March 2011 Archives

Penn State Public Broadcasting, Penn State Law and the Penn State School of International Affairs are producing an educational public television and multimedia series that will elevate public awareness of important human rights issues and the international treaties that govern them.

World on Trial presents both sides of sharply contested international human rights issues in the context of courtroom trials before live multinational juries. Remote juries at distinguished universities throughout the world will view the proceedings by video, deliberate, and also render verdicts. Each episode will be filmed in a courtroom with simultaneous translation before a live audience and jury.

World on Trial will be broadcast on public television stations throughout the United States, on similar stations in other nations, and will be available worldwide through online distribution channels.

Visit the World on Trial website for information about individual episodes and to watch the 5-minute  trailer for the pilot episode.

The boys at a ProNino orphanage in Honduras have been acting strange lately -- they are making their beds.

This behavior change can be attributed to the 141 blankets donated to the ProNino orphanages by interns in the Penn State College of Education's Professional Development School (PDS). As a part of the interns' "Teachers Warming Our Future" project, all of the 75 children at ProNino orphanages received their own blankets to keep them warm this winter -- blankets that they have already come to treasure.

The PDS is a collaborative program between the State College Area School District and the Penn State College of Education that pairs Penn State teacher preparation students with State College teachers in a year-long student teaching internship.

Read the full story at Penn State Live.

Anne Thompson, professor of meteorology at Penn State, is a recent recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship to work in South Africa. Her work builds international networks to study the vertical structure of ozone and air quality that helps NASA to evaluate and validate measurements from polar orbiting satellites.

Read the full story at Penn State Live.

Editor's note: During Spring Break, 16 Penn State students made their way to Cape Town, South Africa, as part of a weeklong journalism expedition led by Tony Barbieri, professor of writing and editing. The immersive project, part of Barbieri's spring 2011 journalism course on "International Reporting," provided an opportunity for students to experience duties similar to those of foreign correspondents working for media outlets. During the first part of the semester, the students researched South Africa and developed story ideas. In South African, they conducted interviews with subjects in and around Cape Town, and assembled a final portfolio of projects from each student that will be marketed to newspapers across North America. In addition to the students and Barbieri, two other professors attended, along with two documentary film students who are producing a documentary on the group's expedition, and their adviser, Barbara Bird.

In this first entry, Andy Colwell details the daylong journey from the United States to Cape Town, and the corresponding changes witnessed in culture and community as the group adjusts to their new working environment.

* * *

To get to Cape Town, South Africa from University Park, Pa., it takes one bus trip, three flights, seven time zones, 18 hours and countless doses of perseverance. Our home for the next six days was Cape Town, South Africa, the southernmost major city of the southernmost African country, which has been the subject of our study throughout the previous two months. But if our stay was based off of the amount of equipment we packed, one might surmise that we were to be in-country for a solid month. Not so -- only six days plus travel.

Read the full post on Penn State LiveTo follow the week-long series of dispatches after they have been posted, visit online.

University Park, Pa. -- The University Office of Global Programs (UOGP) expressed deep concern on behalf of the entire Penn State community for the victims of the massive earthquake in Japan and resulting tsunamis and nuclear power plant damages. UOGP is working with officials in Japan and at the University to ensure that every effort is made to provide assistance to Japanese students on campus, Penn State students studying in Japan, and to fundraising efforts to send relief to those affected by the disaster.

Vice Provost for Global Programs Michael Adewumi released a statement Thursday (March 17) with regard to students on education abroad programs:

"We are grateful that all of the 17 Penn State students studying in Japan, or scheduled to study in Japan, have been accounted for and are either already home or making their way back to the States. I would like to thank our partners in Japan including the Institute for the International Education of Students (IES) Tokyo Program and Nagoya Program (also IES) with Nanzan University; Tohoku University in Sendai and Ibariki University in Mito. And I commend our Emergency Response Team at University Park who worked tirelessly to contact the students and make arrangements for their safe return.

"The U.S. State Department is making arrangements to evacuate personnel from Japan out of concern for the situation at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. The State Department issued the following warning: 'The State Department strongly urges U.S. citizens to defer travel to Japan at this time and those in Japan should consider departing.' "

International students from Japan who are studying at Penn State and are in need any kind of special attention as a result of this disaster are encouraged to call Robert Crane, interim director of Global Relations & Promotion in UOGP, at (814) 865-6348. For international students dealing with disasters in their home countries, Global Programs offers logistical support and sometimes limited financial aid in addition to the emotional support available from the Penn State Counseling and Psychological Services. UOGP helps students get in touch with their families to determine if they are safe; assists with travel and visa arrangements if needed; and ensures that students maintain their academic status if they plan to return to the University. The office has an International Student Distress Fund that can provide very limited financial help as needed. (Contributions to this fund may be sent to the University Office of Global Programs, attention Sherry Miller, 410 Boucke Building, University Park, PA 16802.)

UOGP is also working with the student Japanese Friendship Association to assist with their fundraising efforts related to the crisis in Japan. The Association is collecting donations in the HUB-Robeson Center every day. In addition to other events in progress, the organization's International Coffee Hour scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Thursday, April 24, in the HUB will be held in honor of Japan and donations will be collected there as well. As details are finalized, more information will be available on the UOGP website and in the weekly newsletter, The Global Lion, both at online.

