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Global Perspectives - Spring 2014 Newsletter

In this issue of Global Perspectives, you will find the following stories:

  1. Ohio State wins Paul Simon Award for Campus Internationalization
  2. William Brustein on global perspectives
  3. International Scholar Profile: Ferdinando Cerciello
  4. Global Buckeyes Alumni Spotlight: Scott Jenkins
  5. Globally engaging students
  6. Ukrainian researchers travel to Ohio State as part of agricultural exchange program
  7. Launch of new Slovene research initiative
  8. Study Abroad Profile: Aaron Sass
  9. Study Abroad Profile: Chelsea O'Diam

Ohio State wins Paul Simon Award for Campus Internationalization

The Ohio State University has been selected to receive NAFSA’s Senator Paul Simon Award for Comprehensive Internationalization which recognizes institutions for overall excellence in internationalization efforts as evidenced through best practices in engagement, programming, curriculum/faculty development and outreach.

NAFSA: Association of International Educators is the world’s largest nonprofit association dedicated to international education. The Simon Award is universally considered the most prestigious award for comprehensive internationalization in the U.S.

Over the past five years, Ohio State has focused on six specific international goals outlined by the President’s and Provost’s Council on Strategic Internationalization: increase the percentage of international faculty and students; promote scholarship on major global issues; create international dual degree programs; promote collaboration with alumni and Ohio’s international business ventures; develop an international physical presence; and increase international experiences for undergraduate, graduate and professional students.

“It is an honor to be recognized for our efforts to integrate international experiences into our teaching and research mission,” said Ohio State Interim President Joseph A. Alutto. “Ohio State is taking innovative steps to enhance our study abroad programs, increase our international student and scholar population and encourage the exchange of faculty conducting research abroad. We firmly believe in the promise of our global strategies to prepare our students to be internationally engaged citizens.”

The international student population at Ohio State has steadily grown since 2009 from 4,238 students to 6,039 and ranks 10th in the nation. To support the international student population, Ohio State holds pre-departure orientations in China and instituted academic and service enhancement programming to provide support and cross-cultural adaptation opportunities.

Study abroad has been lifted to new heights with the switch to semesters in 2012-12, increasing the number of students studying abroad from 1,716 in 2011-2012 to 2,426 last year. Ohio State has launched six Global May study abroad programs, which introduce first and second year students to international experiences that have made study abroad more accessible.

Ohio State’s Global Gateways give the university a physical presence in key parts of the world. The Gateways are representative offices currently in Shanghai, China and Mumbai, India, and enable the university to forge new partnerships, recruit international students, facilitate faculty research, provide new ways to partner with Ohio-based businesses and reconnect with a growing international alumni base.

“Ohio State has fostered an international framework that has gained momentum and we are honored to be recognized for our efforts across all aspects of the institution,” said William Brustein, vice provost for global strategies and international affairs. “We plan to build upon our achievements and our commitment to prepare our students to succeed in the global marketplace.”

“Through solid leadership and strategic approaches, and the expertise and efforts of our colleagues in the Office of International Affairs, the university has made enormous strides toward our aspirational goal of internationalization,” said Executive Vice President and Provost Joseph E. Steinmetz.
To internationalize the curriculum, the Global Option has been developed for undergraduate students and adopted by the Colleges of Social Work, Public Health and Engineering. The Global Option gives undergraduate students an opportunity to acquire global skills and international knowledge integrated within their majors without adding time to graduation.

In cultivating international partnerships, Ohio State is an active participant and has been awarded multiple grants to further research and collaboration around the world. The College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences manages a consortium of five U.S. universities in a $24 million USAID funded project in Tanzania; the Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures received a $9.6 million grant from the U.S. Department of State to administer and implement the Critical Language Scholarship Program in East Asia; and a partnership between Ohio State and the Brazil state of São Paulo results in a $1.4 million funding source to support research and innovation.

Ohio State will receive the Senator Paul Simon Award at a reception in honor of award recipients in Washington, D.C. during International Education Week in November.

William Brustein on global initiatives

William Brustein

The advent of May session to Ohio State’s academic year has lifted study abroad to new heights. May session offers students a new opportunity to include a four-week international experience into their academic program. And, as an added incentive, students enrolled full time during spring semester can participate in a study abroad program during May session – earning three credit hours – without paying tuition. Students can earn General Education credit for several of these experiences.

This year more than 800 students will study abroad during May session, an increase of 45% from 2013.

May session has also contributed significantly to Ohio State’s overall number of students studying abroad. Enrollment figures increased from 1,716 students studying abroad in 2011-12 to 2,426 in 2012-13. We expect these numbers to continue to rise as we develop new international initiatives through partnerships with the colleges as well as the Office of Student Life, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, the Second Year Transformational Experience Program and Student Athletic Support Services.

