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Rutgers Centers for Global Advancement and International Affairs


Rutgers Welcomes First STRIDE Scholars from the Philippines

Economists predict that the Philippines will be the world’s 16th largest economy in 2050—currently, the nation is 44th—so there is a significant demand for more technologically savvy, globally-focused, and properly trained labor in the Philippines. A five-year, $32 million USAID grant, the “Science, Technology, Research, and Innovation for Development (STRIDE)” project, aims to expand sustainable economic growth by improving collaborative science, technology, and innovative research between the U.S. and the Philippines.

Rutgers’ participation in the project—under the direction of Dr. Mark Robson, dean of agricultural and urban programs at the Rutgers’ School of Environmental and Biological Sciences (SEBS)—focuses on economic development, science and technology investment, and training of young Philippine scientists through faculty exchanges, country visits, master’s programs, mentorship programs, and scholarships.

This week, Rutgers welcome the first three STRIDE scholars from the Philippines to study under the professional science master’s (PSM) program at Rutgers: Micaela Cristina Perlada, Arlan James Rodeo, and Peter Immanuel Tenido. A fourth scholar, doctoral candidate Richard Licayan, will arrive in October.  

“Rutgers has one of the largest PSM programs in the US,” Robson said. “Under the STRIDE project, Rutgers is developing 10 professional science master’s (PSM) programs in the Philippines and will assist in training 55 Filipino scientists who will come to the US for master’s in business and science (MBS) degrees."

The STRIDE consortium is led by RTI International, a nonprofit organization that provides research and technical services to governments and businesses in more than 75 countries in health and pharmaceuticals, education and training, surveys and statistics, energy, and more; other partners include Florida State University, William Davidson Institute, and the University of Michigan.

Through these participating universities, the project aims to award 30 Philippine faculty members with research grants that allow them to spend one academic year in the United States; 27 smaller grants that support collaborative research; 55 scholarships to Philippine university instructors seeking advanced degrees; 55 scholarships for Philippine graduate students to conduct dissertation research in the United States; and 150 postdoctoral training fellowships. The project will also facilitate visiting faculty appointments and connect them to the needs of local industry.

Rutgers and the Philippines have had formal relations nearly 15 years, resulting in two memorandums of understanding (MOUs) that establish a scholarly exchange and cover a range of research topics. The university currently hosts more than 25 students from the Philippines and fosters a cross-cultural environment through student-run programs like the Rutgers Association of Philippine Students.



Regulska delivers remarks at closing ceremony for Rutgers-Jilin University English Teachers Training Program

The Rutgers’ English Language Training Program for Chinese faculty hosted by the Rutgers’ China Office in collaboration with Jilin University in China, ended on August 13, 2014, after three weeks of intensive English language and teaching philosophy sessions and workshops.

The training program, designed exclusively for English-language teachers China, focused on classroom psychology—like developing a learning culture and factors in motivation—and language-specific topics, like applying the English writing program in seminars and instructional technologies for language assessment. Tours to Philadelphia, iconic landmarks, and shopping centers provided context for the theories outlined in the classroom and gave attending faculty an opportunity immerse themselves in American culture.
Dr. Joanna Regulska, vice president of global and international affairs at Rutgers, delivered closing remarks on the ceremony that reflected on Rutgers’ longstanding tradition of educational excellence.

“When I first came to the United States from Poland, I found that there were significantly different teaching philosophies here than in Europe,” Regulska said. “Programs like these help to demystify faculty-student interactions and create a productive learning environment.”

The course is also the first of its kind among the many programs in Rutgers and Jilin University’s 36-year history. As the first-ever English training program for Jilin University faculty, it would also be archived in the university’s history.
“Rutgers is coming up on its 250th anniversary, so as participants in this brand new training program, you are not only a part of Rutgers’ long and proud history with Jilin University—you’re a part of our international history,” Regulska said.

Dr. Jeff Wang, director of the Rutgers’ China Office, said the program would help “Jilin English teachers to improve their pedagogy and experience American culture, society, and history.”

