2016-2017 AIEA Thematic Forums 

Mapping Strategies to Reach Your Vision for International Education 
February 1-3, 2017 
Texas Christian University 

Teaching Tolerance & Peace in Education: Perspectives from the East and West
March 26-27, 2017
University of Central Florida (also hosted by The Prince Mohammad Bin Fahd Program for Strategic Research & Studies)

Far Beyond Recruitment: Understanding Chinese International Students and Helping Them Succeed
Wednesday, April 12, 2017
Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY

The United States as an Arctic Nation: Opportunities for Collaboration in Internationalization
May 7-8, 2017 
University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, Alaska (also hosted by Dartmouth College)


Mapping Strategies to Reach Your Vision for International Education 

February 1-3, 2017 
Texas Christian University 
Final Report (.pdf) 
Detailed Schedule (.pdf)

Thematic Forum GuerreroThe Thematic Forum, Mapping Strategies to Reach Your Vision for International Education, was designed specifically for senior international officers interested in evaluating their approach to international education on their campus to ensure current issues in the global world are being addressed. Institutions from across higher education embrace internationalization through many different approaches and with ever increasing methods and frameworks. This forum focused upon how leaders can elevate the quality of internationalization on campus with cohesiveness, intentionality and consideration for latest issues in the world.

The forum began with a keynote address followed by five workshops designed to network and facilitate attendees in formulating a concrete map that connects strategies to implementation. Workshop topics include 1) case studies and models for transcending an institutional mission into a framework for international education, 2) mapping strategies, initiatives and programs to university and curricular goals, and 3) integrating intercultural learning into your campus. The final workshop allowed participants to network, discuss challenges and conceptualize a map for implementing their visions.  The Forum concluded with a session with TCU’s Vice-Chancellors for Finance and Development, providing attendees an opportunity to ask questions related to obtaining financial resources and support.

Thematic Forum Klein

The Forum’s opening keynote, Jennifer Klein Burrows, Educational Consultant for World Food Bank, challenged participants to consider some of the actions and policies that unintentionally do harm in the world. Her keynote, “Getting Better at Doing Good in the World” challenged SIOs to examine activities such as volunteer work through a different and challenging lens that often times, these programs do more harm than good in-country. The dialogue following her presentation was robust, and the keynote served a valuable lesson in setting the stage for internationalization and what it means today—including the challenges we must consider. Forum topics-- from comprehensive internationalization to mapping student outcomes and assessment -- were well-received and the dialogue was purposeful.  

Teaching Tolerance & Peace in Education: Perspectives from the East and West

March 27, 2017
University of Central Florida (also hosted by The Prince Mohammad Bin Fahd Program for Strategic Research & Studies
Final Report (.pdf)

Thematic Forum UCF SpeakerThe University of Central Florida (UCF) Prince Mohammad Bin Fahd Program for Strategic Research & Studies hosted “Teaching Tolerance & Peace in Education: American Experiences & International Lessons.” The March 27 thematic forum, funded in part by a grant provided by the Association of International Education Administrators, brought together civic, education, and business leaders – from the local, state, national, and international level – to discuss the role of education as a catalyst for tolerance and peace in an increasingly globalized society.

Thematic Forum UCF groupThe event featured four topical sessions (expert-moderator):

(1)  Defining Tolerance, Diversity and Peace (Dr. Patricia Avery, University of Minnesota);

(2)  Tolerance, Diversity, and Education in Practice (Dr. James Gibson, Washington University St. Louis);

(3)  Education for Tolerance and Global Peace (Dr. Peter Levine, Tufts University); and,

(4)  Understanding Local Efforts Promoting Peace & Tolerance.

 During the first three panels, moderators provided background on key topics and steered discussion. This format allowed for an informative, open but framed conversation of ideas among participants – all of whom have a stake in education. The local panel, which featured four very unique speakers (a public school superintendent from a diverse school district, a religious leader dedicated to interfaith relations, an executive from a prominent international corporation dedicated to diversity in the workforce, and a historian working to prevent history from repeating itself) dedicated to finding ways to bring a diverse (race, nationality, language) community together for the common good.

