Campus News

Global health theme of International Education Week at UB

International Education Week's keynote film, “Mediterranea,” is the story of African immigrants who traveled to southern Italy in search of a better life but instead found economic hardship, hostility and violence — as well as occasional acts of kindness.

By LAURA HERNANDEZ

Published November 7, 2016

“Global Health in Focus” is the theme for UB’s annual celebration of International Education Week (IEW) on Nov. 14-18, with keynote speakers and events focusing on refugees and migrants.

The keynote speaker this year is Therese McGinn, professor of population and family health, and director of the RAISE (Reproductive Health Access, Information and Services in Emergencies) Initiative at Columbia University. Her lecture, “Reproductive Health of Refugees: Crisis and Opportunity,” will take place at 4 p.m. Nov.17 in 147 Diefendorf Hall, South Campus.  

McGinn will discuss the health, social and economic hurdles refugees encounter after war and natural disasters force them to leave their homelands. She will emphasize the individual and community resourcefulness refugees bring with them to create new opportunities and adapt to new environments, and how those may alter their hopes for their reproductive lives.

Her talk also will touch on how the health community can respond to the changing demands of displaced communities to advance their dignity, health and humanity.

Ellen Dussourd, director of the Office of International Student and Scholar Services, notes that McGinn "has a wealth of practical experience to support her academic focus," pointing out that she was a Peace Corps volunteer, worked for many years for CARE and Save the Children, and has traveled extensively worldwide throughout her career.

International Education Week’s other keynote event — a screening of the film “Mediterranea” — will take place at 7 p.m. on Nov. 15 in the Screening Room in the Center for the Arts, North Campus. Shaun Irlam, associate professor in the Department of Comparative Literature, and Teresa Miller, vice provost for equity and inclusion, will introduce the film, which tells the story of African immigrants who traveled to southern Italy in search of a better life but instead found economic hardship, hostility and violence — as well as occasional acts of kindness.

Irlam and Miller will lead a discussion of the film following the screening.

Dussourd calls “Mediterranea” "a powerful film that allows its viewers to experience vicariously the challenges and hardships facing refugees and migrants who cross the Sahara desert and Mediterranean Sea in an attempt to reach Europe."

The film, she says, transports viewers into the lives and experiences of individuals "who are in the hands of smugglers, who are vulnerable to bandits in the desert, who are aboard a rickety, overcrowded boat and who are living in squalor and trying to eke out a living in a foreign land."

Another highlight of the week, sponsored by the UB Confucius Institute, is a costume exhibition and a performance of selections from the Beijing Opera on Nov. 18, both courtesy of the Confucius Institute of Chinese Opera at Binghamton University.

The exhibition, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Student Union, will feature colorful robes, masks and other components of Beijing Opera costumes.

"Amazing China: Selections from Bejing Opera" sponsored by the UB Confucius Institute will take place at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 18 in Lippes Concert Hall in Slee Hall.

Then at 7:30 p.m. in Lippes Concert Hall in Slee Hall, the Binghamton group will perform scenes from the Beijing Opera’s “Journey to the West,” “The Generals of Yang Family,” “Water Margin” and “Royal Concubine Yang of Tang Dynasty,” among others.

Other IEW events will highlight UB’s international student population and the international efforts of UB faculty and students.

The week will open with the traditional dance and musical performances by international student clubs from 1-2 p.m. Nov. 14 in the Student Union lobby.

“World Bazaar” on Nov. 16 will celebrate the differences and commonalities of all people with performances, cuisines and demonstrations, while “World View: Study Abroad Photo Contest and Exhibition” on Nov. 17 features photos taken by UB students while studying abroad, showcasing the wide range of programs offered at UB.

View the poster for the full schedule of events.

View a poster with the full IEW event schedule. 

An annual UB tradition since 2001, IEW showcases the rich cultural diversity of the campus community, provides insightful analysis of issues of critical importance worldwide and highlights the university’s international programs and outreach.

The celebration is particularly relevant at UB. With more than 6,000 international students, UB ranks in the top 20 of 2,700 accredited U.S. universities in international enrollment, according to the Institute of International Education. UB has exchange agreements with more than 80 institutions in over 30 countries.

IEW events are organized by the Office of International Student and Scholar Services, Intercultural and Diversity Center, UB Confucius Institute and Study Abroad Programs; sponsors include AT&T, Bank of America, Late Night UB, SEFA, T-Mobile, UB Community for Global Health Equity, UB Confucius Institute, UB Intercultural & Diversity Center, UB Office of International Education and UB Study Abroad Programs.