Spring 2017 - Volume 1, Issue 2


The Theta Iota Chapter of Phi Beta Delta held its founding induction ceremony and reception on April 27, 2017, in the Campus Center. The chapter welcomed 30 new members into the prestigious honor society for international scholars. The organization recognizes and promotes scholarly achievement in international education.

Provost Tracy Pellett who led the induction ceremony and presented medallions to the new inductees, noted that the new chapter will “add momentum to the internationalization of the College of Coastal Georgia campus, helping to build linkages to the community through the recognition and encouragement of high professional, intellectual and personal achievements in international educational activities.”

Three members from the Robert S. Abbott Race Unity Institute ─ Ethel Daniels, past President; LaTonya Abbott-Austin, Board member; and Diane Knight, Board Treasurer ─ were inducted as honorary members for their significant contributions in the community, as well as their ongoing support of international education initiatives at the College of Coastal Georgia, by “fostering relationships between people of varying multicultural backgrounds.” In addition to the Abbott Institute inductees, Lance Toland, owner of Lance Toland Associates, an aviation insurance company, and community philanthropist, was recognized for his support for international education throughout his career – most recently helping develop a collaborative partnership between the College and Anguilla Community College.

Three senior administrators, President Greg Aloia, Provost Tracy Pellett and Dean of the School of Arts & Sciences Victor Vega, were also recognized and offered membership into the Theta Iota Chapter for their unwavering commitment in supporting international students, domestic students who are interested in education abroad, and faculty and staff who engage in international research and service.

New student inductees included Alexis Bell (Business Administration), Alexandria Bozza (Psychology), Ashley Britt (Health Informatics), Emily Brown (Psychology), Lisa Colon (Psychology), Lauren Crutchfield (Psychology), Adam Jackson (American Studies), Derek Jackson (American Studies), Dalton Stanford (American Studies), Ashma Sapkota (Psychology), and Tyler Vaughn (Psychology). New faculty and staff inductees included Tyler Bagwell (Communications), Carla Bluhm (Psychology), Brittany Garcia (Student Affairs), Orsolya Kolozsvari (Sociology), James Lynch (International Education), Ntungwa Maasha (Physics & Geology), Jane Mortier (Spanish), Lisa Noetzel (Modern Languages), Brian Pope (Psychology), Josh Proctor (Business Affairs), and Patrizia Stahle (History), and Connie Toler (International Education)

Students were nominated who demonstrated academic excellence, completed a study abroad program and participated in international educational activities, while faculty and staff were recognized for their demonstrated interest and involvement in international scholarly activities, including publications in international journals, presentations in international forums, and research involving an international dimension.

Memorandum of understanding signed in Anguilla

Senior leadership from the College of Coastal Georgia and Anguilla Community College (ACC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and Exchange Agreement on February 3, 2017, to provide international educational opportunities for students, faculty and staff that will be beneficial to both institutions. College of Coastal Georgia delegates Dr. Tracy Pellett, Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs, and Dr. James (Jim) Lynch from the Office of International Education visited Anguilla Community College on February 1 to meet with government and education officials. Anguilla is a British Overseas Territory in the Eastern Caribbean.

Anguilla Community College Chairman of the Board of Governors, Rodney Rey noted that “ACC greatly values the partnership with the College of Coastal Georgia and hopes it will be long-lasting and mutually beneficial for both institutions.” Dr. Pellett stated in his remarks that “CCGA is honored to forge a connection with Anguilla, its people, and its Community College. We see immediate partnering and impact opportunities that we will be following up on in the next few months. We are fortunate to have this opportunity to further enhance our cultural, programmatic, and professional understanding and development.”

Discussions have already gotten underway between Dr. Tate Holbrook, Assistant Professor of Biology, and members of the Anguilla Department of the Environment about potential collaborations in ecological research and education. The Department presented their current and recent projects, including habitat mapping, ecosystem assessments, monitoring and research of both threatened and invasive species, and environmental management, as well as a lack of data on the diversity and distribution of terrestrial and aquatic invertebrates, especially insects. "We agreed that CCGA students and faculty could contribute to their mission by surveying insect communities in different environments, curating specimens for preservation and identification [with support from external taxonomists/museum specialists], and analyzing patterns of biodiversity," said Dr. Holbrook. "They also mentioned opportunities to study aquatic ecosystems, terrestrial vertebrates, and plants."

Drs. Tate Holbrook, Traesha Robertson, Assistant Professor of Biology, and David Stasek, Associate Professor of Biology, have all been invited to participate in a forthcoming international environmental workshop that will bring together scientists, resource managers, and decision makers from Anguilla and other British territories in the Caribbean to explore best practices in environmental research and management. "This will be an excellent opportunity to learn about past, current, and future projects and ways that CCGA can contribute to ongoing efforts to better understand and protect the natural environment of Anguilla," noted Dr. Holbrook, adding "We will be able to network with potential partners, including the DOE, Anguilla Community College, and the Anguilla National Trust, and to scout potential field sites, which is essential to planning a study-abroad course and designing research projects in ecology and field biology."

New International Partnership in India

President Greg Aloia and Dr. Victor Vega, Dean of the School of Arts & Sciences, traveled to India in March for discussions and signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with the Mahatma Gandhi University of Medical Sciences & Technology in Jaipur. One of the goals of this MoU is the establishment of an Indian Premedical Shadowing Initiative, whereby a small group of Coastal Georgia pre-medical biology students and a professor would make a week-long trip to India and engage in various forms of experiential learning, including observation of patient care at the Mahatma Gandhi Medical College Hospital, as well as viewing surgeries and medical shadowing of health professionals.

