|NEWS & HIGHLIGHTS
State Department empowers youth through sports diplomacy
Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, in collaboration with the NBA, announced a new basketball diplomacy lineup for 2014. On Feb. 5, to tip things off, youths and coaches from Argentina, Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Nigeria and Turkey gathered in Washington, D.C., before heading to New Orleans, where they participated in activities surrounding the NBA All-Star game.
The State Department uses sports diplomacy programs to encourage mutual understanding, empower underrepresented audiences, and promote teamwork and education. “Sports diplomacy is a way to connect on a person-to-person level,” said Ann Cody, a program officer in the Sports United Division of the State Department.
Sports Visitor programs invite young athletes and coaches from around the world to visit the United States and experience American culture. Sports Envoy programs send American athletes and coaches abroad to lead programs developed by U.S. embassies and consulates. The Envoys hold sports clinics, participate in community outreach, and engage youth on the importance of leadership and diversity.
For more information about the State Department’s sports diplomacy programs, visit the initiative’s website.
New Honors Program history course in the works
A group of Marquette faculty members in the history department are in the process of refining a new course for students in the Honors Program. “The World and the West” would incorporate lessons from an existing ethics course in the philosophy department to examine “the historical development of moral frameworks and ethical debates across a variety of cultures and eras.”
Drs. Peter Staudenmaier, Laura Matthew, Lezlie Knox and Kristen Foster have been working together with Department Chair Dr. James Marten since fall 2013 to develop the new course. Their goal was to create a class that would give students a “concrete sense” of its focus, while still offering enough flexibility for other professors to adjust the curriculum based on their areas of expertise.
In a blog post about the new course, Dr. Staudenmaier said, “Creating a course like this from scratch presented a series of intriguing challenges and offered an opportunity to re-define some of the directions history teaching might take in a university like ours.”
Students who wish to share ideas or recommendations may do so on Dr. Staudenmaier’s post on the Historians@Work blog.
How to get a job with the UN
The founder of the not-for-profit UN Job List, a database that gathers and lists job vacancies in the United Nations, published a series of blog posts advising readers how to land a job working for the UN. Sebastian Rottmair’s posts can be found in four parts at the Peace and Collaborative Network:
Part 1: What is the UN system and which organizations are hiring?
Part 2: Learn about job levels and contract types
Part 3: How to find the job you need to apply for
Part 4: FAQ on job-hunting strategies
British universities test out American grading system
Twenty-one universities in Britain have been experimenting with an American-style grading system since last year in an attempt to find a solution for grade inflation and a widening division between degree classifications.
In Britain, degrees are awarded in five different distinctions: first-class honors; second-class, upper (2.1); second-class, lower (2.2); third class; and pass without honors. But over time, more students are earning degrees of a 2.1 and above, broadening the gap between students who earn a 2.1 and above and those with a 2.2 and below. Some academics argue that a grade point average system, like the one in the United States, would more accurately “portray the gradient of student achievement” without such rigid, arbitrary divisions between distinctions.
Other academics are less enthusiastic about “the Americanization of higher education,” as stated by Christopher Hill, department head of politics and international studies at University Cambridge. Opponents argue that a GPA system would not address the issue of grade inflation, which is also a concern in higher education in the U.S.
Ultimately, the decision to reform the grading system in the U.K. lies with the students and graduates participating in the pilot program. If the 21 universities currently experimenting with GPAs garner positive feedback from students, other British universities might be willing to adopt the system as well. Read more at The New York Times.
100,000 Strong in the Americas
Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry praised the benefits of international education at the launch of 100,000 Strong in the Americas last month. A result of the partnership between the U.S. Department of State, NAFSA: Association of International Educators, and Partners of the Americas, 100,000 Strong in the Americas aims to foster study abroad exchanges between higher education institutions in the United States and Latin America and the Caribbean.
“This is the stuff of which close ties are made,” said Vice President Joe Biden. “The stuff of which economic growth is cemented.” He said the new initiative strives to unite the private sector, charities, governments and universities to make international education more accessible for all students.
“Education is the great equalizer of the 21st century,” said Secretary Kerry, acknowledging the importance of study abroad to succeed in an internationalized world.
Executive Director and CEO of NAFSA Marlene M. Johnson said, “Our goal is to reach a tipping point when most graduates can expect to spend part of their college experience learning and working in another culture and another language, making our entire region’s opportunities stronger as a result.”
To learn more, visit state.gov/100k.
