November 29, 2010

It's all Positive

As I searched for an article to feature on this week's blog, I noticed that every article I found highlighted death, terror, war, negativity and insults. I could not simply submit a google search to find anything positive to receive "International News". I entered those two words and was subsequently bombarded with nonsense and sadness. I then re-entered my search to say, "Positive International News". The results were slim; however, my findings were very gratifying.
I came across the website . This website brought a huge smile to my face to say the least. I have gone through and read multiple articles and I can't chose one over the other to highlight. Therefore, I chose to highlight the entire website. This site was designed to show the different positive things going on worldwide. There are many different aspects covered in every nation. Two articles I will say that were very nice reads are: "Tom's Pipe Dream Becomes a Reality" and "Annie Lennox Woman of the Year Award". So feel free, browse the site, and check it out!

November 24, 2010

What’s Happening in the Community

I recently observed the substantially growing arena of International development, involvement, and awareness going on in the Charlotte community and in campus involvement. I would like to take a brief moment to highlight some of the different international organizations in our Charlotte community, there purpose, and how you may potentially become involved! We are very excited about the growth of our diversity in international relations in the greater campus and charlotte community, and would love for you to experience the same joy. We have a lot of support and leadership in enhancing the ability for other to grow in and experience other cultures, heritages, and backgrounds. Sit back, relax, and admire some of the organizations highlighted as Charlotte is pumping the gear and changing pace to increase International relations and development near you!

In the Greater Charlotte Community:

International House:

Info: The International House promotes international understanding by serving as a center for diversity, advocating for people of diverse national backgrounds and facilitating professional and cultural exchange programs.

To accomplish its mission, the role International House plays in the community is threefold:

Center for International Diversity

We provide a meeting place where Internationals and Americans can establish and strengthen relationships, and promote cultural awareness by connecting with people who share an interest in language, culture, or ethnicity.

Immigrant Advocacy Program

We provide legal representation and other resources to guide over 600 low-income internationals through the complexities of U.S. immigration law.

Citizen Diplomacy Programs

We play an important role in America's citizen diplomacy efforts by partnering with the U.S. Department of State and United States Agency for International Development to implement two U.S.Government sponsored programs: the International Visitor Leadership Program and Community Connections Program.

Location: 322 Hawthorne Lane, Charlotte, NC 28204

Contact: The office – 704.333.8099

If you are interested in learning more about this organization please visit their website at:

The Latin American Coalition:

Info: The Latin American Coalition is dedicated to serving Mecklenburg County’s 75,000 Hispanic families with the services that allow them to overcome language, economic, educational and cultural barriers while offering the wider community opportunities to learn about and connect with the Latino population. Also, to promote full Hispanic participation in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg region, by informing, educating and advocating for the Latin American community. Ultimately we aspire to help build a diverse and vibrant Charlotte-Mecklenburg community which embraces, supports, and respects people of all cultures and backgrounds.

Location: 4949 Albemarle Rd, Suite B, Charlotte, NC 28205

Contact: Jess George, Executive Director – 704-531-3848

If you are interested in learning more about this organization please visit their website at:

CIEE International Work and Study Program:

Info: CIEE's mission is to: “Help people gain understanding, acquire knowledge and develop skills for living in a globally interdependent and culturally diverse world.

We approach our tasks aware of the great responsibility we are given to help mold tomorrow’s citizens in a complex and fast-changing world…”

We encourage you to welcome a foreign student into your home. Open your hearts to a special young person and allow them to experience the American way of life inside a warm and loving family environment. CIEE provides an opportunity to gain new insights and renewed appreciation for different cultures, as well as an unforgettable adventure for you, your family and your exchange student. Discover the difference you could make by becoming a Host Family.

