campus news

International Education Week returns with diverse offerings

Close up of a bowl of stress balls in the shape of the earth with the words "International Education Week" printed on the balls.

Photo: Meredith Forrest Kulwicki


Published November 9, 2022

Nojin Kwak.
“Post-pandemic, IEW affords the opportunity to reflect on how altered the international education landscape is at present and the opportunities our faculty and students have for global engagement, building on UB’s past success in this area. ”
Nojin Kwak, vice provost for international education

After a pandemic-induced hiatus of two years, UB is once again celebrating International Education Week (IEW) to showcase important international education issues, as well as the cultural riches of the university community.

“We are excited to join with many campus partners to mount a great program for IEW this year,” says Nojin Kwak, vice provost for international education. “My office is proud to co-sponsor a variety of academic offerings and student events that highlight the many dimensions of international education at UB.

“My congratulations to International Student Services for organizing such a wonderful program.”

IEW, which runs Nov. 14-18, features both in-person and virtual events to maximize accessibility. The kick-off event on Nov. 14 is an in-person symposium, “Re-imagining International Education In/Through the Global Pandemic.” The symposium, from 9 a.m. to noon in 107 Capen Hall, is organized by the Graduate School of Education; convener is Jinting Wu, associate professor of educational leadership and policy.

In addition to UB faculty members Sunha Kim, associate professor of counseling, school and educational psychology, and Sameer Honwad, assistant professor of learning and instruction, symposium speakers include three experts from other institutions: Noah Sabe, professor of history, Loyola University, Chicago; Jing Lin, Harold R. W. Benjamin Professor of International Education, University of Maryland; and Iveta SIlova, professor and associate dean of global engagement, Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, Arizona State University. Each speaker will explore the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on international education and higher education in general.

“Post-pandemic, IEW affords the opportunity to reflect on how altered the international education landscape is at present and the opportunities our faculty and students have for global engagement, building on UB’s past success in this area,” Kwak notes.

The Student Union Lobby will be the site of IEW’s International Fair from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Nov. 14. The fair is hosted by International Student Services and the UB Student Association International Student Council, with UB international student clubs, Study Abroad Programs and other offices participating to share information and small giveaways.

Later that day, a virtual panel titled “Global in the Middle of the USA: Unsettling how we understand refugee resettlement,” hosted by Abigail Cooke, associate professor of geography, will address the influence of neoliberalism on refugee resettlement, specifically ideas about integration and self-sufficiency, and the roles of the state and NGOS in this work. Panelists are Emily Frazier, assistant professor of human geography, Missouri State University, and Odessa Gonzalez Benson, assistant professor, School of Social Work, University of Michigan. The panel is organized by the Department of Geography and the Immigrant and Refugee Research Institute in the School of Social Work. The panel will take place from 1-2:15 p.m. via Zoom.

The second part of the “Global in the Middle of the USA” program will be held in person from 5-7 p.m. Nov. 15 in 144 Center for the Arts. This session will focus on “Promoting Language Access among New Americans in Erie County: Community Actions, Policy Advocacy, and Legislative Initiatives.” Each of these elements will be addressed by an expert, including Yunju Nam, the session organizer and associate professor of social work, who will present research findings on the role of community language resources in immigrant and refugee economic integration in Western New York; April Baskin, chair of the Erie County Legislature, who will speak about her legislative initiatives; and Colleen Kristich of the Partnership for the Public Good, who will discuss community advocacy efforts.

The schedule of events on Nov. 15 will also feature the Distinguished Speakers Series talk by Marie Yovanovitch, former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, who will speak at 7 p.m. in the CFA Mainstage Theatre. Tickets are required.

Several student-centered events anchor the program on Nov. 17. The first is UB’s inaugural Korean Speech Contest + Korean Culture Day organized by Hyein (Amber) Kim, clinical associate professor in the Department of Linguistics, in which students prepare and present the best speech in the Korean language for their course level. The contest will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Buffalo Room, 10 Capen Hall.

A perennial IEW favorite is the “Global Gallery: Photo Contest and Exhibition,” featuring the best photographs from UB study abroad students, annotated with testimonials about their experiences overseas. The gallery will be held from noon to 2 p.m. Nov. 17 in the Student Union Flag Room. Everyone is welcome to attend and vote for their favorite photo.

Later that day, from 5-7 pm in 235 Student Union, the Russian Language Program will host a celebration of language and culture, “Russia and Eastern Europe: What You May Not Know.” War and politics will not be on the agenda; this is an opportunity for everyone to learn more about language, food and performing arts in an important part of the world.

On Nov. 18, a special Asia at Noon talk in 280 Park will be given by Millie Chen, professor of art, regarding her “Silk Road Songbook” project, which weaves songs of dissent into the land, broadcasting women’s distinct, unruly voices on an ancient Eurasian migration route between Istanbul, Tehran, Tashkent, Almaty and Xi’an.

Also that day, International Student Services, the office that plans and coordinates IEW, will offer two virtual workshops on employment-related matters for international students. A workshop on Optional Practical Training will take place from 12:30-2 p.m., and a workshop on Post-OPT Employment: H-1B and other Visa Options, will be held from 3-4 p.m.

A complete schedule of IEW 2022 events, including information on attending virtual events, can be found on the IEW website.