Representatives from UAI in Argentina Visit UCA

Dr. Marcelo De Vincenzi and Dr. Patricia Zinno of UAI meet with Executive Vice President and Provost Steve Runge and the Council of Deans

Dr. Marcelo De Vincenzi and Dr. Patricia Zinno of UAI meet with Executive Vice President and Provost Steve Runge and the Council of Deans

Dr. Marcelo De Vincenzi, Dean of Computer Technology at the Universidad Abierta Interamericana, and Dr. Patricia Zinno, Director of UAI’s Vaneduc Educational Consortium in Buenos Aries, Argentina visited the University of Central Arkansas this week as a part of UCA International Engagement’s Culture and Language Immersion Camp that is being held on the UCA campus this month. The camp, which hosts twenty-six UAI students from three different countries, is a three-week cultural summer camp for college students from around the world to learn about American culture while improving their English skill.

During their visit, they met with President Tom Courtway, Executive Vice President and Provost Steve Runge and the Council of Deans to discuss future cooperation including exchanges between UCA and UAI and special educational programming including UCA’s annual Leaders of the World Program.

UCA President Tom Courtway, Dr. Marcelo De Vincenzi, and Executive Vice President and Provost Steve Runge

UCA President Tom Courtway, Dr. Marcelo De Vincenzi, and Executive Vice President and Provost Steve Runge

“We are delighted that Dr. De Vincenzi and Dr. Zinno have taken the time to visit our university and look forward to ongoing programing with UAI,” said UCA Associate Vice President and Associate Provost, Jane Ann Williams.

In January, 2015, UCA and UAI will host a Culture and English Immersion Program for Professionals, bringing educators, legislators, and business leaders from around the world together. You can read more about the January program here.

 

First Distinguished International Student Scholarship

Ha Ram, Lara Bersano, and Gerson Semedo (BAICA School tutor)

Ha Ram, Lara Bersano, and
Gerson Semedo (BAICA School tutor)

The University of Central Arkansas Office of International Engagement awarded its first ever Distinguished International Student Scholarship to Ha Ram Kim, a student at Buenos Aires International Christian Academy in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Kim was chosen for this scholarship based on his outstanding academic achievement, as well as his excellent record in community service in acting as a tutor to students with learning disabilities. In addition to being class valedictorian, Kim is also the founder and president of his high school’s Community Service Club, where he organized and led donation drives for local orphanages and food banks.

“We are certain that Kim will be a beacon of leadership and commitment to UCA and his community and benefit from this amazing opportunity,” said UCA Latin American Specialist Lara Bersano, in a ceremony held for Kim at the United States Embassy in Buenos Aires last week.

In addition to Kim’s friends and family, U.S. Embassy Cultural Affairs Representative Linda Talluto; Buenos Aires International Christian Academy Coordinator Gerson Semedo; and Education USA Advisors Amy Molden and Sarah Sumadi were also in attendance at the ceremony, as well as Bersano, who works from Argentina.

“Although we in Arkansas could not present for the celebration, we are honored to have this young scholar representing Argentina at UCA,” said UCA Associate Vice President and Associate Provost Jane Ann Williams.

Kim plans to pursue a degree in the field of education but also hopes to continue his community service efforts while at UCA. “This scholarship is even more significant to my family and me as UCA is an open door when most of the doors have closed on me. I will not only try my best at upholding excellence, but will also strive to be the person who helps open new doors to others, both at UCA and abroad,” said Kim.

The Distinguished International Student Scholarship is a highly competitive scholarship with awards being determined based upon college proficiency exams, grade point average, essay submission, and letters of recommendation.

Distinguished International Student Scholars will receive an award equivalent to full tuition and fees and includes housing and meals for the fall and spring semesters up to four years. To read more about this scholarship as well as other scholarships available to international students at UCA, visit www.uca.edu/international/scholarship.

 

UCA International Engagement Takes Part in Adopt-a-Block

IMG_6324On Saturday, June 7th, University of Central Arkansas International Engagement had the opportunity to volunteer with the Arkansas Dream Center and their summer program, Adopt-A-Block.  Fourteen international students from UCA went to a local community to spend time engaging in culture activities with children.  Activities included basketball, football, crafts, and singing songs.  The Adopt-A-Block volunteer activity was a great opportunity for international students at UCA to connect with the local community and for children in Conway Arkansas to meet students from China, Japan, and Kazakhstan and experience new language and culture.

