CASNR representatives recently returned from Mali after a two week stay for the third and final phase of the grant with the Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The focus of their trip was to meet specifically with the participants who spent five weeks in Oklahoma during the grant's second phase. This is the follow-up activity to continue to assist these media professionals in their professional growth and development. While in Mali, Drs. Dwayne Cartmell, Cindy Blackwell, Craig Edwards and Ed Miller completed the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding at the University of Bamako. A delegation from Mali was at OSU in September to begin the MOU signing process. The group on this recent trip to Mali also included Dustin Mielke, Oklahoma Farm Bureau; Rachel Hubbard, KOSU; Dr. Jim Hynes, Sam Houston State University; and Dr. Marty Frick, South Dakota State University. The time in Mali also included visits to agricultural regions of the country and to Tombouctou (Timbuktu). The group returned to Stillwater December 13.
School of International Studies’ master’s student Chris Wright was recently named
“National President of the Year” by the National Association for Graduate & Professional
Students (NAGPS) based on his level of commitment and achievement in advancing graduate
student issues both on the national and local level. Wright beat out other graduate
student association presidents from Notre Dame, Auburn, Colorado, and Carnegie Melon
for the honor. During his administration, he has made numerous improvements in OSU’s
GPSGA (Graduate & Professional Student Government Association) including updating
the listserv, hosting a graduate student Welcome which over 200 students enjoyed,
and developing the “President’s Council,” which consists of all the graduate student
association presidents, to provide a stronger response to graduate student needs.
At the national conference, Wright was also recognized for developing “28 Steps
to a Grad Student Government that Works,” and for his effort to determine the value
of graduate students to a university by instituting an economic impact study with
assessment. Last March, Wright was also successful in bidding for OSU to be the
site for the NAGPS regional conference. OSU will hold the conference March 28-29,
2008. Wright began his master’s program in the School of International Studies in
fall 2006 and plans to complete his degree in summer 2008. His Focus Area of study
is International Business & Economic Relations. For more information about OSU’s
GPSGA please visit their website.
Friday, December 14th, in celebration of Dr. Henry G. Bennett’s birthday, the
School of International Studies proudly inducted three members into its Henry G.
Bennett Distinguished Fellows Program during its graduation ceremony in OSU’s
Wes Watkins Center. These individuals’ lives are integrated into Dr. Bennett’s
international legacy – Dr. Robert L. Sandmeyer (former Dean (1977-94), OSU
College of Business) who was instrumental in establishing OSU’s School of
International Studies; Mr Paul W. Bass (author of Bennett biography “No Little
Dreams”) who has compiled information about Dr. Bennett’s life, introducing him
to today’s generation, and; Judge Thomas E. Bennett (Dr. Bennett’s only living
child) who is the patriarch and spokesman for Dr. Bennett’s family. This brings
the total number of Bennett Fellows to 15. Please visit the
Bennett Fellows Program website for more information.
Friday, December 14th, the School of International Studies hosted its 13th graduation
ceremony. During the ceremony eighteen graduates were presented with their Master’s
hoods and one was presented with her Certificate in International Studies. To date,
this brings the total of SIS alumni to 173. For pictures of the graduates, see our
For pictures of the graduation ceremony, visit the
Party Pix Website where you may even purchase pictures of the event.
A group of International Studies students, led by MIP student Robin Eleazer, hosted events at the Wes Watkins Center to kick off International Human Rights Month. On December 2nd, the community was invited to watch “Born into Brothels”, a movie exploring the lives of children in India’s prostitute district. On December 3rd, Adriana Portillo-Bartow of Amnesty International gave a lecture about the plight of the disappeared, including several members of her immediate family, in Guatemala. After the lecture, the students held a candlelight vigil where the International Choir performed and Bill Bryant of Oklahoma City’s United Nations Association spoke. Finally, posters depicting human rights issues around the world were put together to display for the month of December in the Wes Watkins Center.
On November 29th, the School of International Studies, in conjunction with OSU’s College of Agriculture Sciences and Natural Resources, hosted an MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) signing ceremony for MOI University of Kenya and OSU. The Vice Chancellor (equivalent of our CEO and President) of MOI University, Dr Richard Mibey, is both a Master’s and PhD alumnus of OSU’s College of Agriculture. He and OSU hope the agreement will help to establish an exchange of professors and students between OSU and MOI University (the 2nd largest university in Kenya). For more information about MOI University visit their website.