“When [the teachers] return to Jilin, they’ll become better English teachers. It also means better opportunity for RU students to study in Jilin as more Jilin students and faculty speak English,” Wang said. “Likewise, our instructors who taught them also got the chance to learn about the Chinese teaching philosophy and methods.”

The training program is just one example of the outcomes of the longstanding partnership between Rutgers and Jilin University. The two institutions have collaborated on multiple endeavors spanning the decades, including a chemistry student and faculty exchange, a Chinese Study Abroad program, and the Confucius Institute at Rutgers University (CIRU)—an ongoing program affiliated with the Ministry of Education in China that provides training sessions and workshop to broaden Chinese language instruction, promote
Chinese culture and studies, and enhance US-Chinese exchanges.

Attendee Shuhua Zhu said Rutgers’ English language training program was “was very professional and very successful—this is a program that will be highly valued by Chinese teachers.”   

She added: “And we had a lot of fun touring and shopping, too.”


Rutgers Celebrates Convocation of Myanmar Mentees

By James Lickfield, Public Relations Assistant, GAIA Centers

On Wednesday, May 7, 2014 Dr. Joanna Regulska, vice president for international and global affairs at Rutgers University, attended the Institute for International Education’s (IIE) one-day workshop and convocation that served as the closing ceremony for their academic collaboration course with Myanmar. Entitled Connecting with the World: International Relations at Higher Education Institutions and created with the assistance of four organizations, including Rutgers University, the course provided comprehensive instruction for Myanmar university participants on how to set up and manage an international office. Fifty-six participants from 36 Universities and government bodies in Myanmar took part and were led by 35 international education experts from across the globe. This closing workshop’s main purpose was to prepare individuals for their new role on campus as an international “point person” and external liaison. Each participant received a completion certificate.

Dr. Regulska and Dr. Eugene Murphy, assistant vice president of the GAIA Centers were responsible for preparation and the delivery of one large segments of the course “Connecting with the World.” They  were also among the experts who acted as “virtual mentors” over the course of 20 weeks, engaging five Myanmar mentees in weekly emails about course assignments and sharing experiences. They covered topics ranging from developing a mission of the international office and creating an institutional international structure to hosting a foreign delegation and facilitating student and faculty exchange, developing institutional agreements and discussing the role of an international office within a university. As part of her attendance at the convocation and delivering opening remarks, Dr. Regulska had the opportunity to meet with three of her mentees and their respective university leadership: Yangon Technological University, Yangon University and Mandalay Technological University.

Apart from participating in designing and the delivery of this course, Rutgers is actively engaged in Myanmar. In 2012, Rutgers established a Myanmar Faculty Interest Group to explore current linkages and determine ways to formalize relationships with higher education institutions. Rutgers has several faculty members engaged in research in the country on topics such as a comparative history of colonial families in Myanmar and the sociocultural histories of Buddhism in Myanmar. In July 2014, Rutgers faculty member, Professor Chie Ikeya in collaboration with faculty from Yangon University is organizing a conference on women’s history. In October 2014, two librarians from Yangon University and Universities Central Libraries in Myanmar will spend a month visiting Rutgers and learning about the university’s library system. During the next academic year, several faculty from Rutgers will be visiting Myanmar to explore collaborative opportunities, and delivering lectures and seminars.


Rutgers Awards Faculty with International Ties

Rutgers Awards Faculty with International Ties

By James Lickfield, Public Relations Intern, GAIA Centers

With the academic year coming to an end, it’s time for Rutgers University to highlight the work of its talented faculty. On May 7, 2014, Rutgers recognized more than 30 faculty members with 7 different awards for a range of contributions including excellence in research or teaching and diversity. GAIA is pleased to announce that many of these recipients boast international connections.

Julie A. Ruth of the School of Business in Camden was recognized with The Warren I. Susman Award for Excellence in Teaching. Ruth is a professor and area head for marketing, HR and organizational behavior. Her research interests, among others, are the emotions and consumer behavior and brand marketing strategies. Ruth helps run an international study program in South Africa and is on the Editorial Review Board for the International Journal of advertising.