To further our commitment to engage students in taking advantage of international opportunities, Ohio State has joined Generation Study Abroad, a five-year initiative launched by the Institute of International Education to double the number of U.S. college students studying abroad by the end of the decade. Ohio State has pledged to increase the numbers of students currently studying abroad by 5 percent each year through 2019-20.

We encourage our faculty to continue advancing international themes both inside and outside the classroom and to develop exciting study abroad opportunities that will exponentially benefit our students no matter their discipline. It is our goal to prepare our students to succeed in the global marketplace as internationally informed and engaged citizens. Studying abroad is the very first step.

William Brustein, PhD, is vice provost for global strategies and international affairs. His work at Ohio State is dedicated to fully integrating international and multicultural experiences to the academic units within the university and expanding and enhancing our global reach.

International Scholar Profile: Ferdinando Cerciello

What is your home country and city?
Ferdinando Cerciello
I am from Europe, and I am both Swiss and Italian. I grew up in a nice small town called Ascona on Lake Maggiore. Ascona is in the south of Switzerland, the region is called Ticino and it is close to Italy where people speak Italian. For my studies, and then for my work, I moved to Zürich, which is in the German speaking part of Switzerland. Actually, Zürich is the hometown of my mother, whereas my father is from Naples, in the south of Italy. 
What are your undergraduate/graduate degrees?

I am an MD, PhD. I studied medicine at the University of Zürich and I was resident physician in internal medicine in the region of Zürich. I obtained my PhD working both at the Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zürich and the University Hospital Zürich on a collaborative project between the two institutes. 

What department are you in at Ohio State?

I am working in the laboratory of Dr. David Carbone at the Thoracic Oncology Center at The James Cancer Hospital at the Wexner Medical Center.

What are your research/specialty interests?

Both my clinical and research interests are in cancers of the lung. My research is focused on proteomics studies of these cancers. Proteomics is a young field of research, which “in general deals with the large-scale determination of gene and cellular function directly at the protein level” (Aebersold and Mann, Nature 2003).  Because diseases like cancer are finally defined by their protein components, I‘m strongly convinced that proteomics represents a major opportunity for the treatment of cancer. My goal is to translate proteomics findings and technologies into clinical applications for diagnosis and treatment of lung cancers.      
How has your time at Ohio State benefited your research/specialty interests?

I have been extremely lucky to join the Ohio State Medical Center in this particular point in time. It is impressive how the cancer center is growing and expanding. Even if you are only a postdoc like me, you can feel an enthralling wave of enthusiasm and ambition. There is an incredibly motivating momentum toward creating something new and unique. This is great! An environment where you can learn a lot, but also at the same time have the opportunity to realize something. This is exactly the place where you want to be as a young scientist!  

When did you arrive in the United States/Columbus?

One year ago, in February 2013.

Why did you choose Ohio State?

I wanted to work in the group of David Carbone, who recently joined Ohio State. Dr. Carbone is a world famous lung cancer oncologist and researcher. He has an outstanding experience in the application of proteomics approaches in lung cancer. In addition he is an exceptional mentor, not only because of his experience, advice and the high level scientific environment he provides, but most especially because of his spontaneous attitude to educate young scientists to the responsibility of their future independency. Having worked in the group for already one year, I can confirm that I made the right choice! We are a great team, scientifically and from a human point of view, and this is also in thanks to a very special person in our lab, Joe Amann, who is a research assistant professor and lab manager!
What did you do at Ohio State as part of your time here (research, etc.)?

I confess that most of my time at Ohio State is dedicated to my work! But I am trying to profit from the incredible cultural offerings on campus! What I really like are the activities offered at the Wexner Center for the Arts. I frequently go to their movie nights. The films are of an extremely high level! For example I loved “A Summer Abroad ‘13” and I was so happy to see so many Italian movies! It was touching to see Isabella Rossellini live. When you are far from home, it is nice to see that the culture of your country is so appreciated! I also like to attend concerts at the School of Music. I‘m impressed by the high standard of students’ performances! From time to time I sit in some interesting lectures, for example at the Mershon Center, where they frequently present interesting sociopolitical themes. There are so many other things I could say, and as you may notice, I‘m a meticulous reader of the OSUToday emails!  

What most surprised you about your experience in Columbus and the United States?

The people! Friendly, helpful, frank, positive, with a great respect for your person and spontaneously hospitable. When you are a foreigner you are so thankful for that. I will take this lesson with me back home!
What was the hardest thing to adapt to during your time living in Columbus?

At the beginning it was pretty hard to give up the intense and flavorful Italian espresso ristretto with a little piece of Swiss chocolate. Luckily enough the café at the Biomedical Research Tower where I work serves an excellent coffee, which always comes with a warm friendly smile. I‘m still working on the Swiss chocolate!

