Sunday, November 30, 2008

President Without Borders

Indy resident Ruth Van Reken (pictured), an expert on "Third Culture Kids", notes that President-Elect Barack Obama spent some of his childhood living abroad, as have many of his appointments so far.

In "President Without Borders" on the blog Daily Beast she talks about the broadened perspective of Americans raised in foreign cultures.

"This is more than a trivial coincidence," she writes. "So-called 'Third Culture Kids' -- and the adults they become – share certain emotional and psychological traits that may exert great influence in the new administration. According to a body of sociological literature devoted to children who spend a portion of their developmental years outside their 'passport country', the classic profile of a 'TCK' is someone with a global perspective who is socially adaptable and intellectually flexible. He or she is quick to think outside the box and can appreciate and reconcile different points of view. Beyond whatever diversity in background or appearance a TCK may bring to the party, there is a diversity of thought as well."

Van Reken is co-founder of Families in Global Transition. In addition to other writing, Ruth is co-editor of Third Culture Kids: The Experience of Growing Up Among Worlds.

Ballard Heads Overseas

Indy Mayor Greg Ballard, his wife and several of his administration's economic advisers are on their way to Japan and China for 10 days.

Their goal is to drum up investment and trade opportunities for Indianapolis.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Twenty Tons of Textbooks!

A project organized by two University of Indianapolis students has collected nearly 900 boxes - about 20 tons - of textbooks for use by impoverished students in West Africa, reports UIndy's news bureau.

The book drive is the latest venture by senior Lydia Fischer and junior Lyndsay McBride (pictured), whose interest in African education began with a 2007 UIndy service trip to build a schoolhouse in rural Liberia.

Inspired upon their return, they launched their own aid group, Inches International, to further support education in Africa. The two students designed and marketed colorful aluminum bracelets at $5 each, selling more than 3,000 so far to generate scholarship funds for students in war-torn Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Like the bracelet revenue, the books are being delivered through Operation Classroom, a not-for-profit organization that supports United Methodist-affiliated schools and healthcare efforts in Africa.

Fischer, McBride and other volunteers inside and outside the university had been collecting, sorting and boxing used textbooks for about a year, storing them in a vacant building near the UIndy campus. On 21 November, the volunteers loaded the books into a semitrailer for delivery to an Operation Classroom warehouse in Lapel.

Now the Inches International volunteers are trying to raise the $12,000 necessary to ship a 40-foot container of books to West Africa. Email 'em to donate!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Our Thoughts are Concentrated on Mumbai

Here in Indiana we're anxiously awaiting good news from our friends in Mumbai.

One place to monitor the news is here.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

International Education Leaders in Indy

Delegations from six South American countries and Mexico are visiting Indiana as part of the U.S. Department of State International Visitors Leadership Program this month, reports the Indiana Department of Education.

Indiana is one of five stops for the delegates to learn more about K-12 education in the United States. Starting 17 November, they also visited Iowa, Georgia, Utah and Washington, D.C.They'll be in the U.S. through 5 December.

The visitors from Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador, Honduras, Venezuela, Peru and Mexico are meeting with DOE officials in Indianapolis to learn more about the state’s role in education policy, curriculum development, testing and accountability and funding of public education.

The International Visitors Leadership Program annually brings to the U.S. approximately 5,000 foreign nationals from all over the world to meet and confer with their professional counterparts. The visitors, who are selected by American Foreign Service Officers overseas, are current or potential leaders in government, politics, the media, education, the arts, business and other fields.

To learn more about Indiana’s international education initiatives, click here.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

International Festival 2008 is History

It's all over for 2008 -- and the award winners have been announced for Indy's International Festival.

First and second place awards are given to cultural booths of Nationalities Council of Indiana Group members. In addition, the best overall culture booth wins "The Betty" trophy for 2008.

1. THEME: Include in cultural booth historical, geographical, culinary, social or educational aspects of the particular culture.
First: Russian-Speaking Students at Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis; second: Taiwanese American Association of Indianapolis.