“One of the main objectives of this international partnership is to help students develop a mindset with a global perspective – acknowledge common concerns and needs of humanity regardless of where an individual lives,” noted President Aloia, adding: “Such knowledge can lead to an expanded vision of how these students will eventually practice medicine.” Dr. Vega noted the evolvement of other experiential learning opportunities for students in other health sciences majors, including nursing and health informatics, would allow them to experience the health care system of India as well as improve their ability to relate to future patients in rural settings.

Proposed Study Abroad opportunity in Italy

Dr. Patrizia Stahle, Associate Professor of History, presented a proposal to the International Education Advisory Committee for the College to engage in a partnership with the Sant’Anna Institute-Sorrento Lingue (Italy) to expose students to additional study abroad opportunities with the goal to promote and expand international understanding, development, and friendship. The Sant’Anna Institute organizes study abroad programs in partnership with colleges and universities in the United States. An online brochure was shared with the Committee and can be found at this web link: http://www.santannainstitute.com/en/online-brochur...

Belizean lecturers visit

The College of Coastal Georgia was privileged to host three Belizean hospitality management lecturers for a two-week exchange program that allowed them the opportunity to increase their knowledge of hospitality management best practices, as well as share innovative teaching methods in their discipline.

The three lecturers – Josephine Juan, Sacred Heart Junior College; Lyann Onecia Flowers, Stann Creek Independence Junior College; and Tiresie Lino, Ecumenical Junior College – spent two weeks (April 3-15) shadowing Coastal Georgia hospitality management faculty and meeting with local hotel and resort professionals.

The guest lecturers participated in several activities, including hands-on full-service observation in the preparation of campus dining events; discussion of ACFEF competencies for culinary courses taught that meet industry expected student learning outcomes; an opportunity to stage with a current culinary arts student in each course they participated in; observation in hospitality management courses; visits to hotels and resorts on Saint Simons Island, Jekyll Island and Sea Island; and trips to externship sites to meet the operations staff and learn how an externship is established and maintained. They also had an opportunity to present an informative session on "Living in Belize" to the International Association.

Dr. Tracy Pellett, provost and vice president for academic affairs at the College, noted that this faculty exchange program is "a microcosm of our expansion efforts to create a seamless pipeline where our students, faculty and staff can take advantage of the benefits and opportunities afforded through study abroad and other global educational exchanges."

The Belizean faculty exchange participants were also highlighted in a leading Belizean newspaper.

2017 Summer Study Abroad

In an effort to expand our students' global awareness and intellectual curiosity, the College has partnered with the USG's European Council (EC), offering a range of summer study abroad programs.

Nine Coastal Georgia students will participate in the 2017 EC Summer Study Abroad Program: Elizabeth is enrolled in the London program; Mariana, Mariaelena, and Leslie are participating in the Madrid program; Jordan is studying in Scotland; and Beryl, Megan, Kayla, and Juliana are all enrolled in the Paris, France, program.

Tunisian and Pakistani Students Arrival

The Office of International Education completed and submitted an IREX application to host several international students for the following programs during the 2017-2018 academic year: Global Undergraduate Exchange Program in Pakistan (semester program) and Tunisia Undergraduate Scholarship Program (academic year program). I am happy to report that we were successful on both application fronts as two (2) Tunisian and three (3) Pakistani students will be joining the Coastal Georgia family in August 2017!

As part of the Thomas Jefferson Scholarship Program, the Tunisia Undergraduate Scholarship Program will provide our visiting students with an opportunity to live in on-campus housing, while maintaining academic progress, engaging in cultural activities, and developing their professional leadership skills through experiential learning, including a professional internship or practicum. Additionally, the students will participate in 20 hours of community service at local Brunswick organizations during the fall semester.

Through a semester-long program of study, exploration of United States culture, and integration into the Brunswick community, our Global UGRAD-Pakistan students will gain practical experience in civic engagement, equipping them with the skills needed to implement long-term civic and economic changes in their home communities, "building stability through increased local capacity and cross-cultural understanding."

IREX (International Research & Exchanges Board) is an international nonprofit organization providing thought leadership and innovative programs to promote positive lasting change globally.

European Council Faculty Invitees

Dr. Carla Bluhm, Associate Professor of Psychology, and Dr. Louise Kane, Lecturer of English, were both invited to teach for the University System of Georgia's European Council in Paris, France, in summer of 2018. They will be discussing the opportunity with students over the 2017-18 academic year in preparation for an exciting study abroad next summer, and, in the process, raising awareness of the many opportunities offered by the European Council.

International Student Recruitment

The College continues to experience a steady increase in its international student applications. As of this week, the Office of International Education processed a total of 25 applications, which is a 38% increase over the same time last year for fall 2017 admission. Of these applicants, thirteen have submitted enrollment confirmation notices. Student representation in the pool is truly global, including applicants from Austria, Germany, Iceland, Norway, Thailand, South Africa, Rwanda, Gabon, and Barbados to name a few. New International Student Orientation will be held on Thursday, August 17.

2017 International Festival

The 6th Annual International Festival was held at the College of Coastal Georgia on March 31 and transformed the campus into a cultural hub. The event, hosted by the Robert S. Abbott Race Unity Institute and the College of Coastal Georgia, included performances, vendors, music, cultural demonstrations and activities for children, and much more.

“Each year we’re doing something to improve the International Festival,” noted Jamie Parker-Lewis, former assistant dean of student life at the College. "It’s an opportunity for the community to come together with students and staff and celebrate culture beyond Glynn County.”

The Festival this year included an amazing acrobatics duo, a taekwondo demonstration, steel drum playing and live music.

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