What is the most fun/exciting thing you did during your time at Ohio State?

Oh, too many things should be listed here, but something I want really to mention are the excursions organized by the Office of International Affairs! They were always great fun! Shauna, Megan and all the team are doing a great job, thank you for that!

How did the Office of International Affairs help you adapt to campus life?

Maybe because of Kafka, but over the years I have developed a severe phobia of bureaucracy. So, I am indebted to the Office of International Affairs because when I moved here, they really helped a lot by reducing the bureaucratic work to a minimum and going through all papers, numbers and forms. Even now, when I have a question in that sense, an email and a few minutes are enough to solve the problem!

The Office of International Affairs also provides a great platform to connect with other people on campus and get in touch with Ohio and U.S. culture. It is an important opportunity when you are new in a country and you know almost nobody! 


Global Buckeyes Alumni Spotlight: Scott Jenkins

Scott JenkinsI was born and raised in a small farming community near Wooster, Ohio and started my studies at Ohio State’s Agricultural Technical Institute. I then transferred to the Mansfield branch and eventually landed in Columbus. I graduated from Ohio State in 1991 with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Public Relations.

I currently live and work in Shanghai, where I serve as vice president for Asia sourcing with Lowe’s Home Improvement. In many ways Shanghai reminds me of Ohio State—there is great diversity in the people and so many awesome opportunities to experience.  I am incredibly fortunate to be able to see the variety of ways people accomplish and approach their work, to have exposure to different cultures, customs and histories, and to be part of a rapidly-evolving economy. I can easily say that my time at Ohio State shaped me for my future in international business.  Being able to understand and appreciate different perspectives and how things work in other parts of the world keeps the mind open, and an open mind will almost always come up with a better solution.

Today, the world is so much more connected than it was when I was a student.  Communications, electronic financial transactions, and most business activities happen in real time.  Change happens quickly and you cannot afford to miss a beat.  I absolutely believe that students who have international experiences are more competitive in today’s job market.  In addition to its strong academics, Ohio State is one of the largest and most diverse universities in the world and it teaches students how to succeed in life.  The Ohio State experience is very similar to working in a large, multinational organization because of the many great people, opportunities and experiences that are available.  What you can do with all of this is totally up to you; the sky’s the limit.

Globally engaging students

Celebrating Valentine's Day - an American tradition

Movie nights, weekly discussions, social events and weekend trips to other cities are all ways in which the Office of International Affairs is helping international students mix and mingle with domestic students and helping them feel more at home at Ohio State.

“We provide programs that encourage American and international students to overcome barriers they may feel exist between them and really get to know each other on a personal level,” said Renée Bishai, global engagement coordinator. We hope that as students get to know each other, they will begin to change the culture on campus to make it even more inclusive, welcoming and full of students who are passionate about sharing their cultures and learning about others.”

Global Engagement Nights, a recurring program on Tuesday evenings from 6-7 p.m., invites both international students and domestic students to meet and discuss a variety of topics while learning about the diverse cultures of their peers at Ohio State. Past topics have included American history, wellness, television and etiquette.

“The Global Engagement program exposes domestic students to a different side of campus,” said Sara Katrenich, a sophomore majoring in history, who has helped run previous Global Engagement Night sessions. I would definitely encourage any friend to get involved, and I would tell them how important it is to have friends and acquaintances from around the world.”

Students also have the opportunity to be involved in planning and implementing the programs by becoming Global Ambassadors. The Global Ambassadors volunteer their time to organize and host events around Columbus, as well as lead weekly discussions on Global Engagement Nights.

The Office of International Affairs’ Global Engagement team also organizes student trips outside of Columbus to introduce international and domestic students to historic landmarks as well as the differing American cultures that lie beyond Ohio State. Past trips have included a weekend in Philadelphia and a trip to Amish country in Ohio.

Muyao Shen, a junior majoring in journalism who is originally from China, said she will never forget the trip to Philadelphia and the friendships she made there.

“On a campus like OSU, which is so huge, you can find it is really hard to find friends, especially when you are an international student. Global Engagement provides the platform for us to forget about the embarrassment and go across our comfort zones. International students can learn so much from it,” Shen said.

The Global Engagement team hopes to continue to expand its programming in the future, and is looking forward to building partnerships with student and community organizations.

“I am looking forward to connecting with students who aren’t familiar with the Office of International Affairs or our team and encouraging them to get involved. As we increase our connections with students and the organizations they are part of, I think there will be great opportunities for collaboration,” said Bishai.

Follow the Office of International Affairs on Facebook and Twitter to get updates about future Global Engagement events, and visit http://go.osu.edu/globalengagement to learn more.