Two Penn State Brandywine faculty members shared their expertise on language and culture in a new book published by the University of Michigan Press. Myra M. Goldschmidt, associate professor of English, and Debbie Lamb Ousey, instructor of English as a Second Language (ESL), are the authors of Teaching Developmental Immigrant Students in Undergraduate Programs: A Practical Guide.

The book, a hands-on resource for teachers, focuses on a variety of approaches that can be used in working with immigrant students, and addresses both the academic challenges underprepared students encounter and their need to be connected to a campus community. 

Read the full announcement from Penn State Brandywine News.

Student Stories: Perspective in the Dominican

Penn State student Sarah Colten is no stranger to roughing it. Having already spent time as a student at a school in Honduras, Colten had no trouble adjusting to life in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Getting up for 6:30 or 7 a.m. classes and wearing a uniform was no big deal to the Community, Environment and Development and Spanish double major.

Colten took several classes related to her major, including Human Beings and Society and the Identity of the Caribbean, but her favorite class was an internship for Esperanza International. Esperanza is a company that allows people to offer micro loans (no more than $500) to small-business owners in developing countries.

Read the full story at Penn State Live.

Janelle Larson, head of the Engineering, Business, and Computing Division and Associate Professor of Agricultural Economics at Penn State Berks, will receive the Spirit of Internationalization Award on behalf of the Penn State University Office of Global Programs during their fourth annual International Women's Day Breakfast on Tuesday, March 15, 2011 at 8:30 a.m. in the boardroom of the Nittany Lion Inn.

Larson has been instrumental in fostering an interdisciplinary international collaboration with a program for street children in Kenya, the Children and Youth Empowerment Centre (CYEC). The CYEC is part of the Kenyan national program for street-dwelling children and was created to address issues of standards of care, program sustainability, and program exit.

Penn State faculty and students from a variety of colleges and campuses, including Penn State Berks campus and the Penn State Colleges of Agricultural Science, Engineering, Business, and Health and Human Development, are now partnering with the CYEC to address all three issues: developing a life-skills curriculum to enhance standards of care; improving agricultural production, value addition, and other business opportunities to support program sustainability; and creating entrepreneurship education and developing an eco-village where the older youth can transition to independent living as a key part of the exit strategy. 

Read the full story on Penn State Live.

University Park, Pa. -- Penn State's University Office of Global Programs (UOGP) is pleased to announce the winners of the 2011 Spirit of Internationalization Awards. These annual awards honor women from Penn State University and the local community who embody the "Spirit of Internationalization" through academic achievements, artistic excellence, volunteerism in international organizations or dedication to advancing the status of women. The awards coincide with International Women's Day (officially observed on March 8), which is celebrated worldwide to bring attention to global women's issues.

The 2011 Spirit of Internationalization Award winners are:

Alice Cheng -- undergraduate senior majoring in bioengineering

Rachel Sayre -- graduate student in the School of International Affairs

Sally Mouakkad -- graduate student in the School of International Affairs

Janelle Larson -- associate professor of agricultural economics at Penn State Berks

Consuelo DeMoraes -- professor of entomology in the College of Agricultural Sciences

Norma Keller -- vice president and treasurer of the Centre County Chapter of the United Nations Association

This year's Spirit of Internationalization selection committee included representatives of the Penn State's Center for Women Students, American Association of University Women (AAUW), Centre County League of Women Voters, Commission for Women, Global Connections, Graduate Women in Science, and UOGP.

These remarkable women were honored at the International Women's Day Breakfast today (March 15). The breakfast is a fundraiser, benefiting Panzi Hospital in the Democratic Republic of Congo, specializing in treating survivors of sexual violence.

For more information about the Spirit of Internationalization Awards, contact Sandi Richter, special events coordinator, University Office of Global Programs, at (814) 863-5973 or

The University Office of Global Programs (UOGP) is now accepting nominations for the Ardeth and Norman Frisbey International Student Awards. These awards annually honor and recognize outstanding contributions to international understanding by graduate and undergraduate students (holding non-immigrant status) enrolled in a full-time academic program at any Penn State campus. Exemplary contributions furthering international understanding consist of academic, athletic, or other extra-curricular campus activities and/or community involvement in school or civic group programs or service projects. Recipients often have contributions in more than one area.

Three awards of $1,000 each will be given, one to an undergraduate international student, one to a graduate international student, and one to an outstanding international student leader regardless of academic level.

To apply, international students who meet the eligibility requirements should submit a completed application form, personal statement, and at least one (but not more than three) letter(s) of recommendation. Recommendations should address the candidate's qualifications in light of the criteria, and should be from faculty, staff, or colleagues familiar with the student's contributions.

The nomination deadline is Monday, March 21.

A nomination for the Ardeth and Norman Frisbey International Student Awards may be found at

Contact Sandi Richter, Directorate of Global Relations and Promotion, University Office of Global Programs, at for questions regarding this award.