Location: 4542 Glenlea commons Dr., Charlotte, NC 28216

Contact: Iztok Umek – 704.697.9730

If you are interested in learning more about this organization please visit their website at:


In the Campus Community:

Office of International Programs:

Purpose: strives to strengthen international education at the University as well as in the Charlotte community. On campus, it seeks to make international understanding and global awareness a fundamental part of the curriculum and an integral part of campus programming. To this end, it promotes curriculum development, faculty research, and program implementation in the various colleges; administers the University's English Language Training Institute; and coordinates campus activities related to international students and scholars, education abroad, international exchange, cross-cultural training, and world affairs education

Location: 2nd floor, College of Health & Human Services Building

Contact: The Office - 704-687-7755

*The OIP website is filled with countless resources that would allow anyone the ability to indulge in the many opportunities and events afforded to our campus community, faculty, staff, and students.*

If you are interested in learning more, please visit their website at:

Caribbean Culture Connection:

Purpose: The purpose of this Organization is to enhance the understanding of the Caribbean through the sharing of cultural experiences and social interaction between its members.

Contact: Natasha Webster - 704-560-8573

If you are interested in learning more, please visit their websites at: and

Education Abroad Association:

Purpose: To stay active internationally! EAA aims to advocate study abroad among the University population. EAA reaches out to students interested in study abroad by providing Peer Advising for studying abroad and fun campus programming. We serve as a connection for study Abroad Alumni! Also, returning Study Abroad students often face challenges adjusting to life in the US and at UNC Charlotte. We connect to these students, and listen to them share their common international experiences. We provide resources such as Re-Entry Workshops, we advocate using the Counseling Center, Career Center Guidance, and topic discussion groups (long distance dating, dating internationally, etc.).

Contact: Rebecca Hallatschek

If you are interested in learning more, please visit their website at:


Now that you see a little of what’s going on in Charlotte, join the crowd and get involved! These are a few amazing opportunities for one to expand their horizons. Let’s start with you!

November 17, 2010

Visit the Official International Education Week website for more!

Please visit the official website to learn more about the purpose of International Education Week and how to get involved!
International Education Week is an opportunity to celebrate the benefits of international education and exchange worldwide. This joint initiative of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education is part of our efforts to promote programs that prepare Americans for a global environment and attract future leaders from abroad to study, learn, and exchange experiences in the United States.

We encourage the participation of all individuals and institutions interested in international education and exchange activities, including schools, colleges and universities, embassies, international organizations, businesses, associations, and community organizations.


The Word on Campus about International Education Week

As we prepared for International Education Week I spoke with two members of our UNC Charlotte family. I decided to delve into the opinions of one faculty and student worker in the Office of Education Abroad. Melissa Watkins, Lead Advisor and Teresa Herman, student worker, were very helpful on their perspectives of the importance of International Education Week.
As I met with Ms. Watkins, I posed several questions that would hopefully enlighten the audience to the advantages and potential challenges associate with international relations and cultures as it may pertain to IEW. She made it very clear that she was extremely excited about IEW and she felt it was a “Great opportunity to highlight international initiatives on campus, bring awareness to international students, and encourage US students to get involved locally and connect and develop relationships”. I also asked her does she feel IEW is an opportunity beneficial to the campus and does she believe it should be a program we should continue? “Most definitely, IEW is an opportunity for American students to develop friendships and relationships with international students that could last for a lifetime. With the longevity of a program like this, the barriers or differences between the cultures will one day become a past memory.”  This week will be a great week and many more to come, I hope that all students take advantage of this wonderful opportunity and experience the greatness of many different cultures around them. One thing she does hope students get away from are staying close with their friends and not branching out to experience other cultures different from themselves. Also, she hoped to see more involvement from the American students at UNC Charlotte. “IEW is an amazing opportunity for all, not just international or American students”.
Ms. Watkins was extremely informative and a joy to converse with. She has a great understanding about the advantages and sometimes challenges of International Education Week.
Teresa Herman is a student worker in the OEA. She has dealt with all different cultures in the OEA and loves her job and the role she plays in helping students gain knowledge that will help them reach goals of studying abroad, and even involvement on campus. I too asked Ms. Herman what she thought about IEW. She was very joyful and well spoken as she feels, “IEW gives people the opportunity to have an open mind about different cultures and the benefits of these week long programs go both ways and benefits all students and faculty involved just the same”. A question I posed differently to Ms. Herman as she is a student leader on campus was From a student’s perspective what do you think we could do as students differently to encourage participation? Her thoughts were clear as she thinks, “We have to have many events that encourage interaction. There should be more collaborative efforts between International student organizations, and American student organizations on campus. With more acceptance, understanding, effective publicity, and participation – International involvement and relations on campus would soar”!
As I thoroughly enjoyed the interviews of both Ms. Melissa Watkins and Ms. Teresa Herman, I completely agreed. We definitely encourage participation, for the Office of International Programs works extremely hard to orchestrate these programs and events for the greater campus community! We invite everyone to come out and celebrate as we appreciate and glorify every culture and must never forget, “We live in a melting pot seasoned with diversity, and the product is always amazing”! So enjoy International Education Week, broaden your horizons, and learn something new!

