abroad at International Programs.
 
“The increase has been driven by faculty-led programs in the College of Business and elsewhere, as well as the growth in the number of students studying Chinese here,” she said.
 

Looking to the future

Universities around the world are reporting similar increases in the number of students studying in China.  According to a September issue of the Chronicle of Higher Education (see ONLINE @ http://chronicle.com and search “fifth importer”), the Chinese Ministry of Education reported the number of international students at Chinese universities rose from 39,000 in 1997 to 195,000 in 2007. Chinese officials have outlined plans to increase that number to 500,000 students by 2020.
 
This growing interest in China is no surprise to Christopher Lupke, associate professor of Chinese at WSU.
 
“When I arrived at WSU eight years ago, there was not a single student from our program studying in China,” he said. “Now we have 10 students in full-year immersion programs in Chinese universities.”
 
“A lot of these students are thinking pragmatically,” said Richard Porter, director of the International Students and Scholars Program. “They see that understanding China is good for their future employment.”
 

Largest WSU group

While the number of WSU students going to China has seen recent growth, the number of Chinese students at WSU and other American universities has remained consistently high.
 
“Here at WSU, the Chinese student population has traditionally been the largest, or one of the largest, on campus,” Porter said. According to the fall 2008 report from International Programs, about one-fifth of the international students at WSU are Chinese. Including ethnic Chinese students from Taiwan, Hong Kong and other Asian countries would boost that percentage to about one-third of the total.
 
While Chinese students are expected to continue to study at American universities, the big change is the recent emphasis on opening Chinese universities to international students.
 
“Chinese universities and students are now reaching out,” Porter summarized. “Part of the reason is economic, since international students bring money to China, and part of the reason is political, since this increases Chinese influence and the understanding of Chinese culture.”

WSU info and activity

First flu diagnosed at Pullman campus
A patient at Health and Wellness Services (HWS) recently tested positive for influenza A, the first confirmed case in the clinic for this flu season.People can stop by the HWS clinic, located on the first floor of the Washington Building, any morning during office hours to get a flu shot for $25.

For more information about the flu or medical services, see ONLINE @ www.hws.wsu.edu or call 335-3575.
 
Wonderland
Snow and sunshine have combined at times this month to make WSU Pullman sparkle. See more at the photo gallery ONLINE @ www.wsutoday.wsu.edu.

IMPACT names interim director
Ron Mittelhammer, Regents professor and director of the School of Economic Sciences, has been named interim director for the International Marketing Program for Agricultural Commodities & Trade (IMPACT) Center.Former director Thomas Wahl accepted a position as a chair at North Dakota State University.

The center is undergoing assessment of its operations, strategic direction and resources, Mittelhammer said. For more on the IMPACT Center, see ONLINE @ http://impact.wsu.edu.

Grad student grant requests due Feb. 1
WSU graduate students have until Feb. 1 to apply for the first round of professional development grants designed to hone leadership, team and/or interpersonal skills.Funding comes from the Graduate School, which oversees the program and is partnering with the Graduate and Professional Students Association (GPSA).

“Our faculty in the 2006 Graduate Education Commission report provide strong recommendations for the Graduate School to promote leadership opportunities,” said Howard Grimes, dean of the Graduate School. “We are responding to this faculty initiative.” Details and application materials are ONLINE @www.gradsch.wsu.edu/current-students/profdev.

Faculty sought for climate-change teach-in
Focus the Nation, a nationwide teach-in on solutions to global climate change, will be Thursday, Jan. 31, and WSU faculty are being sought to participate.Presentations, posters and class involvement in afternoon lectures/discussions are some of the opportunities.

Contact Lynne Carpenter-Boggs at lcboggs@wsu.edu with your ideas. See the WSU website ONLINE @ http://csanr.wsu.edu/whatsnew/index.htm.

Chemical inventory due Jan. 31
An inventory of more than 300 “chemicals of interest” needs to be submitted by Jan. 31 by WSU faculty, staff, contractors and tenants who use, store or distribute the chemicals.Locations and quantities may be submitted to WSU Environmental Health & Safety ONLINE @ www.ehs.wsu.edu/chem-inv.

The inventory is a new regulation that’s part of the antiterrorism mission of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.For more information, contact EH&S at 335-3041.

Faculty study-abroad proposals due Feb. 15
Applications are being accepted through Feb. 15 for three grants of $2,000 to faculty individuals or teams to develop a proposal to lead a study-abroad program. Awards will be announced by March 14.

Programs developed through these awards will take place in summer 2009 or during the 2009-10 academic year.Application forms and guidelines are available from International Programs, Bryan 206, ONLINE @ www.ip.wsu.edu/awards.html, or via e-mail from Mary Stout, stoutm@wsu.edu or 335-2541.

WSU leader praises new federal study abroad bill

Lance LeLoup, associate vice provost of International Programs at Washington State University, today praised the introduction of federal legislation to create a national study abroad fellowship program that aims to increase the number of U.S. students studying abroad to 1 million per year.

The Senator Paul Simon Study Abroad Foundation Act of 2007 was introduced Monday, March 12, in the U.S. House of Representatives by Reps. Tom Lantos (D-CA) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), chairman and ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee respectively. The program would be administered by an independent entity and would provide key support to expand college students’ opportunities to study abroad. 

WSU has made internationalizing the undergraduate curriculum an important priority. Last year, WSU sent more than 500 students abroad and hopes to reach 600 participants during the current academic year. WSU students can chose from hundreds of opportunities in over 70 countries and are encouraged to find a program that allows them to take one or more classes in their major or minor while abroad.

