Ambassadors group helps aspiring Peace Corps volunteers

For decades, the University of Wisconsin–Madison has been among the top institutions for recruiting Peace Corps volunteers. Today, a student group called Peace Corps Ambassadors is helping to sustain that tradition, while providing additional support for prospective volunteers.

“It’s nice to have a small cohort of folks who are going through the same phenomenon, worried about their choices, not sure how to word [their] essays,” says Peace Corps campus recruiter Eric Luckey.

The Peace Corps Ambassadors group was formed before Luckey became the campus recruiter two years ago. Now, he wants to raise the group’s visibility among students, by promoting more Peace Corps networking and hosting small-group bonding activities.

Meetings provide a forum for the 20 to 30 students in the group to talk about the Peace Corps and their future after graduation.

“Having conversations with students about their fears, their concerns, their expectations,” Luckey says, “I think those are all, if not as important, perhaps even more important than the day-to-day recruiting work that I do here on campus.”

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInPin on Pinterest

Alumni facilitate internships, opening doors for UW students

The essence of the Wisconsin Idea is that the University of Wisconsin–Madison should improve people’s lives beyond the classroom, throughout the state, across the nation, and around the world.

UW‐Madison seniors Nicolas Bunker and Nicolette Johnson with a group of interns at AbbVie in Puerto Rico.

UW‐Madison seniors Nicolas Bunker and Nicolette Johnson with a group of interns at AbbVie in Puerto Rico.

Last summer, two UW–Madison seniors—Nicolette Johnson, majoring in industrial engineering, and Nicolas Bunker, majoring in chemical engineering—embodied the university’s guiding principle through their participation in internships at AbbVie, a global, research-based biopharmaceutical company, working at the company’s Barceloneta facilities in Puerto Rico.

This opportunity was made possible, in part, by UW–Madison alumni working at AbbVie, who value the importance of giving back to their alma mater and saw this as an opportunity to improve students’ undergraduate experience and fill their company’s talent pipeline with globally capable students.

“As a leader of this organization, there is nothing more wonderful than when people go and work at one of my sites,” says Azita Saleki-Gerhardt, senior vice president and president of AbbVie Operations, and a member of the UW–Madison Division of International Studies Advisory Board.

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInPin on Pinterest

AIDS Memorial Quilt frames discussion

A 12’-by-12’ AIDS Memorial Quilt — created to memorialize lives affected by AIDS — served as the backdrop for a discussion about HIV/AID that drew participants from on and off the UW-Madison campus, on December 11, 2014, at UW-Madison’s Red Gym.

The discussion featured Dr. Ryan Westergaard, an assistant professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health, talking about his research combating HIV/AIDS and providing care to patients in Dane County.

Rachel Bowers-Sword, an HIV case manager at the AIDS Network in Madison, also spoke. Bowers-Sword served as a community health volunteer with the Peace Corps in Ecuador (2011-13), where she helped a university design and implement a health campaign (starting with a fair for World AIDS Day) and facilitated student training about sexual health and HIV/AIDS prevention.

The event was sponsored by the Division of International Studies, the Global Health Institute, and the UW-Madison Peace Corps Office.

Peace Corps AIDS quilt 017 Dr. Ryan Westergaard talks about providing care to HIV/AIDS patients. Click here to see more photos from the event.

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInPin on Pinterest

World Appreciation Day brings middle schoolers to UW-Madison

World Appreciation Day brought 400 middle school students, teachers, and chaperones from nine schools in southern and central Wisconsin to Union South on the UW-Madison campus on  November 17, 2014, for a morning of sessions to introduce the languages, cultures, histories, politics, and traditions of various countries.

The event was sponsored by the Wisconsin International Outreach Consortium (WIOC) and International Reach at UW-Madison, in celebration of International Education Week.

Featured activities included performance/demonstrations of Okinawan-style drumming and Brazilian Capoiera, and concluded with a visit from Bucky Badger.

The program included 24 break-out sessions led by 28 presenters.  These included sessions on Taiwan’s lunar year celebrations, Irish dance, traditional Chinese games, Philippine monsters, German song and dance, Russian fairy tales and music, ancient Tibetan chants, Vietnamese water puppetry, and Hausa language and culture. Other sessions introduced middle schoolers to Japan, Africa, Peru, Persia, Malaysia, Indonesia, Turkey, and Bollywood.

Participating schools were: Assumption Middle School, Wisconsin Rapids; Patrick Marsh Middle School, Sun Prairie; Immaculate Heart of Mary, Monona; O’Keefe Middle School, Madison; Bartels Middle School, Portage; Elkhorn Middle School; Belleville Middle School; Glacial Drumlin School, Cottage Grove; Fort Atkinson Middle School.

World Appreciation Day 2014 152

Middle school students learn about games in Indonesia. Photo by Kerry G. Hill/UW-Madison Division of International Studies

Click here to view more photos from World Appreciation Day.

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInPin on Pinterest

Advisory Board members, UW students talk about international experiences

Advisory Board Oct 2014 061The Advisory Board for the University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of International Studies heard reports from a variety of students about their recent global experiences during the Board’s fall meeting on Friday, October 24, 2014, at the University Club.

On Thursday, October 23, two of the board members — retired Ambassador John Lange and Anthony Carroll — shared their experiences and advice with a group of students at an information session for the Washington, D.C., Semester in International Affairs. Lange and Carroll are among the UW-Madison alumni closely involved with the 10-year-old program.