2. EDUCATIONAL VALUE: Provide relevant information to visitors about the culture.
First: International Tibet Independence Movement; second: Barangay Club of Indiana.

3. CREATIVITY: Demonstrate an effective and enjoyable method to attract visitors.
First: Scottish Society of Indianapolis; second: Indonesian Community of Indianapolis

4. QUALITY: Overall excellence. Examples would be people in native costumes and friendly approach to visitors.
First: Indiana Okinawa Kenjinkai; second: Swiss Club Of Central Indiana.

The Betty was awarded to Society for Promotion of Persian Culture (see photo).

Food Booths of NCI Group Members are evaluated for 1) quality and authenticity of food and 2) appearance and sanitary conditions of the booth.
First: Taiwanese American Association of Indianapolis; second, German American Klub,

Volunteer Service award (“The Steve”) is presented to the individual who has demonstrated commitment to the goals of NCI and has actively worked toward their achievement. It was awarded to Susan McKee.

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."

Sunday, November 23, 2008

You'd Better Hurry to Catch the Festival!

Today (Sunday, 23 November) is the last day of the 2008 International Festival in Indianapolis, hosted by the Nationalities Council. Get over to the Indiana State Fairgrounds (1201 East 38th Street, Indianapolis) before it closes at 6 p.m.!

Check it out here!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Taquitos! Gelato! Egg Rolls! Gyros! It's All at the Festival!

Bring your appetites to Indy's International Festival today (22 November) and tomorrow (23 November). Otherwise, you'll have to wait a whole year to eat your way around the world!

It's all at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, 1201 East 38th Street, Indianapolis (check the website if you need to know more).

Friday, November 21, 2008

Indy's International Festival is NOW!

(These photos were taken yesterday (left to right, top to bottom): some of the crowd; Persian ethnic costumed doll, miniature Chinese lions, Japanese origami flowers, Polish ethnic costume.)

The International Festival is open in Indianapolis today (21 November) through Sunday (23 November) at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, 1201 East 38th Street, Indianapolis.

Great food, entertainment and shopping plus more than you ever knew was possible to learn about international Indy, including how to sign up to study abroad.

See more here, a video shot by The Indianapolis Star.


Thursday, November 20, 2008

It's International Festival Time in Indianapolis!

(Pix from today's edition of the festival -- African mask, Chinese calligraphy, Russian doll.)

Get over to the Indiana State Fairgrounds for the 2008 edition of Indy's International Festival! It opens to the public at 2 p.m. tomorrow (Friday, 21 November). The day's highlight is the Naturalization Ceremony at 3 p.m., when more than 300 new United States citizens will be sworn in.

See all the information here. The annual festival is hosted by the Nationalities Council of Indiana.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Native American Heritage Month Film Screening at IUPUI

The Right to Be will be screened at 4 p.m. in the Lower Level of Taylor Hall on the campus of Indiana University-Purdue University Thursday (20 November) as part of the celebration of Native American Heritage Month at IUPUI.

The film is a documentary of a Lakota woman's combating the media's misrepresentation of her tribe. In the film, she visits United Tribes Community College where students learn about their traditions, a Sioux Tribe Council's discussion on high unemployment rates, and a very private Sweat Ceremony held in her honor.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Mayor Meets Consular Corps of Indy

Mayor Greg Ballard will host the Consular Corps of Indianapolis and dignitaries from 13 countries at a 5:30 p.m. reception in the Allison Mansion at Marian College this evening.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Justice in Ethiopia and Air Pollution in China

Two Valparaiso University faculty members have been named University Research Professors and will receive support for projects on traditions of restorative justice in Ethiopia and assessing the impact of Chinese air pollution.

Selected by the University's Committee on Creative Work and Research were Dr. Charles Schaefer, associate professor of history, and Dr. Gary Morris, associate professor of physics and astronomy. Each receives a $4,000 grant to support his scholarly work along with one semester of full-time leave or two semesters of half-time leave to focus on his research projects.

Dr. Schaefer will research various methods of restorative justice employed by Ethiopia’s emperor and imperial court to resolve conflict and bring about peace and reconciliation.