This is a part of UCA International Engagement’s “Bears Without Borders” volunteer program. To learn more about this program and how you or your organization can get involved, please contact caceituno@uca.edu
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Delegation from Anhui Normal University in China Visits The University of Central Arkansas

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A delegation from Anhui Normal University (ANU) in China visited the University of Central Arkansas on Tuesday, April 28th to meet with President Tom Courtway and sign agreements regarding the Global Education Project and exchange student programs. The delegations included ANU Provost, Jiacun Zhu; ANU  Director of International Affairs, Shengjiong Huang; the Dean of the ANU College of Foreign Languages, Jingze Zheng; and Senior Director of the Global Office of Diversity for Walmart and ANU alum Donald Fan.

“Anhui Normal University is a school with a long history of excellence. We are honored to work with them and look forward to continued cooperation in providing the best in international education for all of our students,” said Assistant Provost and Director of International Engagement, Jane Ann Williams.

During the visit, Senior Director of the Global Office of Diversity for Walmart, Donald Fan, met with President Tom Courtway to officially accept a position on the UCA Confucius Institute Board of Directors for the UCA Confucius Institute. As a board member, Mr. Fan will be a vital part of decisions regarding the development and advancement of the UCA Confucius Institute, including the Teach Chinese in Arkansas program, which oversees the placement of Chinese teachers in Arkansas public schools.

UCA International Engagement provided the delegation with a tour of the UCA campus including the UCA Confucius Institute and Intensive English Program.

While on the UCA campus, the delegation also met with Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Steve Runge; Assistant Provost and Director of International Engagement, Jane Ann Williams; College of Liberal Arts Dean, Maurice Lee; College of Business Dean, Michael Hargis; College of Education Dean, Diana Pounder; and Department of World Languages Chair, Phillip Bailey.

 

Senior Director of the Global Office of Diversity for Walmart Joins UCA Confucius Institute Board of Directors

IMG_4154Senior Director of the Global Office of Diversity for Walmart, Donald Fan, met with President Tom Courtway to officially accept a position on the UCA Confucius Institute Board of Directors for the UCA Confucius Institute. As a board member, Mr. Fan will be a vital part of decisions regarding the development and advancement of the UCA Confucius Institute including the Teach Chinese in Arkansas program, which oversees the placement of Chinese teachers in Arkansas public schools.

“It is a great honor to have Mr. Fan on our board,” said Dr. Guo-Ou Zhuang, the director of the UCA Confucius Institute. “Mr. Fan’s expertise and experience highlight UCA’s dedication to academic vitality, integrity, and diversity. We know he will be an asset to our Board of Directors.”

Donald Fan currently serves as a board director of Global Diversity and Inclusion Foundation, also as a member of the Wharton Advisory Panel of Executives, University of Pennsylvania, Cornell University Executive Thought Leader Advisory Board.

Mr. Fan taught college in China before coming to the United States for graduate studies in 1990. Mr. Fan earned a Bachelor in English Literature and Master Degrees in Education from Anhui Normal University.

Mr. Fan’s visit to UCA was in conjunction with a visiting delegation from his Alma Mater, Anhui Normal University to meet with President Courtway and sign agreements regarding the Global Education Project and exchange student programs. The delegations included ANU Provost, Jiacun Zhu; ANU Director of International Affairs, Shengjiong Huang; and the Dean of the ANU College of Foreign Languages, Jingze Zheng.

International Student Graduation Sash Ceremony Spring 2014

Congratulations to our Spring 2014 graduates!

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UCA Students Take a #GlobalSelfie for NASA

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In celebration of Earth Day, UCA students took part in NASA’s #GlobalSelfie project.

Students took “selfies” while holding signs that read “Hi NASA! I’m on Earth Right Now at UCA.”

“For Earth Day we are trying to create an image of Earth from the ground up while also fostering a collection of portraits of the people of Earth.” NASA stated on its website. “Once those pictures stream around the world on Earth Day, the individual pictures tagged #GlobalSelfie will be used to create a mosaic image of Earth.”

The signs were in several different languages including Arabic, Chinese, Spanish, and many others and “selfies” were taken by UCA international students from around the world and posted to UCA International Engagement’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts.  More than 70 UCA students, faculty, and staff from more than a dozen countries participated in this project.

