CMC’s New Center for Global Education is “Circle of Life” for CMC Students

From all angles, CMC’s new Center for Global Education has a brilliant future, but first they’ve got to get a sign painter over there.

“We are literally brand new,” says Aleta Wenger, executive director for international programs, speaking about the Center located on the first floor of the Heggblade building. “We don’t even have a sign yet on the door that says the Center for Global Education.”

The new Center encompasses CMC’s Office of Off-Campus Study, including Study Abroad and The Washington Program, as well as coordination and promotion of fellowship programs and national awards for CMC students and faculty.

The purpose of the Center is to focus CMC’s efforts on sustaining proven global education programs, to envision and develop valuable and exciting new programs and activities and to provide first-rate advising services for CMC fellowship and scholarship applicants.

According to Kristen Mallory, director, Off-Campus Study, students work with the Off-Campus Study office as freshman, sophomores and juniors. “After their return from study abroad or the Washington Program, we used to send them to other offices for fellowships or national awards, frequently losing track of their endeavors and feeling separate’ from them,” she says. “This enhanced a perception that Off-Campus Study was a separate and unique offering, rather than a component of the full four-year degree and CMC opportunities.

“With the creation of the Center, students will remain in our venue for the full four years, and frequently after graduation, as we incorporate the academic, the off-campus experience, and the future fellowship and national award endeavors,” she adds.

Wenger says that Center staff have a catchphrase for retaining those students in the Off-Campus Study fold for the full duration of their undergraduate careers and after. They call it: the “circle of life” after the musical number in Disney’s “The Lion King.”

Some of the Center’s new global education initiatives and faculty-led activities being planned include an Israel Study Tour, including an intensive seminar, travel to Jerusalem, and participation in an archeological dig; a pilot program in Jordan, consisting of a seminar, an internship component, and Arabic language instruction; and a five-week program in South Korea that will focus on global economic challenges facing the United States and East Asia.

The Center is also in the early stages of exploring the development of a semester-length study and internship program in the Silicon Valley, possibly beginning in the fall of 2012.

In addition, the Center has taken on responsibility for the overall coordination and support for prestigious fellowships and scholarships, including the Fulbright Program, and the Truman, Rotary, Rhodes, Marshall and Mitchell scholarships, among many others.

The Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty is responsible for overseeing the Center. In addition to Wenger and Mallory, Center staff includes Nicole Sheldon-Desjardins, assistant director of Off-Campus Study; Barbara Nanning, program coordinator; and Matthew Beale, in the new position of fellowships coordinator.

Beale is still learning the ropes after beginning his new position in January, but he is looking forward to what the future holds for the Center and the College.

“I believe the new Center will provide students with an ideal location to learn about opportunities to enhance their college experience beyond traditional classroom learning and on-campus activities,” Beale says.

For more information, visit the Center for Global Education website.