Dr. Morris will use his grant and leave to review measurements of air pollution being carried by wind currents from China to Japan.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

It's Purdue's International Week!

A series of events showcasing a variety of languages, cuisine and cultures will take place at Purdue University during Purdue International Week today through Saturday (22 November).

The kickoff event, called The Amazing Race, was at 1 p.m. today. International Week also will feature one-hour sessions of different languages including German, Hindi, Urdu, Japanese, Russian, Italian, French, Portuguese, Chinese, Spanish and Arabic. Food from these countries will be served during the sessions, which are free and open to the public.

The Singapore Food Festival will take place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday (22 November)at the University Church Fellowship Hall, 320 North Street, West Lafayette.

The complete list of the times, dates and venues of all the events taking place during the Purdue International Week is here

Purdue International Week coincides with the International Education Week, which promotes educational programs that prepare Americans for a global environment and seeks to attract scholars from abroad to study in the United States.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

International Education Tied to Our Future

Commentary by
By Dr. Suellen Reed, Superintendent of Public Instruction

Gone are the days when our neighbors were our sole competition. Today’s Hoosier workforce must compete – not just with other cities and states – but in a diverse and rapidly changing global marketplace. That ability begins with a solid educational foundation.

Indiana has stronger global ties than most Hoosiers realize. For the second consecutive year, our state leads the nation in attracting new jobs through international investment, according to a report from IBM Global Business Services. Moreover, Indiana’s population is becoming more diverse with our public schools now ranking third in the nation for the increase in limited English proficient students.

Indiana already loses many of its best and brightest graduates to other states, a brain drain that could increase as the global economy expands. This was never more apparent than when I met a summer intern here at the Indiana Department of Education, a college student from Butler University. She speaks three languages fluently and is learning her fourth while studying international issues in politics and religion. If Indiana doesn’t offer job prospects that fit her interests and skill set, she surely will find those opportunities elsewhere.

The bottom line: If we are to maintain and increase our position as a global player, Indiana must provide its citizenry with a greater understanding of other languages and cultures through international education.

These realities underscore the significance of our upcoming observance of International Education Week, held from November 17-21. With that in mind, I strongly urge Indiana’s leaders at the state and local levels to work together to:

* Increase access for students to learn a world language starting in elementary school and continuing through high school,
* Integrate technology and international education across subject areas and align with standards consistent with 21st Century skills,
* Provide professional development and international exchange opportunities for Indiana teachers through exchange agreements with partner countries around the world, and
* Boost participation in international student exchange as participants and hosts.

Indiana citizens distinguish themselves on a global scale in all fields of endeavor, from space exploration and medical discoveries to artistic expression. To ensure this record persists well into the future, I urge Hoosiers to get involved. If you can offer our students a cultural experience, contact your local school. If you speak a second language, volunteer to help young children learn these skills. If your company does business outside this country, help students and decision-makers in your community understand the importance of international competence.

How well we meet the challenges of the 21st Century will depend on all of us. Let those in leadership know your shared concerns, do your part to make a difference and together we will secure a prosperous future for our children. Learn more here.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Indy's International Festival is Next Week!

Thursday is for schools and other groups, but the International Festival is open to the public next Friday through 23 November! Don't miss the best party in Central Indiana. All the details are here!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Former Child Soldier from Sierra Leone to Speak

Ishmael Beah, a former child soldier and author from Sierra Leone will speak on ""A Long Way Gone: A Story of Redemption and Hope" at 7:30 p.m. 26 January 2009 in Clowes Memorial Hall on the campus of Butler University in Indianapolis.

His presentation is part of Butler's 21st annual Celebration of Diversity Distinguished Lecture Series.

Monday, November 10, 2008

IU Strengthens Ties with Universities in China and Korea

An Indiana University delegation to Korea and China has returned home after establishing new partnership agreements with several of the region's premier research universities, strengthening ties with IU alumni and friends, and participating in a major conference on globalization in higher education, among other activities, reports the IU News Bureau.