Ukrainian researchers travel to Ohio State as part of agricultural exchange program

Ukrainian researchers at the 2013 Farm Science Review near London, Ohio

Four researchers from the Ukraine were given the opportunity to spend four months in the United States as part of the USDA’s Agricultural Economics Faculty Exchange Program. Nataliia Gerasymenko, Oksana Makarchuk, Inna Mazii and Olha Ostroverkh spent August through December working with faculty and students from Ohio State’s Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics.

Ohio State’s Office of International Programs in Agriculture helped to secure the funding needed from the USDA to take part in the exchange program. Two leaders were chosen to serve as co-directors for the program. Stan Thompson, professor in the Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics was chosen as the active faculty member to assist with coursework and professor emeritus Allan Lines was chosen to oversee any activities not directly related to the university.

“We wanted to make this a good experience so that there could possibly be an opportunity to repeat it in the future,” said Lines. “The excursions enabled them to see food production first hand and I think that was a very valuable experience to them.”

While at Ohio State the four researchers fulfilled several objectives and responsibilities that would upgrade their subject knowledge and improve their teaching skills. They observed coursework and teaching methods in order to learn more about the educational structure at Ohio State. They also gained a better understanding of the food system in the United States through excursions to several farms and processing plants. They even attended a seminar by David Hahn and Barry Ward, both Ohio State faculty members, who taught them about the financing of Ohio agriculture.

“We are highly appreciative of all who organized this program and gave us a chance to be participants,” said Gerasymenko. “We met a lot of different and professional people that helped us to expand our knowledge about agriculture as well as about education in the United States.”

Launch of new Slovene research initiative

Buckeyes in Slovenia

Yana Hashamova, director of the Center for Slavic and East European Studies, spearheaded the establishment of a new Slovene research initiative at Ohio State, which will support the advancement of research on Slovenia, Central Europe and Southeastern Europe. The initiative will promote lectures and assist in funding the exchange of Ohio State faculty and visiting scholars.

The Slovene research initiative is made possible through an endowment from the Research Center of the Slovene Academy of Sciences and Arts. Oto Luther, director of the Research Center, and Raymond Miller, Carol Rogel and Tim Pogacar, of The Society for Slovene Studies, assisted Hashamova in moving the idea for the program forward.

The exchange program will begin in May 2014 and there will be a full lineup of events during the 2014-2015 academic year. To learn more about the initiative, visit the Center for Slavic and East European Studies.

Study Abroad Profile: Aaron Sass

Aaron Sass, a sophomore in actuarial science, studied abroad at Tel Aviv University in Israel during Summer and Autumn 2013.

Aaron Sass“I had the pleasure of studying at Tel Aviv University in Israel for the summer and fall semester. I lived in student dorms off campus, where I lived with other young adults from all over the world. During the summer we had 4.5 hours of intensive Hebrew class each day, five days a week, and during the semester I was enrolled in classes four days a week covering topics such as politics, economics, art history, Middle Eastern studies, environmental studies and more. It was a very independent program that allowed me to travel all throughout the country in my free time and become completely immersed in Israel's culture.

I'll never forget all the friends I made from such a variety of places. Exploring such a historical country with them, while at the same time enjoying Tel Aviv's very modern culture made for a really fantastic experience. Since I have lived in only Ohio for my entire life, I was very curious to explore other parts of the world. Studying abroad teaches so many skills required for today's diverse world that just can't be taught in a classroom. I chose such an unusual place to study abroad to truly challenge and push myself beyond what I previously thought I was capable of doing.”

Study Abroad Profile: Chelsea O'Diam

Chelsea O'DiamChelsea O'Diam, a senior in meat science, studied human and animal interaction in New Zealand over winter break 2013.

"Coming from Farmersville, a small town in southwest Ohio, I have always felt it was my responsibility to expand my horizon, to better the way I see my world as well as myself. To be able to cross borders with an open mind, fully immerse myself in a new culture and come home with a new way of seeing things is proof of the power of studying abroad.

Being granted the opportunity to experience agriculture, the core of New Zealand’s economy, and compare their industry to the familiar ways I have grown up in was undoubtedly a life altering experience. This trip challenged me to reevaluate how I define myself as a person and in relation to the world and animals around me. Although it was a short-term trip, I feel that I saw as much as possible, learned to see the world anew, and accomplished an unbelievable experience.

Whenever you have the opportunity of seeing anything so beautiful that it cannot be captured in a photo, you gain a new piece of values that cannot be taught in a classroom. I feel that it is being a Buckeye that allowed me to discover my dreams, and then provide the resources, encouragement, and inspiration to accomplish traveling abroad."


Spring 2014 Global Perspectives

Global Perspectives is published semesterly by the Office of International Affairs. If you would like to receive this newsletter via email, please contact Maureen Miller, Director of Communications, at oia@osu.edu.