“This is such an exciting project and we are glad our international students could represent their countries and UCA,” said UCA Assistant Provost/Director of International Engagement, Jane Ann Williams.

A full gallery of the #GlobalSelfie photos can be found on the UCA International Engagement Facebook page. You can also follow UCA International Engagement on Twitter and Instagram: @UCAIE.

NASA will release the Earth mosaic image and a video using the images will be put together and released in May.

UCA International Engagement Communication Manager Presents on Social Media at NAFSA Conference

1609560_10152306686800236_2901982344245502876_nFriday, April 11th—University of Central Arkansas International Communication Manager, J.S. Stansel presented on the topic of “Using Social Media to Connect with International Students” at the NAFSA state conference in Bentonville, Arkansas.  NAFSA is the leading professional association dedicated to international education.

Speaking to international educators and administrators from around the state, Mr. Stansel highlighted the effectiveness of using Social Media outlets like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to engage with international students and better inform international students of issues that are of importance to them.  UCA International Engagement’s Facebook page currently has almost 1,200 followers.

In his presentation, Mr. Stansel displayed techniques UCA International Engagement uses to maximize their Social Media’s effectiveness including videos, infographics, and contests. “The goal of Social Media is engagement, it is not a broadcast medium,” stated Stansel. He continued to illustrate how UCA International Engagement uses each of their Social Media outlets differently. “We have different audiences on Facebook and Twitter and post to these accounts accordingly.”

Mr. Stansel also emphasized the importance of having a Social Media communication plan in place before starting any Social Media outreach effort. “When you post to your department’s Social Media accounts, you don’t just speak for your program, you speak for your university,” said Mr. Stansel. “You need work with your university’s web development to create a Social Media plan that reflects the goals of your institution.”

According to Mr. Stansel, Social Media is of particular importance to international education. “Studies have shown that Social Media helps reduce homesickness in international students and I feel that at UCA we have developed a good community for our international students with Social Media,” Mr. Stansel stated. “It is our responsibility as educators to teach our students to use Social Media responsibly. In our Social Media efforts we strive to lead by example to help our students become good digital citizens.”

You can find UCA International Engagement of Facebook at www.facebook.com/ucainternational and on Twitter @UCAIE.

 

UCA International Students Volunteer for Pitza42′s Mobliepack

IMG_3331 On Thursday, April 4th, International Engagement participated in the Pitza 42 Mobilepack.   Pitza 42 is a local restaurant with a vision to help feed starving children around the world.  Every time a meal is purchased at Pitza 42, a meal is sent to a starving child.  Through the meals purchased at Pitza 42, the Conway community raised 544,320 meals to be sent to children around the globe.  The purpose of the 2014 Mobilepack event was to pack those meals for shipping. The UCA international students that participated spent two hours making Mannapacks.  They scooped ingredients, filled and sealed bags, and boxed them up for shipping to orphanages in Zambia and Swaziland.  The students had a great time working alongside other members of the Conway community. “We had a great time there,” said Harry Yige Wang, a UCA international student from China, “Every time when we think about helping IMG_3169to feed those kids, we always feed ourselves with happiness.”

This volunteer effort is part of UCA International Engagement’s “Bears without Borders” program. If other organizations are interested in having UCA international students volunteer for their events, they should contact Casey Jackson-Aceituno at caceituno@uca.edu.

 

 

 

 

UCA International Students Volunteer at CoHO

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On Saturday, March 15th, UCA International Engagement had the opportunity to volunteer at City of Hope Outreach (CoHO), a local organization promoting community renewal in under resourced areas.  Nearly 20 international students participated in CoHO’s bi-monthly King’s Club program. King’s Club is an initiative to help children meet positive role models. The international students spent the day playing soccer, volleyball, doing relay races, and even teaching the children a Chinese version of chase.

 

“We feel it is important to provide our international students the chance to participate in community service activities and become involved with the local community,” said Casey Jackson-Aceituno, International Student Services Coordinator for UCA International Engagement. “We plan to coordinate more great volunteer opportunities like this one in the future.”

If other organizations are interested in having UCA international studentsIMG_2412
volunteer for their events, they should contact Casey Jackson-Aceituno at