University Park, Pa. -- Penn State's International Student Council (ISC) has announced the official development of the International Cookbook, in hopes of achieving cross-cultural exchange among international students.

The International Cookbook is inspired by a previous version released in 2003 and will continue to publish a collection of international recipes submitted by students at Penn State. The cookbook will consist of about 100 recipes including appetizers, main courses, desserts and drinks from all over the world.

"This is a chance for us to publicize the diversity at Penn State and develop an opportunity for international students to shine," said Jinghao Lu, president of ISC. Lu said the cookbook will be officially released by April.

For the full story, visit Penn State Live.

Three Penn State Altoona professors received a $75,000 grant from Alliance for Education, Science, Engineering and Development in Africa.

Lee Ann De Reus, associate professor of human development and family studies and women's studies, Patricia Jabbeh Wesley, assistant professor of English, and Julia Hudson-Richards, assistant professor of history and women's studies, received a Penn State AESEDA (Alliance for Education, Science, Engineering and Development in Africa) grant for $75,000 which includes matching funds from Penn State Altoona.

This grant will help advance scholarship in Africa, build strong linkages with African institutions, and develop global competency in Penn State students. The research, teaching, and outreach projects will take place over three years in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia and Rwanda. Included are new Africa-focused course options at Penn State Altoona beginning in the fall.

This announcement originally appeared on Penn State Live.

Graduate Landscape Architecture and Visual Arts students united for an exhibition in a royal setting, set to open in March 2011. The culmination of a summer 2009 project in the Czech Republic, the exhibition at Vyšehrad, a tenth-century castle overlooking the Vltava River in Prague, features the students' visionary ideas for the castle site, executed in a variety of media.

As part of Cesta do Czech, a graduate study and service-learning program in the Czech Republic, the nine participants had spent a week analyzing and envisioning concepts to guide development of Vyšehrad, a historically significant location that receives little tourist traffic compared to destinations in Prague's Old Town.

See the full story from the College of Arts and Architecture.
Penn State engineering students and faculty visited Morocco in summer 2010 to put in place three different engineering design projects. Two of the teams devised systems to improve communities' water quality, and the third group offered a solution for better workplace seating at a women's cooperative. Curtis Chan, coordinator of college relations for the College of Engineering, traveled with the group and offers a summary of the students' applications of their engineering efforts in a global environment.

Watch a 5-minute video of this project at Penn State Live.

A first-of-its-kind communications class at Penn State -- a six-week study abroad program that allows students to gather a unique perspective on Israeli culture and media -- will begin this summer.

The class, COMM 499 Media, Culture and Society in Israel, will be led by Amit Schejter, an associate professor in the College of Communications who has been a faculty member at the University since 2004.

Students selected for the intensive program will take a six-week course examining the Israeli media system and the cultural context in which it operates and will take part in a series of field trips. Those include visits to leading media outlets and cultural institutions as well as minority media apparatuses serving Israeli-Arabs, new immigrants and religious communities.  In addition, students will meet with Israeli journalists, media makers, law and policymakers, and foreign journalists covering Israel.

Read the full story at Penn State Live.

The community is invited to attend the upcoming International Women's Day Breakfast, at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, March 15, in the Boardroom at the Nittany Lion Inn on Penn State's University Park campus. The keynote speaker will be Lee Ann De Reus, associate professor of human development and family studies and women's studies at Penn State Altoona. Her presentation is titled "Resist, Reclaim, Revolutionize: A Woman's Call to Action." De Reus is a Carl Wilkens Fellow with the Genocide Intervention Network. She is also the co-founder of Panzi Foundation USA, benefiting Panzi Hospital in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which specializes in treating survivors of sexual violence.

In addition to De Reus's lecture, several local women will be honored with Spirit of Internationalization Awards at the breakfast. To reserve a seat at this event, call Sandi Richter at 814-863-5973 by March 8. Tickets are $12 per person.

International Women's Day is celebrated by universities, businesses, nonprofit organizations, and individuals around the world. Originating in the early 1900s, the day is an opportunity to draw attention to pressing issues such as pay parity in the workforce, equal access to education, women's health, and the cessation of violence toward women.

This story appeared on Penn State Live on February 28, 2011.

Penn State York's First Friday Series continues with the topic of "Buddhism" at noon on Friday, March 4 in the Community Room of the Joe and Rosie Ruhl Student Community Center at the campus.   The program is free and open to the public.

Dann Johns, founder of the Susquehanna Valley Sangha, a Buddhist group in York, will share information about this religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practice.

The First Friday series is sponsored by the Penn State York Diversity Committee. The goal of the series is to introduce people to a variety of cultures. Audience members may bring their lunch for this informative program.

The next talk in this series will be at noon on Friday, April 1 when the topic is Hinduism.

This story first appeared on Penn State Live.
Penn State's new Center for Global Studies recently announced 7 new funding opportunities including awards for graduate students, faculty, undergraduates, and Pennsylvania K-12 teachers.  The Center for Global Studies is housed in Penn State's College of the Liberal Arts and has been designated a Title VI National Resource Center by the Department of Education.

Information about individual grant programs and eligibility can be found on the Center for Global Studies website.  Most applications are due in early April.

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