In our interdisciplinary programs, together we adapt, discover, connect, and serve. From mentoring programs to cultural exploration, our students and faculty are building relationships and understanding around the world.
Together, we advance the human experience.
International Studies launched a new mentorship program, called Academic Clusters, that pairs first- and second- year students with upper-level students. Through meetings and activities arranged by the International Studies program, mentors provide counsel to their younger peers, offering advice about courses in the major, resources on campus, and experience studying abroad. Despite the hurdles of the COVID-19 pandemic, the clusters continue to meet monthly virtually and access the community remotely.
Caridad Souza, Director of the Center for Women’s Studies and Gender Research, started the short-term volunteer program “Learn & Serve in Ghana.” The 20-day trip over Winter Break immerses participants in Ghanaian society while they complete service projects in tandem with local NGOs. Students learn how to work with different cultures without imposing Western traditions as superior, understand their preconceptions and biases, and learn about transnational solidarity and its application. Ultimately, students discover how education abroad can teach self-discovery and growth.
A graduate of May 2021, Lakin Dickson will be interning with the International Rescue Committee for the summer. This organization helps individuals whose lives and livelihoods have been destroyed by disasters in hopes to recover and pave the way for a better future. Within this case management internship, she will have the opportunity to work with refugees and assist them to connecting clients and community resources, as well as an opportunity to develop programs. It is an experience that interdisciplinary liberal arts has prepared her for through all the knowledge and skills built over her academic career, and a wonderful opportunity to gain professional experience in a multi-cultural setting right after graduation.
Senior Instructor Debbie Swann, a faculty member in the CSU Theatre program and director of a children's theatre troupe and summer camp, taught LB173: Encountering the Global in Fall of 2020. Navigating a pandemic and a new class brought an unexpected, but desired, professional challenge. Swann was able to reflect on her own traditionally Eurocentric education and look for materials, times, cultures, and perspectives from across the globe. Through the course, students could read "the story of how humans have always been struggling to understand one another." Swann has learned as much as her students have, broadening their horizons, trying new things, and exploring new perspectives. "Rather than teaching young minds to approach topics from one view, we teach them how to step back adn assess all the angles, vertices, and sides of it."