Call of Duty
Sunday, February 16
Reach out to the Milwaukee community through “Call of Duty,” a volunteer event that focuses on distributing supplies to the homeless, cleaning up neighborhoods, visiting the elderly and assisting newly arrived refugees. The event is sponsored by the Muslim Student Association in collaboration with Ma’ruf, a social justice and advocacy organization. Transportation to volunteer sites will be provided. Register online at volunteer.marufonline.com.
Workforce Career & Internship Fair
Tuesday, February 18
3 – 7 p.m.
Wisconsin State Fair Grounds
Mark your calendars for the WorkForce Career & Internship Fair brought to you by the Wisconsin Private Colleges Career Consortium. Network with 150 local, regional and national employers from various industries including business, communication, engineering, health sciences, computer sciences, government, the arts and non-profit. Registration on MU Career Manager is recommended, but not required. Free transportation to the State Fair Grounds will be available. For more information, visit the Career Services website.
Town Hall Series: Defining Blackness
Wednesday, February 19
Center for Intercultural Engagement (AMU 111)
How do you describe your racial identity? What words do you use? What does African American, Black, Biracial, Multiracial, African mean to you? Join in an interactive conversation with student panelists as they answer these questions.
Nawao! It's Time for Africa Fashion Show
Friday, February 21
The first annual fashion show sponsored by the African Students Association will debut the cultural clothing and fashion of Africa throughout time. There will be special performances by Afrofusion, Strong Hearts Step Team, HYPE and Alleviated Over Krowns. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Pre-sale tickets will be sold February 17-21 in the AMU from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for $7. Tickets are $10 at the door.
Brew City Stomp Down
Saturday, February 22
Attend the annual step show sponsored by National Pan-Hellenic Council at MU. Doors open at 5 p.m., show begins at 5:30. Tickets are $20 for the show only, or $25 for the show and after party. A valid college ID and proof of 18 years of age or older are required. Tickets are available through EventBrite.
Reel Talk: Boys Cry
Wednesday, February 26
After a screening of the film Boys Cry, participate in a discussion about bullying. Boys Cry is a documentary that explores the bullying trend from a cultural perspective, examining African-American on African bullying. Sponsored by Intercultural Engagement.
Making a Living, Making a Difference
Thursday, February 27
4 – 6 p.m.
Are you searching for a career that allows you to live out your values? Join the Center for Peacemaking for a networking event designed to introduce students to organizations that are making a difference in communities around the globe and the individuals who have found careers that enable them to both make a living and make a difference.
The event is free for all Marquette students to attend. Appetizers and refreshments will be provided. RSVP online.
Scholarships & Conferences
Visit our scholarships and conferences webpage dedicated to keeping up-to-date listings of scholarships, fellowships and academic conference opportunities available to undergraduate students, graduate students, faculty and staff.
Fellowships, Scholarships and Conferences
College of Communication ‘13
Volunteer, Amigos de Jesús
Emily Pettinger always knew she wanted to travel. “[I] could never really explain why,” she says. “I just knew that I had to travel when I could.” When the opportunity arose to study abroad in Rome, Italy, during the fall of her junior year, Pettinger didn’t hesitate to apply.
“Being in Italy really sparked my longing for travel,” she says. Upon her return from Rome, Pettinger applied for Global Brigades, and in March of 2013 she traveled to Panama with Environmental Brigades to work on sustainable development projects with the indigenous community Piriati Embera.
Pettinger’s experience in Panama strengthened her resolve to dedicate time to service abroad. Currently, she is a volunteer at Amigos de Jesús, an orphanage in rural Honduras that is home to more than 100 children and adults who have been abused, abandoned or who have suffered from extreme poverty. When a child arrives at Amigos, he or she will stay there until they go to college or find a job; in some cases, they stay to live and work at Amigos.
“We refer to it as a Hogar, or a home,” Pettinger explains, “because for these children, it is their home.”
Pettinger, who volunteers as a preschool teacher for 10 students, says she’s amazed by the process the children go through when they arrive at Amigos. “When they first get to us, they’re so scared and unsure. Slowly, they adjust and realize they don’t have to fight for things anymore; they can just be a kid.”
For Pettinger, living abroad has been a challenge, but a rewarding one. “I think traveling exposes you in some way,” she says. “You have to be vulnerable and ask questions and be open to learn…. But when you let yourself be exposed in that way, you rely on the human connection we all share in this world.”
“Being [in Honduras] has definitely begun the mindset that I want to carry with me the rest of my life,” Pettinger says, “to stay grounded, to remember we’re only human and to love one another.”