During the week-long trip, which began on 31 October, IU reached agreements with Sungkyunkwan University, Seoul National University and Peking University , and discussed future partnership opportunities with officials at Yonsei University, with which IU has had an agreement since 1986.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Valpo Visits Nigeria

Two Valparaiso University academic administrators will travel to Africa next week, reports Inside INdiana Business.

During their 12 day stay, they'll meet with Nigeria's first lady and a number of education and government officials. The goal of the trip is to explore opportunities to build connections between Valparaiso and the African nation.

Monday, November 3, 2008

IU Bloomington Celebrates International Education Week

Indiana University will join with colleges and universities nationally to celebrate its students and scholars from around the world during International Education Week Thursday through 16 November.

Receptions, lectures and other events throughout the week will feature the important contribution that the international community makes to education in Indiana. The complete schedule is here.

IU Union Board and the Office of International Services will kick off International Education Week with the World's Fare, highlighting the more than 4,000 international students and 1,500 international scholars at the university. It opens at 5 p.m. on Thursday (6 November) in Alumni Hall at the Indiana Memorial Union, 900 East Seventh Street, Bloomington with 22 international student organizations sharing their culture, food and history. There is no charge for admission. A ticket to sample eight food items will be free to IU students with a valid campus ID, and available at $4 to non-students.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Children's Lantern Festival at Athenaeum

The annual St. Martin's Children's Lantern Festival steps off at 5 p.m. from the Athenaeum/Das Deutsche Haus, 401 East Michigan Street, Indianapolis, next Saturday (8 November).

St. Martin on his white horse leads the annual children's lantern parade into Lockerbie Square - the original Germantown.

Bishop Martin of Tours (whose Saint's Day is 11 November) was a Roman soldier, turned Christian cleric, who shared his cape with a beggar. To mark this good deed, children process in lantern parades as beggars on St. Martin's day. They sing the traditional "Ich geh mit meiner Laterne," beg for a treats and are rewarded with candy.

The traditional treat of potato pancakes with apple sauce will be served back at the Athenaeum. Cost is $5 per individual or $15 per family. For more information, contact Jim Gould, 317:655-2755 ext 149.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Partnerships in India, China are Purdue's Goal

Purdue University President France A. Córdova embarked on a two-week trip today (1 November) to build partnerships in India and China, reports the Purdue News Bureau.

Córdova's trip, a year in the planning, will include time in Bangalore, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Hong Kong, and will feature visits to educational institutions and businesses as well as meetings with alumni, parents and major donors.

Purdue has the second-largest number of international students (5,479) of any public university in the United States. Purdue's students come from more than 120 countries, and the largest number of those students - 1,256 - come from India. Students from China are Purdue's second-largest population, with 975 on campus this fall.

In Bangalore, Córdova will meet with key city and country leaders at the Indian Institute of Science and with officials at Infosys Technologies. She also will travel to the General Electric Technology Research Center to review a nanomaterials partnership opportunity and other projects in General Electric's global research division.

At Cummins India in Mumbai, a five-year memorandum of understanding will be signed between Purdue, Cummins Inc. and the Cummins College of Engineering for Women. The college and company, which has its main headquarters in Columbus, Ind., have partnered with Purdue since 2003 to send Indian graduates to the West Lafayette campus for master's and doctoral studies. The memorandum calls on the three to expand these efforts, particularly with research and development; student and faculty exchange; a fellowship program; and support for mechanical engineering curriculum at the Indian campus.

In addition, Córdova will meet with officials at IIT Bombay, the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, the University Institute of Chemical Technology and the S.P. Jain Institute. Córdova will visit a pharmaceutical manufacturing plant in Hyderabad and a cellular and molecular biology research facility.

In Hong Kong, Córdova will discuss joint research efforts, student internships and research fellowships with officials at the Applied Science and Technology Research Institute Inc. She also will discuss partnerships and research with Alexander Tzang, deputy president of Hong Kong Polytechnic University, and Paul Chu, president of Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

Alumni receptions will be held in Bangalore, Mumbai and Hong Kong, providing opportunities for alumni as well as parents of current students to meet Córdova.