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UKIC Hosts International Education Week Celebration

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The UK International Center hosted an International Education Week Celebration for the faculty, staff and students whose work is growing international education on UK’s campus.

“This celebration is a tribute to the deep roots and broad reach that internationalization has at UK,” said Susan Carvalho, associate provost for internationalization and the master of ceremonies. “The integration of global and comparative perspectives throughout UK’s teaching, research and service missions is enhancing educational opportunities for all of our students.”

The inaugural event took place in the Lexmark Room this past November, where UK Provost Christine Riordan, Lexington’s Multicultural Affairs Coordinator Isabel Taylor and two UK students gave remarks about international education at UK.

Provost Riordan lauded the global work that has been accomplished on UK’s campus:

“From my past work in a college of business, I understand that our work as educators involves teaching students about the global context of the professions they will pursue in their futures,” said Provost Riordan “This isn’t an easy task, the challenges for renewing this commitment are constant and relies on creative funding, ingenuity, and very hard work. I’m glad to have this opportunity to raise a glass to that work, and to honor you for the contributions you have made to a global UK.”

Taylor discussed how UK’s global work positively affects Lexington’s economic and cultural well-being and how all UK graduates will find themselves working with people and issues from all parts of the globe.

Yasuka Miura, a graduate student in the Education Policy and Evaluation program, spoke about how her experience as an international student at UK has shaped her career goals:

“My experiences have fostered a profound respect and appreciation for those working in the field of international education,” said Yasuka. “The support and opportunities given to me as an international student at UK has inspired my career goal to work for international student affairs at an institution of higher education.”

The success of international education and global activity at UK is illustrated by:

  • The number of international undergraduates studying at UK, which has grown 187% over the last five years.
  • The population of UK students who choose to enrich their academic abilities abroad, which has grown by over 50% over the last four year.
  • Becoming one of the top-ten universities in the country for Fulbright scholars this year.
  • The significant federal grant dollars awarded to UK faculty and staff to help war-torn countries such as Pakistan and Iraq rebuild the capacity of their higher-education institutions.
  • The UK Confucius Institute’s short-term teaching program, which sent 29 UK faculty to Shanghai University this past summer. UK faculty became colleagues with SU faculty, creating opportunities to share research and access significant international grant opportunities. The faculty were also able to work with the future leaders of the China – the students.
  • The UK faculty who led over 40 programs abroad this year. One of the most important, high-impact ways of conducting international education at UK is through our faculty-directed education abroad programs.

During the celebration several students were recognized whose academic excellence, global interests and creativity led them to win significant scholarships to fund their interests abroad. The students received scholarships such as the United States – Japan Bridging Foundation Scholarship, the Freeman-Asia Scholarship, the Critical Language Scholarship and the prestigious Gilman Scholarship.

“Internationally educated graduates engage real-world challenges in their coursework and research; understand the forces shaping international events, both now and in the past; and not only tolerate but seek out and enjoy ambiguity and unfamiliarity,” said Provost Riordan. “Thanks to your hard work, these graduates will work with zeal to find innovative solutions to problems such as human rights, economic development and the sustainability of natural and constructed systems.”

The event ended with a performance by Ricardo Saeb, guitarist and DMA (Doctor of Music Arts) candidate from Mexico, and Wanessa Campelo, soprano and graduate student in vocal performance from Brazil.

International Education Week is a joint, annual initiative of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education, to promote programs that prepare Americans for a global environment and attract future leaders from abroad to study, learn, and exchange experiences in the United States. We appreciate your support of the global initiatives, and of the UK community that has worked so hard to increase opportunities for our students.