On November 14th, the School of International Studies welcomed 16 Chamber of Commerce delegates from China’s Gansu and Liaoning provinces to the OSU campus. The State Chamber of Oklahoma has Sister-Chamber relationships with both provinces. The Chinese delegations were here to visit Oklahoma and partake in the state’s centennial celebrations. OSU was the first stop on the delegation’s three day tour that also includes visits to OU and Shawnee, as well as, of course, Oklahoma City. At OSU, the visitors began their day with a reception by Dr Marlene Strathe, Interim CEO and President, OSU System and a surprise appearance by Pistol Pete, OSU’s legendary mascot. Next, they were given a presentation about OSU’s research and outreach efforts by Dr Stephen McKeever (OSU Vice President for Research and Technology Transfer) and Mark Weiser (Associate Dean, OSU Spears School of Business). Finally, after a brief walking tour of the campus that included a group picture in OSU’s Centennial Gardens, the group was given a luncheon in their honor at the Wes Watkins Center. The School of International Studies was excited to be a part of the guests’ packed, whirlwind tour of Oklahoma.
OSU’s chapter of the Phi Beta Delta International Honor Society inducted 18 new
members and 2 honorary members into its chapter November 14th in the Wes Watkins
Center. This year’s keynote speaker was Dr Patricia Rayas Duarté, Phi Beta Delta
member and director of the Cereal Chemistry lab at OSU’s Robert S. Kerr Food Agriculture
Products Center. Rayas Duarté spoke about “Making a World of Difference, One Student
at a Time.”
Phi Beta Delta, nationally established in 1987, is the first honor society dedicated
to recognizing scholarly achievement in international education. Undergraduate and
graduate students, faculty, and staff are eligible for membership. OSU’s Epsilon
Upsilon Chapter, which was chartered in 2003, is overseen within the School of International
Studies by Study Abroad Coordinator Gerry Auel and is chaired this year by Dr Dale
Lightfoot, professor in OSU’s Geography Department. Membership in OSU’s chapter
before the 14th was 142 members and 20 honorary members. Eight of those inducted
on the 14th are graduate students in the SIS graduate program. For more
information about Phi Beta Delta please visit their
The School of International Studies & OSU’s College of Education welcomed more
than 400 area 4th graders to the Wes Watkins Center October 25th for the 3rd Annual
International Fair for Children. International students at OSU, including several
from SIS’s English Language Institute and Graduate Program, teamed with students
from the College of Education to give the children a tour of the world during their
visit and receive a stamp on their “passports” after “visiting” a selection of the
27 countries represented. The children learned about each country’s history or culture
and did typical activities or projects that children their same age would do in
each of the countries. In its third year, the Fair is becoming a greater and greater
success. This was the second year that the Fair was funded through a grant from
the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education Minority Teacher Recruitment Center.
Principals and teachers were thrilled with the level of cultural experience their
students were receiving at this young and impressionable age. For more information
on how to become involved in next year’s Fair, contact either SIS’s Daniel Darnell
at 405.744.6607 or firstname.lastname@example.org or The College of Education’s Candace
Thrasher at 405.744.8935 or Candace.email@example.com.
On October 11th, the School of International Studies with Dr. David Henneberry of
OSU’s College of Agriculture Sciences & Natural Resources welcomed Colonel R. Alan
King to discuss the US effort in Iraq. Col. King served 16 months in Iraq with the
U.S. Army, first as a Civil Affairs battalion commander, then later as a deputy
director of the Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad. He was the top civil-military
adviser in Baghdad when the previous Iraqi regime fell. Under King’s command, his
unit became the most decorated Civil Affairs battalion is US Army history. King
currently serves with the Reserves in working with the Iraqi tribal leaders. Close
to 300 students, faculty, and community members filled the Wes Watkins Center auditorium
to hear this unique speaker’s insights into the situation in Iraq. His presentation
and delivery captured the attention and awe of those in attendance. Col King is
the author of “Twice Armed: An American Soldier’s Battle for Hearts and Minds in
Iraq.” For more information about Col King and his book,
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