Click here to view more photos

Advisory Board Oct 2014 047

Photos: Kerry G. Hill/UW-Madison Division of International Studies

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInPin on Pinterest

Chancellor recognizes DC Semester Program

Chancellor Blank poses with the current cohort of D.C. Semester students, along with UW alumni Leon Weintraub and  Tony Carroll.

Chancellor Blank poses with the current cohort of D.C. Semester students, along with UW alumni Leon Weintraub and Tony Carroll.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – University of Wisconsin–Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank recognized the Washington, D.C. Semester in International Affairs at a special reception in the nation’s capital on October 20, sponsored by the Wisconsin Alumni Association.

Tony Carroll, who is among the group of UW–Madison alumni who helped to start the program 10 years ago, introduced Chancellor Blank at the event, held at the National Press Club. Carroll is a corporate lawyer and business advisor on international trade and investment.

“Tony and his fellow Badgers had seen too many students go to D.C. to sharpen pencils and count staples,” Blank told the audience. “They wanted to create a program that would place outstanding students in organizations willing to provide substantive, meaningful work – the kind of work that helps prepare students to become leaders in a global society.”

The D.C. Semester Program, an undergraduate program offered in the fall by the UW–Madison Division of International Studies, combines an international affairs-focused internship and weekly seminars that feature prominent speakers and distinguished UW–Madison alumni who work in professional, academic, and diplomatic fields related to international affairs.

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInPin on Pinterest

Joe Elder gets sweet UW honor

UW-Madison’s Center for South Asia hosted an ice cream social on Thursday, September 4, 2014, for Joe Elder, the long-time professor of sociology who retired this year. Elder was honored with a special flavor of Babcock Hall Ice Cream — Joe Elderberry.

Honoring Elder with an ice cream social seemed fitting, since Elder has, for the last 10-plus years, hosted weekly ice cream socials for the students in the South Asia summer language program, footing the bill himself when other funds were unavailable.

In addition to the ice cream served at the social, some of the Joe Elderberry Ice Cream was given to the University Club to serve in his honor and, in line with Joe and Joann Elder’s values of social justice, batches of the special flavor were donated to two Madison food pantries to serve with meals.

Presenting Joe Elderberry Ice Cream.

Presenting Joe Elderberry Ice Cream.

 

Click here to see more photos of this event.

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInPin on Pinterest

Global Gateway opens up world for UW students

Joann Huynh had no intention of studying abroad when she came to the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

“I had never been far from home or my parents, let alone out of the country,” says Huynh, of Chicago.

Yet, she found the new UW Global Gateway Program too enticing to pass up – a fully funded opportunity to study in China, the country her parents had left in the 1980s. So she applied to become one of 15 UW­–Madison undergraduates to embark on a four-week, faculty-led experience in Shanghai this summer.

“When I was accepted to the program, my parents initially said ‘no’ to me going,” Huynh says. “I was expecting it, since from what they remember about China, it was unsanitary and dangerous. … It took a lot of convincing, but I was dead set on taking advantage of this opportunity.”

After spending a month in China, she reports, “I learned what it means to be a global citizen with an appreciation for different cultures, especially if you are coming into a new experience with preconceived notions.”

International Academic Programs (IAP), the study abroad unit of the Division of International Studies, developed the UW Global Gateway Program to engage undergraduates who might be curious about studying abroad, yet reluctant about plunging into an overseas academic experience.

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInPin on Pinterest

UW’s Tianjin program gives UW students strong boost in Chinese

Brendan Dowling had never studied Chinese—or any other foreign language—when he received a grant to travel to China during his first year as a student at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

After returning to Madison after his semester abroad, Dowling, of Carpentersville, Ill., enrolled in several Chinese courses. In fact, he enjoyed it so much that he decided to major in Chinese.

In just two-and-a-half years of study, Dowling’s Chinese speaking and listening skills had reached an advanced level. Then, he gave his language learning a further boost by returning to China in 2013 through the 11-week UW Intensive Chinese Language Program at Tianjin, a summer program offered by International Academic Programs (IAP).

While many UW–Madison students enroll in study abroad programs to advance their language studies, what distinguishes the summer program in Tianjin is its intensive focus on perfecting students’ knowledge of the Mandarin Chinese language. Participants earn a year’s worth of language credits in one summer session.

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInPin on Pinterest

WIOC-Urban League initiative introduces middle schoolers to other countries, cultures

Kaylah Cruz Herrera posed a couple of questions to her young audience at Madison’s Toki Middle School: Where do you want to go to study abroad? What language do you want to learn?

Kaylah Cruz Herrera talks to Toki students about Morocco

Kaylah Cruz Herrera talks to Toki students about Morocco

Herrera, a sophomore at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, prompted the sixth and seventh graders, one by one, to respond. A few declined, but most mentioned a language – e.g., Spanish, Tibetan – or named a location – e.g., Paris.

She wanted to make it clear that studying abroad was an experience within their reach, noting that she took advantage of an opportunity as a high school student in Racine.

She talked about her experience as a scholar in the National Security Language Initiative for Youth program, funded by the U.S. State Department, which enabled her to study Arabic for an academic year in Marrakech, Morocco.

Herrera became the first in a semester-long lineup of presenters at the International Club, a new collaboration between the Wisconsin International Outreach Consortium (WIOC), based in UW–Madison’s International Institute, and the Urban League of Greater Madison.

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInPin on Pinterest
Powered by WordPress | Designed by: Image Hosting | Thanks to MegaUpload Search, RapidShare Search and Internet TV