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 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





UCA International Students Volunteer at CoHO


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

Professor Minsheng Huang from ECNU Attends “Leaders of the World” Program at UCA


Associate Provost for Finance and Administration, Laura Young; Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Steve Runge; Profesor of Resources and Environmental Science at ECNU, Minsheng Huang; Deputy Director of UCACI; Xiaohong Lu

From March 3 to 7, 2014, the University of Central Arkansas (UCA) organized the “Leaders of the World” International Leadership Program. The UCA Confucius Institute (UCACI) was a co-sponsor of the program. Invited by UCA, Professor Minsheng Huang from East China Normal University (ECNU) attended the program and delivered a speech on water pollution and control in China.

At the “Water & Wastewater Management” panel on the morning of March 4th, Professor Huang gave a speech on pollution control in China and his field research in Wenzhou, Zhejiang Province. He first gave an overview of the pollution problems in China and means and progress China has made in solving those problems. Then he focused on his research topic “Wastewater treatment, aquatic environment quality assessment and eco-remediation.” Dr. Ben Cash, Chair of UCA Biology and Environment Department showed great interest in his research. The speech also aroused great interests among attendees from over 10 countries and regions, who engaged in active discussions with Professor Huang.

On March 6, Professor Huang attended the lecture by Brad Lacy, President of Conway Chamber of Commerce. He conversed with Mr. Lacy on topics like Conway’s urban planning and public administration. In the afternoon, Professor Huang visited the Conway Sanitation Department of Conway Corporation. He had in-depth discussion with the staff. Later, he also inspected the water quality of Arkansas river.

During the “Leaders of The World” International Leadership Program, accompanied by Dr. Lucy Xiaohong Lu, Deputy Director of UCACI, Professor Huang visited Clinton Presidential Center and Clinton School of Public Service. He also visited UCACI and met with UCACI Chinese teachers and Chinese students.


2014年3月3日至3月 7日,中阿肯色大学举行“世界领袖会议”,中阿肯色大学孔子学院参与协办该活动。华东师范大学资源与环境科学学院黄民生教授应邀参加本次会议,并就“环境污染与治理”进行主旨发言。

在3月4日上午进行的“水资源与水治理”论坛中,黄民生教授进行了关于中国环境污染与治理的主旨演讲。演讲首先介绍了中国所面临的污染问题,并说明了中国在解决环境问题方面的策略措施。接下来,黄教授介绍了自己的研究案例“水处理与水质测评”。中肯色大学生物环境学系主任Ben Cash博士高度评价黄教授演讲内容。报告引起了与会者的广泛兴趣。报告后,黄教授与来自数十个国家和地区的参会者进行了问答和讨论。

3 月6日上午,黄教授出席了康威商务委员会主席Brad Lacy的演讲。他就演讲中介绍的康威城市规划与市政管理等问题与Lacy先生进行了深入讨论。下午,黄教授参观了康威饮用水和污水处理中心,并与中心工作人员进行了探讨。随后他还考察了阿肯色河的水质情况。


Fundraiser for Rwandan Presidential Scholar to be held at Pitza42



The UCA Speech, Language, Hearing Center (UCA SLHC) has had the privilege of working with an extraordinary young man named Samson.  After surviving the Rwandan genocide, he contracted meningitis in a refugee camp, leaving him deaf and blind in one eye.  He overcame numerous obstacles and was chosen to study physics in the U.S. after being selected for the Rwanda Presidential Scholars Program.  He arrived in our community in the fall of 2012 and has since studied American Sign Language in order to become fluent in his fourth language.  He continues to receive speech-language services through the UCA SLHC, while pursuing his dream of being an oral communicator.

Recently, Samson received notice that he is a candidate for a cochlear implant.   Only 5% of those with hearing loss due to meningitis are implant candidates.  Despite this wonderful news, Samson has to raise his portion of the surgery costs (20%), which is approximately $12,000.00.

We would like you to help advocate for him by participating in a local fundraiser that our student organization is hosting.   Please take a moment to stop by Pitza 42 and have a meal in his honor on Friday, March 14th.  State that you are there to support UCA NSSLHA (The UCA Chapter of the National Student Speech Language Hearing Association) or show the photo attached to this post.