“When WSU students study abroad, the experience not only enriches their own lives, but they bring a global perspective back to the classroom here and impact fellow students,” LeLoup said.

WSU faculty-led study abroad programming also has grown, from one program several years ago to 20 programs this year. These further enrich the curriculum by allowing faculty to engage students in experiential learning around the globe.”

“Participating in an education abroad experience is often the highlight of a student’s undergraduate experience. Providing this opportunity for our students is critical to our mission of providing the best undergraduate education at a research university,” said Robert Bates, provost and executive vice president.

The legislation is named after the late Senator Paul Simon (D-IL) who was a strong proponent of international education.  His efforts led to the creation of the bipartisan Commission on the Abraham Lincoln Study Abroad Fellowship Program.  Many of the recommendations contained in the commission’s 2005 report Global Competence and National Needs: One Million Students Studying Abroad are included in this legislation. 

Currently, about 200,000 undergraduate students study abroad each year.  The bill’s objectives include ensuring that the demographics of the study-abroad participation will reflect the U.S. undergraduate population and that an increasing portion of students will go to currently nontraditional study-abroad destinations.

Last year a similar bill in the Senate received overwhelming bipartisan support and had 46 co-sponsors before the session ended.  Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Norm Coleman (R-MN) will re-introduce a Senate bill in the near future.

For more information on the Abraham Lincoln Commission on Study Abroad, please visit www.lincolncommission.org.

For another look at the bill’s introduction, see the NAFSA: Association of International Educators Web site:  http://nafsa.org/press_releases.sec/press_releases.pg/simonbill31207

Out of the classroom, into the world

Goal 1: Offer the best
undergraduate experience in a research university


Tom Westphal, 19, is not a typical WSU student, but in some ways he is a model student — a model of student engagement.

He arrived at WSU in 2005 as a Regents Scholar and already had 20 units of college credit. He spent the summer of 2006 as an intern in Sen. Maria Cantwell’s office in Washington, D.C., and this semester he is studying international politics at the University of Wales.

The native of Richland, Wash., has another D.C. internship arranged for this summer through the Washington Center, and he hopes to work at the Department of Defense, in part because it will help him flesh out his honors thesis.

“It’s titled ‘Supplier-Client Relationships: Dependency and the Arms Trade,’ and is mostly about developing a qualitative model to depict the relationship between an arms-supplier state and the recipient government,” he said. “I actually (got) the idea and was able to do research on it when I was in D.C. last summer.”

Next fall he’ll be back on campus, coordinating a mentoring program for first-year students in the Honors College and taking courses with WSU faculty members who are experts in international politics and political psychology.

Internships, study abroad and undergraduate research, along with community service learning, have emerged as four important areas for enhancing the undergraduate experience.

“I would put them at the center, the core,” said Mary Wack, interim dean of the Office of Undergraduate Education OUE, because they all are connected to and extend learning that starts in the classroom.

“These are very powerful formats for experiential learning.”

According to data compiled by the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE), they are  powerful experiences not just for exceptionally high-achieving students such as Westphal — the kind of student WSU has been targeting as part of its Regents Scholars program — but for all students.

Engagement and its role in the undergraduate experience has received a lot of attention lately, as colleges across the country work to attract the brightest students, retain the ones they have and graduate productive, involved students.
Derek Bok, interim president of Harvard University, gave the keynote address at the National Symposium of Postsecondary Student Success in November, warning that the United States needs “more engaged and involved citizens, but that’s not what the undergraduate experience is providing.”

According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, Bok enumerated a laundry list of contributing factors: a predominance of lecture-based classes, tests that do not measure higher thinking skills, lack of interaction between students and professors, insufficient training of graduate instructors and inattention to citizenship.

According to the NSSE data, intentional activities such as learning communities, senior capstone seminars, service learning and undergraduate research all bolster student engagement and, by extension, student satisfaction with their undergraduate experience. In an online discussion, George Kuh, director of NSSE and a professor of higher education at Indiana University, said, “The key is to scale up these kinds of activities so that they reach large numbers of students in meaningful ways.”

Al Jamison, interim vice president of the Office of Student Affairs, said WSU’s Strategic Plan with its explicit goal of “the best undergraduate experience at a research university” opened up a lot of doors and “gave us license to do some things.”

Along with the big, institutional changes, such as creating the OUE in 2004, there have been countless smaller but significant changes, from writing learning outcomes into student job descriptions, to boosting peer mentoring opportunities through Freshman Focus and Health and Wellness Services.

“There is a lot that goes on here, but it’s below most folks’ radar,” Jamison said. Though some changes may seem small, the philosophy behind them goes to the heart of the strategic plan.

The OUE attempts to make sure that the undergraduate experience is both intentional and coherent, Wack said. “If something is everybody’s business but nobody’s responsibility, it’s hard to get a handle on what is happening across campus,” she said.
For instance, WSU students have been interning, studying abroad, doing undergraduate research and community service for a very long time, Wack said, but they were supported and mentored by faculty and staff working mostly independently.
Now, she said, increased collaboration is starting to pay dividends.

“Our trajectory is upward in terms of participation in all these things,” she said. Internships and study abroad participation are both up sharply, nearly half of WSU students do some type of undergraduate research (including capstone projects) and nearly 75 percent of students do some type of service learning.

“They aren’t frills anymore,” said Wack.

Tom Westphal doesn’t call them frills either: “They are the stars of my resume,” he said.