Internationalizing education at Eastern Michigan University

Published February 25, 2011

Eastern Michigan University hosted the Midwest Regional Comparative and International Education Society Conference, which took place October 29-30. EMU Provost Jack Kay provided the keynote address to over 250 people from 57 institutions representing 10 different countries. The theme of the conference was "Globalizing Curriculum across University Disciplines". The conference received funding from the Provost's International Stimulus Grant program. The Department of Leadership & Counseling, under the leadership of Dr. David Anderson and educational leadership doctoral fellow Inna Gorlova, chaired the conference. Professors from five Russian universities in Moscow, Kaliningrad, and Voronezh participated in the conference and International Week activities at EMU. This visit was the result of three years of collaboration and exchange between faculty and administrators with the Department of Leadership and Counseling and their colleagues in Russia.

During the summer of 2010, Eastern Michigan University hosted five Iraqi scholars as part of the Fulbright Scholar Program (administered through the Council for International Exchange of Scholars). The five Iraqi scholars represented different universities and academic fields from across Iraq: Dr. Ghadah Yiseen – Chemistry, Dr. Faten Khary Saeed – English Language Teaching, Dr. Muhammed A. Ibrahim - Electrical Engineering, Dr. Mohammed Al-Issa - Construction Engineering and Dr. Sufyan T. Faraj Al-Janabi - Information Technology.

The purpose of the exchange was to: a) develop shared professional and academic knowledge and tools in the scholars' fields that can be applied to both Iraqi and US higher education; b) form networks between the Iraqi scholars and U.S. scholars across institutions and disciplines; and c) to develop expertise in the scholarship of teaching, service learning, the use of technology, development and management of libraries and other collaborative methods of research, instruction, and student engagement appropriate to Iraqi and US higher education.

The Department of Leadership and Counseling in the College of Education played a central role in hosting this year's Iraqi scholars. David Anderson and Inna Gorlova facilitated the program and activities experienced by the visiting scholars. Based on the success of this year's program, Eastern Michigan University plans on submitting another grant proposal to host a new cohort of 10 scholars from Iraq next year.