 After the forum, a UCF team met to summarize discussion and identify findings. The fruits of this postmortem assessment will be a paper describing different approaches to peace and tolerance in education, explaining how conversations can continue, identifying projects/programs which promote the concepts, and how to apply concepts internationally, particularly in the Middle East-North African region.

Special thanks to UCF partners: the Lou Frey Institute and Partnership for Civic Learning

Far Beyond Recruitment:
Understanding Chinese International Students and Helping Them Succeed

Wednesday, April 12, 2017
Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY
Final Report (.pdf) 
Flyer (.pdf)
Forum Website

Thematic Forum Stony BrookStony Brook University hosted its first AIEA Thematic Forum, Far Beyond Recruitment: Understanding Chinese International Students and Helping Them Succeed.  Seventy-three participants from twenty-five universities attended the event, which took place April 12-13, 2017.

Stony Brook University President, Dr. Samuel Stanley Jr. welcomed the participants. Darla Deardorff kicked off plenary talks with an interactive discussion on the misconceptions, challenges, and opportunities for Chinese international student success.  Karin Fischer looked at the Chinese student lifecycle, from recruitment and admission to integration in the American college experience to graduation and career counseling. Agnes He broke down the differing characteristics between Chinese heritage and Chinese international students, as well as how conflicting cultural views of education can affect academic success.  Finally, Jun Liu spoke about classroom interaction and the cognitive, pedagogical, affective, socio-cultural, and linguistic factors preventing Chinese international students from participating in class.

Thematic Forum Stony Brook Group PhotoIn the afternoon, a research panel discussed findings and implications of three studies:  a longitudinal study supported by an NSF grant on international Chinese teaching assistants’ communicative challenges; a large-scale survey among international Chinese students in a research institution; and an ethnographic study on international Chinese students’ socialization patterns and challenges into academic discourse.  The participants were then divided into roundtable discussions on Orientation and Advising; Student Services; Acculturation; and Academics to determine challenges and potential solutions.  Several common themes and recommendations appeared during the roundtables, including the need for proactive interaction with both Chinese international students and their families, the need to create one-stop shop to provide continued services from pre-arrival throughout their educational experiences and career development opportunities, the need to add more staff and funding resources to provide adequate services. 

A list of follow-up action items were proposed and discussed at the deep-dive post-forum session including a multi-university survey of Chinese international students. 

The United States as an Arctic Nation:
Opportunities for Collaboration in Internationalization

The University of Alaska Fairbanks and Dartmouth College
May 7-8, 2017; University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, Alaska
Final Report (.pdf) 
Flyer (.pdf)

This Thematic Forum engaged senior international officers, university administrators, faculty and students alongside business, community and government leaders in exploring internationalization related to Arctic locations. Presentations, panels and break-out discussion centered on opportunities for impactful exchanges and increased awareness of Arctic issues with an emphasis on collaboration with Indigenous communities in the development and implementation of research protocol and curriculum.

This forum content is of relevance to Senior International Officers considering partnership with Arctic-located institutions in the development of education and research programs within Arctic nations and focused on Arctic issues.

Thematic Forum Fairbanks group photo

Morning sessions consisted of two 30-minute presentations followed by small-group discussion of participants’ a) personal/professional experience; b) aspirations/visions and c) actual or potential barriers/challenges/opportunities. Each group identified action items for consideration and presenters made recommendations to support engagement of participants beyond the Thematic Forum. Afternoon presenters and panelists shared experience and outlined opportunities through the Arctic Fulbright Initiative, Arctic Engagement for Policy and Diplomacy, the Model Arctic Council and UArctic.

Thematic Forum Fairbanks photo 2This forum met the objectives of:  

  • Dialoguing with experts on Arctic research, indigenous perspectives and community engagement.
  • Identifying U.S. educational priorities with relevance to the Arctic and Arctic issues.
  • Exploring participation in the UArctic network as an example of multilateral engagement in area studies.
  • Exchanging ideas on effective leveraging of connections for strategic planning and in the development of domestic and international partnerships.

Strategic issues for senior international officers that were discussed include:

  • Investment of time, resources in Arctic-focused partnership and program development to enhance the institution’s international profile.
  • Assessment of compatibility of academic and research programs according to institutional priorities.
  • Evaluation of opportunities for collaboration within and external to the Arctic.
  • Awareness of U.S. national interests as areas of consideration for partnership and program development.

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