November 16, 2012
SUNY Empire State College Celebrates International Education Week
Laura Chuang, Emilie Masiello and Francesca Cichello of SUNY Empire State College
(SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Nov. 16, 2012) – International Education Week was celebrated by SUNY Empire State College yesterday with an international video conference hosted at 113 West Ave. by the college’s Center for Distance Learning and its Center for International Programs. International and statewide participation included colleagues from the college’s School for Graduate Studies, the Metropolitan New York and Niagara Frontier regions and the Panama, Prague and Tirana programs.
More than 70 educators participated from seven locations on three continents, including scholars from the University at Buffalo, The University of New York in Tirana and The University of New York in Prague. In addition, students from Tirana and Prague joined the event. Broad and deep participation reflected the college’s strength in learning at a distance and its commitment to enhancing its international programs.
The event was streamed live by ESC-TV via the Internet and viewers from Greece, Maryland, Michigan and New York tuned in.
Scholars contribute from around the world
“As an institution we are enriched by the teaching and learning connections we have made internationally,” said Thomas P. Mackey, dean of the college’s Center for Distance Learning. “For example, the conference featured the virtual collaborations we have developed to advance online learning with partners in Canada and Spain.”
Collaborative international teaching, cultural hurdles in providing feedback to international students, curricular designs that meet the challenges of globalization and obstacles to online learning in Latin America were among the presentations and topics of discussion.
"This international get-together gave us the opportunity to celebrate our combined contributions, challenges and successes in international education, and think about numerous ways to do even more in this important area in future,” said Bidhan Chandra, professor of management and international business at the college’s Center for Distance Learning. “Sharing of personal experiences in international education from a core group of internationals, both students and faculty connected with Empire State College, was a powerful source of inspiration to many of us."
Professor Bidhan Chandra
The event was organized by Chandra, who also served as moderator, and Pauline Chhooi, of the college’s Center for Distance Learning and Francesca A. Cichello, director of student services for the college’s Center for International Programs.
“Today's program was particularly enriched by the contributions of students from the Czech Republic and Albania who spoke about their experiences in our international programs,” said Cichello. “Year after year, our alumni move on to important positions in the private and public sectors, while others gain entrance to the most prestigious graduate programs in Europe and the U.S. Our graduates consistently report that the skills developed through their studies with Empire State College--critical thinking, highly participatory learning and cross-cultural expertise--give them a competitive advantage.”
The college educates approximately 600 international students each year through eight programs.
A joint initiative of the U.S. Departments of State and Education, International Education Week was first held in 2000 and today is celebrated in more than 100 countries worldwide.
The more than 40,000 students, scholars and other exchange participants that the Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs supports are in the vanguard of the hundreds of thousands of students and scholars who come to the United States and study abroad each year.
Participants from around the world
Media contact: David Henahan, director of communications
518-587-2100, ext. 2918