November 9, 2010

The Haiti Relief Project

As we seek to engage more in the Charlotte community, we hope to shed light on the different efforts of various community projects, even events hosted by collegiates in the area focusing on international awareness and involement. Johnson C. Smith University hosted a Haiti Relief Project on Saturday at their University in efforts to keep the support rolling for detrimental earthquake affecting Haiti, and to appreciate the Haitian culture. The Haiti Relief Project seems to be a big project at their institution. I was pleased to experience the program, for it was organized with great detail and executed nearly perfectly.

The program lasted about two hours and was jammed pack with fun, music, and information regarding Haiti and their culture. It seems as if they tried to bring haiti to us - which was phenomenal, if I must say so myself. After the benefit concert, I spoke with their program coordinator who expressed his utmost satisfaction with the results. He says - "this has taken a lot of planning, organizing, time and dedication on our part, and to see it blossom to such a success makes it all worth it!"  I proceed to ask him what their plans were for the continued support for relief in Haiti, his response was so gratifying - "We can only do our bests, our main goal is to keep people interested, informed, and willing to help. We live in a country where we have so many things afforded to us. The least we can do is lend a helping hand".

Going out into the campus community and the greater Charlotte community is a major goal I have as an intern for the next few months. I love the fact that our communities are taking such interest in international cultures and perspectives. Stay tuned weekly for forth coming blogs!

November 4, 2010

Some Recommended Reading...

You're two-thirds of the way through the semester and your brain is churning with new interests. Looking ahead, here are several new scholarly books to consider as you push yourself to the next level.

All titles and descriptions are excerpted from http:/ The Chronicle Review, October 8, 2010.

For those of you who attended Dr. Tom Rogers' (Asst. Prof. Africana Studies) Global Perspectives Talk last week on ethanol production in Brazil, this book may hold particular interest:

Forro and Redemptive Regionalism from the Brazilian Northeast: Popular Music in a Culture of Migration by Jack A. Draper III, Peter Lang Publishing. “Combines literary and cultural studies perspectives in an analysis of the analysis of diasporic nostalgia in forró, a musical genre that represents the experiences of impoverished northeastern Brazilians displaced from their region for economic reasons.”

Several other titles of interest might be:

Made in Mexico: Tradition, Tourism, and Political Ferment in Oaxaca by Chris Goertzen, University Press of Mississippi. “Focuses on Oaxaca in study of how crafts and festivals in Mexico are shaped by the combined interests of tourists and “tradition bearers.”

The Law and the Prophets: Black Consciousness in South Africa, 1968-1977 by Danel R. Magazine. Ohio University Press. “An intellectual history of the Black consciousness movement and the theological turn in South African politics.”

Starring Mandela and Cosby: Media and the Ends(s) of Apartheid by Ron Krabill. University of Chicago Press. “Examines the impact of television on politics in apartheid South Africa through a study of the immense popularity f the Cosby Show; argues that the program, with its portrayal of a black family, helped lay the groundwork for the release of Nelson Mandela.”

Dismantling Democracy in Venezuela: The Chavez Authoritarian Experiment by Allan R. Brewer-Carias. Cambridge University Press. “Argues that all branches of the Chavez government have attacked the Venezuelan constitution.”

World Rule: Accountability, Legitimacy, and the Design of Global Governance by Jonathan GS Koppell. University of Chicago Press. “Combines quantitative and qualitative approaches in a study of 25 GGO’s or global governance organizations, including the World Trade Organization and the International Labor Organization.”