Monday, November 24, 2008

IUPUI Partnered with International Festival

A community partnership with the 2008 International Festival fits with many growing international programs at Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis.

IUPUI is home to the new Confucius Institute in Indianapolis, which serves local business, government and education by providing information and instruction on Chinese language and culture. The Institute is the hub of IUPUI's partnership with Sun Yat Sen University in Guangzhou, China.

Additionally, IUPUI has a comprehensive, strategic partnership with Moi University in Eldoret, Kenya.

The university's Binational/Cross Cultural Health Enhancement Center is the driving force of IUPUI's partnership with the Autonomous University of the State of Hidalgo in Pachuca, Mexico.

Last year, IUPUI ran 36 study-abroad programs with nearly 400 students participating which represented a significant increase from previous years.

IUPUI head basketball coach Ron Hunter made world news through his efforts to raise public awareness and over 100,000 pairs of shoes by coaching a game barefoot for Samaritans Feet. Coach Hunter and team members traveled to Peru with ESPN this summer to distribute the shoes.

2008 marks the second consecutive year that IUPUI has stepped up its involvement with the International Festival as a full community partner.

Ricardo Laranja, 35, formerly of Brazil, is one of the immigrants set to become a naturalized citizen at the International Festival ceremony. Laranja is a professor at IUPUI, music composer and a professional pianist. As a pianist he has performed for two U.S. Presidents. He has lived in the U.S. for 22 years. Larnaja will perform the National Anthem at the ceremony with singer, Lynda Sayyah. She is the daughter of a Palestinian father and German mother.

Laranja says, " the age of 35, being naturalized is the final stamp for me. It gives me a true sense of belonging and pride. Usually when asked about what I think of naturalized citizens, I respond that unlike naturally born citizens, everyone who is being naturalized made the choice to become a citizen of this country and that counts as a lot."

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