You can also make a monetary contribution to NSSLHA on his behalf by March 21, 2014.  Make checks payable to NSSLHA-UCA Chapter and mail to UCA Box 4985, Conway, AR  72035.  For more information, please contact Candice Robinson at 450-3310 or at

Rwanda Presidential Scholar attend Neil DeGrasse Tyson Lecture with the UCA Physics Club

UCA International Student and Rwanda Presidential Scholar, Gerard Bambi Munyazikwiye attended the lecture of Dr. Neil DeGrasse Tyson with the UCA Physics Club.

Munyazikwiye said of the lecture, “I was not only fascinated by his amazing astrophysics discoveries or his jokes, but also his philosophy towards life outside of science especially in education.”

Munyazikwiye is one of many international students in the department of Physics and Astronomy. “International student involvement is valued in the Physics and Astronomy department at UCA. Our students work together collaboratively on course and laboratory work so different perspectives and skill sets are welcomed by faculty and students alike. We encourage our students to work with faculty on research projects that get the student noticed by professional schools and industries,” Dr. Will Slaton, faculty advisor to the UCA Physics Club.



Munyazikwiye pictured in the back row second on the right.


Buenos Aires Minister of Government Cristina Álvarez Rodríguez to Speak at UCA

200px-CristinaAlvarezRodriguezBuenos Aires Minister of Government, Executive of the Museo Evita Research Center and Grand Niece of Eva Peron, Cristina Álvarez Rodríguez will give a presentation entitled “Eva Perón: A Leader and Legacy” at the University of Central Arkansas for the “Leaders of the World” International Leadership Program on Wednesday, March 5th at 9:00am in the Board of Trustees Conference Room of Wingo Hall.

Cristina Álvarez Rodríguez graduated from the Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism of the National University of Buenos Aires. Master in Cultural Management of MERCOSUR at the University of Palermo and distinguished as Honorary Professor of the Department of Architecture and Environment. Faculty of Architecture, Design, Art and Planning, University of Morón.

Among her most recent responsibilities Rodríguez, was Minister of Infrastructure of the Province of Buenos Aires, Vice President of the Latin American Parliament (Delegation Argentina), President ad-honorem of the National Institute of Historical Research and member of Eva Peron, president of the Cultural Institute of the Province of Buenos Aires, Under Secretary of Culture of the Province of Buenos Aires and president of the Institute of Social Welfare of the Province of Buenos Aires

Within her political activities she was National Congresswoman of Frente para la Victoria Party (PJ), Vice President of the Commission on Addiction Prevention and Control of Narcotics of the National Congress, President-in -Office of the Justicialist Party in the Province of Buenos Aires and Founder of the political Organization Peronismo 2020.

A full list of speakers and attendees of the “Leaders of the World” conference can be found here.

Senior Adviser of UNWomen, Ana María Salazar, to Speak at UCA

Ana Maria SalazarAna María Salazar, Senior Adviser of UNWomen in New York will speak at the UCA “Leaders of the World” conference on Monday, March 3 at 4:30pm in the Fireplace Room of McCastlain hall.

Her lecture is entitled “The Role of the United Nations and the Promotion of Gender Equality.”

Ana María Salazar graduated Cum Laude Doctor in Political Science and Sociology, Law Graduate by University Complutense of Madrid, European MBA by the École des Affaires and worked as an expert in European Communities for the Diplomatic School of Madrid, Expert in National Defense (CESEDEN, Superior Centre of National Defense Studies) and Diplomat in Training Trainers in Social Corporate Responsibility by University of Buenos Aires, PNUD (Spanish Fund of the United Nations).

Throughout her professional career, she has combined law with holding high level posts in public administrations such as Director General of Tourism in Castilla La Mancha (1992-1995) and Manager of the Official School of Tourism in Spain of the Ministry of Economy (1995-2000).

As an expert in international relations, she has led many projects of cooperation for development in institutional strengthening, gender policies, governance and economic empowerment of women through tourism. In June 2011 she received the Women Together award at the UN headquarters in New York, as recognition for her professional career within the fields of public life and teaching. Particularly, for her excellent work regarding women’s empowerment in developing countries.

You can find more information about the “Leaders of the World” conference including a full list of speakers and attendees here.