Roberto Chang and Yuri Gershtein both received The Board of Trustees Awards for Excellence in Research. Chang, a professor in the Department of Economics, School of Arts and Sciences has worked internationally since the early 2000’s in short term capacities at European Central Bank as well as the Bank of Spain and The Bank of Italy. He currently has a number of publications to his name covering topics such as debt maturity and exchange rate policies.

Yuri Gershtein is currently an associate professor of Physics in the School of Arts and Sciences, whose research specializes in High Energy Physics. Notably, Gershtein recently helped with the Higgs Boson discovery, a major step forward in the field. Gershtein holds several leadership positions including on the American Physical Society Division of Particles and Fields Executive committee and travels the globe sharing his research internationally, including seminars in Moscow and Protvino.

Mark Gregory Robson, with the Department of Entomology, School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, was given The Rutgers Faculty-Scholar Teacher Award. Robson is interested in exposure science and pesticide use, primarily in developing countries and the policies that impact pesticide use on a global scale. Robson has extensive research and teaching collaborations around the world, with several on-going projects in Southeast Asia. In 2010, Robson received an honorary degree from the Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand.

Four of the ten recipients of the Board of Trustees Research Fellowships for Scholarly Excellence, Sadia Abbas, Mark Zaki, Parvis Ghassem-Fachandi and Pam McElwee have strong international ties. Abbas is an assistant professor with the Department of English at the Newark College of Arts and Sciences, whose recent research engages with the global circulation of Islamism, especially in its relation with left politics, the colonial construction of religious identity, Pakistani laws between imperialism and the military, and aesthetic responses to Islamism and the state in the Pakistani Anglophone novel and contemporary painting.

Mark Zaki, an assistant professor of music in the Department of Fine Arts at Rutgers University–Camden, is no stranger to recognition. Zaki’s work is internationally recognized with awards and recognition from the International Society of Contemporary Music, Musica Nova (Prague) and a Mellon Fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania. Mark holds a Ph.D. degree in composition from Princeton University. His work has also been presented through various channels all throughout the world.

Parvis Ghassem-Fachandi has long been indebted to long term ethnographic field work in diverse societies and settings. Ghassem-Fachandi has conducted ethnographic research in the United States, Gibraltar, and India and boast a large collection of books and articles to his name from politics to religion.

Pamela McElwee is an assistant professor in the Department of Human Ecology, School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, whose research interests lie within human adaptation to global environmental change specifically in biodiversity conservation and climate change in Asia. She primarily does fieldwork in Vietnam, and uses field methods ranging from quantitative household surveys to qualitative interviews to forest mensuration and botanical sampling to study ecologically critical regions, such as tropical forests and coastal estuaries. 

Shireen Rizvi, an associate professor with the Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology, was one of six recipients of The Presidential Fellowship for Teaching Excellence. Some of Rizvi’s research interests are borderline personality disorder, suicidal behavior and development of mobile technology applications to aid in skills generalization. She was also the Program Chair for the 2010 and 2011 annual conference of the International Society for the Improvement and Teaching of Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT).

Lucille A. Joel was one of five faculty members honored with The Leaders in Faculty Diversity Award. A distinguished professor of The College of Nursing. Joel has been a part of UN and UNICEF for the International Council of Nurses (ICN) since 1996. She was also President of the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools from 2006-2008.


Big Ten Benefits in the Classroom

Big Ten Benefits in the Classroom

Entering the Big 10 has given much more than just on-the-field benefits. Sure Penn State will be visiting next fall on the football field, but how about taking a class with Penn State or University of Michigan.

Joining the Big 10 has given Rutgers the opportunity to compete with some of the biggest names in college sports, but the educational impact could prove even more beneficial. As part of the Big 10, Rutgers University has also gained membership into the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC). CIC is a consortium of Universities, mostly comprised of Big 10 schools, that is testing out a “distance-learning” course where 4 Rutgers students have been taking a class with students from the University of Michigan and Penn State, taught by a Penn State Professor. For more information on this academic innovation read the full article from Rutgers Today.


LSC Event

Rutgers Students Share Global Health Knowledge at the Liberty Science Center

By: Victoria Jackson, Global Health Intern, GAIA Centers

Photo by: Ziad Sifri

As part of a university-wide effort to bring light to Global Health issues through the 2013-2015 Biennial Theme: Global Health! The Centers for Global Advancement and International Affairs hosted the “Health Across Borders Science Fair” at the Liberty Science Center on April 13, 2014. Rutgers student organizations were invited to present interactive exhibits displaying their work, with a unique twist. The visiting k-12 students and their families were asked to be the judges. Eight student organizations from a variety of disciplines participated, and over 200 visitors attended. The event encouraged the interaction between Rutgers students and the community, while bringing many important global health issues into the spotlight such as nutrition and disease. 

The time and effort Rutgers students and faculty put into their exhibits was demonstrated by the engaging and interactive displays they constructed. The Sankara Eye Foundation, a foundation that raises money and awareness to provide 20/20 vision in India by the year 2020, had touch and feel slime as part of their exhibit to show what it feels like to be blind. The Science of Resilience exhibit presented by the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School’s Institute for the Study of Child Development used bio dots, which change color based on your level of stress, to teach children about how stress affects our bodies and how to reduce it. The Hispanic Dental Association from Rutgers School of Dental Medicine gave out toothbrushes, toothpaste, and floss to demonstrate the proper mechanism of brushing.

The other exhibits included “Physical Diagnosis Skills in Diagnosing Disease,” “The Great African Hernia: What is It and How Do You Tame It,” by the Rutgers International Surgical Health Initiative, “What is Diabetes and How Can We Treat It?” by Rutgers College Diabetes Network, “What’s on Your Plate?”, and “Trash to Treasure: Public Health Systems in Nicaragua” by the Nicaragua Alternative Spring Break Students.

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Call for Proposals: Global Health! Biennial Theme

The 2013-2015 Biennial Theme Global Health! focuses on the global health connections that are apparent in all aspects of life; from disease to violence, from natural disasters to art therapy, from drought to market forces in health care delivery. As we begin to explore the impact of issues like these, it becomes clear that global health issues are also local.


School of Engineering Dean Appointed to Engineers without Borders Board of Directors

Rutgers School of Engineering Dean Thomas Farris is the newest member of the board of directors for Engineers without Borders-USA (EWB-USA). With a reach that extends through 47 different countries, implementing nearly 400 community development programs worldwide, EWB holds a strong international presence. This appointment puts Rutgers Engineering in a highly visible role.


Rutgers Students Attend Clinton Global Initiative University; Make Commitments to Address Global Challenges

Seven Rutgers students traveled to Phoenix, Arizona March 21-23 to attend Clinton Global Initiative University 2014 (CGI U 2014), an action-packed weekend that drew over 1,400 students, topic experts, NGO leaders, and celebrities from all 50 states and over 70 countries, all committed to bringing innovative change and addressing global challenges. 


Rutgers Partners with United Nations on Curriculum Development Project

The Graduate School of Education (GSE) teamed up with the Rutgers Centers for Global Advancement and International Affairs (GAIA Centers) and the Longview Foundation to provide support for a United Nations (UN) Curriculum Development Project. With the help of educational leaders in the Highland Park School District, Piscataway Township Schools, and West-Windsor Regional School District, the project encompasses developing resources for teachers around the world to utilize when teaching about the United Nations and its four main purposes: 1) keeping peace throughout the world; 2) developing friendly relations among nations; 3) helping nations work together to improve the lives of poor people, to conquer hunger, disease and illiteracy, and encouraging respect for each other’s rights and freedoms; and 4) being a center for harmonizing the actions of nations to achieve these goals.


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